Alex Foti

Geography of Antidystopia. How to map contemporary ecologism

losquaderno 07 [2008]

thanks to the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring – a pathbreaking book on DDT’s nefari- ous effects on the food chain – and the large demonstrations linked to the introduction of Earth Day (1970), ecologism penetrated deeply into civil society, leading to the creation of international NGOs such as Greenpeace. [...] Contemporary ecologism is very much indebted to the publication of the spouses Meadows’ Limits to Growth (1972, 1993, 2004). This was the first book to call attention to the fact that the human development thrust had overcome the Earth’s reconstructive capacities. Likewise, James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis regarded the biosphere as an integrated, semi-stable system, whose careless manipulation beyond certain thresholds can prove irreversible if not fatal. [...] The ecologist discourse of the last forty years has been divided by Dryzek into 4 major currents: (table 1). [...]

Here, I would like to explore green radicalism, which stretches from Earth First! in the Eighties to contemporary Rising Tide. This is, to my mind, the most interesting ecologist discourse which resonates with antiglobalization movements.