Matthew Phelan is a former chemical engineer whose environmental reporting has appeared at InsideClimate News, Inverse, and Chemical Engineering magazine. His coverage of the far right has appeared at The New Republic, Jacobin, and Gawker, where he founded the conspiracy vertical “Black Bag” in 2014. (October 2018)
Much of what the German émigré critical theorist Theodor Adorno had to say about fascism and democracy in 1959 applies equally well to fascism and environmentalism today: the survival of these tendencies within environmentalism could be potentially more menacing than the survival of fascist tendencies against environmentalism. For most of our lives, we’ve lived with the persistent threat of extreme-right movements backed by capital invested in historical dead-ends such as fossil fuels and the freedom to pollute. But far-right movements backed by new sectors of the economy could threaten to be something far worse. They could be sustainable.