Zombie Environmentalism

Zombie environmentalism. Phrase. /’zombi In|vaIren’ment(a)lIz(e)m/ A trend in early 21st century relations with the natural world. It can be divided into three different aspects.

1. The behaviour of individuals or groups in society which is willingly or unconsciously uncaring of the natural world and the consequences of individual or collective behaviours. The conduct of politicians and policymakers ignoring what is coming straight for them. The man down the road who uses a leaf blower to clean his garden and footpath and blows it into the gutter: not my property, not my problem.*

2. Our apparent attraction to the dark side — polluted conditions make for sexy art. The ruin, the wasteland, the beauty in ugliness (as long as you don’t have to live there). The gothic love of civilisation’s decline. The embracing of despair and the worship of antiheroes. Loving the alternative-depressing nature of it all. The tension between aetheticising wastelands and taking the environmental impacts seriously. Aestheticising wastelands can lead to better personal identification with wastelands (as opposed to only caring about pristine wilderness areas) but is this ever translated into changed actions (by humans)?

3. A certain tendency in some environmentalists that since disaster has come, it’s time to build your survival shelter and batten down the hatches. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

See also Environmental procrastination.

* He lives next to a stormwater drain that regularly floods the street because it gets blocked with leaves. This stormwater then goes straight down into the Swan River.

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