Neo-nationalism and climate change denial: the weird relationship

Black or white? Believe on climate change or not? Investment or not? Whatever is the answer there is no political relationship with neo-nationalism rather than a focused interest on financial aspects. Avoiding the debate and denial the evidence is the best way that describes it.

A surge of euphoria towards anti-migration and anti-free movement of people is leading the action from neo-nationalists groups. I stress the fact that they are neo-nationalists as they are breaking with traditional rules for a faithful interpretation of an ideology that focuses on national interests –not necessary on boycotting external relations, global actions or indifference towards solidarity-.  This new shape of nationalism becomes more an “anti”- movement rather than pro-active one. Playing the “opposition game” has always been profitable in electoral terms. Using the same messages from the 90´s against globalization and highlighting the power of national interests and the need to preserve cultural standards instead of joint action on habits and business codes within a global context. A weird paradox that makes them repeats the same arguments than from left-wing sectors but from a right-wing perspective.

Thorough the last 10 years technology advances from one side and climate change from the other are driving the world to new outcomes, -although with the same leading interests-. Indeed, the last 10 years were key to exposure to the devastating impact of climate change and a new wave of relationships based on virtual and advanced technology. These new habits that we can associate it with just modern codes of living have turned out to be a true new shape of the world and are demanding a new economic order. Moving beyond strictly cultural interests by a world connected also by their tragedies. There is no precedent for current chaos as the only global connection on history it has been built through trade relations and movement of people.

We cannot say that it is about “global solidarity” that comes from goodwill but a real global action towards crises that slow down their impact but making them affordable, easier to tackle and, in the end, a sustainable process. Nationalisms that are trying to create isolated countries will never get to resilient solutions even if they found their own resources as the world is deeply interconnected -just see the financial crisis of 2008-. But, why neo-nationalism emerges precisely now when more than ever we need to work together to reshape United Nations and current globalization system by joint efforts and give soul to our consolidated global spirit?

Investment is the answer. Is it all about new investments. A skeptical climate change denial position may believe that is a way to boost private interests around renewable energies or to maximise interests from multinationals. In case this cynical thought can be accepted, we just answer: innovation + global action= new economic order. What will happen if US continues into a global direction? Simply, they will be forced to invest at national level to meet Paris Agreements standards and this decision is not of global natural  but strictly for national interests, however, it demands strong investment that a powerful lobby is successfully fighting back. America constitutes 5% of the world´s population but consumes 24% of the world´s energy.

Neo-nationalists groups are being created to isolate Nations and transform them into stagnated compartments that without a global framework they are getting into trouble to gain successful bilateral agreements and credibility (see Brexit or Trump´s famous “America first”). Isolationism can create a feeling of security but not necessarily build guarantees around a sustainable process (see coronavirus) Maybe small countries or towns in specific areas of the planet can achieve their goal, but it supposes to be out of technology advances and keep a status quo similar to the Quakers in US or indigenous population. The respect to them does not mean that they are walking to the future but fighting to stay in the past. That is happening in the UK with Brexit and after the euphoria for fictional freedom, they are paying the consequences at financial and economic levels. They are not achieving the goal of a trade deal because bilateralism is an old fashioned model that does not fit into global relations.

Climate change creates a wave of tragedies, to the point that there is also a new category of migrants: climate change refugees, people that emigrate because their countries are not up for living anymore.  New categories, for a “free forced movement” of people that cannot be measured within the same rules than before, demanding new actions and above all different, creative and innovative solutions.

Some leaders supported of climate change denial are associating green energies investment as the same as exclusive benefits for specific industries, -e.g. electric cars- but is it just a transformative investment basically on innovation, creating new alternatives than can also be competitive enough if there is the sense of change among each industry.  Making a new circle of international economic relations. What is certainly not acceptable is to expect to get benefits by boycotting the international community and only focus on building bilateral agreements with countries that are inserted into a global context and their economies are linked one to each other.

Presidents Bolsonaro, Salvini or Trump are climate change deniers , although not from a theoretical perspective but a very clear intention of preserving national private interests. In Brazil with the deforestation of the Amazonas, in US because of very strong lobby around fossil fuels industry and in Italy an overwhelmed number of climate change refugees coming from Africa are some of the key factors to make neo nationalists leaders feel uneasy with a solid climate change action. If we analyze carefully each of them it seems to avoid the debate rather than delivering arguments that confirm their positions and deliver solutions for whatever is the negative impact of an already Apocalyptic scenario.

All of these leaders have forgotten that Sustainable Development Goals pacifically accepted as the framework for the future supposes tackle climate change and develop a join action strategy within global roots and new actors on the stage including citizens, not just political. Climate change is not a political process anymore and must be on top of the list. Holistic approaches and diversity of actors are the drivers to change. There is no conflict if they are different way of addressing climate change for whom, sometimes ideologies can be a burden, although it never supposes a campaign against the evidence.

Black or white: Nationalist ideology does not supposes a link to science interpretation of climate change except if there is a hidden and pre-established agenda  exclusively focused on avoiding responsibilities on investment and literally boycott a natural process of resilience towards a relentless path of climate change action.


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