One of our digital collecting projects in Climate Museum UK is collecting examples of Everyday Ecocide.
Ecocide means the destruction of the natural environment, and is happening because of agribusiness, deforestation, mining, the oil industry, pollution and waste. Also ‘climate ecocide’ is happening because of the impacts of anthropogenic global warming and its continued denial. This is being perpetuated by globalised industry, which relies on fossil fuels and their chemical and plastic derivatives.
Much of this ecocide is invisible to us because it has become normalised, and many of us live disconnected from wild places that are being damaged, or from where our food and goods are being produced. The media fails to expose the environmental damage behind the system of economic growth that supposedly sustains us and enables us to aspire to better futures. It fails to expose the corporate and political corruption behind the continuity of this ‘business as usual’ system. It fails to expose the hegemonies in our culture that tie us into this system. Then our laws, scientific research, artworks, policies, debates and so on continue this erasure of the ecological mesh in which we live and the damage it is undergoing.
The collecting community in the Facebook group Everyday Ecocide shares examples of eco-blindness, climate denial or erasure of non-human species. All of these small ecocides are like a daily tide, in and out, causing disconnection from nature, psychic numbing to ecological harm and ultimately all adding up to the emerging catastrophe of environmental collapse.
The idea was inspired by the Everyday Sexism project which exists to catalogue incidents of sexism experienced on a day to day basis, including in representations and language. Everyday Ecocide is in some ways a tougher call than inviting stories of sexism. Because of eco-blindness in media and wider culture, there is very little discussion about the eco-blindness. It’s a double blindness. It’s also hard to find a way to describe it without jargon. We haven’t learned how to critique our lack of an ecological way of knowing. We, mostly, aren’t even conscious of it. That’s why we see this as a vital collecting project.
We invite articles and short posts to help us understand Everyday Ecocide, the disconnection from nature, the denial of anthropogenic global warming, the erasure of other species, the devaluing of environmental externalities, the exclusion of ecological education and so on. What are all the different categories of this phenomenon? Why is it intensifying even while the Earth system is beginning to collapse around us? And what are some alternative stories and creative solutions to an eco-blind culture?
To join the Everyday Ecocide collecting community, you can:
Ask to join the group on Facebook, and post your finds with an explanatory comment.
You can also follow @EverydayEcocide on Twitter, and use #EverydayEcocide for your finds, tagging us so that we see your tweet.
If you want to write a longer article, exploring Ecocidal framing in culture and Cultural organisations, we can add you as a writer to our Stories of Extraction publication. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org