The accused Christchurch shooter, who killed dozens of people, in New Zealand and EI Paso, Texas, wrote to explain online sharing another obsession, overpopulation, and environmental degradation. Before the mass shooting, the gunmen took pains to explain their anger, including their hatred for immigrants. 

The alleged Christchurch shooter declared himself an “eco-fascist” and protested against immigrants’ birth rates. He is charged with targeting Muslims and killing 51 people in March. The statement is connected with the EI Paso shooter, who is charged with killing 22 people in a shopping area earlier this month. 

Hampshire College professor emeriti Betsy Hartmann calls two of the mass shootings, “the greening of hate,” which is to be extreme examples of ecofascism. Connecting the protection of nature to racial exclusion, several white supremacists have latched into environmental themes.

They pointed out that these ideas are particularly dangerous when adopted by unstable individuals prone to violence and convinced they must take convincing action to stave off the disaster.

In the document of the alleged EI Paso shooter there was full of existential despair, “My whole life I have been preparing for a future that currently doesn’t exist.”

 Mustafa Santiago Ali, a vice president of the National Wildlife Federation and an expert on environmental justice said, “Hate is always looking for an opportunity to grab hold of something.” 

“That’s why they use this ecological language that’s been around for a while, and they try to reframe it,” he added.

Michelle Chan, vice president of programs for Friends of the Earth, said, “The key thing to understand here is that ecofascism is more an expression of white supremacy than it is an expression of environmentalism.”

John Holdren, a Harvard professor said, “A lot of people felt they were getting burned by talking about population growth and its adverse impact.” 

The environmental justice expert Ali said population growth is the big problem today. “My response to them is, ‘Who are the people we need to limit? Who are the people making decisions about that?’ . . . Until we have true equity and equality and a balance of power, then we know vulnerable communities are going to end up on the negative side of the ledger, whatever the tough choices are,” Ali said.

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