White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism

- Full book available at Verso Books in spring 2021 - French adaptation available at La Fabrique in autumn 2020

Two trends intersect in the present: rising temperatures and the rise of the far right. What happens when they meet? In recent years, the far right has done everything in its power to accelerate the heating: an American president who believes it is a hoax has removed limits on fossil fuel production. The Brazilian president has opened the Amazon and watched it burn. In Europe, parties denying the crisis and insisting on maximum combustion have stormed into office, from Sweden to Spain. On the brink of breakdown, the forces most aggressively promoting business-as-usual have surged – always in defense of white privilege, against supposed threats from non-white others. Where have they come from? The first study of the far right in the climate crisis, White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism presents an eye-opening sweep of a novel political constellation, and reveals its deep historical roots. Fossil-fueled technologies were born steeped in racism. None loved them more passionately than the classical fascists. As such forces rise to the surface, some profess to have the solution – closing borders to save the climate. Epic and riveting, White Skin, Black Fuel traces a future of political fronts that can only heat up.  

– Verso Books

In this first systematic inquiry into the political ecology of the far right in the twenty-first century, we have investigated what the main parties have said, written and done on climate and energy in thirteen European countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. We focus on Europe, but also look at two countries in the Americas – the United States and Brazil – that have long been recognised for their outsized impact on the climate system and that are both, at the time of this writing, ruled by presidents on the far-right end of the spectrum.

The Zetkin Collective is a group of scholars, activists and students working on the political ecology of the far right. It was formed around the Human Ecology division at Lund University in the summer of 2018. The members, who have all contributed to this book, conducting research in their native languages, are: Irma Allen, Anna Bartfai, Bernadette Barth, Lise Benoist, Julia Bittencourt Costa Moreira, Dounia Boukaouit, Clàudia Custodio, Philipa Olivia Dige, Ilaria di Meo, George Edwards, Morten Hesselbjerg, Ståle Holgersen, Claire Lagier, Andreas Malm, Sonja Pietiläinen, Daria Rivin, Line Skovlund Larsen, Luzia Strasser, Laudy van den Heuvel, Meike Vedder and Anoushka Eloise Zoob Carter.