I normally resist throwing around the “ecofascist” label, partly because the general term “fascist” is overused, and usually with great imprecision. It’s a synonym for “everyone I don’t like is Hitler.” But sometimes it fits.
Nature magazine’s daily news summary passes along a sensational story from BuzzFeed, and BuzzFeed stories should always be taken with a tanker of sea salt. But Nature finding it credible enough to pass along is enough to make it worth examining. The story concerns the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF—formerly the World Wildlife Fund, and not the World Wrestling Federation—there was litigation about the use of WWF some years ago, with a settlement reached at some point), which BuzzFeed alleges is engaged in substantial human rights violations:
A yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation across six countries — based on more than 100 interviews and thousands of pages of documents, including confidential memos, internal budgets, and emails discussing weapons purchases — can reveal:
- Villagers have been whipped with belts, attacked with machetes, beaten unconscious with bamboo sticks, sexually assaulted, shot, and murdered by WWF-supported anti-poaching units, according to reports and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.
- The charity’s field staff in Asia and Africa have organized anti-poaching missions with notoriously vicious shock troops, and signed off on a proposal to kill trespassers penned by a park director who presided over the killings of dozens of people.
- WWF has provided paramilitary forces with salaries, training, and supplies — including knives, night vision binoculars, riot gear, and batons — and funded raids on villages. In one African country, it embroiled itself in a botched arms deal to buy assault rifles from a brutal army that has paraded the streets with the severed heads of alleged “criminals.”
- The charity has operated like a global spymaster, organizing, financing, and running dangerous and secretive networks of informants motivated by “fear” and “revenge,” including within indigenous communities, to provide park officials with intelligence — all while publicly denying working with informants.
WWF is prominent among the climate change alarmist set, and has produced some really shoddy analytical work on the issue. I’m wondering if someone is ratting them out.
I find the story quite believable, in part because the WWF is very like the UN, and stories of human rights abuses by UN personnel in the developing world are well documented.
The final irony is that while conservatives often describe environmentalists as “watermelons” (green on the outside, red on the inside), a lefty acquaintance of mine says he fears what he calls “avocado environmentalism” (green on the outside, brown on the inside). Looks like he has his example in the WWF.