The Truth about Nature: Environmentalism in the Era of Post-truth Politics and Platform Capitalism

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Univ of California Press, Dec 15, 2020 - Social Science - 254 pages
How should we share the truth about the environmental crisis? At a moment when even the most basic facts about ecology and the climate face contestation and contempt, environmental advocates are at an impasse. Many have turned to social media and digital technologies to shift the tide. But what if their strategy is not only flawed, but dangerous?

The Truth about Nature follows environmental actors as they turn to the internet to save nature. It documents how conservation efforts are transformed through the political economy of platforms and the algorithmic feeds that have been instrumental to the rise of post-truth politics. Developing a novel account of post-truth as an expression of power under platform capitalism, Bram Büscher shows how environmental actors attempt to mediate between structural forms of platform power and the contingent histories and contexts of particular environmental issues. Bringing efforts at wildlife protection in Southern Africa into dialogue with a sweeping analysis of truth and power in the twenty-first century, Büscher makes the case for a new environmental politics that radically reignites the art of speaking truth to power.
 

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Contents

Truth Tensions
13
PART two The Political Economy
33
The Politics of Cocreation
81
The Politics of Platforms
105
The Politics of Distinction
123
The Politics of Hysteria
146
Speaking Truth to Power
167
Notes
183
Bibliography
215
Index
231
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About the author (2020)

Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen University and a visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg. He is the author of Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa and coauthor of The Conservation Revolution: Radical Ideas for Saving Nature Beyond the Anthropocene.

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