Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


This Article analyzes a collection of landmark environmental protection laws and mainstream ecological strategies to point out their concessions to the overarching capitalist paradigm and to begin thinking about resistance as a distinctive experience that has the ability to move environmentalism beyond the constraints currently imposed on it by capitalist structures, language, and psychology. Part II examines the theories of and arguments for market-based environmental protection strategies, concluding with a critique of those strategies. Part III explores the false antinomy between capitalism and environmentalism as it is currently expressed within United States environmental law. Part IV discusses how the false antinomy between environmental protection and capitalism (that environmental laws and market-based ecologies can operate as a check on capitalist excess) masks the true antipathies between them (that environmental protection and capitalism are inherently oppositional), antipathies so fundamental that they make current environmental protection laws inadequate and market-based ecology ineffective.

After tracing the relationship between environmental protection and capitalism through the various discourses according to which it has been framed and showing the limitations of the dominant frame, in Part V of this Article, I propose a nascent philosophical analysis of environmental resistance and provide some preliminary conditions for reframing such resistance in terms of force.