The Capitalocene is an alternative social theory to explain the current ecological crisis, which focuses on capital and capitalism rather than the collective responsibility of man and the human race in general. Critics of the anthropocene narrative, including Andreas Malm and Alf Hornborg, ecologists at Lund University in Sweden, point out that environmental degradation and climate change are not the collective primordial crime of mankind (anthropocene) but the result of capitalism responsible for social inequalities and the appropriation of cheap nature. In the 19th century, the fossil fuel based economy was not created and maintained by mankind as a whole, but by a group of capitalists seeking to increase the productivity of their companies. As a result of global class differences, the richest and poorest do not contribute equally to pollutant emissions (e.g. the richest 1% of Americans, Luxembourgers and Saudi Arabians emit two thousand times more CO2 than the poorest Hondurans, Mozambicans and Rwandans).
The concept of civil disobedience was concieved by American writer Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). According to him, it is the individual’s right and duty to resist – if a government deviates morally, and alters laws in its own favour or becomes socially unjust –, and to guide the way using non-violent tools, in case the authority does not take acts of legal protest (such as petitions and legal procedures) into account.
Indian politician Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) shared similar thoughts, referring to passive resistance as our innate right. The tools of civil disobedience – such as unauthorised protests, sit-down strikes, roadblocks, squatting buildings and areas, or disruption of events at administrative or governmental institutions – are also used by numerous activist groups that aim at lessening the ecological crisis. These groups include: Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, Fridays for Future and the Sunrise Movement among others.