WINNER 2014 – Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction
Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed system and build something radically better. In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.
Klein exposes the myths that are clouding the climate debate. We have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. We have been told it’s impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it—it just requires breaking every rule in the “free-market” playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies and reclaiming our democracies. We have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight back is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.
Climate change, Klein argues, is a civilizational wake-up call, a powerful message delivered in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts. Confronting it is no longer about changing the light bulbs. It’s about changing the world—before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. Either we leap—or we sink.
Once a decade, Naomi Klein writes a book that redefines its era. No Logo did so for globalization. The Shock Doctrine changed the way we think about austerity. This Changes Everything is about to upend the debate about the stormy era already upon us.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Canadian luminary Naomi Klein’s new book is full of terrifying facts and fiery conviction. This awe-inspiring survey of climate change’s social and political implications draws on extensive research and crystal-clear prose to deliver a bad news/good news message. Klein maps out the multiple ways that extreme weather and destabilized conditions endanger the masses while benefiting corporations and the economic elite. But she also makes the case that the prospect of ecological disaster provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to adopt policies that close the gap between rich and poor and promote social justice. This Changes Everything is by no means an easy read, but it’s a fascinating investigative work designed to spark debate and stamp out apathy.
The struggle for a sustainable world is really a fight against capitalism, according to this sprawling manifesto from Nation columnist Klein (The Shock Doctrine). She gives a rousing, if familiar, rundown of the perils of global warming and singles out energy corporations in particular, and the "extractivist" economic system and ideology in general, as the planet's great enemies. Her proposed remedies include strict regulation of fossil fuels and investments in renewable energy, but also a vision of a low-consumption, no-growth, localist, people-over-profits economy coupled to a social transformation that emphasizes cooperation with nature instead of dominion over it. Klein's gifts for catchy, aphoristic prose and vivid journalistic montage are well-displayed and her critiques sometimes trenchant, as when she skewers hubristic geoengineering schemes, carbon offset scams, and the pseudo-green billionaire Richard Branson. Unfortunately, her grasp of energy policy is questionable: she uncritically repeats renewables boosterism while ignoring their limitations and her dismissal of nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source is ill-informed. By drawing "everything" into her thesis Klein dilutes her over-stuffed book's consistency and coherence; worse, her tendency to demonize more than analyze leaves unaddressed the real-world conflicts and contradictions that make climate policy so intractable.
Hopeful and inspiring
I appreciate the vast amount of research and scholarship that went into producing this work. The endnotes are an amazing source of links to other positive thinkers and activists doing the work to save our world.
This Changes Everything
This should be a "must read" for every thinking Canadian. The wealth of information is amazing, and overwhelming at times. But the right amount is given to each topic and with the amazing end-notes my brain was drawn to read on into the works cited. Thank you for the trip.
Jim Ferris, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada.
Full of eco-alarmist fallacies and confused left wing economic beliefs. Typical Klein drivel.