#1 international and New York Times bestselling author Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything, makes the case for a Green New Deal—explaining how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a just and thriving society.
For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people and planet—and an unapologetic champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with justice at its center. In lucid, elegant dispatches from the frontlines of contemporary natural disaster, she pens surging, indispensable essays for a wide public: prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future. On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of our immediate political and economic choices.
These long-form essays show Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the climate crisis not only as a profound political challenge but as a spiritual and imaginative one, as well. Delving into topics ranging from the clash between ecological time and our culture of “perpetual now,” to the soaring history of humans changing and evolving rapidly in the face of grave threats, to rising white supremacy and fortressed borders as a form of “climate barbarism,” this is a rousing call to action for a planet on the brink.
With reports spanning from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, to the annual smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, to post-hurricane Puerto Rico, to a Vatican attempting an unprecedented “ecological conversion,” Klein makes the case that we will rise to the existential challenge of climate change only if we are willing to transform the systems that produced this crisis.
An expansive, far-ranging exploration that sees the battle for a greener world as indistinguishable from the fight for our lives, On Fire captures the burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the fiery energy of a rising political movement demanding a catalytic Green New Deal.
Klein (This Changes Everything) makes a case for a Green New Deal in a treatise high on passion, but low on specifics. It consists largely of reprinted writings reporting, think pieces, public talks with brief notes providing updates. After an account of speaking at a 2015 Vatican press conference on Pope Francis's climate change encyclical, Klein comments that the Church's encouraging gesture now seems overshadowed by a lack of accountability over its sexual abuse crisis. These retrospective pieces lack the urgency of the book's lengthy introduction about fostering "economies built both to protect and to regenerate the planet's life support system and to respect and sustain the people who depend on them." In the brief epilogue, Klein returns to the book's main thrust and argues the Green New Deal still has a "fighting chance." But even that formulation acknowledges the difficulties involved, and her more extravagant proposals for instance, transforming every post office in her native Canada into a "hub for green transition" don't encourage confidence in her ambitious program. Klein's cri de coeur ("when the future of life is at stake, there is nothing we cannot achieve") will galvanize some and depress others.