The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.
Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to 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.
This Changes Everything
Klein and her team created and polished an opus on global warming. A brief global summary of science, history, current events, ethics, interpretations and a path forward.
An informative must read for all global citizens.