This Changes Everything

9 08 2014

Naomi Klein: ‘Our Economic Model Is at War with Life on Earth’

The book’s title is not elusive: ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Due for release in September, the anticipated new work by Canadian journalist, activist and public intellectual Naomi Klein has now been previewed in a video trailer that appears to lay out its main themes and central argument.

“In December of 2012, a complex systems scientists walked up to the podium at the American Geophysics Union to present a paper,” the narrator of the video—Klein herself—says as footage begins of urban high rise developments and burnt out croplands.

And the voice-over continues:

The paper was titled, “Is the Earth Fucked?” His answer was: “Yeah. Pretty much.”

That’s where the road we’re on is taking us, but that has less to do with carbon than with capitalism.

Our economic model is at war with life on Earth.

We can’t change the laws of nature, but we can change our broken economy.

And that’s why climate change isn’t just a disaster. It’s also our best chance to demand—and build—a better world.

Change or be changed. But make no mistake… this changes everything.

Watch:

According to Klein’s U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster, This Changes Everything is 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.”

Described as more important and further-reaching than her previous best-seller, The Shock Doctrine, Klein’s new book will argue

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.

Those arguments won’t be new to those who have followed Klein’s work—and the similar arguments of many others in recent years—but the expectation is that as with her previous exploration of modern capitalism in the Shock Doctrine, Klein will present her most rounded and complete vision for the predicament of the moment and her vision for the future.

In a speech to one of Canada’s largest labor unions last year, Klein told the members of UNIFOR that it was well past time that working people and industrial interests get their minds around what the climate science is dictating to humanity about the current economic model of corporate-dominated global capitalism. She also discussed her idea that climate change should not be framed as a disaster, but as an enormous opportunity to reshape the political paradigm and the fight for global justice. She told the crowd of workers:

The case I want to make to you is that climate change—when its full economic and moral implications are understood—is the most powerful weapon progressives have ever had in the fight for equality and social justice.

But first, we have to stop running away from the climate crisis, stop leaving it to the environmentalist, and look at it. Let ourselves absorb the fact that the industrial revolution that led to our society’s prosperity is now destabilizing the natural systems on which all of life depends.

“Climate change,” she added, is “not an ‘issue’ for you to add to the list of things to worry about it. It is a civilizational wake up call.”

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/08/08/naomi-klein-our-economic-model-war-life-earth

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5 responses

9 08 2014
John Doyle

I believe it is too late. We are now so close to the cliff edge that what is being proposed even if implemented now won’t save our civilization. The enormous inertia present in the capitalist economy, not to mention the mindset behind it, will be very slow to turn around. I believe we have a salvageable solution, somewhat analogous to what Naomi Klein says, if a wake up call, financial collapse, happens first. A financial collapse could stop capitalism overnight particularly given the enormity of this next crash.
If we don’t get this first and we continue to wear down our resources we will only be left with a complete disaster, an existential destruction.

9 08 2014
mikestasse

I of course agree…… my next post will be about Nicole Foss’ Australian tour, which touches on this in bucketloads…….

9 08 2014
Kate

Yep, have to agree with you John, only economic collapse will save us. Ironic of course, because it will destroy us at the same time. Or destroy a lot of the systems the vast majority of us reply upon, which is sort of the same thing

9 08 2014
kate7250

*rely upon

21 08 2014

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