This Changes Everything

This Changes Everything

Capitalism Vs. the Climate

eBook - 2014
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2014.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451697407
1451697406
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 566 pages)
Contents: Introduction : Decade Zero: One Way Or Another, Everything Changes
The Right is Right : The Revolutionary Power of Climate Change
Hot Money: How Free Market Fundamentalism Helped Overheat the Planet
Public and Paid For : Why Climate Change Forces Us to Reclaim the Commons
Planning and Banning : Slapping the Invisible Hand, Building a Movement
Beyond Extractivism: Confronting the Climate Denier Within
The Green Giveaway : The False Solutions that Wasted Decades
No Messiahs : The Green Billionaires Won't Save Us
Digging in Deeper : The Reckless Dreams of the Geoengineers
Blockadia : The New Climate Warriors
Love Will Save This Place : Rooted Movements, Real Victories
You and What Army? : The Power of Keeping our Word, And Paying our Debts
The Right to Regenerate : From Extraction to Renewal
Conclusion : The Leap Years : Just Enough Time for Impossible.
Summary: "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"-- Provided by publisher.

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What the prospective reader needs to know about THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING is that it is over 450 pages of 9-point type with 60 pages of endnotes of 7-point type -- which is to say this is not a light easy read, even though Klein is a gifted writer. It took a triumph of the will for me to finish it. The book swirls and eddies, shoots like a rocket and then floats back down to earth. Klein tosses in everything but the kitchen sink. The first half the book is the conventional narrative: the climate-change-denial industry vs. the scientific consensus. The hinge of the book is a fascinating look at the "super-tech will save us" field of geoengineering. The last half is the most compelling. Klein talks about "Blockadia," her term for local citizen resistance to behemoth corporate extractivist industry. She talks about Keystone XL and the role of Indigenous peoples in the climate justice movement. She talks about her own difficulties in getting pregnant and the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. In the end she compares the movement to address climate change to the abolition movement of the 19th century, an analogy which lets us know there is plenty of bloodshed to come.

h
heidiup1
Mar 27, 2016

a bit dry for me, but very well-written

d
dias111
Mar 26, 2016

Great content though not as well organized and written as her previous work.

h
HowardWilliams
Dec 31, 2015

Heart's in the right place but the book is barely readable and certainly not an attractive or persuasive tool.

hugatree Dec 26, 2015

I've just read Gendeg's comment-review and I'm confused. My fellow patron gives details of he or she feels are the books shortcomings, recommends another book, The Sixth Extinction, in lieu of Klein's, and then says read this book. Which book? The former, by Naomi Klein or the latter?

g
gendeg
Dec 17, 2015

Naomi Klein’s running argument in This Changes Everything is that the climate crisis has come about as a result of a grand clash between capitalism and the planet. Klein supports the argument by showing how the political and corporate machinations work and exposing the deep pockets of rightwing special interest groups, think-tanks, and lobby groups. These groups inject bluster and doubt into the dialogue, even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, and they have the money to burn. Political will is weak (or bought, depending on how you look at it) and our response indecisive, ambiguous, or worse—couched in pledges and promises that are well-meaning but generally have no teeth (lack of enforcement mechanisms, accountability for missing targets; see the recent COP21 Paris agreement). Time will tell but if history is any measure of what might happen, then we can expect governments to back off their commitments when it comes to weighing economic concerns against environmental ones.

Klein takes a hard look at this recidivism and argues that this kind of marginalization of the environmental agenda is a built-in feature of our entire socio-economic system. She blames corporate elites for the stalemate; no surprise there. What Klein does throw into sharp relief is that the environmental optimists are also partly to blame, those of us who think that we can have our cake and eat it too, that a responsible, effective response to climate change can be anything but painful and difficult. To Klein, “The deniers get plenty of the details wrong… But when it comes to the scope and depth of change required to avert catastrophe, they are right on the money.”

The main problem I have with the book is that I’m not sure I buy into putting all the blame on corporations. Yeah, a lot of corporations do shitty things for greed and profit, and they need to be held accountable for it. To me, though, this is the minor bogeyman for the environmental movement. Who is the true villain then? Look in the mirror.

Humans have been changing the planet long before these geopolitical systems were in place ( Jared Diamond argues this in his books). Political philosophies aside, there is nothing inherently unique about capitalism being extractive or exploitive. It’s a nice fantasy for people on the left and progressives, but we often forget that the most reckless ecological practices were put into place by the centrally planned economies of the 20th century (see the USSR and Mao’s China). Another book taking a more science-based tact, The Sixth Extinction, argues that our very own species is the problem. We are the most invasive species that has every evolved and our ‘success’ has brought about ecological disaster for other forms of life on the planet. As hunter-gatherers, we were already wreaking havoc. The rise of agriculture was probably the point of no return.

What will it mean when there are 9 billion people on the planet? What will it mean when economies like India, Brazil, Indonesia, and other countries of robust population growth and economic aspirations want more? The U.S., Europe, even China can step on the brakes on pollution and degradation, but other countries won’t. One polluter gets replaced by another. Business as usual. Even as developed countries tighten environmental regulations it’s hard to feel optimistic. Rich countries often outsource biodiversity losses to the developing world by importing raw products such as palm oil grown in clear-cut rainforests (see the devastation this has wrought in Indonesia), and minerals and metals used in our electronic products. Poorer countries simply pay the price. The real clash is not capitalism vs. the planet but humans vs. finite resources.

Any one who is concerned about the long-term survival of the planet and our species needs to read this book.

c
cre0
Dec 01, 2015

this book gave the factual proof to my thoughts about capitalism and the state of the world today. i don't think there are any truly sustainable answers to our problems until there are about 8 billion less of us on the planet. i will definitely read it again, once my son finishes it.

l
LKBC_EPL
Oct 26, 2015

A clarion call to all of us.

u
uncommonreader
Sep 10, 2015

Well-researched and well-documented. It is revealing that critics are unable to rely on evidence-based data to refute Klein's arguments and revert to emotional and/or personal slurs. This is an important book. We all have a responsibility to understand what is happening to our planet and to do something about it.

d
dirtbag1
Aug 19, 2015

This book should be required reading for all Grade 12 students as well as all BC Liberals. Told in an anecdotal style it outlines the grim future for the young if we continue on the same consumerism/extractivism route we are blindly on now. There is no time to waste.

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mamabadger56
Apr 04, 2016

"The greatest tragedy of all is that so much of this was eminently avoidable."

m
mamabadger56
Apr 04, 2016

"It's not that the companies moving their production to China wanted to drive up emissions; they were after cheap labour; but exploited workers and an exploited planet are, it turns out, a package deal. A destabilized climate is the cost of deregulated, global capitalism, its unintended, yet unavoidable consequence."

WVMLlibrarianTara Nov 02, 2014

Because, underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message—spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions—telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.

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