This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate ePUB

10 thoughts on “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

  1. Chris Chris says:

    Naomi’s Klein’s This Changes Everything is absolutely essential for understanding confronting and meeting the challenges of the 21st century I recommend it to everyoneNaomi Klein is known for her activism and her reporting on corporate malfeasance – the misused power of corporations and the deleterious effects of unfettered global free market western style capitalism unchained from any conceivable governance that might restrict profitability Profits first above all else Protect shareholder interests increase shareholder wealthWith this her newest book This Changes Everything she turns to the conseuences that this unrestricted capitalism is having on the world at large Deregulated and globalized capitalism which destroys the middle classes across the world destabilizes societies increases ineuality and enriches the already fantastically wealthy is ultimately threatening a lot than people and communities Our globalized capitalistic system now threatens the stability and resilience of the natural world our environment of which we are intrinsically and inseparably a part After speaking about her own reluctance to face the facts about climate change a reticence to confront the reality of climate change and global warming and focus on social issues she decided a few years ago that she must confront it and learn about it I agree these issues are too important to be left to so called “environmentalists” “hippies” “tree huggers” and such We must now all become environmentalistsKlein first shows what really is happening across the world today as we strive to feed the god of economic growth and disregard the ugly sights of its victims the regular people the workers who lose their factory jobs in Juárez and Windsor the workers who get the factory jobs in Shenzen and Dhaka jobs that are by this point so degraded that some employers install nets along the perimeters of roofs to catch employees when they jump or where safety codes are so lax that workers are killed in the hundreds when buildings collapse The victims are also the toddlers mouthing lead laden toys; the Walmart employee expected to work over the Thanksgiving holiday only to be trampled by a stampede of frenzied customers while still not earning a living wage And the Chinese villages whose water is contaminated by one of those coal plants we use as our excuse for inaction as well as the middle class of Beijing and Shanghai whose kids are forced to play inside because the air is so foul” Her conclusion is startling the bottom line is what matters here our economic system and our planetary system are now at war Or accurately our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth including human life What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion Only one of these sets of rules can be changed it it’s not the laws of nature” The philosophy and the worldview that got us here began with the European scientific revolution a revolution of thought which changed humankind’s relation to the natural world For all that the scientific revolution has done vastly increasing the life chances of billions of people across the past few centuries changing our very civilization and reshaping our societies in the span of just a few generations the scientific worldview also estranged us from the natural world by placing us outside of it as the impartial observer which can meddle with the world yet not be affected by it The steam engine allowed for power generation anywhere it went regardless of weather in rain and sun regardless of its surroundings This engine and its progeny changed the world – in fact built the modern world But the whole time these engines of the modern world were powered by fossil fuels Fuels that are non renewable energy intensive reuire extraction from the ground by way of the coal and oil and natural gas industry And they expel carbon dioxide and other gases and pollutants into the atmosphere For hundreds of years “extractivism” has treated our natural world as a vast warehouse that we can take from indefinitely We view lakes and forests and oceans as “resources” – a phrase that belies the economic nature of our view of them Our lakes and forests really just “resources” like bank accounts and wallets to be withdrawn from? This cannot continue indefinitely and our methods of extraction have gotten continually costly destructive and noxious The figures on fracking alone are horrifying including the pumping of millions of gallons of water and over 190 toxic chemicals 8000 feet underground in order to fracture solid rock and have it expel natural gas Whole mountain chains along with their flora and fauna are absolutely annihilated to extract coal shale and natural gas Most insultingly the flora and fauna the forests and animals are labeled “overburden” to the fracking companies The results on human populations are also ugly mothers living in the areas with the most natural gas development were 30 percent likely to have babies with congenital heart defects than those who lived in areas with no gas wells near their home They also found some evidence that high levels of maternal exposure to gas extraction increased the risks of neurological defects to learn about fracking see GaslandThe oil natural gas mining and logging companies multinational in nature have expeditions on every continent If they are stopped in one country they can resort to free trade treaties and plead that restrictions on mining is against free trade And they simply go elsewhere to where the locals are too poor to organize or too poor to refuse the influx of temporary money and mining jobs or to where they can buy off the governmentsA number of solutions are put forward along with significant victories across the world Looking to the annual reports of the oil companies if what they call “proven reserves” are actually utilized the total emissions from those reserves is many times than what environmental experts concede will increase the world’s temperature by over 4º Celsius That increase will have devastating conseuences for many millions across the world as the oceans rise and acidify as global temperature increases and climate is severe – with severe draughts and flood severe storms massive disruption to many ecosystems and climates And these companies have in their official statements that they intend to extract from these reserves so we know exactly what they intend to do and we know what the conseuences will be if they are not stopped It's as simple as thatWe need renewal energy wind and solar and we need them now Natural gas is just as polluting as coal in fact it may be polluting But there is resistance to change from the ways we already know And to climate deniers all these fancy new fangled wind turbines and solar panels are too threatening they are not as sturdy as a good old internal combustion engine And as Klein points out letting go of our power to generate energy to the vagaries of nature to sunlight and wind is against our worldview and modern scientific minded outlook where humankind is the “master” of nature to direct as we choose Real men burn coal What about geoengineering? Klein addresses this also devoting a whole chapter to it ‘Dimming the Sun’ I’ll leave it to the reader to explore merely noting that the worldview which made humankind the ruler of the natural world is the same worldview which thinks that it can engineer whole planets with grand schemes like space based shields to block out the sun or by disbursing particulates in the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays back out of the atmosphere Do we really want to play around with this technology and in lieu of renewable energy like solar and wind? Aren’t the emissions trading schemes going to solve this problem? The various emissions trading schemes where countries establish limits for their emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and then domestic companies are allotted specific limits and can buy and sell them amongst each other or get offsets by conducting emissions mitigating activity are widespread However there are multiple loopholes and unaccounted emissions For example ships on the high seas which put massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the air are not emissions that any one particular country is responsible for Their emissions simply are not under the rules Other loopholes exist such as getting credit for reducing emissions from refraining from activity that was illegal anyway such as illegal but cheaper “flaring” of gas chimneys at mines in Nigeria As Klein puts it “With emissions up by about 57% since the UN Climate convention was signed in 1992 the failure of this polite strategy is beyond debate” The sad tale of trading in pollution ultimately reflects the flawed view that market based solutions are the only politically feasible method of tackling emissionsIn conclusion this book is timely crucial and to be welcomed as a refocusing of our attentions and priorities There are many across the world who already are laboring thanklessly to prevent further destruction of our environment but those with other priorities and who live removed from nature can easily forget what is happening Klein writes “The deep sense of interdependence with the natural world that animates rural struggles from Greece to coastal British Columbia is of course rather less obvious in the densely populated cities where so many of us live and work where our reliance on nature is well hidden by highways pipes electrical lines and overstocked supermarkets The epiphany is that rather than being masters of the Earth to engineer our world and extract every last drop of “resources” for our profit we are the Earth’s stewards at best and we live inside its systems Where do we go from here? First realize that we are “products of our age and of a dominant ideological project One that too often has taught us to see ourselves as little than singular gratification seeking units out to maximize our narrow advantage” If we focus solely on ourselves we will never see the threat which endangers us all Once alerted to this threat we need to work to say No to extractavist policies No to investment in fossil industries and Yes to renewable energies What do you want to do with your life? Do you want to amass toys and capital for your personal enjoyment while the Earth itself is warped beyond habitability? Or do you want to take part with people across the globe with similar outlooks and through similar efforts to make a sustainable future for us all? I am very inspired by this book and I cannot wait for others to read it and react to it In all honesty I intend to alter my actions and take part in activism to combat climate change

  2. Mario the lone bookwolf Mario the lone bookwolf says:

    Some processes set in motion are unstoppable Until three centuries ago human destructiveness was primarily limited to each other Apart from deforestation overuse and local exploitation the relatively few Homo Sapiens could do little harm to nature and they killed each other without directly harming the planet Not that one could attach a value to human life but the difference to nature is that the damage isn´t forever After devastating wars the survivors repopulated the ruins but if there is no animal or plant left to repopulate the badlands they will stay dead Unless they are anyway so poisoned and contaminated that life for pioneers is only possible for a short painful time and the only residents sterile cancer eaten mutantsAt the beginning of industrialization the argument that there were no alternatives was partly correct Exploitation was a necessary evil and formed the foundation of current prosperity and there was no sustainable alternative at these times However the TINA argument has become obsolete and continues to be used in the context of climate change and fossil fuels as if we were still living at the beginning of the 20th century and there were no new technologies The justifications for postponing necessary innovations are contradictory Technologies such as nuclear power and natural gas would continue to be needed for a healthy balanced energy mix A transformation of the electricity grid to integrate decentralized renewable forms of energy would take decadesFirst innovative technologies have been suppressed for decades or nearly a century Now they are being delayed by restrictions bureaucratic harassment and subsidies for established corporations To maintain the costly obsolete and destructive old system money that is otherwise desperately needed is wasted Therefore change can only be initiated by the civilian population and innovative companies Corrupt politics and corporations would delay a nuclear phase out and effective climate protection measures into the 22nd century It is particularly perfidious that NGOs such as climate and environmental protection organizations are often instrumentalized and the entire highlight is focused on a not too explosive aspect of the topic If possible with as few connecting points to the real problems as possible To pet the panda instead of keeping the bamboo forest To swim with the dolphin instead of protecting the sea This discredits the credibility of many charitable organizations It's a similar dilemma to Wikipedia because to be free and independent you need donations and that makes you dependent on the donors and patrons Media coverage prefers topics about climate change instead of environmental degradation and pollution An annual inventory maybe and news like So and so many on the leaderboard of threatened species slipped up or down With ten parameters including signal light with dots From green for everything is fine to black for everyone is dead Even this label has two spongy definitions if the data is insufficient or a species has not been assessed Convenient when species are eradicated accidentally or as collateral damageOn the other hand the climate is so wonderfully vague sophisticated and comprehensive that it can produce endless debates and reports Practically without having to commit to concrete facts and above all action approaches It is in the unpredictable nature of the thing It is as if people are talking about the weather with fewer and fewer animal sounds in the background and monocultures overgrowing everythingHowever people do not talk about concrete phenomena that affect the weather For example about the thawing of permafrost subsidence of the ocean currents defrosting the polar ice caps acidification of the oceans desertification rising sea levels rainforest deforestation microplastics fracking etc But about the manipulable macro themesIt is better to use nice vague parameters such as global annual temperature CO2 emissions and statistics with the probability of century events Or one leaves the planet at all and relies on the fluctuating solar activity A potential collapse of the food and drinking water supply outside the developing countries is also preferably less mentioned unless it causes too much refugee flow if no actual war makes people flee But then rather the immigrants not the reasons for their escape are the scapegoats So one builds and better border fortifications maybe with one or the other autonomous border guard robot Walls have always worked flawlessly in the past It is cheaper to draw a clear dividing line than helping the country behind in development As a cynical bonus gift developing countries may still be compelled to set climate targets To leave the monopoly on global warming science in the industrialized nations The uest for an acceptable standard of living will be harder to suppress and this is parallel to an increase in the climate and environmental impactIronically the West benefits in part from climate change in the form of prolonged growing seasons and shorter winter and meanwhile drastic conseuences remain limited to emerging countries So far climate changes have been continuous processes over long periods with anomalies like volcanic eruptions or solar storms There have never been so many drastic changes at all levels in such a short time Climate certificates and emissions trading are a drop in the ocean they have loopholes and legal mishaps than proven resultsUS military and container ships for example were not included in the calculation Especially with the military too many unpleasant uestions would be raised For instance assistance in the upgrading of dictatorships in oil rich countries and the bombing of their enemies worldwide protection of oil wells and pipelines by military presence and bases etc In short the petro military complex Climate wars for resources could already be on the agenda First all resources of the earth are consumed and with the resulting superior military power the remains violently claimed The amount of issued certificates is arbitrarily raised like on a stock exchange which modifies limits and minimums and causes inflation The licenses should have been expensive and difficult to obtain instead energy intensive industries are earmarked for selling large uota surplus certificates Another indirect subsidy If you go after that one would have to assume that there is much less pollution than certificates Maybe there will be hyperinflation with those documents on which a few billion emissions per piece are printedThis fits in with the negligent casino mentality Bipolar that this pragmatically and technocratically uantifies animals and natural spaces as resources to be used Everything in nature is carefully calculated with perverted financial mathematics and statistics to precisely find each exploitation possibility The rescue measures however ridiculed with the same instruments On the stock exchanges such a business transaction would result in severe penalties Here on the other hand it's all just about nature Sanctions are for instance possible against countries that issue protectionist subsidies for renewable energies what is against free trade agreements Peak Oil is not mentioned but deserves attention As with diamond cartels or Fort Knox you do not know what is on with it How many tons of diamonds are stashed in Antwerp and with how much usury are they selling? Are real gold bars gold plated lead ingots or even no bars in Fort Knox? And will the oil reserves last 50 or 200 years? In the first case one heads towards another significant problem Not primarily because of the fuels that can be made differently Or the financial crisis when oil companies and petrochemical industry collapse And with them the vast majority of trading companies fall like a house of cards But because of the many other substances for which there are no alternative primary materials without which however industry and commerce can not be sustained In addition to the known alternatives there are uite a few new processes machines and ideas Many have not yet been tapped or invented because money has never been invested in research and economic use Or the patents were bought and thrown into a safe and the involved scientists made silent Solar energy and geothermal energy can be used in different ways Or take the imitation of the photosynthesis of a plant with new variants of photovoltaic systems Direct use of energy from water wind and tides offers the perfect supplement for cloudy days The use of chemical energy from fermentation processes could be switched on and off at will or storedThe result is self sufficient energy production in plus energy houses The heat under the house from the earth's core as well as the sun's rays the temperature in the air and all organic waste are used optimally Maybe still in a post capitalist sharing economy A than a red rag for the established monopolists One thing is ambiguous The fact that we would be heading for a new ice age It would be natural for the poles to push themselves over half the continents for tens of thousands of years and bury everything under a hundred meter thick ice sheet Humans would merely position themselves around the euator and sit out the ice age but it would cause immense natural species extinction Possibly not as massive as the current one in the course of the Anthropocene Although the humans with so many also fled animals on a narrow strip around the belt zone of the planet would probably proceed the same way as today Ironically climate change still protects us from this scenario It is to be hoped that civic movements such as the mentioned Blockadia new political movements and a very slow rethinking in established parties will not be too late Because the greenhouse effect is similar to that on the planet Venus Superstorms extreme temperature fluctuations and ever greater uninhabitability are possible future variants So extreme that it is deadly to go outside To get an idea of the reversibility one can build a snowman in a desert grow ice in the garden in the spring stick broken pieces of glaciers back to the Antarctic activate air currents through fans accelerate ocean currents through paddles or filter certain elements from the air Everything is not so easy The process is irreversible An environment is so heavily built and so uickly destroyed A wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this completely overrated real life outside books

  3. Nicole D. Nicole D. says:

    Climate change is not liberal propagandaThere is only one truth you need to know from this book from this review Denying climate change is profitable and as long as it remains profitable the environment degrades It will get to a point of no return Do you want to do something now voluntarily or be forced to do something later when it’s probably too late? “In the face of an absolutely unprecedented emergency society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization Either we will change our ways and build an entirely new kind of global society or they will be changed for us” Fossil fuel companies are among the most profitable and they are destroying the planet on the fast track enabled by lobbyists and politicians because it’s economical and profitable for them to do so than to change what they are doing Do you want to give BP a dollar so you can drive a Suburban or do you want to deny BP that dollar or cut it back to20 cents and drive a hybrid? These choices are ours to make and the only way the fossil fuel companies will hear us is economically because they don’t care about us ecologically Corporations whose primary objective are profits cannot be allowed to influence decisions about the PLANET Poor nations suffer because rich nations pollute When things get bad the poor nations will be the first to go “Media commentators speak of ‘compassion fatigue’ as if empathy and not fossil fuels was the finite resource” We are living beyond our environmental budget and the bill is coming due It’s hard to write a review of this book without discussion how you feel about the topic How you process the information This book is to some degree preaching to the choir Klein is radical and this book is no holds barred Right wing Americans aren’t going to read this and suddenly say “Oh wow I get it now My bad” If we go down party lines only 50%ish of Americans believe climate change is something which needs to be addressed Unfortunately the “other” 50%ish control corporations and lobbyists Better planet one way or another results in lower profits Or a complete breakdown of certain industriesCheap goods from China? Bad for the environment good for Wal Mart You could see why Wal Mart as an example would want to deny climate change You know why the sky in China is brown? So we can have cheap goods And guess what? It’s not entirely China’s fault Every time we buy some tchotchke pan coffee mug electronic device “made in China” we are contributing to climate change We need to consume less and we need to consume thoughtfully Buy local do we really need asparagus which traveled 7500 miles? Think about the corporations you support and where your goods are coming from Corporations are making deliberate decisions for profit which hasten climate change This is a book for people who want to understand the economics of climate change Who want to make educated buying decisions Saving the planet isn’t just about biking to work one day a week it’s thinking about where and how you spend your money

  4. Michael Michael says:

    My full review as well as my other thoughts on reading can be found on my blogExpansive and visionary This Changes Everything urges that bold structural changes to the global economy must be made if greenhouse gas emissions are to be lowered and cataclysmic climate change avoided In lucid prose Klein details how neoliberal policies have wrecked havoc on the public sphere and environment over the past four decades intensifying already rampant ineuality and industrial pollution As she surveys the threat and critiues incrementalist approaches to climate change Klein puts forth a wide array of imaginative proposals on how social and environmental justice might be pursued and she examines recent successful anti capitalist victories across nations Klein’s scope is international and inclusive her argument well researched and accessible; the book’s well worth rereading as well as convincing in its claim that only robust social movements will save the world from imminent ruin

  5. Adam Yoshida Adam Yoshida says:

    In reading Naomi Klein’s new book This Changes Everything a friendly looking tome with a sky blue cover I couldn’t help but recall what Whittaker Chambers’ remark in reviewing Ayn Rand’s classic that “from almost any page of Atlas Shrugged a voice can be heard from painful necessity commanding “to the gas chambers — go”” This is a book that will seduce many people with its tales of various indigenous people standing up against further development and its surface level commitment to humanitarian aims but it is also the work of profound evil This is a totalitarian book that aims to advance totalitarian aims in the guise of combating a supposed emergency As Klein herself admits she herself truly began to engage with these issues only when she realized that the aims of environmental radicalism provided a rationale for the adoption of ultra left positions generally In writing this book Klein has done the world a profound service in a surely unintended fashion she has set out in crystal clear fashion the slightly hidden agenda that lies behind most so called “environmental” initiatives the destruction of capitalism and Western CivilizationIf you think my last sentence was hyperbolic you should read the book yourself In it Klein advocates a program that would see a radical redistribution of wealth not only from the “1% to the 99% within the advanced industrial nations but on a global basis She approvingly uotes one academic as “envisioning that “hours of paid work and income could converge worldwide at substantially lower levels than is seen in the developed countries of today””When I read that sentence I was temporarily floored It is clear enough to myself that the aim of a notable portion of the present day left is to take what you I and our families have and give it away in the name of “social justice” but it’s rare to see it admittedly so openly How many in the West would ever willingly accept having our standard of living “coverage” with that of Liberia? She tries to put as kind a spin on this as possible writing that “we will need to return to a lifestyle similar to the one we had in the 1970s” in order to attempt to pull back the shock a little bit But I ask you how many among us would sincerely and willingly see our standard of living rolled back by four or five decades? She does her best to disguise the sort of pain that she’s proposing to inflict upon the majority of Canadians Americans and other citizens in advanced nations as well as the fact that it is or less it is impossible that such measures would ever be adopted on a voluntary basis Here and there however the mask slips which was when she writes that “if these sorts of demand side emissions reductions are to take place on anything like the scale reuired they cannot be left to the lifestyle decisions of earnest urbanites”Ah there it is These decisions Klein and her ilk believe as so important that they cannot be left to the people Nowhere in her book beyond in laying out a vapid and shiny vision of a mass movement of various native peoples and local townspeople resisting oil development does she ever get too explicit about how the practical politics of this change should be managed but it doesn’t take too much of a leap to infer that it would be impossible for her anti capitalist revolutionary movement to operate in accord with basic constitutional liberties and the rule of law What she proposes in essence is for a revolutionary mob to come along and take by force the property of others in the name of the Earth What she proposes is for a massive increase in the powers of the state over the affairs of the people one that could not be possibly gained by democratic consent in the timeframe that she suggests before the end of his decade When Klein invokes the increase in transit usage and home production of food that occurred during the Second World War as an example she shows a little of her hand those measures were only possible within a context of near absolute government control of society during a total war It is a cliche to invoke Martin Niemöller in a political debate yet it is irresistible here Her first targets the oil companies and select billionaires may have some aspects about them that are unappealing but this is really about everyone This is a vision for a Khemr Rouge like Year Zero society that will harm practically everyone if even a small fraction of it is allowed to come to pass “It is a matter of the well off 20 percent in a population taking the largest cuts” Klein writes but soon enough she adds that “this does not mean the middle class is off the hook To fund the kind of social programs that will make a just transition possible taxes will have to raise for everyone but the poor” Later she add that this “is precisely why when climate change diners claim that global warming is a plot to redistribute wealth it’s not only because they are paranoid It’s also because they are paying attention”Yet strangely Klein fails to ever truly engage with the sort of tenacious resistance that such measures would face not only among the oil barons and the other villains of her work but among ordinary people who do not wish to see the work of generations and their own lives destroyed or stolen and “redistributed” to others If you would like to see your lifestyle “converge” with that of Nepal you are than free to make such a thing happen immediately If you wish to reuire that my standard of living be reduced until it is roughly the same as the global average than you are going to not only need votes but also guns and armies This is the single greatest flaw of this book Klein unveils a totalitarian and world transforming vision and acknowledges that there are ideologues whose ideas differ from hers that she is willing to accord at least intellectual respect to but she never engages with the reality that there are millions of people ordinary citizens in the Western world who would die on the battlefield before they would ever consent to live in her nightmarish version of the futureGoing through this book I thought of a moment in another work that I’d be willing to bet that Klein is familiar with since it came out of the febrile imagination of the far left of the British Labour Party during the 1980s The late 1980s mini series A Very British Coup is horribly dated now it was based upon an even older novel It imagines the election of a crypto communist British Prime Minister who among other things funds his wild spending by taking out a large loan from the Soviet Union and the resistance to him by the United States and the British establishment In the climactic showdown between the Prime Minister and the sinister head of MI5 the intelligence chief tells the Prime Minister that his ideals represent a threat to everything that he and his fathers have fought for over the centuries yea onto the Middle Ages The Prime Minister closes his reply by telling the head of MI5 “don’t forget I have ancestors too”Klein’s mistake here is assuming that she and her allies have a monopoly on virtue She assumes that they are the “good guys” in this scenario much as the old line Marxists of earlier days held a position that took the virtue of “the workers” as an established fact rather than the debatable and mixed proposition that it was She forgets in other words that I have ancestors too and that those of us who believe in individual liberty and the heritage of the English speaking peoples have things that we believe in every bit as passionately and that we are certain are just as right as the things that she and her followers believe in By failing to account for this her extremism ensures that at best those who share her beliefs will remain eternally consigned to the fringes of society and at worst if they are ever to gain a mass following and the opportunity to implement her ideals that she will not be ushering in paradise but instead bring on bloody and brutal civil wars that will resemble than anything else the terrible strife that nearly destroyed the Balkans two decades ago

  6. Simon Clark Simon Clark says:

    The book everyone should read on climate changeIn a sweeping powerful book Naomi Klein articulates why in order to effectively stand up to climate change we must fundamentally restructure the global economy It is clear that the current economic system built on neoliberal ideas particularly around global trade has utterly failed to stand up to the challenge and may in fact be fundamentally incapable of doing so So we find ourselves answering the uestion what do we value ? The philosophy underpinning the economy or our physical environment? I certainly know my answerThe book is not without its flaws It's certainly not an appropriate primer to the physical nature of climate change barring a few vivid case studies it doesn't deal with the science Klein also makes her points in a somewhat roundabout way almost muffling her points with too many case studies rather than cutting to the chase Also despite the book making extensive efforts to highlight the plight of disenfranchised ethnic groups it is still very western centric But these flaws fall away with the scope of what she has accomplished with the book It is a powerful call to action one of those books that causes scales to fall away from your eyes and makes you see a problem that was standing in plain sight If you're not pissed off demanding change after reading it then we fundamentally disagree on humanity's place on the EarthYou should read it

  7. Trish Trish says:

    Klein has every reason to be depressed about the way governments the world over are relinuishing their responsibilities when it comes to air water and land pollution Though she admits to faltering in looking forward to the future we have left for our children in the end she does not uail she comes to see that there is a glimmer of hope that humans might actually slow or stop other humans from destroying our habitat and the habitat of other species on the planet In fact our salvation may only be possible if the electorate the populace refuse to accept what we are being offered by our governments and the corporations “serving our needs” Oh what a thing man isbut Klein’s concludes that “humanity is not hopelessly selfish and greedy—the image ceaselessly sold to us by everything from reality shows to neoclassical economics” Climate change is not merely about climate Klein explains how it has always has been and always will be about social justice It isn’t about the politicians or corporations really any it is about us though it is true that corporations “have become the authors of the laws under which they operateIn fact current trade and investment rules provide legal grounds for foreign corporations to fight virtually any attempt by governments to restrict the exploitation of fossil fuels particularly once a carbon deposit has attracted investment and extraction has begun And when the aim of the investment is explicitly to export the oil gas and coal and sell it on the world market—as is increasingly the case—successful campaigns to block those exports could well be met with similar legal challenges since imposing ‘uantitative restrictions’ on the free flow of goods across borders violates a fundamental tenet of trade law” Klein makes the inescapable point that we are currently legally bound to accept fracking oil drilling and coal extraction on or near our own land and that stopping it from happening reuires court action The poorest and most disenfranchised among us usually have the least tools but fortunately in Canada and areas of the US some native Indian communities find that the original land grants give them some clout when refusing extractive industry a strange reversal of fortune in this era of “Drill baby Drill””many non Native people are starting to realize that Indigenous rights—if aggressively backed by court challenges direct action and mass movements demanding that they be respected—may now represent the most powerful barriers protecting all of us from a future of climate chaos” This is about us We have the power Politicians and corporations just make the ride comfortable or less One could argue that they are not responsible for changing the world—we are Soit is time to take action and put in place the kind of leadership we seek Diverse constituencies must come together to make transformative change Klein makes the point that the touted “jobs” that are reaped in building for instance the tar sands pipeline would be swamped by the jobs created if that investment went into green investment And speaking of investment it is not enough Klein asserts merely to divest of extraction industry stocks but it is also necessary to reinvest those monies in the place they might do the most good “today’s climate movement does not have the luxury of simply saying no without simultaneously fighting for a series of transformative yeses—the building blocks of our next economy that can provide good clean jobs as well as a social safety net that cushions the hardships for those inevitably suffering hardships”A couple of months ago I reviewed Days of Destruction Days of Revolt a book the journalist Chris Hedges collaborated on with the graphic artist Joe Sacco That book describes the “sacrifice zones” in the United States that sustain the extractive industries and a corporate mindset rather than considering of the wider body politic Certain areas of the country and land are “sacrificed” to degradation so that the rest of us can live comfortably Klein mentions the same phenomenon but she puts us in the driver seat “To fail to confront an imminent and unavoidable climate emergency—which is what we are collectively doing—knowing full well that eventually the failure could force government to rationalize ‘risking’ turning whole nations even subcontinents into sacrifice zones is a decision our children may judge as humanity’s single most immoral act”Klein does discuss the responses and solutions proposed by scientists and corporate entities to obvious indications of climate change to give the other side their say But in wide discussions with the larger scientific community the solutions thus far proposed all have hideous effects that may be worse than the problem For instance one idea that apparently has gained some traction is the concept of exploding sulfur dioxide particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays and some of its heat similar to a volcanic eruption Unfortunately most scientists agree that this would have deleterious effects on monsoon and other weather patterns and certainly would have conseuences we have not yet determined In other words the proposed fix is to carry on with our lifestyles and almost certainly do damage rather than thinking about how to conserve protect to think of the world and the creatures on it as a whole We could utilize our best minds and skills to recreate our energy future but that opportunity to date is being wasted on chimerical solutions rather than the obvious one of paying attentionWhat Klein does show us sadly is how in the past green movement proponents and non profits have tried to work with oil and gas companies but have ended up in their pockets “chummy green partnerships” she calls it “The climate movement has found its nonnegotiablesand it is delivering some of the most significant victories the environmental movement has seen in decades” There is a movement afoot and motion has been detected in pockets of resistance across America and the world It is gaining mass and momentum and she is urging us to jump onboard and make the changes we wish to see We have the power What use is despair? If we are going down we might as well go down fighting Klein uotes Yotam Marom and organizer with Occupy Wall Street in New York “The fight for climate isn’t a separate movement it’s both a challenge and an opportunity for all of our movements We don’t need to become climate activists we are climate activists We don’t need a separate climate movement; we need to seize the climate moment” Just possibly we might be able to change the worldThis is a big book but not a difficult or dense read since undoubtedly the reader that picks up this book will be familiar with some of the facts It is a fascinating discursive discussion covering the whole world when giving examples of pollution from and resistance to extractive industries It is a massive collection and organization of information and a real work of generosity Thank you Naomi Klein

  8. Pink Pink says:

    This changes everything I wish it did I suppose you have to be uite anti capitalist to even pick this up The title certainly makes clear Naomi Klein's view by pitting capitalism against the climate I completely agree There is a LOT of ground covered in this book and an extensive amount of research At times it became a bit too much and I was unclear what it's intentions were I wanted a simpler solution when of course there isn't one Yet there were many great ideas and examples of how grassroots communities ARE working for the good of the climate Which is usually in opposition to the global energy companies whose incentive is to make money Then make some And Did I learn anything new? Yes I learnt a lot Not only about climate change why it's A REAL PROBLEM and how this will affect everyone no not hotter summers yippee I discovered about why we're being pushed into extreme energy sources what governments aren't doing about it and the roles ecological and green organisations play to help Or not I read about problems encountered by people who really do WANT TO HELP and how easy it is for their good intentions to be turned in another direction I read a lot of things that made me angry I expected multinational companies to be making big profits for themselves I less expected them to be ignoring laws and legislature simply because they have money and time on their side to strip the earth of resources before communities can make LEGITIMATE claims through the courts By which time it's too late to put the resources back in the ground Is it such a novel idea just to keep them there?I think people are beginning to think this way Most populations don't want to live next to a nuclear plant they don't want oil drilling in their back yard or fracking on their doorstep Demonstrations at ground level have stopped some of these things from happening and they're slowly pushing back the tide of these last wave extractions More needs to happen of course Saving one area at a time with protests is not enough and that's where some of the bigger ideas of this book come into play Living in a co operative society where that literally does what it says Changing the global dominance of the way the world runs when it's to the detriment of local jobs resources people animals and land Yet I don't see that things will change For things to be implemented as Naomi Klein suggests there would need to be a huge rethink on everyday life and a return to a simpler time For a start growing making and buying of local goods rather than buying products that have flown halfway across the world because someone else can produce them cheaper Free trade sounds like a positive thing but it can also work against us We're running out of resources to ship these goods back and forth across the world and if we continue down this path of mass consumption things will eventually come to a head Coal oil and gas aren't finite resources they will run out By which time it will be too late to start mass investment of real green alternatives That needs to be happening right now If we wait another 50 or 100 years too much damage will have been done which can't be magically fixed More people will live in land stripped communities or be displaced from rising sea levels or suffer from repeated famines due to crop failures The west won't be exempt either with increased natural disasters in the way of heat waves and forest fires or extreme hurricanes Perhaps in the future there will be an even two tier society with the rich living in air conditioned flood defended earthuake resistant structures While the poor languish outside of these areas Think hurricane Katrina style disaster on a global scale year on year Or your favourite dystopian novels come true So what if all of this is wrong? What if the 97 percent of scientists who tell us global warming is happening are actually mistaken? What if it isn't all our fault it's actually a fluctuation of earth's natural temperatures and there isn't really a problem Well in this case as Naomi Klein says we'll just have made the world a fairer better place for everyone for no reason at all What a shame that would be

  9. Thomas Thomas says:

    I wish someone had taught me to uestion capitalism before college This past year at university has made me so weary of capitalism and its greed based conseuences and Naomi Klein's brilliant This Changes Everything Capitalism vs The Climate has persuaded me even While I do not claim expertise on the topics of environmentalism or economics I still must say it is my responsibility and our responsibility to protect this earth we live on Klein does a thorough and effective job of explaining how capitalism contributes to climate change and while this review does a better job than I could on breaking down how she does it I want to include a relevant By posing climate change as a battle between capitalism and the planet I am not saying anything that we don't already know The battle is already under way but right now capitalism is winning hands down It wins every time the need for economic growth is used as an excuse for putting off climate action yet again or for breaking emission reduction commitments already made It wins when Greeks are told that their only path out of economic crisis is to open up their beautiful seas to high risk oil and gas drilling It wins when Canadians are told our only hope of not ending up like Greece is to allow our boreal forests to be flayed so we can access the semisold bitumen from the Alberta tar sands It wins when a park in Istanbul is slotted for demolition to make way for yet another shopping mall It wins when parents in Beijing are told that sending their wheezing kids to school in pollution masks decorated to look like cute cartoon characters is an acceptable price for economic progress It wins every time we accept that we have only bad choices available to us austerity of extraction poisoning or povertyAmidst several striking points I most appreciate Klein's emphasis on valuing nurturing and regeneration over domination and extractivism As someone who researches and thinks a lot about gender I see this struggle play out between the masculine urge to destroy and to practice aggression the feminine urge to heal and to protect I wish we as a society cared about caring instead of profit because that would help the environment and it may have prevented the incompetent Donald Trump from becoming President With the awful Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement we need to act fast A uote that reflects my sentiments in this paragraph about how we should uestion what we prioritize in society Now I realize that this can all sound apocalyptic as if reducing emissions reuires economic crises that result in mass suffering But that seems so only because we have an economic system that fetishizes GDP growth above all else regardless of the human or ecological conseuences while failing to place value on those things that most of us cherish above all a decent standard of living a measure of feature security and our relationships with one another So what Anderson and Bows Larkin are really saying is that there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed Which is surely the best argument there has ever been for changing those rulesOverall a dense and important book about an urgent topic in contemporary society I am genuinely so afraid of the suffering future generations will have to experience because of our negligence and at the same time I am hopeful that we can lessen their burden if we mobilize now Please join the fight for climate justice with me and so many others

  10. Blair Blair says:

    Believing is Not Enough Naomi Klein believes that the ineuality of wealth and power in the world is unjust and that it should be redistributed fairly The problem with this book is not that she wants redistribution; it is that she believes in it too much She filters all her information about the world through this moral lens which results in simplistic and misleading conclusionsShe describes this clearly when talking about other believers She explains the tendency of some conservatives to reject the scientific understanding of climate change with perhaps the most insightful statement in her book “The tight correlation between ‘worldview’ and acceptance of climate science is due to ‘cultural cognition’ the process by which all of us regardless of political leanings filter new information in ways that will protect our ‘preferred vision of the good society’”Filtering information to promote her preferred vision of the good society is exactly what this book is about This is most evident when confronting the extremely complex scientific problem of climate change The believing mind simply cannot comprehend the scientific method reuired to understand this issueWhat We Know and Don’t Know about Climate ChangeScientists are reasonably certain that global warming is real and mainly caused by burning fossil fuels Supporting this fact is beyond the scope of my review If you disagree you are under the spell of a different belief system The problems begin when trying to understand how this will affect our future in the real worldGlobal warming does not mean there will be some terrible new climate The climates we already have will move to different places In general climate zones will migrate toward the poles If you want to know your future climate look south Of course what exactly will happen in any particular region is complex than that but it is a good first approximationHow fast will the climate change? The answer involves a concept completely absent from Naomi Klein’s thinking which is uncertainty The latest IPCC report AR5 estimates the euilibrium climate sensitivity for temperature is between 15 and 45 which is uite a large range At the low end we have plenty of time to transition to carbon free energy At the high end some of the alarmism in this book may be justified if wrong in detail The problem with presenting a range like that is believers will pick the figure they want to believe You just did that didn’t you? Those values are both unlikely extremes The reality is most likely somewhere in betweenThe hard truth is we do not know how fast climate change will happen and we do not know how it will affect any particular region The effects of our actions today will not be felt until decades into the future The effect of any individual’s carbon dioxide production is felt globally Therefore any solution must be global in scope which is a problem for someone so viscerally opposed to globalizationSeeking Instant GratificationWe all seek instant gratification People want to use their fossil fuels today and not worry about future conseuences Thus to make people aware of climate change we seek something with an immediate sensational impact – extreme weather And what could be better than a hurricane especially one that reaches New York After all when you hit Broadway you’ve made the big timeRising carbon dioxide levels lead directly to rising global temperatures However the link between that and extreme weather is secondary and poorly understood She claims that there has been a fivefold increase in these events since the 1970’s In reality the IPCC report says “It is likely that since about 1950 the number of heavy precipitation events over land has increased in regions than it has decreased” and “Confidence is low for a global scale observed trend in drought or dryness lack of rainfall since the middle of the 20th century owing to lack of direct observations methodological uncertainties and geographical inconsistencies in the trends” In other words she is flat out lying There is little detectable trend so far No one really knows how much extreme weather there will be in the future certainly not Naomi KleinThe Disconnect Between Capitalism and Climate ChangeEconomics is seen as the big bad capitalists exploiting their innocent victims the common people This viewpoint neglects the detail that most of those people are also consumers who benefit from the system even if not as much as they think they deserve toThere is one basic fact to keep in mind burning fossil fuels is the cheapest way to produce energy assuming we ignore the side effect of climate change Fossil fuels are not some horror inflicted on us by greedy capitalism The capitalist is responding to all the “greedy” consumers who want to pay as little as possible for their energy Look at who screams the loudest when gas prices go upThe notion that a transition to renewable energy threatens the structure of capitalism is nonsense This could be done in theory with nuclear power which currently produces about ten times the carbon free energy than all other renewable energy sources combined The result would greatly increased centralization and concentration of power But even a transition to solar energy would not change much Large corporations would produce the solar panels for the same reason they already produce our cars and computers It is efficient and gives consumers the lowest pricesA free market cannot address climate change because it does not measure the carbon dioxide externality The solution is a tax on emissions to force markets to take this into account There is no need to dream up an imaginary economic system to add to the uncertainty a changing climate will already bringWanting Something for NothingOnly a true believer could come up with this remarkable statement which reflects the central message of the book “The resources reuired to rapidly move away from fossil fuels and prepare for the coming heavy weather could pull huge swaths of humanity out of poverty providing services now sorely lacking from clean water to electricity”Read it again replacing could with could instead This is about a trade off that most basic economic concept that Naomi Klein seems utterly incapable of understanding The money invested in renewable energy and climate change adaptation for ‘heavy weather’ comes out of the same pool that could be spent on alleviating poverty Using renewable energy will make electricity cost for everyone These are upfront costs Any benefits come in the futureThe best example of a country that pulled huge swaths of humanity out of poverty is China The inconvenient truth is they did it with unbridled capitalism and burned a vast amount of coal doing it It is the same for any other country that has reduced povertyHard Choices and False ChoicesThe connection between income euality and climate change is actually negative Lower income people use energy per dollar than higher income people Transferring wealth from the rich to the poor will increase carbon dioxide emissions That is why China is now the largest and fasted growing carbon dioxide emitterUnfortunately the real world is about hard choices Maybe we should invest in renewable energy but in the short term it will reduce wealth for everyone Maybe we should reduce income disparity but it will increase the burning of fossil fuelsOf course we can do it all for free by taking it away from the rich Have you noticed that strategy has a rather poor track record? While some of the rich are parasites others are the ones who create our new technology including renewable energy You can only eat the rich once and the feast will not last very long There is simply not as much wealth to be plundered from the wealthy as some might want to believeWhat Happened to Property Rights?Much of this book is taken up with the campaigns of local people against resource development It is all heartwarming stuff and these people have a legitimate complaint about suffering damage to their health and property so others can benefit But why do they have so little legal protection? Maybe because the Left is against property itself and the Right defines property rights so narrowly that ordinary people are excludedHowever noble some of these struggles may seem they are ultimately about defending property Klein gleefully reports that Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson joined a lawsuit against fracking near his 5 million Texas home claiming it would lower his property values This nicely illustrates the point that conflict over development has little to do with climate change If you stop one project oil will be found elsewhere If you prevent a pipeline from being built the oil will be shipped on trains that have worse accidents Chasing these side issues distracts from addressing the real problemClimate change is a technical problem to be solved by technology that produces less carbon dioxide It is also a cultural problem People have to choose to pay for their energy and reduce their personal consumption now in return for reducing harm to other people in the future That is a hard sell Saying someone else should pay makes you no different than a climate change denier You just have different excusesA Symbiotic Relationship that Ruins EverythingThe book begins with Naomi Klein bravely attending a Heartland Institute conference on climate change Such a gathering of conservatives dedicated to free market solutions would seem a rather hostile environment But why would they welcome such a well known opponent? Because she tells them “When climate deniers claim that global warming is a plot to redistribute wealth it is because they are paying attention” She represents exactly how they want to portray the entire environmental movement And in turn they represent the heartless extreme capitalism she wants to depict Truly we have a symbiotic relationship hereA believer in conspiracy theories might claim that Exxon and the Koch Brothers funded this book It better supports their goal of polarizing the public than any number of conferences they can organize With the goal of hijacking the climate change issue to push her collectivist fantasy it could be one of the most destructive books ever written If this book changes anything it will be to delay real action to address climate change I suggest you read George Marshall’s Don't Even Think About It Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change for a hard look at addressing climate change It may help you see why this book ruins everything

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate By Naomi Klein ❤ – Forget everything you think you know about global warming It's not about carbon – it's about capitalism The good news is that we can seize this crisis to transform our failed economic system and bui Forget everything Everything: Capitalism PDF Í you think you know about global warming It's not about carbon – it's about capitalism The good news is that we can seize this crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically betterIn her most provocative book yet Naomi Klein author of the global bestsellers Shock Doctrine and No Logo exposes the myths that are clouding climate debateYou have been told the market will save us when in fact the addiction to This Changes Kindle - profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day You have been told it's impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it – it just reuires breaking every rule in Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Kindle - the 'free market' playbook You 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 inspiringIt's Changes Everything: Capitalism eBook ↠ about changing the world before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe Either we leap – or we sink This Changes Everything is a book that will redefine our era.