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 does 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.
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Comprehensive, but Overly Long
This book was clearly well researched and it was an interesting read, for sure. But I can't help but wonder who the audience was. I think I would have gained as much insight and sense of awe at what is happening, as well as an understanding of what is being done about it, in half the time. To put it more succinctly, I think it was too long. Don't get me wrong, you should read it. It is a startling analysis of where we are relative to climate change and the likelihood of irrevocable damage being done in the very, very near future. But you could probably listen to the first 10 hours of the book and then skip to the last 2 hours and end up in the same place as if you had read the whole book. For people doing research on this subject, this book is a treasure trove.
Life-affirming handbook for the paradigm shift