[EPUB] ✰ This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate By Naomi Klein – Uroturk.info

My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.Expansive 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 inequality and industrial pollution As she surveys the threat and critiques 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 re reading, as well as convincing in its claim that only robust social movements will save the world from imminent ruin. 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, f rom 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 positionsgenerally 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 Civilization.If 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 quotes one academic as, envision ing 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, w e 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 isor 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 required, 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 littleof 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 Niem ller 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, t his 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 arethan free to make such a thing happen immediately If you wish to require 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 future.Going 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. 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 seconomical 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 to.20 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 industries.Cheap 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 consumethoughtfully Buy local do we really need asparagus which traveled 7,500 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. I have read to of Klein s other books and will admit none of them read as well as Shock Doctrine This Changes Everything readslike a thesis than a marketed book Nearly half of the book is documentation and source material If Klein says it, she backs it up My thoughts The problem is not so much capitalism, but what capitalism has become Capitalism has had its problems from sweatshops to slavery America prides itself on being a capitalist nation, but that in itself is a misnomer Roads, police, air space, food, education, snow removal, water and sewage are all controlled by one of the several layers of government and paid for by public funds Many people hate socialism, unless it is their water, their children s education, their roads with potholes Klein s view of capitalism is the current system we are experiencing Not to sound archaic but the system was muchlocal in the past Local areas provided are fairly closed loop You bought something and you expected it to last You visited bakers, butchers, and farmers markets This system worked well until people found that bigger was better Bigger stores meant cheaper prices Chains grew Walmart came into play Things still went ok because things were still made at home The next step was imports, which were cheaper, but not produced at home this cost jobs America started to think free trade might not be in its interest Protective tariffs tried to save industry, but industry moved overseas WTO and NAFTA came about to insure free or fair trade The move was to globalization This was the system of efficiency Let each nation build what it builds best and trade Win win for everyone.The problem with increased efficiency is there are muchfinished goods being produced everyone bought what they needed What to do after everyone has what they need How many televisions, cars, or pairs of shoes does one person need Advertise, make cosmetic changes, create a want and when that doesn t work planned obsolesce More manufacturing,power consumption,cars, and a new cell phone every two years More waste,coal power plants It s ok to be poor, you have an Iphone The system puts a strain on the planet Ninety seven percent of the scientist agree that man made climate change is real The dissent does not present much of a case, except for things like if you live in Montana global warming will give better crop yields and longer growing seasons It is mostly the poor that will need to adapt because the poor live in hot climates This Texas resident really questions that logic A big part of the problem is the politicization of the problem In the 1990s, both parties recognized the problem Newt Gingrich spoke on needing to change our ways That has all changed and the issue has become partisan, much like school vouchers or tax cuts Climate change, however, cannot be legislated away If science is right, there will be a tipping point where no matter what we do, we won t be able to fix, stop, or slow climate change When countries move to become green they are attacked In 2010 United States challenged China wind power program because it was protectionist Likewise, the Indian Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was challenged because it encouraged local industry Evenoutrageous was the US challenge against Quebec legislation banning fracking It was challenged on the grounds that it cut off gas resources to potential industries These actions may sound a bit odd, but it is little different from colonization National sovereignty is becoming a thing of the past.Mass transportation systems are another topic mentioned in cutting greenhouse gasses America calls investing in public transportation subsidies, but using tax money to build new roads is called an investment Change can come, but it needs to be a movement Slavery was not crisis for the American elites, until abolition became a movement Civil rights was not an issue for many until Northerners saw the dogs and fire hoses turned on American citizens The First Nation peoples of Canada are making progress in stopping pipelines, tar fields, and mining on their lands It seems to be making a difference Klein uses environmental issues to attack the capitalism we have today This book is filled with documented information The reading can be a bit dry and even burdensome at times but well worth the read Klein tackles both the environment and she does not hesitate to call out the failures of environmental organizations and the economy This Changes Everything is a call to remember when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you need to do is stop digging. 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 Build Something Radically BetterIn Her Most Provocative Book Yet, Naomi Klein, Author Of The Global Bestsellers The Shock Doctrine And No Logo, Exposes The Myths That Are Clouding Climate Debate You Have Been Told The Market Will Save Us, When In Fact The Addiction To 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 Requires Breaking Every Rule In 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 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 This changes everything I wish it did I suppose you have to be quite 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 someAndDid 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 discoveredabout why we re being pushed into extreme energy sources, what governments are n 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 thinkpeople 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 aco 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 eventwo tier society, with the rich living in air conditioned, flood defended, earthquake 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. Klein has every reason to be depressed about the way governments the world over are relinquishing 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 quail 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 is but 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 operate In 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 quantitative 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 requires court action The poorest and most disenfranchised among us usually have the least tools, but fortunately in Canada and areas of the U.S., 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 ridecomfortable or less One could argue that they are not responsible for changing the world we are So it 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 consequences we have not yet determined In other words, the proposed fix is to carry on with our lifestyles and almost certainly dodamage, 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 theobvious one of paying attention.What 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 nonnegotiables and 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 quotes 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 world.This 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 I wish someone had taught me to question capitalism before college This past year at university has made me so weary of capitalism and its greed based consequences, and Naomi Klein s brilliant This Changes Everything Capitalism vs The Climate has persuaded me evenWhile 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 relevantBy 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 poverty Amidst 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 caredabout 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 quote that reflects my sentiments in this paragraph, about how we should question what we prioritize in society Now, I realize that this can all sound apocalyptic as if reducing emissions requires 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 consequences, 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 rules Overall, 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. Believing is Not EnoughNaomi Klein believes that the inequality of wealth and power in the world is unjust and that it should be redistributedfairly 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 conclusions.She 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 bookThe 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 required to understand this issue.What 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 world.Global 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 iscomplex than that, but it is a good first approximation.How 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 equilibrium climate sensitivity for temperature is between 1.5 and 4.5, which is quite 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 between.The 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 globalization.Seeking Instant GratificationWe all seek instant gratification People want to use their fossil fuels today and not worry about future consequences 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 time.Rising 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 inregions than it has decreased,andConfidence 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 trendsIn other words, she is flat out lying There is little detectable trend so far No one really knows how muchextreme weather there will be in the future, certainly not Naomi Klein.The 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 to.There 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 up.The 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 isefficient and gives consumers the lowest prices.A 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 bring.Wanting Something for NothingOnly a true believer could come up with this remarkable statement, which reflects the central message of the bookThe resources required 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 costfor everyone These are upfront costs Any benefits come in the future.The 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 poverty.Hard Choices and False ChoicesThe connection between income equality and climate change is actually negative Lower income people useenergy 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 emitter.Unfortunately, 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 fuels.Of 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 believe.What 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 excluded.However 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 problem.Climate 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 payfor 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 excuses.A 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 attentionShe 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 here.A 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. One giant eye rollYou make me facepalm, Naomi Klein As our boat rocked in the Louisiana Gulf Coast delta I had the distinct feeling that we were suspended not in water, but in amniotic fluid, immersed in a massive multi species miscarriage If you want to change people s minds right wing, die hard meritocracy spouting capitalist human minds you can t talk like this and expect them to listen I am left with the firm belief that Klein s purpose in writing this book was to simply sell a lot of books, and not to engage in a serious unpicking of capitalism, or, kinda crucially, outlining practicable steps as to how she envisions a post capitalist future might, you know, work.It s fitting that Klein closes the book asking how Alexis Tsipras will answer to history knocking on his door We already have that answer by being forced by the EU, the ECB, and the IMF to cave on his election promises to dismantle austerity, utterly failing to achieve a debt write down, and then spinning it as a victory The Greek people are being forced into a humanitarian crisis to pay for the 237 billion in bailout funds that went directly to Greek and European financial institutions since May 2010 This is what is wrong with the realities of late era capitalism, and it has nothing to do with metaphors of floating in amniotic fluid Gah this kind of writing is so counterproductive that it actually gives credence to the conspiracy theory that Klein is in the pay of big oil The Greek opposition leader at the time Klein wrote the book now Greece s Prime Minister This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

About the Author: Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein is an award winning journalist, syndicated columnist, documentary filmmaker and author of the international bestsellers No Logo Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything Capitalism vs the Climate She is a senior correspondent for The Intercept and her writing appears widely in such publications as The New York T

Leave a Reply

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