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This book is why capitalism with out regulation is bad for the environment ( and also economically for everyone who is not in the top 10%. ) This is why trump's policy of "for every regulation you have to get rid of 2 regulations" is completely a** backwards. It is something a not very bright child would come up with. Regulations are put in place to keep our air and water clean. It is so the bankers and former bankers (trump's cabinet) don't cheat the middle class.
It's hard to believe this book is five years old, that it predates Trump and that the world is still burning down. I appreciate Klein's thesis that climate change isn't something we can handle with bits and pieces of cap-and-trade legislation, but only by dismantling the petrochemical based culture and society we have. A country that has its fate dictated by purveyors of poison like Enbridge and Shell is unlikely to ever do anything to actually protect and help humans. That this book focuses quite clearly on terrible projects like Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline and all these other things that the public is investing in is important. That we need to change people's minds about the importance of oil company profits compared to having a livable planet is both hopeful (Klein gives examples of how this has worked in other places) and depressing (because we've been trained to believe that our fellow humans are greedy and terrible and will only look after their own self interest, which is what capital wants us to think).
Anyway. This is a great book that I highly recommend.
Naomi Klein This changes everything was one of the most longest book I've ever read and I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of it. It talked not just about climate change, it also reference how policy, politics, green organization and countries are affecting the society we live today. I highly recommend this book for whoever is looking for a book that is more than Climate change and want to get an answer of why people are fighting for this cause or trying to solve this.
A must-read, Klein's thoughts are well-structured and the book overall is incredibly easy to delve into. The words in this book address the bleakness of the current climate crisis but also offer hope and encouragement. This book has something for everyone, no matter where your knowledge level is on climate change and the broader issues connected to it.
I'm not a climate change denier at all. It is real and is going to be a big problem both now and especially for future generations. My complaint about this book and many other books on this topic is that for some reason they do not address the real problem, which is over population. When I was young there was 3B people on the planet. Currently there is 7B. At current growth rates no matter what measures are taken to reduce our personal carbon footprint we are going to smother our planet with too many people. Lets start identifying the real problem which is completely out of control - world population growth.
What the prospective reader needs to know about THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING is that it is over 450 pages of 9-point type with 60 pages of endnotes of 7-point type -- which is to say this is not a light easy read, even though Klein is a gifted writer. It took a triumph of the will for me to finish it. The book swirls and eddies, shoots like a rocket and then floats back down to earth. Klein tosses in everything but the kitchen sink. The first half the book is the conventional narrative: the climate-change-denial industry vs. the scientific consensus. The hinge of the book is a fascinating look at the "super-tech will save us" field of geoengineering. The last half is the most compelling. Klein talks about "Blockadia," her term for local citizen resistance to behemoth corporate extractivist industry. She talks about Keystone XL and the role of Indigenous peoples in the climate justice movement. She talks about her own difficulties in getting pregnant and the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. In the end she compares the movement to address climate change to the abolition movement of the 19th century, an analogy which lets us know there is plenty of bloodshed to come.
Heart's in the right place but the book is barely readable and certainly not an attractive or persuasive tool.
I've just read Gendeg's comment-review and I'm confused. My fellow patron gives details of he or she feels are the books shortcomings, recommends another book, The Sixth Extinction, in lieu of Klein's, and then says read this book. Which book? The former, by Naomi Klein or the latter?
Naomi Klein’s running argument in This Changes Everything is that the climate crisis has come about as a result of a grand clash between capitalism and the planet. Klein supports the argument by showing how the political and corporate machinations work and exposing the deep pockets of rightwing special interest groups, think-tanks, and lobby groups. These groups inject bluster and doubt into the dialogue, even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, and they have the money to burn. Political will is weak (or bought, depending on how you look at it) and our response indecisive, ambiguous, or worse—couched in pledges and promises that are well-meaning but generally have no teeth (lack of enforcement mechanisms, accountability for missing targets; see the recent COP21 Paris agreement). Time will tell but if history is any measure of what might happen, then we can expect governments to back off their commitments when it comes to weighing economic concerns against environmental ones.
Klein takes a hard look at this recidivism and argues that this kind of marginalization of the environmental agenda is a built-in feature of our entire socio-economic system. She blames corporate elites for the stalemate; no surprise there. What Klein does throw into sharp relief is that the environmental optimists are also partly to blame, those of us who think that we can have our cake and eat it too, that a responsible, effective response to climate change can be anything but painful and difficult. To Klein, “The deniers get plenty of the details wrong… But when it comes to the scope and depth of change required to avert catastrophe, they are right on the money.”
The main problem I have with the book is that I’m not sure I buy into putting all the blame on corporations. Yeah, a lot of corporations do shitty things for greed and profit, and they need to be held accountable for it. To me, though, this is the minor bogeyman for the environmental movement. Who is the true villain then? Look in the mirror.
Humans have been changing the planet long before these geopolitical systems were in place ( Jared Diamond argues this in his books). Political philosophies aside, there is nothing inherently unique about capitalism being extractive or exploitive. It’s a nice fantasy for people on the left and progressives, but we often forget that the most reckless ecological practices were put into place by the centrally planned economies of the 20th century (see the USSR and Mao’s China). Another book taking a more science-based tact, The Sixth Extinction, argues that our very own species is the problem. We are the most invasive species that has every evolved and our ‘success’ has brought about ecological disaster for other forms of life on the planet. As hunter-gatherers, we were already wreaking havoc. The rise of agriculture was probably the point of no return.
What will it mean when there are 9 billion people on the planet? What will it mean when economies like India, Brazil, Indonesia, and other countries of robust population growth and economic aspirations want more? The U.S., Europe, even China can step on the brakes on pollution and degradation, but other countries won’t. One polluter gets replaced by another. Business as usual. Even as developed countries tighten environmental regulations it’s hard to feel optimistic. Rich countries often outsource biodiversity losses to the developing world by importing raw products such as palm oil grown in clear-cut rainforests (see the devastation this has wrought in Indonesia), and minerals and metals used in our electronic products. Poorer countries simply pay the price. The real clash is not capitalism vs. the planet but humans vs. finite resources.
Any one who is concerned about the long-term survival of the planet and our species needs to read this book.
this book gave the factual proof to my thoughts about capitalism and the state of the world today. i don't think there are any truly sustainable answers to our problems until there are about 8 billion less of us on the planet. i will definitely read it again, once my son finishes it.
Well-researched and well-documented. It is revealing that critics are unable to rely on evidence-based data to refute Klein's arguments and revert to emotional and/or personal slurs. This is an important book. We all have a responsibility to understand what is happening to our planet and to do something about it.
This book should be required reading for all Grade 12 students as well as all BC Liberals. Told in an anecdotal style it outlines the grim future for the young if we continue on the same consumerism/extractivism route we are blindly on now. There is no time to waste.
Very eye-opening book. Must read for every environmentalist and social progressive.
Don't waste your time on this book. While it is exhaustive it is lacks clarity and brevity and is therefore a very difficult read.
But what can one expect from an author who failed to complete her University degree!
It starts on a strong factual basis so as to gain confidence of the reader but meanders to the point of shifting towards an autobiography!
The author display an irrational hatred against capitalism as well as the fossil fuel industry. Lacking any scientific knowledge her proposed energy solution is the weakest I have ever seen.
Naomi is a dangerous!
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. This book ruins everything.
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.
In other words, she is flat out lying. There is little detectable trend so far. No one really knows how much more extreme weather there will be in the future, certainly not Naomi Klein.
Naomi Klein believes that the inequality of wealth and power in the world is unjust and that it should be redistributed more fairly.
"The entire carbon footprint of the Oilsands is less than the CO2 emitted emitted by coal fired e-generating plants in just one US state i.e., Wisconsin." - Rick George
The most important book I've ever read. We're running out of time to change our ways and if we don't the effects will be devastating. That's reality.
I think the most important point made in this book is that the right understands the implications of climate change more than the left. It will take a complete shift in culture away from consumption to save the planet. Switching to electric cars and recycling will not be enough.
This has to be the most crucial global topic in the post-Cold War era, and here's a fantastic thinker giving her analysis on it.
Many parts have plenty of literature covering them already, but Naomi Klein adds persuasion and elegance. For example, brushing aside the propaganda surrounding so-called Free Trade, how the purpose of these agreements is to allow multinational corporations to bypass national/regional laws.
Insightful: the funding behind much of geo-engineering, as well as the history of The Royal Society/materialism/colonialism. Quite a nuanced analysis on the uses of Science/invention, and how Progressives should always consider the social benefits/consequences as well in order to determine what progress is.
Critique: I'd like to hear more analysis on the 100% renewable plans (references are provided though), and case studies (Germany, Denmark), especially the transition away from nuclear. I understand detailed analysis on power grids and engineering risks/costs are not Naomi's expertise, so this will need to be supplemented elsewhere.
An interesting example of how fuzzy thinking can be popular. One example is her look at the "German miracle" of getting rid of nuclear power. She notes that emissions went up as a result and concludes that the reason was that they just neglected to ban coal at the same time as nuclear. She never mentions that renewables can't provide base load energy. Then she goes on about how nuclear isn't carbon-free as you need to burn carbon to build the plant. Of course, she admits that you need to burn carbon to build windmills but her astute quantitative analysis reveals that windmills take less years to built than a nuclear plant thus they must emit less carbon in construction. Her only source for this "science" is Mark Jacobson from Stanford who is widely criticized.
She's seems to have no historical perspective. The Marxist countries have a far worse environmental record than the capitalist countries.
Canadian journalist and writer Naomi Klein has established herself as the most trenchant, intelligent, astute critic of free-market capitalism and the neo-liberal agenda. Her three books form of sort of trilogy: "No Logo" dealt with branding, "The Shock Doctrine" with economics, and now "This Changes Everything" is her take on climate change. It's almost un-American to criticize capitalism and globalization (suck it Tom Frank) or to suggest that maybe there is a better way, but when a system leads to the possible destruction of a planet, even die hards have to stop and take pause, although I doubt they'd touch Klein's book, which is both unapologetic in its tone and approach and optimistic about slowing down the damage we've done. One of the key books of 2014 by one of the most important writers and thinkers of our time. Also check out "The World Without Us," "The End of Oil," "The Sixth Extinction," and "Visit Sunny Chernobyl."
If you are only going to read one book in 2014, read this one. It was excellent from cover to cover. It tackles global warming, and how the ultimate crisis presents opportunity for change of attitude . The research is amazing and she is very clever in connecting the dots.
This is an enormously important book in which Naomi Klein addresses the plight of our planet head-on. The science is conclusive – the planet is warming and human activity is the primary cause. Klein starts by discussing the deniers, the history of the climate movement, the missed opportunities of the financial crisis and the disastrous effects of fracking and highlights some successes in the implementation of alternative renewable energy. Political corruption and the failures of the Green movements also feature prominently.
Klein then turns her attention to solutions. The move among institutions to divest their funds from fossil fuel companies and re-invest in alternative energy can have a positive effect in the long run. Like virtually all successful social movements, the battle against fossil fuels and the resulting climate change must grow from the ground up with mass popular movements and the book describes the successes of what is being called “Blockadia” – popular protests bringing together people from all walks of life to protect the places where they live. Senior levels of government are doing nothing but many cities are taking the lead. The Transition Town movement is spreading world-wide. An appropriate emphasis is placed on the debt owed by the rich world who created the mess to the poor world who suffer the consequences. The treaties, legal rights and influence of Indigenous peoples are making a huge contribution to the solution.
While the content of the book provides an excellent comprehensive analysis of the problem and its drastic solutions, the writing is very disappointing. A previous reviewer stated that the book is too long and badly written and, sadly, I must agree. The complete book is about 550 pages of which 466 are the actual text, the remainder being acknowledgments, notes and index. While there are occasional excellent passages, the quality of most of the writing is mediocre. It is quite conversational, which I find usually means that it is “flabby”. Most of the sentences could be rewritten to flow much more elegantly. This and some other good editing could reduce the book to about 350 pages of well-flowing prose which would make the book more inviting.
As the title of the book states, the climate crisis changes everything from our worldviews to the principles on which our economy is based to the way we as individuals and societies live on this miraculous Planet Earth. It is so important, I urge everyone to read it, in spite of the length and mediocre writing style.