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Keeping capitalism in check in this changes everything a book by naomi klein

Capitalism vs. The Climate

I recommend it to everyone. Naomi 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.

  • Low-carbon sectors of our economies can be encouraged to expand and create jobs, while high-carbon sectors are encouraged to contract;
  • Gentle tweaks to the status quo stopped being a climate option when we supersized the American Dream in the 1990s, and then proceeded to take it global;
  • Where do we go from here?
  • Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life.

Protect shareholder interests, increase shareholder wealth. With this, her newest book, This Changes Everything, she turns to the consequences 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 inequality, and enriches the already fantastically wealthy, is ultimately threatening a lot more than people and communities.

  • Because the thing about a crisis this big, this all-encompassing, is that it changes everything;
  • The fantasy of a global free market has given way to the murky struggles of geopolitics, with great powers jostling for control of natural resources;
  • For us high consumers, it involves changing how we live, how our economies function, even the stories we tell about our place on earth;
  • You can see the early stages of this process already;
  • If opposition movements are to do more than burn bright and then burn out, they will need a comprehensive vision for what should emerge in the place of our failing system, as well as serious political strategies for how to achieve those goals;
  • They have also been the excuse for extreme crackdowns on civil liberties and chilling human rights violations.

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.

Keeping capitalism in check in this changes everything a book by naomi klein

We must now all become environmentalists. Klein 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 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.

Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. 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, require 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. This cannot continue indefinitely, and our methods of extraction have gotten continually more costly, destructive, and noxious.

Whole mountain chains, along with their flora and fauna are absolutely annihilated, to extract coal, shale, and natural gas. The results on human populations are also ugly: They also found some evidence that high levels of maternal exposure to gas extraction increased the risks of neurological defects.

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 governments. A number of solutions are put forward, along with significant victories across the world.

Panel discussion of Naomi Klein’s new book: “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate”

That increase will have devastating consequences for many millions across the world, as the oceans rise and acidify, as global temperature increases and climate is more severe — with more severe draughts and flood, more 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 consequences will be if they are not stopped. It's as simple as that. We need renewal energy, wind and solar, and we need them now. Natural gas is just as polluting as coal - in fact, it may be more polluting.

  1. 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. Here she considers technical fixes for climate change, including schemes of geoengineering.
  2. Indeed, emissions are rising so rapidly that unless something radical changes within our economic structure, 2 degrees now looks like a utopian dream.
  3. A great many of us engage in this kind of climate change denial.
  4. But the bigger problem—and the reason Copenhagen caused such great despair—is that because governments did not agree to binding targets, they are free to pretty much ignore their commitments. And I have looked deeply into how societies change in these periods of tremendous stress.
  5. When fear like that used to creep through my armor of climate change denial, I would do my utmost to stuff it away, change the channel, click past it.

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. Real men burn coal.

Do we really want to play around with this technology, and in lieu of renewable energy like solar and wind? 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.

  1. All I know is that nothing is inevitable.
  2. Protect shareholder interests, increase shareholder wealth.
  3. How these events change the collective sense of what is possible, for better but mostly for worse.
  4. I have spent the last fifteen years immersed in research about societies undergoing extreme shocks—caused by economic meltdowns, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and wars. Austerity himself—when large parts of his country were underwater from historic flooding in February 2014 and the public was enraged that his government was not doing more to help.
  5. From climate crisis to solar communism submitted by readers should be aware that the term communism here does not mean bureaucratic state capitalism,.

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.

Climate convention was signed in 1992, the failure of this polite strategy is beyond debate. In conclusion, this book is timely, crucial, and to be welcomed as a refocusing of our attentions and priorities.

This Changes Everything

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. Where do we go from here? 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?

  • Though it was only years into this project that I discovered the depths of collusion between big polluters and Big Green;
  • Or maybe we do look—really look—but then, inevitably, we seem to forget;
  • I am in no position to judge these passengers;
  • But it gets bigger;
  • Protect shareholder interests, increase shareholder wealth;
  • And it means that a whole lot of stuff we have been told is impossible has to start happening right away.

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.