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This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2015)

by Naomi Klein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,825437,672 (4.17)53
"The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core "free market" ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems. In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option. 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 has 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"--… (more)
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English (39)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
The most important book you will read this year. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
Klein drops brutal facts and undeniably calls us to act. At the same time, she assures us that the path to climate salvation lies not through nebulous future innovation, but a recommitment to existing social movements: only socialism can save the species.

I buy it: the profit motive's profligate ignorance of the actual cost of doing business is a gross, deliberate oversight. Wherever we build ourselves up at the expense of the commons — without regenerative compensation — we steal and murder. Klein's argument demonstrates how free-market capitalism is both immoral, and unsustainable. If we do not subdue it, and replace it we will die badly, and with our neighbors' blood on our hands.

I'm currently a full-blown capitalist capitulator, deriving my disproportionate security from the lucre of exploitative consumerism. This book provides me with inspiration to look not for a more lucrative position, but a more equitable one — or else I'll deserve every ounce of social retribution with which I meet.

We need everyone behind these efforts to dismantle patriarchal, hierarchical machines of destruction. ( )
  quavmo | Jun 26, 2022 |
A grand analysis of the climate change scenario, nothing less than a "Silent Spring" for this century. The author traces the climate conundrum to the excesses of capitalist forces, and shows that the problem cannot be addressed unless communities wrest control of the way natural resources are used, especially the extraction of fossil carbon (coal, petroleum, gas), minerals, water, etc. She ends on a note of optimism, drawing connections between the struggles of the poor and dispossessed in western economies with the pushback by 20developing countries as a class. How reasonable this optimism has proved to be, can be tested by looking at the developments over the intervening years in the extractive sectors, and the progress of climate negotiations. ( )
  Dilip-Kumar | May 3, 2022 |
70
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
I was looking for something that focused more on the potential futures, the known and speculated effects of climate change, and a history of how different corporations and governments are driving that change. What I got instead was less "facts first" and more motivated polemic.

I can't argue the conclusions, really, but I wish the presentation hadn't been like this. When I'm presented with an opinion, then a solution, and at the end finally a few facts-- the writing feels very agenda driven.

It's unfortunate, because I really believe climate change to be an existential threat to the human race. I just want to know what we're in for and how we got here. This book touches on those topics, but only in between sections filled with emotional appeals, what-jf hypotheticals and grass-roots-will-fix-this hyperbole. ( )
  MCBacon | Aug 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Klein, Naomiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Archer, EllenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"We need to remember that the work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we're really talking about, if we're honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet."
-- Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network, 1973-2012

"In my books I've imagined people salting the Gulf Stream, damming the glaciers sliding off the Greenland ice cap, pumping ocean water into dry basins of the Sahara and Asia to create salt seas, pumping melted ice from Antarctica north to provide freshwater, genetically engineering bacteria to sequester more carbon in the roots of trees, raising Florida 30 feet to get it back above water, and (hardest of all) comprehensively changing capitalism."
-- Science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, 2012
Dedication
For Toma
First words
A voice came over the intercom: would the passengers of Flight 3935, scheduled to depart Washington, D.C., for Charleston, South Carolina, kindly collect their carry-on luggage and get off the plane. (Introduction)
Quotations
... The [climate change] deniers, and the ideological movement from which they sprang, won the battle over which values should govern our society. Their vision – that greed should guide us – has dramatically remade our world over the last four decades ...
... the real reason we are failing to rise to the climate moment is because the actions required directly challenge our reigning economic paradigm (deregulated capitalism combined with public austerity)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core "free market" ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems. In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option. 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 has 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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Book description
In 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 has 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.
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