This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs.The Climate by Naomi Klein reveals some intriguing connections between the global economy and climate change.
For instance, international trade agreements can stymie attempts to enact climate change policies and create local jobs in ways that might surprise you.
I heard about This Changes Everything through publicity surrounding The People’s Climate March held in New York City on September 21, 2014. After scanning the table of contents, I knew I wanted to read the book and bought a copy a few weeks later.
“In pragmatic terms, our challenge is less to save earth from ourselves and more to save ourselves from an earth that, if pushed too far, has ample power to rock, burn, and shake us off completely.”
Who could resist a book with chapter titles like, “The Right is Right,” “Public and Paid For,” and “You and What Army?” Readers, it is best to approach reading This Changes Everything with an inquisitive mindset and expecting to have at least some of your viewpoints challenged.
Explore evidence showing how the capitalist free market system is resulting in unstable financial markets, a widening income gap between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else, and a growing disregard for people and the planet. The market has failed to address climate change effectively or to deliver on its promise to trickle down money to poor and middle-class families.
Discover the interesting, and yes, disturbing relationships between some of the most well-known environmental organizations in the world and the giant multi-national corporations who are extracting massive amounts of resources and polluting our water, air, and land.
Read stories from across the globe about what people are doing to protect their communities and how they are fighting enormous and seemingly unstoppable corporations and winning.
The Bottom Line
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and author of international bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. She is a syndicated columnist for The Nation and a board member of 350.org.
Klein’s style of writing is informative, descriptive, and sometimes seemingly purposefully “in your face” (I liked that).
Numerous times while reading the book, I found myself thinking, “Hmm, I hadn’t thought of it that way.” or “I didn’t know that.” I have read many books about climate change so this was surprising and refreshing.
This Changes Everything is a worthwhile read, sure to generate a conversation or two, perhaps spark a debate (hopefully friendly), or maybe encourage someone sitting on the sidelines to stand up and take action. It should be required reading for all government officials, corporate CEOs, lobbyists, NGO executive directors, and MBA candidates. I hope Klein sent a signed copy to President Obama.