Synopses & Reviews
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.
"The struggle for a sustainable world is really a fight against capitalism, according to this sprawling manifesto from Nation columnist Klein (The Shock Doctrine). She gives a rousing, if familiar, rundown of the perils of global warming and singles out energy corporations in particular, and the 'extractivist' economic system and ideology in general, as the planet's great enemies. Her proposed remedies include strict regulation of fossil fuels and investments in renewable energy, but also a vision of a low-consumption, no-growth, localist, people-over-profits economy coupled to a social transformation that emphasizes cooperation with nature instead of dominion over it. Klein's gifts for catchy, aphoristic prose and vivid journalistic montage are well-displayed and her critiques sometimes trenchant, as when she skewers hubristic geoengineering schemes, carbon offset scams, and the pseudo-green billionaire Richard Branson. Unfortunately, her grasp of energy policy is questionable: she uncritically repeats renewables boosterism while ignoring their limitations and her dismissal of nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source is ill-informed. By drawing 'everything' into her thesis Klein dilutes her over-stuffed book's consistency and coherence; worse, her tendency to demonize more than analyze leaves unaddressed the real-world conflicts and contradictions that make climate policy so intractable. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This is the best book about climate change in a very long time -- reminding us just how much the powers-that-be depend on the power of coal, gas and oil. And that in turn should give us hope, because it means the fight for a just world is the same as the fight for a liveable one." Bill McKibben
"An enormous, complex, compelling and, by turns, distressing and rallying analysis of the dysfunctional symbiotic relationships between free-market capitalism, the fossil fuel industry and global warming." Booklist Review
"[Klein's] journalism won't slow down the fossil fuel companies, but it surely holds out hope for activists looking to avert a disaster....A sharp analysis that is bound to be widely discussed." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and author of the New York Times and #1 international bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Her first book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, was also an international bestseller. Klein is a contributing editor for Harper’s and reporter for Rolling Stone and writes a syndicated column for The Nation and the Guardian. She lives in Toronto.