This Changes Everything, Capitalism vs The Climate by Naomi Klein

Saturday 24th January

This was a Christmas present and I must again say thank-you to Asif who bought it for me.  It is a fairly heavy tome which as I am devoted to my Kindle I had to get used to carrying and reading (mostly on the tube) but it was worth it.  What a book.  In some ways it tells us nothing we do not already know; that Capitalism and specifically the constantly increasing striving for profit, and the ruthlessness of Corporations, especially in the extractive industries, where whole populations are swept aside, will kill us all.  She doesn’t go into the science too deeply except to let us know that even the UN agreed allowance of a 2 degree increase in Global Warming, which will be exceeded anyway, will undoubtedly cause (and is already causing) major weather disruptions, which of course will cost us far more than it will to change direction now – while there is just time left.

She started to depress me by showing just how ruthless the Big Corporations are and how they will do anything to stop us from even slowing them down, let alone stopping them.  And she explained how the way the World works, with mass lobbying of Politicians and corruption and the desire of the developing nations to have the same lifestyle as us seems an unwinnable combination.  She showed how we deal with that by becoming deniers ourselves and simply not thinking about it.  But then she explained how the fight back was being waged by ordinary, many poor and indigenous people, all over the world and that all these little victories meant something.  She acknowledged that without a major change in our whole thinking we might still lose, but strangely the book left me more with hope than despair.   The book struck a chord with me and made me realise that I do care, that I have always cared but that I had become one of the ostriches, head firmly in the sand, and simply not thought the battle could be won.  This is a great book, slightly over-long, and a bit too American, but essential reading.  It had made me start thinking again, and maybe, just maybe it gives us some clues as to how we might, in fact how we must, change.