ARE WE ALL DENYING THE REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE?
Naomi Klein's latest book 'This Changes Everything - Capitalism
vs the Climate' certainly made me think hard; it's essential
reading for anyone concerned to prevent runaway climate chaos and
the general trashing of the planet. The main points I registered
from reading the book are that: in our capitalist, free market
system with big corporations in control, governments are never
going to act together to reduce emissions effectively, that
individual small actions, though commendable, make very little
difference and that the only way forward is an immediate mass,
grassroots movement with direct action. A mass movement along the
lines of and on the scale of the abolition movement and the civil
rights movement is needed to combat the profit at all costs, big
multinational companies and turn things around at this late
In this well researched book, Klein explains very clearly why a
handful of climate change 'deniers' have had such an influence
[they have big funding from the fossil fuel industry which is
terrified that action will be taken to spoil their profits] and how
financial/economic circumstances have worked against any
significant action. Despite all the international climate talks
emissions have gone up 57% since the 1992 Earth Summit. She admits
that she has been in a sort of denial because she hadn't made
climate action the urgent priority in her life that it needs to be
- perhaps that is true of most of us.
She explains how 'the market' has reigned over the ever
increasing greenhouse gas emissions and is designed for maximum,
endless use of natural resources. She also rubbishes the high tech
methods being suggested to reduce emissions, especially by rich
entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson.
This book is not all 'doom and gloom' however, there are many
examples of communities and other bodies taking significant action.
The third part of the book is devoted to the movements currently
working to keep fossil fuels in the ground; it particularly focuses
on indigenous people fighting to keep their lands from the hands of
the extractive industries. The 350.org campaign to get large
organisations to divest from fossil fuels [reinvesting in clean
energy technology], the Keystone XL movement to stop the pipeline
from tar-sands sites, various actions against fracking and
communities generating their own renewable energy all feature. So
do transition towns with energy descent action plans and small
scale farming, producing crops for local use without the chemicals
derived from oil.
In fact there is so much information in this book that I can't
start to do it justice - I hope that many people will read it and
think about it [I have a copy to lend].
And what should we be doing as part of a grassroots movement to
'save the planet'? Well, at the very least we can keep signing the
petitions, supporting those taking direct action, writing to MPs
and newspapers, etc. I hope that Sustainable Crediton people are
not part of climate change denial in that they fail to see how
urgent it is to take action now!