Changing the story, advice from Naomi Klein

I checked out This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein from the library in the fall. I renewed it the maximum amount of times which was three. Still unfinished I returned it to the library. I checked it out again. I renewed it three more times. I incurred late fees. And then I finally finished it. Highly recommend. Here’s an excerpt:

Fundamentally, the task is to articulate not just an alternative set of policy proposals but an alternative worldview to rival the one that the heart of the ecological crisis–embedded in interdependence rather than hyper-individualism, reciprocity rather than dominance, and cooperation rather than hierarchy. This is required not only to create a political context to dramatically lower emissions, but also to help us cope with the disaster we can no longer avoid. Because in the hot and stormy future we have already made inevitable through our past emissions, an unshakable belief in the equal rights of all people and a capacity for deep compassion will be the only things standing between civilization and barbarism.

Indeed a great deal of the work of deep social change involves having debates during which new stories can be told to replace the ones that have failed us. Because if we are to have any hope of making the kind of civilizational leap required of this fateful decade, we will need to start believing, once again, that humanity is not hopelessly selfish and greedy–the image ceaselessly sold to us by everything from reality shows to neoclassical economics.

All of this is why any attempt to rise to the climate challenge will be fruitless unless it is understood as part of a much broader battle of worldviews, a process of rebuilding and reinventing the very idea of the collective, the communal, the commons, the civil, and the civic after so many decades of attack and neglect.

–Naomi Klein


  1. wishful thinking (but the right track). you’ll need an army of whistle-blowers to constrain the greedy; must convince them self-interest in doing the right thing is more important and valuable in the long run than half a billion dollars is today….

  2. Latter-day hippiesm is fine and dandy, but that’s not the real world outside the window. Sorry – this Kleinology is just folkish hopium in the face of a monstrous supersystem.

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