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This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate Hardcover – 16 Sep 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (16 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846145058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846145056
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

I have devoured Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything, the book the world has been waiting for. I urge everyone to read it (especially politicians). It is her most prescient book yet and is a much-needed call to arms as time runs out on climate change (Cornelia Parker Observer, Books of the Year)

It's no exaggeration to say This Changes Everything is the most important book I've read all year - perhaps in a decade. Klein sets out the scientific case for urgent action on climate change and argues passionately that our only hope of combating its effects is a revolution in our entire economic system. Crucially, she manages to leave the reader with a degree of optimism (Stephanie Merritt Observer, Books of the Year)

[T]he problems - climate change, plus everything that is changing as a result, plus the increasing toxicity of the planet - can no longer be denied. This is a conversation that needs to happen on a large scale, and on a local scale, and on a personal scale, very soon (Margaret Atwood Guardian, Books of the Year)

A desperately needed wake-up call for people like me, exposing why the threat is real and pressing - but also demonstrating why it offers an incredible opportunity to rebuild our world and create a new generation of sustainable jobs. The book is a warning. It has to be heeded (Owen Jones New Statesman, Books of the Year)

Captured the collective sense of anger and awakening ... [a] frightening look at climate change and capitalism (Matt Haig Observer, Books of the Year)

Klein brings in the weight of her knowledge and passion to show us the full force of the environmental destruction that we live in now - and, incredibly, gives us some hope regarding what could be done for the future (Flavorwire, Best Nonfiction Books of 2014)

A book of such ambition and consequence it is almost unreviewable ... The most momentous and contentious environmental book since Silent Spring (New York Times Book Review)

Naomi Klein applies her fine, fierce, and meticulous mind to the greatest, most urgent questions of our times. . . . I count her among the most inspirational political thinkers in the world today (Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things and Capitalism: A Ghost Story)

Without a doubt one of the most important books of the decade (Amitav Ghosh)

Will be one of the most influential books of our time (Owen Jones)

Klein is a brave and passionate writer who always deserves to be heard, and this is a powerful and urgent book (Observer)

Savages the idea that we will be saved by new technologies or by an incremental shift away from fossil fuels... Her solution requires a radical reconfiguration of our economic system (New York Times)

What makes Klein's books so excellent is that she is able to tackle seemingly intractable problems with control and precision, examining and making available their key contours to the interested reader. Klein is not paralyzed by enormous, fundamental, systematic problems. Instead, she excels at dissecting them. Such was true of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, and the same can be said with This Changes Everything. No one could have been better chosen to bring such an unsettling issue to the mainstream than Klein. The result is an excellent and plausible balance between fear and hope, and a call for social activism as one means to begin to convince our governments to actively address the current climate crisis (Huffington Post)

The book has an uplifting message: that humans have changed before, and can change again. It poses a gutsy challenge to those who are vaguely hoping that the whole issue will go away, or that some new technology will save us (Sunday Times)

Her task is to take a potential catastrophe of unimaginable reach and to be calm and welcoming, drawing new people in. She does vast amounts of travel and research and thinking, then crafts all of it to the scale of her own voice: the voice of a pleasant, funny, unthreatening-looking woman (Guardian)

The proposition that the world's political and economic institutions are preventing us from meeting the lethal challenge of global warming is hardly novel. But Naomi Klein in her new book articulates the case as forcefully and comprehensively as anyone has yet managed (Independent)

This may be the first truly honest book ever written about climate change (Time)

An intellectual hero of many in the alter-globalization protests as well as the Occupy movement. . . Klein is ready for battle and is not afraid to own her politics (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Powerfully and uncompromisingly written, the impassioned polemic we have come to expect from Klein, mixing first-hand accounts of events around the world and withering political analysis . . . Her stirring vision is nothing less than a political, economic, social, cultural and moral make-over of the human world (New Scientist)

Klein is one of the left's most influential figures and a prominent climate champion. . . . [She] is a gifted writer and there is little doubt about the problem she identifies (Financial Times)

Gripping and dramatic . . . [Klein] writes of a decisive battle for the fate of the earth in which we either take back control of the planet from the capitalists who are destroying it or watch it all burn (Rolling Stone)

An energetic exploration of issues surrounding climate change vociferously advocates immediate, radical reforms... The distinctiveness of the book resides... in its immersive reporting (on "Blockadia" eco-movements and futuristic geoengineering proposals) and in Klein's sheer outspokenness (New Yorker)

Klein has, with this book, thoroughly and completely debunked everything promoted under the banner of conservatism today - and she has done so with a work that's more powerful than a stack of C4.

This Changes Everything deserves to be viewed not as one of the greatest nonfiction works of the 2010s, but as one of the greatest nonfiction works of all-time. ... This book will expand and intensify the worldwide climate-justice movement, which is why the rhetorical attacks on Klein will become ever more aggressive. It will politically galvanize the young and the vulnerable, who have so much to lose due to the climate crisis. It will create climate leaders across this warming globe. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate is not just a book, not just a moment, not just a movement. It is a weapon of justice. It is a path of survival

(Washington Monthly)

Naomi Klein is a genius. She has done for politics what Jared Diamond did for the study of human history. She skillfully blends politics, economics and history and distills out simple and powerful truths with universal applicability (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.)

Today @NaomiAKlein's new book #ThisChangesEverything is out now - I'm reading it - it's great (Russell Brand)

Clearly written and articulate ... Klein identifies that at its core the fight on climate change is a fight between two very different ways at looking at the world. And what is at stake is the future of humanity and the nature we all depend on... An important read. In my view Klein is right. The demarcation lines are clearer than ever. If we are to win the fight against climate change we will need to fundamentally change the world (Friends of the Earth)

This is the best book about climate change in a very long time-in large part because it's about much more. It sets the most important crisis in human history in the context of our other ongoing traumas, 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 author of The End of Nature and co-founder of 350.org)

[Her] words and knowledge run deep, inspiring change and the need for immediate action (Charlize Theron)

The manifesto that the climate movement - and the planet - needs right now... For those with whom her message does resonate - and they are likely to be legion - her book could help catalyze the kind of mass movement she argues the world needs now (San Francisco Gate)

A controversial and thoroughly researched challenge to neoliberal ideology (Chicago Tribune)

Has the potential to be the definitive account of our current moment... Klein's great gifts have always been synthesizing huge amounts of information and drawing connections between seemingly disparate issues; on those points, This Changes Everything is no different (The Globe and Mail)

A wonderful book narrated by a likeable, really smart and sometimes funny author who makes her readers feel smart, too. It provides us sufficient reasons for the imperative to recreate our economic world in ways that align it with our physical world and our only home. And, in broad strokes, it shows us how (Sandra Steingraber, Science Advisor for Americans against Fracking, Ecowatch)

Klein is a master at unpacking myths and contradictions, wherever their origins lie on the political spectrum (In These Times)

When she harnesses her rage at humanity's inability to see what is right in front of us, she is no mere polemicist or propagandist. She is a force of nature (Quill & Quire)

A sharp analysis that is bound to be widely discussed (Kirkus Reviews)

An enormous, complex, compelling, and, by turns, distressing and rallying analysis of the dysfunctional symbiotic relationships between free-market capitalism, the fossil fuels industry, and global warming (Booklist)

The beauty of this book is that suddenly, imagining a different world - tragically diminished in some ways, yes, but deeply inspiring in others - doesn't seem quite so much like an act of fantasy (Truth Out)

Meticulously researched and briskly rational in tone, [it] is one of the basic texts of the modern era... an essential purchase in that it tells you precisely what you need to know to discuss the climate dilemma intelligently... This Changes Everything is basic reading and no one will take you seriously until you've read every single page (Toronto Star)

A polemicist of great distinction... she challenges the reader to become engaged in society's response to climate change (Manly Daily)

Klein's most ambitious and urgent book ... essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of life on earth (Weekend Australian)

About the Author

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the #1 international bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo. She is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, and a former Miliband Fellow at the LSE. She holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King's College, Nova Scotia.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 2 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, has written another challenging book. In this one, she shows how capitalism is destroying our environment.

The capitalist cartel the EU plays a leading role in this destruction. It took Canada to court over its renewable energy programme because it included support for local jobs, which is illegal under World Trade Organization rules, as protectionist and discriminatory. The EU’s Emissions Trading System gave windfall profits of more than $32 billion to electricity companies in Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy, in just five years.

The EU also promotes privatisation, under which we have given Virgin Trains £3 billion subsidies since the 1990s. In 2010, Virgin Trains gave £18 million dividends to Richard Branson and his Virgin Group. So workers subsidise the oligarchs, who some think will save us. The EU’s TTIP is yet more proof that the EU backs the corporations against the peoples of Europe’s nations.

The U.S. BlueGreen Alliance of trade unions and environmentalists estimated that investing $40 billion a year in public transit and high-speed rail for six years would create more than 3.7 million jobs. A 2011 study by Smart Growth America found that such investment creates 31 per cent more jobs per dollar than investment in building new roads and bridges.

Investing $1.3 billion (the amount Canada gives as subsidies to oil and gas companies) would create 17-20,000 jobs in Canadian renewable energy, public transit or energy efficiency – six to eight times as many jobs as that money creates in the oil and gas sector. So we need to invest in public transport, and in upgrading buildings to make them energy-efficient.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Simmons on 13 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting perspective on the climate crisis. This is not a book with lots of detail on the technicalities of climate change. Instead it is a book about competing ideologies - extractive vs ecological - humanity as (mistakenly) conqueror of nature vs as partner in a shared ecosystem.

There are a range of stories. Examples of the damage extractive industries do to communities and environments are given. The campaigns of indigenous communities who are often particularly impacted by extractive industries are reported and cited as potential focal points for resistance to continuing carbon fuel extraction.

There are stories about the capture of environmental NGOs by business interests and Klein is (I think overly) dismissive of carbon taxes and cap and trade schemes compared to more direct restrictions on carbon emissions.

The book is not particularly heavy on statistics but one quote that I found truly shocking is that the combined currently reported reserves of oil, gas and coal companies are around five times greater than can be burned whilst providing a reasonable chance of keeping us under two degrees c warming. In other words stock/share prices and investment plans of the oil gas and coal companies are already based on long term extraction plans that will lead to dangerous climate change. One quote in the book rightly makes the point that when you are stuck in a hole the first thing to do is to stop digging.

There are solutions and it is still not too late for action although the institutional barriers are high. Klein's emphasis is on a groundswell of people power asserting rights to determination of what goes on on their land, in their communities, what impacts their clean water supplies.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sarah M Tooze on 3 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our planet is dying: our Earth, our one and only beautiful blue planet, is rapidly becoming less able to sustain life. This Changes Everything is a brilliantly written, accessible, thoroughly researched, and convincing account of climate change that offers hope. It doesn't have to happen: there is still a narrowing window of time in which we can reverse the processes and a global grassroots movement is gathering determined to bring about the necessary change. Everyone has a part to play: it can no longer be left to remote authority.

The writing has long been on the wall. Before Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, declared climate change the most serious problem confronting humankind, reports by august scientific institutions and global charities had warned about the menacing developments and been brushed aside by public and politicians. Prevailing economics and business with strong political support allied to bury the problem and worked to cast doubt on the authoritative scientific conclusions. In the 1980s, under President Reagan US environmental agencies and their staff were sidelined and disempowered. Even now the BBC treats UKIP with more respect than the Green Party. Yet the message is proving correct: we are living beyond our means. We depend on global commons and are behaving like a flock of voracious goats, consuming and polluting the future of humankind. Our conventional economies based on extractive industries, use of carbon-based energy sources, and aimed at economic growth are incompatible with the survival of life on earth and everywhere the canaries are falling silent and dropping off their perches. Wildlife has been reduced by 50% in 40 years.
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