This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate Paperback – 7 Mar 2015
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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 (John Gray Observer)
Without a doubt one of the most important books of the decade (Amitav Ghosh)
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)
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)
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)
Captured the collective sense of anger and awakening ... [a] frightening look at climate change and capitalism (Matt Haig Observer, Books of the Year)
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)
About the Author
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers No Logo, The Shock Doctrine, and most recently This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. In 2017 she joined The Intercept as Senior Correspondent. Recent articles have also appeared in the Guardian, The Nation, The New York Times, the New Yorker and Le Monde. In November 2016 she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in Australia.
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Sadly, I doubt this book is going to change any minds. The evidence backing up claims is patchy. Some segments are well referenced, but others are more rant-like and unbalanced.
The best this book can hope to achieve is to reignite the fire in the belly of those who already agree with its premise. Though even that is a push. It's so tedious to read I'm resenting it for stealing an enormous amount of time to extract the gems inside it.
The book is a classic victim of over-hype. I find it difficult to believe that all those giving it a five star review have read more than a couple of chapters. My advice would be to save yourself a disappoint and look for a video where Naomi sets out her key points instead.
However, my main gripe with the book, and it's quite a big one, is that it completely skirts over the environmental impact of farming livestock. Considering that the farming of livestock leads to the consumption of an estimated 70% of all the worlds farmed land and, as such, a huge amount of water (15 k litres to every kg of beef), and considering the fact that an estimated 91% of all deforestation that has occurred thus far has occurred due to the need to clear land to house and feed livestock, I'd say that this was a monumental error on Klein's behalf. Had the rest of the text not been so thorough in its exposition, I would have rated this as 3 stars. I don't know if this was wilful or accidental ignorance, either way it's the major shortcoming of the book.
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