Naomi Klein: ‘This Changes Everything’ #susbc

The five stages of reading Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ are a little like Kubler Ross’ five stages of grief.

This book, put quite simply, will change the way you look at the whole world. I could write a thousand word review, outlining the book, ranting about the state of the world and why Klein has nailed it all in the subtitle: Capitalism vs the Climate, but instead I’m going to talk you through the five stages of reading Klein’s book.

Denial

Klein outlines how we are all in denial about climate change to some degree.  It might be the long haul flight you have to take for business or pleasure, it could be the choice of car you make,  or it might simple be your refusal to believe that the climate is changing at all, or that there is any other alternative to fossil fuels and other extractive methods of energy sourcing.

You may also try to deny this at first. Convince yourself that you know climate change is real and that we have to do something about it but that’s just it, we’re not. We’re in denial!

Anger

Why have I been lied to, why are these b****** who are supposed to be running our country and doing what’s right, funding the destruction of our climate?

OK they need to keep the economy afloat, people in jobs, trade flowing but there are other ways. Why are they not investing in these ways? We’ve had decades to do it…

And then there’s the realisation that everyone has a finger in the pie, including some of the charities themselves that are working towards a greener future,  trying to preserve what we have left. Yes you read that right. Shares in fossil fuel, can and do fund the campaigns of various eco-groups.

Bargaining

Perhaps if I try a bit harder it’s not too late. If I do my bit, shop local, buy food with reduced packaging, recycle everything I can, grow my own vegetables, never buy new clothes again just patch things up with old dish cloths, refuse to buy plastic, the list goes on, but if I do all these things, will it be OK?

Depression

It’s not going to be OK. The climate is already irrevocably changed and we are way behind the curve when it comes to making the significant difference we need to for us not to face challenging climate conditions.

Why should we even bother anymore if our leaders, the people we elect to make the hard decisions and do what’s right,  aren’t even willing to sign up to agreements that keep carbon emissions in check. If they are constantly going to make the choices that get them the votes and monetary backing, rather than the hard choices that must now be made, is there any point?

After all we can’t fight progress can we? In fact surely we should welcome progress, and there’s no way the planet and progress can peaceful coexist is there?

Acceptance

We’re all screwed!

Once the book is read and buried, back in the bookcase, what next?

My conclusion? Are we really screwed? Well, not quite. There’s still time, but only just.

We need to seize the day, galvanise our collective resources and start doing the right thing.

If you still can’t see a way forward then the important thing  is to do something. If only for your own sanity. At least then we’ll go down with the ship knowing we tried our best. No matter what it is, no matter how small, do something. It is happening. Science presents us with the facts, politicians present us with spin. We need to act now, as a world, together and prevent this situation from become truly dire. If you don’t believe me, read this book!

This Changes Everything


The Sustainable Book Club is the creation of Zoe Morrison of Eco Thrifty Living and meets online every few weeks to discuss a book read on the subject of eco and green issues. If you’d like to join us please do. The more the merrier. You can find us on Facebook, here and on twitter with the hashtag #susbc. We’ll see you there!

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