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Book review - “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate Change”

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

“This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate Change”

By Naomi Klein

The book named “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate Change” by Naomi Klein is as much about the psychology of denial as it is about climate change. “It is always easier to deny reality”, expresses the author, “than to allow our worldview to be shattered, a fact that was as true of diehard Stalinists at the height of the purges as of libertarian climate deniers today.” Naomi Klein claims her concern with showing that influential and well-financed traditionalist think tanks and lobby groups lie behind the rejection of climate change in current years. There is not much practical doubt as to the findings of science on the subject. As a result of human activities, large-scale of climate change is under way, and if it goes on unchecked it will basically change the world in which humans will in future have to live. However, the political response has been unclear and unsure. Additionally, governments withdraw from earlier climate commitments, and environmental alarms have fell down the policy agenda to a point at which in many contexts they are treated as almost irrelevant. Therefore, the author in her book presents a new way of looking the two major problems: disaster capitalism and climate change.

Naomi Klein main dispute is that, while the majority of people think climate change is a threat, “we have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism” which is the “reigning ideology” of our current time (Klein, pg 18). At the climax of the book, the author is engaging society with a challenge: are people going to the right path for ourselves and for the future? Perhaps Klein’s core message is one of social and environmental justice: “the solution to global warming is not to fix the world, but to fix ourselves” (Klein, pg 279). In other words, she argues that people are the problem and if we change ourselves, the outside problem will be solved. However, if we continue with our current attitude and lifestyle, the world will never been fixed.

Primarily, the book begins with an analysis of the issue we are currently facing: fossil fuel extractives, discrimination, climate change, unethical trade, and even money. However, these issues are completed by results such as the ideas of hope, changes in people’s attitude, and proposals of radical social solutions and public ownership pf key services provided by the energy, transportations, and water. Furthermore, Naomi Klein recognizes that it does not present key facts and statistics about climate science, rather aims to address “the politics of human power”. Therefore, the author proposes that we need to wake up to the role insatiability, “fully liberated by lax regulation and monitoring”, plays in our society. Additionally, Klein has her finger on the zeitgeist pulse of the current time: the suggestion in society that our actual system might not be working. In the book, Naomi Klein is doing what she does best: capitalizing, for become our world a better place, on the needs of social movement. She is looking beyond growth as our basis of social strength. Are we entering a post-growth moment?

The report by New Climate Economy undoubtedly does much as nothing to challenge the current homogeneity of pinion that supports what the Naomi Klein names the “fundamental imperative at the heart of our economic model: grow or die” (Klein, pg. 21).

Throughout her piece, Naomi Klein’s also joins the spots between climate change, poverty, and development. In the second half of the book, social and environmental justice arguments are presented as well as the controversial problems of wealth transfers and redistributive climate finance mechanisms. The author acknowledges that we should not settle for “a tired old retread of the false choice between jobs and growth” (Klein, pg. 320), however she try to find a positive way of taking “super-consumers” into the world is mentioned, if not fully addressed. While this isn’t a book on climate justice for the developing world, it does identify that “there is simply no credible way forward that does not involve redressing the real roots of poverty” (Klein, pg. 418),

Lastly, In This Changes Everything, the book draws to a conclusion through a discussion on the connection between consumption and climate change by highlighting China’s rising emissions because to their production of goods. However, for all her talk of “selective degrowth” and unpromising “wasteful consumption”, Klein fails to clearly report the idea of affluence without growth or question whether moderation is part of society anymore. Given these points, the author presents a dystopian rank quo of “climate change fueled disaster capitalism – profiteering disguised as emission reduction, privatized hyper-militarized borders, and quite possibly, high-risk geoengineering when things spiral out of control” (Klein, pg. 155), and proposes that “we are all in the sacrifice zone now”. However, Naomi Klein leaves us with the shine of hope that climate justice movements and social mobilization can offer an alternative future: proposing the lifeline idea that “the truth is that there is no business as usual” and that we can determine our own path to change.


Klein, N. (2015). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate Change. New York: New

York Time.

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