My Review: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

We are in climate change Decade Zero and history is knocking on our door—will we answer? Such is the thesis of Naomi Klein’s persuasive call to action. Although the battle Klein speaks of is about love for the Earth, not hate for fossil fuels and oil – I can’t help but feel angry. Tomorrow you just may find me tied to drilling instruments in Fort McMurray.

It is difficult to summarize Klein’s book for its sheer length. She describes the grassroots environmentalist movement and how recent advances in dirty energy extraction has led them to become national and international joint movements. She talks of the efforts of big business and billionaires to artificially cater to the public’s growing sense of responsibility to preserve our Earth, and dethrones each one of the seemingly green Messiahs of big business. Perhaps most compellingly, she writes to shatter the middle class perception that capitalism is our shot to prosper. Instead, she argues that the perception that capitalism provides any shot at prosperity, even if it is a one in a million shot, prevents the public from seeking better, more balanced alternatives that will benefit everyone. She points out that in the process of changing the system to benefit the Earth, we will also create a system that benefits every human.

Perhaps the one thing missing from this book is a more specific action plan for an individual to take on. What do I do now? Do I start lobbying? Do I make sure my friends recycle? Do I donate to David Suzuki? As Klein accurately identified – “We are so much more than we have been told we are… we long for more and in that longing have more company than we ever imagined.”