Naomi Klein spent five years researching and writing This Changes Everything. It is a difficult book to read, not because it isn't eminently readable but because it forces us to confront the terrifying facts we have been doing our best to avoid. Climate change is here and if we don't take drastic measures, may soon cause devastation to vast swaths of the earth. Expect more super storms, more flooding, more violent weather, more droughts and misery for humanity.
The problem is, of course, the costly consumer lifestyle, the profit greed of big oil and our resistance to change. In order to prevent catastrophic climate disasters, we must keep our global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celcius and must cut 8-10 per cent of of carbon dioxide emissions in a very short time. We are, instead increasing our emissions. It seems hopeless and there are a myriad of examples of climate change effects on both humans and other species.
Klein argues we must become respectful of the earth and use renewable resources, restore what we use. Since the 1700's and the industrial revolution humans have thought the earth was theirs to conquer and control as they wish. It isn't true.
Working hard to turn things around and avert disaster are local movements like Blockadia and the political will of indigenous people to get back in harmony with nature. We must switch our energy sources. Oil companies are so vested in growing and taking more oil and making bigger profits that the development of sustainable energy is stunted. Government is in bed with Big Oil and our Prime Minister has leaped in more joyously than most. Hidden in his omnibus bills are acts that strip the laws and regulations protecting the environment. Thousands of scientists have lost their jobs, all in the name of profit. We are in a free trade agreement with China. Free trade agreements are hell on environment because any local efforts to regulate pollution or develop sustainable energy alternatives or products can be challenged as unfair to trade pacts.
Our greatest hope seems to be a growing group of movements to prevent oil drilling in sensitive areas, fracking (which has horrifying environmental and health risks),laying pipelines and building gas plants. This movement is led by the poorest among us- the poorest countries and the poorest people. First Nations bands are legally forcing governments at all levels to honour the treaties which guarantee an environment where they can follow traditional lifestyles.Perhaps all is not lost.
Read this book if you care about your children and grandchildren.
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