Note — Sep 22, 2019

“We Are Seeing the Beginnings of the Era of Climate Barbarism”

Instead of repeating the numbers from various reports, Naomi Klein really focuses on the impact on people (including climate barbarism and a challenge for the left) and how everyone needs to be included in all solutions considered. She explains that including the most affected (with the Green New Deal for example) needs to be done for the right reasons, but also as a way to bring more people into the fight against vested interests and power.

A really strong theme running through the book is the links between it and the crisis of rising white supremacy, the various forms of nationalism and the fact that so many people are being forced from their homelands, and the war that is waged on our attention spans. These are intersecting and interconnecting crises and so the solutions have to be as well. […]

But this is also a challenge to a left worldview that is essentially only interested in redistributing the spoils of extractivism [the process of extracting natural resources from the earth] and not reckoning with the limits of endless consumption. […]

And I do believe that the fact that for so many people it’s so much more comfortable to talk about our own personal consumption, than to talk about systemic change, is a product of neoliberalism, that we have been trained to see ourselves as consumers first. […]

What gives me the most hope right now is that we’ve finally got the vision for what we want instead, or at least the first rough draft of it. This is the first time this has happened in my lifetime.

More: An exerpt from Naomi Klein’s new book On Fire.

[I]n the process of transforming the infrastructure of our societies at the speed and scale that scientists have called for, humanity has a once-in-a-century chance to fix an economic model that is failing the majority of people on multiple fronts. Because the factors that are destroying our planet are also destroying people’s lives in many other ways, from wage stagnation to gaping inequalities to crumbling services to surging white supremacy to the collapse of our information ecology. Challenging underlying forces is an opportunity to solve several interlocking crises at once.