The Witch’s Bedtable

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I may move Naomi Klein’s new book to the top of my reading list.

Point 5, alone, is enough to hook me.

5. Confronting climate change is an opportunity to address other social, economic and political issues.“When climate change deniers claim that global warming is a plot to redistribute wealth, it’s not (only) because they are paranoid. It’s also because they are paying attention.”In The Shock Doctrine, Klein explained how corporations have exploited crises around the world for profit. In This Changes Everything, she argues that the climate change crisis can serve as a wake-up call for widespread democratic action. For instance, when a 2007 tornado destroyed most of Greensburg, Kansas, the town rejected top-down approaches to recovery in favor of community-based rebuilding efforts that increased democratic participation and created new, environmentally-friendly public buildings. Today, Greensburg is one of the greenest towns in the United States. To Klein, this example illustrates how people can use climate change to come together to build a greener society. It also can, and indeed must, spur a radical transformation of our economy: less consumption, less international trade (part of relocalizing our economies) and less private investment, and a lot more government spending to create the infrastructure we need for a green economy. “Implicit in all of this,” Klein writes, “is a great deal more redistribution, so that more of us can live comfortably within the planet’s capacity.”

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6 responses to “The Witch’s Bedtable

  1. Hmmmm. I’ve been escaping into fiction lately but a new book by Klein is a temptation. Thanks, Hec!

  2. It’s such a simple idea, isn’t it?

  3. I travel through Greensburg, Kansas now and then. I wonder if Naomi Klein ever did. And I wonder if, despite the new buildings and their energy efficiency, if there is any fundamental social transformation associated with them. (She won’t tell us.)

  4. Chas, I’m interested, but I’m not sure what you mean. Klein apparently thinks that “this example illustrates how people can use climate change to come together to build a greener society.” I haven’t been there. Do you disagree?

  5. As I said, I question whether new buildings = “greener society” in and of themselves. And a tornado in Kansas does not necessarily equal “climate change” either. Remember Dorothy. 😉

  6. Thanks, Chas, now I see what you mean. I agree no one thing, in and of itself, will lead to a greener society. But I’m glad for every bit of progress and hope that it accumulates. Someday, I swear I’m going to sit down and read all the L. Frank Baum books . . . .

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