Last night I attended a Guardian Live talk with Naomi Klein and Owen Jones. I was really excited; Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine had fuelled my Master’s degree in International Relations, and even kept me working hard on it when I was apt to procrastinate.
With the launch of her new book, ‘This Changes Everything’, Naomi explores how the political left can use climate change as a way of fighting austerity, neo liberalism and the values of the market.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the night; walking into the grand space of the Central Hall at Westminster, although excited, I prepared myself for a serious and probably bleak talk about our future on this planet.
However, as Naomi begins to speak I see that not only is she is boundlessly intellectual and enviously articulate, she is, to my surprise (and delight!), hopeful. Interviewer for the evening, journalist Owen Jones perhaps heightens this, speaking of humanity’s historic resilience in the face of crisis and crying out that we can and will rise again – this time in the face of climate change and those perpetuating it (namely the fossil fuel industries).
It’s a somewhat complex subject and I don’t pretend to be an expert on it, but what I do know is this: Naomi offers a solution to dealing with climate change that not only reduces our emissions and conserves our resources but also rejects the values of the capitalist system, instead turning to a more socialist, communal system whereby energy and transport are nationalised and the responsibility for adapting to climate change is shared by all.
At the end of the talk, I wanted to know what I could doto help us accomplish this – what could we, the 2,000 people sitting in that room, actually do? Naomi suggested a few things…
- Educate yourself on climate change and tell others about it – we can’t be afraid to talk about it
- Join the campaign to divest investment in fossil fuels
- Consume less; our consumer lifestyles are leading to environmental degradation and resource depletion – not to mention low-paid and slave labour.
Some of these facts may seem harsh. At The DoNation, we are all about focusing on the positive and talking about the small things we can do. But whilst these things may seem small, the reality is they are incredibly important and I thank Naomi Klein for bringing this back to the fore for me, and no doubt for thousands of others who will read and talk about her book.
My final thought? As Owen said, we can make a difference if we stand together and it’s as simple (or perhaps as difficult?!) as that.
What do you think about Naomi’s take on climate change? I’d love to hear your thoughts!