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Posted on: April 25th, 2016 by BWNWAdmin No Comments

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

The connection between blue skies and happiness runs deep in our collective consciousness.  The small natural grocers where I shop in Eugene has a ceiling painted cerulean blue and decorated with fluffy white cumulous clouds.   On a dreary day, this artifice can lift my spirit.  But what if we lived in a world where the only blue skies were painted on ceilings?  One of the proposed solutions to global warming is to inject the stratosphere with sulfur, turning the sky perpetually gray.   This “mad” science might block the sun, but it also might not be reversible.  Do you really think that not giving up air travel or air conditioning or HDTV or trips to the mall is worth the trade-off of never seeing actual blue skies.  We live in a decade where we will be forced to choose.

The consensus of 97% of scientists is that the earth today stands in imminent peril from the environmental cataclysm of dangerous climate change caused by human activity.  If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, the mounting evidence of global warming is everywhere.  Arctic Sea ice and glaciers are melting faster.  The increasing acidity of the oceans is causing coral reef destruction.  Temperatures continue to break records.  The number of extreme floods and fires is increasing.   To make matters worse, CO2 emissions are increased by dying forests, and by melting ice that loses the ability to reflect heat, and by melting permafrost which release even more CO2 and methane.

So why aren’t our governments pursuing policies to save the environment by stopping the use fossil fuels?  The answer is capitalism, with its twin motives of profit and greed. Solutions to the problem of the warming earth are systematically sabotaged by

the forces of free market fundamentalism, conservative politics, and corporate opposition to environmental regulation.   Additionally, since the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions we’ve bought in to the belief in our ability to control nature.  While we pursue greater material wealth and profit, we have forgotten the truism that “nature bats last.”

Klein places her hope in the human spirit and in local opposition to environmental degradation.  We have seen some successes in Oregon.  Federal regulators rejected plans for a massive liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay.  The Federal Court ruled in favor of youth bringing a suit against the Federal government because it fails to protect the atmosphere for future generations.  The Oregon LNG Company abandoned plans for a gas export terminal in Warrenton, OR.  There are possibilities to stop the madness when we work together.

In her book, “Reweaving Our Human Fabric,” Miki Kashtan helped us visualize a world after the “transition” where there is no scarcity or zero sum economics and where everyone’s needs are met. Klein has shown us is that the transition is upon us now and how we must accept a role in shaping it.  To change everything, we need everyone.

Review by Dorothy Sampson


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