Friday, September 26, 2014

Ed Powers on Naomi Klein

From Ed Powers in IRELAND, these notes on Naomi Klein new nonfiction book on climate:
Naomi Klein in her break-out book ''No Logo'' delivered the bombshell that branding is manipulative, and global mega corporations past-masters at exploiting, for financial gain, our deepest desires and insecurities..... 
Her new book on climate propounds that globalism, fuelled by free-market capitalism, is the driving force behind climate change and the ruin it threatens to bring down on all our heads. This, it might be argued, is stating the obvious. We all understand that, the more we consume, the greater the pollution - and that, the more we pollute, the higher the risk of irreversible climate change.
However, Klein possesses a remarkable talent for making an argument that could feel preachy and, frankly, dull, vivid and engaging. She does so by approaching the subject as a boots-on-the-ground reporter rather than talking-head gazing down from an ivory tower.
So she travels to a conference organised by climate change deniers and, later, meets with anti-fracking protesters in Canada. The most interesting section concerns the phenomenon of extravagantly-munificent billionaires such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson who make a great noise about their charitable endeavours and yet, in their businesses says Klein, are culpable in helping increase the rate of climate change.
It is a worthy topic but one already discussed to death. 

However, Klein makes the threat to the planet - to the well-being of each of us - feel incredibly vivid. She may not take it as a compliment, nonetheless, there is no doubting that as a marshaller of melodrama, she is peerless. 

"The bottom line is that our economic system and our planetary system are now at war. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it's not the laws of nature," she writes.

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