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This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  22,098 ratings  ·  2,106 reviews

Forget everything you think you know about global warming. It's not about carbon – it's about capitalism. The good news is that we can seize this crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.

In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers Shock Doctrine and No Logo, exposes the myths that are clouding c

Hardcover, 576 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Simon Schuster
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Mike Before reading anything about this topic check out the authors and sources at

Before reading anything about this topic check out the authors and sources at


see also

During a recent exchange on Linkedin with a group of denialists on the relationship between the recent polar vortex and climate change I found several good books that I sampled:

The Inquisition of Climate Science by James Lawrence Powell 2011

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand by Haydn Washington and John Cook 2011

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway 2010

The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy by Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles 2016

"Deliberate confusion can be sown under a false pretext of "skepticism." And the scientific process is continually under attack by bad-faith doubt mongers."(less)
Art There are two books I've read recently that drove home the reality of climate change. Chesapeake Requiem and Rising: Dispatches from the New American …moreThere are two books I've read recently that drove home the reality of climate change. Chesapeake Requiem and Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. Six Degrees is also excellent in outlining what happens from 1 to 6 degrees of global warming. Best of luck!(less)

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Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Naomi’s Klein’s This Changes Everything is absolutely essential for understanding, confronting, and meeting the challenges of the 21st century. I recommend it to everyone.

Naomi Klein is known for her activism and her reporting on corporate malfeasance – the misused power of corporations, and the deleterious effects of unfettered global free-market western-style capitalism unchained from any conceivable governance that might restrict profitability. Profits first, above all else. Protect sharehold
Nicole D.
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Climate change is not liberal propaganda

There is only one truth you need to know - from this book, from this review: Denying climate change is profitable, and as long as it remains profitable, the environment degrades. It will get to a point of no return. Do you want to do something now voluntarily or be forced to do something later, when it’s probably too late? “In the face of an absolutely unprecedented emergency, society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civiliz
Mario the lone bookwolf
Some processes set in motion are unstoppable.

Until three centuries ago, human destructiveness was primarily limited to each other. Apart from deforestation, overuse and local exploitation, the relatively few Homo Sapiens could do little harm to nature and they killed each other without directly harming the planet. Not that one could attach a value to human life, but the difference to nature is that the damage isn´t forever. After devastating wars, the survivors repopulated the ruins, but if the
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, recs
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.

Expansive and visionary, This Changes Everything urges that bold, structural changes to the global economy must be made if greenhouse gas emissions are to be lowered and cataclysmic climate change avoided. In lucid prose Klein details how neoliberal policies have wrecked havoc on the public sphere and environment over the past four decades, intensifying already-rampant inequality and industrial pollution. As she sur
Adam Yoshida
Sep 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In reading Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything - a friendly-looking tome with a sky-blue cover - I couldn’t help but recall what Whittaker Chambers’ remark, in reviewing Ayn Rand’s classic that, “(f)rom almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “to the gas chambers — go!”” This is a book that will seduce many people with its tales of various indigenous people standing up against further development and its surface-level commitment to ...more
Simon Clark
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book everyone should read on climate change.

In a sweeping, powerful book, Naomi Klein articulates why in order to effectively stand up to climate change we must fundamentally restructure the global economy. It is clear that the current economic system - built on neoliberal ideas, particularly around global trade - has utterly failed to stand up to the challenge, and may in fact be fundamentally incapable of doing so. So we find ourselves answering the question: what do we value more? The phi
Believing is Not Enough

Naomi Klein believes that the inequality of wealth and power in the world is unjust and that it should be redistributed more fairly. The problem with this book is not that she wants redistribution; it is that she believes in it too much. She filters all her information about the world through this moral lens, which results in simplistic and misleading conclusions.

She describes this clearly when talking about other believers. She explains the tendency of some conservatives
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish someone had taught me to question capitalism before college. This past year at university has made me so weary of capitalism and its greed-based consequences, and Naomi Klein's brilliant This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate has persuaded me even more. While I do not claim expertise on the topics of environmentalism or economics, I still must say: it is my responsibility, and our responsibility, to protect this earth we live on. Klein does a thorough and effective job of exp ...more
Klein has every reason to be depressed about the way governments the world over are relinquishing their responsibilities when it comes to air, water, and land pollution. Though she admits to faltering in looking forward to the future we have left for our children, in the end she does not quail: she comes to see that there is a glimmer of hope that humans might actually slow or stop other humans from destroying our habitat, and the habitat of other species on the planet. In fact, our salvation ma ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This changes everything. I wish it did. I suppose you have to be quite anti-capitalist to even pick this up. The title certainly makes clear Naomi Klein's view, by pitting capitalism against the climate. I completely agree.

There is a LOT of ground covered in this book and an extensive amount of research. At times it became a bit too much and I was unclear what it's intentions were. I wanted a simpler solution, when of course there isn't one. Yet there were many great ideas and examples of how g
Emma Sea
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
One giant eye-roll

You make me facepalm, Naomi Klein.

"As our boat rocked [in the Louisiana Gulf Coast delta] I had the distinct feeling that we were suspended not in water, but in amniotic fluid, immersed in a massive multi-species miscarriage."

If you want to change people's minds - right-wing, die-hard meritocracy-spouting capitalist human minds - you can't talk like this and expect them to listen.¹

I am left with the firm belief that Klein's purpose in writing this book was to simply sell a lot
Leo Robertson
Pretty good but very long.

As I mentioned in a status update, if the purpose of this book is to empower and inform people, why make it so bloody big? And depressing? I dreaded opening this thing up again and again- what the hell is she going to tell me next? All the while resisting so I could prep some erudite review, wholeheartedly agreeing with the whole thing and proving myself oh so very clever, courageous persistent for keeping up with her to the very end. Well, I won't! And in so doing, hop
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
At every stage our actions are marked by a lack of respect for the powers we are unleashing – a certainty, or at least a hope, that the nature we have turned to garbage, and the people we have treated like garbage, will not come back to haunt us
This book is a brick, a great heavy block with which you can shatter screens of lies and greenwash. Nine months after reading it, I still remember parts of it so well that I'm reviewing without properly rereading, so please accept my apologies for my bodg
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Someone please time-travel back 14 years prior to this book's publication and make Klein read Capital!

--The gist of this 2020 updated review is that “capitalism” (i.e. capitalist property rights: labor market, global market of commodities, stock market, land market, private banking, etc.) relies on abstraction, and how long it can take for even sharp and caring people to grapple with these abstract structures and then imagine alternatives.

--Witness the evolution of Naomi Klein, one of today's
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big Naomi Klein fan and I consider myself an environmentalist so I was quite excited to read Klein's new book on climate change. I was worried that it would be depressing -- I don't know about you but with the passing of each day and nothing being done about climate change I get more and more resigned to the fact that the planet is doomed. Frankly I don't understand why it's not a bigger deal to everyone in the world. We should all be alarmed, but instead our heads our buried in the collec ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is not the treatise against capitalism that some people have made it out to be, or that I was hoping for. I'm honestly pretty torn on what I think about it. On the one hand, Klein's focus on direct action is both necessary and inspiring, and I think this is an important step in challenging liberals to step outside their ineffective comfort zone of signing petitions, writing the occasional check to a green org, and calling their absolutely useless representatives who will never, ever listen ...more
A long book in a small font (view spoiler)

What I liked about this book is that she takes to heart her own dictum of never letting a good crisis go to waste and she says - when those on the political right criticise greening the economy on the grounds that it runs counter to 'invisible hand' "free" market ideologies, lets not be coy about it, let's own it and wear it as a badge of pride - seize the opportunity to save the ecology of the planet and
Mary Sue Ireland
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you would like to read an unbiased view of environmental impacts such as global warming, fracking, coal mining, oil & gas pipelines, and how all of these are intertwined with politics and capitalism, then this is The Book for you. Come to think of it, if you DON'T want to know about these things, this is definitely Your Book. I read every word and I'm now scared as hell. Environmental solutions have been prevented, but not by what I thought. I figured it was people's general lack of awareness ...more
Dave Schaafsma
“If you drink water and breath air, climate change is your business"--Klein

“If we are innately greedy, there’s no hope. What if a corrupt ‘human nature’ is not the problem, though. What if the problem is a story, one we have been telling us for 400 years, a story about capitalism and progress?”--Klein

That story, begun centuries ago: “The Earth is a machine, and we are its masters.” Mother Earth is a Mother Lode for Man to Progress With rather than Live With, in Balance.

“Growth is the closest thi
Joachim Stoop
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Not perfect, but just too important to give less than 5 stars
Sigh. This was not an easy book to listen to, and it's proving to be rather difficult to review, as well.

I live in a capitalist society, and it benefits me in more ways than I'm aware of, probably. And I am no economist, but I have never really understood the sustainability of the "growth growth growth" model, where ever more market share and profits must be made in order for "success". It seems to me that way back in 3rd grade or so, we learned of a thing called "non-renewable resources", so e
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This will be a difficult review to write because I have so much to say, yet I don't know what. It will probably make no sense at all but whatever, I'll try.

Going into this, I was a bit afraid. I've never read a non-fiction book outside from school (apart from biographies) before and especially not one that was this big. But it went really well, and even though it took me a really long time to finish it (by my standards), I'm so glad that I read it. This is exactly what the title suggests, a boo
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: energy

[Through my ratings, reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to Inc., listed on Nasdaq, which fully owns and in 2013 posted revenues for $74 billion and $274 million profits. Intellectual property and labor require compensation. Inc. is also requested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest health and safety standards at all the company's sites].

Sloppy, shallow book, whose
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-read
The book could also be titled "This Changes Nothing," because only .1% of humans alive today have the native intelligence to understand why the issue of anthropogenic global climate disruption is a matter of life and death not only for humans but also for the myriad species who are our fellow travelers on planet Earth. Nevertheless, Naomi Klein sends an important message to those who have ears to hear. Increasing the GDP and facilitating consumerism in the name of saving the economy will cost us ...more
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
In 2008, Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi did a tv spot together pledging to combat climate change. Can anyone explain to me what the heck has caused this Republican insanity? Is there a single candidate from the Grand Ol' Party who even believes in it any more? And why not?

Our brains tend to filter new information to protect our belief system.

The groups fighting climate change are not science groups. They are right wing organizations like ALEC, the Cato Institute, the Ayn Rand Institute, the Ch
Otchen Makai
This is a book everyone needs to read.
The few people who gave it 1-3 stars need to read the whole thing and look up the science.
It's not bashing anyone other than the ones who refuse to make the necessary changes we all need to make in order for us ALL TO SURVIVE.
It's so important that people understand what is happening in the world, to the world, TO US ALL.
Knowing and understanding is half the battle.
The other half is making the necessary adjustments and not allowing ourselves to be corrupt
Richard C.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
A sickening collection of lies about the science of climate change and non-solutions to the crisis Klein claims. Sept 20-21 WSJ carried an article by Steven Koonin, former Undersecretary for Science in the Obama administration, admitting the computer models Klein cites as proof are worthless. There's also no mention of the 18-year lack of any global warming, measured on the ground and by balloons and satellites. At last count, there are more than 50 explanations of the "pause", the "hiatus" reve ...more
Xavier Shay
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I have read this year. Couldn't put it down. I highlighted 95 passages, many for me to dig into further.

Not only does it savage the existing fossil fuel companies in detail, from pollution to human rights abuse, but also hits futurists and billionaire do-gooders. Which is all pretty standard for a book on climate change, though did cover some new areas for me: abuses of the ETS, under-reported adverse impact of oil spills on young animal populations that are screwing them over years la
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
A lot of other reviews I've seen have been accusing Naomi Klein of being a crazy Marxist against western civilization or something, as if that's even a possible combination. My views are much more radical than hers (in my opinion anything resembling a large-scale green socialist system should only be seen as a temporary stage on the way "back" to bioregionalism and the use of democratic technics) so I think those criticisms are completely ridiculous. What she's advocating doesn't even appear to ...more
Matt Hill
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone told me Naomi Klein's new book would make me see climate change in a totally different way. I didn't believe it - but it's true. It's terrifying, thrilling and inspiring - and it's the most important book about politics to be published since... well, since Naomi Klein's last book. ...more
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Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, documentary filmmaker and author of the international bestsellers No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. She is a senior correspondent for The Intercept and her writing appears widely in such publications as The New York T

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When looking for the best recommendations in the young adult genre, we decided to turn to YA authors themselves. Narrowing...
124 likes · 19 comments
“our economic system and our planetary system are now at war. Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.” 66 likes
“So we are left with a stark choice: allow climate disruption to change everything about our world, or change pretty much everything about our economy to avoid that fate. But we need to be very clear: because of our decades of collective denial, no gradual, incremental options are now available to us.” 47 likes
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