Naomi Klein: courage to speak out

And that is what is behind the abrupt rise in climate change denial among hardcore conservatives: they have come to understand that as soon as they admit that climate change is real, they will lose the central ideological battle of our time—whether we need to plan and manage our societies to reflect our goals and values, or whether that task can be left to the magic of the market.”
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

I was recently asked to think of famous women who inspire me for the #Girllove challenge (my post for this is coming up soon).  Naomi Klein came to mind.  She is a Canadian, author, social activist, and Canadian filmmaker who dares to challenge the status quo.  A main thesis in one of her books, This Changes Everything, is that popular approaches to government and economics have interfered with our ability to confront climate change.  The truth of her theory, that vested interests resisted governmental regulation,  is emerging.  It is coming to light that major corporations concealed and denied the science that connected burning of fossil fuels to global warming.

In the wake of  the UN Climate Summit in Paris, governments will be grappling with the very issues that Ms Klein alludes to in  this quote.  To follow through on carbon reduction pledges, regulations limiting carbon emissions will have to be enforced, and further measures, such as carbon taxes, will have to be imposed.  Rather than stand back and let the free market steer humanity, governments– with the support of  voting citizens– will have to take the wheel and proceed with bold initiatives.  There is talk of changes in Canada from our federal government and from the provinces–my eye will be on my home province, Ontario.

When I looked up Naomi Klein for this post, I discovered that her mother is Bonnie Sherr Klein, documentary filmmaker, best known for a documentary I saw a long time ago.   Not a Love Story:  A film about pornography was released in 1982 by Studio D, the Women’s Studio of the National Film Board of Canada.  Against pornography, but also showing it, the film was initially restricted in Ontario.  It seems that the courage to speak out is a strength in the Klein family.

For more Writer’s Quote Wednesday posts, please visit SilverThreading.

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19 thoughts on “Naomi Klein: courage to speak out

  1. I will never understand the conservatives in American politics and their denial of global warming. Of course, it is all tied to money and profits. Just think, if we did not depend on fossil fuels how much better our world might be. One can only hope. I guess they don’t understand that there is money to be made from renewable sources like wind and ocean currents. ❤

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      1. Thanks for the idea, but I don’t do fiction writing–even poetry is a new venture for me… though I showed some sign of leaning that way in quasi poetic emotional

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      2. The initiative: Imagination and climate futures Initiative at Arizona State University sounds very interesting (my last reply sent itself prematurely but the gist is there I hope)

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      3. Whether or not I take a prose fiction path, your suggestion and learning about creativity going on in Arizona is inspiring –adds to an important pot simmering over here:)

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  2. Excellent post. Concise and flowing, as well as compelling.

    “…they will lose the central ideological battle of our time…” is so true. I don’t know if she goes into it, but there is another critical facet, in my opinion, in losing this ideological battle. It is the basic dynamic that if one acknowledges one was wrong about a fundamental philosophical perspective, then one faced with the task of re-examining all of one’s perspectives. One’s entire paradigm is thrown into chaos, and doubt shrouds everything. When we consider that religious views are central to one’s paradigm, then it is obvious there is a massive drive to stay in denial.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback and thought provoking comment. It is worthwhile to consider the roots of all points of view. Off the cuff, I suspect that there have been and are those with power to influence others who are primarily motivated by a sense of need, limitations, fear, short-term expediency and greed…ideology including theology is then shaped to fit. There are religious thinkers in all the major religions who ‘hear’the science…hopefully they will get louder and their ideas will permeate their institutions.

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      1. Spot on. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was a very conscious effort to entwine fundamental Christian theology with far right conservative philosophy for the reasons you mentioned above. The result was for people entwined it the net they had to re-examine their theology if they found themselves re-examining their political philosophy and policies.

        Yet there are indeed those who hear the science (and the social science) and who don’t see the conflict. Combining compassion and science is not a difficult task, in fact the two go hand in hand if one listens.

        Peace. And thank you for this post.

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  3. There’s valuable information and truth in that quote. Thanks for introducing us, or at least me, to Naomi Klein. Climate change is an important topic that needs to be addressed more often and we need more brave people like Naomi who are not afraid to speak the truth on the subject.

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