I Wish This Changed Everything - Is a radical economic overhaul our best hope to save the climate?

Mark Jaccard

. . . Is Klein correct? “Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war”? And is “climate change a battle between capitalism and the planet”? Must we “change everything” about our economic system?

Because she is known as a harsh critic of modern capitalism, Klein acknowledges that some readers might suspect her of bias in selecting evidence to support her argument: “I am well aware that this raises the question of whether I am doing the same thing as the [climate science] deniers—rejecting possible solutions because they threaten my worldview … But there are a few important differences to note.”

Let’s pause here. Klein understands that many people know we must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next decades. Like me, these people might also be deeply disturbed by environmental harms and social inequalities in our modern capitalist economies. But, like me, they may want sound evidence for how we can quickly succeed with those emissions—as we have with acid rain, ozone-depleting substances and other environmental threats. Unless it is truly essential, they do not want to encumber an already difficult task with an even more challenging agenda—such as “changing everything” about capitalism in three decades.