This Changes Everything
By Naomi Klein
Review by Kitty (PPE)
When considering studying PPE, something that was really important to me was finding out why the three subjects were banded together and what (if any!) use they could be together to anyone outside of classrooms and lecture theatres. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein was one of the books that persuaded me it could. Not only does it explore the very real issues posed by climate change that many authors and commentators shy away from, it also takes you through real life responses that countries, leaders and individuals can take which require policy, the economy and our own personal values altogether.
In essence, Klein explains how in order to make any dent in combating climate change, there needs to be a shift in mentality from our current “extractivist” mind-set, which has so far lead us to the tipping point of global temperature rise, to a more reciprocal and circular relationship, not only with the planet, but with each other. Although the subject material is serious, Klein manages to take you through it so gently that by the time you realise the depth of information she has taken you through, you’ll wonder how you never thought of it yourself!
The book is written mainly chronologically, which allows her to build up her argument clearly, taking you first through where the idea of man as master of nature came from, and giving information on some key philosophers from the time, all the way through to how, through a combination of tough radical policy and commitment, we, as a society, can come through the other side. On the way, she addresses a lots of key issues such as the financing of political parties and interest groups, the allocation of the market economy, the “escape narrative” – that is the feeling we all have that something miraculous will be invented that will save us from the brink of disaster – and key things that we, as individuals, should take part in to make a difference, such as divestment campaigns.
This book is perfect for showing how related to each other global politics and global economics are and how helpful it will be to know how they can work together to effect positive change. It also introduces you to lots of topics that you could explore further so as well as being a fantastic read in itself is also a great first step into other topics you might be interested in if you are of a PPE mind-set. Klein manages to make digestible one of the biggest issues of our generation and has some incredibly interesting insights presented in an easy to grasp way: I would thoroughly recommend it!
This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein