Here are links, with transcripts, to the complete Sept. 18, 2014 interview.
Naomi Klein thinks that, if governments had taken action in the 1990s to curb greenhouse gas emissions to control climate change, it could have been accomplished without drastic upheavals in society or in people’s lives..
Unfortunately another movement arose at the same time, a movement to remove restrictions on corporate activity, and this movement has proved more powerful than the climate movement. The corporate movement has produced privatization, deregulation, repeal of anti-trust laws and a strong and enforceable body of international law to block environmental regulation and subsidies of renewal energy.
The first chapter of Klein’s new book, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Capitalism vs the Climate, is about how the real objection of climate change deniers is their realization that climate change, if real, would mean an end to free enterprise as they know it. She said they’re right.
Our economy is based on what Klein calls extractivism—the idea that there can be unlimited economic growth based on the burning of a limited amount of coal, oil and gas.
This is a process that will someday end in and of itself, when it is no longer feasible to dig out what little fossil fuels remain. We the people can’t afford to wait until that happens, because emissions from burning fossil fuels will have heated up the planet to the point where it is barely liveable. But moving away from extractivism is easier said than done.
An end to extractivism would require, first of all, the repeal of international trade treaties such as NAFTA and the World Trade Organization treaty that allow corporations to challenge national laws that favor local industry or interfere with the international movement of goods and services.