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Best selling author/activist Naomi Klein. (photo: Anya Chibis/Guardian UK)

Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created


Also Created Global Warming'
By Klaus Brinkbaumer, Der Spiegel

28 February 15

FOCUS | Leonard Nimoy's Last Wishes


For Israel And Palestine
Juan Cole, Informed Comment
28 February 2015

PIEGEL: Ms. Klein, why aren't people able to stop climate change?
Klein: Bad luck. Bad timing. Many unfortunate coincidences.
SPIEGEL: The wrong catastrophe at the wrong moment?

Banksy Goes Undercover In Gaza,


Releases Mini-Documentary
Jenni Ryall, Mashable
27 February 2015

Klein: The worst possible moment. The connection between greenhouse gases and
global warming has been a mainstream political issue for humanity since 1988. It was
precisely the time that the Berlin Wall fell and Francis Fukuyama declared the "End of
History," the victory of Western capitalism. Canada and the US signed the first free-trade
agreement, which became the prototype for the rest of the world.
SPIEGEL: So you're saying that a new era of consumption and energy use began
precisely at the moment when sustainability and restraint would have been more
appropriate?
Klein: Exactly. And it was at precisely this moment that we were also being told that
there was no longer any such thing as social responsibility and collective action, that we
should leave everything to the market. We privatized our railways and the energy grid, the
WTO and the IMF locked in an unregulated capitalism. Unfortunately, this led to an
explosion in emissions.

Scott Walker, God's Gift To The


Democratic Party
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
28 February 2015

FOCUS | 5 Surprising Ways Iran Is Better


Than Israel
Juan Cole, Informed Comment
27 February 2015

SPIEGEL: You're an activist, and you've blamed capitalism for all kinds of things
over the years. Now you're blaming it for climate change too?
Klein: That's no reason for irony. The numbers tell the story. During the 1990s,
emissions went up by 1 percent per year. Starting in 2000, they started to go up by an
average of 3.4 percent. The American Dream was exported globally and consumer goods
that we thought of as essential to meet our needs expanded rapidly. We started seeing
ourselves exclusively as consumers. When shopping as a way of life is exported to every
corner of the globe, that requires energy. A lot of energy.

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SPIEGEL: Let's go back to our first question: Why have people been unable to stop
this development?

Why The Rise Of Fascism Is Again The


Issue
John Pilger, CounterPunch
01 March 2015

Klein: We have systematically given away the tools. Regulations of any kind are
now scorned. Governments no longer create tough rules that limit oil companies and other
corporations. This crisis fell into our laps in a disastrous way at the worst possible moment.
Now we're out of time. Where we are right now is a do-or-die moment. If we don't act as a
species, our future is in peril. We need to cut emissions radically.
SPIEGEL: Let's go back to another question: Are you not misappropriating the issue
of climate change for use in your critique of capitalism?

The Essential Uselessness Of John


Boehner
Charles Pierce, Esquire
27 February 2015

Klein: No. The economic system that we have created has also created global
warming. I didn't make this up. The system is broken, income inequality is too great and the
lack of restraint on the part of the energy companies is disastrous.
SPIEGEL: Your son Toma is two-and-a-half years old. What kind of world will he
be living in when he graduates from high school in 2030?

FOCUS | Naomi Klein: 'The Economic


System We Have Created Also Created
Global Warming'
Klaus Brinkbaumer, Der Spiegel

Klein: That is what is being decided right now. I see signs that it could be a radically
different world from the one we have today -- and that change could either be quite positive
or extremely negative. In any case, it's already certain that it will at least in part be a worse
world. We're going to experience global warming and far more natural disasters, that much
is certain. But we still have time to prevent truly catastrophic warming. We also have time
to change our economic system so that it does not become more brutal and merciless as it
deals with climate change.

28 February 2015

Americans Favor Legalizing Pot And


Criminalizing Congress
Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

SPIEGEL: What can be done to improve the situation?

27 February 2015

Klein: We have to make some decisions now about what values are important to us
and how we really want to live. And of course it makes a difference if temperatures only
rise by 2 degrees or if they rise by 4 or 5 degrees or more. It's still possible for us humans to
make the right decisions.
People Of Israel: You Should Know...

SPIEGEL: Twenty-six years have passed since the Intergovernmental Panel on


Climate Change was founded in 1988. We have known at least since then that CO2
emissions from the burning of oil and coal is responsible for climate change. Yet little has
been done to address the problem. Haven't we already failed?

Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog


01 March 2015

Klein: I view the situation differently given the enormous price we will have to pay.
As long as we have the slightest chance of success or to minimize the damage, we have to
continue to fight.
SPIEGEL: Several years ago, the international community set a target of limiting
global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Do you still consider that to be achievable?
Klein: Well, it's still a physical possibility. We would have to immediately reduce
global emissions by 6 percent a year. The wealthier countries would have to carry a greater
burden, meaning the United States and Europe would have to be cutting emissions by
around 8 to 10 percent a year. Immediately. It's not impossible. It is just profoundly
politically unrealistic under our current system.
SPIEGEL: You are saying our societies aren't capable of doing so?
Klein: Yes. We need a dramatic change both in policy and ideology, because there is
a fundamental difference between what the scientists are telling us we need to do and our
current political reality. We can't change the physical reality, so we must change the
political reality.
SPIEGEL: Is a society focused on economic growth at all capable of fighting
climate change successfully?
Klein: No. An economic model based on indiscriminate growth inevitably leads to
greater consumption and to greater CO2 emissions. There can and must be growth in the
future in many low carbon parts of the economy: in green technologies, in public
transportation, in all the care-giving professions, in the arts and of course in education.

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Right now, the core of our gross domestic product is comprised of just consumption,
imports and exports. We need to make cuts there. Anything else would be self-deception.
SPIEGEL: The International Monetary Fund makes the opposite claim. It says that
economic growth and climate protection are not mutually exclusive.
Klein: They're not looking at the same numbers as I am. The first problem is that at
all these climate conferences, everyone acts as if we will arrive at our goal through selfcommitments and voluntary obligations. No one tells the oil companies that, in the end, they
are really going to have to give up. The second problem is that these oil companies are
going to fight like hell to protect what they don't want to lose.
SPIEGEL: You seriously want to eliminate the free market in order to save the
climate?
Klein: I am not talking about eliminating markets, but we need much more strategy,
steering and planning and a very different balance. The system in which we live is overly
obsessed with growth -- it's one that sees all growth as good. But there are kinds of growth
that are clearly not good. It's clear to me that my position is in direct conflict with neoliberalism. Is it true that in Germany, although you have accelerated the shift to renewables,
coal consumption is actually increasing?
SPIEGEL: That was true from 2009 to 2013.
Klein: To me that is an expression of this reluctance to decide on what is necessary.
Germany is not going to meet its emissions targets in the coming years either.
SPIEGEL: Is the Obama presidency the worst thing that could have happened to the
climate?
Klein: In a way. Not because Obama is worse than a Republican. He's not. But
because these eight years were the biggest wasted opportunity of our lives. The right factors
came together in a truly historic convergence: awareness, urgency, the mood, his political
majority, the failure of the Big Three US automakers and even the possibility of addressing
the failed unregulated financial world and climate change at the same time. But when he
came to office, he didn't have the courage to do it. We will not win this battle unless we are
willing to talk about why Obama viewed the fact that he had control over the banks and
auto companies as more of a burden than as an opportunity. He was a prisoner of the
system. He didn't want to change it.
SPIEGEL: The US and China finally agreed on an initial climate deal in 2014.
Klein: Which is, of course, a good thing. But anything in the deal that could become
painful won't come into effect until Obama is out of office. Still, what has changed is that
Obama said: "Our citizens are marching. We can't ignore that." The mass movements are
important; they are having an impact. But to push our leaders to where they need to go, they
need to grow even stronger.
SPIEGEL: What should their goal be?
Klein: Over the past 20 years, the extreme right, the complete freedom of oil
companies and the freedom of the super wealthy 1 percent of society have become the
political standard. We need to shift America's political center from the right fringe back to
where it belongs, the real center.
SPIEGEL: Ms. Klein, that's nonsense, because it's illusory. You're thinking far too
broadly. If you want to first eliminate capitalism before coming up with a plan to save the
climate, you know yourself that this won't happen.
Klein: Look, if you want to get depressed, there are plenty of reasons to do so. But
you're still wrong, because the fact is that focusing on supposedly achievable incremental
changes light carbon trading and changing light bulbs has failed miserably. Part of that is
because in most countries, the environmental movement remained elite, technocratic and
supposedly politically neutral for two-and-a-half decades. We are seeing the result of this
today: It has taken us in the wrong direction. Emissions are rising and climate change is
here. Second, in the US, all the major legal and social transformations of the last 150 years

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were a consequence of mass social movements, be they for women, against slavery or for
civil rights. We need this strength again, and quickly, because the cause of climate change
is the political and economic system itself. The approach that you have is too technocratic
and small.
SPIEGEL: If you attempt to solve a specific problem by overturning the entire
societal order, you won't solve it. That's a utopian fantasy.
Klein: Not if societal order is the root of the problem. Viewed from another
perspective, we're literally swimming in examples of small solutions: There are green
technologies, local laws, bilateral treaties and CO2 taxation. Why don't we have all that at a
global level?
SPIEGEL: You're saying that all the small steps -- green technologies and CO2
taxation and the eco-behavior of individuals -- are meaningless?
Klein: No. We should all do what we can, of course. But we can't delude ourselves
that it's enough. What I'm saying is that the small steps will remain too small if they don't
become a mass movement. We need an economic and political transformation, one based on
stronger communities, sustainable jobs, greater regulation and a departure from this
obsession with growth. That's the good news. We have a real opportunity to solve many
problems at once.
SPIEGEL: You don't appear to be counting on the collective reason of politicians
and entrepreneurs.
Klein: Because the system can't think. The system rewards short-term gain, meaning
quick profits. Take Michael Bloomberg, for example ...
SPIEGEL: the businessman and former New York City mayor
Klein: who understood the depths of the climate crisis as a politician. As a
businessman, however, he chooses to invest in a fund that specializes in oil and gas assets.
If a person like Bloomberg cannot resist the temptation, then you can assume that the
system's self-preservation capacity isn't that great.
SPIEGEL: A particularly unsettling chapter in your book is about Richard Branson,
CEO of the Virgin Group.
Klein: Yes. I wouldn't have expected it.
SPIEGEL: Branson has sought to portray himself as a man who wants to save the
climate. It all started after an encounter with Al Gore.
Klein: And in 2006, he pledged at an event hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative
that he would invest $3 billion in research into green technologies. At the time, I thought it
was truly a sensational contribution. I didn't think, oh, you cynical bastard.
SPIEGEL: But Branson was really just staging it and only a fraction of that money
was ever spent.
Klein: He may well have been sincere at the time, but yes, only a fraction was spent.
SPIEGEL: Since 2006, Branson has added 160 new airplanes to his numerous
airlines and increased his emissions by 40 percent.
Klein: Yes.
SPIEGEL: What is there to learn from this story?
Klein: That we need to question the symbolism and gestures made by Hollywood
stars and the super rich. We cannot confuse them with a scientifically sound plan to reduce
emissions.

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SPIEGEL: In America and Australia, a lot of money is spent on efforts to deny


climate change. Why?
Klein: It's different from Europe. It's an anger that is similar to that held by those
who oppose abortion and gun control. It's not only that they are protecting a way of life they
don't want to change. It's that they understand that climate change challenges their core antigovernment, free-market belief system. So they have to deny it to protect their very identity.
That's why there's this intensity gap: Liberals want to take a little bit of action on climate
protection. But at the same time, these liberals also have a number of other issues that are
higher on their agenda. But we have to understand that the hardcore conservative climate
change deniers will do everything in their power to prevent action.
SPIEGEL: With pseudo-scientific studies and disinformation?
Klein: With all of that, of course.
SPIEGEL: Does that explain why you are connecting all of these issues -- the
environment, equity, public health and labor issues -- that are popular on the left? Is it out of
purely strategic considerations?
Klein: The issues are connected, and we also need to connect them in the debate.
There is only one way that you can win a battle against a small group of people who stand
to lose a lot: You need to start a mass movement that includes all the people who have a lot
to gain. The deniers can only be defeated if you are just as passionate as them, but also
when you are superior in numbers. Because the truth is that they really are very few.
SPIEGEL: Why don't you believe that technology has the potential to save us?
Klein: There has been tremendous progress in the storage of renewable energies, for
instance, and in solar efficiency. But climate change? I, in any case, don't have enough faith
to say, "We'll come up with some invention at some point, so let's just drop all other
efforts." That would be insane.
SPIEGEL: People like Bill Gates view things differently.
Klein: And I find their technology fetish nave. In recent years, we've witnessed
some really big failures where some of the smartest guys in the room screwed up on a
massive scale, be it with the derivatives that triggered the financial crisis or the oil
catastrophe off the coast of New Orleans. Mostly, we as people break things and we don't
know how to fix them afterwards. Right now, it's our planet that we're breaking.
SPIEGEL: Listening to you, one might get the impression that the climate crisis is a
gender issue.
Klein: Why would you say that?
SPIEGEL: Bill Gates says we need to keep moving forward and come up with new
inventions to get the problem, and ultimately our complicated Earth, under control. You on
the other hand are saying: Stop, no, we have to adapt ourselves to this planet and become
softer. The US oil companies are run by men. And you, as a critical woman, are described
as hysterical. It's not an absurd thought, is it?
Klein: No. The entire industrialization was about power or whether it would be man
or nature that would dominate Earth. It is difficult for some men to admit that we don't have
everything under control; that we have amassed all this CO2 over the centuries and that
Earth is now telling us: Well, you're just a guest in my house.
SPIEGEL: A guest of Mother Earth?
Klein: That's too cheesy. But you're still right. The oil industry is a male-dominated
world, a lot like high finance. It's very macho. The American and Australian idea of
"discovering" an endless country and that endless resources can be extracted is a narrative
of domination, one that traditionally casts nature as a weak, prone woman. And the idea of
being in a relationship of interdependence with the rest of the natural world was seen as
weak. That's why it is doubly difficult for alpha men to concede that they have been wrong.

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SPIEGEL: There's one issue in the book that you seem to steer clear of. Although
you revile the companies, you never say that your readers, who are customers of these
companies, are also culpable. You also remain silent about the price that individual readers
will have to pay for climate protection.
Klein: Oh, I think that most people would be happy to pay for it. They know that
climate protection requires reasonable behavior: less driving, less flying and less
consumption. They would be happy to use renewable energies if they were offered them.
SPIEGEL: But the idea isn't big enough, right?
Klein: (laughs) Exactly. The green movement spent decades educating people that
they should compost their garbage, that they should recycle and that they should ride their
bikes. But look at what has happened to the climate during these decades.
SPIEGEL: Is the lifestyle you lead climate-friendly?
Klein: Not enough. I bike, I use transit, I try to give speeches by Skype, I share a
hybrid car and I cut my flying to about one-tenth of what it was before I started this project.
My sin is taking taxis, and since the book came out, I've been flying too much. But I also
don't think that only people who are perfectly green and live CO2-free should be allowed to
talk about this issue. If that were the case, then nobody would be able to say anything at all.
SPIEGEL: Ms. Klein, we thank you for this interview.

Comments

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# ronnewmexico
Go girl.

2015-02-28 11:28

+49

Someone actually saying some real thing, and things of complete truth. 100% as
usual Ms Klein 100%
We need to see what is at the heart of this environmental destruction, what feeds
and sustains it. if we intend in any manner to fight it. First we must see clearly
what we fight.
And thanks to RSN for showing this here.
+11
# Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-02-28 18:05
Bill Maher had a guest on his show a few months back. The guest's
comment:"when a new truth unfolds, be it climate change or any other great
truth, there are those people, typically those who deny evolution, science have
three responses. 1. Deny it. 2. It is against the bible. 3. We knew it all along."
So, there may be hope.
+8
# Eliza D 2015-02-28 21:23
If only more people would fight. The unfortunate paradox is that most of us are
either working two jobs to support a family or part of a two income family and
this highly stressful life leaves us little time or energy to realize the depth of the
environmental destruction in which we participate, let alone fight to change it. I
reject the idea put forth by Spiegel that consumers are "culpable" for climate
change. What choice do most of us have but to heat our homes with oil and drive
to work if we live in the suburbs? (I say this as one who uses solar panels, a
wood stove, and drives a hybrid.} But most people are prisoners of a system that
allows them little time or money to consider clean energy alternatives. What we

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all can and must do though is reject the current political system which has
created and sustained this slavery and destruction and recruit and support third
party candidates. That includes people like Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson,and
Al Franken who are working within the system as outliers, and of course the
marvelously courageous and admirable Bernie Sanders who, although a
Socialist, caucuses with the Dems.
+2
# Kimc 2015-03-01 00:12
One thing people could do is help us get our invention into production,
because it will allow many more people to convert to solar energy.
It's less expensive, doesn't require a lot of space, and continues to work after
dark.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sunsmart-solar-electric-generator

# Justice Lady 2015-03-02 06:43


what you say is very true. To save the environment we must solve our
economic problems. And the only way to do it is to change our crazy tax
system which rewards land speculation & penalyses labor.

+31
# wantrealdemocracy 2015-02-28 12:31
Obama is not a "prisoner of the system". He is a part of the system that is causing
these serious problems. He too is ruled by greed for money and power. He stands in
the way of preserving life on earth.
I think the question about the role of women is very important. Men are running the
show and not doing a good job of it. We need all groups that represent the people as
a whole to be gender balanced. Women and men have different points of view as to
what is really important. We need the wisdom of both genders to change things on
earth to support life.
+16
# ronnewmexico 2015-02-28 13:06
Agreeddivided is historically how they weaken any movement to include
environmental. It is so clear and present a impending disaster, we need all to
solve this thing and remove its threat.
So close we are to impending tragedy.

# Justice Lady 2015-03-02 07:22


Henry George showed how to have Capitalism without inequality.

+2
# RLF 2015-03-01 08:01
First thing in his presidency Obama published a book making him loads of
money and putting him in the 1% category...there by eliminating any chance for
real change under his reign. Women give the power and resources are just as
unethical as men...nancy pelosi, hillary, etc. I REALLY believe that their is no
fundamental difference between men and women, black and white, etc.
Seems to me this article didn't touch on the most fundamental problem with the
economy and government fixing any of this...that is that economists constantly
tell us that we need population growth to pay for the Social Security of the baby
boomers. Europe says the same. Both import people to pay taxes at the bottom
of the economic scale to pay for retirement with out changing the basic concept
of distribution. The powers want no new taxes or no taxes on the wealthy to pay
for any of this...they want the poor to pay for everything and they want their
corps to be able to raid the coffers of government for their own enrichment. I
ultimately think there is no alternative to revolution.
+12
# willsud24 2015-02-28 14:07
As a libertarian socialist, I find this article disgusting. Here you have Klein, who
admits that capitalism is causing inequality, suffering and our extinction, yet she
wants to "reform" capitalism and make it "greener", but not abolish it.
As Marx stated "Capitalism is a revolutionary force". Capitalism consumes,
corrupts and devours all in its path. Capitalism makes all men, women and children
instruments of production and consumption.
I get more upset with Democrats and liberal capitalists than I do Republicans,
because the Democrats and liberal capitalists SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

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You cannot make capitalism green, you must abolish it. It's killing mankind and the
planet.
+18
# Helen Marshall 2015-02-28 14:24
You read this differently than I do...she is talking about ending the capitalism
that we know!
+8
# lfeuille 2015-02-28 20:11
"You cannot make capitalism green, you must abolish it. It's killing mankind and
the planet"
Maybe not completely green, but close to it if we use renewable energy and
strive for a zero waste society, where just about everything is reused or recycled,
we can come close.
I'm more inclined to criticize capitalism for it's tendency to exacerbate
inequality, which would happen even if it were run in a green manner. This is
why I don't agree with the current privatized approach to combating climate
change. I would prefer the research be done by governments and the patents
owned by governments so that the benefits can be shared by all of society
without creating any more billionaires.
I would like to see the free market relegated to the arts and entertainment and
luxury goods and the necessities provided for by a socialistic system.
+2
# ahollman 2015-02-28 23:41
This discussion lacks a common definition of capitalism, thus little agreement is
possible. Here's one definition, a bit simplistic, but still useful.
People and societies produce at more than a subsistence level (due to technology
and to specialization of labor), and trade replaces complete self-sufficiency.
Money as a medium of exchange replaces barter. Some people (usually those
who accumulate more money than others). Some loan money to others, at a price
(interest). Often (not always), the loan is to build more productive capacity.
That's capitalism. It comes in many flavors, from American-style corporate
capitalism, to Soviet and Chinese state capitalism. Some vitriol directed against
capitalism should instead be directed at corporations and/or governments.
Capitalism's fatal (for us) flaw is that it seems to requires continuous growth.
Perhaps it's possible to have "steady-state" (without growth) capitalism, but we
haven't figured that out yet.
Similarly, capitalism seems to require significant and increasing income
inequality. Again, I says "seems to", because thus far, we haven't figured out
how to have capitalism without inequality.
I believe a more moral, more environmentally sustainable capitalism is possible,
but it's going to have to be bound much more tightly by regulation and it's going
to have to be subordinated to economic, environmental, and social goals.
We can do it, but it won't be easy.
+4
# Kimc 2015-03-01 00:22
I believe the part of capitalism that causes inequality is leverage, or loaning
at interest. It should not be possible to "make your money work for
you." (Coincidentally, the bible says that too.) The part of capitalism that
requires constant logarithmic growth is the whole "stock" system: People
whose only stake in the company is profit make the company run for, not
only profit, or increasing profit, but increasing percentage of profit. This is
evil and is destroying us. And the stock market no longer even fulfills its
original purpose of helping small companies get started.

# RLF 2015-03-01 08:05


Good luck! I'll believe it when I see it!

# Kimc

2015-03-01 00:16

+2

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I believe you have misunderstood Ms. Klein. She has, indeed, said that
capitalism is the cause of global climate change, and it needs to go. What she
said is that that does not mean no markets, but not all markets are capitalist.
+1
# backwards_cinderella 2015-03-01 03:58
"Libertarian socialist"? You do know that those terms are mutually exclusive?
Libertarian who believe that we are all responsible for ourselves & socialists
who believe that we are all in this together?
-2
# RLF 2015-03-01 08:03
To Willsud24:
Communism has done such a good job getting people in power that don't
become fascists and in love with power and the sound of their own voice...I'm
sure there's a great future there!
0
# Justice Lady 2015-03-02 06:49
WE need to get rid of the Capitalism we have now which is "Monopoly
Capitalism". We need to give to the community what it creates & is entitled to,
the land & natural resource value & all natural monoploies. And let the
individual keep fully the return for its honest (unpoluting)labor & capital. And
since the environment belongs to everyone polution of it should not be tolerated.
-41
# MidwestTom 2015-02-28 14:13
This article makes no sense, give me a break; unbridled capitalism is what made
this country great. We could all stop using hydrocarbons and electricity and the air
would cleaner, and we would be in better shape growing our own food and walking
everywhere.
When the Wall came down Communist Russia and China were the dirtiest per
capita on nay country, and China today with it's vast central planning system is by
far the largest polluter on earth (2.5 times what the US emits). Another way to look
at it is that the US has become far more socialist in the last 30 years, so does
socialism cause Climate Change?
+17
# Agricanto 2015-02-28 15:29
China is hardly centrally planned. But trolls will be trolls. They should pay RSN
a penny a word to post their stuff.
+10
# Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-02-28 18:58
What an uninformed post. Extreme economy of scale monopolistic Capitalism
exists all too often only for only itself. Capitalism as we now know it is simply a
highly organized form of Socialism for those at the top of the food or money
chain. China is now doing more to reduce carbon emissions than the U.S.
+4
# Kimc 2015-03-01 00:27
We could argue whether or not unbridled capitalism is what made this country
great, but if it did in the past, that does not necessarily mean it will in the future.
Capitalism seems to work for an expanding society, a frontier society. That
condition no longer exists, and we need to change.
Also, the US has become significantly less socialist in the last 30 years, so your
argument is just groundless.
+4
# backwards_cinderella 2015-03-01 04:05
What made our country great was the blending of capitalism & socialism in the
late 30s & the 40s with the FDR's New Deal & was improved with Johnson's
Great Society Legislation. Until Reagan started the dismantling these landmark
public works, with which so many people were able to achieve their dreams,
because they weren't mired in poverty & ill health their entire lives, the USA
was the best place to life in the entire world. Now everyone I know wants to
leave. Most of my friends are too old. But I tell anyone who's young enough, get
out while you can.

# Justice Lady

2015-03-02 07:25

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FOCUS | Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Also Created Global ... Page 10 of 13

THe public works that FDR did managed to opemn up some land for actual
use & work. This could be done much better &long lasting by taxing land &
natural resource values only. Only then , when people are secure
economically will the environment ever be really safe.
+18
# Shorey13 2015-02-28 14:13
All good, Naomi. Nothing but truth, of course. A couple of quibbles: the problem is
not Capitalism, per se, but unregulated Capitalism and a pathological obsession
with growth.
The solution should be obvious--Peoples' Capitalism--everyone an owner of the
system, with all profits distributed as dividends, not reinvested to create more
growth.
Note also that Ms. Klein and others have been singing one version or another of this
song for decades, during which time things have just gotten worse. Worse for the
health of the planet, and worse for those who are not either in the 1% or serving as
their lapdogs.
Clearly, talk, articles, books are pretty useless. The privileged class will do
ANYTHING to hold on to their privileges, even if it means the destruction of the
planet and life as we know it.
Power only respects power. Power can only be achieved by organization and action.
God help us! (Because we seem to be incapable of helping ourselves.)
+2
# Kimc 2015-03-01 00:31
We have tried regulated capitalism before. It works for a while, then the
capitalists figure out how to get around the new regulations and become the
regulators, and the system fails again. Do we need to repeat this cycle endlessly?
Can't we just find a new system that actually works? (like "job ecology" and
worker-owned democratically run business.)
-37
# brycenuc 2015-02-28 14:27
All of Ms. Klein's arguments hinge on carbon dioxide being the major driver of
climate change. The reality is that it is not even a significant one. It is, however,
significant to all life on earth. The global warming alarm is totally misguided.

# Dust 2015-02-28 15:24


As usual, post your code.

# fredboy 2015-02-28 14:48


It's not an economic system, it's a religion.

+4

+17

And the nation's God almighty is the dollar.


0
# Justice Lady 2015-03-02 07:18
Its not the dollar that's at fault but the injustice of monopo especially with the
natural resources that shuts people off from sing it and thus forces them to
compete for jobs.
+20
# David Griffin 2015-02-28 15:00
Although Klein may seem to be against growth, she carefully says that she is
against indiscriminate growth. I have made this distinction in my own recent
climate-change book, Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis?
My chapter Economic Challenge quotes Herman Dalys criticism of uneconomic
growth - additional GNP that would increase costs more than it increased
benefits.
Der Spiegels interviewer ridiculed Klein for saying that solving the climate crisis
requires eliminating capitalism. But even Joe Romm of the Climate Progress blog,
who takes issue with Klein on certain issues, agrees that unchecked capitalism will
lead to catastrophe.
But capitalism for most of the rich world is a good word, so a critique using
different language might be more effective. I quote Romms description of our
economic system as a Ponzi Scheme, which almost everyone regards negatively.
Romm wrote:

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/28820-focus-naomi-klein-the-econom... 3/2/2015

FOCUS | Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Also Created Global ... Page 11 of 13

We created a way of raising standards of living that we cant possibly pass on to


our children. . . . You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this
rapacious behavior. . . . But it has to collapse. [We must say,] This is a Ponzi
scheme. We have not generated real wealth. (Unprecedented Ch. 16).
Whatever criticisms one may have of Kleins book, we should all be grateful to her
for putting this issue the relation between climate disruption and our present
economic system into the public conversation.
+3
# ronnewmexico 2015-02-28 15:35
My contention would bewe qualify standard of living in the terms that are
defined for us.
Standard of living is unconsciously aligned with strict material wealth of only a
certain sort.consumables.
Why says this is the only definition or application of standard of living? The UN
and others... have in some manner tried to adddress this by includeing things
such as disparity of wealth in its equations, upon real individual quality of life.
No longer is it just considered in per capita income average, those things.
In this specific if a certain elite has the capacity for elaboration of consumables...
but 99% do not have the same capacities.what exactly is average wealth ???
WEalth as a average, or wealth as per category of class, which should be our
consideration?
I tend to the latter. And as such. while continual growth is a absurdity
depending on continual population increase.who is to say that of our wealth if
it were not more equally distributed we could have the cake and eat it as well. A
standard of living that is almost sustainable excess removed.
.The majority of wealth we now know is held by a increasing few. Should not
quality of life... not standard of living. be what we hand down to our children.
By my estimation a increase in that is possible, with allowancees for no real
GDP growth.
I favor restiricted strongly regulated capitalism with a strong social component,
as a personl issue.
-9
# arquebus 2015-02-28 15:27
Klein says she uses mass transit, but denigrates flying? Is that not just another mode
of mass transit for most of us?

# lfeuille

2015-02-28 20:18

+2

Quoting arquebus:
Klein says she uses mass transit, but denigrates flying? Is that not just
another mode of mass transit for most of us?

It's much more of an energy hog than subway systems and at this point there
doesn't seem to be an alternative to using gobs of fossil fuels. I don't believe
anyone has invented and electric airplane that can cross the ocean.
+1
# Kimc 2015-03-01 00:36
In the 1940s they had a hydrogen jet that worked great. Not sure why they
didn't go into production. Having the wings filled with hydrogen would even
increase buoyancy, as hydrogen is lighter than air. of course, the hydrogen
would have to be produced with renewable energy from water. Possible.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sunsmart-solar-electric-generator
0
# Justice Lady 2015-03-02 07:16
In this country we subsidise the airlines industry & totally neglect other more
environmental modes like trains.+

# cordleycoit

2015-02-28 22:20

+8

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FOCUS | Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Also Created Global ... Page 12 of 13

Yes we must smash capitalism before it kills us and and planet. No the pipe dream
of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky won't do it and why waste time with Fourth
International B.S.But it is going to take someone as smart as Kline to do the
inventing. Pissing and moaning gets us no where.
Today we have the computer for an assist in this project as well as a larger gene
pool to find a new direction and lots of modeling skills to pull off a natural
revolution to get rid this chilling failed system. Our time is running out.
-15
# BKnowswhitt2 2015-02-28 23:27
Pure nonsense! False and manipulated data to advance the false premise. I can
prove it .. latest is the use of ground measuring devices many outdated and
unreliable and the leaving out of more accurate satellite data by the 'Warmanista's'
that concluded the planet cooled by .37 of a degree and in fact was not the hottest
year even close by far. Keep drinking the coolade folks .. maybe something real will
come down the pike you can put your teeth into some time soon .. but Global
Warming Climate Change by Man Made The Biggest Hoax since the lying leading
up to the false invasion of Iraq ...

# Kimc 2015-03-01 00:38


You're fooling yourself.

+3

0
# BKnowswhitt2 2015-03-01 23:02
Really? It's rather RSN is Fooling you fools and you buy into it. Ever notice
these stories are one sided in support of the unproven lies. Objective
reporting by informed scientists who by in large disagree with it all is void
on Cooked RSN 'News' .. this place is no different than todays ordinary
cooked regular media and if you think this is a refreshing alternative to real
factual reporting or news you are quite mistaken .. and drinking their
Koolade 'feel good' false bias on this subject ... it's all a fucking Lie and you
are as a result a believing FOOL ..
0
# Bruce Gruber 2015-03-01 11:43
In the final decision arena - notwithstanding arguments about the truth or
accuracy of "data", Cause OR Effect - your argument suggests that the planet on
which we have evolved is a constant, perpetual-motion resource on which we
need not consider waste, pollution or degradation (let alone "natural" change).
In what reality would you consider outcomes, efficiencies, unintended
consequences or reserve for replacement as logical or intelligent?

# 6thextinction 2015-03-01 18:08


Who is paying you? Your children and theirs will curse you.

+3
# Banichi 2015-03-01 01:02
While Ms. Klein, who I admire a great deal, focuses on the influences on and
controllers of capitalism as a primary factor in climate change, there are more
influences on this than are mentioned in the interview. Since I have not read her
book yet, I don't know if she addresses them, so I will only mention and sketch
them as part of the interlocking system of elites and beliefs that are held by those
who, as Naomi says so precisely, have the most to lose - and thus protect.
The MICCC (Military Industrial Congressional Corporate Complex) has a vested
interest in maintaining the power of each of those respective parts. War, with the
military demanding its financing, supporting corporate industries, and the elected
politicians and appointed governmental satraps, are a major contributor to the
entrenchment of the power structure that supports it. Wave a flag, push a fear
button, get the budget approved.
Globally, the World Bank, IMF, USAID, and many others like the Council on
Foreign Relations, all push an agenda that contributes to keeping the destructive
aspects of capitalism in place, and making them worse.
The list is longer, but that's enough. Ms. Klein is an extraordinary speaker who has
a clear view of underlying truths, and is one of the best representatives of what is
needed to make a change that will make life better for the majority: unwavering
commitment to grass-roots activism.

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FOCUS | Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Also Created Global ... Page 13 of 13

# Robbee 2015-03-01 21:38


comments have somehow gotten off track
capitalism is dog eat dog, maximize your own corporation's profits - capitalism is
not pro population growth, or anti, it's all about charging as much as you can get
away with for your products, to maximize profits at least cost, period
if you have a monopoly, same applies if you are part of a cartel, you can charge
more for your product than you could if you had competition, until you charge so
much for your product that too few can afford it, at which point you have
overpriced your product and get diminishing returns - you profit less. unregulated
capitalism lets monopolies overprice products to their maximum sweetspot
whether you have a monopoly or not, the lower your costs the more you profit.
unregulated capitalism lets corporations abuse workers and the environment,
everyone and everything it costs corporations money to protect

0
# Robbee 2015-03-01 21:38
part 2 - the other day i heard an old word, commonwealth, as in the commonwealth
of massachusetts. we the people are supposed to regulate corporations, to make sure
that, like the oil giants, they do not profit more by selling less (did you notice that
every year oil giants were setting record industry profits, year after year, they sold
less gasoline, year after year?). we the people are supposed to protect the health,
safety and welfare of workers and of our environment . congress is doing a rotten
job under-regulating corporations for us. we the people need to vote more
progressives into congress, and, since that takes money, we also need to amend the
constitution to get money out of politics
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