Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change


Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change interview with Bill Moyers

“Let’s rebuild by actually getting at the root causes. Let’s respond by aiming for an economy that responds to the crisis both [through] inequality and climate change,” Klein tells Bill. “You know, dream big.”

Full transcript at  Journalist Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change

Monday, 19 November 2012  By Bill MoyersMoyers & Company | Video

Nearly 200 governments have gathered in Doha, Qatar, for two weeks of talks aimed at forging an agreement on the climate. Governments have until 2015 to draw up a binding treaty, the first since the 1997 Kyoto protocol, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid dangerous global warming.

In the past few weeks alone, authorities including the World Bank and the International Energy Agency have warned that the world is heading for unprecedented warming – of between 4C and 6C – if current trends are not reversed.

There is a view that the lack of urgency on climate change mitigation, is linked to Disaster Capitalism and Shock doctrine.  As Naomi Klein describes for Hurricane Katrina and Super-storm Sandy, the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — is used to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy.  According to this plausible hypothesis, there are those who believe that it would be worth the resulting droughts, floods, heatwaves and fiercer storms, as well as declining agricultural productivity, plant and animal extinctions, and widespread human migration, in terms of profitability, and facilitating the sort of governance that they desire.

In the UK, we have our own, home-grown disaster capitalists.  We are told of the looming energy short-fall which necessitates building nuclear power stations and granting licenses for gas fracking.  In the name of ‘creating growth’, there are Beecroft proposals for removing employee protection, ‘no-fault dismissal’ and George Osborne’s plans for an “employee-owner” scheme.  The supposed necessity of reducing the so-called structural deficit provides the imperative for privatisation of the NHS and other public services, together with horrifying cuts in benefits to the disabled and chronically sick.  And at the same time George Osborne has reduced of corporation tax to 24%, thereby increasing the structural deficit.

The facts are that with current technology, 6 hours of sunlight falling on the world’s deserts could meet global energy needs for an entire year (Desertec).  The UK should be a net exporter of electricity with its natural resources of tidal current, wave, wind and solar. So why is George Osborne so opposed to renewable energy?  Follow the money!

Related Think Left posts:


Think Left: Think Left: Clean Coal (Another Financial Device for the City?)

Think Left: Energy or Tidal

Think Left: The Energy Trap

The Labour Party: Aneurin Bevan’s Socialist Ideal or a Cosy Consensus?


Aneurin Bevan and the Socialist Ideal:

Aneurin Bevan and the Socialist Ideal 

Professor Vernon Bogdanor 

Aneurin Bevan was the leading postwar representative in Britain of the socialist ideal. He is best remembered for the creation of the National Health Service which he regarded as a symbol of applied socialism, a national service free at the point of use and available to all. But, even before he resigned from the postwar Labour government in 1951, this ideal was being eroded.

If Aneurin Bevan had been the Labour leader, or held a more senior ministerial position in government, perhaps we would be living in a different Britain today. He was, as Tony Benn describes him, Labour’s last great teacher. Born in Tredegar, a working class spokesman for socialism, he would be disappointed that the Labour Party did not achieve his ideals. He would be horrified with Thatcherism and Blairite’s Third Way.

Also from Tredegar, Dennis Skinner, has the wit to out manoeuvre David Cameron, as he speaks with truth and passion. Who will be Labour’s next great teacher and inspire the working class once again? Who will satisfy an electorate thirsty for straight talking politics delivering the policies for a people’s recovery? Has the affluent society led the working class to a suffocating apathy? Has capitalism led the working class, like a Pied Piper into a hopeless dead end  cavern?

An impassioned Owen Jones writes of a Cosy Consensus in politics today.

..On the key questions of our time, many senior politicians are at one. They are committed to devastating cuts, differing only on degree and timing. They believe in the supremacy of market economics, including allowing private profiteers to make a fast buck out of our public services. They oppose challenging the supremacy of the City, or making Britain’s booming wealthy pay a significantly higher share of tax. Mission, belief and passion have been stripped from politics so that – even at a time of crisis – it risks becoming a bland managerial contest.


Historically, it has been Labour’s role to challenge wealth and power. If its leadership is unable to do so – whether it be through lack of courage or conviction – a vacuum will be left. In such turbulent times, that vacuum will be filled. The cosy consensus of the professionalised political elite may be suffocating, but it is not sustainable. A perceptive eye can notice the cracks and observe that – with a bit of a shove – the whole edifice could shatter.

Today’s electorate knows what this country needs, and is waiting for some straight-talking and policies for a People’s recovery from the damage of a failed Thatcherite experiment. Speak up, Labour. Make the most of this opportunity.  Don’t leave it too late.

Aneurin Bevan and the Socialist Ideal: Gresham College Lecture  Professor Vernon Bogdanor 

Independent: The Cosy Consensus, Owen Jones 

Straight Talking Labour, Think Left 

Parliament of the People, Think Left