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Naomi Klein speaks on the solution to Climate Change – anyone listening?

In Andrew Revkin of the NYT’s interview with Naomi Klein on her Article “Capitalism vs. the Climate,” published in The Nation Naomi makes some points that while perhaps obvious need to be repeated and repeated by those that believe in science and would like to save the human race from its race to make itself extinct.

Naomi notes that the libertarian Heartland Institute/GOP/Hayek’s road to serfdom is via regulation and big government religion has them denying science in the name of “freedom” and growth, and says they are correct that any meaningful response to global warming would be a blow to free markets and capitalism, and the left should not pretend otherwise. She then tells the left that chasing modest changes in lifestyle and shopping habits does not get us where we need to go.

The background to this discussion is the Obama folks not pushing a strong response to Global warming, indeed not endorsing the EU effort to get a new treaty by 2015, and instead seemingly ready to wait to 2020 when the current Kyoto Treaty expires as the start of any new treaty.

While she endorses steps like strengthening standards and incentives for energy efficiency and conservation, and doing basic research and development in basic energy-related sciences, and indeed stopping the Canadian pipeline for shale oil through the US because its oil puts 17% more carbon into the air than we need to put there compared to normal well drilled oil, she admits it will take time to get to renewable energy replacing fossil fuel. She also notes the need for “big government” as in building public transit systems and smart grids, and shoring up levees and sea walls. And that is contrary to the GOP’s job one of shrinking the public sphere in the name of low taxes and the benefits of privatization.

She also notes that the fact that most of the carbon increase in the future is expected from China and India as they build their export economies argues for a new trade policy that curbs trade and encourages the build up of the domestic service sector in those countries, as they re-localizing their economies in sensible ways, with US aiding developing and 3rd world economies via debt forgiveness, technology transfers, direct economic support, (perhaps financed by a tax on financial transactions), as they move from economies based on extraction-based exports.

She believes we need to stop the emphasis on the individual – on individual consumption based climate change actions like better light bulbs and driving a hybrid, and begin to reject “individual actions” in favor of an “egalitarian” and “communitarian” world view. We need all on board the need for wealth transfer to other nations to change the extraction economies and export factories requiring fossil fuels into more sustainable economies – indeed we need to stop the claims that Global warming is being used in a socialist conspiracy to redistribute wealth. The redistribution is simply needed to save mankind – it is not a fight for or against individual freedom.

She notes the good news that China and India have already invested heavily in emission reducing technologies, despite the fact that they are not required to do so under Kyoto, and indeed are doing so much that the U.S. has challenged China’s renewable energy policies at the WTO – adding another argument for ending the WTO – its a menace to climate action.

She finished by noting that the capitalist Shock Doctrine is anti-democratic tactic, designed not to solve problems but to exploit them.

We need major change and buying better light bulbs is not going to solve the problem. I recommend her piece in the Nation –

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