Change or be changed, right? And what we mean by that is that climate change, if we don't change course, if we don't change our political and economic system, is going to change everything about our physical world.
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APANaomi Klein Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=change-be-changed-right-and-what-we-mean-by-that-is-that-climate-change-if-we-dont-change-course-if-we-dont-change-our-political-economic-system-is-going-to-change-everything-abo
ChicagoNaomi Klein Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=change-be-changed-right-and-what-we-mean-by-that-is-that-climate-change-if-we-dont-change-course-if-we-dont-change-our-political-economic-system-is-going-to-change-everything-abo, accessed .
MLA"Naomi Klein Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=change-be-changed-right-and-what-we-mean-by-that-is-that-climate-change-if-we-dont-change-course-if-we-dont-change-our-political-economic-system-is-going-to-change-everything-abo
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Indeed the three policy pillars of the neoliberal age-privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending-are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our emissions to safe levels.
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Public infrastructure around the world is facing unprecedented stress, with hurricanes, cyclones, floods and forest fires all increasing in frequency and intensity. It's easy to imagine a future in which growing numbers of cities have their frail and long-neglected infrastructures knocked out by disasters and then are left to rot, their core services never repaired or rehabilitated.
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It seems to me that our problem has a lot less to do with the mechanics of solar power than the politics of human power""specifically whether there can be a shift in who wields it, a shift away from corporations and toward communities, which in turn depends on whether or not the great many people who are getting a rotten deal under our current system can build a determined and diverse enough social force to change the balance of power.
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One of the most disturbing ways that climate change is already playing out is through what ecologists call "mismatch" or "mistiming." This is the process whereby warming causes animals to fall out of step with a critical food source, particularly at breeding times, when a failure to find enough food can lead to rapid population losses.
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Culture jamming is enjoying a resurgence, in part because of technological advancements but also more pertinently, because of the good old rules of supply and demand. Something not far from the surfaces of the public psyche is delighted to see the icons of corporate power subverted and mocked. There is, in short, a market for it. With commercialism able to overpower the traditional authority of religion, politics and schools, corporations have emerged a the natural targets for all sorts of free-floating rage and rebellion. The new ethos that culture jamming taps into is go-for-the-corporate-jugular.
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Drilling without thinking has of course been Republican party policy since May 2008. With gas prices soaring to unprecedented heights, that's when the conservative leader Newt Gingrich unveiled the slogan 'Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less'-with an emphasis on the now. The wildly popular campaign was a cry against caution, against study, against measured action. In Gingrich's telling, drilling at home wherever the oil and gas might be-locked in Rocky Mountain shale, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and deep offshore-was a surefire way to lower the price at the pump, create jobs, and kick Arab ass all at once. In the face of this triple win, caring about the environment was for sissies: as senator Mitch McConnell put it, 'in Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana and Texas, they think oil rigs are pretty'. By the time the infamous 'Drill Baby Drill' Republican national convention rolled around, the party base was in such a frenzy for US-made fossil fuels, they would have bored under the convention floor if someone had brought a big enough drill.
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A term like capitalism is incredibly slippery, because there's such a range of different kinds of market economies. Essentially, what we've been debating over-certainly since the Great Depression-is what percentage of a society should be left in the hands of a deregulated market system. And absolutely there are people that are at the far other end of the spectrum that want to communalize all property and abolish private property, but in general the debate is not between capitalism and not capitalism, it's between what parts of the economy are not suitable to being decided by the profit motive. And I guess that comes from being Canadian, in a way, because we have more parts of our society that we've made a social contract to say, 'That's not a good place to have the profit motive govern.' Whereas in the United States, that idea is kind of absent from the discussion. So even something like firefighting-it seems hard for people make an argument that maybe the profit motive isn't something we want in the firefighting sector, because you don't want a market for fire.
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In the two years after No Logo came out, I went to dozens of teach-ins and conferences, some of them attended by thousands of people (tens of thousands in the case of the World Social Forum), that were exclusively devoted to popular education about the inner workings of global finance and trade. No topic was too arcane: the science of genetically modified foods, trade-related intellectual property rights, the fine print of bilateral trade deals, the patenting of seeds, the truth about certain carbon sinks. I sensed in these rooms a hunger for knowledge that I have never witnessed in any university class. It was as if people understood, all at once, that gathering this knowledge was crucial to the survival not just of democracy but of the planet. Yes, this was complicated, but we embraced that complexity because we were finally looking at systems, not just symbols.
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It is eminently possible to have a market-based economy that requires no such brutality and demands no such ideological purity. A free market in consumer products can coexist with free public health care, with public schools, with a large segment of the economy - like a national oil company - held in state hands. It's equally possible to require corporations to pay decent wages, to respect the right of workers to form unions, and for governments to tax and redistribute wealth so that the sharp inequalities that mark the corporatist state are reduced. Markets need not be fundamentalist.
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In Venezuela Chavez has made the co-ops a top political priority, giving them first refusal on government contracts and offering them economic incentives to trade with one another. By 2006, there were roughly 100, 000 co-operatives in the country, employing more than 700, 000 workers. Many are pieces of state infrastructure - toll booths, highway maintenance, health clinics - handed over to the communities to run. It's a reverse of the logic of government outsourcing - rather than auctioning off pieces of the state to large corporations and losing democratic control, the people who use the resources are given the power to manage them, creating, at least in theory, both jobs and more responsive public services. Chavez's many critics have derided these initiatives as handouts and unfair subsidies, of course. Yet in an era when Halliburton treats the U.S. government as its personal ATM for six years, withdraws upward of $20 billion in Iraq contracts alone, refuses to hire local workers either on the Gulf coast or in Iraq, then expresses its gratitude to U.S. taxpayers by moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai (with all the attendant tax and legal benefits), Chavez's direct subsidies to regular people look significantly less radical.
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