Sustainable book club no.4 – This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

The big question is – has everything changed? Well for me the answer is yes and no. I was pretty shocked by some of the stuff I read and at times I struggled to turn the pages, not really wanting to know what came next, but it also confirmed what I already knew. 

This Changes Everything is a book about climate change and the failures of capitalism to stop us from poisoning our world.  The big shock (for me), which comes fairly early on in the book is that unless we do something in the next couple of years about climate change it could be too late – it may become irreversible and that is seriously scary stuff. The thing that wasn’t such a big surprise to me is that capitalism isn’t working. In fact it more than isn’t working, it is driving us towards extinction.
It seems like a mammoth task to try and help put the brakes on capitalism, to reverse global warming, to make the switch to cleaner power in a couple of years, especially when governments won’t make firm commitments to it. It would be very easy to think what is the point and give up. 
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give up. My biggest ambition in life is to become a great grandmother and I want to know that my future great grandchild will have a great world to live in. I’m not in denial, the more I read about what we have done to the world, the more I wonder how it is possible we are still alive now, but we are and we still can do things to make it better. My attitude is – let’s at least try to do those things before it is too late. 
The book club meets today on Twitter (follow the hashtag #susbc) and on Facebook (feel free to join the group here) and I have the following questions:
1. What effect did reading the book have on you e.g. did you feel motivated to do something about climate change or did think there is no hope?
2. Do you think that we really do only have two years (or probably less now) to do something about climate change and if so, why are we not all focussed on doing something about it? Why are governments ignoring the issue? Why is this short deadline not all over the headlines all the time?
3. What, if any, practical suggestions for helping to do something about reversing global warming did you glean from the book?
4. Is it better to address the problems of climate change individually or collectively?
5. What would you be willing to do to combat climate change?
6. Is going back to basics the solution to all our problems or should we continue to look for and rely on technological solutions?
7. What political system would support a sustainable future (it can be an imagined one)?
8. Should we all move to the moon?
9. If it is too late and we can’t stop global warming, should we or should we not worry about throwing away rubbish and polluting our planet?
10. Would you recommend this book to your friends and family?
Feel free to answer these questions on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below.  I can’t wait to hear what you all think! I will be asking 5 of them between 12.00 & 13.00 and the other 5 of them between 20.00 and 21.00 on Twitter and Facebook.

Please help me choose a book for next time by commenting on the blog with the book of your choice! The following books have been suggested / I have picked up the idea for them somewhere:

  • Don’t Even Think About It: How Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change, by George Marshall.
  • Plastic Free – How I kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too – Beth Terry
  • Zero Waste Home, by Bea Johnson
  • Happier People, Healthier Planet by Theresa Belton
  • To Die for: Is fashion wearing out the world, Lucy Siegle
  • Stitched Up by Tansy Hoskins,’
  • The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting by Zion Lights
  • Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi by Mark Boyle
  • The Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle
  • Wild by Jay Griffiths
  • Rambunctious garden by Emma Marris
  • Eearth by Bill McKibben
  • Not On The Label by Felicity Lawrence
  • How Green Are My Wellies by Anne Shepherd
  • The Politics of Breastfeeding – Gabrielle Palmer
  • All You Need is Less by Madeleine Somerville

Let me know what you think – thanks!

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