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Naomi Klein: The Climate Movement Needs ‘One Hell Of A Comeback’

By Brad Johnson on November 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

"Naomi Klein: The Climate Movement Needs ‘One Hell Of A Comeback’"

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The climate movement “needs to have one hell of a comeback,” Naomi Klein writes in the Nation. “For this to happen, the left is going to have to learn from the right,” she says in an important essay with provocative ideas about the challenge of decarbonizing society. “Denialists gained traction by making climate about economics: action will destroy capitalism, they have claimed, killing jobs and sending prices soaring. But at a time when a growing number of people agree with the protesters at Occupy Wall Street, many of whom argue that capitalism-as-usual is itself the cause of lost jobs and debt slavery, there is a unique opportunity to seize the economic terrain from the right. This would require making a persuasive case that the real solutions to the climate crisis are also our best hope of building a much more enlightened economic system — one that closes deep inequalities, strengthens and transforms the public sphere, generates plentiful, dignified work and radically reins in corporate power. It would also require a shift away from the notion that climate action is just one issue on a laundry list of worthy causes vying for progressive attention. Just as climate denialism has become a core identity issue on the right, utterly entwined with defending current systems of power and wealth, the scientific reality of climate change must, for progressives, occupy a central place in a coherent narrative about the perils of unrestrained greed and the need for real alternatives.”

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