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Naomi Klein: 'If You Take Climate Change Seriously, You Have to Throw Out the Free-Market Playbook'

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page, Organic Transitions page, and our Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

In an interview with Solutions, author and activist Naomi Klein discusses how market-based solutions are not going to meet the needs required to address climate change and how ideologies have hampered both the left and right in climate action. She also states that the Occupy movement has been "a game-changer." There is a way forward, Klein says, and it involves "changing the mix in a mixed economy."

Throwing Out the Free Market Playbook: An Interview with Naomi Klein

from Solutions

Perhaps one of the most well-known voices for the Left, Canadian Naomi Klein is an activist and author of several nonfiction works critical of consumerism and corporate activity, including the best sellers No Logo (2000) and Shock Doctrine (2007).

In your cover story for the Nation last year, you say that modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the political Left, including redistribution of wealth, higher and more progressive taxes, and greater government intervention and regulation. Please explain.

The piece came out of my interest and my shock at the fact that belief in climate change in the United States has plummeted. If you really drill into the polling data, what you see is that the drop in belief in climate change is really concentrated on the right of the political spectrum. It's been an extraordinary and unusual shift in belief in a short time. In 2007, 71 percent of Americans believed in climate change and in 2009 only 51 percent believed-and now we're at 41 percent. So I started researching the denial movement and going to conferences and reading the books, and what's clear is that, on the right, climate change is seen as a threat to the Right's worldview, and to the neoliberal economic worldview. It's seen as a Marxist plot. They accuse climate scientists of being watermelons-green on the outside and red on the inside.



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