In her new book, This Changes Everything, Canadian author Naomi Klein positions climate change as a form of social disaster, which, like a lot of other disasters cannot be gazed upon for too long.
We are constantly finding ways and reasons to “look away,” she writes, “or maybe we do look – really look – but then, inevitably, we seem to forget.”
“Climate change is like that; it’s hard to keep it in your head for very long. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything.”
“And we are right.”
Part of the strategy of this forgetting or looking away, as Klein frames it, is in the myriad technical, lifestyle or personal ‘solutions’ to a warming globe that refuse to question the deeper roots of the climate crisis, the structural and socio-economic logic both creating the problem and masquerading as its solution.
The challenge, says Klein, is looking at the challenge of climate change head on, and realizing, whether we like it or not, it undoes a lot of what we take for granted in our everyday notions of the political, the economic, the corporate and the radical.
Canada, a world leader in the release of greenhouse gas emissions, is no exception.
The country's current political mantra – that nothing but increasing resource extraction can ensure us a stable economy – is one of those everyday presumptions that is drastically challenged in the face of global climate change.
Much of the work we do at DeSmog Canada is dedicated to bringing to light Canada’s failure to meaningfully address climate change. And to discuss how the scientific reality of climate change affects Canada's future.
This country’s efforts in the political sphere to bolster oilsands and natural gas development, western coal exports and proposed oil pipelines heading in literally every cardinal direction, all fail to heed the immediate message of climate science: that no future stable economy can rely on carbon-intensive development.
Climate change will change everything in Canada, too, there’s no question of that.
The question is whether we will become leaders in that change, or watch those early opportunities – to hitch our economy to a clean energy future – pass by.
Klein recently told DeSmog Canada that our work was an “indispensible tool” while she was writing This Changes Everything.
Right now DeSmog Canada is in the middle of our first-ever crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter.
Klein lent her support to our campaign because she recognized that a crucial part of addressing climate change is looking at it face on and refusing to look away.
And that’s a big part of what we do here at DeSmog Canada – face the tough issues and ask the hard questions.
We believe that Canadians deserve strong leadership and a secure energy future, one that accounts for the reality of a changing global climate, not one that looks away.
If you believe that too, I hope you’ll join us and the other Canadians who want to have a more constructive debate about Canada’s climate and energy future.
Image Credit: Nicolas Haeringer, 2008.