Last Updated September 5, 2023.
This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein is a nonfiction bestseller about the effects of human activity on the environment and world at large. Klein takes a very powerful stance on the subject, stating that the climate crisis is a result of an entire economic system which encourages consumerism to an unhealthy degree—not just from the activity of businesses. In order to correct this and save the planet, Klein posits that we need to take far more drastic action than simple regulations and business laws.
Klein delineates the ways in which we're destroying the environment through economic activity, predominately manufacturing and transportation. The damage at this point is clearly not easily reversible; the climate has shifted so dynamically already, and the built-up production of greenhouse gases will continue to wreak havoc even after we cease production. Klein examines many of the different effects of climate change that have already occurred, particularly melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and endangered or destroyed habitats.
Klein takes a deep look at the economic activity that drives global climate change. Her reasoning is that the economy is being driven by rampant consumerism, which promotes purchasing new products and amassing wealth without regard for the environment or the effect on the world at large. In order to effectively curb the tendency of businesses to destroy habitats and create greenhouse gases, further action than simply placing further government regulations is needed. An entire shift is necessary to remove the established global economic incentive system that promotes consumerism.
The only way people will be able to see the shift that will help solve the world's climate and environmental issues is by changing their mindset toward consumption and the climate. By shifting perspectives, people will be more likely to change their deeply ingrained habits. Hopefully, Klein believes, this will be enough to turn the tide of destruction and save the planet.