interview – yet another one – to promote her latest turgid eco-project.Canadian activist Naomi Klein has given an
Purely by accident, she and her activist husband Avi Lewis are captured talking a lot of sense. Here’s how.
1. This is a war.
I was really struck that it’s a war. When you see the way it plays out when people try to stop a coal plant or a mine: The guns come out. That’s just true, and that’s hard for people to see. There are sides to this thing. And if you try to stop it, you’re going to see that there really are sides.
Dead right, Naomi. Too often this is presented as a debate between the consensus of the world’s greatest scientists on the one hand and the maverick views of a few Big-Oil funded denialists on the other. But it’s not, it’s an ideological war between those who believe in liberty, human progress and economic growth, and those who believe in constraint, bigger government, rationing, and doomsday messages of Malthusian despair.
2. This is Occupy, only instead of Watchmen-style Guy Fawkes masks, Naomi’s team are wearing native feathers, bleeding hearts, and green cloaks.
We had a meeting in Toronto in the spring that brought together First Nations activists, trade unions, environmentalists, migrant rights and economic justice organizers.
Yep. And First Nations activists, trade unions, migrant rights people and economic justice organizers are just famed for their intimate understanding of climate science, rationalism and cost benefit analyses. Almost as much as “environmentalists”, in fact.
3. Greenwashing is a waste of time.
You can see with the “Beyond Petroleum” campaign exactly what it means, since they abandoned it in relatively short order.
Thanks for that insight, Avi. And you know why BP abandoned that campaign? Because they’d diverted so many of their resources to loss-making renewable energy projects that they forget their core business, cut corners and ended up with disasters like the Gulf oil spill. Oh the irony!
4. Naomi’s and Avi’s eco-documentary built up a carbon footprint the size of China’s.
It’s very expensive to travel for a documentary, especially when you’re trying to do it with high production value and there’s 20 pelican cases every time you get on an airplane.
So what you’re telling us, Avi, is that on your mission to save the planet you had to help destroy it?
5. No serious US presidential contender gives a rat’s ass about “climate change” any more
There’s better candidates and worse candidates, but I actually think that the American political system has not produced the conditions for the kind of shift that’s required, that science tells us we need to make as a society.
Oh dear. No more Solyndras. Tragedy.
6. History is a nightmare from which the green movement is trying to awake
We need to outgrow this 400-year-old narrative that we can control nature, bend nature to our will, and that there will be no consequences for society based on that premise.
Hmm, Avi, here’s my problem with this. If the narrative has been going on successfully for 400 years – with the good consequences (increased life expectancy; higher standards of living; greater literacy; cleaner – yes cleaner – rivers and air) far outweighing the bad (er, executive stress?) – then isn’t that maybe a sign that most people believe it and want to believe in it. And that if anyone is on the wrong side of history it’s you guys?