Meet Naomi Klein, she’s a bad-ass of sorts. She stays out of the limelight for the most part, but her thoughtful grasp on the relationship between newly corporate green groups and their impact on the environment has turned heads.
Recently, Klein spoke about her latest book, Shock Doctrine with Salon.com, specifically discussing how big green groups have done more to send emissions through the roof than even climate deniers.
Big wins in wildlife protection and pollution reduction achieved in the ’60s and ’70s halted in the 1980s, but Naomi Klein says we’ve been fighting a losing battle for last 30 years.
“[I]t came to screeching halt when Reagan was elected. And he essentially waged war on the environmental movement very openly. We started to see some of the language that is common among those deniers – to equate environmentalism with Communism and so on. As the Cold War dwindled, environmentalism became the next target, the next Communism,” Klein said.
The Globalization of Hyperconsumerism
The environmental movement could have responded to globalization in one of two ways: defend its values or adapt to fit the “rise of corporate government.” It chose the latter which, according to Naomi Klein, undermined its goals and made the problems worse. “We’ve globalized an utterly untenable economic model of hyperconsumerism. It’s now successfully spreading across the world, and it’s killing us,” says Klein.
While green groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Sierra Club didn’t join in, many others like Nature Conservancy did in an attempt to retain their high profile status and wealthy benefactors. Now they’ve got money, but no teeth when it comes to real change, and no credibility with true environmental activists.
Standing in Solidarity
Reducing emissions by the 80 percent means that there are going to be some losers. Klein thinks that environmental groups need to strengthen literal communities rather than building ties with corporations, and stand in solidarity with what’s right.
“We can address the financial crisis and the ecological crisis at the same time. I believe that. But I think it’s by building coalitions with people, not with corporations, that you are going to get those wins. And what I see is really a willingness to sacrifice the basic principles of solidarity[.]”
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Will Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under the Clean Air Act Be The Dawn of a New Era?