The 15th of March 2019 was an extraordinary day in history, marking as it did, the very first global school strike for climate. Raising their collective voice, more than a million and a half school children across the world took to the streets, demanding immediate action on climate change. How to Change Everything by Naomi Klein is inspired by this new wave of bold, young campaigners. Aimed at teenagers who wish to understand the history, science and politics of climate change, while also acquiring the tools for activism, the renowned social activist and writer shares her decades of accumulated wisdom.
With the aid of children’s science writer, Rebecca Stefoff, Klein deconstructs this complex and often controversial subject. ‘Climate change was born in 1757,’ she tells us, a consequence of James Watt’s modified steam engine. The ensuing Industrial Revolution changed the world and was coupled with the rising popular belief that humans were the masters of nature, entitled to take whatever they desired from the land, a philosophy that has led us to our current climate emergency.
Klein provides a compelling account of the evolving Green movement and its inspirational figureheads, from 1960’s trippy hippie protests to 80’s wheeler-dealing lobbyists and now our own impassioned millennials. Her analysis of the rise of powerful corporate opposition may provoke despair but Klein remains galvanising.
‘You are going to live with some effects of climate change…we can’t travel back in time to change the past- but we can change the future.’
Whether teenagers want to dip a tentative toe into campaigning or take more direct action, this essential guide reminds them that they can always make a statement. It’s never too early to let politicians know that you’re paying attention.
With notes and resources aplenty, young readers are in the safe hands of a seasoned activist who defuses fear and offers pragmatic advice.
How to Change Everything by Naomi Klein is published by Penguin, 336 pages.