Naomi Klein - Heroine and Heroin - Offers No Real Challenge to Capitalism in Her New Book

i've loved, read, re-read and learned tons from Naomi Klein's two previous books, i'm pretty sure i will again this time [once i find a copy to borrow]. In the meantime there's been countless interviews in the media in which our heroine has done very well, she's quick, smart, well spoken, sure glad she's there. Her presence in the spotlight brings capitalism's role into the conversation, into new eyes and ears. The Tyee recently said, "We Must Heed Naomi Klein's Call" and that, Her new book 'This Changes Everything' makes clear what we're up against and what has to happen. But...but ...but

But Naomi's book is being criticized from both sides. From the right-wing, her celebrity lefty status means Naomi is a big bulls-eye, the left...the defiant delusional left, like me, see Naomi's solutions as unreal and based on faulty assumptions. In addition, her injunctions about conservation and change are roundly seen as 'do as i say, not as i do', especially as they come from a rich globe trotting celebrity.

Germany is held up by Klein, throughout the book apparently, as a paragon of renewable energy changeover. The reality is that Germany's renewable energy policy is a failure because when the sun goes down and the wind stops so does the electricity generation. Germany now relies on an expanding coal generation system that burns thermal coal, Donbass coal, [the dirtiest kind] to balance the demand. The results are an overall rise in GHGs not a drop.

Not only do the 'green alternatives' require a parallel non-green capacity to be built and maintained but the new technologies themselves come with their own GHG footprint embedded and usually overlooked in the rosy scenario projections. Another seldom accounted for reality is neither solar or wind arrays ever produce anywhere near the capacity the rosy eyed engineer's project [in the real world birds shit on panels, rats eat through wires, etc]. Then there's the efficiency lost in the transmission of the electricity through the grid. For example, if a power plant produces electricity at 30%, higher than average for wind or solar, efficiency and the grid is 40% efficient, the electricity at the householder level is only 12%.

As energy expert Ozzie Zehner of the University of California-Berkeley says, "There is an impression that we have a choice between fossil fuels and clean energy technologies such as solar cells and wind turbines. That choice is an illusion. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels through every stage of their life. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels for mining operations, fabrication plants, installation, ongoing maintenance and decommissioning."

The basic problem is that there is no free lunch. There is no way to consume our way out of over-consumption. There is only one 'green' alternative, the only energy source with no footprint is conservation. Naomi in her new book joins the long list of those who want to change energy sources not lifestyles.

As Pogo famously said, "I've seen the enemy and he is us." The fossil fuel industry is driven by demand, just like all capitalist expansion. Until humans learn to live within their means, learn that hard work isn't a sin - debt is - and get rid of capitalism, capitalist expansionism (endless growth) will continue. And oil, be it tar sands crud or any other will, like water, flow and ooze via the path of least resistance to meet the demands of consumers.

Naomi is allowed access to the media microphone because her ideas offer no real challenge to the status quo. Naomi's message is philosophical heroin. Her focus on top-down government action to regulate the supply side argument sets back the wider environmental movement because even if some magical solution to GHGs is regulated the overall effect is just a license to continue the unlimited growth paradigm [keep shopping] that is the real evil destroying the biosphere. Regulations, technological innovation, pixie dust...any meaningful solution, other than conservation, leads to more consumption, more short term profits, more costs to be paid by future generations, more, more more...

As far as the corporate owned and operated MSM goes 'the way that can be spoken of is not the way'. Divestment in one aspect of the capitalist matrix is meaningless if the money is simply moved to anther aspect of it. If you're really ready to dropout of capitalism ya gotta get your money out. If you need an investment, put it in your home's insulation, in your kids education, in your backyard garden or in some other positive change. Folks need to stop driving to the mall, stop consuming useless plastic crap and just slow down.