Speaking with the Guardian’s Owen Jones in London on Monday night, Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein continued to broadcast the message of her new book, This Changes Everything, by arguing that the anti-fracking movement that has taken hold in the United Kingdom is a prime example of people rising up against the fossil fuel industry in ways that were once unheard of. Though these fights are always grounded in the particulars of local politics and dynamics, Klein says, they also share common bonds that are turning otherwise singular battles into a unified global movement.
“The movement against fracking has been heroic,” Klein said. “People get involved in fighting fracking not because of climate change but because they’re worried about their water. Water is what unites so many of these movements, whether it’s against tar sands, pipelines or fracking, coal mining, it’s water and love of place.”
Klein said the power of the global climate justice movement is not only the number of people involved, but about the movement’s inherent and growing diversity. Asked about the recent People’s Climate March in New York City, which drew more than 400,000 people to the streets ahead of the UN Climate Summit in September, she said: “To me, it was not just the size of it, this march had a quality to it that I’d never seen at a mass environmental demonstration.”
To the applause of the crowd, Klein continued, “I think we need to be very clear about this – the only way you can win against forces with a huge amount to lose is to build a movement of people, many more people, with a huge amount to gain.”
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From saving our local natural resources to fighting back against what she called the “brutal logic of austerity,” Klein said the crisis of climate change is offering new ways to organize against the existing neoliberal order that is ravaging our economies and democracies, our ecological systems, and the places where people live.
“Climate is the big tent we’ve been waiting for, and why wouldn’t it be,” she said. “The atmosphere is the biggest tent of all, we’re all under it and we need to start acting like it.”
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