This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

A “multi-platform” project that argues the climate crisis requires us to fundamentally rethink how we organize social and economic life.

Time Periods: 20th Century, 21st Century, 2001 - Present
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Economics, Imperialism

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climatethischangeseverything_collage is a project built on the premise that dealing with the climate crisis requires us to fundamentally rethink how we organize social and economic life.

Imagining solutions to the climate crisis involves imagining solutions to a host of other social problems, from economic inequality to public health to job creation to indigenous rights—even to the quality of the food we eat.

As the This Changes Everything (TCE) team writes:

Climate change is more than an issue, it’s a message, one that is telling us that many of our culture’s most cherished ideas about our place in the world—from the quest for endless economic growth to the assumption of Western supremacy to the limitless capacity of humans to dominate nature—are no longer viable.

Climate Justice More Resources Ad | Zinn Education ProjectForget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.

 […] We have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. We have been told it’s impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it—it just requires breaking every rule in the “free-market” playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies, and reclaiming our democracies.

We have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight for the next economy and against reckless extraction is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

The project includes a book by Naomi Klein (No Logo, The Shock Doctrine), a feature documentary by Avi Lewis inspired by the book, and an outreach strategy to share the ideas behind these works with educators and activists. View a collection of eight lessons developed by the TCE team.

This outreach strategy includes a partnership with the Zinn Education Project to produce complimentary curriculum coming in 2016.