Summary of Addicted to Risk

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Addicted to Risk summary
The world can’t afford to gamble its most precious resources.


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Journalist and author Naomi Klein takes a magnifying glass to what she calls “societal recklessness” – that is, increasing cultural tendency to gamble what is both precious and irretrievable – the environment and human health, for instance – without considering or preparing for a potential loss. Klein draws examples from sectors as diverse as finance, oil and politics and asserts a need for immediate action. getAbstract recommends her multifaceted, cerebral lecture to corporate leaders, investors and anyone interested in the potential outcomes of global warming.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What factors contribute to society’s recklessness
  • How cultural narratives reinforce behaviors that endanger the environment and precious resources
  • Why understanding collective attitudes about risk is critical


Society is prone to extreme risk taking with no backup plan. For example, after a BP well spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico, reports announced that 75% of the oil had vanished, but those who declared an averted disaster were wrong. Even small traces of contamination can endanger tiny organisms, and...
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About the Speaker

Naomi Klein wrote The Shock Doctrine and No Logo. She is a columnist for The Nation and The Guardian.

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