Join getAbstract to access the summary!

This Changes Everything

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

This Changes Everything

Capitalism vs. the Climate

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Naomi Klein issues an impassioned cry to wake up and admit what’s happening around you.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


In powerful prose not for the faint of heart, Naomi Klein’s latest book really does set out to “change everything.” An award-winning journalist, Klein writes beautifully and pulls no punches. Expect the difficult – even radical – lowdown on the scariest topic of all: climate change and the hard choices she finds that humanity must make to salvage civilization. Today’s economic models run counter to saving society. Everyone – especially those in rich nations – must consume far less to solve climate change. Klein’s report may underestimate the potential of science to find a solution, but she states her case plainly in this long, well-researched and important plea for action. Her argument is that personal change, no matter how drastic, won’t do enough, though you and millions of others should dramatically alter how you live. To turn back climate change in time, Klein urges readers to join protests and lawsuits, and to oppose the oil and gas industry and government actions that abet them. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends reading her heartfelt call to action to policy makers, politicians, NGOs, activists, futurists, investors and entrepreneurs.


Human Action

Climate change caused by human activity presents an “existential” danger to life on Earth, according to “97% of the world’s climate scientists.” People caught up in “climate change denial” avoid thinking about global warming because they know fixing it requires radical, daily change. Society’s standard economic model – based on growth, consumption and fossil-based energy – competes against plausible solutions. People must change how they do business, consume, travel and live. If not, society faces more emissions, higher temperatures, worse disruptive weather and – barring a major scientific and technological breakthrough – the relatively near-term prospect of societal breakdown, mass starvation, and the collapse of law and order. As increasingly warmer temperatures create a cascade of larger, deadlier disasters, humanity faces gradual extinction.

So far, global leaders cannot agree to institute restrictions on fossil fuels. Carbon-trading pacts are proving useless in reducing overall emissions. While nations debate, emissions escalate, eroding the atmosphere and reducing the window of time for effective action. The most successful accords amount to nonbinding...

About the Author

Naomi Klein, a journalist and columnist, wrote the bestsellers The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. A Harper’s contributing editor, she writes for The Nation and The Guardian and co-produced the documentary The Take.

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    R. T. 2 years ago
    This summary is a fair reflection of what is a very good - and well-informed - book by an outstanding political journalist. I've studied climate science at Edinburgh University and the implications of climate change that Klein outlines have a very real basis in scientific fact. And although I agree that one might easily argue with some of the details that she presents - after all no one can predict the future with certainty. Nevertheless, it seems all but certain that if we fail to collectively act to mitigate carbon emissions, then this is the future - or variations of it - that we can expect in years to come. And it is very sad that some people find this hard to believe for whatever reason. It's basic science - nothing more than that.
  • Avatar
    D. P. 7 years ago
    Thomas Malthus lives! Reflects badly on get abstract,
  • Avatar
    J. K. 8 years ago
    This is truly the dumbest thing I have seen on paper in a long time. Reading this feels more like watching a Saturday Night Live parody of an over the top, crazy, climate fear monger. The fact that this book was recommended to anyone and sent to me as my weekly summary should be embarrassing to the getabstract organization. The "science" and "statistics" cited are incorrect at best and out right lies by most standards.
    Utter garbage.
    • Avatar
      8 years ago
      Can you please elaborate on what you find incorrect and untruthful?
    • Avatar
      2 years ago
      Jason...You are big on passionate ad hominem, but very short on concrete examples to strengthen your critique. I would respectfully suggest you make a better effort.