Journalism

An award-winning journalist of nine books, Naomi is a regular columnist for The Guardian.

Science says: revolt!

October 29th, 2013
By Naomi Klein

In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.

But it was Werner’s own session that was attracting much of the buzz. It was titled “Is Earth F**ked?” (full title: “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism”).

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Big Green Is In Denial: Naomi In Conversation with Earth Island Journal

September 25th, 2013
By Jason Mark

Canadian author Naomi Klein is so well known for her blade-sharp commentary that it’s easy to forget that she is, above all, a first-rate reporter. I got a glimpse into her priorities as I was working on this interview. Klein told me she was worried that some of the things she had said would make it hard for her to land an interview with a president of the one of the Big Green groups (read below and you’ll see why). She was more interested in nabbing the story than being the story; her reporting trumped any opinion-making.

Such focus is a hallmark of Klein’s career. She doesn’t do much of the chattering class’s news cycle blathering. She works steadily, carefully, quietly. It can be surprising to remember that Klein’s immense global influence rests on a relatively small body of work; she has published three books, one of which is an anthology of magazine pieces.

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Romm misunderstands Klein’s & my view of climate change & economic growth

September 25th, 2013
By Kevin Anderson

Having read the interview with Naomi Klein, Joe Romm’s commentary on the interview and Klein’s succinct rejoinder, I do not want to unnecessarily extend the discussion prior to the publication of Klein’s forthcoming book. However, Alice Bows and I do want to respond briefly to Romm’s suggestion that “green groups disagree” with our conclusion that “dangerous climate change can only be avoided if economic growth is exchanged, at least temporarily, for a period of planned austerity within [developed] nations” because they think our “view of economics … is wrong”. Our disagreement with Romm’s assertion stems from two related arguments.

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All the Response Joe Romm Is Going To Get From Me

September 9th, 2013
By Naomi Klein

Dear Joe,

Congratulations on your hasty and unnecessary hatchet job on a book I haven’t even finished yet, based on an edited interview about one-tenth of its content. A book of which you haven’t read a single word.

Disagree with the interview I gave, fine. But to assume you know what evidence is in the book and can therefore dismiss it outright is a new twist on old-school arrogance. Impressive.

Nice work as well on telling people not to see a film that is also far from finished, based on material that is not even planned to be in the documentary at all. (Feel free to call me next time you’d like to check a fact.)

Let’s hope your next work is not subjected to such extreme prejudice.

Joe, we clearly have some disagreements — as well as huge common ground. But if anyone is guilty of taking a sledge hammer to an ally here, I suggest you take a quick glance at what’s in your (bloody) hand.

Once the book is done, I’ll have lots more time to debate the various points in your post. But for now, I’ve got a book to ...

Why Unions Need to Join the Climate Fight

September 3rd, 2013
By Naomi Klein

Naomi delivered the following speech on September 1, 2013 at the founding convention of UNIFOR, a new mega union created by the Canadian Autoworkers and the Canadian Energy and Paper Workers Union. Full text of the speech follows the video.

I’m so very happy and honoured to be able to share this historic day with you.

The energy in this room — and the hope the founding of this new union has inspired across the country — is contagious.

It feels like this could be the beginning of the fight back we have all been waiting for, the one that will chase Harper from power and restore the power of working people in Canada.

So welcome to the world UNIFOR.

A lot of your media coverage so far has focused on how big UNIFOR is — the biggest private sector union in Canada. And when you are facing as many attacks as workers are in this country, being big can be very helpful. But big is not a victory in itself.

The victory comes when this giant platform you have just created becomes a place to think big, to dream big, ...

Time for Big Green to Go Fossil Free

May 2nd, 2013
By Naomi Klein

The movement demanding that public interest institutions divest their holdings from fossil fuels is on a serious roll. At last count, there were active divestment campaigns on 305 campuses and in more than 100 US cities and states. The demand has spread to Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Britain. And though officially launched just six months ago, the movement can already claim some provisional victories: four US colleges have announced their intention to divest their endowments from fossil fuel stocks and bonds, and in late April ten US cities made similar commitments, including San Francisco (Seattle came on board months ago).

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Dancing the World into Being: A Conversation with Idle No More’s Leanne Simpson

March 6th, 2013
By Naomi Klein

In December 2012, the Indigenous protests known as Idle No More exploded onto the Canadian political scene, with huge round dances taking place in shopping malls, busy intersections, and public spaces across North America, as well as solidarity actions as far away as New Zealand and Gaza. Though sparked by a series of legislative attacks on indigenous sovereignty and environmental protections by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, the movement quickly became about much more: Canada’s ongoing colonial policies, a transformative vision of decolonization, and the possibilities for a genuine alliance between natives and non-natives, one capable of re-imagining nationhood.

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Awake, Hungry and Idle No More

December 24th, 2012
By Naomi Klein

I woke up just past midnight with a bolt. My six-month-old son was crying. He has a cold — the second of his short life—and his blocked nose frightens him. I was about to get up when he started snoring again. I, on the other hand, was wide awake.

A single thought entered my head: Chief Theresa Spence is hungry. Actually it wasn’t a thought. It was a feeling. The feeling of hunger. Lying in my dark room, I pictured the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation lying on a pile of blankets in her teepee across from Parliament Hill, entering day 14 of her hunger strike.

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Interview: Naomi Klein on motherhood, climate justice, and the failures of the environmental movement

December 15th, 2012
By Wen Stephenson

This week in the Phoenix, Wen Stephenson profiles Naomi Klein — “black-clad and sharp-tongued mistress of the global anti-corporate left, friend to Occupiers and scourge of oil barons” — as she turns her attention to the cause of climate justice. Below is a longer excerpt from their conversation — about Klein’s alliance with 350.org’s Bill McKibben, her views on the environmental movement, and the ways in which her struggles to become a parent informed her views on climate (and vice versa). This interview took place on November 8, 2012. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Wen Stephenson: How did your collaboration with Bill McKibben and 350.org come about? What led you personally into this?

Naomi Klein: My first engagement with the climate issue was around the issue of climate debt. I was actually doing research about reparations for slavery, writing a long piece for Harper’s, in 2008. I’ve always been very interested in the Durban anti-racism conference [in Durban, South Africa]. In the lead-up to that UN conference in September 2001, the reparations movement in the United States and in Africa really took off. It was becoming incredibly mainstream. Manning Marable was having ...

'I'd rather fight like hell': Naomi Klein's fierce new resolve to fight for climate justice

December 12th, 2012
By Wen Stephenson

Naomi Klein, black-clad and sharp-tongued mistress of the global anti-corporate left, friend to Occupiers and scourge of oil barons, stood outside a dressing room backstage at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre one night last month, a clear-eyed baby boy on her hip.

“I’m really trying not to play the Earth Mother card,” Klein told me over the phone the week before, as she talked about bringing Toma, her first child, into the world. But she didn’t need to worry.

Inside the dressing room, she’d been fielding questions from a small gaggle of young reporters alongside 350.org’s Bill McKibben, who had invited her to play a key role in the 21-city “Do the Math” climate-movement roadshow that arrived at the sold-out Orpheum that night. With a laugh, Klein noted to the reporters that McKibben’s devastatingRolling Stone article last summer, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” — revealing that the fossil-fuel industry has five times more carbon in its proven reserves, which it intends to extract, than the science says can be burned if we want to avoid climate catastrophe — had received no industry pushback.

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