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Marching as to war: new book calls for mass mobilization against climate crisis

Last Updated Sep 6, 2020 at 12:01 pm PDT

(Courtesy: ECW Press)

This week on #1130bookshelf the founding BC director of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives talk about his new book

Author Seth Klein argues governments should take on the climate crisis the same way they responded to COVID-19

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – What if we viewed the climate crisis like an external enemy as if we were at war?

That is the central question posed in the new book, A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency.  In it, author Seth Klein argues for putting our economy and society on a war footing to tackle the issue.

He says it is no longer feasible to simply go by what politicians say is possible. We must listen to what the science shows is essential.

LISTEN: A Good War

Klein is the founding BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and now an adjunct professor of Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University.

“I had always planned to have a chapter on World War Two, as this historic example of when we quickly retooled the whole economy,” he explains.

“But the more I delved into that, the more I started to see these parallels all over the place, and ultimately decided to structure the whole book around the lessons of the Second World War.”

He says the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a more contemporary example of what can be done quickly when we focus on a shared goal.

“In some ways, the cat’s out of the bag. When you look at the level, particularly the level of federal spending and the creation of entire new programs in the space of a few weeks, really what it lays bare is what was possible all along.”

Let’s Do It (Courtesy; ECW Press)


Klein admits the difference, and indeed the challenge, is that the climate crisis is moving in slow motion and we’ve yet to reach the point where it is galvanizing the population to act, as we did with World War Two and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re looking at something similar in terms of retooling our entire economy to decarbonize it. We’re looking at a 10 year period to do that. But, like a war, we do come out the other end and it’s my hope that we actually come out the other end actually a better society than the one we’re leaving behind.”

Look for A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency from ECW Press.