Naomi Klein

In Case You Missed It: Naomi Klein & Climate Justice

Image Courtesy of  the Hub

Image Courtesy of the Hub

This week, renowned environmental activist and author Naomi Klein joined us as the Presidential speaker in our 2016 series "Architects of the Future." Klein critiqued the Paris Climate Agreement, advocated for climate justice, discussed the need for an economic system change, and the radical solutions that the climate crisis necessitates. Relive her talk with the most compelling arguments of the evening.

UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21)

If we keep on doing what we’re doing, ‘business as usual’, it will lead us to 6 degrees of warming.
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Image courtesy of

The mood was not one of despair. It was of resolve. Clarity.
[The protesters] knew the deal was not enough. But there was a resolve to hold politicians accountable.

Hurricane Katrina and "Climate Shocks"

Hurricane Katrina was my wake-up call.
These super storms are related with climate getting warmer. Layered with decades of neglect... Layered with institutionalized racism.
California is employing prisoners to fight the wildfires caused by the drought...This shocked me. These firemen are the first responders to climate change.

Climate JusticE and energy reparations

Countries affected by climate change cannot seek reparations. The U.S. pushed for this during negotiations.
I want to speak up for intersectionality. Racism, mass incarceration, and climate change are deeply interconnected.
Freddie Gray was not just a victim of police racism. He was also a victim of environmental racism...the paint in his house was full of lead.
Pope Francis calls it the throwaway crisis – treating people as if they are disposable – it connects the refugee crisis with the climate crisis.

The Need for System Change

There are a whole group of people that know this political and economic system is broken and stale.
Climate change without system change looks like hell on Earth.
We don’t talk enough about how neoliberal policies interfere with progress in climate change.
The people who suffered most from the extractive economy must be first to benefit from the transition to a post-extractive economy.

the Future for climate activists

There is progress in the courts and the streets. But we need more. We need bold and ambitious policies. We are beginning to see this translation from protest to policy.
What does ‘yes’ look like? To demand action... a people’s shock if you will.
A vision of the future that is exciting and captivating. We can have something better than the present.
[Change] requires shifting from a culture of endless taking to a culture of care-taking.
Now is the time for boldness. Now is the time to leap.