In her article for The Intercept, Naomi Klein (2018) criticizes the idea that it is the fault of society and people as a species that the attempts to stop or reverse climate change did not work. The author targets The New York Times article by Rich (2018) who explored while the global climate crisis was not addressed in the 1980s when politics and science aligned. The thesis of Klein’s (2018) article is that the failure to resist climate change should not be equated to the short-sightedness of human nature but rather blamed on fossil fuel companies that were directly involved in the shaping of policies to end climate change. The rationale for the author’s argument is centered around the premise that it is wrong to praise the political and economic system of the 1980s while blaming people for the inability to make changes in their lives.
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Klein (2018) presented evidence to support her argument against Rich’s (2018) article. The author explained that the development of policies on climate change was made with the participation of fossil fuel companies (e.g., tobacco companies coming up with anti-smoking policies). Similarly, companies that make a profit from sourcing and selling natural resources cannot be responsible for environmental improvement policies. Rich (2018) mentioned that the 1980s were characterized by conditions that could have never been more favorable, however, the author disagreed with the statement. Klein (2018) argued that the decade was focused on the capitalization of the society and liberating free markets. The author wrote that “what at first seemed like our best shot at lifesaving climate action had in retrospect suffered from an epic case of historical bad timing” (Klein, 2018, para. 10). Events like the signing of the free trade agreement, the privatization and deregulation during the Reagan-Thatcher regime, the science-based global treaty in 1988, and others represented the bad environment for climate improvement.
When it comes to checking the author’s credibility, the presented facts are correct, but Klein (2018) made her conclusions regarding their role. Thus, the signing of the free trade agreement is usually considered a positive event that will facilitate societal and economic development. However, the author sees this event as a barrier to integrating climate-improvement policies due to the focus on the money aspect of affairs. Since the author underlined the idea that politicians and global companies were only concerned with the perception that they did something for environmental preservation, she presented the facts in such a way that they would bear negative undertones.
When conducting its empirical analysis, Klein (2018) traced out a pattern of flaws that existed in the argument that it was human nature that failed to reduce the development of climate disasters. The author asked such questions as what happened? Who is to blame? What is the impact of these things? By asking critical questions and attacking the weak points in the opposite opinion, the author effectively presented her point of view and convinced her readers about the importance of a critical discussion.
Klein, N. (2018). Capitalism killed our climate momentum, not “human nature.” The Intercept. Web.
Rich, N. (2018). Losing Earth: The decade we almost stopped climate change. The New York Times. Web.