Wednesday October 15, 2014

Author and activist Naomi Klein wins $60k Hilary Weston Prize for her book about climate change, 'This Changes Everything'

Listen 7:33
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Writer Naomi Klein addresses a crowd outside Toronto Police Headquarters on June 28, 2010. The Canadian journalist and social activist has won this year's Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. (Photo: Chris Young/CP)

Naomi Klein's latest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate is another warning to the world -- this time about climate change. And, last night, the judges for Canada's richest literary prize for non-fiction signalled they are listening. She was awarded the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

"I really didn't think I would win," Klein tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "I guess I was surprised because it is a prize that is associated with a very establishment, conservative family in Canada", she says of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

"The book is overtly anti-capitalist... so I thought it was something of a miracle that I was nominated. And I didn't think I'd win, but I was thrilled that I did."

Klein says that she believes her book has particularly resonated in Canada because of the Prime Minister's economic policy in relation to climate change. Earlier this year, during a press conference, Stephen Harper said:

"We seek to deal with [climate change] in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth -- not destroy jobs and growth in our countries."

Klein responds: "...Stephen Harper really is making my argument for me. He's out there every other day, saying that Canadians have to choose between growth, which he equates with job creation and living up to our commitments on climate change, and indeed, having an economic model that's not at war with life on earth. I think that we can have a thriving economy that creates lots of good jobs, but it's not going to be the kind of economy that Stephen Harper would like to lead because it involves breaking all the rules in the free market playbook."