The Sunday Magazine

Naomi Klein says this changes everything

Although the pandemic has caused more than 600,000 deaths worldwide and has disrupted life around the world, Mother Nature has breathed a giant sigh of relief. It is the kind of relief author and activist Naomi Klein called for in her bestselling book This Changes Everything. We present a reprise of her conversation with Michael Enright, from the fall of 2014.

According to Klein, nothing else matters if we don't have clear air to breathe and water to drink

Naomi Klein is the author of This Changes Everything. (Kourosh Keshiri/Vintage)

Originally published on September 14, 2014.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on life as we know it, but there's been one silver lining: it's been good for the health of the planet. 

With fewer cars on the road and airplanes in the sky, carbon dioxide emissions have dropped. Clouds of pollution that once hovered over industrial cities have all but disappeared. And waterways are clearer than they've been for decades.

It remains to be seen whether we have the collective will to stay with this positive trend, the kind of will that Naomi Klein tried to summon when she wrote This Changes Everything.

In her book, Klein argues that nothing else matters — war, pestilence, disease, economic collapse — if we don't have clear air to breathe and water to drink. But we seem to be sleep-walking en masse towards a point of no return.

This Changes Everything debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. In Canada, it won the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

From The Sunday Edition vault, here is Michael Enright's conversation with the author, from September, 2014.

Click 'listen' above to hear the full conversation.

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