A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency
by Seth Klein (2020)
What a timely and important read! Just released this fall, Seth Klein’s book lays out a strategy for mobilizing Canada against the climate crisis. As the author himself explains on numerous occasions (check out the vid below), it’s time to up the effort in our confrontation with the climate emergency.
History has provided us with a model. Canada, and indeed much of the world, undertook significant and dramatic changes as a result of the Second World War. The government responded at a massive scale. Both during wartime, and again afterwards (the ramp-down afterwards and the transition back). Precedent has been set.
Is There Such a Things As A Good War?
Drastic Times, Drastic Measures
Klein highlights his discoveries for readers (and listeners). “The speed and scope of what we did as a country [during World War II], was truly remarkable,” (see above👆). As a result of a thorough commitment to the war effort, the government, and ultimately the public, literally transformed the economy quickly and effectively.
Because of this, Canada was able to produce a tremendous amount of war material (including planes, ships, vehicles, etc.). This didn’t happen organically. Nor was this the result of the free market doing its thing. Rather, it was the direct consequence of government policy and intervention. There was a concerted and extensive effort that transcended to all levels of industry (see The Genius of “Bits and Pieces“). We can certainly do this again.
War! What Is It Good For?
Despite incorporating war in his narrative, Klein’s book is not particularly controversial. Indeed, what he’s advocating for is the widespread mobilization and action that we would expect in times of emergency. The climate crisis is just that. A genuine threat to life and human civilization.
Acknowledging this threat should consequently unleash the necessary response from our collective societies. Scientists have already presented us with the data. We need to act, and quickly. According to the last IPCC report, we were allocated just 12 years to take serious action. Clearly, we are running low on time.
Thankfully, scientists and historians have also offered solutions. We can turn the tide on planetary climate change. We can implement a Green New Deal and mobilize our governments, economies, and industries. It will of course take considerable work, but we have come together before in times of crisis. We can do it again.💪
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