On Lost Causes, Climate Change, and Possibilities

Written by: Terry Link

Primary Source: Possibilitator

To be honest, I really like Naomi Klein’s work – her crisp analysis of complex issues and her manner of conveying those insights.


I’ve read “Shock Doctrine” and other shorter pieces and saw her give an astonishing lecture a few years back based on only a few notes that wove a complex set of issues into a coherent whole.

That being said I was not sure I was up for reading her 500pp+ new book “This Changes Everything”.


I assumed I knew everything she was going to say. But I had put a notify request on the title at the library when it was ordered, so when it came in a couple weeks back I thought I should at least give it a short whirl. I’m on page 370 of 466 pages of prose followed by 60 pages of notes. It’s been a good read. And while I know most of what she has laid out here, there are both new nuggets and a distinctive whole to her well written analysis that I’ve have enjoyed and been inspired by. In short – I highly recommend the read….

Today I read another fervent piece on climate change by another favorite author of mine, Rebecca Solnit. “Let’s leave behind the age of fossil fuel. Welcome to Year One of the climate revolution” was published this past week with yet a bit different twist.


Like Klein she is a keen analyst of the human condition, and arguably a more  prolific writer on our condition. Her insights are fresh, as you’ll see.  I won’t summarize this, as it is short enough to read as printed in The Guardian

Then this evening I read this very interesting piece by the international relations scholar, Richard Falk, entitled “ On Lost Causes and the Future of Palestine”.


While unlike the other two pieces it doesn’t deal with climate change. His jumping off point is a reflection on the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said’s concept of “Lost Causes”. This is what links so closely with the pieces by Klein and Solnit.  Read separately, they will have some impact on the reader. Read together, they may transform us. And that’s the possibility worth sharing….

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Terry Link
Terry Link is a retired MSU librarian, former founding director of the MSU Office of Campus Sustainability, and co-founder and former chair of the American Library Association’s Task Force on the Environment. He recently served as associate editor for the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices(Gale/Cengage 2014). He has also served as executive director of a regional food bank and as a county commissioner. Currently he is president of Starting Now, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm, a Senior Fellow for the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and serves on numerous non-profit organization boards.
Terry Link

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