If there was one message that resonated loud and clear at this years annual FLCC George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum with author and social activist Naomi Klein, it was that we must stop pretending that we have non-radical options left. The air is in crisis. The water is in crisis.
The soil is in crisis. The entire climate of our planet is in crisis. We are in crisis.
But so is the old paradigm of corporate exploitation and natural domination. If there is a silver lining in Klein’s otherwise bleak assessment of the world’s economic, social and spiritual condition, it is her hope that the climate crisis will lead to transformative social change. In her groundbreaking book This Changes Everything, Klein argues that “climate change pits what the planet needs to maintain stability against what our economic model needs to maintain itself…but since that economic model is failing the vast majority of people on multiple fronts that might not be such a bad thing.”
Wearing a blue scarf in solidarity with the local “We are Seneca Lake”movement (and admitting that she spent 5 years of her early life living in Rochester), the prolific writer, of such seminal texts as No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, suggested that we think about global warming as a celebration of limits. Now that we have brought so many of the earth’s vital systems to the precipice of collapse, we have ironically set ourselves up for a phenomenal opportunity. We are now in a position to fundamental alter the ways in which we exist on this planet. Her charge was nothing less than to change the way we build houses, grow food, consume water, drive cars, design urban communities, raise children, seek out entertainment, and even govern ourselves. Everything must change if we are to survive through this century.