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It has become impossible to deny that the planet is warming, and that governments must act. But some believe that a new denialism is taking root in the halls of power, shaped by decades of neoliberal policies and centuries of anti-democratic thinking. One such is journalist Kate Aronoff, who has written about the climate change fight in her book Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet and How We Fight Back.
Aronoff joins us, in conversation with author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, to explore her account that examines the forces that she contends have hijacked progress on climate change. Since the 1980s, Democrats and Republicans have each granted enormous concessions to industries bent on maintaining business as usual. And worse, Aronoff says, policymakers have given oil and gas executives a seat at the table designing policies that should instead be the end of their business model. Aronoff argues that this approach will only drive the planet further into emergency. Drawing on years of reporting, she lays out an alternative vision, detailing how democratic majorities can curb pollutors’ power; create millions of well-paid, union jobs; enact climate reparations; and transform the economy into a more leisurely and sustainable one. Our future, Aronoff, challenges, will require a radical reimagining of politics–with the world at stake.
Kate Aronoff is a staff writer at The New Republic, and a former fellow at the Type Media Center. Her work has appeared in The Intercept, The New York Times, The Nation, Dissent, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, among other outlets. Aronoff is the co-editor of We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism, American Style and the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal.
Bill McKibben is an award-winning author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. In 2014, biologists named a species of woodland gnat—megophthalmidia mckibbeni—after him.
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