This damning account of the forces that have hijacked progress on climate change shares a bold vision of what it will take, politically and economically, to face the existential threat of global warming head-on.
In the past few years, it has become impossible (for most) to deny the effects of climate change and that the planet is warming, and to acknowledge that we must act. But a new kind of denialism is taking root in the halls of power, shaped by a quarter-century of neoliberal policies, that threatens to doom us before we've grasped the full extent of the crisis.
As Kate Aronoff argues, since the 1980s and 1990s, economists, pro-business Democrats and Republicans in the US, and global organizations like the UN and the World Economic Forum have all made concessions to the oil and gas industry that they have no intention of reversing. What's more, they believe that climate change can be solved through the market, capitalism can be a force for good, and all of us, corporations included, are fighting the good fight together.
These assumptions, Aronoff makes abundantly clear, will not save the planet. Drawing on years of reporting and rigorous economic analysis, Aronoff lays out a robust vision for what will, detailing how to constrain the fossil fuel industry; transform the economy into a sustainable, democratic one; mobilize political support; create effective public-private partnerships; enact climate reparations; and adapt to inevitable warming in a way that is just and equitable.
Our future, Overheated makes clear, will require a radical reimagining of our politics and our economies, but if done right, it will save the world.
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. She lives in Brooklyn.