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Last year was the hottest ever for our planet. The consequences of unchecked pollution are coming thick and fast and climate scientists are issuing increasingly urgent warnings. Finally, governments around the world are taking notice.

Yet some continue to look away. They dither. Shift blame. Think wishfully.

Despite growing international pressure and community concern, our government prefers to keep its head in the sand.

But there's hope.

Naomi Klein came late to the climate movement. She starts her latest book, This Changes Everything, with the admission that she, too, used to find herself looking away.

Back then, she was overwhelmed by apocalyptic-sounding news stories about our fast changing world. It was easier to be lulled by government speak that nothing is wrong and we should all just mine more, pollute more, consume more. It's quite a profound cognitive dissonance.

But when Klein finally forced herself to look, what she saw changed everything.

She realised we urgently need to change the way we live. We must dismantle the marriage between the state and fossil fuel industry and create justice at the brutal edges of our economic system. Revoke the social license that says it's okay to consume mindlessly. In short, we need to change everything.

Doing so will take a mass social movement with all hands on deck. It's a big task, but Klein is cautiously optimistic.

Change is in the air. We are entering a new era driven by an unstoppable force--people power. This is an era where we, the people, will hold our government to account so they can no longer trash the environment at the expense of short-term gain.

There will be no more blame shifting, dithering or wishful thinking. There will be no more looking away.

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Title Annotation:environmental changes
Author:Fluence, Tessa
Publication:Habitat Australia
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Mar 1, 2015
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