“A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency” by Seth Klein
Natalya Jones
Natalya Jones • Nov 11

“A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency” by Seth Klein

by Natalya Jones

There is no doubt that most of the world is aware of the climate emergency we all face. However, there are conflicting messages about how to address the matter. Some argue that all individuals must make sustainable, green changes to their lives; others say this is an issue that must be dealt with on a global scale, with governments or corporations taking the lead. The only thing everyone can agree on is that no one can agree on what to do. Author and environmental activist Seth Klein lays out an excellent plan for Canada to tackle this crisis head-on in his latest book, A Good War. Inspiring, hopeful, and startlingly realistic, Klein allows readers to think critically about this issue and what the climate crisis really means for the planet's future.

The climate crisis is an existential threat that requires more than one solution to completely resolve. 

The climate crisis is an existential threat that requires more than one solution to resolve completely. Klein looks to Canada’s response to World War II to find ways to combat a more significant, more fatal existential threat. Klein notes that everyone has to do their part in times of great peril, whether a global war or a global pandemic. Klein explores in extraordinary detail how to rally the public in support of systemic changes, alter Canada’s economy and resources to support a sustainable future, and discusses what type of leadership is required to combat the crisis ahead.

Every chapter begins with an explanation of how Canada acted during World War II, then goes on to explain how we can apply those same tactics to this new threat. Using data like the Abacus Poll, he explores the public opinions of climate change and what Canadian citizens want for the future. Klein leaves no topic untouched. He examines growing wealth inequality, health concerns, environmental degradation, as well as Indigenous knowledge and rights. Klein claims with confidence that we must tackle all of these problems to battle the climate crisis. Like many other activists and environmental scientists, Klein calls for immediate, radical change, but he provides the roadmap to achieve it. He takes a political, economic, social, and environmental approach to the plethora of challenges ahead and accounts for obstacles like public spending, job creation, and the climate change denialists.

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A Good War takes a topic that usually fills people with despair and offers rare insights and practical plans that provide a semblance of hope for the future. Klein proves in this book that the technology and the policies needed to fight the ecological crisis already exist; it is simply a matter of choosing to use them. For every problem involved in tackling the climate emergency, Klein offers well-researched solutions, not only preparing the world for a sustainable future, but for a future, that prioritizes equality and social justice. 

A Good War has the power to change ideologies and promote real societal change.

This book is an extraordinary read for those passionate about climate change but is written so that even novices can learn and take away vital information. A Good War has the power to change ideologies and promote real societal change. The time to act is now, and the first step is to educate yourself.

“Few of you, reading this book, were alive during the Second World War. But many of us with interest in such things look back on history and pivotal times like those recounted here, and at how a previous generation called upon their best selves, and we ask ourselves, ‘What would I have done if I had lived then and there?’ But the answer to that question is really no mystery at all. The answer to that question, dear reader, is whatever you are ready to do now” Seth Klein (A Good War, pg. 373).

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Natalya Jones
Natalya Jones

Natalya is an undergraduate student studying anthropology and archaeology. Natalya enjoys long walks on the beach, drinking Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain... when she is not overrun with schoolwork.

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