A Good War

“This is the roadmap out of climate crisis that Canadians have been waiting for.” — Naomi Klein, activist and New York Times bestselling author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

  • One of Canada’s top policy analysts provides the first full-scale blueprint for meeting our climate change commitments
  • Contains the results of a national poll on Canadians’ attitudes to the climate crisis
  • Shows that radical transformative climate action can be done, while producing jobs and reducing inequality as we retool how we live and work.
  • Deeply researched and targeted specifically to Canada and Canadians while providing a model that other countries could follow

Canada needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to prevent a catastrophic 1.5 degree increase in the earth’s average temperature — assumed by many scientists to be a critical “danger line” for the planet and human life as we know it.

It’s 2020, and Canada is not on track to meet our targets. To do so, we’ll need radical systemic change to how we live and work—and fast. How can we ever achieve this?

Top policy analyst and author Seth Klein reveals we can do it now because we’ve done it before. During the Second World War, Canadian citizens and government remade the economy by retooling factories, transforming their workforce, and making the war effort a common cause for all Canadians to contribute to.

Klein demonstrates how wartime thinking and community efforts can be repurposed today for Canada’s own Green New Deal. He shares how we can create jobs and reduce inequality while tackling our climate obligations for a climate neutral—or even climate zero—future. From enlisting broad public support for new economic models, to job creation through investment in green infrastructure, Klein shows us a bold, practical policy plan for Canada’s sustainable future. More than this: A Good War offers a remarkably hopeful message for how we can meet the defining challenge of our lives.

COVID-19 has brought a previously unthinkable pace of change to the world—one which demonstrates our ability to adapt rapidly when we’re at risk. Many recent changes are what Klein proposes in these very pages. The world can, actually, turn on a dime if necessary. This is the blueprint for how to do it. 

Reviews

“This is the roadmap out of climate crisis that Canadians have been waiting for. Serious, specific and madly inspiring.” — Naomi Klein, activist and author of This Changes Everything

“Read this inspiring book to realize giving up is not an option and ‘can’t be done’ is not an excuse.” — David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster

“This is the blueprint for rapid societal transformation that we’ve all been waiting for.” — Ziya Tong, science broadcaster and author of The Reality Bubble

The world has just ten years to at least halve our greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have a hope of holding global warming to a 1.5°C increase. Currently, Canada is not on a path to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, and radical systemic change to the way we live and work must happen at high speed, but how are we ever to do this?

We can do it. We’ve actually done it before. During the Second World War, Canadians and their governments completely remade the economy — retooling factories, transforming the workforce and creating common cause among Canadians for the war effort.

In A Good War, author and activist Seth Klein looks at the Second World War strategies and shows how they can be repurposed today for a rapid transition. He demonstrates that this change can create jobs and reduce inequality while tackling our climate obligations and shows us a bold, practical policy plan for a zero-carbon Canada. In this unusually hopeful book, Klein explores how we can align our politics and economy with what the science says we must do. Inspiring and realizable, his book is an invitation to both the public and our political leaders to reflect on the people who saw us through the war, and to consider who we want to be, as we face down the defining task of our lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has brought change upon our world that would have been unthinkable a few months ago, change very like what Klein has proposed. It turns out the world can turn on a dime if necessary. The blueprint is in your hands.


“The COVID-19 crisis and Seth Klein’s timely book demonstrate heroic measures that become possible in times of crisis. The coronavirus crisis is not yet assessable by historians. World War II presented the West with an existential crisis for which government institutions, corporations and civil society were utterly unprepared. Yet in astonishingly rapid order, society, government and industry were united in resolve and enabled unprecedented government action and leadership. Read this inspiring book to realize giving up is not an option and ‘can’t be done’ is not an excuse.” — David Suzuki
“One of the great privileges of my life is having Seth Klein as a brother. Here you will see why. This is the roadmap out of climate crisis that Canadians have been waiting for. Serious, specific and madly inspiring, A Good War will fill you with the confidence and courage required to fight like hell for the future we all deserve.” — Naomi Klein, activist, journalist and author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine
“Seth Klein’s critically important book tells the climate truth: our climate emergency needs a WW2-style mobilization. In this strategic call to action we learn about Canada’s impressive war production, and how we can join the war against climate devastation. Your children’s futures are on every page. Read, organize, act!” — Raffi Cavoukian, singer, author and founder of Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring
“This is an important book, exactly what we need right now. Seth does more than set out the urgency of our climate challenge, he draws a careful study of Canada’s extraordinary and rapid transformation during WW2 to give us a battle plan to address it. Big change is possible, he reminds us. We have done it before. Seth’s book combines urgency and optimism, ambition and clear-eyed understanding of the obstacles to change. It should become an essential resource for policy makers but also for all of us who want to be part of the solution. It is also an excellent and inspiring read.” — Alex Himelfarb, former clerk of the Privy Council and professor of sociology
“Pacifists are not known for evoking war-like rhetoric, so it is one of life’s quirks that I first met an 18-year-old Seth Klein as he toured Canada calling for nuclear disarmament. But, like me, he sees that the only way for human civilization to survive the climate emergency is through an ‘all hands on deck’ approach that has only been seen in times of war — or recently in pandemic. Saving ourselves is a huge challenge. Marshaling the facts, the hope and the path forward is essential work for which writer and policy wonk Seth Klein is ideally suited.” — Elizabeth May, MP and former leader of the Green Party of Canada

Awards

  • Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize 2021, Short-listed
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    “This is the roadmap out of climate crisis that Canadians have been waiting for.” — Naomi Klein, activist and New York Times bestselling author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

    • One of Canada’s top policy analysts provides the first full-scale blueprint for meeting our climate change commitments
    • Contains the results of a national poll on Canadians’ attitudes to the climate crisis
    • Shows that radical transformative climate action can be done, while producing jobs and reducing inequality as we retool how we live and work.
    • Deeply researched and targeted specifically to Canada and Canadians while providing a model that other countries could follow

    Canada needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to prevent a catastrophic 1.5 degree increase in the earth’s average temperature — assumed by many scientists to be a critical “danger line” for the planet and human life as we know it.

    It’s 2020, and Canada is not on track to meet our targets. To do so, we’ll need radical systemic change to how we live and work—and fast. How can we ever achieve this?

    Top policy analyst and author Seth Klein reveals we can do it now because we’ve done it before. During the Second World War, Canadian citizens and government remade the economy by retooling factories, transforming their workforce, and making the war effort a common cause for all Canadians to contribute to.

    Klein demonstrates how wartime thinking and community efforts can be repurposed today for Canada’s own Green New Deal. He shares how we can create jobs and reduce inequality while tackling our climate obligations for a climate neutral—or even climate zero—future. From enlisting broad public support for new economic models, to job creation through investment in green infrastructure, Klein shows us a bold, practical policy plan for Canada’s sustainable future. More than this: A Good War offers a remarkably hopeful message for how we can meet the defining challenge of our lives.

    COVID-19 has brought a previously unthinkable pace of change to the world—one which demonstrates our ability to adapt rapidly when we’re at risk. Many recent changes are what Klein proposes in these very pages. The world can, actually, turn on a dime if necessary. This is the blueprint for how to do it. 

    Reader Reviews

    Details

    Dimensions:

    464 Pages
    8.5in * 5.5in * 1.0327in
    1.21lb

    Published:

    September 01, 2020

    City of Publication:

    Toronto

    Country of Publication:

    CA

    Publisher:

    ECW Press

    ISBN:

    9781770415454

    Featured In:

    All Books

    Language:

    eng

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