It’s self-evident that embryos, fetuses, and babies are vulnerable. We have strict laws protecting children because they cannot fend for themselves. And yet, too often, we ignore the impact that environmental disasters have on the very earliest stages of life. In her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein examines the effect that our reliance on fossil fuels has on the most helpless members of the animal kingdom — as well as on our own children.
“In species after species, climate change is creating pressures that are depriving life-forms of their most essential survival tool: the ability to create new life and carry on their genetic lines,” Klein writes. “Instead, the spark of life is being extinguished, snuffed out in its earliest, most fragile days: in the egg, in the embryo, in the nest, in the den.”
Take the case of the leatherback sea turtles. These ancient creatures have been around for 150 million years, making them the longest-surviving marine animals on earth. As Klein points out, they’ve survived the “asteroid attacks” that likely wiped out the dinosaurs. But now the... Read more