Imagine a society -- technically advanced, but spiritually impoverished -- that has been taken over by a fire-worshipping cult. Most people are members, though sometimes reluctant ones. Many cult members recognize that the cult is dangerous -- creating violent storms, rising seas, stripped forests, dead oceans -- but feel powerless to escape.
Scientists in this society have issued strong warnings about the cult, painstakingly documenting the many negative consequences of its uncontrolled use of fire. But the society's rulers have banished these scientists from positions of influence and forbidden them to speak in public.
Naomi Klein delivered this speech on December 18 at The Opera House in Toronto, at a special production of the Basement Revue to honour Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.
Listen to an audio recording of Naomi's reading here, with live musical accompaniment from Cris Derksen.
On July 20, 2013, Bella Laboucan-McLean fell 31 stories off the balcony of a condo tower in downtown Toronto. She had been at a small gathering inside one of the building's many glass boxes. There were five other people in the condo that night.
A resident of a lower-floor heard the sound of her body falling and alerted the police.