First Tuesdays Political Series:
Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos
Tuesday, Nov. 1
McNally Jackson Bookstore
52 Prince St. (b/t Lafayette & Mulberry) NYC
Mark Crispin Miller hosts Christian Parenti, author of Tropic of Chaos. From Africa to Asia and Latin America, the era of climate wars has begun. Extreme weather is breeding banditry, humanitarian crisis, and state failure. InTropic of Chaos, investigative journalist Christian Parenti travels along the front lines of this gathering catastrophe–the belt of economically and politically battered postcolonial nations and war zones girding the planet’s midlatitudes. Here he finds failed states amid climatic disasters. But he also reveals the unsettling presence of Western military forces and explains how they see an opportunity in the crisis to prepare for open-ended global counterinsurgency. Parenti argues that this incipient “climate fascism”–a political hardening of wealthy states– is bound to fail. The struggling states of the developing world cannot be allowed to collapse, as they will take other nations down as well. Instead, we must work to meet the challenge of climate-driven violence with a very different set of sustainable economic and development policies.
Interview with Christian Parenti
By Michael Busch, September 29, 2011
In many respects, 2011 has been marked as much by the mayhem of nature as it has by the upheavals of men. Although challenges to political authority have captured the imaginations of millions and produced exciting tremors of revolution across the continents, Mother Nature’s increasingly ferocious response to the heavy environmental footprint of industrial production will likely be judged the most profound source of social change around the world in the years to come.
From the Japanese tsunami, which triggered the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and the extreme drought that currently threatens the lives of millions in the Eastern Horn of Africa to the wildfires, hurricanes, and periodic flooding that have decimated both coasts of the richest country in the world, anthropogenic climate change is increasingly—and undeniably—at the core of politics and society everywhere in the world.
Tropic of Chaos, Christian Parenti’s excellent new book examining the intersections between climate change, neoliberal economic policy, and the spread of political violence, argues that the convergence of these threats to international security has set our world along a course that will result in a broken planet characterized by catastrophe, conflict, and xenophobic distrust. That is, unless meaningful action is taken immediately to reorient international relations away from this disastrous trajectory.