Friday, July 01, 2011

Climate Chaos: Democracy Now

I first watched this Democracy Now report in the early hours of this morning. I have just watched the thing again to see if I was as still impressed with its content as I was in the wee hours. Yes suitably so.

Journalist and author of a new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, Christian Parenti, says much in this interview, and much, that prima facie, I would have never associated with climate change.

I'm closing up for the day, so I'm little inclined to parse it all. Give it a try, you may find it as informative as did I.

AMY GOODMAN: Award winning author, journalist Christian Parenti has just come out with a book that examines the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable populations in the world from Africa to Asia to Latin America. Christian Parenti joins us now in studio to talk about his new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. Christian welcome to Democracy Now! Let’s start with the title, Tropic of Chaos.

CHRISTIAN PARENTI: Well, it refers to the space between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, the countries where you see the most extreme effects of climate change kicking in, but where you find vulnerable populations, people who live close to the land or the sea and have a minimal margin of error when bad weather strikes. But also these are countries and economies that have been ravaged by the Cold War and neoliberal economic restructuring.

From 1945 to 1990 the U.N. said there were 150 or so armed conflicts that killed 20 million people, displaced 15 million, 16 million were wounded. That all happened in the "global south" in this belt of states. And so now that’s where climate change is kicking in and that was also the same terrain where the last 30 years of IMF and World Bank-backed structural adjustment of privatization, deregulation of economies, cutting state support for farmers and fishermen — that program affected those states most intensely.

And now the weather associated with climate change, extreme weather such as the drought, punctuated by flooding in East Africa, is adding to this. And there’s this catastrophic convergence and climate change, the argument of the book is that climate change is very often, doesn’t just look like bad weather, it looks like ethnic violence or religious violence or banditry or civil war.

Part two, Nuclear Hubris, not part of the war and peace report, and a chapter of Parenti's book here.

Amy Goodman is reporting from London this weekend, and her schedule includes this:

This Saturday, July 2, Amy Goodman will moderate a conversation with WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and renowned Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek. Sponsored by the Frontline Club, the event will be broadcast from The Troxy theater in London. Democracy Now will broadcast a live stream of the discussion starting at 11am EDT at

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