Christian Parenti on Tropic of Chaos:
Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence
Special Event sponsored by the Pratt Faculty Union (UFCT 1460)
Monday, September 26, 2011
Alumni Reading Room, 3rd Floor, Pratt Library
Please join the Pratt Faculty Union (UFCT 1460) for a special presentation by Christian Parenti, investigative journalist, contributing editor at The Nation, Puffin Foundation Writing Scholar at The Nation Institute, and visiting scholar at the Brooklyn College Sociology Department. He is also the author of Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (2000); The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America (2003); and The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq (2004).
The world’s developed nations currently face a political, social, and ethical dilemma: how will they react to the ravages of climate change that are affecting undeveloped nations in the global south right now? These same developed nations must also come to terms with the ways their neo-liberal, neo-colonial policies have helped turn these undeveloped nations into “failed states” that are more vulnerable and less able to respond to climate change. Parenti’s latest book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (New York: Nation Books, 2011), deftly looks to the past and to the future in an effort to come to grips with the new world order that climate change is bringing about.
In Tropic of Chaos, Parenti argues that the effects of climate change are at the root of violent conflicts breaking out throughout the global south. He shows how areas in the “tropic of chaos”—East Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, and Pakistan—have been made especially vulnerable to climate change due to the effects of both Cold War proxy conflicts and neo-liberal economic restructuring and privatization, and how the West is already preparing for these conflicts through developing the techniques and arsenal associated with counter-insurgency warfare.