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Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence
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Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  202 ratings  ·  42 reviews
From Africa to Asia and Latin America, the era of climate wars has begun. Extreme weather is breeding banditry, humanitarian crisis, and state failure. In Tropic 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 pl ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Nation Books (first published 2011)
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Aboadam
نوع جديد من الكتب لم أقرأ في ذلك المجال قبلاً وهو تأثير التغير في طبيعة الأرض من حرارة وجفاف على الحروب والمشكلات وإن كان الموضوع مفهوم ضمناً ولكن الرجل الكاتب استطاع أن يُضفره بشكل متوازن ممتاز على طول الكرة الأرضية ودولها كبيرها وصغيرها .. ولكنه لم يقترب بالطبع من أوروبا بشكل عام ولا من الولايات المتحدة بشكل خاص وكأنهما خارجتان عن المشاكل البيئية ... وربما هما بالفعل خارجتان بسبب تقدمهما ...
ناقش الرجل مشاكل دولية تاريخية وآنية وربطها بالتغيرات البيئية بشكل منطقي للغاية ...
الكتاب عبارة عن كم ثق
...more
Joan
Mar 02, 2013 Joan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: environmental activists
This book was a real candidate for the "cannot finish" category but I gritted my teeth and got through it. Let me say upfront that this is an important book and presents its case thoroughly. It is an academic book in many ways, with a vocabulary that often lost me and I have a pretty extensive vocabulary! Parenti's writing style does feel academic as well: this book is not going to end up on the NYT bestseller list by any means. His topic is really how society is dealing with and is going to dea ...more
Shawn
This book does a wonderful job of what it does, which may not be what you're going to expect it to do if you judge from the title. It's a great summary of how much of the tropical world got to its current state as a result of colonialism, surging population, the games played by both sides in the Cold War in these countries and the aftermath of those games (the facts that many of them are awash in weapons provided by both sides and that they haven't had stable governments since). Parenti also mak ...more
Nils
A decent journalistic account of how climate change is driving conflict, a classic example of an author thinking that the plural of anecdote is evidence. What's more interesting is the way Parenti argues that the sorts of conflicts that will be created (or at any rate exacerbated) by climate change will be low intensity & urban and that therefore the COIN technologies being developed to deal with the post-9/11 GWOT will actually find a second life as a way to contain and manage the malign po ...more
Tinea
Nov 15, 2011 Tinea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tinea by: my awesome author boss
We see forms of violent adaptations [to climate change] emerging. In the Global South these take the forms of: ethnic irredentism, religious fanaticism, rebellion, banditry, narcotics trafficking, and small-scale resource wars [like] over water and cattle. ... In the North, the multi-layered crisis appears as the politics of the armed lifeboat: the preparations for open-ended counterinsurgency, militarized borders, aggressive anti-immigrant policing, and a mainstream proliferation of rightwing x ...more
Gordon Hilgers
This relatively brief book concentrates on Africa, South Asia and Latin America--each area touched by the tropic--to give us a sort of intellectual tour guide through areas experiencing the vector of climate change and social violence. Parenti explains how this "catastrophic convergence" occurs and, in the end, illustrates ways humankind is and can counter the effects of global warming and rising desertification.
Peter
Christian Parenti is a well respected journalist at nation Magazine (And other places) and this is a deeply reported account of violence, poverty and climate change in the middle lattitiudes of the planet, an area known as the global south. Parenti's thesis is straightforward: cold war militarism and neo-liberal economic reforms have made a number of stressed nations truly horrendous places to live, add in the reality of climate change and you have a recipe for chaos and disaster. There are some ...more
Dan
If anyone thinks that climate change will be a subtle warming of the status quo, they need to read this book. Mr. Parenti lays out the imminent and terrifying future of chaos and conflict. In fact, he shows with ample evidence and analysis of conflict zones, that the future of climate chaos is already upon us. From Africa to Latin America, to India and beyond, as agriculture fails due to drought, flooding, and inconsistent precipitation fully 1 billion climate refugees will be pulling the remain ...more
Samuel
Here we have an interesting sampling of geographic case studies of the "catastrophic convergence of poverty, violence, and climate change" as written by a journalist--Christian Parenti (5). He uses the scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to pin his thesis. Though he recognizes that the IPCC has been attacked for being alarmist and wrong, he dismisses these claims because the IPCC works on consensus and thus its findings are quite conservative. Wh ...more
Robert
This book brings into sharp focus the aspects of conflict and sustained humanitarian crisis that are made worse by Global Warming, with special attention to the theaters of the Middle East. It's a gripping, eye opening, and incredibly galvanizing read. If you ever wanted to think very clearly about how the daily choices we make in the first world affects the actions of those half a world away, I would absolutely recommend this book. Prepare to feel an uncomfortable pit of energy gnawing in your ...more
Joseph Mckenna
The succinct review is that Parenti's "Topic of chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violoence is less about climate change and more about failed economic neoliberalism. The book seems a bit opportunistic at times, attempts to delve into the impacts of climate change quickly devolve into Parenti's railing against the IMF, neo-Hayek, and economic liberalism. That is not to say that the book is devoid of merit. There are times when things work in the book. The chapter on Pakistan and the ...more
Matthew
This was a good overview of troubles in various places both historically and at present that can be attributed, in part, to climate change. The author's "catastrophic convergence" of economics, politics and climate is certainly valid and helps explain many of the events in recent history that have been otherwise attributed (too often with over-simplified, hand-waving arguments) to ethnic tensions and poor governance. This is somewhat like a book that I have been looking to read for a long time, ...more
Josh
I found Tropic of Chaos interesting but my rating is a little harsh because the book foundered and was, at times, a clunky and vague read. Parenti is aiming to connect the dots between climate change, poverty and violence around the world, and he's most successful when he brings in his own on-the-ground reporting and research from Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan. But many sections are dense and lacking color and even repetitive, and I finished the book feeling like climate change was only minimally addr ...more
Melissa
Wow, things are really bad, and getting worse. It's definitely immoral to bring children in the world, so, please, stop doing that now. I mean it! Stop!

So, like, it used to be possible to grow all this food all over the world, but now, the rainy seasons that places used to have are gone -- replaced by long periods of drought that don't allow many crops to make it, followed by huge storms that destroy anything that irrigation allowed to grow. And, guess what, it's getting worse. And the political
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
In Tropic of Chaos, American investigative journalist Christian Parenti looks into the "catastrophic convergence of poverty, violence and climate change" (p.5), studying the near history of regions between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, "a belt of economically and politically battered post-colonial states girding the planet's mid-latitudes. In this band, around the tropics, climate change is beginning to hit hard. The Societies in this belt are also heavily dependent on agricu ...more
Sheehan
Parenti explores what he refers to as a catastrophic convergence of various non-environmental factors (e.g. neo-liberal capitalism, immigration, food scarcity, and politics) which are so highly leveraged that the axiomatic overheating of the planet will manifest in some very exacerbated hardships and outcomes if neglected.

While Parenti tries to place the potentially positive possibility of avoiding this convergence of hardships, he does so pretty half-heartedly, as though he has already resigned
...more
Jim Rimmer
A book for it's time. Across continents Parenti details the extent to which climate change magnifies and turbo charges existing and entrenched challenges within communities. For westerners this is sobering and challenging reading as, to date, our societies have largely been insulated from the impact of the issues discussed. But the clock is ticking!

The final chapter is riveting in the simplicity of it's proposition. This author's prescription for moving forward ought be required reading for all
...more
Ibrahim Helal
الكتاب يقدم بعد جديد لفهم الصراعات في عدة مناطق ساخنة في العالم
وهي ارتباط الفوضى والصراع بالجفاف والفقر
وهو بعد مادي لتناول الحركة في العالم ويغفل كثير من تشابكات التجمعات الانسانية وتعقيداتها
فيقدم نموذج تفسيري احادي البعد يفشل في الالمام بتفسير جل ظواهر تلك التحركات الانسانية ومعاركها المتعددة وجبهاتها المختلفة
Arjun
Meh.

A good premise (and one I believe - that looming/current environmental changes and stresses will lead to conflict) is hamstrung by too much fitting round pegs into square holes. When a book uses the word "neoliberal" in almost every sentence, well, it becomes predictable. I wanted to learn something here and I can't say I did.
Rick
Mar 08, 2013 Rick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I wanted to love this book. I have been researching global warming for a while and love a good book filled with stats about it. The first chapter delivers. The rest of the book? Not so much. It's a region-by-region expose of the fighting and strife going on throughout the world, and ties them all into climate change factors or fights over natural resources. Some of these seem perfectly true, and others seem a stretch.

The book's central thesis - that climate change is going to cause a shit ton o
...more
Gary Turner
Very good read. I must praise Christian Parenti for such in-depth research over many years. As Christian points out, this is a technical,economic and political problem. With the obstructionist GOP herrenvolk climate deniers, what are we to do? Christian Parenti finishes his book with some excellent ideas, only if our country was still a democracy and not owned by the Koch brothers and other bellicose neoliberals.
Gillian
A cohesive and up to date chronology covering the ever changing landscape of the world's nations in the face of climate change.
Greg
I enjoyed the premise of this book and there were moments that really made me think and that taught me something. Overall, I felt it was a bit repetitive. I think this is really an essay or a series of three news articles. The book format was too long and just belabored the point. I did appreciate that it was a different take on the climate issue than I've read before but I also felt it strayed too much from the climate change thesis at times. Definitely too heady for a first-year summer reading ...more
Jack
Very important no nonsense climate guide for our coming days.
Casandra
Parenti's thesis brought to the table some very new and eye-opening ideas that I think are very important to the climate change forum, he looked at a unique aspect many people, especially scientists such as myself, don't even begin to connect to climate change. Highly recommend reading this book if you have any interest in climate change, politics, war/violence (especially the middle east or the "war on drugs" in Mexico), poverty or geography.
Ahmed
This is some serious scary shit
Tim
Very informative. Takes a rational approach as opposed to a tree hugger approach. Rather than blaming capitalism for all the evils in the world; If environmentalists did a better job of tying conservative concerns (terrorism, immigration, etc) to global warming they would have more success in building consensus on this important issue. Parenti does a good job in that area. However, he gets off the rails late in the book and goes on a chapter long rant on U.S. immigration policy.
Muhammad al-Khwarizmi
Good title. Illuminating. Kind of discursive at points, but not in a bizarrely tangential way ... I just don't share all of the author's political views. Picked up some new sociological concepts along the way.

Having said all that, I don't think this world stands a chance of the reforms this guy wants implemented in a timely fashion.
Wissam Salem
مدار الفوضى العنف الأزمات الموت، في قارات الجنوب الثلاث العنف يتصاعد والموت سيد الموقف، الموت هو الحدث، المناخ هو السبب؟! هذا اتهام الكاتب غير أنها في كثير من اللحظات لا تشعر بأن الحجة قوية في هذا الاتهام أو بالأصح أن المناخ ليس عاملاً أولًا هو فعال ولكنه ليس الركيزة والكاتب كأنه يتجاهل ذلك!
الأزمة الأخيرة تقترب.
Catherine Austen
I only read the chapters on North America (hurried research) but it was good - sad and scary, not just the potential future of poverty, refugees and racism, but the present situation of poverty, refugees and racism. It's preaching to the converted with me, but still. Recommended.
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Christian Parenti is a contributing editor at The Nation, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, and a visiting scholar at the City University of New York. He has a Ph.D. in sociology from the London School of Economics. The author of Lockdown America, The Soft Cage, and The Freedom. Parenti has written for Fortune, The New York Times, Los AngelesTimes, Washington Post, Playbo ...more
More about Christian Parenti...
Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis The Freedom: Shadows And Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America, From Slavery to the War on Terror Taking Liberties: Prisons, Policing and Surveillance in an Age of Crisis At War With Asia: Essays on Indochina

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