The collision between climate change and violence is the subject of Christian Parentis impressive new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. The guiding idea is what Parenti calls the the catastrophic convergence. By this he means something more geographically and historically targeted than a coming climate-triggered global war. Chaos focuses on a handful of developing countries where the author says climate change is amplifying previous crises with roots in the more climatically stable 20th-century. In this belt of economically and politically battered post-colonial states girding the planets mid-lattitudes, writes Parenti, the current and impending dislocations of climate change intersect with the already-existing crises of poverty and violence
one expressing itself through the other. The prior traumas that set the stage for bad adaptation are Cold War-era militarism and the economic pathologies of neoliberal capitalism.
Early in the book, Parenti reviews the most important British and U.S. military documents, most dating to the mid-naughts, which discuss climate change in strategic terms. Among the earliest and most influential of these was a 2004 Pentagon-commissioned study stressing the likelihood that climate change would unfold in a non-linear way. The dark report laid out a future scenario in which disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life. Once again, warfare would define human life.
and a courageous person.
"A Brutally Frank Jimmy Carter Calls Out Israel on Permanent Apartheid"
The Netanyahu government decided early on to adopt a one-state solution but without giving them [the Palestinians] equal rights. In this sentence, he accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having pursued, upon his election in 2009, a deliberate policy of relentlessly annexing and colonizing the Palestinian West Bank, ensuring that it will end up as part of Israel. At the same time, he said, Netanyahu conspired to ensure that the 4.2 million Palestinians under Israeli occupation remain stateless and without rights.
It seems fairly clear to any dispassionate observer of Netanyahus government that these steps are precisely the ones it has taken, and Carter is simply stating the obvious. But in the world of international diplomacy, it is customary to put some of the blame for this state of affairs on the Palestinians. Pro-Israeli critics run interference for Tel Aviv, insisting that the PLO, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has declined perfectly reasonable negotiating offers and that Israel would be very happy to have someone take Palestine off its hands, if only it could receive security in return. Carter violated these conventions of on the one hand political discourse by baldly and correctly blaming the occupying authority for its illegal actions, rather than the helpless, occupied population.
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