Climactic Change

Typical long-range thinking about climate change finds the Earth, at some tipping point in the future, bursting into flame, with everybody on it dying in an apocalyptic freak show produced by Michael Bay. But in the book Forecast: The Consequences of Climate Change, journalist Stephan Faris smartly points out that climate change, from the Amazon to the Arctic, from Darfur to Napa Valley, already contributes to a variety of current political and lifestyle problems. Take insurance premiums: They’re going through the roof for Key West coastal homeowners, displacing the middle class. Political chaos? Faris writes how the genocide in Darfur has ecological roots in drought and desertification, and he finds that fascistic movements in Italy and Britain are using African emigration to bolster their racist platforms. “The impact of climate change on a country is analogous to the effect of hunger on a person,” he writes. “If a starving man is shot while stealing a piece of bread, you wouldn’t say he died because he didn’t eat. But hunger played a role in his death.”
Tue., Jan. 27, 6 p.m., 2009

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