This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection, the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.
Christian Parenti paints a bleak picture of the future and, what’s worse, is he backs it up with exhaustive and irrefutable research.
In his book, Tropic of Chaos - Climate Change and the new Geography of Violence, the author cites war, after famine, after natural disaster to point out that even today climate change is a contributing factor, if not the major one, in most human catastrophes around the globe.
And it will only get worse.
Parenti details how colonialism destroyed the natural order in many countries. When the colonizing powers left or were forced out it created a power vacuum. This vacuum was filled by corrupt leaders who were supported by one side or the other during the Cold War. Following the collapse of the Eastern block these kelptocracies became pawns of the neoliberalism in the form World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans.
Crippled by debt, further hardships were placed on the populations, which has lead to civil unrest. Add to that drought and famine and you have the perfect storm, or as Parenti has coined it, “a catastrophic convergence” of poverty, violence and climate change without any ability to mitigate the misery and suffering.
Current estimates suggest there will be between 25 million to 1 billion environmental refugees by 2050, people from the world’s urbanized coastlines and agricultural economies that have been displaced by increased storms, droughts, flooding, proliferation of pathogens and rising sea levels.
The Tropic of Chaos includes forty-six countries, home to 2.7 billion people, in which climate change interacting with economic, social and political problems will create a high risk of violent conflict.
In the face of rising migration the borders between the healthy, less impacted countries with functioning economies and these failing states are becoming hardened and militarized, or, as Parenti puts it, governments are adopting the “politics of the armed lifeboat”, responding to climate change by arming, excluding, forgetting, repressing, policing and killing
But if climate change is allowed to destroy whole economies and nations, no amount of walls, guns, barbed wire, armed and aerial drones or permanently deployed mercenaries will be able to save one half of the planet form the other.
Parenti solution to deal with this threat to the world as we know it is to say we need to transform humanity’s relationship to itself, transform social relations among people and develop new ways of containing, avoiding, and deescalating the violence that climate change fuels.
How likely is that?
Pogo was right, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”