This CBC Sunday Edition interview with Christian Parenti about his book “The Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence” makes for very good listening. His one sentence slip, saying poppies from Afghanistan are the source of “cocaine and heroin” made me jump, and perhaps question his full grasp of this subject. However, I found myself agreeing with much of his analysis of the complex roots of drought and the effects of neo-liberal economic policies as part of the cause and certainly an exacerbation of the results.
We see the images of famine constantly. Today it’s Somalia. But not so long ago, it was Ethiopia. And before that… well the list is a very long one. In our first hour, we look at the history of famines — and the common traits they share. Drought, blame, conflict, bad government, inept response. We’ll talk with Thomas Keneally. You may know him as the author of Schindler’s Ark — which became the movie Schindler’s List. Keneally’s new book is titled Three Famines — it’s an examination of the hunger in 19th century Ireland, in 1940s Bengal and 1980s Ethiopia — and it makes some fascinating links. We’ll also hear from author Christian Parenti who suggests things are only going to get worse. In his new book Tropic of Chaos, he says we’re already living in an era of climate wars, where extreme weather and diminishing resources are fomenting violence. We’ll ask whether anything can be done to reverse that.
[The Parenti interview begins at 25:55 minutes in the audio link below.]