What can a loaf of bread tell us about the global economy? Will food price fluctuations affect the future of fledgling democracies in the Middle East after the Arab Spring? Nation Books author Christian Parenti answers these questions in his piece Reading the World In a Loaf of Bread for TomDispatch this week which explores themes brought to light in his new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. In August, he will be making stops at bookstores in South Burlington and Brattleboro, Vermont, to discuss the book and sign copies for readers.
Parenti, who is also a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, was on Democracy Now! earlier this month to discuss the new book. While on the show, Parenti explained that "climate change very often doesn't just look like bad weather, it looks like ethnic violence or religious violence." In essence, climate change acts as a "threat multiplier", in that it exacerbates preexisting problems surrounding a volatile region. Read more on this in Democracy Now!'s excerpt of the book.
On WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show this July, Parenti clarified that "Tropic of Chaos" refers to the "Global South, or the Third World. That belt of states between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, where people live with less margin of error economically than in developed countries. So when drought and flood hit, there's greater suffering." But Parenti remained hopeful, advocating a policy of "adaptation and mitigation" to lower our CO2 levels and ensure that global warming does not become a catastrophically "self-compounding" process.