Doing The Math Better: A Talk With Christian Parenti

In his book Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, journalist and scholar Christian Parenti travels across time and space to show how climate change has exacerbated problems which already exist—problems created by Western militarism and neoliberal economic restructuring around the globe.

Published by Nation Books in 2011, Tropic of Chaos describes the “catastrophic convergence” of poverty, violence, and climate change, and how the Global North, particularly the United States, holds much of the responsibility.

Last week, Parenti published a controversial op-ed in the Huffington Post in which he called out 350.org and climate activist Bill McKibben’s Do the Math campaign. The popular campaign aims to pressure universities, pension funds, and churches into divesting from the fossil fuel industry, but Parenti argued that a divestment campaign, while great for mobilizing the masses, isn’t going to hit the industry where it hurts.

We spoke to Parenti about his arguments against the Do the Math campaign, Tropic of Chaos, his response to Hurricane Sandy, and why pressuring and working with the government should be the climate justice movement’s top priority. Tonight, Parenti will speak at NYU, and you should check it out. Read more…


The Island President: How To Save A Drowning Country

Three feet is not that much. That’s the size of a fire hydrant, a large goat, and Verne Troyer (almost). But that’s what it will take to wipe out an entire country.

The Maldives, a developing nation of 2,000 islands off the coast of India, is the paradise threatened by these three feet of sea level rise that will submerge its land and relocate – or drown – its population. John Shenk’s documentary The Island President, now playing at Film Forum, chronicles the trials of this struggling state and its charismatic now-former leader, Mohamad Nasheed – a former political prisoner who overthrew a despot in 2008 to take the presidency and spearhead the Maldives’ move toward democracy and its international campaign against climate change.  Read more…