This book review was written by Eugene Kernes
“In retrospect, this was the moment that we began to believe in global warming – not in the abstract science of it, which most could already passively accept, but in the fact that there were money and power to be won and lost.” – McKenzie Funk, Chapter 1: Cold Rush: Canada Defends The Northwest Passage, Page 20
“As a barrier to such an insurgent threat, most scientists agreed, a phalanx of green was largely futile. As a symbol, however – of the protective crouch the world was beginning to adopt in the face of warming, of Africa’s particularly lonely position, of how much money rich, high-emissions countries would pay to save themselves from warming’s effects versus how little they would pay to save poorer countries – the Great Green Wall was much more potent.” – McKenzie Funk, Chapter 8: Green Wall, Black Wall: Africa Tries To Keep The Sahara At Bay; Europe Tries To Keep Africa At Bay, Page 163
“The hardest truth about climate change is that it is not equally bad for everyone. Some people – the rich, the northern – will find ways to thrive while others cannot, and many people will wall themselves off from the worst effects of warming while others remain on the wrong side. The problem with our profiting off this disaster is not that it is morally bankrupt to do so but that climate change, unlike some other disasters, is man-made” – McKenzie Funk, Epilogue: Magical Thinking, Page 288
Climate change has become a business. From technology companies, to financial firms trying to profit from the changing environmental conditions. Society is preparing for the very climate change that society is creating. Adapting to the climate change, rather than mitigating climate change. Climate change is changing the political structure of the world. Challenging the sovereignty of states. For some nations, climate change is providing access to more resources. For others nations, their lands are threatened. Climate change is exacerbating the maldistribution of resources. There are winners and losers of climate change.
Innovations are developed to take on the effects of climate change, but technology tends to have negative consequences for the environment it is trying to ameliorate. The wealthier nations tend to not only be the biggest producers of greenhouse emissions, but also have the most resources to respond to the detrimental effects of climate change. Those with the resources can protect themselves against the detrimental effects.
As the author acknowledges, this is not a book about the science of climate change. This is a book about the responses to climate change. Following a diverse set of perspectives as they share their responses to climate change. There is a lack of systematic analysis on the problems, but does express what the problems are, and provides hints of complexity. The book is an introduction to understanding the changing environmental, economic, and political structure of climate change.