Book review: Forecast, by Stephan Faris
in The Big Issue on 24 February 2009
Climate change is our children’s children’s problem, right? Think again, says Stephan Faris. It’s already upon us, and it hurts.
The globetrotting American journalist’s book details the pressing problems of our warming planet. From genocide in Darfur and malaria in Brazil, to immigration in Europe and hurricanes in Florida, Faris visits the places most prone to climate-induced pain and suffering.
For comfortable greenies, perhaps the most surprising case study will be southern England, where a far-right, anti-immigration party is garnering support by linking nationalism with environmentalism. Faris argues it’s a sign of the selfish politics to come.
This is an interesting, readable and often alarming book. Given the magnitude of the crisis, Faris is at his best when assessing the catastrophic suffering in Darfur and potential for resource wars in south Asia – and not when cataloguing, at length, the incomparably more mundane concerns of US grape growers.
Despite that, Faris offers a compelling summary of the political, social and humanitarian strife both underway and poised to strike. And he doesn’t spare us our moral responsibility for the dying – after all, it's rich-country emissions that have done it.