Christian Parenti’s Tropic of Chaos examines the political, social, and economic effects of climate change around the world. Fossil fuels have long been a ubiquitous part of every day life. In fact, in a recent study done in the U.S., it was found that fossil fuel comprises 81% of the U.S. fuel. Parenti argues that the solution to this is to “decarbonize our economy.” He adds that, “the best way to address the effects of climate change is to tackle the political and economical crisis that have rendered us vulnerable to climate-induced chaos.”


This is an issue that concerns me, as I have learned about the “carbon footprint” that each person inevitably has. This “footprint” represents how much of the earth’s pollution you as a human being are contributing. While each person contributes a small amount, there are over seven billion people in the world, which adds up to contribute to a crisis in the over reliance on fossil fuels. 


In less affluent regions of the world, the effects of this crisis are heightened. For example, many regions experience severe drought as a result of the greenhouse gas emissions that come with the use of fossil fuels. The drought has several local effects on populations, especially those who primarily farm for a living. As the drought continues to hit, people may start to look for new places to farm, and when they find a place that is already occupied by someone else, it can lead to conflict. If they are unable to migrate, this can force families to have lower incomes, which can then ramify into other continued complications to their livelihoods and well-being.


This book was thought-provoking and made me more aware of how my actions as an individual may influence not just my community, but the world at large. I would recommend it to anyone interested in environment and climate.



About the Author
Remy Jacobs is a student at Benedictine College studying biology.