“The Climate Crisis, Political Pessimism, and Realistic Solutions,” the second event on climate change, features Christian Parenti, whose focus is on the geopolitical fallout from ignoring the signs and consequences of the climate crisis.
In addition to teaching in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University, Parenti is a veteran journalist, contributor to The Nation, and author of four books, including “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.”
In “Tropic of Chaos” Parenti explores how climate change causes violence as it interacts with the legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism. The book involved several years of travel and research in conflict zones of the Global South.
Parenti’s earlier books are “The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq” (2005), a work of analytic and ethnographic reportage on the first years of US military occupation in Iraq; “The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror” (2002), a history of routine, everyday surveillance that traces the development of political technologies, like fingerprinting and photographic identification, from their origins in the antebellum South to the present; and “Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis” (2000/2008). Considered a social science classic, “Lockdown” explores the history of the US prison and policing buildup since the 1960s and argues that the buildup is rooted in both global-scale economy shifts and national discursive projects of racialized class control and political theater.
As a journalist, he has reported extensively from Afghanistan, Iraq, and various parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In addition to The Nation, Parenti’s articles have appeared in Fortune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Middle East Report, London Review of Books, and Mother Jones.
Parenti earned a PhD in sociology (co-supervised in geography) from the London School of Economics.