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Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming

Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming

Hardback

By (author) Mckenzie Funk

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  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 310 pages
  • Dimensions: 159mm x 236mm x 27mm | 549g
  • Publication date: 18 March 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1594204012
  • ISBN 13: 9781594204012
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 107,309

Product description

A fascinating investigation into how people around the globe are cashing in on a warming world McKenzie Funk has spent the last six years reporting around the world on how we are preparing for a warmer planet. Funk shows us that the best way to understand the catastrophe of global warming is to see it through the eyes of those who see it most clearly--as a market opportunity. Global warming's physical impacts can be separated into three broad categories: melt, drought, and deluge. Funk travels to two dozen countries to profile entrepreneurial people who see in each of these forces a potential windfall. The melt is a boon for newly arable, mineral-rich regions of the Arctic, such as Greenland--and for the surprising kings of the manmade snow trade, the Israelis. The process of desalination, vital to Israel's survival, can produce a snowlike by-product that alpine countries use to prolong their ski season. Drought creates opportunities for private firefighters working for insurance companies in California as well as for fund managers backing south Sudanese warlords who control local farmland. As droughts raise food prices globally, there is no more precious asset. The deluge--the rising seas, surging rivers, and superstorms that will threaten island nations and coastal cities--has been our most distant concern, but after Hurricane Sandy and failure after failure to cut global carbon emissions, it is not so distant. For Dutch architects designing floating cities and American scientists patenting hurricane defenses, the race is on. For low-lying countries like Bangladesh, the coming deluge presents an existential threat. Funk visits the front lines of the melt, the drought, and the deluge to make a human accounting of the booming business of global warming. By letting climate change continue unchecked, we are choosing to adapt to a warming world. Containing the resulting surge will be big business; some will benefit, but much of the planet will suffer. McKenzie Funk has investigated both sides, and what he has found will shock us all. To understand how the world is preparing to warm, "Windfall" follows the money.

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Author information

McKenzie Funk is a journalist whose work has appeared in "Harper's," "National Geographic," "Rolling Stone," "GQ," "Outside," and "The New York Times." A National Magazine Award and Livingston Award finalist and the winner of the Oakes Prize for Environmental Journalism, he was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, where he studied economics and systems thinking. He lives in Seattle with his wife and son.

Review quote

"The Wall Street Journal" "In "Windfall" McKenzie Funk, an intrepid American journalist, reports on the lesser-known victims and profiteers of climate change brings a dizzyingly abstruse phenomenon down to a more human scale. Mr. Funk leads us away from the rarefied air of Al Gore and his lethal PowerPoint slides, to mingle with the militiamen, inventors, politicians and activists trying to find their way through an era of turmoil." "The Associated Press" "Funk has written a fun book humanizing the problems of climate change, focused on the colorful entrepreneurs who see in an increasingly inhospitable world golden opportunities." "Nature" "This expose of the powers and people that view global warming as an investment opportunity is darkly humorous and brilliantly researched. Journalist McKenzie Funk looks at the impacts deemed a windfall for 'climate capitalists': melting ice, drought, sea-level rise and superstorms. He reports far and wide, on the oil-rich far north, where nations jostle as the ice retreats; blaze-prone California and its burgeoning band of firebreak specialists; water-rich South Sudan, where large tracts of foreign-owned farmland could become a gold mine as other regions dry up; and beyond." "Men's Journal" "The idea that, when it comes to climate change, the meaningful divide isn't between believers and doubters but winners and losers is at the heart of McKenzie Funk's immersive and startling "Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming."" "Mother Jones" "Most writings on climate change are tedious or polemical. This fabulous book is neither. Journalist McKenzie Funk travels the globe, mingling with the characters who are cashing in (or preparing to) on global warming: Wall Street land and water speculators, Greenland secessionists, Israeli snowmakers, Dutch seawall developers, geoengineering patent trolls, private firefighters, mosquito-abating scientists, Big Oil scenario planners, and A