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McKenzie Funk: Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming

Join the Conversation. All Rights Reserved. McKenzie Funk has investigated both sides, and what he has found will shock us all. He lives in Seattle with his wife and son.

Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming Summary & Study Guide Description

The result is a wonder, a nonfiction eco-thriller that is disturbing, yes, revelatory, yes, but also a lot more fun than books about ecological catastrophe are supposed to be. Windfall is a gripping account of how banks, energy companies, engineers, and entrepreneurs have turned a global crisis into a golden opportunity, harvesting short-term profits while sowing the seeds of future ruin.

It's an engaging, infuriating, and important story about the way the world works now, and about the reasons it may not work at all tomorrow.

The result is a meticulously researched romp through the backrooms of the climate change industry, by turns thrilling and appalling, and ultimately rather important. There's money under the melting ice, and Funk follows it.


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Perhaps the only fun book on global climate change you'll ever read. McKenzie Funk is a gifted storyteller. 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. Journalist McKenzie Funk looks at the impacts deemed a windfall for 'climate capitalists': melting ice, drought, sea-level rise and superstorms.


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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. 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 African officials overseeing the first phase of a quixotic 4,mile-long foliage barrier against the encroaching Sahara.

Rather than waste our time on a settled question duh, it's real! Spoiler: They're rich. McKenzie Funk takes a contrarian approach, reporting on the people—and, in the case of Greenland and Canada, countries—that are poised to profit handsomely from the coming chaos. Far from vilifying these opportunists, he attempts to see the warming world through their eyes.

The 'good' news, according to McKenzie Funk's Windfall is that greedy banks and ambitious entrepreneurs are making billions of dollars on global warming. Much of these new frontiers of money-making derive from calculated bets on continued failure and warming, not on corrective measures.

Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming Summary & Study Guide

Funk's modern day muckraking lends new perspective and detail to mainstream media coverage and the ongoing debates about climate change. Definitely a conversation starter. Funk's original, forthright take on this little-discussed profit-taking trend in the climate change sweepstakes is very unsettling. Here is a brilliant young stylist at work, pushing the boundaries of investigative journalism and literary non-fiction. With grace, humor and hard-nosed reporting on the startling business of climate profiteering, he takes us along on a searing ride into the maw of the apocalypse.

Chapter 4: Father of Invention. Chapter 5: Too Big to Burn.

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Chapter 6: Uphill to Money. Chapter 7: Farmland Grab. Chapter 8: Green Wall, Black Wall.


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Chapter 9: Great Wall of India. Chapter Seawalls for Sale. Chapter Better Things for Better Living. Chapter Problem Solved. Important People.