This is a must read book for anyone interested in climate change and its impact on humanity. It's also a must read book for everyone else that wants to continue to live in our biosphere. Which is to say, it's a must read for everyone.
The author starts out introducing us to a number of themes he carries forward. Specifically:
1) Climate change causes stressors on planetary civilization and these changes threaten American national security. This is not the author's point of view, but that of our military. Want an example? Consider Afghanistan. Why do they grow poppy? They've been in prolonged drought (a stressor as a result of global warming), and poppy only uses one fifth the water wheat does. The US runs around burning their crops, whereas the Teleban supports the farmers and helps them feed their children. [So are we going to solve the Afghan problem? Use critical thinking and decide for yourself.]
2) Societies can adapt by 'armed lifeboats', whereby they secure their borders against mass migrations, increased internal militarization, and conduct counterinsurgency operations abroad. The author sees this as a malignant adaption to Global Warming and warns us with case after case where this fails. Unfortunately, as the author points out, this is the direction the US is taking.
3) Societies can also adapt by learning to live within the limits of the planet earth. [Hey, I CAN use a solar panel to heat hot water instead of producing CO2 or nuclear waste.]
4) Counterinsurgency destroys societies and eventually fails anyway.
Next, the author takes us on a tour of the world, concentrating on regions between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Sections are dedicated to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Impacts of global warming and resultant counterinsurgency operations are discussed.
Lastly, the author again focuses back on the US. It seems that big-oil has waged a successful campaign to discredit global warming here and this is discussed in detail. Obama has even delayed putting solar collectors back on the White House. [A weak and feckless president who should have never been elected (and I'm a Democrat).]
Finally, the author offers a prescription for moving forward. Many other authors are ready to abandon capitalism entirely (as it got us into this mess), but Christian does not. He feels that capitalism can morph/change into a benevolent la-la being that will suddenly embrace what the yippies and hippies have been saying all along. All that is needed is for a price to be put on Carbon emissions (a Carbon Tax), and the invisible hand of Adam Smith will soothe things out and reduce CO2 emissions to zero.
[You can see I part company with the author on his last point. You really think our national congress, that is bought and paid for by big oil will ever pass a Carbon Tax? If you do, you are one of the most Pollyanna people on earth. Instead, it is up to us, everyone, to think globally but act locally. To paraphrase Kennedy, I should ask not what I can get the congress to do, but what I can do myself to ameliorate global warming. And I can do plenty. I can first read up on the issues (skipping the pablum of the American corporate press). Next, I can think critically. Finally, I can act. I can buy locally grown food so there's less of a carbon footprint. I can install solar panels. I can buy a more fuel efficient car. And so on. HEY, IT'S UP TO US TO SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING - NOT SOMEONE ELSE.]