A Land on Fire: The Environmental Consequences of the Southeast Asian Boom

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Basic Books, Mar 26, 2003 - Political Science - 365 pages
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The future of Earth's environment will be decided in Asia, home to 60 percent of the world's population and some of the world's fastest-growing economies. As an award-winning investigative journalist based in Bankok, James Fahn spent a decade grappling with the challenges facing the region's mega-cities, tropical forests, coastlines, and societies dashing toward modernity. In A Land on Fire, he shares his findings – the profound implications for global issues such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the greening of world trade. He explores Southeast Asia's environmental battles through the eyes of the people fighting them, and recounts his many adventures while covering them. Whether chasing down log smugglers along the Thai-Burmese border, exposing the dumping of toxic mercury into the Gulf of Thailand by multinational oil corporations, or covering the controversy surrounding the filming of the movie The Beach, Fahn provides unique insight into the relationship between sustainable development and democracy, the crippling impact of corruption, and the environmental challenges facing us all.
 

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Contents

The Fire of Knowledge
1
MANGO MADNESS
13
MONEY CHANGERS IN THE MONASTERY
41
THE PRICE OF POWER
81
GUNS TREES AND REFUGEES
109
ONLY THE HAUNTED JUNGLES SURVIVE
143
ON THE EDGE
175
A SNAKE IN THE WOODS
191
MERCURY RISING
217
NORTH vs SOUTH GREEN vs BROWN
249
THREE BLOODY DAYS IN MAY
293
A Circus of Summits
325
Index
351
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About the author (2003)

James David Fahn spent nearly a decade working at The Nation, an English-language daily newspaper based in Bangkok, where he served as environment editor. A former Watson Fellow, he accepted the UN Environment Program's Global 500 award for The Nation's environmental coverage in 1997 and received an award from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in recognition of his work in service to Thailand. He currently works at the Ford Foundation and lives in New York City.

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