Harold Crooks

THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE WITH AMITAV GHOSH: A Review of Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement: Climate Change and The Unthinkable

THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE WITH AMITAV GHOSH:  A Review of Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement: Climate Change and The Unthinkable

In The Great Derangement: Climate Change and The Unthinkable Amitav Ghosh sets out to comprehend our collective failure to deal with climate change. A surpassingly urgent question if the climate-stable Holocene that has cradled our civilized existence is truly at an end - and a turbulent human-driven geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, is now at hand.  Ghosh takes as given that this newly proposed epoch is settled science, and while it remains contested, its markers are already real enough. They include radioactive debris and other forms of human pollution, species invasion and mass extinction, shifting weather patterns and accelerating planetary warming at a rate unlike anything observed in the previous 12,000-year geologic interval.  We would add to this list the human elements that are the stuff of today’s headlines: climate refugees disrupting the world’s political orders, sparing no nation, including the USA, as caravans of the dispossessed head north.