What has created an unlikely nexus between Siberian mammoth tusk hunters and the gaudy casinos of Macau? What connects West African jihadis with the winemakers foraying into the Patagonian hills? Why is the future looking brighter for Congolese cobalt miners and Bangladeshi shrimp barons, and increasingly precarious for Saudi princes and Venetian museum curators?
Climate change has triggered the greatest race in human history. Individuals, communities and entire nations are scrambling to respond to the fastest temperature rises for millions of years. For some it is a question of survival. Others have discovered ways to profit from global warming, and from the historic shifts that it is forcing in the world economy. A new generation of green tycoons is rising, as the mighty fossil fuel industry lapses into existential crisis.
It is the story of the century, driven by a huge and diverse cast of characters from every part of the globe. Starting this week in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I will travel for 15 months through six continents to tell their stories.
Like most of us these days, I'm deeply concerned about the consequences of climate change – but I'm drawn to this subject as a reporter, not as an activist. My background in business and economic journalism has informed my view of this as the biggest story of the century, one that will keep growing in urgency throughout my life.
While that view is increasingly widely shared, for many, climate change and the energy transition can present a forbidding tangle of scientific and political complexity. Yet behind all of that are some compelling human stories, as people everywhere rush to adapt to the historic shifts sweeping our world.
My first book will aim to bring these tales to life, helping readers to get a handle on this most massive and vital of subjects. I've been preparing for this project for more than 18 months, during which time I travelled to research coral bleaching in the Maldives, agricultural distress in India, and melting permafrost in the Siberian republic of Yakutia. You can view my photos from those places here.
I’ll produce a lot more multimedia content on this full-time journey, which I'll share on this website and through the usual social media platforms. I'll also send out a free multimedia email newsletter once or twice a month. You can sign up for that, and find my social media links, at the bottom of this page.
Stay tuned for more.