Some people hear the term "global warming" and think temperature. Journalist McKenzie Funk thinks "money." In fact, his latest book is titled Windfall, a project that has been years in the making. He traveled the planet to pursue the explanation of who is making money from the threat. Subtitled The Booming Business of Global Warming, the book looks at the profits that can be made from preparing for what some expect to be catastrophic climate change on planet Earth.
Funk's work in such magazines as Mother Jones, Harper's, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, etc., suggests that Funk is an old-school, smell the air at the site, see the landscape, meet the people reporter. His range of stories includes not only assessing profits made from global warming, but hitchhiking the Trans-Siberian Highway, skiing Tibet's treacherous Shishapangma and meeting the people seen as either blessings or threats to America. Examples include his story in Mother Jones about a Guantanamo detainee who had been to America.
In July of 2011, he spoke to the TEDxOxbridge gathering and discussed his early efforts to report and organize his book Windfall.
His entertaining but cautionary talk ranged from accelerating emissions in wealthier nations to Senegal's "great green wall of trees." And he noted lightheartedly that when it comes to "coastal defenses" against rising waters, "the Dutch will make all the money here because they've got the practice." A sampling of that talk notes that it's "not actually hippies" but business that is working to make money off global warming.
Funk's bio describes him as a Phi Beta Kappa and high honors graduate of Swarthmore who speaks five languages: "Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, and, mostly, English."