by James Fahn
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The Environmental Consequences of
the Southeast Asian Boom

by James David Fahn

Hardcover and paperback
available at Amazon.com

Westview Press
ISBN: 0-8133-4053-5

An investigative journalist discovers that Southeast Asia's fight to protect its environment is inextricably intertwined with its difficult struggles for democracy and economic modernization.


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 Bangkok, 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, among them 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.

A Land on Fire was released in the spring of 2003 by Westview Press. For a taste, you can read the introduction, the table of contents, and a description of each chapter. This website also features pictures of the people, places and events described in the book. You can find out more about the author and listen to his radio interviews. If you’ve read the book (or even if you haven’t), feel free to write down your comments or provide feedback via e-mail.