448 pages, maps
What do City speculators, Gulf oil sheikhs, Chinese entrepreneurs, big-name financiers like George Soros and industry titans like Richard Branson buy when they go shopping? Land. Parcels the size of Wales are being snapped up across the plains of Africa, the paddy fields of Southeast Asia, the jungles of the Amazon and the prairies of Eastern Europe. Why? The money men will tell you that their investments will bring an end to world famine. But is this more about fat profits and food security for the few? The race is on to grab the world's most precious and irreplaceable resource. In this brilliant piece of investigative journalism Fred Pearce moves from boardroom and trading floor to goat-herder's hut and flooded forest. The result is an eye-opening, extraordinarily important examination of the most profound ethical and economic issue in the world today.
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Fred Pearce is the environmental and development consultant for New Scientist and writes regularly for the Guardian. He has won many awards including UK Environmental Journalist of the Year. In 2011 he received the ABSW Science Writers' Lifetime Achievement Award. His previous books include When the Rivers Run Dry – voted among the all-time 'Top 50' books by Cambridge University's Programme for Sustainable Leadership – The Last Generation, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner – longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize – and Peoplequake. He has also written The New Wild.