The third in Freeman’s hat trick of anthologies that examines inequalities, Tales of Two Planets, may be the most important, for it addresses a colossal and irreversible threat: climate change. How to tell this story about a landscape so altered by us it’s reciprocating the abuse, where the more vulnerable and poor are more susceptible to environmental injustices?

Freeman asked 36 writers from Iceland to India, who are living within the penumbra of this bifurcated world of disparity and disenfranchisement, to bear witness to climate change beyond mere data. They are the facts on the ground, and their stories about craven US governance, the depletion of species in Burundi, Iceland’s geologic tragedy, the displacement of 20 million people in Pakistan, and resource pilfering and greed in Lebanon trace the inequalities that have also led to environmental imbalances. The purpose of such essays, fictions, reportage, and poems are to remind us—as Lina Mounzer discovers when developers overburden the sewer system in Beirut and it erupts in biblical proportions—we can’t carry on as if things will sort themselves out. We have to live within limits.

It’s a dark path we walk when the majority of the planet belongs to Hobbes’s First Man, condemned to a poor, cruel and short life, while Frances Fukumaya’s Last Man, (privileged, well fed, with access to technology and globalization’s muse) inhabits the rest. The Last Man will survive environmental stress and scarcity. The First Man will not. Freeman’s collection is critical to understanding our planet beyond the scope of our own personal plights.

See the full list here.