A version of this article originally appeared in The Observer.

Investigative journalist and author Fred Pearce has a new book out this week: The Land Grabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth, which explores “how Wall Street, Chinese billionaires, oil sheiks, and agribusiness are buying up huge tracts of land in a hungry, crowded world.” Here he answers questions about the book and his long career reporting on environmental challenges.

Q. What inspired you to write The Land Grabbers?