Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North
Counterpoint Press, 2011
The publisher's description:
In Shishmaref, Alaska, new seawalls are constructed while residents navigate the many practical and bureaucratic obstacles to moving their entire island village to higher ground. Farther south, inland hunters and fishermen set out to grow more of their own food—and to support the reintroduction of wood bison, an ancient species well suited to expected habitat changes. First Nations people in Canada team with conservationists to protect land for both local use and environmental resilience. In Early Warming, Alaskan Writer Laureate Nancy Lord takes a cutting-edge look at how communities in the north—where global warming is amplified and climate-change effects are most immediate—are responding with desperation and creativity.
This beautifully written and measured narrative takes us deep into regions where the indigenous people who face life-threatening change also demonstrate impressive conservation ethics and adaptive capacities. Underpinned by a long acquaintance with the north and backed with scientific and political sophistication, Lord’s vivid account brings the challenges ahead for us all into ice-water clarity.
Praise for Early Warming:
"Here's the up-to-the-second report from the scout furthest out along the front lines. Nancy Lord combines her knowledge and her love of the North to give us a vitally necessary, and in places hauntingly beautiful, account of what's already happening in those places the rest of us still think of as wild and untouched."
—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"Early Warming is the most important book I've read all year. If you read only one climate change book, read this one. No statistical projections into the future, no doom, no gloom—no debate—just perfectly told stories of northern people who are right now struggling to bear their grief and reinvent their lives as forests die and burn, school buildings wash away, and the once-frozen ground gives way beneath their feet. By telling the stories so simply, so beautifully, Alaska's writer laureate forewarns the rest of the world."
—Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Wild Comfort
"…Although she deftly weaves pertinent scientific and political information throughout, her account’s power stems from her on-site observations, lyrical descriptions of the land and sea and sensitive interviews of local officials and natives whose insight and experience humanize an otherwise vast and arcane subject. . . . An eloquent and important dispatch."
"These are the sort of real-life, in-progress consequences of climate change that aren’t brought up frequently enough, and they’re the ones most likely to catch the attention of those who would prefer to wish the problem away or pretend it won’t do any serious harm. Lord is to be commended for exploring them in her book."
--David James, Fairbanks News-Miner
"In a firsthand account of Alaska's changing environment, former Alaska State Writer laureate Lord (Rock, Water, Wild: An Alaskan Life) uses her gift as a storyteller to address the science and politics of weather and climate within the context of Alaskan life. There is familiarity and honesty in her writing about the animals, habitats, and people she describes so skillfully—the salmon and the polar bears, the boreal forest and its significance in the carbon cycle, and the resourceful Alaskans facing the impacts of climate change. Lord's interviews with community members, officials, and environmental leaders, along with her own observations, provide an insight into the causes of and solutions to the environmental, social, economic, and cultural impacts of global warming and climate change. Lord effectively places a life-threatening global issue within a local setting to give readers a glimpse of what Alaska and the rest of the world is at risk of losing without creative solutions and multiple layers of sustainability. Recommended for readers interested in nature and environmental issues.—Robin K. Dillow, Oakton Community Coll. Lib., Des Plaines, IL
Get the Book
Book Flyer (pdf)