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A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    John McPhee approach applied to Global Warming in US

    If you have time to read only one book on the probable impact of global warming on the US in general, and the Southwest in particular, this would be a good candidate for that one book. Written much like John McPhees explorations of American geography --- DeBuys travels with scientists, naturalists, urban planners through the areas they work in --- the book looks at the potential for a coming drought in the American Southwest [caused by a return of historic cyclical periods of great drought in the region], how global warming already under way will increase the severity of the drought, , and increase the probable consequences across a variety of topics: impact on desert cities like Phoenix, on agriculture, on forests and fire seasons, and more. A very chewy read that carefully avoids generalizing beyond what the evidence we have at this point will support. If the topic interests you, this one is I think well worth a read.

    Includes, again much like McPhee's American geography books, looks back into history to describe how the current condition of the South West arose, which snippets are fascinating environmental history in their own right. His chapter on the fire history of the southwest and its relation to the arrival of sheep herds among the Navajos and the relationship between exterminating prairie dog communities and the shifting of grasslands to mesquite shrub lands were I thought especially interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    William DeBuys offers an unsettling description of the developin

    William DeBuys offers an unsettling description of the developing climate crisis in the Southwest. It's especially disturbing as those events are indicators of future crises in other regions. His book is a heartfelt study of a distressing man-made and climate-made downward spiral of this beautiful and fragile land and its inhabitants. It's a poignant plea to take adaptive conservation action in the Southwest now. A must read for those who love the Southwest, and a should read for all others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Very interesting

    This book looks at climate change from another perspective: i.e., water scarcity in the Southwest. Because of this focus in depth on just one aspect, it provides new details to consider. The author ties each chapter to some aspect on Southwest history which, depending upon your particular feelings, can be interesting or odd-putting.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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