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American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival
     

American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival

by Giles Slade
 

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Some scientists predict the sea will rise one and a half meters before 2100, but rapidly melting polar ice caps could make the real amount much higher. In the coming century, intensifying storms will batter our coasts, and droughts and heat events will be annual threats. All this will occur as population grows, and declining water resources desiccate agriculture.

Overview

Some scientists predict the sea will rise one and a half meters before 2100, but rapidly melting polar ice caps could make the real amount much higher. In the coming century, intensifying storms will batter our coasts, and droughts and heat events will be annual threats. All this will occur as population grows, and declining water resources desiccate agriculture. What will happen when the United States cannot provide food or fresh water for the overheated, overcrowded cities where 80 percent of Americans currently live?

The good news is that this overall decline of habitability in the mid-latitudes will be matched by increases in the carrying capacity of sparsely populated lands above the 49th parallel. This phenomenon suggests that waves of environmental refugees will travel poleward as southern conditions worsen. Our northern lands are our Noah's ark—a vital refuge against the moment of mankind's greatest need.

In this compelling cautionary work, Giles Slade argues that we are entering a long period of global desperation which will be characterized by human migration on an unprecedented scale. American Exodus is a frighteningly believable survey of our immediate future, but it ends on a note of hope: we may yet survive the coming century of climatic change if we act now to safeguard our shelter of last resort.

Giles Slade is the award-winning author of Made to Break and The Big Disconnect. A recovering academic with advanced degrees in rhetoric and literature, he is regularly published in a variety of print and online journals.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Holding this book should feel like the touch of a cattle prod. But most of us have hides too thick to feel the shock and we will need several more, of ever-higher voltage, before we heed its message. For those with thinner skins, read it and be prepared. ---Clive Hamilton, author, Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering

Standing apart from often-tedious tomes on climate change, Giles Slade's fast-moving American Exodus shows how it could create huge population movements that would bring US and Mexican catastrophe, perhaps amid Canadian opportunity. He ranges compellingly over North America and the globe, time and space, migration and settlement, plus history, science and art. He opens out thought by offering imagination, wit, detail, compassion and style. This book looks to become an accessible classic that might persuade you to move north before the rush. Watch Canada. And maybe watch out, Canada, too.
---Deborah Popper and Frank Popper, originators of the Buffalo Commons idea

American Exodus is the more polite title for a book that might have been called, as a chapter sub-head has it, “The Awful Truth” about how climate change will remake the settlement of a continent. Characteristically widely and deeply researched, Slade’s new book argues persuasively that over the coming century much of the southern half and coastal zones of North America will become uninhabitable. The “exodus” of the title will then come to Canada—relatively green, wet, and mild. But as Slade points out, not all of Canada will be hospitable under climate change either. An engagingly eclectic meditation on the century to come, and the dramatic changes for which our countries and their leaders are woefully unprepared.
---Chris Wood, journalist and author, Down the Drain: How We Are Failing To Protect Our Water Resources

Giles Slade has never shrunk from talking about the next big idea. Now he takes on climate change and its potentially disastrous consequences for the United States. These include economic collapse and the turning of millions of Americans into postmodern “Okies” trying to cross their northern border into an unwelcoming nation. Slade makes plain that although America may still be the most powerful country in the world, in the face of recent natural disasters associated with climate change -- urban heat waves, droughts and superstorms -- the nation has looked like a hundred-pound weakling. As he paints a picture of a nation dangerously unprepared to face the current crisis, even fans of Slade’s previous work may find American Exodus a very inconvenient truth.
-- Edward Kohn, author, Hot Time in the Old Town: The Great Heat Wave of 1896

American Exodus assumes, unlike some, that global warming and climate changes are real threats to human survival. Instead of offering the usual standard response to this global issue, Giles Slade goes beyond this, and suggests provocative actions we need for the reproduction of life in North America. Slade shows that migration has always been an outcome of climate changes since the early 20th century, and projects that future American migration to Canada for survival is a likely scenario based on his rich analysis of the human migratory history of North America.
---Sing C. Chew, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and editor, Nature + Culture

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780865717497
Publisher:
New Society Publishers
Publication date:
11/05/2013
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
570,085
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Giles Slade is an award winning environmentalist concerned about the diminishing quality of life that awaits his children under climate change. His rich and colorful history also includes stints as a college lecturer, a Harlequin adventure novel writer, an illegal alien, a convicted felon and a college professor. The father of three, Giles is a passionate believer in the vital importance of leaving the smallest possible environmental debt to be resolved and accommodated in our children's century. He is regularly published in a variety of other print and online journals. He is the author of Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America and The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness.

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