Jamail (Beyond the Green Zone), a war correspondent and mountaineer, offers an unrelentingly depressing account of the current state of the environment. Time and again, Jamail asserts that all available scientific evidence shows that the damage humanity has done to the planet cannot be reversed, recounting near the start his realization that “we had defiled the biosphere and we were past the point of no return.” His survey of various ecosystems, including the Alaskan glaciers, the Amazon basin, the Great Barrier Reef, and northern California’s forests, leads him to the grim conclusion that “we are already facing mass extinction.” Jamail has managed to achieve inner peace by accepting the inevitability of humanity’s end, even as he grieves deeply, although he offers no basis for concluding that his calm response will be widespread. His message is not entirely consistent; he echoes an expert in palliative care that “the time to change our ways is long past,” but also endorses Vaclav Havel’s definition of hope as “the certainty that something is worth doing no matter how it turns out,” suggesting some merit to changing policies. The hopelessness this book engenders makes its intended audience and scope of readership unclear. Agent: Anthony Arnove, Roam Agency. (Jan.)
Praise for The End of Ice:
Included in Smithsonian magazine's "Ten Best Science Books of 2019"
A Publishers Weekly "Top 10 Science Picks" for Fall 2018"[Jamail] suggests that we must sit with our grief for the ever-diminishing planet; to understand how to proceed, we must acknowledge what we have lost and what we will continue to lose." —New York Times Book Review
"The End of Ice is about developing a stronger connection to nature, which Jamail says many people living in urban areas have lost or left behind." —Smithsonian.com"Jamail commits to educating others on the plight of the planet, in hopes a younger generation can delay the inevitable." —Men's Journal
"A reader seeking a single book about the current state of our warming world should find THE END OF ICE an ideal summary."—Anchorage Daily News
"Enlightening, heartbreaking, and necessary." —Booklist"This book will help readers understand how ecosystems have been affected by climate change and how inaction has potentially doomed further generations." —Library Journal"Assiduously researched, profoundly affecting, and filled with vivid evocations of the natural world. Jamail's deep love of nature blazes through his crisp, elegant prose, and he ably illuminates less-discussed aspects of climate disruption. . . . A passionate, emotional ode to the wonders of our dying planet and to those who, hopelessly or not, dedicate their lives to trying to save it." —Kirkus Reviews"In a sane world The End of Ice would be the end of lame excuses that climate change is too abstract to get worked up about. From the Arctic to the Amazon, from doomed Miami to the Great Barrier Reef, Dahr Jamail brings every frontier in our ongoing calamity into close focus. The losses are tangible. And so is the grief. This is more than a good book. It is a wise one." —William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest and The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth's Rarest Creatures "What a strange and compelling paradox this book offers: to fall in love with the Earth and all that we are losing, to let our hearts open to the deepest grief, and then trust that our grieving opens us to profound love. When what we love is lost, our grief honors the loss and cracks open our hearts to live fully in the present moment, which is joyous. Thank you, Dahr Jamail, for this gift." —Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science and Who Do We Choose to Be? Praise for Dahr Jamail:"A superb journalist, in the most honorable tradition of that craft." —Howard Zinn
A war journalist and mountaineering aficionado chronicles his global travels to witness the stakes of humanity's greatest battle: the destruction of our planet.
Award-winning journalist Jamail (The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2009, etc.) began covering climate disruption—the term he prefers over the more common "climate change"—in 2010 and has since "published more than one hundred articles" on the subject. For his latest book, he traveled to the front lines of extreme shifts in habitat and ecology: Denali in Alaska, where glaciers are rapidly melting; the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, where increasingly horrific storms and "large-scale die-offs" decimate the local culture; the Rock Islands of Palau in the western Pacific ocean, where corals experience often fatal "bleaching"; and the Amazon, whose famous biodiversity is threatened by deforestation, warming temperatures, and various other human-caused effects. The book is assiduously researched, profoundly affecting, and filled with vivid evocations of the natural world. Jamail's deep love of nature blazes through his crisp, elegant prose, and he ably illuminates less-discussed aspects of climate disruption, like the Alexandrium toxin, a "marine dinoflagellate" responsible for the mass deaths of birds and fish, and white pine blister rust, "one of the single largest threats to trees in the continental United States." The constant assessment of Earth's grim status can be a tad repetitive, but perhaps that's the point, as Jamail infuses the book with a sense of reluctant futility. Near the end, he writes that he has surrendered his hope that "bludgeoning people with scientific reports about increasingly dire predictions of the future would wake them up about the planetary crisis we find ourselves in." Now, he grieves, which "is a way of honoring what we are losing."
A passionate, emotional ode to the wonders of our dying planet and to those who, hopelessly or not, dedicate their lives to trying to save it.
Troubled by the changes that humankind's disassociation and disregard of nature have wrought, journalist Jamail (Beyond the Green Zone) visited various biospheres to "bear witness" to climate change. In the introduction, Jamail writes that he prefers using "anthropogenic (human-caused) climate disruption" instead of climate change, as humans are clearly responsible for the changes researchers have documented. He details his journeys to areas showing the greatest impacts of climate disruption so far: the Arctic, the Everglades/south Florida, the Amazon, the Great Barrier Reef, and western U.S. forests. At each location, Jamail spoke with researchers and residents witnessing the pernicious impacts of climate disruption: species extinctions, sea-level rise, new weather patterns, coastline erosion, deforestation, ocean acidification, thawing permafrost, and rapidly melting glaciers. Moreover, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report warning of unstoppable climate changes if action is not immediately taken. VERDICT This book will help readers understand how ecosystems have been affected by climate change and how inaction has potentially doomed further generations.—Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Lib., IN