The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy

The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy

by Michael McCarthy

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The moth snowstorm, a phenomenon Michael McCarthy remembers from his boyhood when moths “would pack a car’s headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard,” is a distant memory. Wildlife is being lost, not only in the wholesale extinctions of species but also in the dwindling of those species that still exist.

The Moth Snowstorm is unlike any other book about climate change today; combining the personal with the polemical, it is a manifesto rooted in experience, a poignant memoir of the author’s first love: nature. McCarthy traces his adoration of the natural world to when he was seven, when the discovery of butterflies and birds brought sudden joy to a boy whose mother had just been hospitalized and whose family life was deteriorating. He goes on to record in painful detail the rapid dissolution of nature’s abundance in the intervening decades, and he proposes a radical solution to our current problem: that we each recognize in ourselves the capacity to love the natural world.

Arguing that neither sustainable development nor ecosystem services have provided adequate defense against pollution, habitat destruction, species degradation, and climate change, McCarthy asks us to consider nature as an intrinsic good and an emotional and spiritual resource, capable of inspiring joy, wonder, and even love. An award-winning environmental journalist, McCarthy presents a clear, well-documented picture of what he calls “the great thinning” around the world, while interweaving the story of his own early discovery of the wilderness and a childhood saved by nature. Drawing on the truths of poets, the studies of scientists, and the author’s long experience in the field, The Moth Snowstorm is part elegy, part ode, and part argument, resulting in a passionate call to action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681370415
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 400,765
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Michael McCarthy is known for his award-winning writings on the environment and the natural world, including his book-length works The Moth Snowstorm and Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo. He was the environment correspondent for The Times (London) and later the environment editor at The Independent. He has been the recipient of the Specialist Writer of the Year Award in the British Press Awards, the Medal of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for “outstanding services to conservation,” and the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Table of Contents

1 A Singular Window 1

2 Stumbling Upon Wilderness 31

3 The Bond and the Losses 57

4 The Great Thinning 87

5 Joy in the Calendar 125

6 Joy in the Beauty of the Earth 155

7 Wonder 189

8 A New Kind of Love 215

Acknowledgements 247

Index 251

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The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These words describe the poetic and heartfelt passages about the world in which yge author grew up, from the sighting of his first butterflies to the "gifts to us of mud" of the River Dee estuary. This book is both tge personal story of the author, which brought him as a child to a lifelong sense of joy and consolation to be found in nature, and his professional view of how much this beauty, whether local or beyond, needs to be defended. Both the author's personal losses and the losses to tge natural environment are integral to the journey. We feel that this is a book everyone needs to read. (This review is taken more or less verbatim from the UK 's National Trust magazine Autumn 2016 and i thought this ringing endorsement might be of interest to your readers.) JHM