The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience

The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience

by Rob Verchick
The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience

The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience

by Rob Verchick


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Winner, 2023 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

One morning in Miami Beach, an unexpected guest showed up in a luxury condominium complex’s parking garage: an octopus. The image quickly went viral. But the octopus—and the combination of infrastructure quirks and climate impacts that left it stranded—is more than a funny meme. It’s a potent symbol of the disruptions that a changing climate has already brought to our doorsteps and the ways we will have to adjust.

Rob Verchick examines how we can manage the risks that we can no longer avoid, laying out our options as we face climate breakdown. Although reducing carbon dioxide emissions is essential, we need to adapt to address the damage we have already caused. Verchick explores what resilience looks like on the ground, from early humans on the savannas to today’s shop owners and city planners. He takes the reader on a journey into the field: paddling through Louisiana’s bayous, hiking in one of the last refuges of Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert, and diving off Key Largo with citizen scientists working to restore coral reefs. The book emphasizes disadvantaged communities, which bear the brunt of environmental risk, arguing that building climate resilience is a necessary step toward justice.

Engaging and accessible for nonexpert concerned citizens, The Octopus in the Parking Garage empowers readers to face the climate crisis and shows what we can do to adapt and thrive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231203548
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 04/11/2023
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 623,316
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rob Verchick is a leading climate law scholar who designed and implemented climate-resilience policies in the Obama administration. He holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans, is a senior fellow in disaster resilience at Tulane University, and serves as president of the Center for Progressive Reform. Verchick is the author of four books and host of the podcast Connect the Dots.

Table of Contents

Part I: Understanding Resilience
1. Let’s Talk About the Octopus
2. Adapt or Die
3. Sprawling Brains and Rubber Arms
4. Climate and Caste
5. Believing Is Seeing
Part II: Doing Resilience
6. Moonshot on the Bayou
7. Lights Out
8. Flash! Crack! Boom!
9. Yuccas, Gardeners, and Zookeepers
10. The Octopus’s Garden
11. The Long Goodbye
12. Persist and Prevail
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