Early Warming

Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North

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Book Description

In Shishmaref, Alaska, new seawalls are constructed while residents navigate the many practical and bureaucratic obstacles to moving their entire island village to higher ground. Farther south, inland hunters and fishermen set out to grow more of their own food—and to support the reintroduction of wood bison, an ancient species well suited to expected habitat changes. First Nations people in Canada team with conservationists to protect land for both local use and environmental resilience.

In Early Warming, Alaskan Writer Laureate, Nancy Lord, takes a cutting–edge look at how communities in the North—where global warming is amplified and climate–change effects are most immediate—are responding with desperation and creativity. This beautifully written and measured narrative takes us deep into regions where the indigenous people who face life–threatening change also demonstrate impressive conservation ethics and adaptive capacities. Underpinned by a long acquaintance with the North and backed with scientific and political sophistication, Lord’s vivid account brings the challenges ahead for us all into ice–water clarity.

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Praise For This Book

Praise for Early Warming

"Though [Lord] deftly weaves pertinent scientific and political information throughout, her account's power stems from her on–site observations, lyrical descriptions of the land and sea, and sensitive interviews of local officials and natives whose insight and experience humanize an otherwise vast and arcane subject . . . An eloquent and important dispatch." —Kirkus Reviews

"Early Warming is the most important book I've read all year. If you read only one climate change book, read this one. No statistical projections into the future, no doom, no gloom—no debate—just perfectly told stories of northern people who are right now struggling to bear their grief and re–invent their lives as forests die and burn, school buildings wash away, and the once–frozen ground gives way beneath their feet. By telling the stories so simply, so beautifully, Alaska's writer laureate forewarns the rest of the world." —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Wild Comfort

"Here's the up–to–the–second report from the scout furthest out along the front lines. Nancy Lord combines her knowledge and her love of the North to give us a vitally necessary, and in places hauntingly beautiful, account of what's already happening in those places the rest of us still think of as wild and untouched." —Bill McKibben

Praise for Fishcamp: Life on an Alaskan Shore

"These pages teem with provocative ideas about wild country, its uncertain place in the world, and the way landscape can shape a life . . . [Lord] is a wonderful writer, and this is a terrific book." —Jon Krakauer author of Into the Wild

Praise for Green Alaska: Dreams from the Far Coast

"Lord summons facts, art, literature, philosophy, science, legend, memory, hearsay and pure emotional and aesthetic response in the service of a deeper idea of Alaska. . . . [A] wholly worthwhile journey." —Newsday

"[A] satisfying collection of essays from the far reaches of Alaska." —The New York Times Book Review