Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming

Amy Seidl, Beacon, $24.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8070-8598-1
Seidl (Early Spring) transcends wrangling about the reality of climate change by focusing on those already adapting to shifts in temperature: flora, fauna, and farmers. In less than a decade, mizuma plants in California evolved to the shortened growing season caused by extreme drought. Yukon red squirrels are giving birth more than two weeks earlier to take advantage of global warming-induced increases in spruce cone crops. Vermont winegrowers "alert to the changes in regional weather and climate" are establishing new grape stock for resilience. Geese, salmon, and eels are even abandoning migration when easier winters make staying more advantageous than travel. But some species are less flexible, needing human assistance to relocate, and human migrations are increasing in response to drought and flooding. Observing her neighbors "striving for resiliency" by creating alternatives to a fossil fuel–based culture, Seidl optimistically proposes that humans might also evolve as we adapt, extending our empathy to nonhuman life vulnerable to climate change: "Coming to the aid of species unable to adapt to the Age of Warming, we will revise our role in the ecological world from agents of relentless environmental degradation... to agents who create the conditions conducive to life." (June)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 199 pages - 978-0-8070-8499-1
Open Ebook - 91 pages - 978-0-8070-8599-8
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