Friday, April 10, 2009

Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World

Global Warming! We see video of ice caps melting on the news. We hear about polar bears drowning. We fight about it with people we went to high school with. As teachers we learn that nothing has meaning until it becomes personal. To the average person like me, I would assume, global warming hasn't become a truly personal issue. After all, when I wake up in the morning I don't see polar bears drowning and ice caps melting outside my window.

Amy Seidl is an ecologist who has actually been around the world studying global warming. Her book takes the macroscopic idea of global warming and makes it microscopic by providing very specific examples of how things have changed just by looking around her own hollow in Vermont.

It is meant to be a narrative with science mixed in, but is science heavy. I had to look up a few words while reading it, and had to reread a lot of the explanations. I think that's good though. If you are going to write a book showing how, scientifically, global warming is real, then I suppose you're going to have to get pretty technical. However, the narrative aspect combined with the short length keeps it from reading like a text book.

Each chapter is broken down by a class of life that is changing (such as birds, butterflies, and forests), typically ending with a rhetorical question in the vein of, This is how global warming has affected this in just the past 10 years, what will it be like in another 10 years? Indeed.

Not written to scare people into a Y2K frenzy, it is eye-opening, fact-filled, and gives you a personal way to see the effect of global warming on every living thing.

P.S. This is the second book I've received as an Early Reviewer at LibraryThing, and it also qualifies as a book with a "relative" in its title for my What's In a Name Challenge.

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