Published on Mar 20, 2014
New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert discusses topics from her new book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe.
Americans have been warned since the late 1970s that the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere threatens to melt the polar ice sheets and irreversibly change our climate. With little done since then to alter this dangerous path, the world has reached a critical threshold. By the end of the twenty-first century, it will likely be hotter than at any point in the last two million years, and the sweeping consequences of this change will determine the course of life on earth for generations to come.
Acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Kolbert approaches this monumental problem from every angle. She travels to the Arctic, interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most: the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear. Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series for the New Yorker, Field Notes from a Catastrophe brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done to save our planet.