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Early Spring: Waking to a Warming World

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Early Spring: Waking to a Warming World Cover

ISBN13: 9780807085844
ISBN10: 0807085847
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science.

The human heart is the most sensitive instrument, and that is why Amy Seidl's marvelous book is so important, a new kind of contribution to the rapidly growing library on global warming. — Bill McKibben, from the foreword

Robert Frost wrote about nature and rural life in New England, and Norman Rockwell painted classic scenes of farmhouses and American traditional life, images reproduced as symbolizing an idealized history born of New England sights. But New England, a region whose culture is rooted in its four distinct seasons, is changing along with its climate.

In Early Spring, ecologist and mother Amy Seidl examines climate change at a personal level through her own family's walks in the woods, work in their garden, and observations of local wildlife in the quintessential America of small-town New England, deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Seidl's testimony, grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology but written with beauty and emotion, helps us realize that a natural upheaval from climate change has already begun: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrations at unexpected times. Increasingly, the media report on melting ice caps and drowning polar bears, but Seidl brings the message of global warming much closer to home by considering how climate change has altered her local experience, and the traditions and lifestyles of her neighbors, from syrup producers to apple farmers. In Vermont, she finds residents using nineteenth-century practices to deal with perhaps the most destructive twenty-first-century phenomenon.

Seidl's poignant writing and scientific observations will cause readers to look at their local climate anew, and consider how they and their neighbors have adjusted to the reality of global warming.

Review:

"In this intimate reflection, Seidl, an ecologist, records her observations of life and ecology in the wooded Vermont hollow where she lives, depicting how human, animal and plant life is changing as the weather becomes warmer and less predictable. At Christmas, people are canoeing rather than skating; daffodils push through the ground in January; outbreaks of tent caterpillars, historically limited by winter deep freezes, stress the sugar bush. An ice-fishing derby 'is cancelled more times than it is run. They can't depend on the ice... to hold up.' Seidl's tender descriptions of her young daughters' encounters with the natural world — skipping rocks, choosing Halloween pumpkins from the garden and 'gorging on the abundance' of cherries picked off the tree — add personal poignancy to a subject 'few can stand to talk about at any length.' Walking the woods with her husband and children on a Sunday morning, Seidl muses on 'the scale of life itself... its infinite unfolding, and how... present joy is a reflection of deep time,' suggesting that, to avoid mass extinction, we 'evolve a new set of values... consonant with ecocentrism.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The world is made of small places, each of which is responding differently to the crisis of a changing climate. Here, with the mind of a scientist and the heart of a mom, Amy Seidl explores the effects of climate chaos on her home-ground, its meadows and rivers, birds and traditions. She ponders the human predicament in a titanic and visionary personal inquiry that remains fixed on promise even in the face of grim and unsettling facts. This is a brave book." Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

Review:

"This is the voice we need to hear now: a biologist mother, with no time for despair, bearing witness to the unraveling of the ecological world within her children's backyard — which is all of our children's backyard. With urgency and grace, Amy Seidl delivers the message I've been listening for." Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment and Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood

Review:

"An eloquent celebration of commitment to family, community, and the ever-so-fragile natural world....Regardless of where you live, this may very well be one of the most important books you'll ever read." Howard Frank Mosher, author of A Stranger in the Kingdom

Review:

"Early Spring contributes something of great value to the tradition founded by Rachel Carson. Amy Seidl brings her own professional training as a biologist, as well as her engaging lyrical voice, to bear on the blurring of seasons around her Vermont home. The result is a timely, important book — both troubling and lovely." John Elder, author of Reading the Mountains of Home

Review:

"Who would have thought a few years ago that coal-burning plants on the other side of the globe could affect us? The hills and hollows of Vermont would seem to be the last place on Earth you'd expect to feel the effects of global warming. But Amy Seidl tells lovingly of how Vermont's nature and landscapes will change, and what could be in store." Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven

Review:

"Early Spring is brave and eloquent testimony from a reliable witness about the extraordinary changes we face in the very nature of daily life on Earth. It reminds us that the human heart and mind have their place in the order of things, too." James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency

Review:

"This is a quiet but important little book in the spirit of Gilbert White, J. Henri Fabre, and Thoreau, three other writers who grasped that close observation of local details can lead to transcendent understanding. Amy Seidl, a graceful and trenchant writer herself, combines scientific research and home truths to alert us, at gut and heart and head levels, about what's happening to our planet." David Quammen, author of The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

Review:

"This slim and informative book speaks to the heart as well as the mind. Painlessly and in quiet, personal language, it taught me much about ecology and my native New England." Mark Bowen, author of Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming

Review:

"Informative and hopeful, this book is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries." Library Journal

Review:

"[A]rtfully broadminded...reminiscent of the Old Farmer's Almanac....[P]rescient...deeply personal and solidly scientific, Seidl's chronicle manages to be concerned without being cloying." Booklist

Synopsis:

The human heart is the most sensitive instrument, and that is why Amy Seidl's marvelous book is so important, a new kind of contribution to the rapidly growing library on global warming.—Bill McKibben, from the foreword

Robert Frost wrote about nature and rural life in New England, and Norman Rockwell painted classic scenes of farmhouses and American traditional life, images reproduced as symbolizing an idealized history born of New England sights. But New England, a region whose culture is rooted in its four distinct seasons, is changing along with its climate.

In Early Spring, ecologist and mother Amy Seidl examines climate change at a personal level through her own family's walks in the woods, work in their garden, and observations of local wildlife in the quintessential America of small-town New England, deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Seidl's testimony, grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology but written with beauty and emotion, helps us realize that a natural upheaval from climate change has already begun: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrations at unexpected times. Increasingly, the media report on melting ice caps and drowning polar bears, but Seidl brings the message of global warming much closer to home by considering how climate change has altered her local experience, and the traditions and lifestyles of her neighbors, from syrup producers to apple farmers. In Vermont, she finds residents using nineteenth-century practices to deal with perhaps the most destructive twenty-first-century phenomenon.

Seidl's poignant writing and scientific observations will cause readers to look at their local climate anew, and consider how they and their neighbors have adjusted to the reality of global warming.

Synopsis:

An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science
 
As Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver examine food issues through their own families' meals, Amy Seidl looks at climate change through family walks in the woods, work in her garden, and seasonal community events throughout the year. She brings home the reality of global warming by considering how it has altered her life, her daughters' experiences outdoors, and the traditions of her quintessential small New England town-the iconic landscape celebrated by Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, and many others.
 
While it may be possible for some to ignore drowning polar bears and PowerPoint presentations, Early Spring considers the observations by our neighbors, families, and friends of the changing weather and landscape and puts them into scientific context. As an ecologist, Seidl explains how natural upheaval occurs in the microcosms of our backyards and parks: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrating at unexpected times. While the human community, including Seidl's daughters, adapts to a changing climate, plants and animals also adapt, she shows, in ways both obvious and surprising.
 
Through beautiful literary writing grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology, Seidl offers both a personal and a research-based testimonial of global warming.

About the Author

Amy Seidl has taught in the environmental studies programs at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. She is currently a research scholar at Middlebury and associate director of the LivingFuture Foundation. She lives with her family in Huntington, Vermont, in a solar- and wind-powered home.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Bev, March 28, 2009 (view all comments by Bev)
Amy Seidl explains in her book Early Spring how climate change is interrupting nature's balance. Both ecologist and mother she describes these changes on a basic and scientific level. The title itself represents one of the strongest signals of global warming; that spring is coming days earlier each decade.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
MindyBuchanan, March 17, 2009 (view all comments by MindyBuchanan)
This is a really excellent book if you're on the fence with respect to global warming. Well, on the fence and leaning toward the existence of it. I haven't been on the fence for a long time, but if I were, I'd find this book an excellent way to look at the small changes to discover truth.

Seidl's writing is easy, glossy and entertaining. It almost feels like your having a conversation with her. Albeit, one sided.

All and all, I really enjoyed this book. I have a much dryer sense of humor than the author, and I probably would have liked a little more humor interjected into this book. However, I think many will find enjoyment in her prose. She has a definite gift for description and one can see many of the examples she gives reflected in their own lives and observations.

I think I'd very much like to have her as a professor. She is certainly able to fire up the thrill of learning
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807085844
Subtitle:
An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World
Author:
Seidl, Amy
Foreword by:
McKibben, Bill
Foreword:
McKibben, Bill
Author:
McKibben, Bill
Publisher:
Beacon Press
Subject:
Nature
Subject:
Climatic changes
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Subject:
Global warming
Subject:
Nature -- Effect of human beings on.
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090301
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.60x5.70x.80 in. .80 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Climate Change and Global Warming
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Ecology
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Early Spring: Waking to a Warming World Used Hardcover
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$6.50 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807085844 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this intimate reflection, Seidl, an ecologist, records her observations of life and ecology in the wooded Vermont hollow where she lives, depicting how human, animal and plant life is changing as the weather becomes warmer and less predictable. At Christmas, people are canoeing rather than skating; daffodils push through the ground in January; outbreaks of tent caterpillars, historically limited by winter deep freezes, stress the sugar bush. An ice-fishing derby 'is cancelled more times than it is run. They can't depend on the ice... to hold up.' Seidl's tender descriptions of her young daughters' encounters with the natural world — skipping rocks, choosing Halloween pumpkins from the garden and 'gorging on the abundance' of cherries picked off the tree — add personal poignancy to a subject 'few can stand to talk about at any length.' Walking the woods with her husband and children on a Sunday morning, Seidl muses on 'the scale of life itself... its infinite unfolding, and how... present joy is a reflection of deep time,' suggesting that, to avoid mass extinction, we 'evolve a new set of values... consonant with ecocentrism.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The world is made of small places, each of which is responding differently to the crisis of a changing climate. Here, with the mind of a scientist and the heart of a mom, Amy Seidl explores the effects of climate chaos on her home-ground, its meadows and rivers, birds and traditions. She ponders the human predicament in a titanic and visionary personal inquiry that remains fixed on promise even in the face of grim and unsettling facts. This is a brave book."
"Review" by , "This is the voice we need to hear now: a biologist mother, with no time for despair, bearing witness to the unraveling of the ecological world within her children's backyard — which is all of our children's backyard. With urgency and grace, Amy Seidl delivers the message I've been listening for." Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment and Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood
"Review" by , "An eloquent celebration of commitment to family, community, and the ever-so-fragile natural world....Regardless of where you live, this may very well be one of the most important books you'll ever read."
"Review" by , "Early Spring contributes something of great value to the tradition founded by Rachel Carson. Amy Seidl brings her own professional training as a biologist, as well as her engaging lyrical voice, to bear on the blurring of seasons around her Vermont home. The result is a timely, important book — both troubling and lovely."
"Review" by , "Who would have thought a few years ago that coal-burning plants on the other side of the globe could affect us? The hills and hollows of Vermont would seem to be the last place on Earth you'd expect to feel the effects of global warming. But Amy Seidl tells lovingly of how Vermont's nature and landscapes will change, and what could be in store."
"Review" by , "Early Spring is brave and eloquent testimony from a reliable witness about the extraordinary changes we face in the very nature of daily life on Earth. It reminds us that the human heart and mind have their place in the order of things, too."
"Review" by , "This is a quiet but important little book in the spirit of Gilbert White, J. Henri Fabre, and Thoreau, three other writers who grasped that close observation of local details can lead to transcendent understanding. Amy Seidl, a graceful and trenchant writer herself, combines scientific research and home truths to alert us, at gut and heart and head levels, about what's happening to our planet."
"Review" by , "This slim and informative book speaks to the heart as well as the mind. Painlessly and in quiet, personal language, it taught me much about ecology and my native New England." Mark Bowen, author of Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming
"Review" by , "Informative and hopeful, this book is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries."
"Review" by , "[A]rtfully broadminded...reminiscent of the Old Farmer's Almanac....[P]rescient...deeply personal and solidly scientific, Seidl's chronicle manages to be concerned without being cloying."
"Synopsis" by , The human heart is the most sensitive instrument, and that is why Amy Seidl's marvelous book is so important, a new kind of contribution to the rapidly growing library on global warming.—Bill McKibben, from the foreword

Robert Frost wrote about nature and rural life in New England, and Norman Rockwell painted classic scenes of farmhouses and American traditional life, images reproduced as symbolizing an idealized history born of New England sights. But New England, a region whose culture is rooted in its four distinct seasons, is changing along with its climate.

In Early Spring, ecologist and mother Amy Seidl examines climate change at a personal level through her own family's walks in the woods, work in their garden, and observations of local wildlife in the quintessential America of small-town New England, deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Seidl's testimony, grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology but written with beauty and emotion, helps us realize that a natural upheaval from climate change has already begun: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrations at unexpected times. Increasingly, the media report on melting ice caps and drowning polar bears, but Seidl brings the message of global warming much closer to home by considering how climate change has altered her local experience, and the traditions and lifestyles of her neighbors, from syrup producers to apple farmers. In Vermont, she finds residents using nineteenth-century practices to deal with perhaps the most destructive twenty-first-century phenomenon.

Seidl's poignant writing and scientific observations will cause readers to look at their local climate anew, and consider how they and their neighbors have adjusted to the reality of global warming.

"Synopsis" by ,
An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science
 
As Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver examine food issues through their own families' meals, Amy Seidl looks at climate change through family walks in the woods, work in her garden, and seasonal community events throughout the year. She brings home the reality of global warming by considering how it has altered her life, her daughters' experiences outdoors, and the traditions of her quintessential small New England town-the iconic landscape celebrated by Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, and many others.
 
While it may be possible for some to ignore drowning polar bears and PowerPoint presentations, Early Spring considers the observations by our neighbors, families, and friends of the changing weather and landscape and puts them into scientific context. As an ecologist, Seidl explains how natural upheaval occurs in the microcosms of our backyards and parks: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrating at unexpected times. While the human community, including Seidl's daughters, adapts to a changing climate, plants and animals also adapt, she shows, in ways both obvious and surprising.
 
Through beautiful literary writing grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology, Seidl offers both a personal and a research-based testimonial of global warming.
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