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Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warmingby Amy Seidl
Synopses & Reviews
An ecologist takes the uniquely positive--yet realistic--position that we can adapt and persist despite the inevitable effects of climate change.
While much of the global warming conversationrightly focuses on reducing our carbon footprint, the reality is that even if we were to immediately cease emissions, we would still face climate change into the next millennium. In Finding HigherGround, Amy Seidl takes the uniquely positive--yet realistic--position that humans and animals can adapt and persist despite these changes.
Drawing on an emergingbody of scientific research, Seidl brings us stories of adaptation from the natural world and from human communities. She offers examples of how plants, insects, birds, and mammals are already adapting both behaviorallyand genetically. Within ten years, one plant species in a drought-stricken area has evolved to fit its life cycle into the shorter growing season. Red squirrels are breeding earlier to take advantage of the foodsupplied by an earlier spring. And some birds are migrating shorter distances, or not at all, as their northern habitats become milder.
While some species will be unable to adapt to newconditions quickly enough to survive, Seidl argues that those that do can show us how to increase our own capacity for resilience. She tells of a young farmer experimenting with adaptive strategies for local crops, architects using biomimicry to design buildings that actually contribute to their surrounding ecosystems, and the establishment of decentralized and renewable energy banks. While Seidl admits that these efforts alonewon't change the world, she hopes that taken together they can form the basis for a new, revolutionary set of ideas to live by, much like the efforts that brought about abolition, women's suffrage, andthe eight-hour workday.
In looking at climate change as an opportunity to establish new cultural norms, Seidl's perspective inspires readers to move beyond loss and offers arefreshing call to evolve.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Amy Seidl is an ecologist, writer, and teacher. She is the author of Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World. Amy teaches at the University of Vermont and lives near Burlington with her husband and their children in a solar-powered home.
Table of Contents
Adapting to a carbonated world — Fitting in — On migration — Feast or famine — Our oldest and newest energy — Localizing home — Self-reliance 2.0 — The pragmatism of adaptation.
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