Synopses & Reviews
A beautiful and engaging guide to global warming's impacts around the world
Our planet is in peril. Seas are rising, oceans are acidifying, ice is melting, coasts are flooding, species are dying, and communities are faltering. Despite these dire circumstances, most of us don't have a clear sense of how the interconnected crises in our ocean are affecting the climate system, food webs, coastal cities, and biodiversity, and which solutions can help us co-create a better future.
Through a rich combination of place-based storytelling, clear explanations of climate science and policy, and beautifully rendered maps that use a unique ink-on-dried-seaweed technique, The Atlas of Disappearing Places depicts twenty locations across the globe, from Shanghai and Antarctica to Houston and the Cook Islands. The authors describe four climate change impacts — changing chemistry, warming waters, strengthening storms, and rising seas — using the metaphor of the ocean as a body to draw parallels between natural systems and human systems.
Each chapter paints a portrait of an existential threat in a particular place, detailing what will be lost if we do not take bold action now. Weaving together contemporary stories and speculative "future histories" for each place, this work considers both the serious consequences if we continue to pursue business as usual, and what we can do — from government policies to grassroots activism — to write a different, more hopeful story.
A beautiful work of art and an indispensable resource to learn more about the devastating consequences of the climate crisis — as well as possibilities for individual and collective action — The Atlas of Disappearing Places will engage and inspire readers on the most pressing issue of our time.
"The Atlas of Disappearing Places offers warnings no one wants to hear, though now we ignore them at our peril. Readable, informative, and terrifying, this important book is simultaneously global and local, affecting every aspect of our lives, inland as well as on the coasts. Read it... and weep... and act. As the seas rise, so must we." Lucy R. Lippard, curator of Weather Report: Art and Climate Change
"You are holding a surprising, enlightening, hopeful book. Readers visit twenty places, immersed in the authors' deeply researched reporting; the most heartening stories are the authors' views of the next few decades, showing that positive change is easy to envision and realistic. The art alone speaks volumes about what is possible: for the human heart-mind to envision and pursue a beautiful way through this crisis, out to a more humane and life-affirming future." Carl Safina, author of Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace
"The Atlas of Disappearing Places grasps the depth and breadth of change taking place. Creative, informative, and provocative, it presents us with artful surprises, poignant anecdotes, and memorable facts. I highly recommend it." John Englander, oceanographer, author of Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward
"An atlas of places that are likely to be transformed beyond recovery over the next decades may seem like a sad theme for a book. Yet Christina Conklin and Marina Psaros have produced a thing of beauty, a testament as gorgeous as the places it sears into our memory. If we do not care, we will not make the effort to save our world. Readers will find themselves caring deeply, and that at least is a first step." Richard Heinberg, senior fellow, Post Carbon Institute
"An extraordinary journey on the frontiers of scientific understanding into life's exquisitely complex interdependence communicated by master storytellers. At once captivating and deeply informative. Terrifying and hopeful, a must-read for all who care." David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth
About the Author
Christina Conklin is an artist, writer, and researcher whose work investigates the intersection of natural systems and belief systems, often using the ocean as both site and metaphor. Her essays, exhibitions, and installations consider our cultural responses to the intersecting ecological and social crises of our time. She holds an MFA from California College of the Arts and has exhibited internationally. She is currently working with thought leaders and activists around the world to help communities create regenerative cultural systems. She lives with her husband and two children in Half Moon Bay, California.
Marina Psaros is a sustainability expert and has led climate action programs across public, private, and nonprofit organizations for over a decade. She is one of the creators of The King Tides Project, an international community science and education initiative. An amateur cartographer and ocean advocate, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area