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The Big Answer


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The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

a book by Dahr Jamail

(our site's book review)

This Book Discovers the Horrid Consequences to Nature and to Humans of the Loss of Ice

The Amazon blurb says that As seen in The New York Times, Men’s Journal, Smithsonian.com, and The Guardian

The author who Jeremy Scahill calls the “quintessential unembedded reporter” visits “hot spots” around the world in a global quest to discover how we will cope with our planet’s changing ecosystems.

Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation
Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation

After nearly a decade overseas as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption. In response, Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest—in order to discover the consequences to nature and to humans of the loss of ice.

'What could possibly cause all this melting ice? My money's on all those long, hot stinkers you've been letting! Pee-yew! I mean, what else could it be?'
'What could possibly cause all this melting ice? My money's on all those long, hot stinkers you've been letting! Pee-yew! I mean, what else could it be?'

In The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption, we follow Jamail as he scales Denali, the highest peak in North America, dives in the warm crystal waters of the Pacific only to find ghostly coral reefs, and explores the tundra of St. Paul Island where he meets the last subsistence seal hunters of the Bering Sea and witnesses its melting glaciers. Accompanied by climate scientists and people whose families have fished, farmed, and lived in the areas he visits for centuries, Jamail begins to accept the fact that Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation. Ironically, this allows him to renew his passion for the planet’s wild places, cherishing Earth in a way he has never been able to before.

Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest
Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest

Like No Other Book, This Book Chronicles the Coming Catastrophe

Like no other book, The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption offers a firsthand chronicle—including photographs throughout of Jamail on his journey across the world—of the catastrophic reality of our situation and the incalculable necessity of relishing this vulnerable, fragile planet while we still can.

'I'm extremely popular at parties. Everyone tells me I make them feel cooler, because I'm a snowflake girl!'
'I'm extremely popular at parties. Everyone tells me I make them feel cooler, because I'm a snowflake girl!'

Reviewers See This Book as Essential Reading

A Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Science Picks” for Fall 2018

“[Jamail] suggests that we must sit with our grief for the ever-diminishing planet; to understand how to proceed, we must acknowledge what we have lost and what we will continue to lose.” —New York Times Book Review

The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption is about developing a stronger connection to nature, which Jamail says many people living in urban areas have lost or left behind.” —Smithsonian.com

“Jamail commits to educating others on the plight of the planet, in hopes a younger generation can delay the inevitable.” —Men’s Journal

“Enlightening, heartbreaking, and necessary.” —Booklist

With vivid evocations of the natural world. Jamail's deep love of nature blazes through his crisp, elegant prose in his book
With vivid evocations of the natural world. Jamail's deep love of nature blazes through his crisp, elegant prose in his book

“This book will help readers understand how ecosystems have been affected by climate change and how inaction has potentially doomed further generations.” —Library Journal

“Assiduously researched, profoundly affecting, and filled with vivid evocations of the natural world. Jamail's deep love of nature blazes through his crisp, elegant prose, and he ably illuminates less-discussed aspects of climate disruption. . . . A passionate, emotional ode to the wonders of our dying planet and to those who, hopelessly or not, dedicate their lives to trying to save it.” —Kirkus Reviews

'How could this happen? They promised us there was no ice left on Earth!'
'How could this happen? They promised us there was no ice left on Earth!'

“In a sane world The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption would be the end of lame excuses that climate change is too abstract to get worked up about. From the Arctic to the Amazon, from doomed Miami to the Great Barrier Reef, Dahr Jamail brings every frontier in our ongoing calamity into close focus. The losses are tangible. And so is the grief. This is more than a good book. It is a wise one.” —William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest and The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures

“What a strange and compelling paradox this book offers: to fall in love with the Earth and all that we are losing, to let our hearts open to the deepest grief, and then trust that our grieving opens us to profound love. When what we love is lost, our grief honors the loss and cracks open our hearts to live fully in the present moment, which is joyous. Thank you, Dahr Jamail, for this gift.” —Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science and Who Do We Choose to Be?

Praise for Dahr Jamail: “A superb journalist, in the most honorable tradition of that craft.” —Howard Zinn

After people, life on Earth will survive just fine, especially cockroaches
After people, life on Earth will survive just fine, especially cockroaches

"'Life persists given even the slightest chance. In the future, natural life on Earth will be quite different than it is now, but it will survive just fine [especially cockroaches]. It’s just that, [as one expert told him] humans may not be around to see it.' [See The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming] It’s a testament to the current state of affairs that even this kind of ‘the planet, but not us’ conclusion is starting to feel optimistic." (Source: The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail, Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Review)


If Saying Please Does Not Work, Climate Immigrants Will Try Nastier Approaches

If saying please does not work, climate immigrants will try nastier approaches. If we define them as terrorists, it will mean we are hoping that sweeping our sins under the rug will fool someone. It won't—we must tell the Republicans and Big Oil to grow the hell up and face reality
If saying please does not work, climate immigrants will try nastier approaches. If we define them as terrorists, it will mean we are hoping that sweeping our sins under the rug will fool someone. It won't—we must tell the Republicans and Big Oil to grow the hell up and face reality

In The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption, Jamail finds that every single worst case scenario predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding temperature, sea level, severe weather, and CO2 in the atmosphere has fallen short. What we need is to work to slow the climate collapse and to mitigate its impacts as well as provide aid to each other as it washes over us. We will soon be awash in climate immigrants who will attempt to get help from the countries that are the main causers of this mess.

Here, immigrants become official citizens
Here, immigrants become official citizens

If saying please does not work, they'll try nastier approaches. If we define climate immigrants as terrorists, it will mean we are hoping that sweeping our sins under the rug will fool someone. It won't—we must tell the Republicans and Big Oil to grow up and face reality, since these bozos will realize it's easier and cheaper to shoot them than help them. It reminds one of the 1960s. "The whole world is watching" was a phrase chanted by anti-Vietnam War demonstrators as they were beaten and arrested by police outside the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. No amount of media censorship is going to work this time. EVERYONE has cell phone cameras!

If we define climate immigrants as terrorists, it will mean we are hoping that hiding our sins will fool someone, but it won't
If we define climate immigrants as terrorists, it will mean we are hoping that hiding our sins will fool someone, but it won't

Jamail Gives Us a Tour of Doomed Places, Like Glaciers

Jamail gives us a tour of doomed places, like glaciers, but he finds his visits to natural wonders bittersweet and takes extra pleasure in spending time with doomed places. He notes that we need a radical revamping of our culture into the sort of society that could have survived had it reformed itself thirty or fourty years sooner. We need to dedicate ourselves to writing our last chapter on Earth with dignity and kindness, with the closest thing we can manage to the grace, compassion and wisdom that could have saved us. We all need to tune out the Trumps and Big Oil clowns and Fox News conspiracy theorist clowns and assume our moral responsibility in spite of their ludicrous and pathetic "fiddling as Rome burns." We need to avoid at all costs voting for another motormouthed jackass to lie to us but instead support those who are aware and face reality with courage.

They say the Middle East is going to get so hot the terrorists will start melting
They say the Middle East is going to get so hot the terrorists will start melting

We do not believe Trump believes Climate Disruption is a hoax like he claims. Trump likes to win and hates to lose. Climate Disruption is about losing—for everyone. So he wants no part of it even though he's got enough brains to see that the feces is about to hit the fan. All our leaders have given Climate Disruption short shrift starting with Ronnie Reagan, so Trump's just the latest faker, not even giving it the token gestures and lip service his predecessors did. Obama—the Great Black Hope of the liberals, saw what was coming and knew it would spoil his legacy, so his ego insulted us with a token gesture, helping to shoe-horn us into our horrific fate. Some liberal hero he turned out to be! Too bad Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is too young to run—she seems the most committed to the Green New Deal, although Deb Haaland, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Antonio Delgado are other candidates supporting it. And so are 2020 candidates Bernard Sanders, Kamala Devi Harris, Elizabeth Ann Warren, Marianne Deborah Williamson, Andrew Yang, Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel, Kirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand, Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, and Cory Booker.

These glacier backpackers are on ice today that will soon be water submerging New York City, Boston, Jakarta, Miami, Bangkok, Lagos, Manila, Dhaka, Shanghai, Houston, London, Fort Lauderdale, Atlantic City, Honolulu, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Charleston, Virginia Beach, Seattle, Savannah, Cambridge, Oakland, and St. Petersburg
These glacier backpackers are on ice today that will soon be water submerging New York City, Boston, Jakarta, Miami, Bangkok, Lagos, Manila, Dhaka, Shanghai, Houston, London, Fort Lauderdale, Atlantic City, Honolulu, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Charleston, Virginia Beach, Seattle, Savannah, Cambridge, Oakland, and St. Petersburg

"On January 10, 2019, over 600 organizations submitted a letter to Congress declaring support for policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes ending fossil fuel extraction and subsidies, transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2035, expanding public transportation, and strict emission reductions rather than reliance on carbon emission trading. . . . Republican lawmakers have continuously rejected the Green New Deal resolution." (Source: Green New Deal, Wikipedia)

Sea level rise caused by global warming is usually cast as a doomsday scenario that will play out so far into the future, it’s easy to ignore. Just ask anyone in South Florida, where new construction proceeds apace. Denial is a river in Egypt
Sea level rise caused by global warming is usually cast as a doomsday scenario that will play out so far into the future, it’s easy to ignore. Just ask anyone in South Florida, where new construction proceeds apace. Denial is a river in Egypt

Heartbreaking as It Is, We Are Losing Our World to Fanatic Greed

Heartbreaking as it is, we are losing our world, but as The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption makes clear, it isn’t all about us. Unfortunately, we’re taking millions of species along with us. Estimates on how much longer we—or they—might survive vary from only a few years to several decades, but it seems as though the ending is already cooked into the harsh realities of our climate systems. It is strange to be helping to write Earth's obituary as Jamail has done, capably. Our character will reveal itself in how we respond when the chips are down. If the Trumps and Big Oil and the Republicans and Fox News don't do an about-face really soon, then they will end up so shamed as to represent the Shame of Humanity, and we'll see a suicide epidemic. They will be furious at Big Oil for their decades-long campaign of lying propaganda. It will be like the cancer-ridden victims of Big Tobacco's lies feeling hopelessness and fury about the incredible greed of those guys.

Proclaiming that the end is nigh is one of the main realizations of those who are shocked to realize the extreme and certain nature of what is coming soon— the fire of anthropogenic climate collapse will shock all deniers the most as they realize that it is their ignorant, foolish inactions that caused it
Proclaiming that the end is nigh is one of the main realizations of those who are shocked to realize the extreme and certain nature of what is coming soon— the fire of anthropogenic climate collapse will shock all deniers the most as they realize that it is their ignorant, foolish inactions that caused it


'Hey, gang—I say let's all take saunas and then roast weenies and marshmallows. It'll be a fantastic, fantastic experience—we'll have a yuge, yuge party!'
'Hey, gang—I say let's all take saunas and then roast weenies and marshmallows. It'll be a fantastic, fantastic experience—we'll have a yuge, yuge party!'

We highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone! We wouldn't be in this mess if all shared Jamail's sense of responsibility to care for our planet. The rightwingers see our planet and its people as mere things to exploit, and the devil with the Earth. They'll be eating their words soon enough. What will be left for our children and grandchildren? Ashes, dust, polluted water, horrid heat, terrible storms, horrific floods, droughts, fires. Apparently, our citizens are all willing to send them to Hell in a handbasket. Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation.

What will be left for our children and grandchildren? Ashes, dust, polluted water, horrid heat, terrible storms, horrific floods, droughts, fires. Apparently, our citizens are all willing to send them to Hell in a handbasket
What will be left for our children and grandchildren? Ashes, dust, polluted water, horrid heat, terrible storms, horrific floods, droughts, fires. Apparently, our citizens are all willing to send them to Hell in a handbasket

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