The best science books from a cryo activist

Jorge Daniel Taillant Author Of Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers
By Jorge Daniel Taillant

Who am I?

Jorge Daniel Taillant is a cryoactivist, a term he coined to describe someone that works to protect the cryosphere, ie. the Earth’s frozen environment. Founder of a globally prized non-profit protecting human rights and promoting environmental justice he helped get the world’s first glacier law passed in South America. He now devotes 100% of his time to tackling climate change in an emergency effort to slow global warming … and to protect glaciers.

I wrote...

Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers

By Jorge Daniel Taillant,

Book cover of Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers

What is my book about?

Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers is about our changing climate and about glacier vulnerability. It’s a dive into the cryosphere and how melting glaciers in remote areas of the planet will drastically change our lives. I connect the dots between climate change and the drastic impacts of glacier melt on our global ecosystems, including sea-level rise, intense heat from decreased reflectivity, glacier tsunamis from crumbling ice, ocean and atmospheric disruptions due to massive glacier freshwater infusions into our oceans, melting permafrost that can unleash an unlivable Hot House Earth environment, and invisible glaciers residing deep under the Earth that you have probably never heard of, but that will survive our visible surface glaciers once they’ve melted away.

My purpose of writing Meltdown was to draw attention to the predicament of glacier vulnerability and to awaken society to glacier demise if we do not stop climate change soon. 

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The books I picked & why

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

Why did I love this book?

Dahr Jamail’s End of Ice threads his life experiences as a prized reporter, mountaineer, and climate activist, sharing personal human stories and experiences that reveal the difficult, cold, and hard evidence showing us that our cryosphere is irreversibly changing before our eyes. His easy-to-read prose, supported by well-researched and irrefutable science, gives us a unique introspection into the Anthropocene, chronicling the profound changes we are witnessing to Mother Nature and the demise of our frozen resources. I was enthralled by Jamail’s reflections on the end of ice.

By Dahr Jamail,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of Ice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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.

Book cover of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

Why did I love this book?

As a Florida resident that has crossed the dozens of canals running east to west across the state hundreds of times along Highway 95 without a thought, I was blown away by Michael Grunwald’s The Swamp. It was a history of Florida I really did not know. Even Florida residents don’t quite understand just how destructive man has been to this otherwise natural paradise (which is no longer). Driven by the quest to conquer Nature, immigrants to Florida from Northern states and from around the world, aided by the fantastical but cataclysmic plans of the Army Corps of Engineers to drain the swamp, forever changed what once was a veritable paradise, the Everglades.

This swampy region of the world once served as one of the Earth’s most significant carbon sinks but is now merely a fraction of its glorious past and we continue to try to tame it. Grunwald thoroughly researched Florida’s lamentable political history around the Everglades, which is essentially, a story about destroying nature for the comfort of people. It is a lesson everyone should learn to avoid repeating. 

By Michael Grunwald,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Swamp as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Brilliant.” —The Washington Post Book World * “Magnificent.” —The Palm Beach Post * “Rich in history yet urgently relevant to current events.” —The New Republic

The Everglades in southern Florida were once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it.

The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald,…

Book cover of High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis

Why did I love this book?

John Englander brings rising tides to our dinner table discussions. As a Florida resident living 5 minutes from the beach, this is a very real issue to me. But no matter where you live, sea-level rise will change your lifestyle, whether it’s because of the changing coastline, or due to entire economies that will change as the oceans advance over land, because of affected property values across entire countries and regions, or because of the waves of climate refugees that will have to seek new homes.

Entire countries like Maldives, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are already planning a mass move to new terrain. Englander masters climate science to show us just how the seas have, are, and will continue to change in our currently accelerating climate warming.

By John Englander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked High Tide On Main Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 2012, High Tide on Main Street blazed a new trail in understanding the driving forces behind climate change and its most profound, unstoppable, and least-understood effect, Sea Level Rise (SLR).

In easy-to-understand language, oceanographer and explorer John Englander explains how SLR will become the most permanent effect of climate change. By focusing on sea level, he also provides excellent insights into greenhouse gas emissions - the forces that drive climate change.

One reviewer said: “the most understandable book on climate change I have read to date…”

While we are already feeling the effects of disastrous climate change…

Book cover of The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate

Why did I love this book?

As a climate activist and lover of glaciers and glaciation, I took a special interest in David Archer’s book, The Long Thaw. Archer takes us in and out of ice ages, explaining with surprisingly understandable prose just how ice ages are formed, their predictable cycles, why they’re important, and how with current climate change trends and impacts, we just may have missed the onramp to the next one. That could put us into a Hothouse Earth scenario not seen since the times of the dinosaurs. Archer masterfully brings science to the layperson. If we think that the year 2100 is a marker in the sand for climate change, think again. Archer reveals that the chilling (or heating) reality of climate change just might be forever. 

By David Archer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Long Thaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The human impact on Earth's climate is often treated as a hundred-year issue lasting as far into the future as 2100, the year in which most climate projections cease. In The Long Thaw, David Archer, one of the world's leading climatologists, reveals the hard truth that these changes in climate will be "locked in," essentially forever. If you think that global warming means slightly hotter weather and a modest rise in sea levels that will persist only so long as fossil fuels hold out (or until we decide to stop burning them), think again. In The Long Thaw, David Archer…

Book cover of A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic

Why did I love this book?

Ice ice ice. The Arctic region of the world is heating much faster than the rest of the planet. That means that ice is melting fast and radically changing this delicate polar region. Going through a history of ice on the planet, the cycle of ice ages, the impacts of greenhouse gases, and the consequence of rapidly melting ice, Wadhams warns us of the looming death spiral of climate change from methane gas release from permafrost and from self-reinforcing feedback loops that take us deeper and deeper into climate collapse. This is a must-read if you are a climate activist, a scientist focusing on climate change, or if you simply want to learn about how climate change is completely destabilizing our planetary ecosystem. He ends with a list of actions that we can take to slow this process down and stabilize our climate.

By Peter Wadhams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Farewell to Ice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on five decades of research and observation, a haunting and unsparing look at the melting ice caps, and what their disappearance will mean.Peter Wadhams has been studying ice first-hand since 1970, completing 50 trips to the world's poles and observing for himself the changes over the course of nearly five decades. His conclusions are stark: the ice caps are melting. Following the hottest summer on record, sea ice in
September 2016 was the thinnest in recorded history. There is now the probability that within a few years the North Pole will be ice-free for the first time in 10,000…

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