This week we welcome the publication of a new book by the experienced environmental journalist Dahr Jamail, The End of Ice.
As climate “change” accelerates into climate breakdown, much of the data referenced by Jamail is already obsolete in a book published just last week, with new data implying significantly worse impacts than at the time of his writing. Yet Jamail most definitely walks the walk, or in his case — as a lifelong mountaineer — climbs the climb; his knowledge of dramatic changes in glacier ecology is intimate, deep, up front and personal. In the end, his love for the mountains calls him to draw the line and take a stand.
An excerpt from the book’s introduction below, with images of iced flowers from the studio of Azuma Makoto.
Such is the present moment:
Where do we draw the line?
Where do we take a stand?
During the last week of 2017, The Guardian reported dramatic increases in plastic production capacity and investment, despite various international agreements that purport to diminish the plastic pollution that inevitably finds itself into the world’s oceans, already under tremendous stress.
Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, stated: “We could be locking in decades of expanded plastics production at precisely the time the world is realising we should use far less of it. Around 99% of the feedstock for plastics is fossil fuels, so we are looking at the same companies, like Exxon and Shell, that have helped create the climate crisis. There is a deep and pervasive relationship between oil and gas companies and plastics.”
Greenpeace senior ocean campaigns director Louise Edge adds: “We are already producing more disposable plastic than we can deal with, more in the last decade than in the entire twentieth century, and millions of tonnes of it are ending up in our oceans.”
With this mind, we turn to artist-beachcomber Sheila Rogers and her powerful 2014 exhibit Oceans of Plastic.
We recall words from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, posing a question that cuts through the senseless blither of human monomania like a razor blade through a jellyfish: