CLIMATE CHANGE: A WORLD AT THE WATER’S EDGE

Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Climate change, global warming, conservation, pollution are at the heart of the conversation when Halli visits with two authors who have spent years studying the subjects, Susan Hand Shatterly whose delightful new book is SEAWEED CHRONICLES, A WORLD AT THE WATER’S EDGE, and with journalist Earl Swift, whose new book is the riveting CHESAPEAKE REQUIEM, A YEAR WITH THE WATERMEN OF VANISHING TANGIER ISLAND, the podcast posted at Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.

climate changeFor much of the past two years, award-winning journalist Earl Swift lived and reported on a tiny island in Virginia. The resulting book, CHESAPEAKE REQUIEM, A YEAR WITH THE WATERMAN OF VANISHING TANGIER ISLAND, is an elegiac portrait of an isolated community, a sweeping natural history of an extraordinary ecosystem, and a timely meditation on dire environmental realities that extend far beyond the shores of Tangier — which seems likely to succumb first among U.S. towns to the effects of climate change. First mapped by Jon Smith in 1608, settled during the Revolution, the tiny sliver of mud and marsh is home to 470 hardy people who live with one foot on the twenty-first century and another in times long passed. They are separated from their countrymen by twelve miles of often tempestuous water — water that for generations has made Tangier a chief source for the prized Chesapeake Bay blue crab. But the very water that has long sustained Tangier now erases it day by day. Experts believe that barring heroic intervention by the federal government, islanders will soon be forced to abandon their homes. And the question remains should the federal government save this tiny island or surrender it to the sea. After all, thousands of American communities are being swallowed up by the sea. The American government can’t save them all.

Climate changeIn SEAWEED CHRONICLES Susan Hand Shetterly pulls back the curtain on the hidden world of seaweed. Did I say seaweed? Yes that is correct. Seaweed, not a weed at all, is one sexy little algae. It is ancient and basic, a testament to the tenacious beginnings of life on earth and “Why wouldn’t seaweeds be a protean life source for the lives that have evolved since?” Shetterly asks in her new book small in size and large in lyrical prose. Shetterly explores all the wonders of the natural world anew through a richly informative and astonishingly elegant storytelling. Through her own research and through interviews, she offers a look into the extraordinary life cycle of seaweed, teaching readers about its role in local environments and its interconnected global significance. Shetterly also introduces us to the people and communities that depend on seaweed—and how they are working to protect this critical natural resource. Most importantly, Shetterly examines the big questions of conservation that have come to light. “What must remain wild for the health of the planet, and what can we responsibly take, as we face climate change and diminishing natural resources?” she asks. Note, it’s almost impossible to go through a day without encountering seaweed somewhere in your life, as you will soon discover.

Climate change, global warming, the environment, conservation, seaweed, Tangier Island the subjects of The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Wednesday, August 8, the podcast posted at 3 pm ET at Halli Casser-Jayne dot com.

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