From Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulxâ€”whose novels are infused with her knowledge and deep concern for the earthâ€”comes a riveting, revelatory history of our wetlands, their ecological role, and what their systematic destruction means for the planet.
A lifelong environmentalist, Annie Proulx brings her wide-ranging research and scholarship to the subject of wetlands and the vitally important yet little understood role they play in preserving the environmentâ€”by storing the carbon emissions that greatly contribute to climate change. Fens, bogs, swamps, and marine estuaries are the earthâ€™s most desirable and dependable resources, and in four stunning parts, Proulx documents the long-misunderstood role of these wetlands in saving the planet.
Taking us on a fascinating journey through history, Proulx shows us the fens of 16th-century England to Canadaâ€™s Hudson Bay lowlands, Russiaâ€™s Great Vasyugan Mire, Americaâ€™s Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, and the 19th-century explorers who began the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Along the way, she writes of the diseases spawned in the wetlandsâ€”the Ague, malaria, Marsh Feverâ€”and the surprisingly significant role of peat in industrialization.
A sobering look at the degradation of wetlands over centuries and the serious ecological consequences, this is a stunningly important work and a rousing call to action by a writer whose passionate devotion to understanding and preserving the environment is on full and glorious display.