“Sea level rise is not some distant problem in a distant place. As Elizabeth Rush shows, it’s affecting real people right now. Rising is a compelling piece of reporting, by turns bleak and beautiful.” —ELIZABETH KOLBERT
Harvey. Maria. Irma. Sandy. Katrina. We live in a time of unprecedented hurricanes and catastrophic weather events, a time when it is increasingly clear that climate change is neither imagined nor distant—and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways.
In this highly original work of lyrical reportage, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place. Weaving firsthand accounts from those facing this choice—a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago—with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of the communities both currently at risk and already displaced, Rising privileges the voices of those usually kept at the margins.
At once polyphonic and precise, Rising is a shimmering meditation on vulnerability and on vulnerable communities, both human and more than human, and on how to let go of the places we love.
“Rising is a smart, lyrical testament to change and uncertainty. Elizabeth Rush listens to both the vulnerability and resiliency of communities facing the shifting shorelines of extreme weather. These are the stories we need to hear in order to survive and live more consciously with a sharp-edged determi-nation to face our future with empathy and resolve. Rising illustrates how climate change is a relentless truth and how real people in real places know it by name, storm by flood by fire.” Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Hour of Land
“A strange new kind of travel guide, Ris ing is a journey through the turbulent forefront of climate change—the coastal communities, rich and poor,huma n and nonhuman, that are already feeling the first effects of our rising seas. Elizabeth Rush sets out to put a face on a subject that is all too oftendepicted in abstract graphs and statistics, and gives us a group portrait of the men and women who are fighting, fleeing, and adapting to the terribledisappearance of the land they live on.” Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and The Wizard and the Prophet
Harvey. Maria. Irma. Sandy. Katrina. We live in a time of unprecedented hurricanes and catastrophic weather events, a time when it is increasingly clear that climate change is neither imagined nor distant--and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways.