A Sugar Creek Chronicle
Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland
by Cornelia F. Mutel
Pub Date 15 Mar 2016
Moving between two timelines, Mutel pairs chapters about a single year in her Iowa woodland with chapters about her life as a fledgling and then professional student of nature. Stories of her childhood ramblings in Wisconsin and the solace she found in the Colorado mountains during early adulthood are merged with accounts of global environmental dilemmas that have redefined nature during her lifespan. Interwoven chapters bring us into her woodland home to watch nature’s cycles of life during a single year, 2012, when weather records were broken time and time again. Throughout, in a straightforward manner for a concerned general audience, Mutel integrates information about the science of climate change and its dramatic alteration of the planet in ways that clarify its broad reach, profound impact, and seemingly relentless pace.
It is not too late, she informs us: we can still prevent the most catastrophic changes. We can preserve a world full of biodiversity, one that supports human lives as well as those of our myriad companions on this planet. In the end, Mutel offers advice about steps we can all take to curb our own carbon emissions and strategies we can suggest to our policy-makers.
“This is a rich and astute story of balance, stability, and their opposites, in the life of a person and of a planet. It helps set the great changes now underway around us in a powerful, manageable context. I highly recommend it.”—Bill McKibben, author, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“A Sugar Creek Chronicle is as well-researched as it is written. Climate change is already hitting home. Connecting the dots to the underlying science is often difficult. Mutel does just that, and does it superbly.”—Gernot Wagner, coauthor, Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet