Watermelon Snow, by Lynne Quarmby

Staff Pick

For many years Quarmby, a cell biologist and single mother, paid little attention to climate change—until suddenly the magnitude of the losses hit her. Hard. She became an activist, got arrested at pipeline protests, and ran (unsuccessfully) for office on the Canadian Green Party ticket. Her deeply reflective book intertwines her participation in science and politics with vivid episodes from her 2017 trip to the High Arctic with a group of artists. There, “at the soft heart of global warming,” she witnessed the stunning beauty of the natural landscape and the shocking effects of the climate crisis, both of which she reports with a rare combination of precision—it takes just 12 seconds for a blue whale to breach and turn--and poignancy. In the end, if she can’t fully banish concerns that the expedition was an indulgence in “extinction tourism,” she renews her commitment to change by not just presenting the facts but, like the dancers, painters, photographers, and multi-media artists she traveled with,  by “address[ing] the emotional impacts of the science” and urging everyone to do what they can, both to reduce greenhouse emissions and to keep the crisis front and center: “the most important action we can take is to talk about climate change.” 

Watermelon Snow: Science, Art, and a Lone Polar Bear Cover Image
ISBN: 9780228003595
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: McGill-Queen's University Press - October 22nd, 2020

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