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1planet read for january/february
As Deborah Blum, of NPR’s Science Friday, says, “One of the most powerful ways to tell the story of global climate change is to tell it local.”
Chesapeake Requiem, our January/February 1Planet Read, tells the story of Tangier Island, a 200-year-old community in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.
Although not “local” for all of us, the story of Tangier Island, Virginia, could be the story of Fire Island, New Orleans, Miami, and countless other coastal communities in the U.S., as well as numerous island nations around the world.
Tangier Island is probably the first community in America that will be entirely wiped away by climate change. The very water that has long sustained it is erasing the island day by day, wave by wave. It has lost two-thirds of its land since 1850, and still its shoreline retreats by fifteen feet a year.
Acclaimed journalist Earl Swift spent almost two years living among Tangier’s people, crabbing and oystering with its watermen, and observing its long traditions and odd ways. In Chesapeake Requiem, Swift provides an intimate look at the island’s past, present, and tenuous future. What emerges is the poignant tale of a world that has, quite nearly, gone by — and a leading-edge report on the coming fate of countless coastal communities.