THE SECRET LIVES OF GLACIERS
The Secret Lives of Glaciers:
The Secret Lives of Glaciers explores just what happens when a community's glaciers slowly disappear. Meticulously detailed, each chapter unfolds complex stories of people and glaciers along the southeastern coast of Iceland, exploring the history of glacier science and the world's first glacier monitoring program, the power glaciers enact on local society, perceptions by some in the community that glaciers are alive, and the conflicting and intertwined consequences of rapid glacier change on the cultural fabric of the region. Powerfully written, The Secret Lives of Glaciers reaches beyond Iceland and touches on changing glaciers worldwide, revealing oft-overlooked interactions between people and ice throughout human history.
The Secret Lives of Glaciers delivers a critical message: understanding glaciers and people together teaches us about how human society worldwide experiences being in the world today amidst increasing climatic changes and the anthropogenic transformation of all of Earth's systems. Instead of creating another catalog of the ice the world is losing, The Secret Lives of Glaciers explores what we may yet find with glaciers: the hopeful possibility of saving humanity's glaciers.
Acclaim for Secret Lives of Glaciers: “This outrageous book, rich with revelation and stewardship, is, at its deepest level, an icy blue love story to make us reconsider what it means to be fully alive - and open to wonder - in our ever-changing world." ―Kim Heacox, Author, John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire
"M Jackson brings a powerful combination of skills to bear in her ambitious task of complicating our understanding of the rapidly dwindling masses of ice with which we share this planet. Blending hands-on science, vivid descriptive writing, affecting personal anecdote, and insightful cultural observation, The Secret Lives of Glaciers is a hypnotic and inspiring book--essential reading for anyone who loves nature and is concerned about the human species' continued existence within it." ―Tim Weed, Author, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing
"M Jackson is a master storyteller, weaving evocative anecdotes and historical and scientific narratives into an intricate dance of the relationship between man and ice. Jackson writes eloquently, her stories of the real, concrete effects of climate change on the people of Iceland both informative and heart-wrenching. " ―Dr. Michele Koppes, Glaciologist & Geographer
"The Secret Lives of Glaciers engulfs you from the very first page, and in that way does due justice to the colossal yet fragile icy protagonist it intends to uncover for its readers." ―Asher Jay, Conservationist & National Geographic Explorer
WHILE GLACIERS SLEPT
About While Glaciers Slept: M Jackson weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. A noted scientist and National Geographic Expert, reveals how these events are deeply intertwined, and how the deterioration of her parents’ health was as devastating as the inexorable changing of Earth’s climate. Jackson poses a stark question: if losing one’s parents is so devastating, how can we survive the destruction of the planet that sustains us? Jackson draws both literal and metaphorical parallels between the degradation of the climate and her parents’ struggles with cancer. Nonetheless, Jackson shows that even in the darkest of times we cannot lose hope. Jackson guides us to solar, wind, and geothermal solutions, bringing us along on her expeditions to research climate change and to educate people about how to stop it. Scientists are continually looking for better ways to translate hard science into human language and that is precisely what this book does. While Glaciers Slept shows us that the story of one family can be the story of one planet, and that climate change has a human face. Climate change, she convinces us, is not just about science—it is also about the audacity of human courage and imagination.
Detailed review by Stephen Siperstein in The Goose
Acclaim for While Glaciers Slept: “M Jackson does an intriguing job of weaving together observations about human health and frailty with global biospheric health and frailty. Her narrative brings climate change down from an abstract global scale to a very personal human scale. Particularly engaging for the non-scientist reader.”
―Dr. Steve Running, Nobel Prize winner and American’s foremost expert on climate change
“Climate change is many things, including an upheaval--sudden and violent--in the life of our planet. As such, it unleashes feelings and forces like those in a family when someone dies. This is a profound way of thinking about where we are right now, and what we better do about it.”
―Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth and The End of Nature
“If you’ve known hard grief and loss, you will understand this book. If you have hope or the wish for it, this book will shore you up. While Glaciers Slept tells a story of devotion and survival as it examines the ongoing global crisis of climate change. M Jackson is a naturalist, a teacher, and a daughter who mourns her mother’s death as she discovers and explores the best choice, the only true choice ahead―a path of hope and action for ourselves and the living planet that birthed us all.”
―Phil Condon, author of Montana Surround, Clay Center, and Nine Ten Again
“The literary fabric of M Jackson’s While Glaciers Slept comprises two strands intricately and intimately braided together. One is her engagement in a family journey through accident and disease that inflict pain and ultimately death on her parents. The second strand is also one of inflicted pain, but at a planetary scale―the degradation of Earth itself by its human inhabitants. M moves almost effortlessly from loss of limb to loss of ice, from prosthetics to a planetary parasol. The intertwining of the two strands creates a powerful narrative of humanity, singly and in the multitudes.”
―Henry Pollack, author of A World Without Ice and a winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change
“As the poet Tony Hoagland has pointed out, most of us ‘…walk like zombies through our burning dying world…’ Not so M Jackson, who moves through the world very much aware of both the little and individually important things, such as family, while simultaneously perceiving and understanding the catastrophe that is happening all around us. In While Glaciers Slept, she links the one to the other in a flawless and brilliant way. This is superb.”
―Carlos Martinez, author of The Cold Music of the Ocean and The Raw Silk of the Dark
"Jackson, a National Geographic Expert and prominent scientist passionate about researching glacial systems, explores in this emotional memoir her experience of losing her parents, one after the other, to cancer. Literally and metaphorically, the author compares the hopelessness she felt in the aftermath of their deaths with the depression people sometimes encounter witnessing the destruction of the environment. While at times on the verge of giving up in the face of such personal upheaval, Jackson persevered in learning a new way of living, as humanity will have to do with the advent of climate change. She offers parallel glimpses of optimism, both for herself and for the future of the planet, sharing her journey of growth and discovery while at the same time highlighting imaginative, radical projects proposed by innovative thinkers designed to avert what most scientists believe to be inevitable: a changed earth.
VERDICT Reminiscent of Bill McKibben's "Eaarth", this title will interest readers of environmental issues, particularly climate change and a warming Arctic region, and fans of personal narratives."
―Venessa Hughes, Buffalo, NY Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission. (Library Journal Starred Review)