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Glaciers: The Politics of Ice by Jorge Daniel Taillant (CEDHA’s Founder and Director) is published this month by Oxford University Press.
In this book you will read about a fascinating world of ice critical to human existence but that you have probably never heard of. If you keep your smartphone or tablet handy or have Google Earth running on your computer while you read, you will be able to see this frozen world in a mere few key strokes.
You will read about invisible glaciers, and unimaginable glacier ice that can cause tsunami-like waves and even ice that can catch on fire! You will read about colossal amounts of ice that many millions of people depend on but take for granted while it becomes one of the world’s most important, most vulnerable, and yet most ignored and unprotected natural resources. You will learn about ice and glaciers located in places you likely never imagined might be glaciated, including regions of Mexico, Armenia, Iran, Colombia, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, Turkey, Kenya, Uganda, Nevada and Southern California. You will learn why glaciers are important to your daily existence, and about the chilling consequences that could occur if the entire polar icecaps holding most of the world’s freshwater, melts away. It’s already happening by the way!
You will read incredible stories about people and companies that have drilled into glaciers in search of gold and others that have sent missiles into glaciers in an attempt to destroy them or that proposed bulldozing glaciers and hauling glaciers off in dump trucks.
You’ll read about emerging “cryoactivism” as environmental groups around the world from Chile to Argentina to Kyrgyzstan to Bhutan and Nepal, are teaming up to protect glacier resources. And you will read about one society’s quest (in the absence of glacier protection policies) to establish the world’s first national glacier protection law, an effort that is now spilling over to other societies to emulate.
You will read crazy accounts, some true, some fiction, of ancient pyramids and millenary mummies being unearthed from the ice telling us incredibly detailed information about the past. You will read about surfers that daringly surf glacier waves and glaciers that have swallowed up entire commercial airplanes and many years later spit out bits and pieces of perfectly frozen human history and tragedy. You will hear about people stranded on ice for months on end, and even about soccer games played on floating ice.
This book is about ice, specifically glacier ice, and not necessarily the glaciers we are most likely to recognize in far away and remote places like Alaska, Patagonia, Greenland, Norway, or Antarctica, where you might take a luxurious cruise ship and see the glaciers from afar, but rather other glaciers that are closer to home in places like the Sierra Nevada of California, Montana, France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, along the Central Andes in countries like Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and even Mexico, or in parts of Nepal and Pakistan, that while perhaps in some cases are less enormous, or less well-known, are actually far more important to our daily existence and to the existence of millions if not billions of people.
This is not a scientific book full of scientific facts, but rather a social, cultural and political introspection into our cryosphere (the world of ice) that brings critical complex and rather obscure scientific information about ice and glaciers into perspective for our non-scientific lives. It reflects on the way we organize or do not organize to protect some of our planet’s most important and extremely vulnerable natural resources.
to obtain a copy of Glaciers:
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