At a time when the climate change discourse is focused mainly on its causes, its effects on weather and our so-far tepid efforts to address the problem, it’s good to see a book on how animals and plants are responding and faring amid the flux ... Despite the gravity of its subject, though, this is not a depressing book. An award-winning biologist and author whose earlier work has focused on bees, feathers, seeds and gorillas, Hanson is an affable guide and storyteller, with a knack for analogy, a sense of humor and the natural curiosity of a scientist ... There were occasions when I was hoping for information that didn’t materialize ... The author declares a passion for fishing. In doing so, he joins a sizable cadre of self-described animal-loving writers who nevertheless pursue a pastime that causes fear, pain and suffering in their quarry. There is now robust science demonstrating pain and emotion in all kinds of fishes, salmon included. The dissonance here is not just ethical but ecological. As Hanson explains, the native cutthroat trout he seeks is threatened by hybridization with rainbow trout, with which these streams have been stocked to serve the recreational demands of anglers.
Synthesizing a wealth of recent findings, [Hanson] opens trapdoors onto the vivid lives of other beings in hopes of giving humans a close-grained understanding of our role in habitat change and the varieties of adaptation that may be in store for our species too.