Journalist Porter Fox travels along the edge of the Northern Hemisphere's snow line to track the scope of this drastic change, and how it will literally change everything—from rapid sea level rise, to fresh water scarcity for two billion people, to massive greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost, and a half dozen climate tipping points that could very well spell the end of our world.
... alternately alarming and adventurous ... Fox has amassed a truly anxiety-inducing blizzard of data, at one point facetiously likening his book to a 'flaming bag of apocalyptic dog feces.' And he’s not entirely wrong. There is a lot of gloomy research on display here ... If the book were nothing more than a litany of doomsday data points, it would be important reading, though hard to recommend to any save masochists ... But Fox is a seriously terrific writer and an utterly madcap reporter, qualities that allow him to leaven the weighty with the whimsical, the threatening with the thrilling. He is not content to simply interview leading scientists in their labs, but instead follows them to where they work ... Fox has assembled an entertaining cast of characters to help tell his tale, any of whom could carry a standalone profile ... As for the scientists, Fox is an able interpreter of not only their research, like the self-sustaining cycle of forest fires, but the consequences of what they have found. It’s not all immediately comprehensible though.
... gripping ... The picture that emerges is terrifying, as Fox eloquently describes the significant impacts of melting ice sheets and more frequent wildfires ... Fox has written an important, much-needed book about the climate crisis that injects a personal element into an abstract-seeming problem. This is popular science at its best.
... ominous though beautifully written ... The author has traveled widely to interview ski bums, glaciologists, Indigenous hunters, and explorers, and he smoothly incorporate their takes into the narrative. He often writes with a light hand ... Fox’s work is deeply grounded in science ... It’s the kind of book John McPhee would write if he were abroad in wintry places, and we’re fortunate that Fox has taken his place ... An essential addition to the library of climate change and one that ought to spur readers to do something about it.