The Real Story of Climate Change in Iowa
In 2010, while editing a report on the effects of climate change in Iowa, ecologist Cornelia Mutel came to grips with the magnitude and urgency of the problem. She already knew the basics: greenhouse gas emissions and global average temperatures are rising on a trajectory that could, within decades, propel us beyond far-reaching, irreversible atmospheric changes; the results could devastate the environment that enables humans to thrive. The more details she learned, the more she felt compelled to address this emerging crisis. The result is this book, an artful weaving together of the science behind rising temperatures, tumultuous weather events, and a lifetime devoted to the natural world. Mutel will speak about her newest book, A Sugar Creek Chronicle, at Beaverdale Books on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 PM.
Readers will soon learn that climate change isn’t just about melting Arctic ice and starving polar bears. Moving between two timelines, Mutel pairs chapters about a single year in her Iowa woodland with chapters about her life as a fledgling and then professional student of nature. Stories of her childhood ramblings in Wisconsin and the solace she found in the Colorado mountains during early adulthood are merged with accounts of global environmental dilemmas that have redefined nature during her lifespan. In the end, Mutel offers advice about steps we can all take to curb our own carbon emissions and strategies we can suggest to our policy-makers.
Ecologist Cornelia F. Mutel is the author of Fragile Giants: A Natural History of the Loess Hills and The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa and the editor of A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008, among many other books. She is Senior Science Writer at IIHR–Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa College of Engineering. She lives in rural Iowa City, Iowa.