An O, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year
A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year
A New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year
A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade
"Comprehensive and compelling." --Booklist
"A powerful message." --Kirkus
"Should be required reading." --Library Journal
For two months in the spring of 2016, the world watched as wildfire ravaged the Canadian town of Fort McMurray. Firefighters named the fire "the Beast." It acted like a mythical animal, alive with destructive energy, and they hoped never to see anything like it again. Yet it's not a stretch to imagine we will all soon live in a world in which fires like the Beast are commonplace. A glance at international headlines shows a remarkable increase in higher temperatures, stronger winds, and drier lands- a trifecta for igniting wildfires like we've rarely seen before.
This change is particularly noticeable in the northern forests of the United States and Canada. These forests require fire to maintain healthy ecosystems, but as the human population grows, and as changes in climate, animal and insect species, and disease cause further destabilization, wildfires have turned into a potentially uncontrollable threat to human lives and livelihoods.
Our understanding of the role fire plays in healthy forests has come a long way in the past century. Despite this, we are not prepared to deal with an escalation of fire during periods of intense drought and shorter winters, earlier springs, potentially more lightning strikes and hotter summers. There is too much fuel on the ground, too many people and assets to protect, and no plan in place to deal with these challenges.
In Firestorm, journalist Edward Struzik visits scorched earth from Alaska to Maine, and introduces the scientists, firefighters, and resource managers making the case for a radically different approach to managing wildfire in the 21st century. Wildfires can no longer be treated as avoidable events because the risk and dangers are becoming too great and costly. Struzik weaves a heart-pumping narrative of science, economics, politics, and human determination and points to the ways that we, and the wilder inhabitants of the forests around our cities and towns, might yet flourish in an age of growing megafires.
Every year around the globe, people cross paths with avalanches--some massive, some no deeper than a pizza box--with deadly results. Avalanche expert Jill Fredston stalks these so-called freaks of nature, forecasting where and when they will strike, deliberately triggering them with explosives, teaching potential victims how to stay alive, and leading rescue efforts when tragedy strikes.In Snowstruck, Fredston draws on decades of personal experience to take "avalanches out of the statistical realm and into the human one" (Skiing Magazine): a skier making what may prove his final decision, a victim buried so tightly that he can't move a finger, rescuers racing both time and weather, forecasters treading the line between reasonable risk and danger. Fredston brings to life the awesome forces of nature that can turn the mountains deadly--and the equally inexorable forces of human nature that lure us time and again into treacherous terrain.
The 2011 devastating, tsunami-triggering quake off the coast of Japan and 2010's horrifying destruction in Haiti reinforce the fact that large cities in every continent are at risk from earthquakes. Quakes threaten Los Angeles, Beijing, Cairo, Delhi, Singapore, and many more cities, and despite advances in earthquake science and engineering and improved disaster preparedness by governments and international aid agencies, they continue to cause immense loss of life and property damage. Earthquake explores the occurrence of major earthquakes around the world, their effects on the societies where they strike, and the other catastrophes they cause, from landslides and fires to floods and tsunamis. Examining the science involved in measuring and explaining earthquakes, Andrew Robinson looks at our attempts to design against their consequences and the possibility of having the ability to predict them one day. Robinson also delves into the ways nations have mythologized earthquakes through religion and the arts--Norse mythology explained earthquakes as the violent struggling of the god Loki as he was punished for murdering another god, the ancient Greeks believed Poseidon caused earthquakes whenever he was in a bad mood or wanted to punish people, and Japanese mythology states that Namazu, a giant catfish, triggers quakes when he thrashes around. He discusses the portrayal of earthquakes in popular culture, where authors and filmmakers often use the memory of cities laid to waste--such as Kobe, Japan, in 1995 or San Francisco in 1906--or imagine the hypothetical "Big One," the earthquake expected someday out of California's San Andreas Fault. With tremors happening in seemingly implausible places like Chicago and Washington DC, Earthquake is a timely book that will enrich earthquake scholarship and enlighten anyone interested in these ruinous natural disasters.
#Sandy is a book of iPhone photos of Hurricane Sandy captured by photographers Benjamin Lowy, Stephen Wilkes, Ed Kashi VII, Hank Willis Thomas, 13th Witness, Richard Renaldi, Michael Christopher Brown, Wyatt Gallery, Ruddy Roye and others.
The Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 is an unparalleled disaster in the history of San Francisco. More than 4.5 square miles of San Francisco burned and crumbled into a windswept desert of desolation. We will see this scene from behind the camera, covering before the earthquake through the fire and into the rebuilding of the city. The waterfront in the east to Golden Gate Park in the west and the marina in the north to Mission District in the south will be viewed. City hall and along Market Street through the center of the city will be covered. Stories from survivors and new information, like doctored photographs, will be included. Thirty years of research will be merged to give you an accurate account.
The town of Wellington was located by the Stevens Pass summit in the Cascade Mountains. During the last days of February in 1910, the snow was relentless in the Cascades, falling as much as one foot per hour and rising up to 20 feet deep in areas. Rotary plows could not keep the lines open as snow covered the railroad tracks almost immediately after being cleared. The Seattle Express, coming from Spokane, and a fast mail train were stranded just beyond the "safety" of the Cascade Tunnel, where they remained unmovable for almost a week under the snowpacked mountains. On March 1, an avalanche swept away the tracks and passengers aboard the two trains as well as several of Wellington's buildings and homes. Almost 100 individuals were killed in just a few seconds, creating America's deadliest avalanche and train disaster in history. Today, the site is part of the Iron Goat Trail off Highway 2, east of Skykomish. The snowshed, the abandoned original Cascade Tunnel, and various scraps of the trains left in the ravine are the only evidence that remain of Wellington, its long-forgotten inhabitants, or the disaster.
On May 31, 1935, a storm system surged along the Republican River, bursting its banks in a matter of minutes with a roar that could be heard miles away. The greatest flood to hit the tri-state area of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska, it left behind a landscape rearranged beyond recognition and claimed more than one hundred casualties. However, amid all the destruction and sorrow, amazing acts of heroism and unwavering courage were reported throughout the valley. Author Joy Hayden reveals the historic disaster and the steadfast resolve of those who witnessed it.
June 4, 1958, was a muggy and breezy day in western Wisconsin. Across central Minnesota, severe weather was brewing. In the early afternoon, the Minnesota storms crossed the border into Wisconsin. As farmers were tending to milking chores and families were wrapping up the workday and sitting down to supper, one of the worst tornadoes in Wisconsin's history touched down. At 7:07 p.m., what had been multiple, smaller tornadoes combined into one massive F5 tornado that ripped through the village of Colfax, leaving a path of death and destruction that would require months of recovery. In Colfax, 12 people were killed, hundreds were injured, and millions of dollars in damage was done to property. However, in the wake of the storm, a community and its neighbors came together as one to care for the survivors and begin the process of healing and rebuilding.