Monday, May 16, 2022

Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis


Fen, Bog and Swamp is an impassioned exposition about peatland destruction and its impact on the climate crisis by Annie Proulx. Due out 27th Sept 2022 from Macmillan on their Scribner imprint, it's 208 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This memoir/essay/rumination on wetlands in the larger sphere of habitat and climate destruction and loss of species diversity is pervasively tinged with melancholy. The writing is, as expected, brilliant and lyrical, sometimes sublime, but it's just so very sad. 

The author does, in fact, turn her prodigious intellect toward history, anthropology, earth and climate sciences, and allied subjects. The takeaway I was left with, however, was a dystopian "the planet's on fire, so DO something"! The problem with that is of course, that individuals, even collectively can't make a substantive difference and the corporations, politicians, and industrial concerns either dither or (worse) are actively trying to dig faster to suck up the very last resources. 

Four stars. Beautifully written but overwhelmingly distressing. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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