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The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  101 reviews

As seen in The New York Times,Men’s Journal,, and The Guardian

The author who Jeremy Scahill calls the “quintessential unembedded reporter” visits “hot spots” around the world in a global quest to discover how we will cope with our planet’s changing ecosystems

After nearly a decade overseas as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to

Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by The New Press
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Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Elegiac and slow moving, The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption surveys unfolding ecological catastrophes across the globe, from the melting of Alaskan glaciers to the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. Across eight short chapters journalist Dahr Jamail recounts his travels around the world visiting frontline communities that are already experiencing and struggling to contend with climate chaos. Jamail forcefully conveys just how terrible things ...more
Jamail calls our present time, ‘a time of reckoning.’ A work of huge and timely importance, Dahr Jamail’s ‘The End of Ice,’ is accessible, and revelatory in reporting the most current evidence of climate disruption. An outdoor enthusiast, Jamail punctuates a narrative steeped in climate science with excursions to threatened environments, interviews with everyday people and scientists who live and work in those places, and his own experiences in the natural world. Reverence and respect for the ...more
Steve Donoghue
There's no way for a book like this - a smart and careful inquiry into the precise mechanics of the climate change apocalypse - can be called uplifting reading, but Dahr Jamail's book is certainly riveting. My full review:
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biology, net-galley
The End of Ice is a really serious book about climate disruption. The author travels around and interviews people who are affected by climate change first hand. The book begins with some personal experiences of the author, and then goes on exploring different parts of the world, for example the Arctic circle and the Amazon forest.

While there is a lot of number- and fact-dropping, this is a really well written book. It reads easily and I found the numbers did not really bother me. It's an
"So many of these things will recover, " he says of the glaciers and forests that are vanishing before our eyes. "But not in a time frame that includes humans."

Finally, a book about climate disruption that tells the whole truth and does not try to soften the blow with optimism. Jamail travels to six volatile parts of the Earth and speaks to numerous scientists who are working in the heart of our epic disaster. Their observations and experiments combine to prove that we humans have no idea what
David Buccola
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found this to be one of the worst books on climate change I’ve read in recent years. Let’s just start with the author’s absurd notion that somehow, if people experienced nature more, we’d realize what we’re doing to the planet and stop it. He carefully avoids mentioning how citizens in a plutocracy are going to affect such change. But even worse than that is the assumption that if only more of us were like the author, praying to mountains we climb, we’d be better people and more apt to do ...more
Carolyn McBride
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a highly readable, chilling (no pun intended) eye-opening book. Everyone should read this, especially those that refuse to believe that climate change is real. How can anyone deny global warming when faced with a line such as this? "A child born today will see an Everest largely free of glaciers within her lifetime"
On one hand, I felt better educated on global warming and how melting glaciers affect us all. On the other hand, I am at a loss to consider what we can do about this within
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Probably one of the least enjoyable books that people probably still should read. Dahr Jamail is a former Iraq War correspondent who returned to the United States and became a climate reporter. This book is a set of dispatches from the frontlines of climate change, or climate disruption as he calls it. Unlike most of the planet which now dwells in urban or suburban areas, Jamail spends time with people living in closer contact with a world not yet paved-over by human activity (I'd call that ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was, well, depressing. It presents an utterly convincing case that humans are destroying the planet, and that we are negatively affecting pretty much every ecosystem, from the Alaskan tundra to the Great Barrier Reef, to the Sierra Nevada range, to the Amazon Rainforest. Unfortunately, while this book is important, it wasn't really enjoyable to read. Jamail travels from place to place, interviewing person after person about the effects of climate change on their area of study. His ...more
Jammin Jenny
I received this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I'm not going to say I enjoyed reading this book, because the information it shares is just so devastating to our planet. But I did think the author did a really good job talking about how climate change, human interaction with the planet, and other factors are gradually leading to some major changes in the not too distant future. I was unaware of the Trump administration's recent changes and assignments to the EPA which are very
Randall Wallace
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you stopped all human activity today, “it would take another 25,000 years for what is currently in the atmosphere to be absorbed into the oceans.” Picture it this way: “130 feet of sea level rise that is already baked into Earth’s climate system.” In New York City, Wanless’s projections show it entirely uninhabitable with the entire lower Manhattan submerged. Once the Florida aquifer gets tainted by saltwater, it’s over; experts agree it’s not a matter of if but when. Miami’s drainage depends ...more
Padma Ghosh
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
There isn’t a single sentence in the book that is worth bookmarking for its beauty or imagination. Cliche-ridden, banal prose. One would be better informed just reading regular media coverage of climate change. No new insights about or hypotheses around the current crisis. The book has documentation of which scientist he had a coffee with or lunch with. And even about the characters he spent time with, the observations are so mundane that they aren’t really observations but actual documentation. ...more
Florence Millo
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

The dedication of this book reads, “This book is dedicated to the future generations of all species. know that there were many of us who did what we could.”

I found this book very fitting to read after The Unihabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells because after knowledge comes grief. The author takes us from the Arctic to the Amazon to the Everglades and tells us what is already happening and what is most likely to happen within our own and our children’s lifetime. I
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is both fascinating and intensely heartbreaking. Climate change wrought by humans has damaged so much of our ecosystem.
Mark Valentine
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Impossible to read this and not be moved--to tears, to longing, to action.

Jamail's best journalism involves his investigations while being embedded in the field. In his first book, Beyond the Green Zone, he worked as an embedded war journalist in the Iraq-American War--embedded with the Iraqis, that is, during the American assault on Fallujah in 2004. Now he takes his investigative skills to report on climate and environmental issues, embedded with the scientists in the field as well as among
I somehow ended up reading two books about climate change at the same time. This one...didn't work quite as well for me as Jonathan Safran Foer's We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, mainly because...I didn't really feel like Jamail offers any sort of solutions at all. He goes around and visits various sites and talks to people about how things used to be and how they are now, showing how the climate has already been disrupted in many parts of the world. And...that's kind ...more
Amit Verma
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book by a journalist who has worked in Iraq and has deep longing and concern for our nature.
Book is enjoyable, pierecing, accurate, detailed and contemporary. Author covers all facets of our ecology damaged by blind mindless pursuit of industrious human beings.
Deeply moving testimonials by reputed environmentalists throws light onto the fact that we are already in irreparable stage.
Journey starts at Denali and covers Barrier reef, amazon forest, antartica, Miami beach, Forests, coastal
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dahr Jamail does a wonderful job weaving stories and experiences in with the brutal data about climate change.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And on the eighth day She said, “let there be the laws of biology and physics that they may figure out how to live in harmony”. And then She waited ... a very long time ... during which they screwed it all up.

Dahr Jamail was a war correspondent. In 2016, he turned his investigative journalism skills to the war of survival that all species and ecosystems are living through on planet Earth. A long-time mountaineer, Jamail couldn’t avert his eyes from the evidence in front of him as he climbed his
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though a difficult read (due to the depressing nature of the content), this book proved to feel more like therapy to me. Faced with not just harrowing statistics, but specific and intimate descriptions from senior scientists of what exactly climate change currently looks like and will look like in many different ecosystems, I was better able to come to terms with my own need to grieve. In addition, the brief interludes between chapters in which Jamail describes his outdoor adventures and how he ...more
Felice Kelly
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Climate change due to anthropogenic CO2 and methane emissions is changing life on earth, leading to the loss of thousands of species, the loss of ways of life, and the melting of the glaciers. The End of Ice takes an unflinching look at these changes and compiles the stories of the people living on the front lines of climate change, or climate disruption, as the author prefers, to make you feel that we are fundamentally altering the earth. This is tough stuff, but the author addresses that too, ...more
Goes to the top of my Climate shelf as readable, understandable, and clearly defined with real world views, in the past people might have viewed this subject as data-driven and what-if’s, and percentage of, time driven in terms of happening slowly and beyond our lifetime. Well except for beyond our lifetime which is it’s further growth not its observable affects, we are all seeing climate change happening and when reading more on the subject we see it’s a misnomer it’s an extinction event of ...more
Alicia Bayer
Dec 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
Had a good talk yesterday with a member of our UU church who always speaks up about climate change and he recommended this as one of his favorite books on the subject.

From the description: "Accompanied by climate scientists and people whose families have fished, farmed, and lived in the areas he visits for centuries, Jamail begins to accept the fact that Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation. Ironically, this allows him to renew his passion for the planet’s wild places, cherishing Earth
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking confirmation of predictions that have been being voiced for the last several decades. And now we hear the UN report... "1 million extinctions." I'm so sorry, children. This is not the world *I* wanted to pass on to you.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF. The ice is melting. Blah blah blah about the author as if he's more important than the planet.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fuck, this book is depressing. But necessary
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good. Heartbreaking but he does a fine job explaining the science in layman’s terms and conveying the beauty and wonder of what we’re losing.
Rebecca Kehler
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is written without acknowledging that the human appetite for animal flesh and products is the biggest reason we got to this point. It instead blames climate change for our declining ability to exploit animals. The whole time I was reading this I thought it was a very bad joke.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I like Dahr Jamail as a person but I'm not a huge fan of this book. He is one of the few writers willing to admit how bad our current situation really is, which is good. However, his overall message is just way too defeatist. It is still better than what you hear from people like Guy McPherson at least. Not by much though. He hasn't totally given up yet but he does create the impression that there's very little hope for anything at this point. It may potentially be true that we've caused too ...more
Patrick Kelly
Another phenomenal and terrifying book about climate change.
We are fucked. Every aspect of our planets is effected by climate change. This book focuses more on the effects from rising temperatures, melting glaciers, and warming of the oceans. It gave a strong explanation of methane and permafrost. Methane is crazy. There are pockets of methane that can explode and leave massive craters and release huge amounts of gas. There are two craters in Russia that happened this way but it can also happen
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Dahr Jamail is an American journalist who is best known as one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq during the 2003 Iraq War. He spent eight months in Iraq, between 2003 to 2005, and presented his stories on his website, entitled Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches. Jamail writes for the Inter Press Service news agency, among other outlets. He has been a frequent guest on ...more
“Despite being on the front lines, Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott is a climate disruption denier. In fact, he prohibits any state employee from publicly uttering, or writing in any state documents, the words “climate change.”1 He and the rest of the deniers leave Kirtman vexed. “I honestly don’t understand it. Imagine you have heart disease and ninety-five of one hundred doctors tell you that you have heart disease and need to treat it. But the podiatrist and the eye doctor tell you maybe you’re okay if you keep your fingers crossed and you’ll be fine so don’t do anything. Are those the ones we want to believe? I wish there wasn’t climate change…. I have plenty of scientific problems to work on. I can’t get my head around, culturally, why this has become such a strange conversation” 0 likes
“mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate disruption, and those very ecosystems provide up to 85 percent of all the water humans need, not to mention other species. Globally, glaciers contain 69 percent of all the freshwater on the planet.” 0 likes
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