The Moth Snowstorm

The Moth Snowstorm

Nature and Joy

Book - 2015
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The moth snowstorm, a phenomenon Michael McCarthy remembers from his boyhood when moths 'would pack a car's headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard,' is a distant memory. Wildlife is being lost, not only in the wholesale extinctions of species but also in the dwindling of those species that still exist. The Moth Snowstorm records in painful detail this rapid dissolution of nature's abundance and proposes a radical solution: that we recognize our capacity to love the natural world. Arguing that neither sustainable development nor ecosystem services have proven adequate as defenses against pollution, habitat destruction, species degradation, and climate change, McCarthy asks us to consider nature as an intrinsic good and an emotional and spiritual resource, capable of inspiring joy, wonder, and even love. An award-winning environmental journalist, McCarthy presents a clear, well-documented picture of what he calls 'the great thinning' around the world, while interweaving the story of his own early discovery of wilderness and a childhood saved by nature. Drawing on the truths of poets, the studies of scientists, and the author's long experience in the field, The Moth Snowstorm is part elegy, part ode, and part argument, resulting in a passionate call to action.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, 2015
ISBN: 9781681370408
1681370409
Characteristics: 262 p. ; 24 cm

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Bounty1
Aug 26, 2018

A wonderful book and a beautifully written but stark warning of the peril we have placed the earth, our home planet, in with our wanton destruction of its bountiful resources. Sad and terrifying as the inevitability of serious consequences he writes about are, this is not a 'doom and gloom' read. It is also full of evocative descriptions of things that have brought the author, a remarkable person and naturalist, absolute joy and wonder. Since reading it, I have been more fully conscious of, and grateful for, the birdsong and butterflies heard and observed in my small Chicago garden part of which I have let go wild with flowers and flowering weeds to encourage the bees and butterflies, and I can hardly wait to get to a bluebell wood. If you have any interest in nature....read this book.

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stefhollmichel
Feb 07, 2017

For a book about joy in nature, the author is rather surly. He also takes a simplistic view of the root causes of environmental issues blaming insect loss entirely on "Farmer Giles" instead of looking at all of the contributing factors that make our agricultural system the way it is. Nonetheless, he makes some good points about valuing nature for the joy it brings us rather than the economic values/resources it holds.

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