"The End of Ice": Author Dahr Jamail on the Global Warming Emergency and How We Find Meaning and Action During These Times.

April 04, 2019

Dahr Jamail 

Thursday, April 4, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre

Sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities 

Book Description 

In The End of Ice Dahr Jamail journeys to the world’s “hot spots”—locations experiencing the most dramatic impacts of climate disruption—as he climbs and dives alongside some of the leading experts studying these locales, investigating what lies ahead for the planet, and for us. 

From the heights of Denali to the windswept islands of the Bering Sea, from the Great Barrier Reef and Amazon rainforest to Florida’s flooding coastline, Jamail finds beauty as well as devastation. He recounts one moment with a scientist, who after a breathtaking dive in the Barrier Reef, weeps. He tells of the last subsistence seal hunters as their local food web collapses and with it their entire culture. He shares the thrills of climbing Alaska’s glaciers—“the raw wildness” of ice and mountain—and the impact of rising temperatures on mountain and forest systems. And Jamail confesses: these encounters were “far more difficult to deal with than the years I spent reporting from war-torn Iraq.” He realizes the Earth, most likely, is in hospice. 

Ironically, Jamail’s grief—made explicit in his accounting of calls to loved ones and times of respite between trips—renews his passion for the planet’s wild places. He moves from despair to a form of non-hope: eschewing blind optimism to embrace his grief and cherish the Earth through presence and care. He returns to the mountains in Olympic National Park near his home and continues to report on the climate, wholly changed by his journey.

Through poetic evocations of the natural world and exuding a passion for being in its midst, Dahr Jamail offers no easy solutions or platforms for activism. Instead, he invites readers to take in the beauty—and the loss—along the way and reckon with what it means for their own lives. As he notes in the introduction, “Only by having this intimacy with the natural world can we fully understand how dramatically our actions are impacting it.”

Speaker

Dahr Jamail is an award-winning journalist and mountaineer who reports on human-caused climate disruption and the environment for Truthout. Prior to joining the climate beat, he was one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq during the occupation following the 2003 Invasion of that country. His reporting and consequent books would garner praise from Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, who declared him “the conscience of American war reporting” and Howard Zinn who called Jamail “a superb journalist, in the most honorable tradition of the craft.” He would report from Iraq and other places in the Middle East—including Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan—for over ten years. Prior to becoming a journalist, Jamail worked as a mountain guide and volunteer rescuer with the National Park Service at Denali National Park in Alaska. He has summited Denali multiple times and his climbs include summits in Argentina, Pakistan, and Mexico among others. Jamail is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket, 2007). His stories have been published with Truthout, The Guardian, The Independent, Foreign Policy in Focus, Tom Dispatch, The Huffington Post, The Nation, and Al Jazeera, among others. He is a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and has appeared on BBC and NPR, among numerous other outlets. Jamail was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Investigative Journalism in 2007 for his work in Iraq, and in 2018 won an Izzy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Media for his reporting on climate disruption.

He lives in a solar-powered house in Washington State.