Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert's matter-of-fact writing on the dire consequences of climate change are proving too compelling to ignore.
For journalists, the rule is simple: Tell the untold story. Which is why, shortly after the United States withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, Elizabeth Kolbert decided to investigate global warming. "Even as we were warned that the world was getting warmer and warmer, no one seemed to care," says the 46-year-old staff writer for The New Yorker. "I thought, either this is a really big deal-in which case it's being horrifically under-covered-or it isn't, in which case we could forget about it."Since then, Kolbert has carefully exposed the facts of climate change-that carbon dioxide levels are approaching those of prehistoric days, that the Arctic ice cap has a good chance of disappearing by the end of this century, and that the world is, without a doubt, getting problematically warmer-in articles like "The Climate of Man" for The New Yorker and one book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. Her reporting has taken her from the messy New York City office of a leading climate modeler to the tiny Alaskan village of Shishmaref, and has earned her a science journalism award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
|We're taking the climate somewhere it hasn't been for millions and millions of years.|
|For a recent New Yorker article, Kolbert raised a hive of bees in her back yard, hoping to better understand the causes of the mysterious disappearance of the insects across the country.|