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Arctic Thaw
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About the Author

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, a former teacher and freelance newspaper writer, enjoys writing about science and the human interest stories behind major discoveries. Stephanie and her husband Richard live in Virginia but also call California home.

Reviews

Adding this title to a collection will help bring new excitement to the debate on climate change. International controversy among superpowers is discussed. With billions of dollars at stake, there are those for whom their way of life means more than money. Without its being preachy, students are educated about the salient issues pertaining to environmentally sustainable energy versus global warming. Major players are introduced with enough information to make students want to know more, and issues of sovereignty are handled evenly. Well-placed photographs complete this well-balanced and well-designed read. Bibliography. Glossary. Websites. Index. [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] Highly Recommended. starred, Library Media Connection

-- "Journal"

An important case study and source of current information for serious students of climate change. Drawing almost exclusively from recent documents and news reports, McPherson surveys the ambitious, conflicting, and increasingly hostile claims that the major countries circling the Arctic have made on the polar region's major oil and gas resources. Along with showing how melting ice has already opened both the Northwest (over Canada) and the Northeast (over Russia) Passages to shipping, she frankly explores the ecological and economic challenges faced by indigenous peoples and by Greenland, which is inching its way toward independence over vast and increasingly accessible reserves of oil, rare earths, and other potentially lucrative natural resources. The author closes with a consideration of sources of renewable energy, including Russia's potentially alarming plan to build multiple floating nuclear reactors in Arctic waters, and generous lists of relevant print and web documents. Revealing maps and small but often telling color photos underscore the idea that serious climate change isn't just coming to this region; it has already arrived. --School Library Journal

-- "Journal"

The melting of the Arctic ice cap offers opportunities for wealth and economic development, as well as unwelcome prospects. Included in some of the most concerning possible effects are geopolitical conflicts over control of this enormous region, social upheaval for the people living there, and environmental disasters with far-reaching consequences. McPherson's account opens in 2007 as a Russian submersible plants a Russian flag on the ocean floor below the ice at the North Pole. After following the international uproar that followed that event, the chapters examine issues such as the opening of the Northwest Passage to shipping and the likelihood of companies finding oil and natural gas deposits in previously inaccessible locations. The author also balances discussions of national and corporate interests with the points of view of indigenous people in the Arctic. Succinct and clearly written, the text offers up-to-date information, illustrated with clear color photos and useful maps. An articulate introduction to the Arctic in a time of profound, striking changes. --Booklist

-- "Journal"

4Q 3P J S

Climate change is affecting the arctic region more than any other place on earth. From natural resources to trade routes, McPherson discusses each of the issues. While not entirely unbiased, Arctic Thaw presents both sides of each point. It is clear from the writing and facts that control of this region--most of which is oceanic--is highly desired, lucrative, and will alter the entire world. There are many benefits to the mostly untapped natural resources. As the melting of polar caps opens trade routes and new technologies emerge, decisions on if, and by whom, these resources should be accessed need to be made quickly. Many countries--even those not adjacent to this area, feel they have a claim, and the indigenous people risk losing either livelihood, standard of living, culture, or all of the above.
Complete with glossary, source notes, index, and selected bibliography, this is an excellent resource for school libraries and those passionate about the environment or politics. While the author does an excellent job of presenting complex issues in a straightforward manner, many of the topics are complicated, and less focused readers may become bogged down with facts. The relevance and detail, however, will most likely encourage readers to seek more information. --VOYA

-- "Journal"

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