November 26, 2010

Book review: Fraser’s Penguins (Fen Montaigne)

Fraser’s Penguins documents Fen Montaigne’s time studying the Adélie penguins of Antarctica with penguin expert Bill Fraser’s team. Montaigne spent five months in 2005-2006 living and working with the team as they studied the penguins, their habits and habitats, and the effects of climate change on the Antarctic continent.

Moving effortlessly and seamlessly from poetic description to scientific discussion, Montaigne is able to weave a narrative that is both poignant and informative. Antarctica is likely the one place on Earth where the effects of climate change are at once the most dramatic and the most visible, and while the effects of climate change on the Arctic polar bear are well documented and publicized, the effects on the Antarctic ecosystem have not been as well presented until now. Thanks to the efforts of Montaigne, Fraser and others, the perception of Antarctica as a barren, frozen wasteland too remote from humanity to have any real effect on us or us on it is changing rapidly; this book is one more step toward changing that view.

From Henry Holt and Co. and available from your local, independent bookseller. (Shop local, shop independent and tell ‘em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)

NOTE: Fen Montaigne will be appearing at the Boulder Bookstore on Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. to talk about and sign this book.

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