Climate Ghosts deals with the important issue of climate change and human impact on three species: woodland caribou, common loons, and lake sturgeon.
Environmental historian Nancy Langston explores three “ghost species” in the Great Lakes watershed—woodland caribou, common loons, and lake sturgeon. Ghost species are those that have not gone completely extinct, although they may be extirpated from a particular area. Their traces are still present, whether in DNA, in small fragmented populations, in lone individuals roaming a desolate landscape in search of a mate. We can still restore them if we make the hard choices necessary for them to survive. In this meticulously researched book, Langston delves into how climate change and human impact affected these now ghost species. Climate Ghosts covers one of the key issues of our time.
About the Author
Nancy Langston is distinguished professor of environmental history at Michigan Technological University. Langston was trained both as an environmental historian and as an ecologist. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and popular essays, she is the author of Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West; Where Land and Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed; Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES; and Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World. Langston is a former president of the American Society for Environmental History and former editor-in-chief of the field’s flagship journal, Environmental History.
"The most recent addition to The Mandel Lectures in the Humanities at Brandeis University series, Prof. Langston brings her readers a profound message of both warning and encouragement to action, of the potential for tragedy and the potential for renewal. While what has already happened cannot be changed, what happens next can be; but to act wisely, an understanding of these species in and of themselves as well as their existence in their environment must be achieved. Climate Ghosts is clearly a step towards such knowledge." — The Well-read Naturalist
"Climate Ghosts is as much a call to address the violent and ongoing legacies of settler colonial racism, as it is to salvage particular animals and ecosystems in decline. This is a must read book—written with humility, head, and heart." — Brinda Sarathy, University of Washington Bothell
“Nancy Langston has written a stunning work of environmental history that illuminates the challenges facing wildlife vulnerable to climate change. While the book carries a dire warning, Langston draws hope from recent restoration programs, arguing that species on the brink should not be written off as doomed." — John Sandlos, Memorial University of Newfoundland
“By centering Indigenous rights and values, Langston shows how we can deepen our relationships with other human beings, and with fish, birds, and mammals; she understands each other as relatives. Climate Ghosts challenges us to engage critically with Indigenous dispossession, ecosystem change, and species restoration.” — Michael Dockry, University of Minnesota
“Maang, nme, adik (loon, sturgeon, caribou) are our older siblings. To the Anishnabek, these are relatives with as much right to be here as we have, and to treat a relative as a ‘resource’ is shameful. In this impassioned and detailed account, Nancy Langston shows how our lifeways are harming our siblings. She makes clear what will happen not only to our older siblings but to ourselves if we do not change." — Kathie Brosemer, Environmental Director, Sault Tribe