By Christina Gerhardt. University of California Press, 2023.
Sea Change: An Atlas of Islands in a Rising Ocean is a groundbreaking work that invites readers to rethink the challenges faced by low-lying islands amid the devastating impacts of climate change. Christina Gerhardt, a distinguished professor and scholar, masterfully weaves environmental studies, environmental humanities, geography, cartography, and creative nonfiction to reveal the rich histories and cultures of frontline communities, while highlighting diverse actions undertaken to protect and preserve their islands.
Attending to the voices of Indigenous and Black communities, Gerhardt underscores the environmental injustices disproportionately affecting those least responsible for global warming. The book examines a range of strategies in the fight against climate change, from hard engineering solutions such as sea walls and raising islands to soft engineering approaches like restoring coral and oyster reefs and safeguarding mangrove forests and wetlands. Embodying a spirit of hope and resilience, the book asserts, “We are not drowning! We are fighting!”
Named “One of the Best Science Books of 2023” by the New Scientist, Christina Gerhardt’s Sea Change is an essential read that challenges our perspectives on climate change and inspires us to acknowledge the urgency of addressing the environmental challenges faced by island nations.