The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon, Modern Science, and a Race to Save the World

Photography by science & natural history photographer Chris Linder

Text by science writer Eric Scigliano; with Dr. Robert Max Holmes, Dr. Susan Natali, and Dr. John Schade (leaders of Woods Hole Research Center's Polaris Project)
Braided River | Mountaineers

In the race to counter the climate crisis, possessing accurate information is critical to finding solutions. This we know: the earth is heating as human activity sends more carbon into the atmosphere. But in the calculations scientists use to predict the pace of change, one huge piece of the puzzle hasn’t been factored in until now — the massive amount of carbon locked in the Arctic’s frozen soils. …

Both warning and inspiration, The Big Thaw takes an unflinching look at the threats we face in a warming world, but also captures the undaunted spirit of scientists who are racing against the clock to save not only the Arctic but all the natural systems on which our lives depend.

p.126  For a certain breed of scientist, as for the explorers of old, the rigors of the Arctic exert their own allure. 'I went to the Arctic because I was interested in globally relevant biogeochemical processes,' muses [Dr. Susan] Natali. 'I stayed because I loved the place. If it were a place I hated being in, I might not have.  A nonscientific connection is important to have when you're working long hours in difficult conditions.'   ...Jessica Dabrowski, a Polaris alumna and current PhD student at MIT and the nearby Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, can attest to the Arctic's magic and to the impact Polaris [Project] can have in infusing budding scientists with it. 'The project has changed what I'm doing with my life', she says. 'When I came I knew I wanted to study environmental chemistry of some kind, and human impacts. But because of this project I've become obsessed with the Arctic -- it's really beautiful and really vulnerable.'  And so she is applying her chemical tools to Arctic waters, studying the effects of stream and groundwater runoff from warming permafrost on the Arctic Ocean.  'The program nurtured our love for place', says Dabrowski, 'as well as our intellectual interest.'




Fractured Grace: How to Create Beauty, Peace and Healing for Yourself and the World 
Julie Krull, PhD
Best Seller Publishing

(back cover)   Fractured Grace is a prescription for individual and collective healing — a resounding call for wholeness in today’s escalating state of chaos, separation and fear.  With a unique and intimate journey into the author’s own healing process, from an early childhood Near-Death Experience to a freak accident, you are invited to step outside of an outdated worldview to create more beauty, peace and healing for yourself and the world.

p. 23   “We are human. We are experiencing a mass shift into whole-systems transformation. Things are breaking down and old institutions are dying. We look at the news and see violence, chaos, pain, suffering, greed, war, polarization, and separation. These times are challenging us. There are times in our lives when we lose faith in Divine Order. We lose faith in ourselves and fellow humans. ... Pause. Breathe. Reflect on a time in your life when you wanted to give up and quit life. Journal about this experience. What happened? What were the lessons and how did the light reenter?  How did you experience your light and that of the Divine? In what ways can you consciously weave light for someone else today?

Look around. Where do you find others consciously weaving more light?  Or others in need?  I invite you to consider a personal commitment to yourself.  In what ways can you join your light with the legion of other light weavers on the planet, even in the worst of times; times of great crisis, chaos and fear?  How can you make this a part of your daily practice and responsibility?   A whole worldview unites scientific research with universal spiritual experiences —all the non-ordinary states of consciousness and multi-dimensional realms.  …We are not separate. We never have been. We just “think” or “believe” we are. From believing the world is flat to understanding the world is round — it is now time for an evolutionary leap into our interconnected, multi-dimensional reality.

…. It is time to transcend the crisis we are in. We will do that with a new story, combining the best of scientific discoveries with the best of spiritual wisdom, as we come to understand who we really are. We are not what we have been taught, and we are more than what we have imagined…

p. 228   …It is in every country on Earth as the Creative Impulse works within the collective psyche. The reparative response is present and active - right here, right now — in every tribe, ethnic group, and culture. We have demonstrated the capacity to respond to our crisis and we have all the resources we need to heal and be whole. We know what to do and we are doing it.  Yet this stage takes time and sustained effort and commitment to maintain the conditions for healing to occur. The whole collective body is invited to cooperate and participate.




Truthspeaking: Ancestral Ways to Hear and Speak the Voice of the Heart  
Tamarack Song
Snow Wolf Publishing

(p3) To Truthspeak is to state clearly and simply what one thinks and feels. There is no judgment or expectation, no disguise of humor or force of anger. This manner of speech is sacred, because it wells up from the soul of our being rather than from our self-absorbed ego.

The suspension of our integrity that prevents us from Truthspeaking is possible only because we have learned to speak from our heads rather than our Hearts. In our culture, the rational self is esteemed, we are trained to approach life from the head.  However, to know ourselves, we need to get back in touch with our Hearts and listen to our Heartvoice —the Voice of Truth.

(p145)  To embrace Fear, we must confront our apprehension of what Fear might hold. When we go out into the night woods with a flashlight, we learn not about the night, but about light. Rather than embracing the dark, we are only looking into it from the perspective of light. This keeps the dark at a distance.

When we walk in the dark, we develop eyes for the dark. We then discover that there is light within the dark. No longer is the dark something distant and frightful; now we can come to know the Truth it holds. ...The dark is a metaphor for our unknowing, and the light represents the familiar. Approaching the unknown with the familiar keeps us in ignorance; i.e. in a state of Fear.

Forty years ago, I heard a woman named Wabun Wind ...speak these words:  "We can't grow until we quit clinging to Fear. We are afraid to open ourselves to change because we haven't tasted the beauty and gentleness that will come.  We are afraid to change because we don't yet know that change is possible."  Fear comes to us for one primary reason: to tell its story... When we can hear these Truths in our Fear's stories, we recognize Fear as honored counsel to our Heart-of-Hearts. Once Fear has served, we can bless it and send it on its way.




Dorje the Yak
Caryn Hartman; Lexi Vay, Illustrator
Pema Publishing



Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys 
Mike Unwin; Jennie Desmond, Illustrator
Bloomsbury Children's Books




Toni Morrison's rich literary legacy has instilled in us a greater awareness, as she gave voice to a multitude of complex issues, including discussions of race, black identity and, in particular, the experience of black women in America.  Her luminous prose speaks boldly to the bonds of humanity and family, the impact of generational links, and the redemptive power of community.  Her voice and presence will be profoundly missed.

The Measure of Our Lives: A Gathering of Wisdom (2019)
Toni Morrison
KNOPF | Penguin RandomHouse


2019 Nautilus Winners pdf