Reading Assignment: Chronicles of Ice
In Chronicles of Ice, Gretel Ehrlich sets out to “learn whatever lessons a glacier has to teach”, and to share what she has learned with us, as readers. The lesson the author relays to us is that the fate of the glacier is inextricably linked to that of the biological health of the Earth itself. Ehrlich uses the glacier as a device to show both cause and effect of the declining health of the Earth’s climate. The gases and particulate trapped in the ice provide the historical record of how industrialization has contributed to the rise in greenhouse gas levels and to the warming of the planet’s atmosphere and oceans. The resultant melting of glaciers, in turn, has far-ranging consequences for human populations across the globe. Ehrlich ends by contemplating if we, as a race, have the will power to change our ways in service of the planet’s well-being.
Four Important Points :
Glaciers, like the climate, are not static.
Glaciers are able to provide a historical record of industrializations effect on various aspects of climate. The melting of glaciers can, and is, having a disastrous impact on human societies across the globe. Up to this point, our actions have been driven by purely economic interest, but will this always be the case?
The primary structure of the text is that of Comparison.
Signals That Lead the Reader:
No, the writer does not use subheadings.
The Author frequently uses transitional words and phrases dealing with TIME and PLACE. ”NOW, the enterprise we human beings in the “developed world” have engaged in is almost too darkly insane to contemplate.” “TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO temperatures plummeted and ice grew from the top of the world like vines and ground covers.” “ALREADY, warmer temperatures are causing meltwater to stream into oceans, changing temperature and salinity; sea ice and permafrost are thawing, pulsing methane into the air; seawater is expanding, causing...
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