Book Review – A Sugar Creek Chronicle

A Sugar Creek ChronicleIn A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland Connie Mutel produced an engaging narrative of her efforts to cope with change while living on a parcel of Oak – Hickory forest in Northern Johnson County, Iowa.

The narrative is about climate change as the title suggests. It is also rich with descriptions of the flora and fauna of the region and how her life as a Midwestern ecologist, wife, mother, and cancer survivor has changed and is changing because of our warming planet.

It was hard to put the book down once I started reading.

The narrative is a combination of autobiography, new journalism, scientific research and advocacy for the political will to take action to mitigate the causes of anthropogenic global warming and its impact on our climate before it’s too late.

What makes the book important is less the scientific discussions about climate change, and more how Mutel copes with a life she believed held stability and predictability as key components. In telling her story Mutel articulates a personal perspective of current scientific research about climate change in a way that should provide easy to grab handles on a complex topic.

The idea that carbon dioxide causes global warming is not new. Around 1850, physicist John Tyndall discovered that carbon dioxide traps heat in our atmosphere, producing the greenhouse effect, which enables all of creation as we know it to live on Earth. That story has been told time and again.

The benefit of reading Mutel’s observations is one finds a lot in common with her life, on many levels. Her inquiry into global warming and climate change provides us a window not only to her world, but to ours.

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