The Treeline

The Treeline

The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The Treeline is a spellbinding blend of nature, travel and science writing, deeply researched and beautifully written, underpinned by an urgent environmental message.

The Arctic Treeline - the northern limit of the boreal forest that encircles the globe in an almost unbroken green ring - is the second largest biome on our planet. At this little-known frontline of climate change, the trees have been creeping towards the pole for fifty years already.

Six of the tree species that populate these forests (Larch, Spruce, Mountain Ash, Downy Birch, Balsam Poplar and Scots Pine) form the central protagonists of Ben Rawlence's story. In Scotland, northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland, he discovers what these trees and the people who live and work alongside them have to tell us about the past, present and future of our planet. Scientists are only just beginning to understand the astonishing significance of these forests for all life on Earth. At the Treeline, Rawlence witnesses the accelerating impact of climate change and the devastating legacies of colonialism and capitalism. But he also finds reasons for hope. Humans are creatures of the forest; we have always evolved with trees. The Treeline asks us where our co-evolution might take us next.

© Ben Rawlence 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Reviews

  • Rawlence is a fine ecologist and an excellent writer with the rare ability both to tell an absorbing tale and to convey the subtleties of science. The Treeline is timely, salutary and eminently readable. Excellent.
    Colin Tudge, Resurgence & Ecology

About the author

Ben Rawlence

Ben Rawlence is the author of City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp and Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War. Rawlence has written for the Guardian, London Review of Books, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, New Yorker and many other publications. He lives in Wales and is the founder and director of Black Mountains College, an institution dedicated to preparing people for the changes to come.
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