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Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places in Peril and What Can Be Done to Help Save Them    by Kimberly Lisagor & Heather Hansen order for
Disappearing Destinations
by Kimberly Lisagor
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Disappearing Destinations is a highly readable collection of environmental vignettes. Each is short, averaging about eight pages, and includes photos or a map or both. The book divides into sections, namely, continents and islands where the subject environment is located. Two appendices are included, too: one listing responsible travel resources, and another listing regional advocacy organizations.

Of the 37 locations described by the authors, 12 are in the United States, 3 in Canada, 3 in the Caribbean, 5 in South America, 6 in Europe and the Middle East, 4 in Africa, and 4 in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia. All locations are at pivotal points of destruction. Lack of resourceful, intelligent and courageous action now will consign these jewels of nature to the realms of folklore, as well as initiate an unstoppable and horrific domino effect upon our planet.

The writing is refreshing, factual, and personal. The authors interview each location's experts who relate their concerns, what has been accomplished, and their hopes for the near future. One fact is clear: there are many tenacious environmentalists around the globe working feverishly to preserve what's left of the various ecosystems. Yet, not only are the ecosystems at stake, but also everything associated with them: physically, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as culturally. This book opened my eyes to the unique impact global warming has on indigenous peoples like the Inuit of Canada's Nunavut province whose whole way of life is literally melting beneath their feet.

The book breathes lyrical, descriptive phrases into threatened landscapes. For example, 'Waterfalls plunge down the rock walls of Avalanche Lake like long, flowing hair from its white glacial scalp,' (Glacier National Park, Montana, USA). The authors do not offer mere scientific reportage, but help us acquire insight into unique cultures as well: 'Understanding the cold and ice is so crucial to their survival that there are no fewer than two dozen Inuktitut words to describe the condition of the ice.'

Disappearing Destinations is a love story written by two authors well acquainted with the object of their affection, Earth. The bittersweet tone of the book wraps itself delicately around each of the 37 glimpses of our barraged home. But, hope remains. This book reaches gently into the reader's heart and soul and whispers, 'You will help, won't you?'

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