Two books likely to be of great interest to those following climate change issues are among the four winners of journalism prizes from the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, administered by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.
One of the books — Canadian journalist Alanna Mitchell’s “Sea Sick: The Global Oceans in Crisis” — won the $75,000 Grantham Prize, the first book and the first Canadian entrant to be so honored in the five-year history of the award, believed to be the highest cash journalism prize in the world.
“An engaging work, ‘Sea Sick’ clearly and eloquently explains the specific dangers facing global marine ecosystems,” Metcalf Institute Executive Director Sunshine Menezes said in a prepared statement. She added that Mitchell’s 238-page book “showcases marine science — and scientists — in a balanced, accurate, and poetic fashion.”
Grantham Prize Jury Chair Philip Meyer, himself a highly respected author of books and studies on journalism, said “Reading Alanna Mitchell convinces you that the ocean is at least as important as the atmosphere when we worry about climate change. You cannot put this book down without understanding that, for life on Earth to continue as it is, the ocean from which we evolved must remain healthy.”
Also recognized for excellence by the Grantham Prize jurors is Cleo Paskal’s book “Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map.” Paskal’s book won one of three $5,000 Awards of Special Merit.
Commenting on “Global Warring,” Grantham Juror and Seattle Times Executive Editor and Senior Vice President David Boardman said the book “goes where other examinations of climate change have not — beyond the impacts to particular species or ecosystems and to the very structure on which our global civilization is built: the relationships between and among nations.”
He said the book “makes a convincing case that climate change will threaten global security and rock already tenuous geopolitical balances around the world.”
“Far from scare-mongering,” Boardman wrote, the Paskal book “lays out policy prescriptions that can help Western governments and their citizens manage as much through adaptation as through mitigation. This is cutting-edge journalism, the first of what will certainly be the next wave of climate-change exploration.”
(Editor’s Disclosure Statement: The Editor of The Yale Forum is the jury administrator for the Metcalf Institute’s Grantham Prize, the funders of which also help underwrite The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media.)