A deeply intelligent and highly engaging narrative that will shift the paradigm on how we view climate change and our relationship with water.
The melting and cleaving of icebergs is one of the most visually potent signs of climate change. In his riveting Chasing Icebergs, Matthew Birkhold argues that within these precious resources lies the key to saving the planet—if only we can embrace international collaboration and conquer the logistical, cultural, environmental, and legal obstacles that stand in the way.
The global water crisis is upon us. Already, nearly 1 billion people around the world lack access to safe water; nearly 1 million people die each year as a result. Water main breaks caused by aging infrastructure have highlighted the precarity of this resource even in America. Fortunately, one potential solution to this dire plight can be found where we might least expect it: icebergs.
Chasing Icebergs will take readers around the globe, introducing them to a colorful cast of characters who hold stakes in the looming resource war. Birkhold will lay bare the dangers and logistical challenges of harnessing this valuable resource, introducing readers to both the sturdy bureaucrats who keep us safe from the looming leviathans, as well as the “iceberg cowboys” who wrangle the 'bergs.
Chasing Icebergs tracks the journey of visionaries with conflicting missions: entrepreneurs who wants to corner the market by selling luxury iceberg water for an eye-popping price and fearless humanitarians with ambitious models for towing icebergs across the globe to eradicate water shortages.
Along the way, we meet some of the world’s most renowned scientists to determine how such feats could affect the oceans and the poles. Chasing Icebergs will also identify the diverse stakeholders with claims to icebergs, including Indigenous peoples, and show how private corporations may stand to reap major profits.
As Birkhold shepherds readers from Connecticut to Newfoundland, from Norway to South Africa, to Greenland and beyond, he will unfurl his thoughtful argument for cooperation over conflict, ultimately positing that we must act fast to form a coalition of scientists, visionaries, engineers, lawyers and diplomats to ensure that the “Cold Rush” doesn’t become a free-for-all like other resource booms, and icebergs benefit all of humanity.
Matthew Birkhold is a professor at The Ohio State University, focusing on law, environmental humanities, intellectual property, and Indigenous studies. He is the author of Characters before Copyright and his essays and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times,The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, the Paris Review, and Indian Country Today.