February 14, 2022

Ben Rawlence, Author of The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth

We’re at a last-gasp inflection point for the climate. Humans have so polluted the world that our entire climate is changing. We talk a lot about the human cost of this change, but what about the changes for other species? In his new book The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth, Ben Rawlence explores the northward migration of trees, and what it means for all of us. He joins us this week to discuss.


About The Treeline:


In the tradition of Elizabeth Kolbert and Barry Lopez, a powerful, poetic and deeply absorbing account of the “lung” at the top of the world.


For the last fifty years, the trees of the boreal forest have been moving north. Ben Rawlence’s The Treeline takes us along this critical frontier of our warming planet from Norway to Siberia, Alaska to Greenland, Canada to Sweden to meet the scientists, residents and trees confronting huge geological changes. Only the hardest species survive at these latitudes including the ice-loving Dahurian larch of Siberia, the antiseptic Spruce that purifies our atmosphere, the Downy birch conquering Scandinavia, the healing Balsam poplar that Native Americans use as a cure-all and the noble Scots Pine that lives longer when surrounded by its family.


It is a journey of wonder and awe at the incredible creativity and resilience of these species and the mysterious workings of the forest upon which we rely for the air we breathe. Blending reportage with the latest science, The Treeline is a story of what might soon be the last forest left and what that means for the future of all life on earth.


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Sources for audio clips

Assisted migration' helps trees move so forests survive climate change - KARE 11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw-cRl_LhfA
Question Your World - Can Trees Migrate? - Science Museum of virginia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu71wPAmKTU
Ben Rawlence on The Treeline | 5x15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1BOwsqs0SM
Master class
A Masterclass in Narrative Nonfiction with Ben Rawlence - Foyles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ili2x0H-zpU&t=16s
Tree Migration
Trees migrate. This scientist shoots them to understand how - Verge Science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkWJ318qSOU
Forests and Rainfall
The Biotic Pump: How Forests Create Rain - Jim Sol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKL40aBg-7E
Indigenous Land Use
What Is Indigenous Land Management? | SCOPE TV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiQCI329TBY
The Treeline by Ben Rawlence: Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ThL2U2Kp0

Show Credits

Host: Alyssa Milano
Executive Producer: Alyssa Milano
Associate Producer: Ben Jackson
Editing and Sound Production: Maciej Lewandowski
Music by: Josh Cooke & Eleisha Eagle and Milo Bugliari