When we think of spectacular landscapes we usually envision mountain ranges, lush rainforests or the Oregon Coast. But few people recognize the ecological splendor of swamplands – also known as peatlands. While they are just as globally significant as rain forests for their biodiversity and function as a carbon sink, their reputation as wastelands has led to their being systematically drained and degraded.
On this episode of Locus Focus, we talk with Edward Struzik, whose new book Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs and the Improbable World of Peat, explores the unappreciated struggle to save peatlands, upon which our planet’s survival might depend.
Edward Struzik has been writing about scientific and environmental issues for more than 30 years. A fellow at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, his numerous accolades include the prestigious Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and the Sir Sandford Fleming Medal, awarded for outstanding contributions to the understanding of science. His 2015 book, Future Arctic, focuses on the effects of climate change in the Canadian Arctic and the impacts they will have on rest of the world. His other books include Arctic Icons, The Big Thaw, and Northwest Passage. He is an active speaker and lecturer, and his work as a regular contributor to Yale Environment 360 covers topics such as the effects of climate change and fossil fuel extraction on northern ecosystems and their inhabitants. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.