What’s a little lizard to do when another ferocious hurricane comes tearing through its homelands? Grow larger toe pads to grip more tightly. Where are the long-spined urchins going? South, to find cooler homes. How come the aggressive butterflyfish isn’t fighting anymore? The coral they loved is no longer worth fighting for.
Thor Hanson, who last appeared at Town Hall to talk about bees, is back with a story, ultimately, of hope. Climate change is a disaster and is wreaking havoc the world over. However, the natural world is doing what it can to cope with the new problems and trying to come up with solutions of its own. Plants and animals are responding to climate change in a variety of ways: adjusting, evolving, or dying out. Hanson has visited grizzly bears in Alaska, Walden Pond (that’s grown 4 degrees warmer since Thoreau’s time), and brown pelicans looming over the sea. Fraught with peril, it is. But there’s also hope: if a little lizard can adapt, humans can too.
Thor Hanson is an author and biologist. A Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and winner of the John Burroughs Medal, Hanson has written such books as Buzz, The Triumph of Seeds, Feathers, and others.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.