John Vaillant’s new book recounts a Canadian wildfire in 2016 that was nicknamed ‘the beast’
Review by Becca Rothfeld
One of environmentalism’s great challenges is not scientific but literary. The forces rendering our world uninhabitable can seem catastrophically intangible. How, then, are we to overcome our imaginative incapacity and conjure up their terrors and imminent dangers? “It has been suggested that one reason so many of us are attracted to disaster movies … is because they offer ways to visualize, and perhaps prepare for, such events ourselves,” writes journalist John Vaillant in “Fire Weather: A True Story From a Hotter World.” His book appeals for much the same reason — but the cataclysms for which it prepares us are not fictions.
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