Fen, Bog and Swamp by Annie Proulx [6/10]

Famed novelist Annie Proulx passionately explores her latest pet subject in ”Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis.” A rambling plotline explores each of the fen, the bog, and the swamp, that is, moving towards a wetlands environment where trees can grow. This is a complex, nomenclature-driven area of conservation and the author does her best to navigate it, telling tales of different wetlands globally, the people involved in destruction or resurrection. Her passion shines through. I was especially taken with her musings about mangrove swamps, the only type of wetland I really have any familiarity with. She describes these as “a bristling wall that stabilizes land’s edge and protects shorelines from hurricanes and erosion … breeding grounds and protective nurseries for thousands of species…” Like most onlookers or scientists working on wetlands, Proulx offers no solutions, only a howl of anger. Fen, Bog and Swamp is well worth the read.

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