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Publisher's Summary

In The Big Melt, Rolling Stone contributing editor and leading environmental journalist Jeff Goodell takes the listener up close and personal to one of the world’s most remote locations—Western Antarctica—and to the foot of the staggeringly important Thwaites Glacier.

Join Goodell aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer, an ice-capable research ship, on its unprecedented journey to study the effects of climate change on the Thwaites Glacier. Get to know why scientists are studying this glacier and discover the chilling facts that make this sheet of ice a real ticking time bomb of climate change—no matter where you live on the planet.

Mr. Goodell’s spirited reporting and narration is augmented with audio recordings courtesy of reporter Carolyn Beeler from the public radio program The World, providing listeners with an incredible sense of what Antarctica sounds like. There are also keen and fascinating insights into the day-to-day workings of a research ship speeding toward one of the fiercest places on earth.

"The Big Melt" phenomenon has shattering, real consequences for all of us. This Audible Original is produced with Rolling Stone in conjunction with Columbia Journalism Review’s Covering Climate Change initiative.

Cover art photo credit: Michael Martin/laif/Redux 

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from The Big Melt

Sea levels are changing.
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The world of ice
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Flying penguins
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Let them eat cake.
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  • The Big Melt
  • Sea levels are changing.
  • The Big Melt
  • The world of ice
  • The Big Melt
  • Flying penguins
  • The Big Melt
  • Let them eat cake.

"This should be required reading for everyone, whether climate-concerned or in climate change denial—an exceedingly interesting and topical book."

Brian H., Audible Listener
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About the Creator and Performer

Jeff Goodell’s most recent book, The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World, was a New York Times Critics Top Book of 2017 as well as one of The Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2017. He is the author of five previous books, including Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future. He is a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, where he has covered climate change for more than a decade. As a commentator on energy and climate issues, he has appeared on NPR, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News and The Oprah Winfrey Show. He was a 2016-2017 fellow at New America and is currently a Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council.

What listeners say about The Big Melt

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Very enlightening, very disappointing

It is interesting to know that one can obtain a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia University with an adolescent vocabulary and the apathetic usage of words as presented in this audio book. Unfortunately, books such as this provide abundant fuel for those who deny climate change. As an Antarctica researcher, I was disappointed about how little of this book is concerned with Antarctica or the Thwaites Glacier.

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A direct experience

Goodwill bring us to face to face with the scientists and the evidence and some of the consequences of climate change induced sea level rise. It is a valuable experience that most of us do not have and need to appreciate to be intelligent about the climate crisis.

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Only Mildly Interesting

There was not a lot in this book. It is short at under 3 hours, and describes (briefly and without much depth) being on a research ship in Antarctica and describes some effects of global warming.

This book did not have a lot of data, information, or analysis regarding the details of global warming. There are very many books that do all those things better.

The best I can say is it is not too long and some of the stories were mildly engaging.

The narration by the author is not bad but a professional performer might have been better.

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Haunting and Frightening and Beautifully Told

The prose is gorgeous, the subject matter both terrifying and wonderous, and the detail and research on the topic fabulous. It's hard to grieve for some of those will be devastated and impossible to forgive those who deny the relentless future for personal gain. Jeff, I hope you will continue and you really do have a wonderful speaking voice. This is truly good. Thank you for the time and effort and personal sacrifice you endured to give this to us.

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Eye Opener

This should be required reading for everyone., whether climate concerned or climate change denial. The author isn’t the best choice to narrate, as his voice is relatively flat - use specialists if you aren’t one. But an exceedingly interesting and topical book.

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  • Troothsayer
  • 11-20-19

Fascinating and wide-ranging review

A huge amount packed in here - part travelogue, part evidence review, part prediction of where we're headed