Silent Snow by Marla Cone
The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic

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Traditionally thought of as the last great unspoiled territory on Earth, the Arctic is actually home to some of the most contaminated people and animals on the planet. Awarded a major grant to conduct an exhaustive study of the Arctic's deteriorating environment, Los Angeles Times environmental reporter Marla Cone traveled from Greenland to the Aleutian Islands to find out why the area is so toxic. What she discovered shocked her: Tons of dangerous chemicals and pesticides from the United States, Europe, and Asia are carried to the Arctic by northbound winds and waves. As a result, Inuit women who eat seal and whale meat have far higher concentrations of PCBs and mercury in their breast milk than women who live in the most industrialized areas of the world, and they pass these poisons to their infants, leaving them susceptible to disease. Silent Snow is not only a scientific journey, but also a personal one. Whether hunting giant bowhead whales with native Alaskans or tracking endangered polar bears in Norway, Cone reports with an insider's eye on the dangers of pollution to native peoples and ecosystems, how Arctic cultures are adapting, and what changes will prevent the crisis from getting worse.

About Marla Cone

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Marla Cone is one of the nation's premier environmental journalists. She has nineteen years of experience covering environmental issues, including fifteen years at the Los Angeles Times. Cone was a teaching fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1999 and again in 2002. She has twice won a national award for environmental reporting.
Published April 5, 2005 by Grove Press. 256 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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In the Arctic, humans occupy that spot and “can carry millions, perhaps billions, of times more PCBs than the waters where they harvest their foods.” The poisons have every danger of demolishing the Inuit and other northern peoples, who can stop hunting and thus, by abandoning their traditional w...

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Publishers Weekly

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Traveling from Greenland to Alaska, she quickly finds that Power Bars and a down parka are inadequate to the Arctic, and that Inuit and Inupiat peoples rely on whales and seals for food and clothing because "nothing else is perfectly suited to their environment."

Feb 28 2005 | Read Full Review of Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoni...

BC Books

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The subject matter and implications of Silent Snow are nearly as vital as those in Silent Spring, but Cone lacks the artistry and grace in her writing that made Carson's work much more readable and classic.

May 02 2006 | Read Full Review of Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoni...

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