For the past 12,000 years, the earth has experienced a relatively stable climate. Today, that predictability has ended, and global warming is our new reality. Yet such shifting weather patterns threatened Homo sapiens once before, right here in North America as the continent was first being colonized. About 15,000 years ago, the weather began to warm, melting the glaciers of the Late Pleistocene and driving the beasts of the Ice Age toward extinction. In this new landscape, humans managed to adapt to unfamiliar habitats and dangerous creatures in the midst of a wildly fluctuating climate. Are there lessons for modern people lingering along this ancient trail?
Doug Peacock, who calls himself a renegade naturalist, explores the full range of climate change, from the death of the Pleistocene mega fauna to the disappearance of today’s ice. “In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: A Renegade Naturalist Considers Global Warming, the First Americans and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene” is a deeply personal odyssey that follows Peacock from archeological digs in Michigan and Montana, to the tiger haunted forests of Siberia, along the wild coast of the Pacific Northwest, into the rugged arroyos of Mexico and the American Southwest. A disabled Vietnam veteran and model for Edward Abbey’s G. W. Hayduke, Doug Peacock has spent the last 50 years wandering the earth’s wildest places, studying grizzly bears and advocating for the preservation of wilderness. Doug Peacock will be presenting at Westminster College Monday, Oct. 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Vieve Gore Auditorium.