Sustaining Lake Superior An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World Nancy Langston

Publication date:
24 Oct 2017
Yale University Press
312 pages: 235 x 156mm
34 b-w illus.

A compelling exploration of Lake Superior’s conservation recovery and what it can teach us in the face of climate change

Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world, has had a remarkable history, including resource extraction and industrial exploitation that caused nearly irreversible degradation. But in the past fifty years it has experienced a remarkable recovery and rebirth. In this important book, leading environmental historian Nancy Langston offers a rich portrait of the lake’s environmental and social history, asking what lessons we should take from the conservation recovery as this extraordinary lake faces new environmental threats.
In her insightful exploration, Langston reveals hope in ecosystem resilience and the power of community advocacy, noting ways Lake Superior has rebounded from the effects of deforestation and toxic waste wrought by mining and paper manufacturing. Yet, despite the lake’s resilience, threats persist. Langston cautions readers regarding new mining interests and persistent toxic pollutants that are mobilizing with climate change.

Nancy Langston is professor of environmental history at Michigan Technological University and the author of three books, including Toxic Bodies. She lives on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Lake Superior.

"Nancy Langston’s Sustaining Lake Superior is a wonderful book and an excellent addition to her existing body of work. Combining detailed historical and scientific evidence with penetrating insights into broader global issues, the book has much to offer not only to those interested in the environmental history of Lake Superior but also to anyone concerned with the fate of the planet.”—Tim LeCain, author of Mass Destruction: The Men and Giant Mines That Wired America and Scarred the Planet

“The deep originality of this work consists not just in its oddly specific subject, Lake Superior, but also in its general and iterative argument about there being several very different kinds and scales of causality at work, both in environmental degradation and in restoration.”—Colin Duncan, author of The Centrality of Agriculture: Between Humankind and the Rest of Nature