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Lessons from Antarctica about Raising Kids in the Climate Crisis

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Nurturing Uncertainty

What can Antarctica’s “doomsday glacier” teach us about community?

The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth
by Elizabeth Rush
Milkweed, 2023 ($30)

As writer Elizabeth Rush prepares for her two-month expedition to Antarctica, on an icebreaker ship staffed with scientists from around the globe, she is focused on danger and on scarcity. The researchers are traveling to the Thwaites Glacier, a behemoth whose potential collapse could dramatically reshape the time line and scale of sea-level rise. “Will Miami even exist in a hundred years?” Rush muses. “Thwaites will decide.” The glacier juts out into the Amundsen Sea, which is inaccessibly frozen over except for a few weeks in January and February. Rush solicits advice about what to pack for this precious window of data gathering—treats for when the ship’s galley runs short of fresh produce; work gear that will fit her female form better than the government-issued versions—and about how to stay safe amid the extreme isolation of the voyage. It seems to be the…

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