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A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest — William deBuys

$20.00 USD

This is on the short list of key books for anyone who live in or loves the American Southwest. With scientific precision and understated emotional power, it explains what your future holds. A remarkable book.

— Bill McKibben, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Non-experts who want a concrete sense of climate change's impact, and a lyrical reading experience, should turn to A Great Aridness.

— Washington Post

The American Southwest is one of the most hauntingly beautiful regions on earth. Yet, amidst its soaring azure sky and stark landscapes, exists the reality of staggering population growth. When combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, the oasis-based society is dangerously close to the brink of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe. 

In A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, William deBuys paints a compelling picture of what the Southwest might look like when the heat turns up and the water runs out. This semi-arid land, vulnerable to water shortages, rising temperatures, wildfires, and a host of other environmental challenges, is poised to bear the heaviest consequences of global environmental change in the United States.

By examining the vanishing wildlife, forest die backs, and the over-allocation of the already stressed Colorado River, deBuys (see About the Author below) paints a vivid picture of how what is happening in the Southwest will provide a glimpse of what other mid-latitude arid lands worldwide, the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the Middle East, will experience in the coming years.

A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest offers an unflinching look at the dramatic effects of climate change occurring right now in our own backyard.

You can learn more about the story behind the William deBuys writing of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest here.



  • Condition: New. Glued binding.
  • Edition: Paperback - Published May 1, 2013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press / USA
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199974672
  • ISBN-10 0199974675
  • Pages: 384
  • Rating:★★★★ (See FAQs)
  • William deBuys is the author of seven books, including River of Traps: A New Mexico Mountain Life, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction in 1991; Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexico Mountain Range; The Walk (an excerpt of which won a Pushcart Prize in 2008), and Salt Dreams: Land and Water in Low-Down California.


    An active conservationist, deBuys has helped protect more than 150,000 acres in New Mexico, Arizona, and North Carolina. He lives and writes on a small farm in northern New Mexico.