Coral Whisperers focuses on coral scientists attempting to understand their world, both individually and as a community. The book is organized around their oscillation between hope and despair, with climate change playing an intensifying role for both approaches. The phrase“on the brink” in the book’s subtitle captures the sense of urgency and crisis that prevailed throughout my discussions with the scientists as they attempt to save both the corals and humanity from imminent death. The first part of the introduction outlines the high stakes of this project; the second part moves to discuss hope and despair and then briefly introduces the basics of coral biology and ecology. Finally, the introduction explores how thinking with corals may help us out of the mess we’re in and why the emotional layers in the work of coral scientists are just as meaningful as their analysis, if not more so. The introduction ends with an overview of the book’s structure.
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