Book Giveaways

The Air They Breathe: A Pediatrician on the Frontlines of Climate Change

July 01, 2024

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A timely, revelatory first look into the impact climate change has on children—the greatest moral crisis humanity faces today—by a pediatrician in the fastest warming city in America.


TheAirTheyBreathe.jpgWildfires, hurricanes, and heat waves make headlines. But what is happening in Debra Hendrickson’s clinic tells another story of this strange and unsettling time. Hendrickson is a pediatrician in Reno, Nevada—the fastest warming city in the United States, where ash falls like snow during summer wildfires. In The Air They Breathe, Dr. Hendrickson recounts patients she’s seen who were harmed by worsening smoke, smog, and pollen; two boys in Arizona, stricken by record-setting heat while hiking; children who fled for their lives from Hurricane Harvey and the Tubbs Fire; and a little girl whose life was forever altered by the Zika virus outbreak in 2016.

The climate crisis is a health crisis, and it is a health crisis, first and foremost, for children. Children’s bodies are interwoven with and shaped by their surroundings. As the planet warms and their environment changes, children’s health is at risk. The youngest are especially vulnerable because their brain, lungs, and other organs are forming and growing every day, and because their physiology is so different from that of adults. Childhood has always been a risky period of life; throughout history, babies and children have met peril, from polio to famine, from cyclones to war. Yet they have never quite had to face, in quite this way, the potential loss of the future itself.

The Air They Breathe is not just about the health impacts of global warming, but something more: a soul-stirring reminder of our moral responsibility to our children, and their profound connections to this unique and irreplaceable world.


About the Author

Debra Hendrickson, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician in Reno, Nevada. She is an associate clinical professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, where she lectures on the impact of early childhood experiences (such as poverty and trauma) on long-term health. She has an honors degree in environmental studies from Brown University and was an environmental analyst and planner in New England and Seattle for ten years before attending medical school. Dr. Hendrickson has received many awards for academic achievement and research in both environmental studies and medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of its Council on Environmental Health and Climate Change, and a founding member of Nevada Clinicians for Climate Action. She has three children.


The books for this giveaway are being provided by Simon & Schuster. We have 10 copies available, and the giveaway will end on July 8th. 


This giveaway has ended.

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