Arts and Humanities People and Community

Work selected for One Book, One U highlights the climate crisis

This year’s book selection, “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World,” encourages the University of Miami community to discuss and examine the crisis of climate change and addresses how to cope with the myriad of social and economic issues that come along with it.
Graphic of "The Water Will Come" and Jeff Goodell author portrait
The One Book, One U common read for the academic year is "The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World" by Jeff Goodell.

When Angela Clark-Hughes was thinking of a book that would explore lived experiences and relate to all in the University of Miami community, she thought of Jeff Goodell’s “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.”

“Goodell’s book makes sense for anyone who wants to understand the broader context of rising sea levels and those most adversely affected,” said Clark-Hughes, librarian associate professor and the director of the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science’s library.   

Chantel Acevedo, professor of English and co-founder of the One Book, One U program, describes Goodell’s book as not only pertinent but urgent.

“As a community that is and will be directly impacted, I think it’s important for our UM community to continue to be in conversation about the threat of climate change,” said Acevedo.

Entering its sixth year, the One Book, One U program serves as a platform for all University community members to explore issues through a selected reading and to discuss the issue that the text covers.

“It is so gratifying to see One Book, One U grow in such impactful ways,” said Acevedo. “I’m particularly grateful to Dean [Charles] Eckman and our libraries for giving One Book, One U an official homebase.”

As highlighted by the University’s newly formed Climate Resilience Academy, the topics of climate change and environmental sustainability are vital and of particular urgency for the South Florida community. 

According to a review by Jennifer Senior at The New York Times, “The Water Will Come” is “an immersive, mildly gonzo and depressingly well-timed book about the drenching effects of global warming, and a powerful reminder that we can bury our heads in the sand about climate change for only so long before the sand itself disappears.”

Earlier this month, various community members met virtually for the annual One Book, One U Kick-off meeting, where programming ideas for the 2022-23 academic year were discussed. Some events being considered include panel discussions, meet and greets, and a keynote address in the spring semester. In 2018, Goodell was a speaker at the Rosenstiel School’s Sea Secret Series, where he discussed how climate change and sea level rise are affecting major cities like Miami and the power of science to inform good decisions. 

Copies of Goodell’s book were previously distributed during orientation week and are now being made available to students and University employees who visit the Access Services Department of the Richter Library.

“Students, faculty, and staff alike can attend any or all of the associated events or propose one of their own on the One Book, One U website,” said Acevedo. “I encourage everyone to be part of the conversation.”

Visit the One Book, One U site for more information about accessing the book and to view a schedule of upcoming events.