But above all, Lopez is eager to tell "a coherent and significant story" about humanity's threat of extinction as a result of climate change and the declension of society, and the means he believes can be avoided. "I want everyone here to survive what is coming," he writes. By shifting his observations and past experiences into the present, Lopez highlights how travel narratives have changed as global conditions worsen.
In 1986, when he published Arctic dreams– A National Book Award winner about his explorations in the Far North – he stressed that humanity's role in extinctions across the animal kingdom "seems ineluctable." But he challenged the point of view according to which "we are … endangered in a universe of impersonal chemicals physical and biological laws. Instead, he noted that we can prevent this outcome by finding "the courage to take action that could be fruitless in our lifetime." The tone of this feeling rings several octaves lower than the more immediate term. Lopez talks about the human species in his new book: "Cooperating with each other or dying."
This change in attitude and reality is also reflected in Cheryl Strayed's introduction to the 2018 edition of The best American travel writing, in which the Wild The author writes that the mission of tourism writing to "reveal truths about what it means to be human through the lens of our relationship to place, culture, and time" is intensifying as " we are tackling the serious ecological consequences of human activities ". climate change and the devastating consequences of religious and ideological extremism, cultural imperialism and xenophobia ". The New York TimesThe "52 Places Traveler" series, for which columnist Sebastian Modak is currently visiting sites such as ice caves at risk on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior. "To see them now, before they left, was a huge privilege," Modak written"Even as I was forced to face the contradictions that arise from the amount of carbon that I spent to reach them".
Horizon amplifies these warnings to an almost deafening level and gives the illusion that travel writings that do not share the sense of responsibility and purpose of Lopez seem abandoned in comparison. Concerns about interested governments, unfairness and exceptionalism appear throughout the book. Lopez's reflections on Australia begin with his visit to the Port Arthur Historic Site, a former Tasman Sea prison in which the British Crown sent people she considered undesirable, including boys as young as 8 years. Later, in Western Australia, he reviews the geographical damage caused by commercial mining and the "injustices and lack of charity" suffered by the indigenous inhabitants of the land, in the hands of the industry. He travels to the site of a future nitrate factory where workers bulldozed a 25,000-year-old native rock art and "threw it like so much debris of construction".