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Before It's Gone

Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change in Small-Town America

About The Book

This “stunning call to action to save ourselves and all life on the planet” (Booklist), in the vein of This Changes Everything and Saving Us, effortlessly demonstrates how climate change is affecting America right now.

Discussion of the climate crisis has always suffered from a problem of abstraction. Data points and warnings of an overheated future struggle to break through the noise of everyday life. Deniers often portray climate solutions as inconvenient, expensive, and unnecessary. And many politicians, cloistered by status and focused always on their next election, do not yet see climate as a winning issue in the short run. But climate change is here whether we want to pay attention or not.

CBS News national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti has personally witnessed that crisis unfold, spending nearly two decades reporting across the United States (and the world) documenting the people, communities, landmarks, and traditions we’ve already surrendered. Vigliotti shares with urgency and personal touch the story of an America on the brink.

This “page-turning tour de force” (Steve Brusatte, New York Times bestselling author) traces Vigliotti’s travels across the country, taking him to the frontlines of climate disaster and revealing the genuine impacts of climate change that countless Americans have already been forced to confront. From massive forest fires in California to hurricanes in Louisiana, receding coastlines in Massachusetts and devastated fisheries in Alaska, we learn that warnings of a future impacted by climate are no more; the climate catastrophe is already here.

About The Author

Photograph by Ivan Carrillo

Jonathan Vigliotti is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award–winning CBS News national correspondent whose work has appeared on numerous platforms including CBS Sunday Morning, Face the Nation, 48 Hours, and more. His reporting has taken him to more than forty countries and territories across six continents. Follow him on X @JonVigliotti. Before It’s Gone is his first book.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers (April 2, 2024)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668008195

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Raves and Reviews

“[Before It's Gone] melds profiles and scientific data to highlight the human impact of climate change in locales across the country, from Louisiana to Maui.”
The New York Times Book Review

“As a CBS News correspondent, Jonathan Vigliotti has rushed into fires, floods, and war zones. In Before It’s Gone, he shares what he’s learned from covering the disasters climate change is creating. Like so much of the best reporting, his account is at once vivid and terrifying.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Under a White Sky and The Sixth Extinction

Before It’s Gone is an account of a TV journalist on the climate beat that reads like it was written by Indiana Jones on Red Bull. Jonathan Vigliotti climbs redwoods, braves wildfires, chases storms, and interviews war refugees in a globe-hopping narrative that captures both the human drama of climate crisis and the challenges a broadcast journalist faces bringing this story to the world in real time.”
—Jeff Goodell, New York Times bestselling author of The Heat Will Kill You First

“A stunning call to action to save ourselves and all life on the planet.”

“CBS News correspondent Vigliotti debuts with a vivid report... the prose is transportive, and […] stirring portraits ground the climate science. Disquieting and thoroughly reported, this unsettles.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A raw look at the climate disasters wreaking havoc on small-town America [and a] powerful story of surviving, adapting, and making the changes needed to save our home before it’s too late.”

“We call it ‘global warming,’ but as this fine book makes clear, it takes its toll one place at a time—and every one of those places is loved and mourned.”
—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

Before It’s Gone is a page-turning tour de force. Personal, provocative, empathetic, and ultimately optimistic, this book is the perfect guide to what climate change actually means on the ground, to real people and communities.”
—Steve Brusatte, professor and paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh and New York Times bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

“From animal extinctions and habitat destruction to the collapse of entire human communities, Before It’s Gone documents the toll of climate change on people and places around the world, asking us to stop, listen, and take action—while we still can.”
—Beth Shapiro, evolutionary molecular biologist and author of Life as We Made It and How to Clone a Mammoth

“Jonathan Vigliotti’s work has propelled him into hurricanes, wildfires, crop failures, and tornado-maimed towns across America. In Before It’s Gone, the CBS correspondent ably guides us through these scenes of ecological disaster, giving us an intimate and in-the-moment understanding of the world’s climate emergency—and leaving little doubt that we’re in for much, much worse.”
—Earl Swift, New York Times bestselling author of Chesapeake Requiem

“With urgency and empathy, Jonathan Vigliotti documents the disastrous consequences of climate change in rural America and the hard work of those determined to hold their communities together. An energetic—and energizing—report from an often-overlooked front line in the climate crisis.”
Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

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