Houston Matters

David Gessner’s “Traveler’s Guide to the End of the World” mixes environmentalism with much-needed humor

Gessner tells Houston Matters that too much discussion surrounding climate change is as extreme as the weather it’s prompted.


Photo of David Gessner outdoors
Courtesy of the author's website
Author and essayist David Gessner


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Wednesday night's surprise storm brought bursts of intense wind and rain that knocked out power for a time for hundreds of thousands of residents in Harris and Montgomery Counties, in particular… and then the storm was gone as quickly as it arrived.

It was a reminder that, for all the careful forecasting meteorologists do, all kinds of weather phenomena can occur most anytime. And extreme weather events are only expected to increase in number and severity in the years to come, as sea levels rise and we experience more effects of climate change.

That bigger picture is why writer David Gessner wants to take us on a trip, of sorts, to places that are beautiful–and threatened. He wants us to tour the end of the world... but have fun doing it. In his book A Traveler's Guide to the End of the World: Tales of Fire, Wind, and Water, those tales, not surprisingly, include Gulf Coast hurricanes and other signs of our climate-changing future.

Cover of A Traveler's Guide to the End of the World: Tales of Fire, Wind, and Water
A Traveler’s Guide to the End of the World, by David Gessner

In the audio above, he tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen that the book’s title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and that he hopes to help reframe conversations surrounding climate change, to focus more on how it’s personally impacting people.

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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Craig Cohen

Craig Cohen

Executive Producer & Host, Houston Matters

Craig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager,...

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