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Dan Egan, author of The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | 7:00 pm

Free

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We are pleased to have Milwaukeean Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, return to Schlitz Audubon for the publication of his new book, The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance, a major new work of science journalism. Dan Egan will be in conversation with Schlitz Audubon School Programs Manager, AJ Grill. Co-hosted with Boswell Book Company.

The Devil’s Element will be published on March 7 and will be available at the event. Please preorder a copy. A portion of your book purchase supports Schlitz Audubon.

Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, and nerve gas. But it’s also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people. In this major work of explanatory science and environmental journalism, Dan Egan investigates the past, present, and future of what has been called “the oil of our time.”

The story of phosphorus spans the globe and vast tracts of human history. Egan traces its story from a seventeenth-century alchemy lab in Hamburg to the battlefields of Waterloo, from the fabled guano islands off Peru to the Bone Valley of Florida and the sand dunes of the Western Sahara. Over the past century, phosphorus has made farming vastly more productive, feeding the enormous increase in the human population. Yet, as Egan harrowingly reports, our overreliance on this vital crop nutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and “dead zones” in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond. Egan also explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus poses a threat to the food system worldwide – which risks rising conflict and even war.

Dan Egan is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Free to all. Registration is required.

Tickets

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Mar 7 Dan Egan | Member
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Mar 7 Dan Egan | Nonmember
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Details

Date:
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Time:
7:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Program Categories:
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Location

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
1111 E. Brown Deer Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217 United States
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Phone:
(414) 352-2880