Walking to the Sun

A Journey through America's Energy Landscapes

Tom Haines

On a winter day in 2013, Tom Haines stood in front of his basement furnace and wondered about the source of the natural gas that fueled his insulated life. During the next four years, Haines, an award-winning journalist and experienced wanderer, walked hundreds of miles through landscapes of fuel—oil, gas, and coal, and water, wind, and sun—on a crucial exploration of how we live on Earth in the face of a growing climate crisis. Can we get from the fossil fuels of today to the renewables of tomorrow? The story Haines tells in Walking to the Sun is full not only of human encounters—with roustabouts working on an oil rig, farmers tilling fields beneath wind turbines, and many others—but also of the meditative range that arrives with solitude far from home. Walking to the Sun overcomes the dislocation of our industrial times to look closely at the world around us and to consider what might come next.

Cover Image of Walking to the Sun: A Journey through America's Energy Landscapes
Paper: $22.95 | E-book: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9781512600957
Pages: 248 | Size: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
Date Published: October 2, 2018


  • [Haines] came away from his walking tours realizing we need to understand how deeply enmeshed we are with a fossil-fueled world. . . . His new book probes better ways to stay warm in the future.

    Portland Press Herald
  • With the extent of climate skepticism among a sizeable portion of the American population, [Walking to the Sun]is an attempt to understand the scale of energy production in the United States and not to further polarize the climate debate.

    Seacoastonline/Exeter News-Leader
  • What a fine project! This book will give you a useful sense of the scale of our energy enterprise, and help you understand the choices that lie ahead.

    Bill McKibben
    author The End of Nature
  • If you want to understand where your energy comes from and the individuals whose work turns fossil fuels-or sunlight-into the energy you use every day, this is the book.

    Meera Subramanian
    author of A River Runs Again
  • A compelling, informative, and humane read, at boot level, of our nation’s energy addiction.

    Paul Salopek
    author of Oil Safari: In Search of the Source of America’s Fuel

About the Author

TOM HAINES has reported in more than forty countries and has three times been named Travel Journalist of the Year in North America. Formerly the staff travel writer at the Boston Globe, he has also written for The Atlantic, Seattle Times, Orion Magazine, and other publications. He is an associate professor of English at the University of New Hampshire.

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