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Poised atop the high Himalayas is a frightening daisy chain of fragile glacial lakes, all produced by glacial melting as a result of climate change. When the lakes burst, the torrents of water sweep entire populations in their wake. In A Deluge of Consequences, intrepid journalist Jacques Leslie takes us along on a mythic, spell-binding trip to the bucolic kingdom of Bhutan, where the planet’s next environmental disaster is set to unfold. Bhutan’s environmental policies are among the world’s most advanced, yet the saga shows that no one is exempt from climate changes’ depredations. For four summers the Bhutanese government sent hundreds of workers on a ten-day journey, beyond 17,000 feet, and over one of the toughest trekking trails in the world to reach a lake in imminent danger of collapse; then the workers stood in ice water while wielding nothing but hand tools to carve an alternate channel for the lake’s water. Along the way, workers succumbed to altitude sickness and lost toes to frostbite, and the team doctor struggled to carry out an heroic rescue. Leslie’s last book, Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for its “elegant, beautiful prose.” A master of narrative nonfiction, he tells the story with grace and precision.

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