Cover Photo: An image of cars parked along the side of a road with mountains in the distance
Photograph by Dan Gold/Unsplash

The American Road Song Is Changing with the Climate

It’s not just a single driver who’s lost direction and seeks a new destination—it’s an entire population.



I recently read that more than four million miles of public roads crisscross the country, with thirty-two thousand more miles being added every year.

All those roads make car travel easier, but they threaten the wellbeing of creatures living within proximity, severing ecosystems by inhibiting the movement of wildlife. During the winter months, salt used to deice roads leaks into underground water, rendering it too foul for consumption by the animals who rely on it for survival. Then there’s the problem of carbon pollution. Every gallon of gas burned for fuel produces twenty pounds of carbon dioxide. Even over a single weekend, that adds up.

On the RoadTravels with Charley The Last UnicornI See By My Outfit

American Beauty



Amy Brady is the Deputy Publisher of Guernica magazine and the Senior Editor of the Chicago Review of Books, where she writes a monthly column about climate fiction. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, Sierra, Pacific Standard, the New Republic, the Village Voice, the Cambridge Companion to Working-Class Literature, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD in literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was a recipient of a CLIR/Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship.