Not the End of the World

By
Hannah Ritchie
Reviewed by
Guy Hanchet
How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet. This book provides evidence that the world has changed in the past and that our actions to combat climate change can make a difference even in the face of such a huge problem and in spite of what seem like insurmountable obstacles. The book gives me some comfort in the face of gloomy news of impending doom from the traditional news outlets. .

Doughnut Economics

By
Kate Raworth
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
When I was 6 years old and learning about addition and subtraction, I needed to use my fingers to make those concepts real. My grade 1 teacher didn’t like that. She put my hands on the desk and rapped them with a ruler. Since then I’ve not had a good relationship with numbers. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself reading a book about economics and finding that I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN! This marvel is Doughnut Economics: 7 ... Read more

Fire Weather, The Making of a Beast

By
John Vaillant
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
Wild fires are common in Canada’s forests. But what causes an ordinary forest fire to become a fire beast, a monster that defies normal behaviour? Fire Weather, The Making of a Beast by John Vaillant, longlisted for the 2023 UK Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction, is a book that explains what brings a fire monster into being at the same time as spinning a narrative that reads like the script of a horror movie. Fire Weather is centred on the ... Read more

Braiding Sweetgrass

By
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
Some years ago I had the great privilege of auditing a Trent U course called Anishnaabemowin on the Land. Camping for a week at Bon Echo Provincial Park, elders and not-so-elders had us look at the world through a different lens, a way expressed through a language so completely different from English. It was here that I learned of Braiding Sweetgrass, often referred to as the “bible” of the Indigenous students in this course. Braiding Sweetgrass was published in 2013 ... Read more

Blaze Island

By
Catherine Bush
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
Way back in 2001 I read The Ingenuity Gap by Thomas Homer-Dixon, a prof at the University of Toronto. He said, “We are amazingly ingenious, but we may not be ingenious enough to manage our world and prosper within it…We crisscross the sphere in our planes, cars, and ships, subordinating all its places and resources to our needs.” We suffer from techno-hubris. We would rather look for after-the-fact solutions to the difficult problems we face than prevent the problems from ... Read more

The Ministry for the Future

By
Kim Stanley Robinson
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
It’s rare that speculative fiction gets a review on our website, but the novel covers so many bases of interest to those recognizing that the Anthropocene has changed climatic systems to the point of trophic catastrophe. This compelling story opens with a disastrous “wet bulb” heat wave that kills most of the inhabitants of a city in India. A new international crisis body is created to protect all living creatures, present and future. It’s called the Ministry for the Future ... Read more

Climate: A New Story

By
Charles Eisenstein
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
In most of the world it’s not the skeptics that are the biggest obstacle to climate action. It’s the indifference of the general public and the political class. As long as normal routines continue, people will not be persuaded to take meaningful action. People cannot be frightened into caring about what scientific predictions say could happen 20 to 30 years from now. The real motivator will be something local, something doable, something personal. Author Charles Eisenstein aims to reframe the ... Read more

The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation

By
Fred Pearce
Reviewed by
Marilyn Freeman
Prepare to have your head turned inside out. Dump the idea that pristine nature is the only true wild and that nature invaded by alien species is something lesser that needs to be fixed. Instead, embrace the idea, especially in the age of the Anthropocene, that nature is and always has been in a constant state of flux and doesn’t care at all where a particular species comes from, especially if it’s doing a useful job. British science journalist Fred ... Read more
1235 Next