The Climate Swerve

By
Robert Jay Lifton
Reviewed by
Mel Watkins
The Climate Swerve is the title of a recent (2017) book by the elder (now 92) statesman of American psychiatry, and the eminent public intellectual, Robert Jay Lifton. What does “swerve” mean? In customary language it suggests something hurtling down a road that has to swerve if disaster is to be avoided. Not a bad image to conjure up about climate change. (Also about nuclear weapons, about which Lifton has long been concerned and is here again but which I ... Read more

Let Lost Words Live

By
Robert Macfarlane
Reviewed by
Mel Watkins
The drift of the world, of our lives, has been, for some time, away from nature, from ties to the land, from birds and trees, and bees, and flowers and earthworms and such like. Nature takes its revenge for our neglect with droughts and floods, wild fires, mud slides, hurricanes, extinction of species, maybe we human beings ourselves at some point, and so on and on. The estrangement from, as it were, the good side of nature, has opened wide ... Read more

The Climate Swerve

By
Robert Jay Lifton
Reviewed by
Mel Watkins
President Trump’s walk out from the Paris Accord on Climate Change was big news and bad news. The fact that almost 200 countries signed the accord was bigger news and very good news. So American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, now 90, insists in his excellent little book “The Climate Swerve“. Without hope, it is writ, the people perish. Lifton offers hope. Climate change in recent times has been on a relentless path of destruction, but it’s finally swerving. That those ... Read more

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

By
Amitov Ghosh
Reviewed by
Mel Watkins
The headline above is the title of a fascinating book with an original take on climate change. The author,  Amitov Ghosh was born in India and now lives New York. He is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He pleads for a truly global view on climate change since it is the first truly global phenomemon. He thinks the West has mostly a Eurocentric view and, specifically, neglects Asia with its huge population and its attempt to catch up ... Read more

How to Change Minds about Our Changing Climate

By
Seth B. Darling & Douglas L Stevenson
Reviewed by
Peter Jones
Arguments  against Global Warming  are made by a wide spectrum of critics from Skeptics to Denialists.  There are probably fewer Skeptics than Denialists, but they have a greater influence on public opinion as they present their skepticism in reasonable scientific terms.   Denialists are strident, self-interested and unconcerned by obvious errors in their conclusions. . I recommend a recent book, “How to Change Minds about Our Changing Climate”, that takes on both Skeptics and Denialists.  The joint Authors, Seth B. Darling, ... Read more

“Journey to the Future”

By
Guy Dauncey
Reviewed by
Peter Jones
In Lewis Carroll’s book “Alice Through the Looking Glass“, Alice steps through a mirror into a land of make believe.  In “Journey to the Future”, Guy Dauncey’s recent work of fiction, Patrick Wu, the narrator in the book, sneezes and sixteen years in the future finds himself in a Vancouver that has made good on its claim to be the greenest city in the world. In the four-day period in which he can live in this future, Patrick meets many people, ... Read more

Kill the Messengers!

By
Mark Bourrie
Reviewed by
Peter Jones
Kill the Messengers  is an invaluable, thoroughly researched book written by Mark Bourrie, an expert on censorship and an award-winning  journalist with decades of exposure to politics and our parliamentary system. He documents the erosion of the values and trust so many of us take for granted in Canada in our democracy. Bourrie illustrates the astonishing illogic and ignorance behind the Harper Conservatives’ cancellation of the Experimental Lakes Area research. Even a majority of Conservative voters opposed the cancellation, and ... Read more

Letters to my Grandchildren

By
David Suzuki
Reviewed by
Peter Jones
David Suzuki is one of the Honorary Members of For Our Grandchildren.  He is very conscious of the moral obligation his generation owes to future generations. He has written a book “Letters to my Grandchildren”.   We read an excerpt of one David’s letters in this forthcoming book soon to be published. In this excerpt Suzuki describes how Japanese culture that had basically remained the same for three centuries changed in as many decades. His ancestors were Samaurai, a warrior class.  ... Read more