Environment

1038 Welcome to the sacrifice zone

All Fracked Up! The costs of LNG to British Columbia by Alice de Wolff and Delores Broten (editors) Comox: Watershed Sentinel Books, 2020 $30.00 / 9780995328655 Reviewed by John Gellard * “What are you reading?” asked a highly educated neighbour. “A book about fracking,” “What’s fracking?” “How do you heat your house?” “With natural gas.”…
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1027 Tribute to the Fraser River

The Fraser: River of Life and Legend by Carol Blacklaws and Rick Blacklaws White Rock: Image West Productions, 2020 $39.95 / 9780994817518 Reviewed by Peter Grant * Of those who raft (and swim) the Mighty Fraser In this album, appealingly balanced between text and pictures, Rick Blacklaws’ photos capture the Fraser River’s fabulous landscapes, especially…
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1012 Behold the Broughton Archipelago

Converging Waters: The Beauty and Challenges of the Broughton Archipelago by Daniel Hillert (photos) and Gwen Curry (text) Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $40.00 / 9781771601658 Reviewed by Alex Zimmerman * There’s something attractive about archipelagos. They are, by definition, surrounded by water and therefore have no hard boundaries. Nonetheless, islands grouped into an archipelago…
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#977 Tips for the Anthropocene

A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living Well in the Anthropocene by Heesoon Bai, David Chang, and Charles Scott (editors) Regina: University of Regina Press, 2020 $39.95 / 9780889777569 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * Seldom has this reviewer encountered an essay collection that is so topical and as important as A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living…
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#972 Sea wolf of Discovery Island

Takaya: Lone Wolf by Cheryl Alexander, with a foreword by Carl Safina Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $30.00 / 9781771603737 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * When I was a child, I lived far more intensely with animals than I did with people. As the somewhat feral daughter of homesteading farmers, I found animals were far…
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#965 A call to arms for the planet

A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency by Seth Klein Toronto: ECW Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781770415454 Reviewed by Howard Stewart *  Editor’s note: The West Coast Book Prize Society announced on April 8, 2021, that A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency, by Seth Klein, has been shortlisted for the Hubert…
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#964 Travelling the higher heights

A Story of Karma: Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya by Michael Schauch Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020 $25.00 / 9781771604673 A review essay by Trevor Carolan * Adventure travel goes through phases. In the Sixties you went off to Formentera in the Balearics or Corfu to find yourself. India…
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#958 In with civility, out with vitriol

I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up by James Hoggan with Grania Litwin Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 (second Edition, first published 2016) $19.00 / 9780865719149 Reviewed by Logan Macnair * That the public discourse surrounding certain social and political topics (particularly in online…
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#953 Gentle paths through the Rockies

Family Walks and Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Volume 1: Bragg Creek, Kananaskis, Bow Valley, Banff National Park by Andrew Nugara Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 $20.00 / 9781771602242 * Family Walks and Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Volume 2: Bragg Creek, Kananaskis, Moraine Lake, Yoho, Icefields Parkway, Jasper by Andrew Nugara Victoria: Rocky Mountain…
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#935 Haida cosmology transformed

Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2019 $29.95 / 9781771622240 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson * I can’t help but chuckle as I read through the reader reviews on goodreads of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga, two of which read: Exuberant art and a non-linear…
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#933 Stanley Park trees

Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver’s Stanley Park by Nina Shoroplova Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772033038 Reviewed by David Tracey * Consider the following thought experiment: the first alien space crew has just landed on Earth (mark your 2020 bingo card). They must quickly discover what our planet is all about. So…
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#932 Ableman’s urban agriculture

Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting up a Successful Urban Farm by Michael Ableman Gabriola: New Society, 2020 $19.95 / 9780865719392 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * While Michael Ableman’s Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting up a Successful Urban Farm is written as a primer for those wishing to start an in-town farm,…
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#913 Northern wilderness advocate

Crossing the Divide: Discovering a Wilderness Ethic in Canada’s Northern Rockies by Wayne Sawchuk Smithers: Creekstone Press, 2020 $21.95 / 9781928195061 Reviewed by Luanne Armstrong * Who wouldn’t want a chance to sit around a campfire with Wayne Sawchuk, and listen to him tell stories? Horses munch grass in the background, his faithful dog, Chancey,…
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#900 Teaching the Cariboo way

British Columbia in Flames: Stories from a Blazing Summer by Claudia Cornwall Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 $26.95 / 9781550178944 Reviewed by John Gellard * Editor’s note: The West Coast Book Prize Society announced on April 8, 2021, that British Columbia in Flames: Stories from a Blazing Summer, by Claudia Cornwall, has been shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown…
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#880 In celebration of the orca

Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History by Martha Black, Lorne Hammond, and Gavin Hanke (editors), with Nikki Sanchez Victoria: Royal BC Museum, 2020 $29.95 / 9780772677686 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * During the summer of 2018 an orca named Tahlequah, a member of J pod of the southern resident orcas which…
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#857 Oceans as sustainable commons

Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries by Daniel Pauly, with a foreword by Jennifer Jacquet Vancouver: Greystone, 2019 $34.95 / 9781771643986 Reviewed by Loys Maingon * …fish are in dire peril, and, if they are, then so are we. — Daniel Pauly (p. 24) In a remarkable collection of essays drawn…
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#852 Plenty of dust but no pilaf

Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road by Kate Harris Toronto: Penguin Random House (Vintage Canada), 2018 $21.00 / 9780345816788 Reviewed by Howard Stewart * Kate Harris’s tale of bicycling the Silk Road of Central Asia, her Land of Lost Borders, came out a couple of years ago and it describes…
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#816 Walking through the pandemic

Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests by Ariel Gordon Hamilton, ON: Wolsak & Wynn, 2019 $20.00 / 9781928088752 Reviewed by Jaime Yard * It took me an inordinately long time to read Ariel Gordon’s Treed. This does not mean that it isn’t a good book. In truth, I think the pace may have been set…
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#815 A confluence of passages

The Weight of the Heart by Theresa Kishkan Windsor, ON: Palimpsest Press, 2020 $15.95 / 9781989287477 Reviewed by David Stouck * This newly published novella by one of BC’s most prolific and accomplished authors eludes easy categorization because it is part travel writing, part family tragedy, part literary history and part cartography. The young narrator,…
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#805 Hiking the Okanagan Valley

Popular Day Hikes: Northern Okanagan, Vernon Shuswap Lumby by Gerry Shea Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 (revised and updated; first published 2013) $20.00 / 9781771602457 * Popular Day Hikes: South-Central Okanagan, Kelowna Penticton Oliver by Gerry Shea Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2019 (revised and updated; first published 2015) $20.00 / 9781771602778 Both books reviewed by…
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