Environment

#471 The bard and the bees

Listening to the Bees by Mark L. Winston and Renée Sarojini Saklikar Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $24.95 / 9780889713468 Reviewed by Michael Picard First published January 24, 2019 * This is a book about bees, so the title does not disappoint. But it is also a personal memoir of a life in science by an eminent…
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#468 Power, petroleum, and pipelines

Costly Fix: Power, Politics and Nature in the Tar Sands by Ian Urquhart Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018 $39.95 / 9781487594619 Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Stops Action on Global Warming by Kevin Taft Toronto: Lorimer, 2017 $29.95 / 9781459409972 The Big Stall: How Big Oil and Think Tanks…
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#459 Skylark: old friend in a new land

ESSAY: Old Friend in a New Land: English Songbirds in British Columbia by Richard Mackie * Because the road is rough and long Shall we despise the skylark’s song? — Charlotte Bronte[1] * Introduced from England in 1903 and 1913, Eurasian skylarks took hold in Vancouver Island’s older agricultural districts, to which they were well…
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#453 The river sings the blues

Quenching the Dragon: The Canada-China Water Crisis by Robert William Sandford Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $16.00 / 9781771602938 Reviewed by Rosie Simms First published Dec. 23, 2018 * What can Canada learn from the water crisis emerging in China? Why should we care about far-flung water issues on the other side of the globe?…
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#448 South Moresby activist memoir

Raven Walks Around the World: Life of a Wandering Activist by Thom Henley Vancouver: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $32.95 / 9781550178074 Reviewed by Philip Van Huizen First published Dec. 15, 2018 * Autobiographies by environmentalists are nothing new, especially in B.C. Greenpeace alone is its own cottage industry, with practically all of its founders producing their…
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#443 Grains of yore to the fore

Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds: A Garden-to-Kitchen Guide. Includes 50 Vegetarian Recipes by Dan Jason and Michele Genest Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018 $24.95 / 9781771621779 Reviewed by Grahame Ware * It’s always hard to review a publication whose identity and structure has a turbid editorial focus. There are many literate types who would…
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#417 Living wild in Clayoquot Sound

Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast by Joanna Streetly Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2018 $22.95 / 9781987915655 Reviewed by Lauren Harding First published Nov. 8, 2018 * This book moved me in unexpected ways. Having spent a good deal of 2013 and 2014 living and working on the west coast of Vancouver…
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#416 Nootka Sound Nirvana

Klee Wyck Journal: The Making of a Wilderness Retreat by Lou McKee Fairbanks, Alaska: Epicenter Press, 2017 9781935347750 Reviewed by Grahame Ware First published November 07th, 2018 * Pantheism has a long and storied history. Nature exalts in a way that is simultaneously nameless and named; unconditional and conditional; joyous and painful. But many people…
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#400 The useful people’s ranch

Ranch in the Slocan: A Biography of a Kootenay Farm, 1896-2017 by Cole Harris Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2018 $24.95 / 9781550178234 Reviewed by Daniel Clayton * The Bosun Ranch, in reality a farm just south of New Denver on Slocan Lake, has been in the Harris family since 1896. “The ranch has always been…
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#384 Island hiking: all in the family

Family Walks and Hikes of Vancouver Island — Volume 1: Victoria to Nanaimo by Theo Dombrowski Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $20.00 / 9781771602792 * Family Walks and Hikes of Vancouver Island — Volume 2: Nanaimo North to Strathcona Park by Theo Dombrowski Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018 $20.00 / 9781771602815 Reviewed by Christian Fink-Jensen…
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#376 Gulf Islands parks and predators

First published Sept. 17, 2018. Fat Cats by George Mercer North Saanich: George Mercer, 2018 $19.99 / 9780987975461 Reviewed by Ron Dart * Born in Gander, Newfoundland, George Mercer worked for 35 years as a park warden, starting in 1979 at Newfoundland’s Terra Nova National Park and ending in 2012 as monitoring ecologist at the…
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#373 Olav’s love of landscape

Landscapes and Landforms of Western Canada by Olav Slaymaker (editor) Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2017 $149 (U.S.) / 9783319445953 Reviewed by Syd Cannings First published September 13th, 2018 * Thirty-four leading specialists contribute to Landscapes and Landforms of Western Canada, a collection of essays edited by Olav Slaymaker, professor emeritus of geography at UBC. “Wherever you are in western…
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#353 Another Peace offering

Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam by Wendy Holm (editor) Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2018 $22.95 / 9781459413160 Reviewed by John Gellard First published Aug. 26, 2018 * The 16 contributors to Wendy Holm’s Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam try to make sense…
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#331 Slot canyons for Twomey

First published June 29, 2018. Searching for Tao Canyon by Pat Morrow, Jeremy Schmidt, Art Twomey Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2018. $30.  /  9781771602587 Reviewed by Ron Dart * The Canadian-American duo of Pat Morrow and Jeremy Schmidt, authors of the acclaimed Himalayan Passage: Seven Months in the High Country of Tibet, Nepal, China, India,…
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#327 Site C boondoggle unravelled

Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand against Big Hydro by Sarah Cox Vancouver: UBC Press (On Point Press), 2018. $24.95  /  9780774890267 * Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam by Wendy Holm (editor) Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2018 $22.95 / 9781459413160 Both books reviewed…
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