Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

List of Maps, Figures, and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Foreword

Maude Barlow

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pp. xi-xiv

Not long ago, I sat at dinner with a group of brilliant young post-doctoral scientists studying various aspects of climate change at a prestigious American Ivy League university. While their disciplines varied, their self-assigned life tasks did not: every one planned to document climate-change-induced...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

This book was born out of the inaugural “Under Western Skies” conference in October 2010 at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Were it not for the enthusiastic institutional support we received at that time, especially from the then Provost and Vice-President Academic, Robin Fisher, neither...

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Introduction: Alberta and the Anthropocene

Mario Trono and Robert Boschman

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pp. 1-26

Atmospheric chemist and Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen suggested in 2002 that the term Anthropocene be formally adopted by scientists to indicate that humanity had entered a new geological epoch that was partially—but significantly— of its own making. Following the lead of Eugene Stoermer, who...

Part I: Found in Alberta

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1. Re-engineering the Contours of Civilization: Alberta Land Trusts and the Neoliberalization of Nature

Lorelei L. Hanson

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pp. 29-46

In this chapter, I explore the social and human–nature interactions enabled and promoted by the private property relations used by land trusts as a new form of privatized conservation. Land trusts are not-for-profit organizations that protect conservation values on private land through fee simple...

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2. Bum Steer: Adulterant E. coli and the Nature–Culture Dichotomy

Robert Boschman

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pp. 47-66

Several times daily they roll through Calgary on Deerfoot Trail, the major traffic artery close to my home, usually heading south to Feedlot Alley,1 or to Cargill Meat Solutions, the slaughter facility at High River, Alberta. Despite the trucks’ fetid odour, I gave them little thought until my daughters...

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3. “There Is No Such Place as Away”: Reconciling the Abject in Ecology and Poetry

Harry Vandervlist

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pp. 67-82

The ecological exhortation contained in the phrase “there is no such place as away” has gained currency in recent years. The phrase reminds us that the world, considered ecologically, is a closed system. This means it is illusory to imagine that waste and pollutants can be disposed of through simple...

Part II: Bituminous Sands

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4. Visualizing Alberta: Duelling Documentaries and Bituminous Sands

Geo Takach

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pp. 85-104

In 2006 Julia Corbett provided a salient overview of the classic struggle involving anthropocentric, utilitarian views of nature as a resource for human conquest and a progressively ecocentric spectrum of ideas about nature as meriting conservation, preservation, and exultation—ideas...

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5. Critical Literacy and Discursive Governance Control(s) in Canada’s Oil/Tar Sands

Conny Davidsen

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pp. 105-124

The Canadian oil (or tar) sands are arguably the single most important policy issue in recent Canadian history, with unsurpassed scales of impact. They concern a complex set of problems ranging from ecological integrity to political economy, energy futures, international trade relationships...

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6. Are the Oil Sands Sublime?: Edward Burtynsky and the Vicissitudes of the Sublime

T.R. Kover

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pp. 125-148

Conventionally, the sublime is understood as an aesthetic sensibility or quality evoked by an encounter with an object or phenomenon of such overwhelming power, grandeur, and immensity that it is almost beyond comprehension. The experience borders on the edge of outright terror, yet...

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7. From Railway to Pipeline: The Great Divide as Landscape and Rhetoric

Sean Atkins

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pp. 149-170

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project involves a double pipeline stretching from Edmonton (Alberta) and prairieland, over the Great Divide, to Kitimat (British Columbia) and the coastal region. Supporters of the project have drawn recently on the rhetoric of nation building that in...

Part III: Policy and Legal Perspectives

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8. Fostering Environmental Citizenship

Mishka Lysack, Benjamin Thibault, and Greg Powell

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pp. 173-194

In his book The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy, Chris Turner (2011) challenges the prevailing paradigm, set forth by many political leaders, of the need to prioritize the economy over the environment for the sake of jobs and prosperity. Using the metaphor of two trains—a...

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9. Environmental Divide: The Nuclear Power Debate in Alberta and Saskatchewan

Duane Bratt

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pp. 195-214

The world is going through a nuclear revival. This has led to both the building of new reactors and the extending of existing reactors’ operating lives. Sixty reactors, which combined are capable of generating 47.2 gigawatts of electricity (GWe), are currently under construction in fifteen countries...

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10. Do Corporations Have to Consider Sustainability?

Jeffrey Bone

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pp. 215-228

Many energy sector companies operating in Alberta purport to adopt sustainable practices in the course of doing business. The central question of this chapter is whether a corporate environmental covenant such as a sustainability policy carries any legal liability. If not, and if a company reneges...

Part IV: Wilderness

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11. Defending the Wild: Time to Think Beyond Legislated Wilderness

Shaun Fluker

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pp. 231-260

It is an early morning and I am driving south along Highway 22 in southwestern Alberta on my way to the village of Beaver Mines, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just north of Waterton Lakes National Park. The scenery along this stretch of pavement is spectacular—rolling...

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12. Place, Desire, and Maps: Representing Wilderness at the Columbia Icefield

Benedict Fullalove

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pp. 261-280

The glacier does not begin where the map says it should. We walk over polished bedrock, scraped by the recent ice. When did it melt from here? Twenty years ago? Fifty? Gravel and mud and slush give way to a hard, cold surface, dirty and pock-marked at the end of summer. We climb up. There...

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13. Radical Albertans? Hunting as the Subversion of Heroic Enlightenment

Nathan Kowalsky

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pp. 281-302

Late in 2011 Brock Lesnar (an ultimate fighting heavyweight champion) pleaded guilty in a Medicine Hat, Alberta, court to charges relating to his televised mule deer hunt in the coulees not far from where I grew up. In the comments on the YouTube video of this hunt, one presumably Albertan...

Part V: Shared Horizons

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14. Indigenous Environmental Ethics and the Limits of Cultural Evolutionary Thinking

Sam McKegney

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pp. 305-328

The Tale of Aionwahta occupies a small chapter in the Kaianere’kó:wa— the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy known in English as The Great Law of Peace. Aionwahta is a man in the clutches of sorrow, and the eponymous text imagines a prototype for rituals of condolence that would...

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15. Bioaesthetics and the American West

Curtis Whitaker

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pp. 329-346

Concerns about pollution and limited natural resources have driven contemporary building design to become more efficient, with fewer toxins in the built environment and less waste of energy and materials. As Amory Lovins points out in Reinventing Fire (2011), 42% of the energy consumed in the United States is dedicated to powering our buildings (79), so increased...

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16. Cultivating Longitudinal Knowledge: Alternate Stories for an Alternative Chronopolitics of Climate Change

Anita Girvan

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pp. 347-370

Anthropogenic climate change challenges dominant Western images of the past, present, and future. This urgent problem disturbs historical human timelines, revealing them to be made both in culture and in ecological materiality and thus highly contingent upon an entanglement of earthly...

Contributors

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pp. 371-376

Index

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pp. 377-392

Series Page, Further Reading

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pp. 393-394