Every Grain of Sand
Canadian Perspectives on Ecology and Environment
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Table of Contents
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In the first essay of this collection, "The World Is Your Body," Lionel Rubinoff describes the extraordinarily life-affirming bond between humanity and nature "for which humans are phylogenetically disposed [that is, in terms of their evolutionary history], and without which humans are not fully human." In other words, as Rubinoff points out...
2. The World Is Your Body
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There is a growing consensus among both environmentalists and citizens at large that, as a result of the excesses of consumerism and industrial society, planet earth is facing a serious ecological crisis. Several decades ago, Rachel Carson shocked the general public, as well as many within the scientific community, with her revelations about the effects...
3. Growing Roots in Nature
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For the first seventeen years of my life, I lived on a farm in Saskatchewan. Although I have since spent more than this length of time in urban centres of Canada, growing up on a prairie farm has indelibly shaped my life and my attitude toward the environment. I developed an appreciation for the natural world, and a deeply rooted love...
4. The Marginal World
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On a bright August afternoon near the end of our annual Victoria holiday, my daughter Hannah and I returned to the beach at Cadboro Bay equipped with the accoutrements of a (then) two-year-old's minor adventure: obligatory sunscreen and hat, towels, purple shovel, yellow pail, trucks, net, and jar. The air was rich with children's happy...
5. Reflections of a Zealot
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My life in the environmental movement is not something I entirely understand. It is certainly not a "career" in any traditional sense. Unlike a career path, it's not something over which I feel I've had any intention or will. It is like being born female. I was born an environmentalist, although I was probably trained as an activist. Equal parts nature...
6. Going Home: Memories of the Natural World
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In recent years I've approached it from the west, and for a variety of reasons in the late afternoon, as if the setting sun in my rearview mirror is there to emphasize the passing of the years. It's an unassuming body of water, probably no more than one hundred metres wide and twice that in length, with a swamp and creek at its far end that serve...
7. Who Cares about the Meadow?: The Changing Conversation around Religion and Ecology
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Sometime in the mid-1970s, I picked up some papers lying around Holy Cross Centre (later to be called Holy Cross Centre for Ecology and Spirituality) in Port Burwell, Ontario. The papers were written by Thomas Berry, by now well known as one of the pioneer voices on the relationship of religion to the ecological crisis. As a child of the 1960s...
8. Toward an Ecofeminist Phenomenology of Nature
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I grew up in Alberta, and spent many happy days backpacking in the Rockies. On longer trips, I kept a journal. Here are a couple of excerpts that capture some of the things that struck me most deeply about the natural world:...
9. Romantic Origins of Environmentalism: Wordsworth and Shelley
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The past twenty years have seen a burgeoning of criticism arguing that Romanticism is an important origin for contemporary attitudes towards the natural world.1 It is not a surprising development.We can easily see that the works of particular European and American writers in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries reflect a marked...
10. Wintergreen: Reflections from Loon Lake: Afterword
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Aldo Leopold originally wrote A Sand County Almanac under the working title "Great Possessions." Among my greatest "possessions" at Loon Lake are the thick beds of wintergreen plants that carpet the forest floor year-round. Even the phrase "wintergreen" is evocative of the Canadian landscape, seasons, and character. This self-reliant...
11. Listening to Our Ancestors: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations in the Face of Environmental Destruction
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I have worked on a variety of environmental issues affecting indigenous territories for the past six years. Initially, I naively believed that Western science and Indigenous Knowledge working together could find answers to some of the environmental problems facing Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. I now recognize...
12. Cutting a Deal with Attila: Confrontation, Capitulation, and Resolution in Environmental Conflict
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I can't remember when I first became fascinated by water. But by the time I was in high school, our team's bus crossing a bridge would trigger a mocking chorus of, "I wonder if there are any fish in that river?" from my teammates and the cheerleaders. Many times before they'd heard me wonder that out loud in so many words whenever...
13. Romancing Labrador: The Social Construction of Wilderness and the Labrador Frontier
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Cain's land, "Kingdom of Beelzebub," bleak, grim, appalling, and desolate, a tortured land, a primeval, untamed wilderness, rugged and primitive, gaunt and empty, lonely and forlorn, a "Cinderella of the Empire," unmapped and untrodden, frozen frontier, wasteland, land of myriad charms, fathomless beauty, a land barely rippled by time...
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It wasn't easy to decide how best to exploit three months of parental leave. Should we change twenty diapers a day at a seaside cottage in Newfoundland? Be sleepless on the Queen Charlotte Islands? Pump breast milk in the Falklands? It was clear we wanted big wind, big sky, and big water. And a sense of solitude. One summer afternoon we realized...
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Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2004