Every Grain of Sand
118 pages

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118 pages

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Universal in scope, yet focusing on recognizable Canadian places, this collection of essays connects individuals’ love of nature to larger social issues, to cultural activities, and to sustainable technology. Subjects include activism in Cape Breton, eco-feminism, Native perspectives on the history of humans’ relationship with the natural world, the inconsistency of humankind’s affinity with nature alongside its capacity to destroy, and scientific and traditional accounts of evolution and how they can come together for the welfare of Earth’s ecology. These essays encourage us to break down the power-based divisions of centre versus marginal politics, to talk with our perceived enemies in environmental wars, to consider activism as a personal commitment, and to resist the construction of a “post-natural” world.

Using a combination of personal memoirs and formal essays, Every Grain of Sand seeks to involve readers in the extraordinary places they inhabit—and usually take for granted—and will appeal to both the general reader and to students in humanities, social sciences, and environmental studies. It is unique for its presentation of entirely Canadian perspectives on ecology and environmental issues.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 août 2009
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781554588138
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0060€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Every Grain of Sand
Canadian Perspectives on Ecology and Environment
Every Grain of Sand
Canadian Perspectives on Ecology and Environment
edited by J.A.Wainwright
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program for our publishing activities. We acknowledge the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation s Ontario Book Initiative.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Every grain of sand: Canadian perspectives on ecology and environment / edited by J.A. Wainwright.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-88920-453-5
1. Nature-effect of human beings on. 2. Human ecology. 3. Environmental degradation. I. Wainwright, Andy, 1946-
GF75.E94 2004 304.2 C2004-906532-7
2004 Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario, Canada www.wlupress.wlu.ca
Cover design by P.J. Woodland, using photography by Ken Madsen. Text design by P.J. Woodland.
The essay by Monte Hummel is reprinted from Wintergreen: Reflections from Loon Lake (Toronto: Key Porter, 1999) with permission of the publisher.
Every reasonable effort has been made to acquire permission for copyright material used in this text, and to acknowledge all such indebtedness accurately. Any errors and omissions called to the publisher s attention will be corrected in future printings.
Printed in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visit www.accesscopyright.ca or call toll free to 1-800-893-5777.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Keeps the Human Soul from Care. - William Blake

I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man. Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.
- Bob Dylan
Table of Contents
1 Introduction
J.A. Wainwright
2 The World Is Your Body
Lionel Rubinoff
3 Growing Roots in Nature
Karen Krug
4 The Marginal World
Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands
5 Reflections of a Zealot
Elizabeth May
6 Going Home
Memories of the Natural World
J.A. Wainwright
7 Who Cares about the Meadow?
The Changing Conversation around Religion and Ecology
Anne Marie Dalton
8 Toward an Ecofeminist Phenomenology of Nature
Trish Glazebrook
9 Romantic Origins of Environmentalism
Wordsworth and Shelley
Onno Oerlemans
10 Wintergreen
Reflections from Loon Lake-Afterword
Monte Hummel
11 Listening to Our Ancestors
Rebuilding Indigenous Nations in the Face of Environmental Destruction
Leanne Simpson
12 Cutting a Deal with Attila
Confrontation, Capitulation, and Resolution in Environmental Conflict
Ehor Boyanowsky
13 Romancing Labrador
The Social Construction of Wilderness and the Labrador Frontier
Peter Armitage
14 Prey
Jarmo Jalava
1 Introduction
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, there exists an ingrained need and human affinity for nature. This need and affinity have a significant place in the works of all the contributors to this anthology, as critical aspects of people s individual and collective experience on moral, spiritual, and ethical levels.
Unfortunately, there are also human-led forces of destruction and extinction that threaten the well-being of our planet, and it is almost impossible to remain unaware of the increasingly strained relationship between people and the natural world. Media stories report daily on the effects of environmental pollution and other elements of civilization s unchecked progress on wildlife species, fish stocks, old-growth forests, safe drinking water, air quality, and even the protective ozone layer that absorbs radiation from the sun s rays as they reach the earth. Today s schoolchildren learn about the steady disappearance of insects, birds, and animals from the world around them; huge draggers scoop fish into oblivion along the Grand Banks and elsewhere; the Amazon rain forest, with its vital system of photosynthesis, is ravaged by mining operations, while British Columbia woodlands are scarred by clear-cutting; Ontario residents become ill or die because groundwater is infected with e-coli bacteria, and families in Cape Breton are apprehensive about long-term exposure to coke oven waste in their neigh-bourhoods; a giant hole in the sky opens over Antarctica as emissions from household products damage the stratosphere.
Of course, the argument can, and indeed should, be made that those same schoolchildren learn about the setting aside of land for national and provincial parks and wilderness areas; that governments have stepped in to prevent over-fishing and provide forest management; that legal and practical measures are taken to ensure uncontaminated water supplies; and that international agreements have been reached to lower the rate of anti-ozone emissions. But, even given the validity of such arguments, it is clear that not only has the human-natural world relationship become severely impaired, it has also been irrevocably changed by the sheer volume of attacks against living organisms and their habitats. At the very least, as Aldo Leopold suggested over thirty-five years ago, we seem to have outgrown the land. 1 Perhaps worse, as Bill McKibben stressed more recently, we have come to the end of nature. 2 While this does not mean there is no land left or that the natural world has vanished, it may be that the meaning of our connection to natural processes has been so diminished that we are faced with, according to Rubinoff, the eclipse ... of a humanity worthy of the human name.
What are some of the fundamental ways to oppose behaviour and policies of injury and extinguishment that stem from what Leanne Simpson calls greed [and] exploitation, Trish Glazebrook cites as a patriarchal logic of domination, and Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands describes as the globalizing commodity fetishism [that] impoverishes nature ; and that result for Anne Marie Dalton in a radical disjunction between human life and the rest of the natural world and for Jarmo Jalava in barbed wire... stretched between landscapes of divergent human belief ?
One of the most potent forces of opposition to end-of-nature scenarios is positive human memory of the experience of nature. The origins of this anthology lie in my recollections of 1950s boyhood summers spent in the countryside of southern Ontario. For me, at that time, the natural world outside Toronto existed only for unprofaned pleasure that, like the water, trees, and sunlight, would surely go on forever. Without the strength of this retrospection, I would not now be able to consider the ironies of such an anthropocentric view; nor would I have been able to stand with my two young sons on a Black River bridge in Muskoka in the late 1980s, watching the sun s rays open the current s dark sheen below, and cry out my spontaneous pronouncement of thirty-five years before: It s like a window!
Karen Krug, in her essay Growing Roots in Nature, writes of her childhood and youth on a Saskatchewan farm, working with her father in the fields, finding birds nests or abandoned young rabbits, and developing, unconsciously, a powerful sense of place. For her, decades later, the farm is still home, and she visits it more often in her mind s eye than in actuality, only now comprehending the privilege of falling asleep in a silence broken solely by the sounds of night creatures and the elements. Her adult regard for the natural world is first provided by what she learns when she looks back at a self and an environment that have much to teach her. Passing on what she has learned to her daughters, she is convinced that their consideration of the effects of permaculture, resulting from observing, emulating, and improving upon natural systems (as opposed to the limited monculture of her youth), will lead to their comprehension and appreciation of ecological diversities beyond the farm.
Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands, in The Marginal World, takes her young daughter to the ocean beach of her childhood to show her the transitional spaces or ecotones ... where cultures, natures, life worlds, experiences, and ideas collide and mingle. Mortimer-Sandilands insists we have a great deal to gain from understanding that we are all marginal creatures and that we should not be afraid of our hybridity or of the biodiversity that helps promote cultural diversity (and vice versa). If we have outgrown the land, then perhaps ecotones, where we have opportunities to engage in dialogue with other species and other disciplinary approaches to nature, can interfere with our power-based constructions of what we deem to be centres and margins. It is clear that Mortimer-Sandilands s memories, with their fertile complexity of what was integral and pregnant with change, are rich borderland zones between past, present, and possible futures for her daughter.
In her Reflections of a Zealot, Elizabeth May recalls her childhood as the effective fountainhead of her lifelong activism. The memories of her mother s struggles

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