12 Days of CanLit: Green books for the eco-savvy


Have you been avoiding your calendar, in denial about the shrinking number of shopping days before Christmas? The holiday season is upon us, and whether you're looking for gifts to set under a tree or around a menorah or just for some non-denominational seasonal giving (or reading!), we've got 12 days of book recommendations coming your way. With 12 different categories, we've got books for everyone from foodies to fiction addicts to sports buffs missing their beloved hockey this winter. On the tenth day of CanLit, we bring you three books about environmental issues for the eco-activist in your life.

The Energy of Slaves by Andrew Nikiforuk

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Calgary journalist Andrew Nikiforuk has been writing about the oil industry for 20 years and has several books about oil under his belt including The Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of the Continent, which won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award in 2009. In his new book, The Energy of Slaves, which came out earlier this fall, he makes the argument that, although slavery was abolished in North America many, many years ago, we still behave like slaveholders when it comes to our energy consumption and use of oil. The Energy of Slaves argues for a new abolitionist movement to free us from our wasteful dependence on the black gold.

Listen to Andrew Nikiforuk's interview with Anna Maria Tremonti on an episode of The Current earlier this year.

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

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Taras Grescoe's award-winning examination of North America's debilitating dependence on the car has already appeared on several Best of 2012 lists. Straphanger isn't a driver-bashing manifesto, but a hopeful look at the potential for good public transit to heal the world. Grescoe visited cities all over the world to look at what great public transit systems are doing right...and what North America's backwards infrastructure has to learn.

Taras Grescoe talked about saving our cities from cars earlier this year on The Current.

The Sacred Headwaters by Wade Davis

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This book is equally appropriate for nature lovers and photography aficionados. The "Sacred Headwaters" is a subalpine basin in British Columbia where three rivers meet: the Skeena, the Nass and the Stikine. Home to plenty of wildlife, including grizzly bears and wild salmon, the area is under threat from -- what else? -- an oil company that wants to drill. Acclaimed science and nature writer Wade Davis (who holds the enviable title of "explorer-in-residence" at the National Geographic Society) has written an eloquent tribute to the area, articulating its importance in the natural world and the threats it now faces. The book includes gorgeous photos of the region.

Listen to Wade Davis discuss his fight to save the Sacred Headwaters on Quirks & Quarks last winter.

12 Days of CanLit