Stephen Lewis talks The Year of the Flood

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Stephen Lewis has chosen to defend Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood for Canada Reads 2014. Why? Because he believes the health of the environment is one of the most important issues facing humanity today.

"The book is essentially about the destruction of the planet. The book is a recognition that the environmental devastation has led to terrible consequences for humankind," Lewis told Here and Now host Gill Deacon. "It gives you a premonition about what climate change and global warming are likely to bring."

Lewis feels this issue is particularly pertinent to Canadians because "Canada is one of the most lamentable nations in the world in responding to the environment."

The Year of the Flood came out in 2009, but Lewis feels it's more relevant than ever -- just look at the floods in Calgary earlier this year. "Margaret is right on it and she's not deterred," he said. "She is seized with the sense that we could lose the planet."

Despite Atwood's passion for the planet, Lewis will be relying on someone else for his Canada Reads debate preparation: his son, Avi Lewis. Avi won Canada Reads in 2009, when he successfully defended The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. "He eclipses me in intuitiveness and sharpness around literature."

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