N.W.T. author releases book on environmental 'trailblazers' across Canada

A longtime northerner only recently wrote a new book on environmental icons — young and old Canadians — and their values.

A CBC North Radio journalist, for many years, Jamie Bastedo was Yellowknife's writer for both fiction and non-fiction books.

His latest novel, entitled Earth Protectors: Sustainable Trailblazers 7 to 97, draws on reports, studies and environmental conservation reports from around Canada.

It involves Ecological Ambassadors from Sophia Mathur to Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the Inuk representative, who has won many awards from the United Nations Environment Programme's 2004 Earth Prize, and 12years old climate justice protester from Sudbury, Ont.

He says it is important for the issue to have constructive conversations at a moment when there are some disturbing revelations regarding climate change.

"We might get trapped in this regular dosage of disasters ... and feel certain catastrophe exhaustion," said Bastedo.

Jon Steinman's photo

"This text, I guess, is really a reverse strategy, full of hope and excitement and working together and achieving stuff."

He said that is the motivation that the readers of the book expect to receive.

Jamie Bastedo's Submission

Bastedo notes that when he was writing the novel, many "earth-shaking" surveys were published, including one by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UN report on biodiversity.

However, it has still been more important over the last few weeks since the book was released.

"This is a real-life book featuring a dozen daring eco-heroes from across Canada doing incredible stuff to preserve our struggling world," said Bastedo.

"When names line up, the meaning tends to shift."

The book has been written with young people and adults in mind, but Bastedo states that anyone aged seven to 97 is likely to be involved.

He asked any person in the book for "trailblazers," who wanted to do something.

"Whether it impacts your mindset or how you interact with policymakers has been exceptional to have this sort of guidance," he said.

"In some respects, every biography at the end of every chapter is a type of mini-handbook of the world movement from the perspective of their own life and education. And when you bring together all these resources, it's a very interesting hands-on toolkit.

"It's in some sense that you're reacting to the sounds of these individuals," he answered.