Issues

September 2012

At some point, climate change stops being a theoretical punching-bag for catastrophists and deniers to fight over and begins to affect our daily lives. For many of Canada’s citizens in the prairie provinces, this point may have already arrived, bringing serious problems in its wake. That is the sober analysis of Robert Sandford, the LRC’s lead essayist for September, whose credentials include the chairmanship of the Canadian Partnership Initiative supporting the UN’s Water for Life Decade, and membership on the Advisory Committee for Living Lakes Canada. In his essay, “An Unexpected Water Crisis”, Sandford details the ways in which environmental, climatological and hydrological concerns are combining to produce extreme droughts, floods and storms that we have no sure way of predicting and preparing for. All Canadians who care about the country’s future well-being need to read Sandford’s essay.

On a more positive note, author and editor Rick Archbold explores the new world of literary self-publishing, both on the Internet and in hard copy with print-on-demand technology. In his lively essay, “All Is Not Vanity”, Archbold comes to grips with the vexed question of quality: if everyone has the ability to publish, who will determine what is worth reading?

An extraordinary example of self-publishing this year has been Jan Wong’s harrowing memoir, Out of the Blue, which details her epic battle with her ex-employer The Globe and Mail and also the clinical depression she fell into as a result of that battle. Our reviewer, Rona Maynard, writer, editor and activist on behalf of Canadians with mental illness, gives Wong’s book the serious analysis it deserves, beyond the overheated headlines.

Some challenging reads for September.

Bronwyn Drainie Editor