October 2012

As part of our continuing series on Canada and the BRICS countries, this month we feature our difficult and strained relationship with Russia, from the pre-Soviet era through the Cold War and into the post-USSR period of the past two decades. Our navigator through these troubled waters is Christopher Westdal, one of Canada’s former ambassadors to Russia. His views on our actual and potential relations with Vladimir Putin’s regime are challenging and counter-intuitive, to say the least.

Two of the best environmental journalists in the country lock horns in our current issue over the future of the planet. One of them is Andrew Nikiforuk, whose book The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude paints a foreboding picture of the world’s hydrocarbon dependencies. The other is Alanna Mitchell, author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, who reviews the Nikiforuk book for us and finds it sorely lacking in one essential quality: hope.

And Dan Gardner, a stellar and provocative columnist with the Ottawa Citizen, reviews Oracles by Donald N. Thompson, an intriguing book about the collective wisdom of “prediction markets” – the aggregate of many individuals’ opinions about … well, about virtually anything upon which the market might want to hazard a guess. Since these prediction markets have such an uncannily good track record, why don’t companies and governments use them more often?

Some bracing fall reading from the LRC. Enjoy.

Bronwyn Drainie Editor