The Green Issue
Taking Care of the Natural World
Taking Care of the Natural World
As it is the last day of COP26, BooksfromScotland decided to keep the Green conversation going with this latest issue. We have fiction, memoir, travel writing, nature writing and children's books to recommend this month, all with the message of the beauty of the natural world and how we should work together to treasure and sustain our planet.
The Vanishing Ice: Diaries of a Scottish Snow Hunter By Iain Cameron Published by Vertebrate Publishing
Extraction to Extinction: Rethinking Our Relationship with Earth’s Natural Resources By David Howe Published by Saraband
Mistletoe Winter By Roy Dennis Published by Saraband
The other day, I heard someone say that guilt and shame were the only things that would see us through the next 10,000 years. Maybe that’s true. Without guilt at the polluted planet we’re bequeathing to our descendants, without shame at the speed with which we demolished its resources, maybe human beings don’t either have or deserve a future of hundred years, never mind anything longer.
Even so, I have my doubts. Because finger-wagging and fact-shaming probably won’t make us actually want to save the planet. For that, we need something more: fascination and wonder at the world around us, perhaps, or a passion to discover more about it. And while the three new Scottish books I’ve picked this month might not have all the answers, they at least point in the right direction.
Iain Cameron’s The Vanishing Ice explains his fascination with Scotland’s snow so well (crisply and evenly, I’m tempted to add) that he makes you share it. There’s something so wonderfully quixotic about searching out and recording our longest-lasting snows that intrigues even those of us who have never been anywhere near Garbh Choire Mor on Braeriach in search of Sphinx and Pinnacles – the two most reliable patches of summer and autumn white in what is invariably, in winter, Scotland’s snowies...
FROM SUNNY, SUSTAINABLE DAYS
Spin a Scarf of Sunshine – Dawn Casey and Stila Lim
Nari lives on a small farm with hens and bees and apple trees, and cares for a little lamb of her own. The seasons turn and Nari’s lamb grows into a fine sheep with a fleece that is ready to shear. Nari and her family use traditional skills to transform the fleece into a cosy scarf, a...
‘Work up an appetite with a 3km jog around the mega roast chicken. It would just about fit in Central Park.’
Birding in an Age of Extinctions
‘World listers, meanwhile, have prompted an explosion in avian tourism and in the support that this provides for local conservation, particularly in developing countries.’
The Peatlands of Britain and Ireland
‘We are now beginning to understand the full costly consequences to society of our peatland legacy. Global leaders herald their importance and action is being taken to conserve them.’
Joan Eardley: Land and Sea – Life in Catterline
‘Many of her landscapes were painted less than thirty paces from her front door.’
‘I think in general culture hasn’t fully reckoned with the climate crisis yet – both in real life as an industry that is contributing to the crisis, and as a means of telling stories.’
‘I’m shocked at how thin I look, how old, how tired. A ghost of a man.’
‘Here everything’s hard, dry, spiky, covered in dust.’
‘‘When we merfolk realised we could live forever, we wondered what we should do with our time. We chose to live our lives caring for the creatures of the shore and the sea.’’
‘She will go hungry today, but that will only sharpen her schooling. The wigeon will soon face a formidable adversary.’
‘Capitalism moves fast. We need time to slow down, reflect, remember, resist and make space for what really matters.’
‘We are called, therefore, into participation and intra-action. It is true that, for better or worse, we always participate in life’s flow.’
‘Growing your own can teach food comes from, patience and nurture, the ability to think and plan long term, and the rewards of creating something from almost nothing.’
‘Once more I saw the Universe for what it is, infinite and pitiless; I could feel the sting of death in the barren frost, and yet was utterly happy.’