Calgary couple eager to educate people about the environment

On the eve of an historic meeting this week in Copenhagen concerning climate change a Calgary couple are attempting to educate Albertans about the importance of taking control of their own environment and how to best address it.

Authors Robin and Marian White speak with Lee Weselak and Karli Kendall at Chapters on Sunday afternoon.

On the eve of an historic meeting this week in Copenhagen concerning climate change a Calgary couple are attempting to educate Albertans about the importance of taking control of their own environment and how to best address it.

Robin and Marian White were signing copies of their award-winning environmental book Wild Alberta at the Crossroads and taking the opportunity to briefly address environmental issues facing Albertans to anyone who wanted listen.

“We’re appalled at the human assault on our Alberta landscape,” Marian said.

The book traces the Whites’ journey through Alberta’s mountains, foothills, grasslands, parkland, boreal forest and Canadian Shield.

She said the couple built issues into the book when they happened on them during their many years of research.

“For example you’ve got vanishing glaciers which is the prairie supply for cities and towns and it’s going so fast.

“Don’t people get it for crying out loud,” she added.

She said Glacier National Park, for example had, 150 glaciers but in 10 years they’ll be all gone.

She said people have become complacent about even hiking.

“There’s a shrinking number of people going into the back country and the mountains,” she said.

The Whites hope to inspire people to take a greater interest in the wild nature.

They contend people won’t fight for something they don’t understand.

Marian said creating greater public understanding of important conservation issues and creating workable solutions is also an aim of the book.

She said people need to demand that governments such as Alberta use its wealth to change the province from a world leader in greenhouse gas emissions, consumption and waste to instead, a world leader in a post carbon ecologically sustainable era.

“One of the things we emphasize is that people need to become active citizens because we’ve been told we’re merely consumers. We’ve been robbed of being citizens.”

She said it’s not just a matter of changing light bulbs or switching to cloth bags from plastic but a need to change politics and laws.

“We have forgotten and we need to remember what it means to have a civilization in the community,” Marian said.

The Whites voted in favour of producing a hard back book with large pictures and glossy pages, instead of a smaller version.

“We wanted to do an award winning book that is absolutely gorgeous to do justice to the magnificence of Alberta’s landscapes and diversity of its plants and animals,” Marian said during a break from a book signing afternoon at Chapter’s store in Red Deer Sunday afternoon.

The book is already in a second printing after selling 3,000 copies earlier.

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