Friday, 3 March 2017

"The Right To Be Cold" by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

It may seem that my last blog was my final word on Canada Reads. It was not.  
This is the last book of the five finalists for me to read.  And it was a pleasure to end with this book.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier was nominated in 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as an environmental and human rights activist.
Her book begins "The world I was born into has changed forever .... While many of the changes are positive, the journey into the modern world was not an easy one- and it has left its scars."
This book is about those changes.
Sheila has spent her life educating the world about the affect of those changes on the Inuit lifestyle and eventually on all the world: "The Arctic is the barometer of the health of the planet".
The title comes from the fact that climate change has caused great devastation to the Inuits. 
Sheila has worked with the United Nations as well as numerous other organizations around the world, travelling to meetings as well as giving lectures and speeches for eleven years.  She believes that this is a human rights issue.
A long chapter explained the effect of toxins that end up in the coldest climate but originate elsewhere- mostly United States and China.  At one point she believed that if the rest of the world understood how their decisions about the environment affected the Inuit lifestyle, they would change. A little naive?
This biography is very detailed and bogs down at times.  But the information is vital in a changing world.
I enjoyed reading it.  Along with "The Break", the history and issues of the indigenous people were very well-outlined and explained. 
One was a fiction book and one was non-fiction.  Both were thought-provoking.  

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