Reading more into climate change and its impacts

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Climate change impacts us all. Wildsight’s first Fire and Ice book club, which is organized in partnership with the Invermere Public Library will also hold its first discussion on Saturday, June 18 at 2:15 p.m.

All are invited who are interested in sparking conversations about climate change and how it has impacted so many landscapes and waterways including our beloved Columbia River. This is the first of a two-part club that is specific to Fire and Ice, read and discussed in the opposite order. The first perspective comes from Inuit author Sheila Watt-Cloutier with her book, “The Right to Be Cold.” The second book for this club delves into land on fire, titled, “The New Reality of Wildfire in the West” by author Gary Ferguson. Readers will meet up to discuss the latter at the library on Sept. 14.

“We’re trying to create as many ways as possible for people to participate in the discussion around climate change and what we, as individuals living in a small town, can do,” says book club organizer Baiba Morrow.

‘“The Right to Be Cold”’ is a personal story by an Inuk woman who grew up in northern Quebec that draws attention to our shared responsibility on this planet. What happens elsewhere like in the Arctic, for example, is very much tied into what happens in the Columbia Valley.”

Watt-Cloutier grew up in Nunavik and is an environmental, cultural, and human rights advocate who argues that climate change is a human rights issue to which everyone on the planet is inevitably linked.

Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for her advocacy work where she shows the impact of global climate change on human rights. There are still two more days before this club meets to read between the lines of these important issues, and still plenty of copies of Watt-Cloutier’s book waiting to be perused. Whether you’ve read the book or not join in on the conversation and fun.

“Participation is open to everyone and reading ‘The Right to Be Cold’ isn’t a prerequisite. This book is simply a vehicle for inspiration and sharing ideas. Similarly, Requiem for a Glacier is a way to reach out to the broader public with its message around climate change and shrinking glaciers through visuals and music,” says Morrow. “The issue of climate change is urgent and will impact, more and more, the way all of us live our lives. As we face another summer of possible heat domes and wildfires, can we mitigate our feelings of fear and uncertainty by getting together with a diverse group of people in a book discussion, discussing Watt-Cloutier’s message? I hope so.”

This first book was chosen for several reasons including its availability of 69 available copies, and some are still waiting to be perused with a few days to spare before the club meets on Saturday afternoon.

“Through our initiatives at Wildsight Invermere, like Fire & Ice, we want to enable the connection people have to this place they call home or visit because of its beauty and its offerings for easy immersion in nature,” says Morrow. “If you love something, you’ll be more motivated to protect it. As Watt-Cloutier emphasizes, we are all connected.”

The second Fire and Ice book club will be in September, allowing all those interested to read more on climate change. For more information on the Fire and Ice program as well other events visit

Chadd Cawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer

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