Books for Earth Day and Some Thoughts on Leadership

Cover of A Good War by Seth Klein

Having recently finished Life Without Plastics and Jody Wilson-Reybould’s Indian in the Cabinet (which I intend to write about shortly), it is time to open a new book. I’ve had Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency sitting on my mountain of to-read books for quite some time. It was highly recommended by Green Party of Manitoba president Dennis Bayomi and I was looking forward to jumping in. So today is a good day to get into it.

The book opens with two posters (I’m only on about page 10 as of writing this). The first poster is a call-to-arms for the RCAF from World War II with an aircraft, pilots, and the text “Let’s Go!” and “Fly and Fight”. The second image, done in a similar art style, shows a young person with a backpack and a wind turbine in the back saying “Let’s Do It Again!”.

Many years ago, I read Churchill’s The Gathering Storm and its five companion volumes. Churchill has fallen into some ill favour recently because he is seen as a white supremacist, but there’s no doubt that he saw the dangers that faced Europe and, after years of calling the alarm, he led Britain through a crisis like no other. The books delve deeply into the work that had to be done politically, diplomatically, economically, and militarily to survive. There is no doubt, it was a monumental achievement in many ways and it reworked the word’s political stage and economies.

Klein’s book, I expect, is going to draw parallels here and, as a “student” of Churchill, I’m looking forward to the read.

The bottom line is, we face an existential threat on a similar, if not worse scale, than Europe did in 1939. If we do not confront the climate crisis, nothing else matters. Our economies and national security will be wrecked. We need bold leadership that recognizes the danger and acts on it with determination and boldness.

The National Observer recently published an opinion piece by Klein Today’s Conservatives not fit to lead in an emergency. It is worthy of a read. “Axe the Tax” is a pithy little response to a “We shall fight on the beaches” moment.

More later, after I’ve read the book. In the meantime, here are some other Earth Day reading suggestions:

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katherine Hayhow

Unfreeze Yourself: Five ways to take action on climate change NOW for the sake of your family, your health, and the planet by Christine Penner Poole

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