Words

Global Bookshelf

Reading for the planet
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If you spend more than a week in Bellingham, you’ll soon realize people who live here are concerned not only with what happens within city limits, but also to the Earth at large. Following are a few upcoming events that focus on intriguing reading material as well as global matters.

Oregon State University’s Kathleen Dean Moore has visited Bellingham before, but for an event happening Jan. 30, a book she edited and contributed to will be the star of the show. As part of Whatcom Museum’s “Vanishing Ice” exhibit, attendees are encouraged to read selections from Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril and discuss the ideas within. The tome, which was published in 2010, features essays from 80 of the world’s visionaries, leaders and writers from across the political spectrum—including an intro focusing on climate change by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu. Pieces from the Dalai Lama, Barbara Kingsolver, and Wendell Berry will be explored, and attendees are encouraged to read other selections, and discuss them. The focus will be on the condition we leave the planet in for future generations, so keep that in mind. What: After Hours Art discussion. When: 6:30pm Thurs., Jan. 30. Where: Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. Cost: Thursday entry is $5. More info: http://www.whatcommuseum.org

For the last six years, journalist McKenzie Funk has made it is his business to better understand the catastrophe of global warming. To do this, he’s had to travel the world—from Africa to the Arctic, and back again. The result of his hard work is Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming, which he’ll discuss Feb. 4 when he visits Village Books. Whether he’s visiting the front lines of the glacial melt or investigating droughts in Sudan, the focus is on seeing it through the eyes of those who view the earth’s deterioration as a business opportunity. “In alarming terms, he lists three major categories of global warming—the melt, the drought, and the deluge—all of which have nations and citizens jockey for position to cash in on the world’s dwindling resources,” reads a Publishers Weekly review. “Funk’s original, forthright take on this little-discussed profit-taking trend in the climate change sweepstakes is very unsettling.” When: 7pm Tues., Feb. 4. Where: Village Books, 1200 11th St. More info: http://www.villagebooks.com

When incoming Western Washington University freshmen showed up for school last fall, one of the items they received was Alaska author Nancy Lord’s Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North. The book, which was chosen as this year’s “Western Reads” selection, intertwines stories of Lord’s own experiences in communities in Alaska and Northwest Canada—where the effects of climate change are evident—with bigger problems, such as village relocation plans, “polar bear tourism” and warming salmon streams. When she visits Village Books and WWU in February, Lord will share examples of Alaska’s strategies for coping with environmental change, and also suggest ways in which we all might learn and change as good global citizens. When and Where: Lord will speak at talks at 4pm Sat, Feb. 8 at Village Books and at 12pm Wed., Feb. 12 at WWU’s weekly World Issues Forum at Fairhaven College. Cost: Both events are free. More info: http://www.villagebooks.com or www.wwu.edu

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