Yellowknife author seeks to raise hope with new book on climate change activists

A shot of Bastedo out in wilderness with his book. (Supplied by Jamie Bastedo.)
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Optimism about the future can be hard to come by these days.

But Yellowknife-based author and biologist Jamie Bastedo is trying to look at climate change and taking action more positively: in his new book Protectors of the Planet.

The book tells the story of twelve different people, scientists, park rangers, politicians and artists, who are doing their part to combat climate change.

“This is a handbook for action,” he said. “It’s an inspiring book, the whole idea is to counter that kind of despair, and depression and paralysis that we may be feeling about the headlines these days.” 

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Their stories range from tales of hiking from Yellowstone to Yukon to running for prime minister.

All of it is to try and inspire people to be proactive and to take action, Bastedo says.

“I like to make a distinction between sort of the awful news, the predictions of climate change, and the awe-full, like I’m spelling that a-w-e, full,” he said.

The book launch event, held online at Yellowknife’s Book Cellar, had people logging in from all across Canada, and some people from the U.S. as well. 

Having as wide an audience as possible be inspired by others who are taking steps to combat climate change will help keep people optimistic amid the bevy of bad news about climate change.

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“I think you really do need a balance — in other words, just how wonderful the natural world around us, especially up north,” said Bastedo. “If you don’t have a really heartfelt connection to — to appreciating nature, you’re not going to be that concerned about the awful stuff.”

Bastedo said he hopes his book can provide that balance for people.

“Elizabeth May says that hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up and all of the people in this book embody that in very practical, positive action,” he added. “I sign these books, ‘Believe in the power of one.’”

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