In the Water-Starved West, Can Ancient Stewardship Practices Save the Soil?
“The drought is just the beginning of whatever is in the next cycle for this place,” Schreiner says. It’s not a conventional climate “solution,” nor is it the one I pitched to write about, but there it is: In the face of insurmountable change, what more can anyone do but cultivate a disposition of gratitude and abundance for all that is still going to fruit and flower?
He has recently moved to Oregon, he has seemingly settled in. Unlike him, I have not learned how to stop my sprinting. I have only just arrived in this new country but already, I am restless. Even before the record-breaking heat, the record-breaking fires, the record-breaking floods, I had already begun to feel suffocated – an island is no place for someone who only knows how to bolt, or else becomes bitter. I still feel like I am on the run, a propensity that increasingly feels pitted up against a wish to be stitched into something, some place sturdy, somewhere that will stick.
The Dignity of Risk
Layered onto these symptoms was my blind fear of them, a vicious cycle of disorientation compounded by panic at my own disorientation. It made me dizzy. It made my vision dilate to a pinhole of light beyond which the world was blurry, jagged, and dark. My mind failed me, and I learned to let it.
Where Glaciers Melt, New Ecosystems Emerge
BC’s interior mountains—the Selkirk, the Purcell, the Monashee, and the Cariboo Ranges—are experiencing some of the most rapid melt of any place on Earth. Some models predict a BC landscape with no glaciers at all as early as the 2080s. I had come to the Selkirks expecting to be overcome by a leaden grief. But with every inch a glacier recedes, new habitat emerges for cold-weather species that will be pushed out of the surrounding valleys as they warm.
Climate Adaptation's Disability Crisis
Last year was, for many in B.C., the year that climate change whiplashed into the present tense. It is here. It is disproportionately killing disabled people. It is, in part, a lack of anticipation. When the heat dome came, there was no plan to distribute air conditioning units to people whose medical conditions make them heat-sensitive; there was no plan to transport those with mobility limitations to cooling centres, nor any teams deployed to bring batteries or back-up generators to the homes of those whose power was cut.
The Girl in the Gully
Humans have long been a migratory species. Some of us still thrive in an overture of movement that takes on a wider arc than daily migration. Take, for example, my own arrival in the Sonoran Desert, by way of Oregon and California before that, via the tiny hatchback whose trunk I’d made into my home. Take the more than 84 million estimated environmental refugees: As of this decade, climate change has ignited the largest-ever global-scale mass migration—unless you count the millenia that all humans were migrants. There was a time at our species’ inception before we stayed in places, before we built towns and homes and gardens. For 8,000 years, archeologists estimate, we lived in temporary shelters, tracking seasonal hunts or harvests. We crossed valleys and mountains and seas, chasing each other from place to place, following hunger or love or both.
Geography of Absence
A Map of the Heart
Trail Runner Magazine
That Which Remains Journal
Fire Season II
Writers on the Range.
Jeffrey Pine Journal
The Places That Humans Can't Go Are Getting Smaller
No Apolitical Land Ethic
In These Times
Trail Runner Magazine
* The Girl in the Gully is a finalist for the 2022 Banff Centre's Mountain Book Competition
Fire Season II
Police Brutality Escalates at Fairy Creek Blockade
Terra Incognita Media
So To Speak Journal
Complete list of publications
Like what you've read? Buy me a coffee to support my work.