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Changing Tides (PDF)
An Ecologist's Journey to Make Peace with the Anthropocene
As humanity marches on, causing mass extinctions and destabilizing the climate, the future of Earth will very much reflect the stories that Homo sapiens decides to jettison or accept today into our collective identity. At this pivotal moment in history, the most important story we can be telling ourselves is that humans are not inherently destructive.
In Changing Tides, Alejandro Frid tackles the big questions: who, or what, represents our essential selves, and what stories might allow us to shift the collective psyche of industrial civilization in time to avert the worst of the climate and biodiversity crises?
In seeking the answers, Frid draws from a deep well of personal experience and that of Indigenous colleagues, finding a glimmer of hope in Indigenous cultures that, despite the ravishes of colonialism, have for thousands of years developed intentional and socially complex practices for resource management that epitomize sustainability. Ultimately, Frid argues, merging scientific perspectives with Indigenous knowledge might just help us change the story we tell ourselves about who we are and where we could go.
Changing Tides is for everyone concerned with the irrevocable changes we have unleashed upon our planet and how we might steer towards a more benign Anthropocene.
Alejandro Frid Ph.D., an ecologist for First Nations of British Columbia’s Central Coast and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria, has for over two decades inhabited the worlds of science, modern Indigenous cultures, and climate activism. He lives on Bowen Island, British Columbia.
"A needful and accessible book of soberly optimistic ecology as it is a condemnation of colonialist appropriation of territory and thought. By challenging Eurocentric science to pay deeper attention to traditional knowledge, Frid bridges the artificial gap between ways of human behavior on the planet with lyricism and respect."
Anna Badkhen, author, Fisherman's Blues and Walking with Abel, and co-editor, Changing Tides
"Seamlessly blends impeccable science with indigenous knowledge and offers a hopeful call to action to save our planet and ourselves. Beautifully written, poignant, and mind expanding, this outstanding book deserves a broad global audience so that we can begin right now to find our way back to our place in nature."
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. author, Rewilding Our Hearts and The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age
"This is a beautifully written book about the people, plants, animals and spirits that inhabit the British Columbia coast, a habitat under great strain from climate change and other human impacts. But this is not a doom and gloom tale; Frid marries lyrical writing, compelling stories and sharp ecological and cultural insights to provide an uplifting vision of how scientific and Indigenous ways of knowing working together could provide a way forward to prevent impending environmental collapse."
Mark L. Winston, Professor and Senior Fellow, Simon Fraser University's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and author, Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive, winner of the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction.
"A positively uplifting read! Changing Tides offers not only a vision for a buoyant planetary future but also a carefully defended argument to believe in it. Frid's stories reveal how Indigenous knowledge and science provide a potent combination to guide us through this time of great uncertainty."
Chris Darimont, Raincoast Chair of Applied Conservation Science, University of Victoria
"The narrative here reaches far beyond the natural world. It's a story about kindness and respect, inspiration and reward. If one is interested in doing better for our collective futures, Changing Tides needs to be digested if for no other reason than valuable lessons from our past and present."
Joel Berger, scientist and author, Extreme Conservation
"How is it possible to encapsulate the natural and cultural history of a coast, concerns for the future, the joy of being with people you admire in a place you love, and the qualities of an ecosystem burgeoning with intricate relationships, all in a single volume? That's what Alejandro Frid has done, in this engaging, informative and life affirming book about his work on the central coast of British Columbia."
Nancy Turner, CM, OBC, FRSC, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria
"A beautifully crafted journey into how we can change our destructive global culture — and who we can learn from. Quite simply, this is what real hope looks like."
J. B. MacKinnon, author, The Once and Future World
"Describing the wisdom from traditional and modern knowledge, Alejandro Frid brilliantly outlines a pathway for a viable and enduring future. Frid encourages us to change our cultural story so that we can manage the inevitable ecological changes due to the climate crisis."
Andres R. Edwards, author, Renewal and The Heart of Sustainability
"In this beautifully rendered book, Changing Tides, Alejandro Frid addresses how we as humans can live and act in the face and fear of climate change. This book offers hope and paths forward, possibilities both place specific and universal, deeply personal yet holding promise for humanity."
Dr. Mehana Blaich Vaughan, author, Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides
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