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High Uintas Bookshelf

A High Uintas Bookshelf

In this column we’ll list 2-4 interesting articles, books or the like that have caught our attention. They aren’t necessarily recent or recently read-- sort of a random compilation. Within a year, hopefully, we’ll have an established and detailed reading list. It won’t be complete without your additions. Please send suggestions and a descriptive sentence or two.

Six Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them. Mark Jerome Walters. Island Press. 2003.
A concise, easy to read and distinct bit of "ecological journalism." Walters does a remarkable job of pulling biology and natural history together to show just how tightly woven our impacts to this planet are tied to our health. He focuses on Mad Cow Disease, HIV/AIDS, Salmonella DT104, Lyme Disease, Hantavirus, West Nile Virus, SARS and beyond. We continue to modify and destroy ecosystems and turn our heads to the profound issues of human induced climate changes at a peril that literally threatens our health. While we continue to believe that we can master microbes, prions and a whole host of little tiny critters with new disease treatments, the real issue will be whether we can achieve the "ecological wholeness upon which our health often depends."

When the Trees Say Nothing. Writings on Nature. Thomas Merton. Kathleen Deignan, Editor. Drawings by John Giuliani. Sorin Books. 2003
This is as close to the idea of modern day Psalms as can be. Written over a long period of Merton's phenomenal life, this book can be read in one evening or one entry at a time! He writes with such clarity and sees the sacredness of wild nature without any religious dictate. It is just simple, plain spirit mystery at its core. He makes it clear that unless we hold wild nature in our hearts as a geography of the sacred then we arenít seeing the whole of wild nature. It is not a textbook, an alert, a campaign, a newsletter; it is the miracle of life defined not by us but by its existence. In one entry Merton muses on whether he is, in fact, a "priest of the woods, or the deserts or the hills..."

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