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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.

This month’s reviews are by Dr. David Boettger, an HUPC member from Holladay, and HUPC Coordinator Dick Carter (DC.) Thanks, David, for sharing a fascinating book!
What are YOU reading? Why not submit a review to the pages of The LYNX? We’d love to print your short review of a book or article. Send it to Tell us what’s out there!

CAMPING WITH ED: FROM THE FIELD TEST JOURNALS. William N. Kelley, ed. Forward by Sir Edmund Hillary. Leader Publishing Company, 2002. 

Did you know that Sir Edmund (“Ed”) Hillary climbed Kings Peak?  Well, in 1978 he did. Did you also know that Hillary floated the Green River as part of Utah’s official centennial commemoration of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 exploration of the Green and Colorado River systems?  Unique stories about these and twenty-eight other “middle aged adventures” of Sir Edmund and his fellow explorers fill this delightful book.

Between 1968 and 2000, Sir Edmund worked as an advisor to Kellwood, a camping equipment manufacturer headed by editor William Kelley, with a facility in St. George. In his product endorsement role, Hillary participated in expeditions to Canada, Alaska, Nepal and several western states, including Utah, to test equipment “… under conditions decidedly more rugged than the usual public campgrounds.” The expeditions explored wild, rugged and remote places most of us can only dream of visiting. Imagine sitting at the campfire at Miller Lake or paddling in a canoe with Sir Hillary... 
The anecdotal and often humorous stories, along with nearly 140 photographs, make for light and enjoyable reading. In honor of Sir Hillary’s many achievements, and with the hope that “…you be successful in keeping some of those Uinta Wilderness areas still wild...” Mr. Kelley has graciously donated a copy of this rare book to the Salt Lake City Library to be checked out and enjoyed. Reviewed by David Boettger, MD

The Road. Cormac McCarthy. Vintage Books. 2006. DC

Pulitzer Prize winner in 2006, the book is often hailed as one of the most harsh and tender and compelling books of this day. A papa and his little boy wander the back roads, starving and filthy, horrified, verging on utter hopelessness every day in a world of gray ash and death and only a handful of living beings. Our home destroyed perhaps by a nuclear holocaust, global warming-- what does it matter? The story is varied and profound. Underlying it all is Earth destroyed, assuring humanity destroyed and neither can “be made right again.” DC

Infinite Nature. R. Bruce Hull. University of Chicago Press. 2006.

Hull is a professor of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech and has written a challenging book. While it would be expected that some conservationists would find this book simply too apologetic, not firm enough, not wrapped soundly in the ideology, one can’t argue with its completeness. With clarity and scholarship unsurpassed, he slides you through fourteen chapters from Economic Nature to Spiritual Nature. The book’s Notes and References are themselves notable and provide a deep background so often lacking in the discussion of conservation issues. It is worth a read, will probably increase your blood pressure and will engage you in a bit of thinking. DC

Mother Jones. It’s behind the war, the recession, the ice caps: if we don’t confront our energy crisis, we’re screwed. May/June 2008.

Judicious, concise, meaningful--nearly this whole issue is devoted to a no holds barred and honest analysis of the mess we have created and are within, deeply spiraling down and getting hopelessly stuck, along with everything else. The first article, The Seven Myths of Energy Independence, sets a tone and never looks back. DC

Orion. Snap! The terrifying new speed of global warming and our last chance to stop it. Mike Tidwell. May/June 2008.

As if to emphasize the Mother Jones article above comes this essay. Wondering why the headlines aren’t roaring daily and the presidential debates aren’t clearly focused on the single most important issue facing this Earth, the penultimate home of all on it, the article notes global warming is not a thing of the future, which so many people somehow still seem to believe, but an event of this moment. DC

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