Editor: Banerjee, Subhankar

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-60980-385-8

Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point is a wake-up call to the dire threats facing the Arctic due to the exploitation of the area’s natural resources. As the world-renowned environmentalist, Subhankar Banerjee, states in his introduction to this lengthy tome: “through [the over 30] stories, in this volume…we talk about big animals, big migrations, big hunting, big land, big rivers, big ocean, and big sky; and also about the big coal, big oil, big warming, big spills, big pollution, big legislations, and big lawsuits. And we talk about small things, too…”. It comes as no surprise that Banerjee, who specifically became a US citizen so that he could have a legitimate say regarding conservation issues in the US, has focused this volume largely on Arctic Alaska, although the developing problems and risks described have bearing on the whole of the Arctic, as, indeed, they have on the rest of the world. Other areas in the Arctic that are specifically covered are the Nunavut, Northwell and Yukon Territories in the Canadian Arctic, as well as Siberia, Greenland, Svalband, and Iceland. The text is supplemented by two full-color photo inserts, containing drawings as well as photos, portraying the beauty of this magnificent landscape that was left untarnished by humankind for so many centuries prior to the depredations brought by modern exploitative practices, which are also pictured here.

Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point, therefore, reflects, in all its sombreness, the seriousness of the situation on a global scale, with all its potentially devastating impact relating to both pollution and climate change. But yet there is joy in this work, too, as the native inhabitants of these lands recount their experiences at firsthand of living harmoniously with the wildlife that peopled these vast expanses of ice long before any human set foot there. Telling the story of both the people and the organisations that are set on protecting this natural wilderness from commercial greed, Arctic Voices exhibits the strength that lies at the core of humankind when the major motivation of our behavior is not mere lust for power and avariciousness.

Indeed, it is the wish of Banerjee that the power of the voices that fill this volume should not only resonate across the miles of physical space involved, but also across the intellectual caverns that so often exist at corporate level. If strength lies in numbers, the wide-ranging nature of the multiplicity of contributors to the volume should be capable of arousing a global consciousness and awareness that there is still sufficient energy and will to activate the policymakers and the governments involved (and who among us is not) to contribute to the sustainable evolution of this planet, before nature itself rebels, and the very continued existence of mankind itself is threatened. The spirit of this work is exemplary in its brave commitment to maintaining the rightful balance on this Earth of ours—let us all learn, and be moved, by it.

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