, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 363-364
Date: 01 Sep 2012

Nature, Gaia, Plagues, and People: Three Books on a Path to EcoHealth

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In my life, I have read many books, though today I can scarcely find time to read reviews. For this essay, I was asked to reflect on three works that have especially influenced my thinking, steering it towards my current understanding of and sympathy with EcoHealth.

The first is A Black Bear’s Story (Liers 1962), the second is the first of many books about Gaia by James Lovelock (Gaia: a New look at Life on Earth) (Lovelock 1979), and the third is the historian William McNeil’s Plagues and Peoples (McNeill 1976).

A Black Bear’s Story was given to me as a primary school prize in the early 1960s. It is the first substantial story I can remember reading about nature, a book illustrated by drawings of the life of four bears roaming and denning in the Lake Superior wilderness. It was politically incorrect; for example by naming the main characters and endowing them with emotions and consciousness. I particularly recall the first encounter of the male bear (Koda) with man.

Later I observed a re ...