Streams of Consequence weaves together a bit of “ecology for dummies,” a cross-section of stories and essays on Alberta’s biodiversity riches and treasured landscapes, and a backdrop of selections on conservation issues. These are stories of the land and of Alberta’s plants, fish, and wildlife told through the voice of a biologist with decades of experience on the front lines of conservation efforts. Through stories, metaphor, and allegory, basic ecological principles are made clear, ecosystems are described, and our human role in stewarding these natural treasures is revealed.
Infused in these “dispatches from the conservation world” is the special magic of biology, taking mute organisms at a variety of scales and understanding their lives and habitats so that they have meaning and a connection to us. The role, the unstated objective of biologists, is to remind us, unceasingly, that it is only in our minds that we live apart from the natural world.
These stories have power to engage and educate, to help create and sustain an ecologically literate constituency that knows and cares about Alberta’s wilder side. Readers can look back on the changes, weigh their significance, and think about where we came from, where we are today, and where the trend might take us if we choose one road or another.
There are some rocks heaved at our economy-centred, consumer-driven world. Scattered between them are the acts of altruism, of caring, of forethought, and of stewardship. These are rays of hope amid dark clouds threatening our very existence.