Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie / Slow Death by Rubber Duck

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 7:30pm

Pollution is no longer just about belching smokestacks and ugly sewer pipes--now, it's personal. The most dangerous pollution, it turns out, comes from commonplace items in our homes and workplaces. To prove this point, for one week authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround all of us. Using their own bodies as the reference point to tell the story of pollution in our modern world, they expose the miscreant corporate giants who manufacture the toxins, the weak-kneed government officials who let it happen, and the effects on people and families across the globe.


Slow Death by Rubber Duck -- the testimony of their experience -- exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives, from the simple household dust that is polluting our blood to the toxins in our urine that are created by run-of-the-mill shampoos and toothpaste. Ultimately hopeful, the book empowers readers with some simple ideas for protecting themselves and their families, and changing things for the better.


"This book is a powerful reminder that what we do to Mother Earth, we do directly to ourselves. Read it to see why we have to change the way we live and get off our destructive path." -- David Suzuki


“Fantastically important—an indispensable guide to surviving in an industrial age.” -- Tim Flannery, author of Now or Never and The Weather Makers


Rick Smith is a prominent Canadian author and environmentalist and Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada (since 2003), where he has established a reputation as one of the country’s leading environmental campaigners with efforts such as the high-profile Toxic Nation campaign.
A biologist by training, Rick completed his doctoral research on an endangered subspecies of freshwater harbour seal in arctic Quebec with a nearby community of Cree hunters. From 1997 to 2002 Rick was Executive Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Canadian office and acting Director of the Fund's UK office for a year. While at the Fund, Rick created high-profile and successful public efforts to end Ontario's spring bear hunt, won a groundbreaking Supreme Court of Canada ruling striking down the patenting of higher life forms and spurred the adoption of Canada's first federal Species At Risk Act.

Bruce Lourie is an influential leader and thinker in Canada's environment sector. His 20 year career is built on creating collaborative solutions to challenges facing non-profits, government and the private sector. Bruce is President of Ivey Foundation, a private charitable foundation focusing on environmental policy change. He is a Director of the Ontario Power Authority and a Director of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, one of Canada's largest community funding agencies. He is Chair of the Board of Environmental Defence Canada.