Holly Dressel

Environment & Health Care Expert, Best Selling Author

Holly Dressel

Best-selling author and researcher Holly Dressel has become one of Canada’s most recognized names in environmental studies, health care history and practices, economic concerns and aboriginal issues.  

Professor Dressel is an adjunct professor at McGill School of the Environment, a very active board member of E-Tech International (a U.S. and South American-based NGO providing engineering advice to indigenous groups and governments faced with mining projects), and a well-known Canadian author and activist, especially in the areas of food, agriculture and water and habitat protection.

Her last two environmental books, co-written with David Suzuki, Good News for a Change and More Good News, provide templates for sustainable agricultural, conservation and social systems. Their first book together, From Naked Ape to Super-species, tackles the economic basis of the environmental crisis. 

Dressel lives on a farm west of Montreal and has worked for two decades with grassroots rural and agricultural groups such as the Coalition Rural du Haut St-Laurent, Beyond Factory Farming and Union Paysanne. She is also the author of a major work on the Canadian health care system, Who Killed the Queen? The Story of a Community Hospital and How to Fix Health Care, published by McGill-Queen’s. This is the only book in print that analyses Canada's health care system in comparison with that of other countries, especially the U.S., and demonstrates why it obtains its remarkable result, which continues to make the Canadian population among the healthiest in the world, despite many attacks against it in recent years.  

Dressel has worked with columnist Gwynne Dyer as a researcher and on many documentary films and series for the CBC and the NFB, as well as many famous names in the environmental field such as Vandana Shiva, Maude Barlow, Elizabeth May, Andy Kimbrell, David Korten and many more.  She also has extensively visited and continues to work with traditional and aboriginal groups around the world, in South America, West Africa and India. Since the late 1980s, Dressel has worked with the Cree of northern Quebec, most recently as an advisor and collaborator on the Wemindji Project, ongoing work between McGill University and the Wemindji Cree to acquire full conservation status for two river basins and the adjacent sea floor and islands in that region. 

Besides teaching and lectures at McGill and many speaking engagements associated with her books, Dressel is currently writing a new book on women’s health care with Dr. Georgina Wilcock, who was until recently the Green Party health critic.  Dressel continues to attend, as she has for 15 years, the Convention on Biological Diversity of the UN’s meetings concerning biosafety and indigenous and local community issues.  She also remains fully committed, especially through her students, to local, national and international issues, especially: economic reform, agricultural issues, habitat and species conservation, as well as control of toxins and diseases, including zoonotic disease (largely caused by habitat and biodiversity disruption), and the new health challenges being introduced through extreme technologies like geoengineering, nanotech and synthetic biology.

    Topics 
  1. Cleanliness and Crowding: The Lessons of History in Emerging Disease
  2. The Big Surprise: Small Farms are the only way to Feed the World
  3. What's Good (and Bad) about the Canadian Health Care System
  4. Avoiding Biofuels: How to tell what's really Sustainable

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