Alternatives Journal

This multidisciplinary Canadian journal provides articles, research and book reviews on environmental ideas and action.

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 6, November

A Climate Tale of No Tactics: As Europe Prepares for a Low-Carbon Future, Canada Is Still Pretending
EUROPE accepts the seriousness of climate change and has come to terms with how deeply carbon underpins our current economy. Europeans also look at both sides of the issue's cost-benefit equation, and are figuring out ways to maximize the benefits....
Aliens Help Endangered American Chestnuts
PRIZED FOR ITS wood and edible nuts, the American chestnut tree once towered prominently over Lake Erie's northern shore. Decades after its virtual disappearance from the hardwood forests of Eastern North America, the endangered tree is being reintroduced...
BC's Garry Oak Recovery Depends on Local Landowners
THE WILDFLOWERS, butterflies and gnarly trees that characterize Garry oak habitat are feeling the strain of the hordes of people flooding Southwestern BC's temperate climate. With the Garry oak's historic range falling on some of Canada's most valuable...
Biodiversity[TM]: Is Walmart's Environmental Program a Substitute for Government Policy?
AT A CLIMATE change conference in Vancouver in 1996, I ran into David Suzuki. He wasn't well versed on the issue back then and wanted to know if there were any companies doing something about climate change. I named a few and he suggested that it would...
Biopiracy: When It Comes to Fair and Equitable Benefits-Sharing of Genetic Resources, the Canadian Government Favours Commercial Interests over Those of Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Knowledge Holders
ENVIRONMENT CANADA reports that of the top 150 prescription drugs, 118 come from living creatures, mostly plants. So it's not surprising that Canada's multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical sector wants unfettered access to the genetic material contained...
Canada Announces It Actually Cares about Biodiversity
Ottawa, Canada--October, 2010--Today, Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced the Government of Canada's proposed policy on biodiversity. It will govern Canada's negotiating principles for the 10th Conference of Parties (COP 10) under...
Getting Down and Dirty: Dirtgirlworld Offers Little Kids a Funky Rockin' Organic Alternative to Talking Machines and Consumer-Oriented TV
LIVING IN THE US, I'm a bit CBC-deprived. Cross-border online content is limited, and fussier than just flicking on the TV or radio. Some US cable providers actually carry the CBC, though not ours. Otherwise, we'd subscribe. So, when I travel, I always...
Getting the Price Right: Paying for Ecosystem Services Recognizes the Payback That These Life-Supporting Processes Offer
IMAGINE a solar-powered machine that filters water, moderates air temperature and regulates the climate. Some would call it an amazing feat of engineering genius. Most people call it a tree. Humans have a history of overlooking the many ways by...
Grub Match: Grassroots Forces Are Duking It out with the Behemoths Behind Large-Scale Agribusiness
NORA MCKEON'S great-great grandfather was lucky. He fled An Gorta Mor--Ireland's infamous potato famine, which killed about one million people in the late 1840s, and was one of the million more who left the country. McKeon hasn't forgotten her family's...
Rick Mercer Comedy Hour
ANIMALS have long adorned our currency. The nickel features a beaver, the quarter has a caribou and a five-dollar bill depicts a kingfisher. We continue to call our one-dollar coin a "loonie," even though it doesn't always show a loon. [ILLUSTRATION...
SARA's Wagging Finger: Canada's Courts Are Not Allowing the Government to Shirk Its Responsibility to Protect Biodiversity
"Biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species,...
Sex in the Clearing: Mlle Bourgeoise Noire Gets Up Close and Personal
LORRAINE O'GRADY pauses when I ask about "nature." She's genuinely hesitant--unusual for a woman who for three decades has produced art that valiantly defies and disturbs some of the most intimate agreements and unchallenged dictums of contemporary...
Substitution
QUICK NOW. What's worse: a punch in the nose or a poke in the eye? An ugly divorce or a year in the slammer? Deep drilling in the Gulf of Mexico or tar-sands mining in Alberta? Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has an opinion on the latter....
The Good, the Bad and 4 COPs: Canada's Track Record Makes It Hard for Our Delegates to Play the Good Guy
CANADA WAS an active and enthusiastic negotiator in the early days of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It was the first industrialized country to ratify the CBD, and Montreal is home to the CBD's secretariat. But the...