Alternatives Journal

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

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 3, Summer

Bangladeshi Farmers Develop Greener Agriculture. (Notes)
The region of Tangail in north central Bangladesh is one of the poorest regions in the world, being continuously afflicted with food shortages. Three decades of Western aid has failed to produce a durable solution to the food security problems of...
Changing the World by Saving Place. (Saving Place)
When Jane Jacobs and her neighbours defeated the urban renewal project that was threatening Greenwich Village, they helped inspire a movement that preserved some of the most valued urban places in North America I own a coffee mug, purchased from...
Citizens Can Prevail: A Personal Perspective on How Public Mobilization Defeated the Proposal to Ship Toronto's Waste to an Abandoned Mine in Northern Ontario. (Commentary)
Had it not been for the extraordinary efforts of concerned citizens and activists across Ontario, Toronto's garbage would likely be on its way to the Adams Mine Lake in northern Ontario and polluting a precious water source. What follows is one...
Community Science: Bringing Together Social and Scientific Goals, Western Australia's Waterwatchers Nurture Both Nature and Neighbourhood. (Saving Place)
A sense of place is built on intimate knowledge of a specific area over time. Years of exploration and experience are needed for memories to accumulate and understandings to form. We are still learning -- or relearning -- how valuable an informed...
Error: Dumping Does Not Compute. (Notes)
Low labour costs and weak environmental regulations have made Asia a high-tech dumping ground for the US. An estimated 20 million computers become obsolete each year in the US, and an estimated 200 tonnes of these computers end up in containers...
Future Imperfect: The Prospects for Seattle's Belltown Neighbourhood Depend on How Long Its Diversity and Character Can Persist When There Is Money to Be Made on High-Rise Luxury Condos. (Saving Place)
Seattle, Washington, is one of the most rapidly growing cities on the US west coast. The Belltown neighbourhood lies along Seattle's waterfront, between the central business district and the city's most famous landmark, the Space Needle. Belltown...
Genetic Pollution Hits the Prairies. (Notes)
As many as 1200 Saskatchewan organic grain producers are taking legal action against Monsanto and Aventis -- two of the world's largest seed and agrochemical corporations -- for polluting their farms with genetically engineered pollen. Organic...
Gobble-De-Goop. (Brain Mulch)
The next renewable fuel movement will be heralded with a resounding "cluck". How does this grab your giblets -- millions of gallons of chicken fat and yellow restaurant grease traditionally dumped down drains or into landfills can he used to...
Honeymoon Contaminates Oz. (Notes)
A Toronto-based company is preparing to open a uranium mine that may end up contaminating groundwater aquifers in the desert of South Australia. In late 2001, Southern Cross Resources obtained environmental and project approvals from state and federal...
Knowing Your Place. (Saving Place)
Want to get to know your home better? Then this is the quiz for you. If you can answer all these questions, you deserve a prize for awareness of your local environment and community. And if you are not sure, some sources of information are suggested...
Learning to Ask: An Aboriginal Custom for Respecting Forests Brings Appreciation and Understanding. (Saving Place)
Ten years ago, I began to ask before entering a forest. I first learned of this custom in a conversation with Wilf Peltier, an Odawa (Ottawa) elder, and his Cree friend Cliff Thomas. We were talking in the family den of two friends, Bob and Louise,...
Letters
Vegetarians on Roberts Re: "Green Eggs and Ham" by Wayne Roberts [28:2, 2002]. I am very sympathetic to Wayne Roberts' recent project of discouraging outrageous environmental claims by vegetarian fundamentalists. But I think we need to recognize...
Local Control: Co-Operation between Local Fishers and Government Scientists Signals Shift to Greater Community Involvement in Managing the Fundy Fishery
There is a new surge of energy in the Bay of Fundy. It is more than just the incredible tides that we learn about in elementary school. It's the energy of people working together to find new ways of managing fisheries. In the last decade, numerous...
Making Spaces Places: Creative Activities Can Make Idle Public Spaces Engaging Centres of Civic Life. (Saving Place)
Our sidewalks, our parks and our town squares are public spaces. They belong to the commons; they are shared spaces that are available for all to use. Enjoyable public space gives us a good reason to wander about the city, pulls us out of isolation...
Our Place in the World. (Editorial)
This issue of Alternatives explores how the built environment -- the physical structures making up our cities, towns and villages -- influences our relationships with nature and our fellow human beings. The basic insight expressed in the various...
Road Rage: More Lanes and a Bigger Bridge Wrecked the Historic Identity of a Small Ontario Settlement. (Saving Place)
"Every day trucks and cars take people and the things they need from place to place on roads. But who built the roads and how did they do it?" So starts a picture book about huge earth-moving machines and giant trucks that is a favourite of my small...
The Resurgence of Place: Modernism Is out and Building Places That Fit with the Environment and Local Aspirations Is in. (Saving Place)
Over the past 30 years or so, a rich new movement in scholarship and advocacy has explored how better design of the urban environment can affect human behaviour and improve well-being. Until the Industrial Revolution, most people had a sense of...
The Route of the Problem: Cloudforest Defenders Want Proposed Pipeline Moved
A proposed $1.8-billion, 500-kilometre oil pipeline through one of the few remaining areas of undisturbed cloudforest in Ecuador is fuelling an international controversy. The Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) will link oil fields in the Amazon...
Windmills at Sea: Energy Entrepreneurs Are Looking Offshore for Wind Power
The winds of change are blowing fast over the world's oceans, and energy developers intend to harness them. The offshore wind industry is positioned for a huge boost in coming years, with several new project proposals for Europe and North America....