Alternatives Journal

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

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 4, Fall

Ancestral Homes: Indigenous Peoples Are Pushing for Tourism Alternatives That Respect Community, Culture and the Land
With the UN's declaration of 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism (IYE), debates over the role of tourism as a tool for "sustainable development" have gained new urgency. Often described as a novel method to unite nature conservation and...
Barrick Gold Undermining Wetland. (Notes)
Australian environmental and aboriginal groups are calling on a Canadian mining company to stop mine exploration and development in a valued wetland area. Barrick Gold is hoping to develop a cyanide leach gold mine on the shores of Lake Cowal,...
Cottaging: A Tourist Takes a Vacation from Responsibility; the Cottager Makes a Commitment to Place
A motorboat leaves the dock in Sicamous, BC, heading across Shuswap Lake to a family's summer cabin, the children squealing with every slap of the boat's underside as it skips across the chop. Beads of sweat drip down a woman's face as she stalls...
Destruction in Disguise: International Tourism Projects in the Mekong River Basin Are a Model Unsustainable Development
THE AMBITIOUS PLAN of the governments of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand to build a huge golf resort in a pristine forest area where the three countries meet has elicited a heated debate about the way tourism is being developed in the region. (1) ...
Environmental Baggage. (Editorial)
Your bags are packed and waiting at the door. Months of planning, preparation and anticipation and you're finally embarking on "the big trip." We have all been tourists, whether we travel to far corners of the earth or just a few kilometres to the...
Genetic Illusions. (Political Science)
Genetic engineering has always involved a leap of faith. After years of snipping and injecting DNA, its proponents still talk more of "promise" and "potential" than of real benefits for consumers or farmers. But in June 2002, The Globe and Mail...
Gorilla Tourism: Uganda Uses Tourism to Recover from Decades of Violent Conflict
More than three years after the murder of eight foreign tourists, kidnapped while on tour of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwest Uganda, the country is finally, albeit slowly and rather tenuously, experiencing a rebound in international...
Greenpeace Labels Loblaw. (Notes)
Commercial interests are interfering with Canadians' right to know what they eat, according to Greenpeace Canada. Greenpeace is campaigning for Loblaw Co. Ltd., Canada's largest food retailer, to lead the way in removing genetically engineered...
Hydro-Quebec Endangers More Rivers. (Notes)
Three Quebec rivers are among the ten most endangered in Canada, according to the Endangered Rivers 2002 Report. The report, issued by BC environmental group Earthwild, ties Quebec's Rupert and Kipawa Rivers at first place. The SL Lawrence River,...
Inflight Impact: One Long Flight Can Blow Your Annual [CO.Sub.2] Budget
On one flight from Toronto to Paris, the captain gave more than the usual details to the passengers about the aircraft and flight: he proudly announced that the amount of fuel used to travel 5000 km was the equivalent to what the average family...
Left in Its Wake: The Cruise Industry Favours a Voluntary Approach to Environmental Responsibility, but Has Performed Badly Where Tough Regulatory Controls Are Not in Place
* Middle of a transatlantic cruise aboard Seabourn Goddess I, October 2000: Passengers flock to watch and take pictures of a florescent green fluid coming from the back of the ship. The chief engineer tells passengers that it is a chemical used...
Low Salt Diet: New Findings Reveal Road Salt's Toxicity
Doctors recommend low-salt diets to their patients. Now scientists and environmentalists want the same for plants and wildlife in Canada. Road salt has negative and sometimes deadly consequences for everything from trees and algae to fish and...
North Wind: Nunavut and Yukon Are Hoping Wind Turbines Will Reduce Dependency on Diesel Plants
The reverberating hum of a diesel plant generating electrical power is a familiar sound to many who have spent time in remote, northern Canadian communities. Less familiar is the sight of wind turbines spinning. But renewable energy installations...
On Our Watch: Whether It's Counting Spring Peepers or Collecting Seeds from Oak Savanna Patches, Citizen Stewardship Is on the Rise. (Reports)
Stewardship culture is growing as more people harness their volunteer energies to sustain and restore the environment for future generations. Outfitted with backpacks, field guides, binoculars and hand tools, conservation volunteers are counting...
Roadkill Buffet: An Innovative Feeding Program Helps Defuse Conflict between Grizzly Bears and Ranchers in Alberta
May 14, 2001, 6:02 am Just over a kilometre south of my warm bed, a 250-kg male feeds on two dead moose delivered by the taxpayers of Alberta. A kilometre and a half to the east, a herd of 64 beef cows snuffle in the remains of yesterday's hay while...
Scrubbing the Greenwashers: Certification and Education May Help Separate the Eco-Experience from the Eco-Hype
"Return to Nature," says the travel agent; "Discover a Better Way to Travel," beckons the glossy brochure; "Come Back Green," promises the magazine advertisement. If this sounds more like laundry detergent marketing hype to you and less like selecting...
Sovereignists Start Food Fight. (Notes)
While world leaders gathered in Rome in June for the second World Food Summit, civil society organizations (OSOs) held their own counter-summit where they proclaimed a right to food sovereignty. "Food sovereignty is the right of peoples, communities...
Sun over Lesotho: Solar Power Project Brings New Opportunities to Mohaleshoek
Clean, renewable, low-cost energy has come to Mohaleshoek. In March, residents of this Lesotho town celebrated the official opening of the newly built Solarsoft Centre with songs and a traditional praise speech. The Solarsoft Centre was built...
The New Gold Rush: Yukon's Challenge Is to Preserve Its Identity and Environment While Welcoming More Tourists
Tourism historian and professor Hal Rothman has studied tourist meccas throughout North America. Last winter he told an audience of tourism planners in Whitehorse that they should actively plan for the changes to come. Tourism is already changing...
Tourists and Locals: The People of Mazatlan, Mexico, Have Many Reasons for Welcoming Visitors
In 1996, I moved to Mazatlan to perform ethnographic fieldwork. (1) Mazatlan is a city on Mexico's Pacific coast, whose more than 300,000 people live mainly from the intertwined industries of tourism, fishing, government work and narcotics trafficking....
Your Lawn, Our Health: In Upholding Hudson's No-Spray By-Law, the Supreme Court of Canada Has Advanced Environmental Rights into the Previously Inaccessible Territory of Private Property. (Stir It Up)
Greenies tend to think of lawns as sterile monocultures. They turn out to be political jungles. Lawns occupy a special place in the centuries-old battle over private property, first emerging when English manor houses enclosed common grazing lands....