The Munk Debates: Volume One

What do you call four adults viciously attacking one another in front of a sold-out audience screaming for blood? No, this is not the next generation of ultimate fighting. This is debating, Munk style. The Munk Debates consists of transcripts of the first five debates hosted by the Aurea Foundation. According to its benefactor, businessman Peter Munk, the purpose of the debates is to “create a forum that attracts the best minds and debaters to address some of the most important international issues of our time.” From Alternatives Journal 37.3: EcoBooks, published May 2011
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Living Through the End of Nature

You are probably aware that nature is dead. This may be why you are gloomy all the time. We tried so hard to ensure that biodiversity wasn’t lost and climate change didn’t spiral (further) out of control, but only an extreme idealist can maintain the illusion any longer. We have lost. Species disappear on a daily basis and we fail to enact even a semblance of the climate change policies required to stem the tide. Some of us have even surrendered to the dark side of fabricated landscapes and a geo-engineered Earth. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. From Alternatives Journal 37.3: EcoBooks, published May 2011
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Pre-Order the Alternatives 40th Anniversary Archive Today!

Alternatives’ 40th Anniversary Archive: A Chronicle of Canada’s Environmental Movement. In 145 issues – that’s more than 7000 pages –Alternatives Journal has chronicled Canada’s environmental movement since its modern inception in 1970.

AJ Update: Just Food available now!

The first and most important thing to say about food,” writes Wayne Roberts in this issue of Alternatives, “is that there is no first and most important thing to know about food.” This apparent riddle summarizes the message in our latest issue “Just Food.” Food is ubiquitous, affecting health, social welfare, agriculture and the economy. By thinking of food holistically – as our report on Belo Horizonte, Brazil, demonstrates – we will begin to implement policies and adopt systems that will result in a healthier population and a more robust economy in which farmers are fairly rewarded for their labours.

We invite you to dig into this tasty issue, and decide for yourself whether a food revolution is really in the making.

The Story of Stuff


Leonard, a self-described “systems thinker,” aims to debunk the entrenched “growth at all costs” model. She does so by discussing the materials economy and its underlying paradigm of economic growth, but opts to not lay the blame with individuals or inspire feelings of guilt. … Readers, however, should not be misled by her bubbly prose: Leonard gets to the heart of serious subjects and exposes the inter-connectedness of today’s consumption, environmental, social and economic crises.
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Canadian Directory of Environmental Education

Innovations in Education Volume 36.5 Now on newsstands! – EcoEducation directory – Sustainable Minds – Dogged Determination NOWHERE ELSE will you find a comprehensive directory of Canadian environmental programs to choose from. All universities and programs have their strengths and stories, and Alternatives Journal has made it quick and easy to compare. Accenting the directory are fascinating stories…

New Out of the Box issue from Alternatives Journal

Not since Alternatives Journal’s last Out of the Box issue have newsstands seen such action. Alternatives’ newest collection of unconventional stories and ideas has been on the newsstands for only a couple weeks and is already selling out! Get out and be uplifted by Alternatives, where we take you to the outer limits of environmental ideas and action. Searching for Planet B, becoming a Swami, rainmakers meeting meterologists, exploring the mystery of crop circles and lots more — it’s our best summer reading issue yet!

Ask for it at your local newsstand or bookstore – find one near you with the Alternatives Newsstand Locator OR buy the paperless copy online today.

Click here for more information and to subscribe to Alternatives Journal.

New Eco Books issue – just released

Alternatives Journal’s latest issue – New Eco Books – features over 60 titles to keep you buried in books this spring and throughout the year. Stephen Bocking compares dystopic future visions from two of Canada’s finest novelists, Douglas Coupland and Margaret Atwood, Nicola Ross analyzes the success of bestseller Slow Death By Rubber Duck, and Ellen Desjardins interviews activist Vandana Shiva. Atwood’s The Year of the Flood also gets a stunning visual interpretation from graphic novelist Evan Munday. Green Book Reviews will be featuring many of these great articles in the coming weeks.

Ask for it at your local newsstand or bookstore – find one near you with the Alternatives Newsstand Locator OR buy the paperless copy online today.

Click here for more information and to subscribe to Alternatives Journal.

Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why Our Food is Making Us Sick

Food in Canada has never been cheaper: only 10 per cent of our income is now spent in the grocery store, half of what this number was 40 years ago. Yet for most Canadians, decisions about what to eat have become a matter of high anxiety.

Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and Genetically Modified Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment

ased on his analysis of dozens of studies, reports and personal accounts, Smith reveals shocking instances when governments and corporations misled, lied and covered up evidence about the health and safety risks of GM foods. These deceptions allowed the products to be fast-tracked to the market, thereby externalizing the costs of this infant science.

A Private History of Awe

At the age of four, a thunder and lightning storm became a defining moment for Scott Russell Sanders. He felt “the tingle of a power that surges through bone and rain and everything … the force that animates nature and mind….” Using science he could explain what caused the thunder and lightning but not why the experience took on such meaning for him. Looking back on that moment, Sanders recognizes the feeling as “awe.” He says, “The search for communion with this power has run like a bright thread through all my days.” Using skillful prose to bring the ineffable into focus, Sanders guides the reader through other “why” questions – the ethical, political and spiritual struggles of his life.

Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making in British Columbia

Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making in British Columbia Tony Penikett Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre 2006, 303 pages. The Supreme Court of Canada issued judgment in 1973 on the land rights of the Nisga’a Indians of the Nass Valley in British Columbia. Named after Frank Calder, a well-known Nisga’a chief and former member of the provincial…

Dry Spring: The Coming Water Crisis of North America

Wood identifies two possible strategies to address our uncertain freshwater future. We can build more dams, reservoirs, river diversions, aqueducts, canals, pipelines, wells, recycling plants and desalination facilities. Alternately, “we can choose how we use what we have now.” The latter, an approach Wood advocates, involves changing the way we manage our watersheds; using ecologically sound appliances and irrigation techniques; and changing our markets, our bookkeeping, and the laws that undervalue this life- giving resource.

Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy

Perhaps it is the economic crisis. Maybe it is climate change, soaring extinction rates or the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor. Or then again, it could simply be the nagging sense among more and more people that the human project has somehow gone awry. Whatever the case, in recent years, we have witnessed an explosion of popular interest in books that question, even excoriate, the most fundamental assumptions of our current, growth-at-all-costs economic system.

Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster

In his newest book, Managing Without Growth, York University professor Peter Victor makes a convincing case that rich nations, such as Canada, can abandon economic growth as a national goal without compromising their citizens’ happiness. He suggests that helping developing nations approach the Western world’s standard of living would provide a better and safer future.