Alternatives Journal (A\J - Canada's Environmental Voice) of Canada

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Alternatives Journal Issue 41:3

Alternatives Journal provides critical and well-researched analysis of environmental issues in the clear, comprehensible style of a magazine. Issues are thematically focused, presenting in-depth exploration of specific topics like water conservation, climate change, green energy, sustainability, waste reduction and much more.<br><br>Back issues cover the history of the environmental movement.

Alternatives Journal (A\J - Canada's Environmental Voice) of Canada
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back to simplicity

LOOK DOWN at the clothes you have on right now. I’ll give you 10 points if you can tell me where each item was manufactured – and don’t forget your socks and undergarments. Ten more points if you know the type of material each piece of clothing is made from and another 10 if you know the sustainable features of every item. Last year, I posed these questions to a group of fourth-year environmental students in their class on social marketing – and I was surprised by the responses. While many of these students make conscious efforts to walk or take public transportation, bring reusable mugs to the coffee shop, buy local food from the farmers’ market and compost their lunch waste, they rarely think about the sustainability of their clothes.…

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a\j creators

Jennifer Lynes is associate professor and director of the Environment and Business program at the University of Waterloo. She is also the chair of REEP Green Solutions. Her research focuses on the intersection of marketing and sustainability. At a young age, she developed an interest in alternative fashion. In fact, one of her first jobs was working at an independent clothing boutique in Markham, Ontario, where she got scolded by the owner for continually trying to change the window displays to something more exciting. Today the staple of her wardrobe is a series of wool skirts upcycled from pieces of old sweaters – made by one of her favourite Etsy stores, Sew Oiseau. Why does fashion matter? Fashion matters because it defines who we are. Logo or no logo, what we…

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Fibresheds Hit Canada With local fibres, dyes and labour, the Fibreshed movement (think: “watershed”) is adding to our options for ecologically responsible clothing. Endangered Perspective The Sierra Club’s Blue Whale Campaign profiles endangered species in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Alarming Case of the Atlantic Puffin Scientists are noticing worrying rates of infant mortality in Atlantic puffin populations. The cause of death is starvation. True Blue Pioneers The first blue whale research organization in the world is at risk of disappearing from the coast. Last of their Kind Tales of humanity’s last encounters with three species that once called Atlantic Canada home. Sea Canary With fewer than 1,000 left in the St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf, the beluga whale has joined the endangered species list. Focus on Fashion A Better Kind of Green Washing Tips for reducing…

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letters to the editor

Climate Critique The article “Climate Action” by George Hoberg and James Meadowcroft [A\J 41:1] makes proposals that are far too timid given the huge time lag since action should have been started if the global reduction in CO2 emissions is to be about 75 percent of our 1999 emission levels. Carbon taxes win hands down when the political implications of determining emission levels on an industry basis, let alone a company basis, are taken into account. The latter work in the EU only because the levels are determined in Brussels and not by the individual governments. BC was revenue neutral because everyone earning less than a level that required them to pay income taxes receives an annual rebate, as was done with the HST prior to the referendum. It would have…

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c-51’s criminalization of caring

IN JANUARY, GREENPEACE OBTAINED an RCMP report that identified the “anti-petroleum movement” as a growing and violent threat to Canada’s security. This movement is, the RCMP says, foreign funded, highly organized and “consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels.” Wording in the report repeatedly casts doubt on the scientific basis of climate change and indicates that citizens concerned with it are on the political fringe. The report warns that “violent anti-petroleum extremists will continue to engage in criminal activity to promote their anti-petroleum ideology.” In his Greenpeace blog, Keith Stewart says that it “identifies anyone who is concerned about climate change as a potential … anti-petroleum extremist.” That would likely include US president Barack Obama, who in February called climate change an…

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research digest

Climate of Insecurity CANADA West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) has written an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, prompted by the current hysteria surrounding national security. WCEL uses the federal government’s own rhetoric from Bill C-51 to point out that the atmosphere is “critical infrastructure” and disruption of it “undermines the security of Canada.” WCEL explains that the Institute for Policy Studies has noted Canada’s failure to link climate change with security. In fact, Margaret Purdy, the author of the Canadian chapter in the institute’s Climate Change and Security report, writes that, “an enormous gap separates Canada and its closest international partners when it comes to taking climate-change-security linkages seriously.” The US Pentagon recognizes that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security. In fact, the US Defense Secretary is…