Clippings: Canadian Magazines on the Environment
Vauban in the Walrus
Canadians are blessed with a number of excellent small magazines that cover environmental issues, and have published some good articles lately. Chris Turner, author of The Geography of Hope, writes in the Walrus about how Europe is leaving us in the dust. He visits the uber-green town of Vauban, Copenhagen and Spain, and writes: "I felt a little bit like some miserable wretch on the deck of an old immigrant steamer, wrapped in a tattered blanket against the maritime chill, gazing in wonder at the New York skyline."He writes:
If you accept the premise (and I do, as basically all of Europe does, despite the diversionary tactics of an intransigent chattering class here in North America that would have us believe a poorly worded email or two negates a hundred years of scientific inquiry since the greenhouse effect was first detected) that beating climate change and ending fossil fuel dependency together represent the defining challenge of the twenty-first century, then its first, tumultuous decade gives every indication that the innovations needed to overcome that challenge will happen in Europe. After a century as Western Civilization's primary battleground and museum of antiquities, Europe has again become its pace-setting think tank and laboratory.
More in the Walrus
Corporate Knights is "the magazine for clean capitalism" but among its business-related articles are many of more general interest. Jon-erik Lappano writes about the work of Jann Martel and Edward Burtynsky, using art to spread environmental messages.
The myriad of artistic responses to environmental issues is not surprising; in times of transition and conflict, history has always seen artists working feverishly. Whether it is through a photograph, a film, or a schooner full of artists lamenting the loss of a ten thousand year old glacier, the creative culture is renowned for interacting with the world in innovative ways, and revealing the bigger picture.
For Yann Martel, art is a necessary expression of the human experience in nature.
"Every generation needs art--not to put in museums, or pat our- selves on the back, and be good and bourgeois about it--we need art because we need to understand who we are and where we are," he says.
"Art is the way in which we interact with our environments.
The effects of the volcano in Europe have made a lot of people think about resilience; Alternatives Magazine, a serious environmental journal, published an entire issue on the subject. Their online presence is thin, but they have a Resilience 101 introduction.
It has no navigation and I had some trouble finding it all, so I repeat links here:
5 Key Concepts of Resilience
9 Ways to Manage for Resilience