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Independent living in Canada

February 14th, 2013

Eagle Gamma profiles an ethnographer who chose life off-the-grid, and found true independence.....

Why does a social scientist cross the country? In Canada, one of the world’s wealthier countries, utilities such as electricity, heat, and water are taken for granted.  So also did ethnographer Phillip Vannini, until he encountered water scarcity issues at home.

Vannini is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography at Royal Roads University. He recently studied the movements of the island-hopping ferries that service his native Gabriola Island, as well as British Columbia’s other Gulf Islands, the much larger neighbouring Vancouver Island, and the North American mainland.

However, in the...

Indonesia's Sumatran tiger threatened by development of last jungle strongholds

Dr. Julian Bloomer

Sumatran tiger

As politicians encourage development around the Kerinci Seblat National Park, Dr. Julian Bloomer explores how the area's endangered species can be protected

“Hati hati – harimau!”

The lady who had served our rice and vegetable lunch clawed at the air and told us to be careful of the Tiger, as we described our planned route over the Barisan Mountains towards the Kerinci Seblat National Park, in Western Sumatra. The UNESCO World Heritage site contains 1.4 million hectares of protected forests, and is home to over 4,000 plant species and 300 bird species. Many highly endangered animals call Kerinci Seblat their home, including Sumatran elephants, clouded leopards, tapirs and sun bears - and approximately one third of the several hundred remaining Sumatran Tigers endemic to this Indonesian island. Once able to roam across Sumatra, the past couple of centuries has seen the whittling down of the tigers’ habitat to a couple of isolated protected areas.

Approximately 1.75 million people live in the regions bordering the park, posing multiple threats to the tigers. These threats include the... Read More...

Creating the future: How 'Zero Carbon Britain' is inspiring positivity in today's artists

Paul Allen

Zero Carbon Britain 2030

The Centre for Alternative Technology's Emergence Summit must develop positive versions of the future, as if we can't imagine it - there won't be one, says Paul Allen

In my exploration into how we portray the future, one of the most striking discoveries is that there are actually very few positive future visions out there. The more I looked the more I became aware that dystopia and ecological collapse abound almost every time contemporary culture looks even ten or twenty years ahead.

From Blade Runner and Children of Men to The Road, from The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 to 28 Days Later  –  the dark vision wins out every time. This is starkly contrasted with how we projected the future back in the fifties, sixties and seventies, when we had Dan Dare, Thunderbirds and Star Trek – back then it felt as if science and technology were going to take us up, up and away to exciting new places, with labour saving devices, transporters, hover bikes and jet packs.

Of course, during the eighties and nineties the ‘wonders of technology’ were clearly seen to be smashing into the limits of the... Read More...

Texaco's pollution of Ecuador's indigenous lands brought to light in new DVD

Nicola Peel

Oil drilling in the Amazon

Nicola Peel talks about her new DVD, Blood of the Amazon, telling of her travels through the rainforest and her investigations on the effects of reckless oil drilling on indigenous communities

In 1999 I first travelled to the Ecuadorean Amazon on behalf of an Australian environmental organisation called The Rainforest Information Centre. 

I was to spend 6 months living deep in the jungle filming the threatened pink river dolphins, which swam through the trees and lived in the Panacocha lagoon.

Oil has been found under the lagoon, and we had been doing everything we could to create a management plan to protect this incredible area.

On the other side of the Napo River from where our base was is the renowned Yasuni National Park, named the most bio diverse place on Earth by 50 top scientists. Where the mountainous Andes meet the Amazon, this equatorial Noah’s Arc protects thousands of species. Over 500 different varieties of bird can be found in just four square miles.

Yasuni is also home to the Tagaeri and Taromenani, two tribes that have refused any contact with the outside world. 


Why Aren’t My Fellow Americans Doing More Recycling?

Grace Lee

Grace Lee

Grace Lee has just spent a month in Seoul, South Korea working as an intern for the Resource Recirculation Management Division under the Climate Change and Environment Bureau of Seoul City Hall. Here’s what she has to say to her fellow US citizens about their domestic waste…

Do you ever wonder what happens to all your recyclable and unrecyclable waste after it leaves your front yard on a weekly basis? Many people believe that once the trash is picked up from a local waste service company, the story ends. However, it is only the beginning. After completing a month of internship at the Seoul City Hall Resource and Recirculation Management Division in South Korea, I realise I have had quite an insight into what happens next and a real eye-opening experience.

The United States is known to be one of the most forward moving countries in the world – some would say both an economic and technological super power. But it lacks prowess in one area that people do not deem to be much of an importance: waste and recycling. The United States is home to 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources and, equally, creates 30% of the world’s waste, as cited by Frances Harris in Global Environmental Issues... Read More...

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