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May-June 2009

Interview: Power to Save the World author Gwyneth Cravens

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

She changed her mind about nuclear power—and she wants to change yours, too Novelist, journalist, and former anti-nuclear activist Gwyneth Cravens spent 10 years researching and writing Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy. She tells us why she now favours nuclear. This: How did you become an advocate for nuclear power? […]

Cape Breton conservationists at odds with wind power plan

Chris BenjaminWebsite

Nuclear power has always been controversial, but even green power sources like wind and hydro meet resistance from locals. When Nova Scotia entrepreneur Luciano Lisi unveiled a plan to blow 250 megawatts of wind-power into his province’s coal-based grid, he didn’t expect it to be this controversial. But his proposed wind-hydro hybrid project, involving 44 […]

Postcard from Liberia: The Prisoner

Myles EsteyWebsite

On Christmas Eve, 1989, Charles Taylor’s band of rebels stormed the small border village of Butuo, Liberia, taking over the police station and sparking a civil war. Chief Inspector Morris Gonylee waves dismissively at the state of ruin the station now lies in, a common sight in a nation struggling to rebuild from this 14-year […]

The privileged Westerner’s guide to talking about the rest of the world

Anna Bowen

When you’re talking international development, words matter There’s nothing like an all-purpose label to bring comfort and order to an otherwise overwhelming world. But what’s comforting to one person can be downright offensive to another. When it comes to the language used to label the “non-Western” world, quotation marks just won’t cut it anymore. What’s […]

Two Poems by Asher Ghaffar

Asher Ghaffar

Alchemy of Traces There’s a tyrant of a ghost who visited my apartment on Dufferin Street, strangled me with a towel. “I was born before the gold rush, before the flood, before once upon a time. I want to be known in harrowing grief.” In a nightmare, my herm- aphrodite muse whispered, “To lose a […]

The American Nightmare of Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Wendy and Lucy’

Soraya RobertsWebsite

How global recession, Hurricane Katrina, and social breakdown can strand one lonely woman—and her little dog, too In cinematic terms, the Great Depression is arguably best represented by Mervyn LeRoy’s 1932 classic I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Wrongfully convicted of robbery, First World War veteran James Allen is sentenced to 10 years […]

Dear CBC: Review more books

Darryl WhetterWebsite

Professional book reviewing is dead in this country. The CBC could revive it. If Clive Owen were a Canadian author, maybe the CBC would finally review books. Katrina Onstad, a film columnist for CBC.ca, begins a recent review: “The International opens with a long, extended close-up of Clive Owen’s face, following which I jotted in […]

B.C. libraries introducing homegrown e-books — for free

Peter TupperWebsite

Publishers, libraries co-operating to get locally published e-books into the public’s hands If the Association of Book Publishers of B.C. gets its way, the province’s libraries will be making a major acquisition this summer without gaining any weight. The association’s Best of B.C. Books Online project plans to purchase electronic rights to a collection of […]

Meet Ralph Nader’s secret (Canadian) weapon: Toby Heaps

Jessica Leigh Johnston

How Canada’s Rollerblading, CEO-hugging, cartel-busting activist-entrepreneur became Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign manager (and why he did it when there was zero chance of winning) Junue Millan is getting agitated. It’s a hot day in May 2008, and Millan, an organizer on Ralph Nader’s quixotic presidential campaign, paces a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk. I’m sitting in […]

Welcome to the no-growth economy

Rosemary Frei

York University economist Peter Victor says it’s time to shrink the economy, not grow it How can we escape our current economic mess while simultaneously avoiding the looming triple threats of peak oil, climate change, and species extinction? York University ecological economist Peter Victor has the answer: significantly slow the nation’s economic growth. According to […]

Four uranium spills you may not have heard about

Elaisha StokesWebsite

Proponents argue that nuclear power is greener since it produces lower carbon emissions. But mining and refining the uranium that fuels reactors produces many toxic byproducts, including arsenic, thorium-230, and radioactive waste. Uranium is scarce too, which means that to produce one kilogram of uranium, you have to dig up and process one tonne of […]