Conversations with people… and encounters with ideas… that are re-inventing the world.

Sunday Columns

Memories of War, and the Music of Peace

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 | 0 comments

A Sunday Herald Remembrance Day column from 2008 ***** The bullet, said Johnny Mauger, went in one side of his friend’s head, but it didn’t quite come out the other. Johnny tapped his temple. The bullet made a little bulge, like a pimple, right here. His voice was soft and sad as he remembered his friend, another young kid from Cape Breton, dead in a...

Read More

Green Pieces: Christmas Lobsters, Price and Value

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 | 0 comments

On the Green Pieces blog, I've just posted a 1998 Sunday column about the relationship between price and value, with an introductory discussion about why we're having lobster for our Christmas Eve dinner, and what that means. And with my best holiday wishes for all of us. Take a look!

Read More

Christmas Lobsters, Price and Value

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 | 0 comments

Santa's Lobsters (or, Ho, Ho, Homard…) In Paris, it's a hallowed tradition to eat lobster at Christmas – and so great freight-carrying airliners rumble down the runways at the Halifax airport every year, carrying crustaceans to the City of Light. It's become the biggest bonanza of the year for the Maritime lobster industry. If homard...

Read More

Fear and Loathing in the Wheat Fields (2006)

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 | 0 comments

As the Harper government moves to (illegally) dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board, I want to share again a column I wrote in 2006, when they were first trying these shenanigans.  Sunday Herald – October 1, 2006  FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE WHEAT FIELDS Among the worries which keep Maritimers awake at night, the Harper government’s drive to dismantle the...

Read More

Elephant Tracks: Nova Scotia’s Ecological Footprint (2001)

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 | 0 comments

  Here is a simple way to save the earth. Exterminate the populations of North America, Japan and Western Europe. Probably not a plan. Hard to make it fly politically. But it’s a thought that flickered through my mind as I reviewed the numbers in GPI Atlantic’s recent publication. Released a few weeks ago, [in 2001] The Nova Scotia Ecological...

Read More

Ray Anderson: Creating the Green Corporation (February 18, 2007)

Posted on Aug 11, 2011 | 1 comment

“I’d like to see the business case for fishing the stocks to the point of collapse,” Ray Anderson declares. “I’d like to see the business case for destroying the ozone layer. What kind of a system do we have, where we think it’s cheaper to destroy the Earth than to take care of it?” The Attentive Reader of this column...

Read More

The End of My Sunday Column

Posted on May 1, 2011 | 3 comments

In 1998, when the Halifax Chronicle-Herald invited me to contribute a weekly column to their new Sunday edition, I wrote a simple one-page contract that said, essentially, that the Sunday Herald would publish my columns before anyone else, and that I would retain all other rights to the works. And thus began a happy association between me and the paper – and...

Read More

Diana Beresford-Kroeger — but no column

Posted on Apr 25, 2011 | 0 comments

There’s no column this week, because the Sunday Herald doesn’t publish on Easter Sunday — so I’ve had a week off. There are some big developments coming soon on this site, though, and I’ve been working diligently — just not on a column. Meanwhile, we’ve published my interview with Diana Beresford-Kroeger, the amazing...

Read More

Wild Halifax and The Parliament of Life – Sunday column, April 18, 2011

Posted on Apr 18, 2011 | 1 comment

I’ve never participated in a Council of All Beings. Not yet. Councils of All Beings were designed by proponents of “deep ecology” to give people a direct emotional experience of their profound connection with the rest of the natural world. Deep ecology holds that the world was not made for human exploitation, that all its features have intrinsic...

Read More

Trading Away Our Own Freedom – Sunday column, April 10, 2011

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 | 2 comments

We already have plenty of reasons to send the Harper government packing. Its policies on crime, war, energy and the environment would make a brontosaurus blush. While preaching austerity to its citizens, it blows billions on planes, prisons and corporate handouts. It is the only government in the Commonwealth ever to be held in contempt of Parliament. It prefers...

Read More

Meeting Jane Goodall – Sunday column, April 3, 2011

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 | 0 comments

 In 1965, when I was a graduate student in England, my young family and I rented a “maisonette” in north London from a young anthropologist and his family. Vernon Reynolds had lived in Uganda observing chimpanzees, and he had just published a book called Budongo: A Forest and its Chimpanzees. He was moving on to other things, but he mentioned a...

Read More

Nuclear Power, 1982: A Reprint

Posted on Mar 28, 2011 | 0 comments

  I’ve just posted my extensive 1982 article "Nuclear Power: The Unaffordable Option" in the Green Pieces blog on this site. I refer to the piece in this week’s Sunday column, and it has a certain historical interest. When I re-read it, to be truthful, I was struck by how little has changed about nuclear power in general —...

Read More

The Trouble with Nuclear Power – Sunday column, March 27, 2011

Posted on Mar 28, 2011 | 0 comments

In 1982, I was commissioned to write a heavily-researched cover story on the economics of nuclear power for the late, lamented weekend supplement called Today, which appeared in newspapers all across Canada. After visiting Ottawa, Chalk River, Toronto, Montreal and Point Lepreau, NB, I wrote an article entitled “Nuclear Power: The Unaffordable Option.”...

Read More

The Most Important Idea in the World – Sunday column, March 20, 2011

Posted on Mar 21, 2011 | 3 comments

A lung, says David Suzuki, is a light, squishy organ, because it’s mostly air. In fact a human being is largely made up of air. With every breath we take, components of air are drawn in and released back into the atmosphere. They travel throughout our body, interacting with every cell. Air, Suzuki notes, "embraces us so intimately that it is hard to say...

Read More

The Espresso Book Machine – Sunday column, March 13, 2011

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 | 0 comments

I’m standing in the Great Hall of the University of Toronto Bookstore, looking at the future of book publishing. It’s called the Espresso Book Machine. Brenda Beal, the co-ordinator of BookPOD, as this service is called, taps at a keyboard in front of a monitor, downloading a file called Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future, by Jason...

Read More

The Animals in Ottawa – Sunday column, March 6, 2011

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 | 0 comments

“Canada,” said the US journalist, “is heading toward becoming an authoritarian state to an extent that surprises observers even in China.” Another comment on Bev Oda and the garrotting of Kairos? Nope. A reflection on the Harperites’ infatuation with harsh sentences and larger prisons? No. Kyoto, Afghan detainees, the G20 repression,...

Read More

A New Regime in Culture – Sunday column, February 20, 2011

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 | 0 comments

Nova Scotia is a very small province. Several Canadian cities have populations larger than ours. How can a population so small include so many huge talents? Celtic musicians by the score, including some of the world’s greatest. A fine symphony orchestra. Canada’s first repertory theatre, and innumerable little theatres and dance troupes. A...

Read More

The Future of the Salmon – Sunday column, January 30, 2011

Posted on Jan 30, 2011 | 0 comments

Last month, 138,000 farmed salmon escaped from feedlots on the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy, which scarcely caused a ripple in the Maritime consciousness.  Elsewhere – in Norway, Scotland, Chile, British Columbia – salmon farming is a highly controversial industry. Here it skates along smoothly under the radar. Salmon farming is...

Read More