Lessons Learned (Issue 34.5-6)

Download file

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, and in this podcast we feature some environmental ideas from around the world that our contributors think we'd do well to replicate here in Canada.

Alternatives' Executive Editor Nicola Ross gives us a preview of the print version of the magazine. 01m34s - 07m54s

Back in 1976 Premier Peter Lougheed broke new ground in creating the Alberta Heritage Fund, a stash of cash derived from hydrocarbon royalties. Fourteen years later Norway borrowed the idea, and wildly improved on it. In just 18 years they've squirreled away a reserve of $400 billion compared to Alberta's measly $17 billion balance. Energy journalist Andrew Nikiforuk tells us where Alberta got it all wrong and why the rest of Canada should care. 08m01s -- 22m58s

The idea of an ecological footprint, the measure how much land each of us requires to support our consumption and waste, was developed right here in Canada. The magic number it turns out is 1.8. That is to say the earth only has 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres) biologically productive land and sea area for each of us. 
Unfortunately Canadians currently need 8.56 ha per person. Americans burn through 9.57ha and even the environmentally conscious Germans and Danes need 4.26ha and 5.32ha respectively.
Only one country in fact comes in with both a sub-sustainable 1.53ha ecological footprint AND scores high on the UN's Human Development Index that measures quality of life. 
Laurie Stone tells us who this surprising world beater is and how they managed their extraordinary Revolucion Energetica. 23m15s -- 38m32s

When Jennifer Taylor was deciding on a field of study for her masters in Environmental Studies at York University she realized that she didn't just want to oppose bad things like the Tar Sands and Deforestation. She wanted to do something positive. She found her calling in renewable energy.
The world leader in renewable energy policy she says is Germany. And in our third segment she explains to us what Germany is doing right to replace centralized power generation with small scale wind, solar and biomass generation, why Canada's only renewable programme has hit a roadblock, and why a renewable energy system would have prevented the 2003 NorthEast Blackout. 38m50 - 56m56

This podcast was produced by Peter Stock.