I really enjoyed the spring 2009 issue, particularly the articles in the “Birds of the Boreal” section. I recently finished The Diversity of Life, by Edward O. Wilson, and after reading the article on songbirds I realized how small the world is and how everything is so interconnected. Our birds need habitat in both Canada and Latin America – both in the north and the south.
I also found the information in Earth Watch about the Internet interesting. I don’t have a computer and rely instead on magazines to keep me informed. However, I didn’t know that the machines that run the Internet required so much energy. So now I’m glad I don’t own a computer.
Jim MacInnis’s “Recycling waste” also caught my attention. The piece ends with the comment that ultimately the business of recycling depends on the consumer to buy products manufactured from recycled goods. I always buy recycled toilet paper but what other recycled goods are there to buy and how do you know whether you’re buying recycled goods or not? And where can I get shadegrown coffee to buy? Maybe you could provide some information in future issues.
With regard to David Lees’s “A fish in the city” [Spring 2009], more needs to be done to deal with the unsustainable practices of our modern cash crop and livestock factory farms before all our waters are polluted and every last wetland, woodlot, fenceline, pollinator, swallow and fish is eliminated from the rural scene. It is time to stop tiptoeing around lest we offend a farmer – the steward of the land, the producer of our food. It is time for Ontario Nature and other nature groups to lobby the provincial and federal governments to regulate factory farms as industrial entities; to curb the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics; to mandate the planting of natural buffer strips along all waterways; to mandate the creation of mini-wetlands on farms so that all surface runoff and field drainage is filtered and treated before it enters public streams; and to target research funding for sustainable and clean technologies in agriculture. It is time to implement best farm practices rather than print more glossy brochures about best farm practices.