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There is an alternative
‘You know what would be really useful,’ said Jamie Kelsey-Fry, a London teacher and contributing editor to New Internationalist. ‘A guide or “roadmap” for the kind of economy we want.’
Jamie had been at the Occupy London camp pretty much every day since protesters took up residence outside St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the capital’s financial district in midOctober 2011.
His request for a roadmap seemed like a big ask at a time when leading politicians and their bevvy of economic advisers were plainly clueless and floundering at the helm.
But then New Internationalist has never shied away from such bold – or foolish? – attempts. We have always thought that the media convention of reporting the ills of the world but rarely coming up with ideas for resolving them, is simply not good enough.
And actually, when we started outlining the Roadmap that features as part of our main theme this month we found that, apart from our own ideas, there was a wealth of creative thinking and very practical proposals being formulated by progressive individuals, groups and networks.
It’s a reminder of how easy it is to slip into believing that ‘there is no alternative’ if you rely on the mainstream media for too much of your information.
Developing an alternative is also a theme of our special photo-story from the rainforests of Ecuador this month. Uruguayan photographer Julio Etchart has been catching up with the Yasuní Project aimed at raising international funds to keep the oil in the soil. Progress is painfully slow, but he has found that local indigenous Huaraní people are already developing their own economic alternative to oil – ecotourism.
And finally, we welcome Josie Long, a rising star of the alternative comedy circuit in Britain, who writes her first column for us on the topic of political awakening. There’s no getting away from it. Alternative ways of seeing things aren’t that hard to find at all.
VANESSA BAIRD for the New Internationalist Co-operative www.newint.org
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COMING NEXT MONTH
Adapting to climate change
Crab fattening, saline-tolerant rice and floating gardens are some of the ingenious ways that Bangladeshis are adapting to the impacts of a warming world. Its population of 160 million is squashed into a low-lying river basin, exposed to rising sea levels, fierce storms and frequent floods. Next month’s New Internationalist travels to South Asia to find out how communities with limited means are struggling to cope.
We take a look at international adaptation funds: who is pledging and who is delivering? And ask, are NGOs stepping up to the challenge of climate-proof development? And finally, is Bangladesh – a dynamic country strong on rhetoric and low in capacity – ready for what’s to come?
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N ew I n t e r nat i o nal i s t ● MARCH 2 012 ● 3