Views from the Edge

Welcome to the CRC blog, where we discuss bleeding edge issues around sustainable community development. The term ‘bleeding edge’ connotes the idea of our failure to somehow or other convince the publics about the urgency of responding to climate change now, and that we need to better communicate the principles and practises of sustainable development to the wider publics. So, yes it takes courage to be 'at the edge', and sometimes one 'bleeds' a lot, but let's start the conversation now. I encourage our students and former students to use this blog and share what they are learning out in the real world.   Ann

No Digging, Mowing, or Weeding Required

No digging, mowing or weeding required in food forests! Guest blogger, Joanna Chin, explores the concept of this completely edible landscape.

Blog by Joanna Chin, Doctoral Student, York University-Environmental Studies

Is Failure Actually the Mother of Invention?

“Learning is the only way to turn failure into success.”

Seismic Change in Global Energy

The global energy landscape is changing dramatically as evidenced by the following five trends.

  1. Last year, coal production fell by a record number. A higher number of producers than ever before are switching to natural gas, wind, and solar energy.

  2. The world’s largest economies are among those who are turning away from coal. China and the U.S. are the world’s largest two economies, so their reduced use of coal has the most impact.

The Companies Running Circles Around the Traditional Business Model

The Conference Board released a report showing what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to big companies and the circular economy. The traditional linear model of ‘take, make, waste’ results in a huge amount of consumption and waste (85 billion tons of global natural resource use annually as of 2015, a number which is expected to double by 2050). This approach is not sustainable - neither for the companies nor for the planet.

U.S. Will Be Left in the Dust

As the Trump Administration announces their plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, other countries are set to take the lead in reducing global carbon emissions.

Treading Uncharted Waters

In 2008, Norway established a lifeline for humanity to ensure the survival of our precious food supply. On the Arctic island of Spitsbergen, the Norwegian Government built a “failsafe” freezer vault in a permafrost mountain located in the Arctic circle. Intended as insurance for the world, it was filled with nearly a million packets of seeds, each containing an important global food crop.

Waste Not, Want Not

When it comes to recycling, two provinces are the best in Canada. The Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council has just released a useful summary of this information, based on their analysis of StatsCan data.

Art is Bracing for Climate Change

Support is making a splash at the 2017 Venice Biennale. This monumental sculpture, crafted by artist Lorenzo Quinn, depicts giant ceramic hands reaching from the Grand Canal in Venice to brace the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel.

Death Spiral for Big Oil

Stanford University economist, Tony Seba, has just released a new study forecasting that "the entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it".

Raise the Roof for Tesla’s New Solar Tiles

Tesla has recently begun taking orders for their new solar tiles, which are a game-changer for those looking to invest in alternative home energy. The design itself is innovative, with modular tiles that can cover as much or as little of the roof as desired. And since the tiles look almost exactly like regular tiles, coming in a range of styles, they can easily blend in with non-solar parts of the roof.