Views from the Edge

The world she is a changin'

South Australia is delivering on their energy plan thanks to the world’s largest lithium-ion battery. Manufactured in an impressive 60 days by Tesla, it will revolutionize the way electricity is produced and stored, according to this Guardian article.

Toronto Farm Reconciles Ecological, Social and Economic Imperatives

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

Too much stuff

How many of you have seen George Carlin's video on stuff? This article reminded me of his video and how difficult it is to be healthy when all around you the infrastructure is calling out to you, to buy more, to consume more and often in invidious ways now with internet data collection.

Blurring the Boundaries of Nature

Norwegian visual artist, Andreas Lie, blurs the boundaries of nature. Through double exposure photography, he blends landscape scenes with the wildlife that call it home. He transforms the texture of their fur and feathers into misty forests and snowy mountain peaks. Each portrait is contained within the stark silhouette of the subject with negative space occupying the backdrop. This effect reminds viewers that animals are inherently connected with their habitat.

Still-Life with Anthropocene and Climate

“I wish to illuminate the damage, the breakage, the fragmentation. Somehow, if I can make it beautiful, I can make it one again.”

— Anne de Carbuccia

Ageism is the Next Boomer Battle

Baby boomers fought for many rights now taken for granted--access to birth control, being able to wear pants to school, hair below your ears, and gender equity to name only a few of the big and the small changes. The next battle we will have to take on is ageism as more and more of us enter our seventies. This powerful TEDTalks argues that we should ditch the old young binary between the old and the young, how ageism hurts our health, and attitudes towards ageing affect personal images.

Our waste, our responsibility

As part of a campaign to engage and educate residents of West Vancouver about how “individual actions impact community sustainability”, the engineering department hosted a student video contest last spring. The 2017 theme was “Our Waste; Our Responsibility” and asked students to focus on four particular topics: ‘illegal dumping’, ‘abandoned waste’, ‘litter’, and ‘how to recycle right’.

Asking the Right Questions

Matthew Hoffman, co-director of the Munk School’s Environmental Governance Lab, argues that we need to transform society and internalize climate change awareness and concern into our day-to-day lives. For example, in the same newspaper this past Saturday there was an article talking about the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey and in another, advertising the “best back to school” car, none of which was electric or hybrid.

The Oceans Need Us Now

Normally, I try to blog on the many wonderful social innovations that are happening everywhere, on the assumption that the media frames are so negative. But we cannot ignore what we are doing to our oceans and we must act immediately to keep what we have now. 

Innovations at the Edge

Many innovations can come from reimaging existing systems to capture the ‘waste’, for example, Lucid Energy’s closing the loop by harvesting renewable energy from gravity-fed municipal water pipelines.