Views from the Edge

The Time is Now

Right now is the perfect time to share feedback with our federal government, especially when it comes to basic income. To identify poverty reduction strategies in Canada, they are calling on the public to submit ideas on how our various levels of government can address this issue. They are also encouraging Canadians to join the conversation by sharing personal experiences with social support programs.

Breaking News-Climate Leaders

It feels so good to wake up and get some good news for a change, especially given the withdrawal of the United States from COP 21. The National Observer has just reported that two Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, have already reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels, hitting a national target 13 years earlier than what was required.

Seven Layers of a Food Forest

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

Robert Hart, a pioneer of forest gardening in the UK, had a vision of forest gardening:

“Obviously, few of us are in a position to restore the forests. But tens of millions of us have gardens or access to open spaces such as industrial wasteland, where trees can be planted and if full advantage can be taken of the potentialities that are available in heavily built up areas, new city forests can arise…”

A very thoughtful commentary

In this very far ranging commentary, Noam Chomsky talks about some critical questions: Is Russian hacking really more significant than what we have discussed — for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world? Or to enhance the already dire threat of terminal nuclear war? 

One Group’s Effort to Keep Nature from Getting Bogged Down

The site of Tidmarsh Farms was a commercial cranberry bog until 2010. It produced 1% of Ocean Spray’s harvest. New, more efficient ways of farming have made farms like Tidmarsh inessential, and so the owners decided to ‘rewild’ the bog by slowly turning it back into the coastal wetland it once was. Through careful planning and construction, the site now has a stream that connects to the ocean. Herring can now swim through this stream in order to spawn. As well, previously scarce white cedars are now growing once again in their native habitat.

The Energy Agenda

The Sustainable Prosperity Institute just released a white paper asking critical questions of the policy and research communities for a low carbon policy research agenda. This paper and our recently released national energy strategy, Re-Energizing Canada: Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy, gives the Federal Government clear evidence on how to become a climate leader by 2050.

Google is Putting this Surprising Thing on the Map

The google cars that drive around taking photos for Google Maps’ streetview are now equipped to measure something completely different. Two cars have been fitted with environmental sensors to track the air pollution of city streets. So far, the sensors have been tested out in Oakland, California, with an example of the resulting map below. The project aims to track pollution in many more U.S. cities and will make this data available to U.S. policy makers and nonprofits.

Man vs. Earth

Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Mankind is 140,000 years old. If condensed into 24 hours, then humans have been alive for just 3 seconds. And look at all that we have done to our planet. We have “covered our ears to mother nature’s screams and closed our eyes to her help wanted signs”. Watch Prince Ea’s mesmerizing monologue and fact-filled rhymes pleading for the world to come together to ensure we make it to the fourth second. 

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.”