Views from the Edge

Changing the Frame

Continuing the conversation, this is a very enlightening short video about a National Geographic photographer and a ‘deadly predator’.  The language we use and how we frame the issue, as foe or friend, determines whether or not we have a relationship or not.

Language and Framing

Our research shows again and again how important framing an issue is, and even more importantly, it has the power to disempower or empower people. Those communities who are farther along in implementing climate innovations initially framed the issues to politicians as energy efficiency and once those benefits were demonstrated, then moved on to the larger sustainability lens. Similarly, the language we use to describe the environment and our impacts on that environment are equally powerful.

Coding Endangered Species

As digital literacy becomes a key skill of the 21st century, more and more classrooms are integrating coding lessons into their curriculum. As a result, many children are now learning how to read and write while practicing HTML and CSS.

Eliminate Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Moving towards a carbon neutral economy requires a first major step to open up space for even more climate innovations. This article argues that world leaders should stop directing some $600 billion a year to fund fossil fuel subsidies instead to renewable sources and speeding even great take-up of innovation.

The Beauty of Trees

Last summer, University of Utah biologist Nalini Nadkarni fell out of a tree. One of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on trees, this short film is captivating. The benefits of trees to human vitality are manifold--from absorbing carbon to mental health benefits. And people on streets with on average ten trees rated their health comparable to an increase in annual income of $10,000 (The Guardian, July 10, 2015). 

Nature Needs Half

I try to blog most of the time on the amazing innovations and ideas that are happening on the ground in Canada and internationally. This movement, led by Harvey Locke, is a simple and yet very elegant idea, namely that Nature Needs Half.

Expanding the Political Imagination

This blog by Alex Himelfarb, a former clerk of the Privy Council, is a thoughtful analysis of the drivers behind the recent election to the South. He mentions the need to transform government, and this is one of the things my research team is studying, what we mean by transformative change versus incremental and transitional change.

Hedonistic Sustainability

In this fascinating article, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels talks about his vision on the future of architecture. His designs integrate strikingly modern shapes with venerable ideas about climate and context. His diverse portfolio includes a power plant as well as a zoo in Denmark, office buildings in China, museums in France and Utah, and a luxe apartment building and flood-protection facilities in New York.

Clean Water, A Universal Human Right

This teenage scientist developed a cost-effective, eco-friendly way to purify water. Water is essential to all life, 660 million people lack access to a clean water source and 3000 children die every day from water bourne illness. Click here to learn more about her social enterprise.

Why I got into Community Food Forestry

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