Views from the Edge

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.

Climate Change is a Blessing

The challenge is clear: holding down global warming below the all important two-degree threshold. What is the best path to achieving zero net carbon emissions, and can we still get there?

How to Fix Climate Change

"How can policymakers fight climate change in the face of political headwinds? Gov. Jerry Brown of California addresses that question at ClimateTECH, a conference from The New York Times, in a conversation with Thomas L. Friedman."

The Changing Colours of Our Living Planet

Nasa’s new data visualization proves that pictures are truly worth a thousand words. Over the last 20 years, their satellites have continuously monitored plant life along the surfaces of Earth’s land and ocean. Pictured in a mesmerizing time-lapse with images that capture the ebb and flow of seasonal weather patterns. One Nasa oceanographer likened it to “watching the Earth breathe”.

Two Leaders for Climate Action

"Michael Bloomberg, a UN special envoy on climate change and former mayor of New York City, has funded a $164 million campaign in the US since 2010, during which time more than half the nation’s coal-fired power plants have been closed."

Leaping Forward on Climate Change

The biggest obstacle to acting on climate change lies between your ears. Watch this video to learn why. Learn about the five ‘ds’ kill action and the five ‘Ss’ for meaningful social change. This is a must watch for anyone concerned with communicating and making decisions on climate action—researchers, politicians, decision-makers from all sectors, students and the general public.

The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

Global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise again in 2017, by up to 2 percent. And more than 15,000 scientists issued a warning that we are heading down an unsustainable path and soon it will be too late. Clearly, we are moving in the wrong direction.

Pesticides Ban

Based on scientific evidence showing the damage that neonicotinoids have contaminated landscapes and colonies of bees, the United Kingdom will back a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticide but in 2013 the European Union banned their use on flowering crops, although the UK was among the nations opposing the ban. The European Commission now wants a total ban on their use outside of greenhouses, with a vote expected in December, and the UK’s new position makes it very likely to pass.