Views from the Edge

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.”

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.