Rob Shirkey
Rob Shirkey is a lawyer and founder of Our Horizon, a not-for-profit climate change organization based in Toronto that empowers people and communities across Canada to change the world.

Entries by Rob Shirkey

A Canadian Climate Change Idea For The World To Follow

(11) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 10:50 AM

On Nov. 16, 2015, the City of North Vancouver made world history when its council unanimously voted to mandate climate change risk disclosures on gas pumps. It's an idea that my organization developed and launched in early 2013 and it has since been endorsed by over a hundred...

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How to Think of Climate Change on a Small Scale

(8) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 10:41 AM


When I used to live near the waterfront in Toronto's east end, I would wake before dawn and go sit at the end of a breakwater to catch the sunrise. I would face the lake, close my eyes, and notice a subtle warmth...

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Big Oil Is Following in Kodak's Footsteps (and Missing the Boat)

(24) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 11:52 AM

When my Dad was my age, Kodak had 90 per cent of the market share for photography in the U.S. It was a giant in the sector. To suggest that it would fall would be unthinkable yet, not too long ago, it declared bankruptcy. I recently gave a...

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Why Climate Change Warning Labels on Gas Pumps Are a Good Idea

(16) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 4:01 PM

2014-11-10-Fredericton_City_Hall_credit.jpgLast week, several New Brunswick students from St. Thomas University presented the idea of climate change and air pollution warning labels on gas pumps to the City of Fredericton. The proposal was well-received by a committee of councillors but some have...

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Councillors, Remember That Effects of Burning Fossil Fuels Aren't Felt Immediately

(3) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 5:22 PM

Last night my Twitter feed was made up of pictures of the Don Valley Parkway flooding, subway stops under water, and friends half submerged on Bayview Ave. How much more extreme weather -- be it flooding, ice storms or heat waves -- will our city have to endure before we...

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Want Cheaper Alternatives to Fossil Fuels? Tax the Product That's Actually Causing the Harm

(6) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 7:16 AM

Climate change is a market failure. To address it, you need to understand the concept of externalities. These are costs or benefits that result from the use of a product but are not reflected in that product's price. In the context of fossil fuels, we often hear these...

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Warning Labels and the Psychology of Climate Change

(20) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 8:26 AM

Ever since launching our project to put climate change warning labels on gas pumps, people have frequently told me, "My friend still smokes, so warning labels don't work." They draw a very general conclusion from a very particular example. First, if you want to learn about the effectiveness...

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Adam Smith Called: He Wants Warning Labels on Gas Pumps

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 11:37 AM

Adam Smith, revered by many as the founder of our economic system, would have loved my organization's idea of putting climate change warning labels on gas pump nozzles. In fact, were he alive today, I bet he'd contribute a...

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Want to Stop Climate Change, Tar Sands, and Pipelines? Throw an Intervention

(14) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 12:29 PM

When the Ford Model-T rolled off the assembly line in 1908, it got between 6 to 9 kilometers per litre. The mayor of my city, Rob Ford, drives a Cadillac Escalade that gets between 6 to 8 km/L. The Ford Focus, a "fuel efficient" vehicle gets...

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