Earlier this fall I participated in a panel at the Toronto Board of Trade about "Achieving a sustainable and responsible global sourcing policy." Given their supply chain power, companies must continually advance more sustainable practices and must be reinforced by benchmarking transparency standards. In practice, what does this mean?
The expanded pipeline will mean more oil tankers than ever in Vancouver's harbor area and it is a ridiculously short-sighted idea. The math is simple: the more tankers, the more risk of spills and a spill in Vancouver's Burrard inlet, or anywhere on our coast for that matter, puts at jeopardy our thriving multi-billion dollar tourism industry and other coastal economies. Imagine the Seawall around Stanley Park lapping in oil. We would likely have to get rid of the "Beautiful BC" on our license plates.
It is incredible to see how people with disabilities are being included and advocated for now, compared to how they have been treated and excluded in the past. The work is not done yet; there are still many ways to improve the quality of life and opportunities available for people with disabilities in Ethiopia.
The concept of sustainability is not just a feel-good marketing concept; it is both a moral and functional imperative. And so, to make the financial case for paying farmers more is simple: if we don't do it now, there won't be coffee to sell later. To make the humanitarian case for it is just as simple: coffee farmers deserve better.
With an increase in population and the continuing threat of the end of the fossil fuel era, researchers have looked in other directions to help keep the lights on. In particular, one incredibly abundant resource on the planet, dead organic material collectively known as biomass has been identified as the future or renewable energy.
Embedded sensors are cheap and more importantly, they talk to each other and the grid. In an office building, for example, sensors can manage heat, air conditioning, office lights, building security, and video concierge service all from one location. The concept of "smart buildings" has been around for 10 years, but it has now arrived. It's real. With embedded sensors, software and a dashboard to control all connected elements, the building now becomes a "smart building." Did 25 per cent of employees forget to turn off their computers? No problem; Cisco systems can turn them all off remotely and save electricity.
As is so often the case here in B.C. when controversy arises concerning land and resources, many non-natives rally to the cry that it is "our" resources or "public land" that's at stake. To some First Nations, this is met with puzzlement: how did my people's traditional land and resources become something that belongs to all British Columbians?
Anyone can pull an all nighter. What student hasn't done this and produced some whiz bang of a term paper the next morning. No big deal right? So this Elon Musk guy works all night and whacks out a 57-page report detailing the Hyperloop, a souped up hovercraft in a tube allowing the great unwashed to travel at the speed of sound from one city to the next, powered by the sun, all for $20 a shot. Big whoop.
Is this the best of times? Is this the worst of times? Are we in the age of discovery or hurtling towards a blazing, horrible finish? Basically, it's up to us. We need new ways to heat our homes, power our cars and fuel our factories. If not, we risk heating our planet to the point of making it unlivable.
A new report out today finds that environmental infractions by companies in the Alberta oil sands are addressed with an enforcement action far less often than similar infractions reported to the United State's Environmental Protection Agency. Of the more than 4,000 infractions reported in the oil sands, less than 1 per cent (.09 to be exact) were addressed.
Keystone is an "export pipeline" that will take tar sands oil from Alberta and pump it down to a tax-free zone in Texas and out to foreign markets. In other words, the EU, China and Latin America get the oil, the foreign-owned oil companies get the cash and North Americans get a few jobs and oil spills!
While not exactly a certification, like Fair Trade or the Rainforest Alliance, direct trade is really more of a loose concept: remove as many of the middlemen as possible and make sure the most marginalized and impoverished people in the coffee chain, the coffee farmers themselves, are given a bigger piece of the pie.
I love fashion. But I have a confession: I haven't bought anything new for a very long time. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I can't find what I want. Well, that's not exactly accurate. I can find plenty of things I like, but almost nothing that I love. Because love for me is about more than how something looks.
The B.C. provincial government has been throwing around some big numbers and promises with the planned expansion of natural gas operations, but one large number missing in the discussion is the millions of tonnes of heat-trapping methane gas they are not reporting in official government documents. And, with the planned expansion of natural gas extraction and exports, B.C.'s climate targets are set to rise by as much as 25 per cent, or the equivalent of adding three million cars to our province's roads.