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Social Enterprise Catalyst Winner

The Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild (coached by David Moffat) was the top winner at the Social Enterprise Catalyst event. Congratulations to Bobby Lax and the 125 members of the Guild! Looking forward to visiting the new distribution center and seeing how the prizes help grow the organization and its social impact.


Big Shiller Day

I’ve been a long time fan of Robert Shiller’s work on financial markets and it is wonderful to see him turn his focus towards climate change. In doing so, he joins his colleague at Yale, William Nordhaus, who has made major contributions to understanding the economics of climate change. And Shiller explores Nordhaus potentially transformative idea of climate clubs at the city to the global scale.

I read this article on a day that I both listened to Barry Ritholtz interview Shiller on a podcast and started reading ‘Irrational Exuberance’ (which I should have read 15 years ago!). Not sure how that all came together, but lots learned!


Under the Dome

While it takes a page (or a slide) from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Under the Dome has the potential to be much more effective, as air pollution’s direct impact on her audience of 1+ billion Chinese resonates far more than the global tragedy of climate change. In fact, not a mention of climate change, rather a focus on the possible link to her child’s tumour. China’s government is justifiability afraid of its exposé of the complete lack of enforcement of environmental regulations.

The film notes proudly that China’s development accomplished in 30 years what took other nations’ 100 years. Let’s hope it can move even faster along the environmental Kuznet’s curve.


Auditing Global Supply Chains – What Influences Decisions?

Thoughtful and important work by Mike Toffel (a former classmate) and others on what shapes auditor-level decisions in their audits of global supply chains. With the crucial gatekeeper role played by these organizations and their individual staff in regulatory and industry-led compliance programs, it is important to understand what influences their decisions.

Reminds me of a point made by Minister Terry Lake: ‘…who audits the auditor…?’

HBS Working Paper: What Shapes the Gatekeepers? Evidence from Global Supply Chain Auditors


Paulson’s Risky Business Project

A Stern Review for the US on the economic impacts of climate change. Great to see bipartisan leadership.


CRD Regional Sustainability Strategy – inputs welcome through Feb 15

From literally lampposts in Victoria to facebook, the CRD is reaching out to residents to provide inputs into the Regional Sustainability Strategy. The current draft includes strong environmental and social targets, but keeping them robust will require strong public support. Here’s the link to add your comments just until Feb 15: CRD RSS


Climate Change: the BIG picture

Fascinating opinion piece in NYTimes on climate change by an astrobiologist: Is a Climate Disaster Inevitable? Our atmosphere came from “deadly pollution to our planet’s then-leading species: a simple bacterium”, so hard to believe that humans could not alter the Earth’s atmosphere. Also the physics and chemistry of the climate are impacted by energy choices regardless of the location, planetarily speaking.


Global Renewable Energy Investment up, but only to 2011 level

Global renewable energy investment which had dropped in 2012 and 2013, is back up to only 2011 levels and is only three-quarters of the value of fossil fuel subsidies. Today’s cheap oil doesn’t help.


Great to see Summers now calling for a US carbon tax

As Larry Summers notes, now is a great time to establish a carbon tax in the US. And best to follow BC’s example by making it revenue neutral to gather conservative support. Very hard, sadly, to see it as a priority for the new Congress.


First Australia, next Canada?

Obama is committed to moving the world forward to finally address climate change in his last 2 years. The Conservative government needs to recognize this and get onside or it will face a similar treatment to Australia’s.




The Economist stuck in 1990s on Sustainability?

While I’m late getting to this sustainability piece, it seems there was no rush as the Economist seems to have missed a decade or more of progress on corporate sustainability. Perhaps Schumpeter has been watching too many episodes of Portlandia.



CRD Roundtable Presentation on the Regional Sustainability Strategy

The Roundtable’s presentation to the CRD Committee of the Whole on the October 2014 draft of the Regional Sustainability Strategy: CRD Cow presentation final 22 oct 2014


Not exactly what comes to mind when measuring happiness and trying to aggregate it for Gross National Happiness.

In New Calculus on Smoking, It’s Health Gained vs. Pleasure Lost (NYTimes)


Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Includes Definition of Sustainable Development – with far reaching implications

The Supreme Court’s decision on the Tsilhqot’in First Nations land title claim includes language that could have come from the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development: “development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. This could have far reaching implications and raises the question as to whether all title should reflect the needs of future generations given the resource constraints the world faces.