“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
“The basic message in the report is that GHG emissions come at a high cost in terms of human health, future economic growth, human security, and our ability to meet our basic needs of food and water. The cost at 1.5 °C may be manageable, but the cost increases significantly if temperatures are allowed to go higher, and may quickly become unmanageable. The time delay between emissions and impacts means that by the time we know for sure the impacts will be unmanageable, it will be too late to prevent them from becoming unmanageable.”
Dr. Meinhard Doelle, Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Dr. Meinhard Doelle, Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Dr. Meinhard Doelle, Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, has graciously agreed to join the CEGE Connection conversation and share his insights on climate change and environment law. We highly recommend a visit to Professor Doelle’s Blog: Environment Law News, which provides vital information that speaks to the complexities of environmental and energy law, climate change, GHG emissions, and the role of human rights in these areas of enquiry.
“Reflections on the IPCC’s Report on 1.5 °C has been republished from Professor Doelle’s blog, Environment Law News.
On October 6th, 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its much anticipated report on the implications of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of keeping global average temperature increases to 1.5 °C. This IPCC Report was commissioned by the Parties to the Paris Agreement because when they agreed to the 1.5 °C goal, only limited analysis on 1.5 °C had been done by the scientific community, and none by the IPCC. Until then, the IPCC’s scenarios had been based on 2 °C and higher, pointing to the increasingly disastrous consequences of these higher temperature scenarios. It is through this higher temperature scenario work that it gradually became clear that 2 °C was not an adequate goal to ensure a stable climate.
The 1.5 °C Report offers a first opportunity for Parties to the Paris Agreement to assess how their current “Nationally Determined Commitments” (NDCs) and their national efforts (such as the Pan Canadian Framework) stack up against the 1.5 °C goal they all accepted in Paris in 2015. In this post, I will offer highlights of the key conclusions of the IPCC Report (http://www.ipcc.ch) and consider its implications for Canada.
What the IPCC Report Says
The report starts by providing important context for the consideration of the 1.5 °C goal. It points out that the Earth is already experiencing over 1 degree of warming, will reach 1.5 °C between 2030 and 2050 at the current rate of increase ( ~0.2 °C per decade). It also points out that global average temperature increases are not distributed evenly. They tend to be higher over land than over oceans, higher inland, and higher in polar regions. Regions at disproportionately higher risk from the effects of climate change include northern regions, inland dryland regions, small-island developing states at risk from sea level rise, and least developed countries because they lack resilience. Many of these regions are already experiencing significant impacts and losses from crop failures, erosion, storm damage, water shortage, and loss of biodiversity.
The Report offers the following key conclusions on its assessment of the 1.5°C goal:
What the IPCC Report Means for Canada
First, I think it is important to recognize that the IPCC Report would have important implications for Canada even if we decided not to change our GHG emission reduction targets or increase our domestic effort to decarbonize. I say that because the Report makes it clear that regardless of our actions, somehow preserving the status quo is a practical impossibility. Even if we don’t decarbonize, the world around us will change in significant ways. If we don’t act, and in the process discourage others from acting, climate change will accelerate, causing economic, social and environmental hardship for all.
Even if we were to free ride, meaning we decided not to act on climate change while other countries do act, we would lose export markets for the GHG intensive products we currently rely on for our economic wellbeing. Even in that scenario, we would need to transition our economy, something that will not happen without domestic markets for the solutions to climate change. Domestic markets for these products and services in turn depend on investor friendly policy and regulatory environment for decarbonization solutions.
The basic message in the report is that GHG emissions come at a high cost in terms of human health, future economic growth, human security, and our ability to meet our basic needs of food and water. The cost at 1.5 °C may be manageable, but the cost increases significantly if temperatures are allowed to go higher, and may quickly become unmanageable. The time delay between emissions and impacts means that by the time we know for sure the impacts will be unmanageable, it will be too late to prevent them from becoming unmanageable.
It is clear that a significant part of the global community is committed to the transition that is needed, though we are at a critical time to ensure the global action will be at the scale needed to avoid worst-case scenarios. The transition is well under way in many countries. A key message from the IPCC is that it needs to be accelerated, and that there are global economic (among many other) advantages to accelerating the transition. All Parties to the Paris Agreement will be challenged, starting in Poland this December, to increase their targets, and to match the more ambitious targets with more ambitious action at home and internationally. This means that industries dependent on fossil fuels and other sources of significant GHG emissions are increasingly at high risk of becoming unprofitable. It also means that there are huge economic opportunities for those who find ways to accelerate the decarbonization of societies around the world.
For Canada, the message of the IPCC Report, therefore, is that we need to decarbonize from a domestic consumption perspective, and we need to prepare for export markets drying up for our fossil fuel based (and other GHG intensive) products. We should, over the next year, set new targets for 2030 and 2050 that are in line with the IPCC report and with our commitment under the Paris Agreement to make a fair contribution to the global effort to keep global temperature increases to 1.5 °C. We should increase our domestic efforts to decarbonize in line with our revised targets. We should continue to diversify our economy by supporting industries that are part of the solution, and stop investing public resources or otherwise subsidizing industries that are not part of the solution. Finally, we should make every effort to ensure the transition of our society from a fossil fuel based one to a carbon neutral one is fair. A priority in this regard is to ensure a transition of the workforces that are currently working in sectors that we will lose (such as the production of fossil fuels), and to help other sectors to thrive through the transition (by doing everything we can to support a shift to carbon neutral agriculture, manufacturing, and buildings, for example).
As importantly, the IPCC report means that we have to change the nature of the discourse on climate change in Canada. We have to change from trying to protect the status quo to accepting the need for the transition. Rather than continue to fight or delay the inevitable, we need to ensure that the transition that we need to make is fair, and that we thrive economically and socially through the transition. This is not accomplished by trying to hang on to what “we have” for as long as possible, and then face the collapse of our economy along with the collapse of the climate system. Rather, it is accomplished by taking seriously both the climate threat and the challenges and opportunities associated with the transition that is now so clearly inevitable.
Priority Actions for Canada
The following are priority actions the IPCC Report demands of Canada:
Continuing to fight this inevitable transition will exhaust us as a country, and leave us ill prepared for the challenges ahead. It is time to put our energy into embracing the transition, and thriving through it. Swimming upstream in the hope that the current will weaken (when we know better) is not the way to avoid the waterfall downstream. It is time instead to stand up and get out of the water while we still can make it to shore, and before we are swept downstream by the growing current. Perhaps, in the process, we will learn that living on dry land is not so bad after-all.
Professor Doelle specializes in environmental and energy law, with a focus on climate change and environmental assessment processes. He has been involved in the practice of environmental law in Nova Scotia since 1990 and in that capacity served as drafter of the NS Environment Act and as policy advisor on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992). Professor Doelle was a non-governmental member of the Canadian delegation to the UN climate change negotiations, 2000 – 2006. He continues to follow the negotiations as an official observer. Professor Doelle was a visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Center of the IUCN in Bonn, Germany, 2008. He co-chaired a strategic environmental assessment on tidal energy in the Bay of Fundy from 2007 to 2008, served on the Lower Churchill Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel from 2009 to 2011, and co-chaired a provincial panel on aquaculture from 2013 to 2014.
Professor Doelle’s teaching within the law school has involved courses in environmental law, energy law, climate change and contract law. He has also been involved in interdisciplinary teaching outside the law school, most notably at the College of Sustainability, where he co-taught a course on Humanity in the Natural World from 2009 to 2012.
“The MacEachen Institute’s purpose is to engage with the community – public sector, private sector, not-for-profit, students, academics – bringing people together to work on the big policy problems of our time and providing sensible, empirically based research in a non-partisan environment”
Dr. Kevin Quigley, Scholarly Director
The MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie University is a nationally focused, non-partisan, interdisciplinary institute designed to support the development of progressive public policy and to encourage greater citizen engagement. The Institute is supported by three faculties at Dalhousie University: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Faculty of Management.
We invite you to listen to Dr. Kevin Quigley’s “welcome video” which highlights the vision and mission of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance.
Policy Matters is a weekly panel discussion on major policy issues presented by the MacEachen Institute. These robust dialogues speak to a wide range of topics from the impact of fake news to Provincial perspectives on Federal Pharmacare. We encourage you to subscribe to the MacEachen Institute’s mailing list to receive invitations, activities and updates.
“The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only — a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
Duane Jones MIM Class of 2014 (Photo Date & Credit 2016 Sinead Dubeau)
Duane Jones (MIM Class of 2014) is a visual branding, graphic design and information management specialist. Our first meeting was at the 2018 ARMA Conference held in Vancouver, which gave me the opportunity to invite him to join the CEGE Connection conversation. Duane is an artist and the fashion designer of his clothing brand, Art Pays Me. His competitive advantage comes from a unique ability to bring together information management with the creative world of art and graphic design. His clothing collections are featured at Atlantic Fashion Week and recently, in a successful solo fashion and art show at the Halifax Central Library.
Duane is one of the co-hosts and creators of a podcast called, Changing the Narrative, which discusses race, culture and the challenges creative entrepreneurs face while growing their businesses. He is a guest speaker at events such as Canadian Conference on Medical Education, Podcamp Halifax and Social Media Day Halifax.
Michelle Hunter and I are pleased that Duane will be sharing his insights on building a social media presence, branding and how information management has transformed the way in which we live, learn and work.
Editor & Blog Coordinator
I will be presenting a clothing collection at Atlantic Fashion Week for the third time. I started my clothing brand, Art Pays Me while I was in the early stages of the Master of Information Management (MIM) program studies. At the time, I was a graphic designer for Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine and looking for a career transition to information management. While in the program, I learned a lot about myself and how important visual communication is to information management so instead of making a complete transition, I began following multiple paths in art, information management and business.
Runway (Photo Credit: Brent McCombs)
Running a clothing brand can be expensive so I try to be strategic when deciding which products to produce and release. Most of my products are graphic t-shirts that I rely on my creative instinct to develop; but I decide what is produced through calculated means. I consider shirt colour, size range, fit style, manufacturer, fabric and the design embellishment process. Once I have done that, I create realistic product mock ups to post on social media to gauge the public’s reaction to the design. I use the data from the social media to inform my decision-making process.
My favorite social media network is Instagram for a number of reasons – one of them being the analytics they offer people with business accounts. I can see where my top followers are based, how many users view my posts and how many people take it a step further by liking and commenting on posts. I can also see who of those users visit my website where they can purchase a product and or subscribe to my newsletter.
Fashion shows used to be the only way that clothing brands did this, but I am using Atlantic Fashion Week in a different way. I plan to reveal my products on social media leading up to the show to generate interest in the product and hopefully get sales from eager followers of my brand who want to be the first to see the products offline. I decided to try this method based on anecdotal data I collected from a fashion show that I did earlier this year. I revealed all of my new designs on the runway to some positive reviews but little sales. When the show was over, people wanted to buy what was on the runway, but I was not prepared and did not have product ready for purchase. I hoped that they would go to my website and buy the items later but that did not happen. This was a critical lesson that human reaction does not always predict human behaviour.
Another way that I am using web analytics to change how I do business is through targeting new customers. I started my brand with the intention of being rooted in Nova Scotia but having a global outlook. I am very active on social media and have used search engine optimization (SEO) in my website to the best of my ability to generate traffic far and wide but despite all of that, my data collection tells me that the vast majority of my web and social media traffic is based in Nova Scotia. My goal is to make Art Pays Me a global brand so, based on my analytics, I know that I must do a better job of targeting non-local customers.
The “free” data collection tools available to us today are incredibly powerful – especially when partnered with artificial intelligence. However, AI is not capable of creativity and creativity in all forms is art. As resource information management (RIM) professionals, our job is not just collecting and reporting data. Our job is to use strategy and creativity to interpret data so that it becomes useful information for our organizations. Acting on data without interpretation runs the risk of killing innovation. I encourage all resource information management professionals to embrace technology and creativity and see the art in information management.
CEGE Connection is delighted to advise that Duane has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CEGE Connection.
“We must develop and encourage that sense of belonging because it is a part of who we are in organizations. Belonging is essential for our identity as humans and, especially, as humans in organizations. Organizational managers and executives must create that sense of belonging in a good way, a positive way.”
Dr. James (Jim) R. Barker
As part of Dalhousie’s 200th Celebration, Dal has been running a series of public events called Belong Forums. These Forums bring us together to build a community that is facilitated and developed by intellectual thought and academic learning. What can we learn from our intellectual pursuits that help bring us together to create that sense of belonging? The Belong Forums are fundamental to Dalhousie’s 200th Celebration because these dialogues ask us to consider, as we enter Dalhousie’s third century: “What would it take to create a world where we all feel like we truly belong?” (quoted from Dal’s Belong Forum Website.) That quote, and these forums move us to ponder the importance of belonging and the implications belonging holds for our organizations and for us as managers.
Let’s start by restating the question in organizational terms: What it would take to create an organization where we all feel like we truly belong?
My thoughts on belonging reflect back to my last post, in particular why a sense of belonging is vital for our organizational well-being. In my last post, I discussed the three reasons why human beings form organizations:
That brings us back to belong.
Integrating our identity into an organization responds to our need to belong, to participate. One of the key points about complexity theory that I have studied and currently use in my classes, is that complexity theory operates on the assumption that human beings do want to participate. Now usually we say we want to participate because we want to contribute to the value that is created within the organization. But we also want to participate because we want to belong. And that sense of belonging, that sense of being a part of the organization is very important to us. We like to be an active member within organizational activities, social activities, associating with the organization’s brand by the wearing a t-shirt or displaying other bling given to us by the organization. Why is that important? Why do we tend to wear them? Because we have that sense of identity with the organization.
Okay, where does management fit into all this?
We have only a few attributes of management that we know with a clear certainty, that have held up as useful knowledge year after year. One of those resilient knowledge bits is that subordinates in our organizations only ask two things of their immediate manager:
1) They ask that manager be technically competent.
2) They ask that that manager treat them with dignity and respect.
There is a tremendous amount of research that coheres and co-relates around those two points. If a manager is technically competent and treats us with dignity and respect, we are generally satisfied with the circumstances of our employment.
Think about that for a moment – dignity and respect – what does that cultivate? What does it build? It builds that sense of belonging. It helps us to integrate our identity with the organization in a positive way. Why does it stand out so important? Why has it been so important, year after year, that idea of dignity and respect? Why do we feel this so intensively when it is missing in organizations? When we are not treated with dignity and respect? Because it threatens that key sense of belonging that we need to have in the organization.
A couple of other interesting things come out our reflections on belonging.
First off – there is a fascinating connection with this idea of belonging to some of the original work that was done in what is now called corporate social responsibility, particularly in sustainability, which predates corporate social responsibility. Looking back to the mid 2000s when the sustainability movement in organizations was beginning to emerge, a key element that we talked about then at the corporate level was the need to deal with stakeholders from the standpoint of empathy and solidarity. Empathy – trying to understand the organization so we could treat all stakeholders with dignity and respect. And solidarity – the sense that we were all in it together. That we belonged together in the organization. We are going to covenant together to create value within the organization in the spirit of mutual dignity and respect. There is that sense of belonging.
Daily news these days also gives us an interesting tie-back to the general understanding about the importance of participation. We now readily see articles on how our basic community organizations and governmental institutions recognize that participation is falling, and that people are becoming disillusioned. Why? When our participation declines, we lose sight of how to be civil, how to treat each other with dignity and respect. We forget how to belong. We must develop and encourage that sense of belonging because it is a part of who we are in organizations. Belonging is essential for our identity as humans and, especially, as humans in organizations. Organizational managers and executives must create that sense of belonging in a good way, a positive way.
So, what would it take to create an organization where we truly feel like we belong? I’ll wrap up by going to the words of David Kelly, past CEO of a company called IDEO – one the most celebrated product development companies, known for its innovation and forward-thinking aptitude. When you maneuver a computer “mouse” you are using something developed by David Kelly.
David Kelly said these words when he formed IDEO:
“I want to create a company where my friends work.”
Think about that! “I want to create a company where my friends work.”
When we are friends, although we might not agree all the time, we treat each other with dignity and respect. In an organization of “friends,” we have the confidence to participate at the highest level of engagement. We belong. This sense of belonging enables us to envision an organization in which we all work together to instill purpose, champion innovation and create positive value.
Dr. James R. (Jim) Barker is a globally recognized expert in complex organizational behavior, ethics, and strategy who holds specific expertise in leadership, safety, change management, and stakeholder engagement.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Henry David Thoreau
SAVE CORAL REEFS BY ERADICATING… RATS?
by Patti Lewis,
Rats have long been considered deadly pests that spread disease. They are synonymous with death, destruction and despicable and deceitful character traits. Because they are prolific breeders, rats are also known to cause enormous environmental degradation to the land.
And now research has identified another reason to dislike rats: the long-tailed rodent has a negative consequence on the ocean.
Aaron MacNeil, an associate professor at Dalhousie University and a researcher with the Ocean Frontier Institute, has, along with his scientific colleagues, discovered that rats are responsible for damaging coral reefs. Their new study, published in the journal Nature, concludes that rat control should be an urgent conservation priority on many remote tropical islands.
“Eliminating the rats that infest these islands would benefit terrestrial ecosystems and enhance coral reef productivity and function,” says Dr. MacNeil. “It could tip the balance for the future survival of these reefs and their ecosystems.”
Researchers smell a rat
The coral reef issue caused by the rats, begins higher up the food chain — with seabirds.
When seabirds return to their island homes they roost and breed, depositing guano (bird droppings) on the soil. This guano is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, and as it makes its way to the sea it benefits macroalgae, filter-feeding sponges, turf algae and fish that live on, and around, coral reefs.
But when invasive predators such as rats feed on the seabirds, and their eggs and chicks, the population declines and so does the important nutrients they provide to the surrounding coral reefs from their guano.
The research was conducted at the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which provided a perfect setting for a large-scale study as some of the islands are rat-free, while others are rat-infested. The comparison discovered:
In addition to earning accolades from Nature, Dr. MacNeil was appointed in May as a new member of the Canada Research Chair program, which recognizes excellence in science. In July, he also received the Fisheries Society of the British Isles medal which recognizes ground-breaking research and conservation.
The research was led by Lancaster University (UK) with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Australia), Dalhousie University, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Perth, Australia, University of Western Australia, Australia, Zoological Society of London, UK, University of Exeter, UK, and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Denmark.
Article by Patti Lewis, July 12, 2018, republished from Dal News, with permission.
David Foster @fosterd3, a PhD student at Dalhousie University in interdisciplinary environment studies recently tweeted “Dr Peter Duinker speaks to a crowd about the findings of last year’s inventory of the #trees of @TownBridgewater by @DalManagement students. This year we’re working with Nat. Res. Tech. students from @NSCC_Lunenburg to continue the effort.”
Dr. Peter Duinker and his team have a passion for urban forests and sustainable city planning as evidenced by the #DAL200 Tree Planting Party on June 9, 2018. CEGE Connection reached out to Dr. Peter Duinker for his insights on why conducting a spatial inventory of trees is essential for the well-being of communities.
Dr. Peter Duinker
When a person or organization owns assets, it is always prudent to know something about those assets. A dairy farmer has data on every milking cow in the herd – it is important to know how that cow is faring and how it is contributing to the milk-production enterprise. A naval fleet commander knows a lot of things about every vessel in the fleet – is each one capable of making its unique contribution to a defense initiative when called upon?
So too must a municipality know about the trees in the street rights-of-way. Each of these trees is owned by the municipality, each tree has a cost profile for maintenance, and each tree confers a wide range of benefits on the people who use the street. Knowing something about each tree helps the municipality plan for the ongoing maintenance of the tree population it owns – which trees require immediate attention, and which trees are likely to die in the next decade or two and require takedown and replacement.
My students and I have been implementing tree inventories during the past decade in the City of Halifax, the Village of Pugwash, and the Town of Bridgewater. We get valuable learning experiences when we do the inventories, and the municipalities get high-quality, low-cost datasets for their use in planning future improvements to the tree canopy in their respective streetscapes.
Peter N. Duinker, PhD, P.Ag.
School for Resource and Environmental Studies
Faculty of Management
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon – September 1914