WBCSD Annual Review 2002: From Words to Action

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has recently released its 2002 Annual Review. The Annual Review records the WBCSD’s activities and achievements in 2002. In reviewing the year of the Johannesburg Summit, they have placed a strong emphasis on the implementation component of their work program. Follow the link below to go to the WBCSD website and download the report.
weblink: 2002 Annual Reviewfrom: WBCSDin detailsee also: WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development XlnkS577 XlnkC17D2

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Municipal Engineers Division Seminar on Sustainability in Transportation

The Municipal Engineers Division of APEGBC is presenting a mid-day seminar on sustainability in transportation on April 11, 2003. Held at the award-winning Richmond City Hall, the seminar will cover topics including low-cost transportation solutions, the new Municipal Design Guidelines, the proposed APEGBC/ASTTBC merger and the City of Vancouver’s Country Lanes program. Open the document below for registration instructions and a detailed agenda.
document: MED Sustainable Transportation Seminarin detail XlnkS576

Transportation Demand Management Workshop Review

A very successful transportation demand management workshop was held on March 7, 2003. Hosted by the BC Climate Exchange, with support from Translink, BC Transit, and BEST, the workshop attracted over 60 engineers, planners, government and NGO representatives to share challenges and opportunities in this important field. Follow the link below to read a review of the day’s events and to find out where you can go for more information.
document: TDM Workshop Reviewin detailsee also: BC Climate Exchange XlnkS575

A doubter’s view

Economic truth has replaced such earlier truths as an all- powerful God, and a natural Social Contract. Economics are the new religious core of public policy. But what evidence has been produced to prove this natural right to primacy over other values, methods and activities? The answer usually given is that economic activity determines the success or failure of a society. It follows that economists are the priests whose necessary expertise will make it possible to maximize the value of this activity. But economic activity is less a cause than an effect of geographical and climatic necessity, family and wider social structures, the balance between freedom and order, the ability of society to unleash the imagination, and the weakness or strength of neighbours. If anything, the importance given to economics over the last quarter-century has interfered with prosperity. The more we concentrate on it, the less money we make. The Doubter’s Companion. John Ralston Saul
source: EconomyCross-Ref: The Doubter’s Companion. A Dictionary of Agressive Common Sense See also XlnkS573

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The largest economy on earth

With a total GDP of $9.8 trillion, USA is the largest economy on earth. The GDP of Canada ($717 billion) is about the size of Texas. California has about the same gross product as France, and New York as Brazil. Each of the top 20 US states have a largest economy than Norway, the world 25-th largest country. Military expenditures of the USA are $1 billion per day.
source: Economy See also XlnkS573

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The information economy

In the so-called “ new economy” or “information economy”, knowledge and information do not seem to obey to the classical laws of economy. Contrary to goods, whose value derives from scarcity, information is more valuable when plenty and shared by many. Network and communication increases the value of information, but makes easily accessible at low cost if not free. The traditional market system is also upside-down in the information economy: Who sells a good doesn’t have it anymore, who sells knowledge can still keep it.
source: Economy See also XlnkS573

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One of the three facets of the concept of sustainability.

  • The production, distribution and exchange of goods.
  • Cost reduction, frugality.
  • Housekeeping.

Originally, it means the law or administration (nomos) of the house (oikos). Etymologically similar to ecology the science (logos) of the house (oikos) Another indication that economy and ecology cannot be separated. Good housekeeping means not to spend more than we earn or own. Good ecology should be the same. In the modern language, economy means to produce wealth and money rather than reducing expenses. It is driven by market laws such as supply and demand. If everything were for sale, the economy would reign alone. We can escape it only by what has no value (free exchange and non-profit activities) or no price (ethic, dignity, justice).
in detail XlnkS573

Complex systems

Complex systems shares at least six common features:

  1. Multiplicity They are made up of a large number of entities, components of parts. Any system with more components is usually more complex
  2. Causal connections among their components. Links between components make them interact and a change in a component may affect other components in many different ways.
  3. Interdependence The system need to stay as a whole to function properly. The human body is a good example of interdependent complex system. Cutting it into piece dramatically the ability of the pieces to function properly.
  4. Openness to their outside environment. Complex system are not self-contained but are affected by outside events. Often it is difficult to locate a complex system boundary.
  5. Synergy Where the whole is more than the sum of its part
  6. nonlinear behaviour The relation between cause and effects is difficult to predict ( is complex) An example is the non-linear, unpredictable and complex world stock market system

source: Complex See also XlnkS565

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Facilitated workshop on the Future of Sustainability Education at UBC

Free event open to all who are interested. WEDNESDAY MARCH 12 4-6pm at UBC ROBSON SQUARE (PART OF Research Awareness Week www.research.ubc.ca) Is a University Education Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? This participatory workshop will focus on the role of universities in creating a sustainable future. The following questions will be explored: * What is sustainability education? * How does it relate to technology? * How does it relate to global issues, global citizenship? * How does it relate to ethical, social and historical issues? * What is happening at UBC to create sustainability education programs? * What are the barriers and pathways associated with the creation of these programs? * What role does research play? Facilitators: George Spiegelman, Director, Environmental Sciences Program Rob Van Wynsberghe, Institute of Health Promotion and Research (IHPR), UBC Janet Moore, Department of Curriculum Studies (CUST), Sustainable Development Research Institute (SDRI), UBC Time: 4 – 6 pm Location: UBC Robson Square (800 Robson Street)- Room C150 Registration: This event is free of charge, but please pre-register by phoning 604-822-1700.
weblink: www.research.ubc.cafrom: UBC Researchin detail XlnkS572 XlnkC1892