Here’s another reason why history matters. Because anyone who has done their research into Bjørn Lomborg’s history would be aware that most of what he has published in the peer-reviewed journal literature (and it’s not much), has hardly ever been cited by other academic scholars in their peer-reviewed journal articles! (I checked Lomborg’s citation record on Web of Science). He and his appallingly researched book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, (defended by Cambridge University Press as peer-reviewed), were investigated for academic dishonesty. While the book was found guilty (but not the author), the decision was later overturned by a Danish government review for “process” reasons.
Like Daniel Simberloff, when I read the chapters in the book on which I would consider myself an expert, I was shocked at the poor coverage of the pertinent literature. My own book with Judy Myers was also published by Cambridge University Press, and I was therefore interested in(…)
The front page of today’s Globe and Mail has a story about how staff and Board members at the Toronto Humane Society are facing various criminal charges for cruelty to animals. The story broke this past summer and I was appalled to learn how animals were being treated and how they were not being euthanized, even if they were suffering. An article today, relates how some Board members were unaware that they might be facing charges and were surprised. Having sat on two non-profit daycare boards, I learned early on about my very serious responsibilities as a board member, and what their implications were, vis-a-vis my liability. The buck has to stop somewhere. For me, this story is as much about cruelty to animals, apparently perpetrated by self-described animal welfare supporters, as it is about yet another segment of society unwilling to take responsibility for its actions.
Last week, I heard(…)
The personal debt of North Americans – both in Canada and the US is staggering. Oprah’s “O” magazine’s long-time financial advisor, Suze Orman, has published a great book on Women & Money that tells the reader how to track their personal spending. Apparently many North Americans can’t do this. Suze makes the link between the lack of basic awareness of where the money’s going and personal debt. The Certified General Accountants of Canada 2009 report, “Where has the money gone: The state of Canadian household debt in a stumbling economy“ makes this link eminently clear. At the same time, there are tons of tv shows and books on how to declutter your life. They draw a clear connection between personal stress and the accumulation of stuff – as in buying it from the mall. A search of chapters.indigo.ca available book titles with the keyword “Feng Shui” – which, in North(…)
[photopress:Messy_desktop1.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:Messy_desk2.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:messy_study_3.jpg,thumb,pp_image]Being a director of a sustainability institute and an academic is very tiring – even for a hyper Type A personality who can still put in a 16 hour field day. Not only am I always having to think about my ecological and carbon footprints, and where to buy good offsets, but in a world of greenwashing, scrutinizing everything for its authenticity is also de rigeur. Uggh – AND THEN THERE’S THE BLOGGING. I have always had two settings – on and off. I like to jump out of bed and hit the ground running, but these days, I often feel like a car engine that’s starting on a cold winter’s morning. So, it’s time for a mechanical overhaul. Here’s what I have used in the past, and will again, to fix the stalled engine:
These may also be helpful for those of you out there who feel overwhelmed by your life,(…)
A very nice reporter from the Toronto Star asked me this question on the phone yesterday, as I was standing in a field in Milton, Ontario, next to 16-Mile Creek. I was collecting seeds from Giant Hogweed, an invasive and somewhat toxic plant (see right).
Tomorrow, York University will confer an honorary degree on Woody Harrelson. Back in January, when I wrote my nomination letter, I had no idea that the announcement of this would coincide with the recent release of a popular commercial movie, starring him! I also had no idea as to how receptive the university committee responsible for Honorary Degrees would be to our nomination! After all, universities are very conservative institutions, as I found out from the raised eyebrows, back in the mid 1990s, when I had the temerity to suggest to some colleagues that we ought to consider nominating Oprah Winfrey for an honorary degree. At(…)