UBC rejects divestment proposal, proposes $10 M sustainability fund

Reposted from Academia.edu. Originally published February 5, 2016

The University of British Columbia has reportedly proposed a $10 M sustainability fund instead of divesting from fossil fuel companies, despite last year’s majority vote by both UBC students and faculty in favour of fossil fuel divestment. The decision was frustrating, said UBCC350 Co-ordinator and UBC student Alex Hemingway, “what we’ve seen at UBC is two decisive referendum votes from faculty and staff in favour of divestment that the committee has chosen to ignore.” UBC Vice-president of External Relations and Communications Philip Steenkamp released a statement saying that the finance committee had concluded that divestment may not have its desired impact on climate change or corporate behaviour, and “would not be consistent with the board’s fiduciary obligation to endowment donors.” The board of governors will reportedly vote on the proposal on February 15th.


Book Launch: Far Off Metal River by Dr. Emilie Cameron

Please join the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University as we celebrate the launch of a new book by Dr. Emilie Cameron.

Far Off Metal River: Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic

Friday, January 22, 2016
2:30pm – 4pm
Room 252, MacOdrum Library
Carleton Univerity

This event will include a panel discussion with:

Dr. Emilie Cameron (Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University)
Dr. Frances Abele (Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University)
Dr. Danielle DiNovelli-Lang (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University)

Refreshments will be served.


About the BookFar off metal river

Far Off Metal River is about how stories make worlds. It traces the imaginative, material, and political life of a particular story – the Bloody Falls massacre story, first told in the late 18th century – in order to better understand colonial and capitalist relations in the contemporary Arctic. Drawing on extensive ethnographic and archival research in Nunavut over the past decade, Emilie Cameron considers the ways in which this story has shaped the relationship of Qablunaat (an Inuktitut term for non-Inuit, non-Indigenous peoples or settlers) to northern lands and peoples. Although it is conventionally told as a story of Inuit-Dene violence witnessed by a neutral and horrified European explorer (Samuel Hearne), Cameron argues that the massacre story is, in fact, a Qablunaaq story, one that has made specific forms of violence, dispossession, and domination in the Arctic sensible, legible, and possible. She traces its role in the formation of late eighteenth century understandings of race and nature, its role in the production of scientific, geological, and anthropological knowledge about the North and about Inuit, its interweaving with mineral exploration and extraction activity, and various efforts to resist, ignore, and forget the story. Taken together, Cameron argues, these geographies of the massacre story help to both place and displace colonial relations in the Arctic, and suggest new forms of relation that Qablunaat might take up at a time of immense change in the region.

For more information, see UBC Press: http://www.ubcpress.ubc.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=299174732

About the Author

Dr. Emilie Cameron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University.  Her primary research interest is in critical northern geographies.  Most recently, she has been focusing on mineral exploration and mine development in the Canadian Arctic, examining how mining interweaves with comprehensive land claim agreements, environmental assessment institutions, self-determination movements, and histories of colonial knowledge production. Working with partners at the University of British Columbia and Memorial University, Dr. Cameron is also part of a larger research project examining the ways in which industrial mineral economies have transformed social, environmental, economic, and cultural geographies in the Canadian North.

Commentary on the Book

“A brilliant and unsettling meditation on our relation to northern lands and peoples. Far Off Metal River teaches us to be responsible to the origins and purposes of our stories, to acknowledge their limits, and to see the North as full of stories that are not ours to know. A “must-read” in the face of renewed Canadian claims to Inuit lands and resources.” -Bruce Braun, author of Intemperate Rainforest: Nature, Culture, and Power on Canada’s West Coast

“In this engrossing and morally spirited book, Emilie Cameron examines Indigenous and newcomer understandings of the Canadian North through narratives of cultural exchange and colonial violence and their material consequences. Alert to how colonial stories about the Arctic maintain an insidious grip on the present, and why we ignore them at our peril, Far Off Metal River is a remarkable and ultimately hopeful work that will inspire debate at a variety of postcolonial sites about the complex links between place, power, memory, storytelling, and affect.” -Daniel Clayton, author of Islands of Truth: The Imperial Fashioning of Vancouver Island

What Would You Do With $1 million? Green Revolving Fund Committee Accepting Ideas

Do you have a great idea that would help make Carleton a more sustainable campus?

For the third year, the Green Revolving Fund Committee is accepting applications from faculty, staff and students. The university’s $1-million Green Revolving Fund is part of its campus-wide Energy and Sustainability Program.

A Green Revolving Fund Committee (GRFC) will evaluate all submissions. The application should highlight the idea’s positive environmental impact and demonstrate a financial payback. Other criteria will also be considered.

Submissions are now being accepted. The deadline for applications is Nov. 28, 2015. All members of the Carleton community are encouraged to participate. The savings realized by the project(s) will be returned to the Green Revolving Fund to repay the initial investment.

For more information about the fund, and to view the project ideas and winning ideas from last year, please go to: http://www.carleton.ca/fmp/energy-and-sustainability/get-involved/green-revolving-fund/

More information about other Carleton sustainability initiatives can be found at: http://carleton.ca/fmp/energy-and-sustainability/.

The fund is managed by Carleton’s Financial Services Department and overseen by the committee.

If you have questions about the Green Revolving Fund, please contact greenfund@carleton.ca.

Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit for Health Care

The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care has developed a climate change resiliency toolkit for healthcare facilities. The toolkit is healthcare specific but could easily be adapted to other institutional environments.

The Climate Change Resiliency web pages are here: http://www.greenhealthcare.ca/resiliency/

To access the toolkit you need to sign on. Click on Register here on this page and sign on with the info requested: http://www.greenhealthcare.ca/resiliency/toolkit

The toolkit is an online set of questions, which when completed will provide you a score for how resilient your facility is. Many hospitals across the Americas are using an assessment process to help determine how resilient their facilities are. It is a process that is complimentary to Emergency Management Assessments, but takes a climate change focus.

For any questions please contact Linda Varangu [mailto:linda@greenhealthcare.ca]

Campus Divestment

Campus divestment campaigns gaining


Reposted from Academica.edu

As the worldwide debate around divestment from fossil fuels rages, thirty campuses across Canada are now home to divestment campaigns. Reactions have been diverse: Concordia University has created a fossil-free fund, while the University of Calgary has ruled outdivesting. Students and faculty have voted in favour of divesting at the University of Victoria and UBC. Internationally, Oxford University and Stanford University have committed to divestment in one form or another. Yet the jury is still out as to its effectiveness. “I really question whether this does anything,” said Kevin Milligan of UBC. However, his colleague David Green says it is important to “establish the social norm that we are moving to a carbon-free society.”

Globe and Mail

Noel Salmond, The Mahatma, the Pope, and the Planet: “Gandhian Reflections on the Pope’s Recent Letter on the Environment”

The College of the Humanities


Co-sponsored by Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa

This event is part of the 9th Annual Ottawa Peace Festival
The Mahatma, the Pope, and the Planet:

Gandhian Reflections on the Pope’s Recent Letter on the Environment


Prof. Noel Salmond

Carleton University


Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015

2:30 pm.

River Building,

Carleton University

In June of this year Pope Francis released a remarkable encyclical letter addressed to the people of the world. He connects the plight of the earth with the plight of the poor and calls for a new relationship with nature while warning of environmental collapse. President Obama of the United States and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have both called the environmental threat of climate change the defining issue of the twenty-first century. For the first time in history, the Pope addresses the U.S. Congress this September ahead of the critical climate conference in Paris in early December. Focusing on the papal letter, this presentation asks the question: what would Gandhi say on the current climate crisis? It suggests he warned about the trajectory humanity was on as early as his first broadside in the liberation struggle, Hind Swaraj of 1909.



   2:30 pm                   Garlanding                                                     At Gandhi Statue

   3:00 pm                   Hymns by Parampara                                Atrium

   3:30 pm                   Talk                                                              Atrium

   4:30 pm                   Reception                                                       Atrium

Parampara is a music group led by their Guru Dr. Vinay Bhide, a renowned vocalist and exponent of classical Indian music.

Participating in vocals: Bratati Kar, Trishna Praharaj, and Kakoli Nag; accompanied by Opinder Sadana on Tabla and Sundar  Siva on Keyboard

Admission is free but kindly RSVP by email at jhumar@rogers.com indicating the number of persons attending


Gasper, Poverty and Climate Change

Assessing & Responding to Climate Change:
Ignoring the Poor?

Des Gasper, Institute of Social Studies,
Erasmus University, The Hague


How far are humanistic principles — principles of judging in terms of all the valued impacts on all people – actually important in assessments of climate change? The paper identifies mechanisms by which interests of vulnerable low-income people are often marginalized, even when assessments are made by agencies supposedly accountable within the United Nations system with its commitments to universal human rights and human security. A major case considered is the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report of 2014. A second example taken is the debate on impacts on human health from climate change. It illustrates how the burden of proof in climate change politics has been placed on the side of those who warn of dangers, and how the precautionary principle often becomes configured in favour of not risking disturbance to the privileged. The paper sketches a typology of ways in which vulnerable poor people are marginalized or excluded in climate change analyses. It then discusses how that marginalization and exclusion might be countered. We look at the recent Papal encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, to raise the question whether attention to the excluded requires perceptual reorientations of sorts that are not yet found in all development discourse.


Friday, September 18

3:00 p.m.

River Building 1200


Sponsored by the Graduate Programs in Ethics and Public Affairs