By: Irena Knezevic with contributions from Peter Andrée


Photo credit: Maranda Grant

For most of us who think about the food system, the link between food and climate change seems obvious. Figuring out exactly what that relationship is can be more blurry. Carleton Climate Commons hosted a roundtable on this topic on March 17th which was attended by more than 50 students, faculty and community members. Andrew Spring from Wilfrid Laurier University and Dr. Sonia Wesche from the University of Ottawa opened up the discussion with vivid accounts of how climate change affects food systems in Canada’s North. From melting permafrost to increasingly unreliable ice-roads, to changing flora and fauna, they established a clear link between climate change and one of Canada’s most pressing challenges – food insecurity in the North. Though their accounts were mostly grim, they also offered hope through showcasing initiatives like the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River, community gardens, and substitutions strategies where communities are moving to eating wild game that is more abundant now as caribou herds continue to decline. Dr. Leah Temper from Seeds of Survival (USC Canada) brought an international perspective to the discussion by describing the international programs focused on seed security and diversification. She offered an optimistic account of how seed saving and sharing can not only facilitate adaptation to climate change, but also support small-scale farmers who are struggling to survive in the globalized food system.


Carleton University’s Dr. Peter Andrée acted as a respondent and provided an insightful commentary reminding the audience that we need to consider these issues in the wider context of how the global food system contributes to climate change, through monoculture-heavy agriculture, industrial meat production, and monumental food waste. Dr. Andrée noted some key themes across the three presentations, including the centrality of issues of social justice, the links between realizing food security and food sovereignty, and the need for climate change adaptation processes to be based in the participation of those communities and individuals most severely affected. The general discussion that followed engaged the audience in an exploration of how we can contribute to addressing climate change and food problems through both individual and collective action. By bringing together speakers from three universities and one organization, as well as diverse audience, Carleton Climate Commons offered a space for learning, dialogue and hope for action.


Originally posted on:

Global Economic and Climate Change along the Silk Road: Crisis in Central Asia and Afghanistan

In the age of the Silk Road, Central Asia and Afghanistan came to prominence by facilitating global trade between China and the Mediterranean. Today, the fortunes of the region are still tied to global trends, but these are taking an increasingly negative turn.




A profound economic crisis is gripping the region. The causes are diverse: decreasing oil and gas prices, an economic slowdown in China, the falling Russian Ruble, and for Afghanistan – even the withdrawal of NATO forces. Under such circumstances, households and national governments are scrambling to cope.

But the economy is not the sole global force challenging Central Asia and Afghanistan. In recent years, climate change has put growing pressure on this fragile and mountainous region. Rising temperatures, irregular rainfall, and increasingly devastating natural disasters are the new normal.

In a rapidly changing environment, what processes, policies, and plans are in place to help citizens and their governments to deal with these new global realities?

Join the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Carleton University for a panel discussion on the future of Central Asia and Afghanistan. Speakers will bring insights informed by decades of experience in the fields of economic development, public policy, and climate change. In addition Dr Bohdan Krawchenko and Dr Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt from the University of Central Asia will reflect on lessons learned from the UCA’s Research and Public Policy Initiative, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and AKFC, which sought to strengthen research capacity and evidence-based policy-making in Afghanistan and Central Asia.


Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Time: 1:00 – 4:00PM

Location: Carleton University, River Building Room 2228

Cost: Free (please register)


Refreshments will be provided


Mosaic: Call for Submissions

Within the biological-ecological sciences from which the term Anthropocene emerged, “scale” has a longer history and broader usage than it does within the now-proliferating philosophical, critical, theoretical, and ethical discourses that address environmentalism, climate change, and the Anthropocene’s status as a sixth major extinction event. For the latter discourses, scale often refers to something “bigger” than we have ever previously encountered: climate change, for instance, as a crisis unprecedented in its scope and in the reorientation, or “reinvention,” of critical protocols that it is said to require. Given the unrelenting scale of such issues as climate change and of factors contributing to it, e.g., the shift from small-scale family farming to massive global-marketing industrial operations, must theory, too, as some suggest, undergo a transition from local and individual to global perspectives? In what might a global imaginary consist, and how might it relate to existing critiques of globalization as but a label for the hegemony of Western culture? Are broader understandings of scale available from within the ecological sciences and, if so, how might these serve as resources for the “greening of theory”?
            Mosaic, an interdisciplinary critical journal, invites innovative and interdisciplinary submissions for a special issue on Scale in relation to ecocriticism, the Anthropocene, climate change, and environmental and animal ethics.
Mosaic follows an electronic submission process. If you would like to contribute an essay for review, please visit our website for Email any submission questions to Submissions must be received by: May 9, 2016.

We welcome submissions that conform to our mandate.
  •  Essays may be in English or French and must represent innovative thought (either in the form of extending or challenging current critical positions).Mosaic does not publish fiction, poetry, or book reviews.
  •  Mosaic publishes only original work. We will not consider essays that are part of a thesis or dissertation, have been published previously, or are being considered for publication in another journal or medium.
  •  Preferred length of essays is 7,000 words, to a maximum of 7,500 words. Parenthetical citations and works cited must follow the conventions of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.) or MLA Handbook (7th ed.). Essays may feature illustrations.
  •  Mosaic’s anonymous peer-review process requires that no identifying information appear on the electronic version of the essay itself. Submissions that meet our requirements are sent to specialists in the specific and general area that an essay addresses. Anonymous but complete transcripts of the readers’ reports are sent to the author.  
Address inquiries by email to:
Dr. Dawne McCance
Editor, Mosaic
University of Manitoba, 208 Tier Building
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 Canada
Tel: 204-474-8597, Fax: 204-474-7584
Submissions: Submit online at

Green Revolving Fund Winners!

The Green Revolving Fund committee would like to thank all members of the Carleton University community for their participation and interest in the Green Revolving Fund and for submitting their project ideas.

This year, once again, we received a great response from the Carleton community. All project submissions were of a high caliber and demonstrated clear links to our sustainable programs and the aims of the fund. 

After careful consideration the following projects were selected: 

First place winner – Tennis Bubble Insulation and Conservation Project – Yolanda Junco and John Wilson 

This project aims to reduce utility and operational costs by 30 per cent (electricity, gas and maintenance), as well as change all the lighting to LED lights. 

Second place – Campus Kitchen Exhaust Retrofit – Chad McKenzie and Travis Morton 

This project will reduce the loss of conditioned air from buildings, reduce fan electrical usage through scheduling and increase safety for occupants and operators (no need for manual switch off). 

Third place – Sustainable Vacuum Pumps for Science – Tina Preseau and Peter Mosher 

The project will stop the wasting of over 1,400 cubic meters of water per year from laboratories operations. Water currently being used to create a vacuum, by a water aspirator, will be replaced by compressed air powered vacuum pumps. 

For more information on this year’s project submissions: Green Fund Projects 2015

Congratulations to all and thank you to everyone who participated. Submissions for the Green Revolving Fund are now closed until September 2016.
Tim Sullivan
Assistant Vice-President (Financial Services)
Chair, Green Revolving Fund Committee

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:

More information about other Carleton sustainability initiatives can be found at:

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