The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “sustainability

Capitalism vs the Environment – Guess Who Wins?

Posted on November 22, 2018

It’s been no secret that one of the great outliers when it comes to climate change has been corporatism specifically and capitalism generally.  Every time something like this is stated – a frequent event – apologists list various examples of where business has made positive and productive progress in sustainability.  Fair enough, but these are exceptions and not the rule. When we speak of capitalism, there is an important distinction because it includes corporations and consumers – a huge difference.  The capitalist culture is one that speaks to the penchant for business to overproduce and consumers to overconsume.  Together, both of these have made the hopes of putting a serious curb in climate change a rather remote one. Recently a group of scientists, put together…

The Third Place (Chapter 18) – Words to Change the World

Posted on August 22, 2018

She woke to the smell of breakfast wafting through the house, bringing back precious memories of her childhood in Bombay, before it was renamed Mumbai.  Refreshed, the discussion of the previous evening still raced through her active mind.  She had much to do today … and to learn, Aakriti knew. Though only seven o’clock, the Overton family was busy preparing the establishment for the daily restaurant rush.  Sally motioned her to take a seat at a table the was full of bagels, scrambled eggs, fruit, grained cereals and plenty of coffee.  She dug in, participating in the small talk that accompanied the usual routine, but she was eager to pursue her conversation with Everton. She watched him now, moving in an out of various…

Letting Our Cities Take Flight

Posted on March 13, 2018

“It is always easy to create an ordinary city; what is difficult is to create an extraordinary one, peaceful and restful one, smart and tidy, artful and cultivated one.  In short, a livable one,” wrote Mehmet Murat ildan. It makes sense, seems perfectly plausible, and for committed citizens and good politicians should be doable.  Yet many Canadian cities are having trouble achieving it.  Those that struggle inevitably compare themselves to other municipalities elsewhere that seem to have their act together and lament that we lack the resources, leadership or innovation to replicate such success.  There’s a lot of that going around these days in this country, especially among mid-sized cities. Since my time as a member of parliament in Ottawa a number of years…

Repackaging the Food Story

Posted on December 17, 2015

TALK OF IT IS EVERYWHERE these days: why do we throw out so much good food when families are going hungry? Answers abound, but in recent months increased attention has been directed towards grocery stores and some actions that are, and can be, taken to cut into all that waste. Key to much of recent efforts to divert some of the billions of dollars of food from being tossed out is that businesses themselves are coming to terms with the cost savings they could accrue through more efficient methods. Maximizing profits while cutting costs has been a mantra for businesses since the birth of capitalism and food companies and stores are now applying that method to food waste. For decades the practice of “stack…

Election 2015: Will That Be Cost or Value?

Posted on September 18, 2015

IT BECAME ONE OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT experiments in modern psychology. Around 1970, Stanford researcher Walter Mischel decided to sit a series of four-year-olds in a room and put a marshmallow on a table in front of them. He told them that they could eat the marshmallow right away, but that if they waited until he returned he would give them two marshmallows. Videos shot of the children during that time revealed a lot of squirming and kicking, even kids banging their head on the table. Mischel then followed them through subsequent years and learned some fascinating trends. Those kids that waited until he returned did much better at school and had fewer behavioural problems. Thirteen years later, those kids that waited for…

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