Rob Macdonald comments on Eves’ decision

Premier Ernie Eves’ decision to re-impose electricity price caps will cause over-consumption and under-production, reports Toronto Star Nov. 13. “We now have the worst of all worlds,” says Rob Macdonald, an environmental studies professor at York. “Neither are we going to get new generation, nor are people going to try to save energy.” Macdonald, reported the Star, is part owner of two hydroelectric generation plants in Ontario. “I can tell you no one will build new renewable energy facilities in Ontario because no one can compete with 4.3-cent electricity.” Eves’ mistake was not providing education and financial incentives for people to buy energy efficient products, said Macdonald. “It is always cheaper and faster to save a unit of energy than it is to build generation to supply a new unit of energy.”

Gathering of the gurus

Bruce Powe, organizer of the intellectual star-studded literacy conference this weekend, told The Globe and Mail why: “Universities are moving more and more to turning out people who function in the world rather than interpret it.” They are literate in a basic sense, able to read and write to the point they can function in narrowly defined professions. “But our culture is hostile to the elevation of literacy. Once people become autonomous and able to read culture for themselves, it’s not seen as desirable.”

Deaf articling student goes ‘extra mile’

Articling is never an easy proposition for even the brightest of graduating law students. But for Jennifer Jackson, it’s an even more daunting challenge, begins a profile of the Osgoode Hall Law School grad in the National Post Nov. 13. “She’s a brilliant and very personable young lady,” said Margaret Seko, manager of student affairs with the law firm Bereskin & Parr’s . “She lipreads, so having a conversation with her isn’t difficult at all. Considering what she’s overcome to get where she’s gotten, what we have to do to accommodate her is nothing.”

York experiment in space

Today (Nov. 14), Barry Fowler, a neuroscientist in Kinesiology and Health Science at York, announces the details of a Canadian space experiment he has designed, reports Canada News-Wire Nov. 12. He is researching the causes of the reduction of hand-eye coordination in space. After his announcement in Saint-Hubert, Que., Canadian Space Agency astronaut and York grad Steve MacLean will comment on the experiment.

Try rapprochement with hostile co-worker

In her Nov. 13 advice column, The Globe and Mail’s Susan Pinker tells someone in a low-wage job, who wonders about booking time off for a job interview, that informing her employer as much in advance as possible about “an important appointment” is the best thing to do. She reinforces her message with that of Wesley Cragg, ethics professor at Schulich School of Business: “If you’re a qualified person working in a minimum wage position, chances are your employer knows you’re looking for something else anyway.” Cragg advises honesty in these situations, she says.