Carbon credits new guilt-edged business

A burgeoning set of for-profit companies is hoping to cash in on the eco-cachet of living as lightly on the Earth as possible, reported Ontario magazine Business Edge Feb. 2 in a feature about Cleanairpass and other companies that, for a fee, buy carbon credits based on an individual’s fuel consumption. Will they be successful? Maybe as a business, but not likely in terms of stopping global warming, says David Wheeler, the Erivan K. Haub Chair in Business and Sustainability at York’s Schulich School of Business. “There is a relatively small proportion of deep-green types that will go to the extent of paying money they don’t have to – no one is requiring them to pay to offset their carbon emissions – and it is a good thing they are doing that. It is very worthy and very laudable, but I think what’s even more interesting is how do we move the other 99 per cent of people,” he says. Wheeler says he is more interested in larger and more creative financing solutions that would, for example, get banks to help people spend an extra $10,000 on a Toyota Prius. Or on a larger scale, to develop incentives for countries such as China to buy clean coal-burning technologies. “There are bigger fish to fry globally than even Canada delivering on its Kyoto commitments,” he says.

Tan exhibition may be too subtle

Amsterdam-based artist Fiona Tan, an alumna of international art biennales known for her re-appropriation of archival film, deals with the politics of colonialism and plays with the illusions that still and motion pictures impart, stated Kevin Temple in a Now Magazine art review Feb. 2 about her exhibit, Explorations in Time Travel: Fiona Tan And The Archival Image at the Art Gallery of York University. AGYU Curator Philip Monk, however, has other ideas about Tan’s work. This show plumbs six pieces for subtle meditations on time, knowledge and archives. Maybe a little too subtle. The AGYU’s long, tall new space sets up Tan’s work nicely, but as for temporal-epistemological speculation, this might be a case of the theory-tail wagging the art-dog, wrote Temple.

How to get the most out of a job fair

Visit booths by yourself, not with a group of friends, advised The Toronto Sun Feb. 1 in a story giving tips to students about browsing at a job fair. “Bringing a group is like bringing your own camouflage – you’ll get lost in the crowd,” said Jenny Peach, job search programs coordinator at York’s Career Centre. Be prepared to answer basic questions. “Don’t act desperate by saying, ‘I’ll take anything’ or ‘I don’t know’ when asked about your career goals,” Peach said. “Prepare to discuss your skills, experience and career plans and demonstrate a link between yourself and the organization’s needs.” Choose employment fairs with care. “It’s important to remember that fairs are only one way to connect with employers in a job search,” Peach said. “Only employers who are recruiting for multiple positions will attend job fairs, so don’t think that the employers at a fair represent all the jobs available. There are far more jobs out there at other employers.”

Schools wrestle with rapidly evolving technology

Academic institutions across the country are responding to the inevitable transition to high definition as the breakthrough format of image capture and transmission, reported Playback in its Schools and Training section Jan. 23. “Nobody’s figured out the [technology production] model,” says John Greyson, professor of film production in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “If they have, it hasn’t been acknowledged yet.” He notes that various schools try to swap notes on what to buy, and brainstorm strategies for production and post-production, but it’s a difficult proposition when you have to make long-term plans that potentially render equipment outmoded and irrelevant. “It’s a tough time to make the right call. But it’s all about HD. There’s no stopping the move away from celluloid.” Greyson still has half of his narrative film students shooting their short projects on 16mm, but he laments that it may be the only time they’ll shoot on film in their entire filmmaking careers. “As much as I can hope we can hold on to teaching on celluloid, I know that if learning is defined as hands-on, digital is our best friend,” he says.

Released on bail

York University student Alexandr Ryazanov and Ryerson University student, Wang-Piao Dumani Ross, both 18, were released Tuesday night on $50,000 bail each with strict conditions, including a driving prohibition and an order that they attend classes, The Toronto Sun reported Feb. 2. The two are charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving following a street race along Mount Pleasant Road last week that resulted in the death of immigrant taxi driver Tahir Khan.

Notable black accomplishment

In 2002, Selwyn Pieters (LLB ’03), a law student at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, agreed to a negotiated settlement in his racial profiling complaint against Canada Customs, reported the Toronto Star Feb. 2 in a list of notable individuals and accomplishments celebrating Black History Month. The case resulted in changes to the way Customs conducts searches.

On air

  • Toronto’s Portuguese consulate introduced Ana Luisa Valente Ma Teixeira, a professor in York’s Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, as one of two new professors in Toronto, on CFMT’s “Telejournal” (Portuguese) Jan. 31.
  • York history student Tanya Segota discussed a Ryerson University study examining media coverage of the Ipperwash crisis, on “APTN National News” of Winnipeg Feb. 1.