bad reporting: chinese home ownership in vancouver

$8m property in Kerrisdale
$8m property in Kerrisdale

Affordable housing is among the biggest of Vancouver’s headaches, as is the case in many cities. It’s a hot policy topic. And if I were to use two words to summarise what the discussion boils down to, they would be: Chinese buyers.Read More »

measuring responsibility and leadership

Lady Justice (c) Tristan Henry-Wilson

Today I received this in my work email inbox: OECD states cut emissions too slowly.

For anyone who watches the news, this is hardly groundbreaking. For those of us working in environmental justice or international development, we’ve seen graphs and diagrams ad nauseam depicting the earth’s trajectory vis-a-vis greenhouse gas emissions based on different scenarios and data. They have the same story: The planet – and, therefore, humanity – is doomed because we’re not doing enough to rein in emissions.

But who, exactly, are ‘we’? Read More »

xenophobia and anti-imperialism: a fine line?


Mongolian neo-Nazis rebrand themselves as environmentalists. This Guardian article is a little silly – I can’t take these people seriously (must be the swastika armbands) – but brings to mind some interesting questions:

1. Is environmentalism an inherently left-wing movement, as it is branded these days?

The answer to that one is pretty simple: NO.  I wish I had a penny for every comment in the comment section of that article reminding us that Hitler and the Nazis had some of the most stringent nature protection laws around. Read More »

china’s alleged “carbon tax” generating a ton of hype

Here’s how it went/is going down: a Ministry of Finance (MoF) official called Jia Chen apparently posted an article on the MoF website announcing that China will introduce a “carbon tax”. The news was spread far and wide – first by state-operated news outlet Xinhua and in Chinese on China Daily, then further through mainstream English media, including mindbogglingly shoddy ‘reporting’ from HuffPo and NYT that has no hard facts. Useless journalism, but regardless, the NYT’s fact-lite blog post is spreading like mad on the interwebz.

But it’s not all bad. My top three picks:

  1. What Would China’s Carbon Tax Regime Look Like – by Ella Chou – now that‘s analysis.
  2. China is getting a carbon tax. But how effective will it be? – Washington Post blog – asks good questions, but it’s all hypotheticals (admittedly there are very few facts to work with)
  3. Chinese carbon tax may pressure Canada to act, experts say – Global – for a Canuck and/or intl trade take on it.

This, as with everything lately, leaves me either cautiously optimistic or mildy sceptical. Keystone XL, for example, was the former. A Chinese carbon tax that could actually just be a pollution fee seldom implemented with no timeline on its introduction?

Mildly sceptical.