Vancovuer, Greenest City in the World

Greenest city mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver

Greenest city Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver

It may have left everyone not from Vancouver green with envy, but Mayor Gregor Robertson got elected by promising to make Vancouver the “greenest city in the world.” The city already ranks second in Canada and the U.S., according to the Green City Index. Vancouver even has a Greenest City Action plan. But recently, the good mayor upped the ante by announcing Vancouver will be the first city in Canada to run on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

It seems as we increasingly become a nation of urban citizens it is cities that are leading the way on climate change and renewable energy. Poll after poll after poll has shown Canadians support action on renewable energy, and municipal politicians are moving the needle here too.

Full story…

The House Finches of our backyard!

It’s true we live in an ecological desert known as the suburbs, but this year we have been blessed with over wintering House Finches that really brighten the backyard whenever they are around!



Who’s Happiest?

This from the New Economics Foundation: money does not equal happiness! I have certainly read this before, but it’s worth having a peak at a comparison of “Life Satisfaction” around the world with gross domestic product (GDP). This figure comes from “a well-being manifesto for a flourishing society” created by the New Economics Foundation. You can find them at

Costa Rice has about 25% of the gross domestic product of Canada, but its citizens have higher life satisfaction.


EFCL Community League Showcase 2011

EFCL Community League Showcase poster 2011

After attending an amazing event last night, the Community League Showcase Awards in Edmonton, I found myself thinking about where change for the better comes from. It comes from the heart, no question, but the spark for change must surely be inspiration. This was certainly true of the absolutely amazing projects (see my EFCL Blog) undertaken by people in their communities. Politicians sometimes look at Community Leagues as an unpredictable rag-tag crew of stray cats that occasionally cause them headaches. But it is this rebelliousness and the lack of control over their existence that also literally allows creativity and inspiration to flow freely. When a group of folks got together in Castle Downs to building a new playground they not only figured out how to raise $2.3 million to make an amazing new playground and park facility in their community they raised more money to package up the old playground and take it to the Philippines and install it there. While visiting the Philippines their whole sense of community expanded in ways they couldn’t have imagined when their first got together to discuss building a playground in Edmotnon, Alberta.

Economics of Happiness book cover

Economics of Happiness

A week or so ago I was fortunate enough to meet with another immensely inspiring group brought together by the author of the Economics of Happiness, Mark Anielski. Mark has been exploring the idea of “Genuine Wealth” for most of his career as a natural resource economist. You may want to have a look at his book, there is inspiration throughout.

And then this morning as I was writing about the Community League Showcase Awards for my EFCL Blog an email landed in my in box from TR Duncan with a link to a video about the Occupy Wallstreet movement. While many people struggle to make sense out of the movement, I was quite taken with this young man’s explanation. See what you think.

Happiness Inc. – Economics that matters

Happiness Inc - Blackfalds Alberta - 4

On November 10, 2011 I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with some colleagues in Blackfalds, Alberta to talk about an idea for a new company that focuses on economics that fosters a sustainable society. Pictured are Devin Spackman, Lewis Cardinal, David Faber, Dominic Mishio, TR Duncan, Bill Craig, Mark Anielski, and David Dodge.
We met at a most pleasant coffee shop called After the Grind.

Costa Rica 2010 – The wild and incredible Osa Peninsula

Our second trip to Costa Rica in March/April 2010 was fantastic. Darren, Jenna, Monette and me went to Poas Volcano cloud rain forests, the incredible wilds of the Osa Peninsula in the south and once again we visited Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast.  The Osa Peninsula is one of the wildest pieces of lowland tropical rainforest in existence. Check out the flickr slide show below!