Wade Davis: Why not a war on global warming?

The Globe and Mail Wed Dec 2 2015 By: Wade Davis

In a Globe and Mail op-ed, UBC anthropology professor Wade Davis asks why the international response to the threat of climate change has been so lukewarm.

“If [the scientists] are wrong and we act, the worst that will happen will be an economic stimulus that will result in a cleaner environment, a more technologically integrated world and a healthier planet,” Davis wrote. “If they are right, and we do nothing, the potential consequences are at best bad, at worst catastrophic, with scenarios so bleak as to defy the darkest imaginings of science fiction.”

B.C. Premier rejects PM’s new Senate appointment process

The Globe and Mail Thu Dec 3 2015 By: Ian Bailey

Experts say Christy Clark’s decision to boycott the Senate appointment process won’t help her achieve the changes she wants, according to a Globe and Mail article.

The article quoted UBC political scientist Gerald Baier, who said the B.C. premier is entitled to refuse to endorse Senate changes that don’t work for B.C., but that Ottawa can still consult with British Columbians to decide who should sit on the advisory board.

UBC student wins 2015 Mayor’s Arts Award

City of Vancouver Thu Dec 3 2015

Congratulations to Acting and First Nations Studies student Tai Amy Grauman, who won the 2015 Mayor's Arts Award for "Emerging Artist in Theatre". Grauman was nominated by Margo Kane, a Cree/Saulteaux artist and a prominent figure in Canadian theatre.

Grauman is a new member of Full Circle Theatre's training ensemble program and a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She plans to pursue a PhD in Aboriginal theatre.

Chinese opera singers dazzle Vancouver

Global Post Thu Dec 3 2015 By: Xinhua

The Global Post and Shanghai Daily ran a Xinhua article on the Beijing Conservatory’s opera performance at UBC’s Chan Centre.

The concert was part of the cultural exchange program between the two institutions as UBC marks its centennial.

“We both have very high quality programs in our own countries, so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work together,” said Nancy Hermiston, head of voice and opera at UBC school of music.

Generosity makes you happier and healthier

Yahoo Wed Dec 2 2015 By: Dene Moore

A Yahoo article reported on a new study by UBC, Simon Fraser University and University of California Irvine researchers, which found that donating to charity lowered blood pressure for a group of older adults.

“This study was really exciting and provided the first initial evidence — we think the strongest evidence to date — that spending money on others, using our money to help other people, could have clinically significant benefits to physical health,” said lead author and UBC PhD student Ashley Whillans.

B.C. as economic destination for Syrian refugees

Business in Vancouver Tue Dec 1 2015 By: Tyler Orton

Business in Vancouver explores the prospects of the 1,900 Syrian refugees expected to arrive in B.C. over the next three months.

The refugees will need English-language training and job skills conversion so that they can land well-paying jobs in the medium term and become financially independent, UBC geography professor Dan Hiebert was quoted as saying.

For their first two years, the refugees will receive financial support from the federal government.

This story also ran in the Vancouver Courier.

Generosity good for health

The Conversation Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Ashley Whillans

Ashley Whillans, a PhD student in social and health psychology at UBC, talks about the effect of generosity on one’s health in an article in The Conversation. According to Whillans, a new experiment she and her colleagues conducted showed that spending money on friends and relatives was linked to a reduction in blood pressure.

“People seemed to benefit most from spending money on others they felt closest to,” Whillans wrote. “This finding is consistent with previous research from our lab showing that people derive the most satisfaction from spending money on others when they splurge on close friends and family.”

Demand for housing data is logical: UBC prof

The Vancouver Sun Tue Dec 1 2015 By: Richard Carpiano

In a guest blog in the Vancouver Sun, UBC sociologist Richard Carpiano calls public demand for housing data “a logical and fundamentally Canadian demand for effective government solutions.”

“[Demanding data] is the initial step in identifying causes and devising appropriate solutions,” Carpiano wrote. “An evidence-based approach to policy offers the best potential for achieving the most effective outcomes and minimizing the chances of unintended consequences.”

Vancouver city council could officially oppose TPP

The Globe and Mail Tue Dec 1 2015 By: Vincent Matak

Vancouver city councillors are considering opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, according to a Globe and Mail article.

The article quoted UBC political science professor Michael Byers, who thought the council’s plan highlights municipalities’ stake in the pact.

“There’s the very real possibility that large cities like Vancouver could pay millions of dollars in arbitration and they have no say in the matter,” said Byers.

Exchange program with China pays off for UBC School of Music

Georgia Straight Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Alexander Varty

The best of the Beijing Central Conservatory’s opera talents are going up onstage with their UBC Opera Ensemble peers on December 2 and 3 at the Chan Centre.

Nancy Hermiston, chair of the UBC School of Music’s voice and opera divisions, talked to Georgia Straight about the growth of opera in China. According to Hermiston, many opera houses are being built across China and opera is one of the country’s fastest-growing art forms. Given the strong reputation of the Beiing conservatory, the exchange program is highly positive for both the UBC and Beijing musicians and for audiences in Canada and China, Hermiston said.

Is Canada behind other countries in the clean energy game?

CKNW Mon Nov 30 2015 By: Anna Kalfa

Canada is lagging other countries in clean energy development and climate change policies, UBC political scientist Kathryn Harrison told CKNW.

“Canada’s been talking a mean game for about 25 years in these international meetings, committing to deep reductions and then not delivering,” said Harrison. “It doesn’t mean we can’t start to make progress…but we’re behind at this point.”

‘Fresh start’ for China-Canada relations

China Daily Fri Nov 27 2015 By: David Hou

UBC political scientist Yves Tiberghien believes closer relations with China could develop with the new Liberal government now in place.

“The Liberal government has not yet decided its core approach to China…but we know that the Trudeau government will fit in the traditional Liberal approach, which is multilateralist in nature and in favour of global engagement,” said Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC.

B.C.’s seniors falling prey to predatory scams

The Province Sun Nov 29 2015 By: Nick Eagland

Elder abuse and scams targeting older people is a growing concern as the population ages. Experts say there are a number of ways to prevent this abuse from happening.

UBC social work professor Deborah O’Connor says family can take an older adult for a comprehensive assessment if they’re concerned about their relative’s mental capacity. But she cautioned that concern over their mental capacity should be balanced by a respect for their right to live their lives and make their own decisions.

How Justin Trudeau can handle climate change expectations

Toronto Star Sun Nov 29 2015 By: Joanna Smith

The new Liberal government has vowed to lead Canada into a low-carbon economy, pledging $2-billion for a Low Carbon Economy Trust and promising to devote $125 billion over the next decade to infrastructure investments.

These investments “could result in a major transformation in terms of the Canadian economy and its relationship to climate change,” said Michael Byers, the Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law at UBC.

Canada should re-ratify Kyoto, says Elizabeth May

National Observer Sun Nov 29 2015 By: Mychaylo Prystupa

Green party leader Elizabeth May believes Ottawa should re-ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which committed nations to reduction goals for greenhouse gases and to a carbon trading agreement.

UBC climate policy specialist Kathryn Harrison is more cautious, and says Canadians may not agree to their tax dollars going to purchase credits in a carbon trading system.

“The second issue is that the more we rely on international credits, the less we’re investing in transitioning to cleaner energy at home,” Harrison said.