Monday, November 24, 2014

Literature Review: The Social Science of Climate Change Belief/Disbelief

by Andrew J. Hoffman
University of Michigan

This coming March my book, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate will be published by Stanford University Press.  This is a survey book that summarizes the social science literature on why people accept or reject the science of climate change.  To write it, I and my research assistants collected as much of the literature as we could find (including surveys of public opinion).  Now that the book is done and in press, I would like to share that literature review with anyone who may be able to use it for their own research. This is a rich and important area of study.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sustainable Canada Dialogues - People's Climate Forums at Universities Across Canada - Welcome to Toronto!

By Deborah de Lange

I would like to announce a new Canadian organization for academics that originates out of McGill University and that is inclusive of universities across Canada. We are developing a Canadian academic consensus on solutions for climate change. The following excerpts from our concept note explain the initiative.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Name and Shame Game

 By Joseph Sarkis
The US government, at least the executive branch of the US government, has decided that the best strategy to encourage the US and other countries to care about reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is to ‘shame’ them.  Stories in the New York Times and USA Today provide additional story background on this new policy. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

$37 Per Ton


By Joseph Sarkis

The title of this blog represents the social cost of carbon emissions as determined by the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budgets in 2015, using a discount rate of 3%.  $37 per ton of carbon is the central rate that the government estimated to be the social cost in this report from November, 2013.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Is there a Gender Gap in Sustainability Research?

By Joseph Sarkis

This summer the EurOMA (European operations management association) will be holding its summer school in Lisbon for young scholars and Ph.D. students on the topic of sustainability and supply chains.  

Having received a listing of the participants (their sex identified in the listing), it seems that 30 participants are scheduled to attend.  Interestingly, 23 of these participants, about 77%, are women.  Most are from supply chain management and operations management fields.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Changing of the Guard

The definition of sustainability implies a long term view that is caring of future generations. Are the practices within academia sustainable, in this sense? As the generations change over in academic departments within universities, it is interesting to think about how they are changing. Is the next generation being mentored and prepared for their future roles and responsibilities after tenure? Tenure still exists and we often hear about the new tenure track assistant professors wrestling for power with the old tenured guard. Understandably, the new professors would like opportunities to build on their careers. Is the old guard a set of mentors or oppressors? It is easy for them to be oppressors as they cannot be fired and they can threaten, with impunity, the younger generation with their livelihoods and careers. The next generation seems often to be in a state of quiet, submissive fear. On the other hand, perhaps many of the old guard simply do not care, and would just like to continue for a little while longer so as to have a large enough pension to support a decent retirement. Mentoring is exhausting and meaningless at such a stage in life. If they developed PhDs at any point, they are already satisfied that they have their prodigies in place.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Skeptics and Scholars

By Joseph Sarkis

This week our institution (WPI) is hosting a talk by Bjorn Lomborg.  He was the invited Provost’s University lecturer.  Yes, it is viewed by the campus as a controversial decision.  Many of us view this as old news and wondered why the decision had made to invite such a contentious speaker.  It has certainly sparked a debate around campus, and maybe that was the intention.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We Don’t Believe the Numbers!

By Joseph Sarkis
For a number of years I’ve been investigating topics related to making the business case and justifying investments in environmentally conscious business practices, sustainability investments, etc.   These investigations focus on aiding organizations in evaluating various programs and investments to make themselves greener and more sustainable.  There have been many decision support tools.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Organizations and Climate Change: Planning for Today and Tomorrow

by Joseph Sarkis

This blog is my last for 2013, given that this is the last day of the year.

This blog focuses on three recent stories in Time Magazine and the New York Times, here, here, and here.  These series of stories exemplify how carbon emissions (climate change) and organizational responses are still at the forefront of the environmental agenda.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Transdisciplinarity of Corporate Environmental Sustainability

By Joseph Sarkis 

This blog has no surprises.  Understanding corporate environmental sustainability, the natural environment and organizations, involves many disciplines and requires understanding and collaboration with practitioners.
Schaltegger, Beckmann and Hansen, 2013 have categorized corporate sustainability research and practice efforts into disciplinary, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary categories.