Below are news items from the UBC IRES community.

What Denver can learn from universal basic income tests in U.S. and Canada

May 11, 2021: Denver Post mentioned a research initiative by UBC and Foundations for Social Change, where Dr. Jiaying Zhao led the research team, that found a positive impact of giving direct cash transfers to homeless individuals.

How small-scale seafood supply chains adapt to COVID-19 disruptions

April 30, 2021: Dr. Sahir Advani, a postdoctoral research fellow at IRES, co-wrote about initial pandemic impacts and responses across small-scale seafood supply chains across the world.

India’s deepening water crisis at the heart of farm protests

April 28, 2021: Balsher Singh Sidhu, PhD student at IRES, gave comments about groundwater depletion in India and said small farmers spend increasingly more money to pump water for their crops and this is widening inequity.

‘War means blood’: Can a treaty stop Latin American activists being killed?

April 19, 2021: Dr. David Boyd was quoted in Reuters saying that the “groundbreaking” treaty could be “a life-saving game changer”.

When It Comes To Climate Change, Biases Affect Everyone

When communicating about climate change, the same information that draws the attention of certain groups can fail to pique the attention of others. For Wyoming Public Media, Dr. Jiaying Zhao explains that “a fact like ‘2020 was the hottest year in history, tied with 2016’ … is going to draw the attention of liberals but […]

The ongoing search for the perfect climate change metaphor

April 16, 2021: Dr. Kai Chan told CBC that scientists need to be much more in touch with their emotions and values, and ask themselves whether their actions are consistent with that emotion.

‘Seaspiracy’: Netflix Doc Got You Down? Here’s How to Cope, and Help.

April 8, 2021: Livekindly quoted Dr. Jiaying Zhao about her research on attentional and perceptual biases of climate change. Her study suggests framing the consequences of climate change to align with a specific group’s values and cognitive processes.

Chocolate might melt out of memory if we don’t protect pollinators, ecologist warns

April 6, 2021: After Easter weekend, Dr. Claire Kremen spoke with CBC to remind us that chocolate comes from cacao, the flowers of which have to be visited by a tiny fly for pollination.

What’s that Smell? As Weather Warms, So Does a Perennial East Van Debate

March 30, 2021: Dr. Amanda Giang explains to The Tyee that smell is incredibly personal and can impact well-being. Her comments add to the perennial concerns raised by residents of Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood.

New position paper outlines the importance of using psychology to combat climate change

A group of Canadian environmental psychologists including Dr. Jiaying Zhao who study climate change and human behaviour have collaborated to write a position paper for the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). The position paper draws on psychological science  to inform how Canada needs to respond to its changing climate.

The human right that benefits nature

March 16, 2021: In a new BBC article, Dr. David Boyd said that recognising the human right to a healthy environment should be thought of as catalyst for better actions rather than a cure-all.

Why community-run food hubs could be the key to better food security

March 2, 2021: Consolidation and trade deals have encouraged companies to centralize processing capacity where labour is cheap — and B.C. has lost dozens of processors in recent decades as a result, said Dr. Hannah Wittman.

New UN Environment Programme synthesis provides blueprint to urgently solve planetary emergencies

Dr. Kai Chan helped lead a new report to assess the links between multiple environmental and development challenges, and explain how advances in science and bold policymaking can open a pathway towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 while bending the curve on biodiversity loss.

One BC Community’s fight to tackle industrial pollution

March 1st, 2021: IRES’s Dr. Amanda Giang gave comments to the National Observer on the multigenerational health risks of lead contamination, currently being experienced by the city of Trail, B.C.

How Nova Scotia coastal communities are planning for climate change

Feb 10, 2021: CBC featured research from David Righter’s IRES Master’s thesis, showing that 75% of coastal communities in Nova Scotia are implementing climate change plans ordered by the province.

Dr. Jiaying Zhao on behavioural sustainability

Feb 10, 2021: In a podcast episode, Dr. Zhao discussed the necessity of putting psychology to use in sustainability; if we know how people come to their decisions, we can design policies that help them make good decisions on their own.

Farm protests highlight complex India trade outlook

Feb 5, 2021: Dr. Shashidharan Enarth commented on the complex relationship between B.C.’s Indian diaspora and its home country amidst the recent #FarmersProtest.

Spooked by COVID-19, B.C. government invests in food processing, supply chain

Feb 3, 2021: Dr. Hannah Wittman said in an interview with National Observer that free trade deals like NAFTA have consistently made it more difficult for smaller, regional food processing facilities to compete with imported foods.

Changes in Indian farm laws will ‘be good for Canada’ as well: experts

Jan 21, 2021: Dr. Shashi Enarth, an adjunct professor at IRES, gave comments to The Canadian Press about how a freer market in India would help corporations and countries that see it as a destination to sell produce.

ADAM STIRLING HOUR 3 Marginalized groups are exposed to higher cumulative air pollution

Dec 23, 2020: Dr. Amanda Giang joined the program to discuss the details of her & co-author Kaitlin Castellani’s recent study published in Environmental Research Letters.

Giving people money turns out to be an incredibly effective tool in ending homelessness

Jan 13, 2021 Fast Company highlighted the New Leaf project, a research initiative by Dr. Jiaying Zhao and Foundations for Social Change that evaluated the impact of giving direct cash transfers to homeless individuals.

Vancouver Gave Homeless People $5,800. It Changed Their Lives.

Jan 8, 2021 For Dr. Jiaying Zhao, a major takeaway of her study with Foundations for Social Change is the potential cost savings of a program like this for the government.

Here’s What We Learned From The Pandemic, According To 10 Experts

Jan 4, 2021 As we move into 2021, what’s needed is “for nations to take aggressive action toward transformative change that addresses the linked needs of people and nature,” said Dr. Kai Chan.

Marginalized groups experience higher cumulative air pollution in urban Canada: UBC study

Dec 21, 2020 Different marginalized groups are exposed to higher cumulative air pollution in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, according to new research from Dr. Amanda Giang and Kaitlin Castellani.

COVID-19 may have halted massive protests, but youth are taking their fight for the future to the courts

Dec 21, 2020 If Canadian youth succeed in convincing the court that the government’s inaction on climate change is a violation of their rights, that would be a huge breakthrough, said IRES’s Dr. David Boyd.

‘2 lost decades’: How some experts view last 20 years of Canadian climate policy

December 19, 2020 Dr. David Boyd commented on Canadian climate policy: “While the Trudeau government has made stronger commitments to climate action, it hasn’t achieved the momentum needed to make Canada a front-runner in reducing emissions.”

What stinks? UBC researchers seek help to map the odours of Vancouver

December 8, 2020 Dr. Amanda Giang spoke to the Vancouver Sun about “The smell-scapes of the area aren’t well-recognized and we want to understand this.”

UBC researchers tracking stinky ‘hotspots’ in Metro Vancouver

December 8, 2020 IRES’s Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. Naomi Zimmerman, a professor of mechanical engineering, are looking for help from the public to help them track all the stinky spots in Metro Vancouver through a new odour tracking app, called SmellVan.

Quebec car-sharing company is having its moment during the pandemic

December 6, 2020 The Globe and Mail mentioned a recent paper on the car-sharing industry by Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi.

Plant-based meats are on the rise. But are they sustainable?

December 3, 2020 Dr. Navin Ramankutty spoke with National Observer about the sustainability of plant-based diets.

Crop diversification can improve environmental outcomes without sacrificing yields

According to a new study by IRES’s Claire Kremen and team, diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields.

What would Jesus do? Give the homeless cash!

Forbes spoke with Dr. Jiaying Zhao on Zhao’s study with Foundations for Social Change, a non-profit organization based in Vancouver. The study gave individuals experiencing homelessness a cash transfer of $7,500.

Despite good intentions, 5G might widen the gap between farmers

ZME Science highlighted a study led by Zia Mehrabi, a research associate at IRES/SPPGA. The study shows a widening gap between small-scale farmers and those who are more technologically advanced.

To save threatened plants and animals, restore habitat on farms, ranches and other working lands

Claire Kremen, UBC IRES/Zoology prof, co-wrote about a study that found restoring native habitats to at least 20 per cent of the world’s land currently being used by humans for farming, ranching and forestry is necessary to protect biodiversity and slow species loss.

Ottawa’s climate-change policies fail to protect First Nations against food scarcity: study

“No matter what we do by 2030,” said IRES’s Kai Chain, “it’s going to get a lot worse for those northern communities, just by virtue of the inertia already in the system.” He called on the federal government to immediately redouble its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.