Since the mid-1990s, we have witnessed an explosion in the literature in development economics that tries to explain the poor economic performance in certain developing countries – especially the ones in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) – in terms of factors, like geography, climate, history, and culture. In this lecture, Dr. Chang argues that these explanations are neither theoretically persuasive nor empirically convincing and thus can only be interpreted as an attempt by mainstream economists to ‘explain away’ why the so-called ‘good’ policies that were based on their own theories have failed to deliver the expected results.
Dr. Ha-Joon Chang teaches Economics at the University of Cambridge.
The global economy is undergoing the greatest transformation since the dawn of the industrial age as it shifts from an energy regime built on fossil fuels to one run by clean, renewable power. This transition underscores the central paradox of Canada’s national identity as a resource-driven economy with a civil society that has placed a high value on environmental stewardship. Award-winning author and sustainability strategist Chris Turner has been documenting this energy transition for more than a decade, and his lecture will combine insights from his bestselling books on the cleantech revolution, The Leap and The Geography of Hope, as well as analysis of the transition’s impact on the conventional energy economy drawn from his most recent book, The Patch. Turner explains where the energy transition leads, what Canada’s energy future looks like, and how the path to that future will reconfigure the fabric of Canadian society.
The old way to prevent pollution was to capture pollutants before they left the factory or chemical plant, which is always a financial burden. The Green Chemistry approach—“Design the process so that pollutants aren’t made”—can reduce environmental impact while making industries more economically competitive. Economic benefits occur because designing processes to reduce pollution requires minimizing wasted energy and materials. What’s the catch? The right chemistry and societal conditions are necessary to bring these green processes to market. This presentation will discuss the origins of green chemistry, explain how new technologies are assessed for their environmental impact, and introduce, as an example of a new technology, a “greener” paint.
Dr. Phillip Jessop is the Canada research chair of Green Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University, and technical director of GreenCentre Canada.