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Going green, auto industry, cellphones

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March 31, 2009
Short-term economic pain for long-term green gain
Senior financial executives and environmental experts at a Vancouver conference are brainstorming the challenges of going greener in an economic downturn. SFU health scientist Tim Takaro is chairing the B.C. Environmental & Occupational Health Research Network at the 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Vancouver, March 29-31. He says major investors are getting on the environmental bandwagon and conceding for the first time that the economic promise of going green justifies the economic burden it places on our generation. “A Royal Bank of Canada consultant at the conference pointed out that the economic value of clean technology has risen from half a billion dollars in 2001 to $8.4 billion in 2008,” says Takaro.

Tim Takaro, 778.782.7186;

Auto industry to look deeper
U.S. and Canadian governments want the beleaguered auto industry to take another crack at dealing with its financial difficulties before considering further measures. Jerry Sheppard, an SFU Business associate professor specializing in corporate failure and survival, says despite commentary about the possibility of GM ultimately pre-packing a bankruptcy, it may be more useful for the U.S. Congress to create specific legislation that restructures the company with the help of a special court. It would operate under the guidelines of Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code – restructuring without the actual stigma of calling it a bankruptcy. Meanwhile, economics professor emeritus Richard Lipsey can also provide comment on the plight of the industry as it tries to rebound.

Jerry Sheppard, 778.378.6669 (cell);
Richard Lipsey, 604.947.9714;

Principal in jam over cellphone 'jammer'
Port Hardy Senior Secondary Principal Steve Hardy has had to disconnect the jamming piece of equipment he purchased to disrupt cellphone signals inside the school after some students discovered the devices are illegal in Canada. Richard Smith, an associate professor in SFU’s School of Communication, says Hardy needs to “get with the program.” Smith, who can talk about the controversy, says banning cellphone use among students is completely impractical and “not a constructive way to deal with the issue.”

Richard Smith, 778.782.5116;


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