April 04, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story


The price of war

Ironically, war — this time the U.S. war in Iraq — is threatening support for the nonproliferation post-Cold War work of the ISTC and STCU, since the U.S. is the largest funder.

So far the war in Iraq has cost the U.S. half a trillion dollars, or about US$341.4 million a day.

It’s estimated the war will ultimately cost the United States a total of US$1 trillion, making it the costliest war in recent history. By comparison, the Gulf War cost US$94 billion and the war in Vietnam cost US$673 billion.

The cost of the war up to January 2007 would have equaled the cost of providing 1.8 million new teachers in America, 4 million new housing units or the cost of health care for 60 million children.

– Source: National Priorities Project and PBS’s Bill Moyers Journal: “The Cost of War”




From science to business


Although it is not as large as its sister centre in Russia, the STCU in Kiev, Ukraine has facilitated a number of important renewable energy and sustainable high tech projects including:

• Small, green hydro sources: A micro-hydro project designed to produce electric power from small streams or reservoirs. The power plant is an autonomous, environmentally-friendly energy source that does not need to be manned.

• Remediation of oil-polluted lands through biotechnology: Highly effective and inexpensive micro-organisms, biosurfactants and natural sorbents are used to stimulate the helpful forces of nature.

• Pest control without harmful chemical pesticides: Natural surface-active compounds (biosurfactants) are used to control pests, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

• Diamond electrodes for organic sewage treatment: Conductive, diamond-like films are used to manufacture electrodes for oxidizing organic compounds, which can be used to treat industrial runoff or sewage.




Going green is good for business


The GLOBE Foundation is based on the idea that “going green is good for business.”

The foundation was started by GLOBE’s CEO and president, John Wiebe, in 1993 in Vancouver — ironically the same year that the International Science and Technology Centre was set up in Russia. Its goal is to promote the business case for sustainable development.

The philosophy of the GLOBE Foundation is two-fold: Companies can do well by doing good without sacrificing the bottom line, and environmental challenges bring enormous opportunity for the business sector. Three principles are key:

• Environmental problems are business opportunities.

• Companies that can provide clean technologies and solutions will prosper.

• Proactive organizations that embrace environmental sustainability will be more competitive.

While these concepts may have seemed radical back in 1993, they have steadily grown in acceptance, importance and viability.

Since 1993, the GLOBE Foundation has hosted the GLOBE trade fair and conference on business and the environment every second year in Vancouver.

The 2008 event earned much praise from delegates, many of whom called it the biggest and best ever. It attracted more than 11,000 participants this year, and hosted 230 conference speakers, who addressed everything from how cities can address greenhouse gas emissions and develop greener energy sources to the latest in auto technology, including cars and the electric grid and fuel cell technology. More than 70 countries around the world were represented.

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