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“I was a student in [York] Professor Peter Victor’s ecological economics class, where I learned that the economy isn’t just a thing on its own,” says alumnus and activist, Bruce Lourie. “The economy is a construction of society, which in turn is bounded by our environment. That’s a concept that’s still not well understood and sustainability needs to be reframed in that way. Peter is very much ahead of his time.”

In the years since he was a York student, Lourie (MES ’87) has applied the cutting edge and provocative thinking he learned in Victor’s class to change the way Canadians view climate change. Lourie is the co-author of the international bestseller Slow Death by Rubber Duck and Toxin Toxout.

He initiated the campaign to shut down coal-fired power plants in the province and advocated for the greenbelt initiative in southern Ontario. He is also the president of the Ivey Foundation, which recently provided a $27,000 grant to Professor Peter Victor in support of his work to explore transformations of national economies so they respect ecological limits.

“It’s important to support people like Peter who are challenging the status quo,” says Lourie. “I’m really lucky to be doing every day exactly what I learned at FES, and that’s using an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems that touch on health, economy, public policy, and the environment.”