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Pierre Desrochers holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Montreal. His main areas of interest are economic development, and environmental, urban, and agricultural policy. He has published some fifty academic articles and over 200 economic columns. He is the co-author of The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet and was awarded many scholarships and academic prizes for the quality of his research on sustainable development. He now teaches at the University of Toronto Mississauga's Department of Geography (see his website here). Pierre Desrochers was the Montreal Economic Institute's Research Director from September 2001 to July 2003.
Economic Note explaining the impact of logging on the future of our forests and the survival of the woodland caribou
Environmental groups claim that logging is jeopardizing the future of our forests as well as the survival of the species that live in them. Is this an accurate picture of the reality of forestry in Quebec? The aggregate data do not show that our forests are in decline. On the contrary, forest cover has increased slightly between the first forest inventory in 1979 and the most recent one in 2002.
Research Paper analysing efforts made by the Canadian petroleum industry to reduce its impact on the environment
The goal of this paper is twofold. Part I looks at the historical experience and illustrates how current "cleaner" sources of liquid fuels were anything but in the first stages of their development. Part II describes how Alberta's oil sands are being exploited and illustrates how "win-win-win" innovations are now taking place that are making this industry more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
Economic Note on the buy local concept as expressed in “food miles”
The movement promoting the purchase of locally produced food has grown in influence in recent years, in Quebec as in the rest of the world. Beyond the traditional economic arguments based on a protectionist approach, it is the environmental aspect which seems nowadays to motivate the support of groups and citizens in favour of reducing “food miles.” It is argued that by discouraging consumers from buying food transported from distant locations, less energy – and ultimately less greenhouse gas – is being expanded, thus contributing to the fight against environmental degradation.
Research Paper (in French with a bilingual executive summary) on industrial waste recycling in market economies.
Plusieurs intellectuels et militants écologistes soutiennent que la recherche du profit aurait de tout temps incité les industriels à rejeter leurs résidus dans la nature plutôt qu'à chercher à les transformer en produits utiles et à réduire par le fait même la pollution résultant de leurs opérations. Dans ce contexte, seule une réglementation gouvernementale toujours plus contraignante permettrait d'amoindrir l'impact environnemental de l'activité économique.
Economic Note on industrial waste recycling in market economies.
Most authors still believe that the search for increased profitability has traditionally been incompatible with this goal because it favours a short-term perspective in which manufacturers tend to lower their costs by dumping polluting emissions into nature. This view, however, is based on a historically inaccurate assessment. Not only are higher profits and a cleaner environment compatible, but much historical evidence suggests that industrial recycling is a long-practised, productive and, indeed, essential element of the market system.
Economic Note (in French) on the causes of the housing crisis in Quebec and solutions to solve it
A number of university researchers and pressure groups have suggested that the housing crisis affecting Quebec’s main metropolitan areas is caused by greater poverty among the population, reduced budgets for construction of social housing, or the inability of private business to adapt to new lifestyles in Quebec. The most recent data show us, however, that these explanations fail to stand up.
Research Paper (in French with a bilingual executive summary) on the preservation of the environment in a market economy
We often hear statements to the effect that growth in market economies has caused irreparable harm to the planet. A closer look at official statistics, however, shows us not only that living standards and environmental standards are far higher in advanced countries than in underdeveloped economies, but also that considerable progress has been observed in the latter in the last several decades.
Research Paper (in French with a bilingual executive summary) on the causes of the housing crisis in Quebec and solutions to solve it
If we analyze the housing crisis that has plagued Quebec since 2001 through the lenses of economic science, it can be attributed to a number of government policies that have distorted the proper workings of the province's housing market. Among other factors, rent control has discouraged the maintenance of existing units and the building of new ones. Quebec's housing regulations also throw numerous roadblocks in the way of tenant selection and the eviction of the worst tenants, which makes investment in housing less attractive.