Jan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.


The Bay Area’s Affordable Housing Options: Band Aid or Panacea?

Whether you live in Oakland, the densely-packed neighborhoods of San Francisco or the comfortable ‘burbs of Lafayette, housing is expensive — and, for many, prohibitively so. We speak with three Bay Area housing experts to find out what cities are (and aren’t) doing to ensure affordable housing is a right for everyone, and how tech companies can step up to the plate to help in their communities.

ernst & young

Madoff Ponzi Scheme Judgments Slam ‘Gatekeepers’ Ernst &Young

The auditing firm Ernst & Young is the latest to feel the heat from the Madoff scandal. Last week the firm lost its case in a suit alleging that it had been negligent in its auditing of a feeder fund that helped contribute to Madoff’s scheme to defraud investors. Their liability is a stinging $200 m and tops Citco’s settlement earlier this year of $125m. Meanwhile, more money will be allocated to victims of the fraud, as prosecutions and suits gradually wind up and officials continue to search for more missing funds.

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Sea Level Rise: Who Should Take Responsibility in Silicon Valley?

Sea level rise is a global problem. In Silicon Valley, many businesses believe its a far away problem with distant answers. Bad news: It’s a closer threat than we thought, and for California’s Tech Titans, figuring out whose responsibility it is to lead the charge against an eroding coastline is only one part of the problem.


Just in Time for COP21:Climate Change Is Now Real, Thanks to Exxon

An old but powerful New York state law may have profound implications for Exxon, which is being investigated for misrepresenting its knowledge that its business decisions could cause climate change. And this time, prosecutors don’t have to prove intent. They only have to demonstrate that “common honesty” was not upheld in its business decisions. An email and a fairly exhaustive investigation by journalists and environmentalists have set the stage for a new kind of legal wrangling.


It’s Time to Rethink Restaurant Food Waste

A whopping 49 million pounds of food is wasted per day in full-service restaurants in the United States, according to a 2005 University of Arizona study that looked at what goes into our landfills from the restaurant sector. Another 85 million pounds, the study says, is dumped in fast-food restaurants. That’s prompted a consortium of federal, state, local and private organizations to look at ways that food waste can be cut back, and what can be done to ensure what can’t be served will not reach the landfill. We speak with the EPA to get a sense of how federal agencies are helping to restructure our view on food, and what’s on our plate.


Ford Turns to the Gecko to Solve Its Stickiest Recycling Problem

The automaker Ford Motor Co. is turning to biomimicry to solve a challenge that stands in the way of its recycling efforts. It’s looking to the tiny gecko, which has sticky pads and the ability to support as much as 390 pounds with its grip, to answer the question.


Exxon Could be Guilty of Big-Tobacco Racketeering

Tobacco is, ironically, bringing Exxon closer to an investigation. A former Department of Justice lawyer has alluded to a parallel between the racketeering investigations against cigarette companies in 2006, and the discovery that Exxon knew decades ago that climate change would be exacerbated by the company’s carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the Heartland Institute put out an op-ed charging that this is all a political maneuver being used by Bernie Sanders to win the presidency. Nothing, however, is said about the fact that Sanders is only one of the many calling for an investigation of Exxon.


Israeli Restaurant Encourages Arab Muslims and Jews to Share Bread

Israel has given us technological breakthroughs like the PillCam, MobilEye and the USB flash drive. But the latest news out of a small northern town near the Palestinian West Bank has garnered almost as much global attention: A shopkeeper with a talent for making great Israeli cuisine has found a way to bring common dialogue back to the table. He is offering deep discounts to any Arab and Jewish patrons who are willing to break bread together. And it isn’t just the consumers who are benefiting from the connection: His bottom line is as well.


Bill McKibben’s Brash One-Man-Stand Against Exxon and Climate Change

There are more than 160,000 gas stations in the U. S., more than three times the number of supermarkets. Yet when 350.org founder Bill McKibben set up his one-man protest outside an Exxon gas station in Vermont and forced it to close, he did more than get arrested. Months-old news about a simmering accusation of cover-up is once more back in the headlines and in front of lawmakers.


Why Food Waste is an Urgent Global Problem

It’s a never-ending cycle: An over-plentiful food production that exists to satiate our needs and preferences — and which, in its abundance, also feeds landfills instead of families in economic need … all the while creating increasing fuel for climate change. We speak with Mathy Stanislaus of the EPA to get the straight skinny on this burgeoning problem and what the U.S. government, businesses and consumers are doing to help break the cycle.


How Corporate Climate Change Talk Differs Online, in D.C.

It’s in vogue these days for a corporation to say it stands behind climate change action. It’s another thing however, say the authors of the new website, InfluenceMap, to find one that really does support steps that offer change. The website dug deep when it looked at 100 global corporations and their public (and not so public) stance on climate change. The results were quite revealing.


Jet Blue Greens Up JFK Airport with Organic Potato Farm

Call it JFK Airport’s farm-to-tray program. With any luck and a whole lot of tender loving care, Jet Blue passengers will be able to sample home-grown potatoes during their in-flight dinners and snacks — straight from the airport’s Terminal 5. It’s part of Jet Blue’s effort to spruce up the environment at the JFK, and give a little back to Mother Nature and local communities.