Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA

Carbon Brief / Josh Gabbatiss, Simon Evans / 13 October 2020

The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.

That is according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The 464-page outlook, published today by the IEA, also outlines the “extraordinarily turbulent” impact of coronavirus and the “highly uncertain” future of global energy use over the next two decades.

Reflecting this uncertainty, this year’s version of the highly influential annual outlook offers four “pathways” to 2040, all of which see a major rise in renewables.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How to keep warm on a patio without heating the planet

CBC News / Emily Chung / 15 October 2020

Thanks to the risks the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to indoor dining and socializing, patio heaters have been flying off store shelves as the weather has become cooler.

But many of them burn fossil fuels to — essentially — heat the outdoors. The French energy think-tank Negawatt estimates that using five propane heaters to heat a roughly 800-square-foot patio from November to March will emit as much CO2 as a car circling the Earth three times.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Community hubs a vital asset in the face of climate change

NOW Magazine / 13 October 2020

There are eight officially-designated Hubs in Toronto – and many other community organizations that function as hubs, from Rexdale in the west to Scarborough in the east. Many hubs are located in neighbourhoods facing high rates of poverty and marginalization. Typically run by a local non-profit agency, community hubs offer services such as health care, newcomer support for immigrants, senior and youth programming, and employment assistance. These hubs offer valuable resources for seeding local, climate-related projects such as staff support and convening space (in-person or virtual) for residents to develop their ideas and initiatives.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 12 October 2020

One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re.

Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity.

More than half of global GDP – $42tn (£32tn) – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing.

Countries including Australia, Israel and South Africa rank near the top of Swiss Re’s index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services, with India, Spain and Belgium also highlighted. Countries with fragile ecosystems and large farming sectors, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are also flagged up.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Time to forage for wild food and gather seeds for saving

CBC News / Rhiannon Johnson / 12 October 2020

[Caleb Musgrave] said over the last three to four years he’s noticed an uptick in people foraging for their food, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic put fuel on the fire, people are in survival mode and thinking they need to prepare for the end days,” he said.

“Amongst Indigenous communities you were seeing this return to traditional food ideology that was basically trying to decolonize our diet.”

He pointed to establishments like Toronto’s Pow Wow Cafe and Ku-Kum Indigenous Kitchen that are bringing wild food in to serve restaurant patrons.

For Musgrave, having a more traditional diet based around wild food is important because much of his family is affected by diseases with dietary factors, like diabetes and heart problems.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

More than half Canadians grew their own food at home this year

National Post / Laura Brehaut / 7 October 2020

The spring rush on garden centres and seed sellers wasn’t a false alarm. COVID-19 has driven Canadians to get their hands in the dirt in a major way. Just over half (51 per cent) grow at least one type of fruit or vegetable, according to a new report from Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab (AAL) examining home food gardening in response to the pandemic. And of those, nearly one in five (17.4 per cent) started growing their own food for the first time during COVID-19.

“Pandemic gardening is definitely a thing,” says AAL research associate Lisa Mullins, laughing. “(Lockdown) led a lot of people to look at their physical surroundings and say, ‘OK. What can I do to add a little joy to my life — to broaden my interests?’”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
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