Transition Brockville celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017

Transition Brockville / 26 March 2017

In March 2007, Brockville residents called a meeting of anyone interested in fighting climate change at the local level.

The Brockville Climate Action Group (BCAG), as it was called then, arose from that first well-attended meeting. The next month MP Gord Brown unveiled the group’s new website, and Mayor David Henderson congratulated the group’s initiative and hoped the City could use the group “as a resource in our efforts to do what we can for our environment.”

BCAG’s mission was to help identify personal and community-wide steps to both reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the climate changes and resource depletion that were already unavoidable.

Within a few months of its formation, the group began offering free public monthly presentations, in partnership with the Brockville Public Library, where they are held to this day. Expert speakers have enlightened the public on everything from renewable energy to green building, from degrowth to cooperative enterprises, from living closer to nature to nurturing our personal inner transitions to be more in tune with the needs of our changing world. Sometimes we screened timely documentaries. Other times we gathered for a potluck supper and open discussion.

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The ongoing collapse of the world’s aquifers

National Observer / Matt Simon / 21 January 2021

As California’s economy skyrocketed during the 20th century, its land headed in the opposite direction. A booming agricultural industry in the state’s San Joaquin Valley, combined with punishing droughts, led to the over-extraction of water from aquifers. Like huge, empty water bottles, the aquifers crumpled, a phenomenon geologists call subsidence. By 1970, the land had sunk as much as 28 feet in the valley, with less-than-ideal consequences for the humans and infrastructure above the aquifers.

The San Joaquin Valley was geologically primed for collapse, but its plight is not unique. All over the world — from the Netherlands to Indonesia to Mexico City — geology is conspiring with climate change to sink the ground under humanity’s feet. More punishing droughts mean the increased draining of aquifers, and rising seas make sinking land all the more vulnerable to flooding. According to a recent study published in the journal Science, in the next two decades, 1.6 billion people could be affected by subsidence, with potential loses in the trillions of dollars.

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New climate data hub ClimateWest

National Observer / Carl Meyer / 20 January 2021

Canada’s three Prairie provinces are particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis, and now their governments are helping make climate data more accessible, according to the head of a new non-profit.

Jane Hilderman is executive director of ClimateWest, an organization that launched Tuesday aiming to make data on climate change accessible to municipal planners, land use planners, and other institutional-level groups in the Prairies.

Hilderman said all three provinces helped with the startup, as well as the federal government and other organizations.

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Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 19 January 2021

Batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to charge as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles.

Electric vehicles are a vital part of action to tackle the climate crisis but running out of charge during a journey is a worry for drivers. The new lithium-ion batteries were developed by the Israeli company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China on standard production lines.

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EV shopping

Clean Energy Canada / 18 January 2021

With more EV models coming onto the market, there is more choice than ever. To help narrow down your electric options, Plug ‘n Drive has produced this useful new tool that allows you to tailor the search to suit your individual commuting needs by comparing range, price, cost, and more.

The Carbon Skyscraper

Climate Central / Benjamin Strauss / 13 January 2021

Speed kills.

That’s why firing bullets from a gun is more dangerous than tossing them by hand. Why skydivers use parachutes. Why roads have speed limits. And why it’s critical to understand how quickly human activity will drive the climate to change, compared to past rates. Will we cause gradual shifts that civilization and life on Earth can adapt to—or are we igniting a wildfire that can’t be outrun?

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Top scientists warn of a ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’

The Guardian / Phoebe Weston / 13 January 2021

The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood.

“The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,” they write in a report in Frontiers in Conservation Science which references more than 150 studies detailing the world’s major environmental challenges.

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The Transition Framework

Transition Towns are in the forefront of those preparing for the changes ahead. Transitioners understand that the climate-changed future is hugely unpredictable and unstable. They feel keenly the dilemma of our daily life dependence on a dominant economic system that is threatening that very life with its insistence on unending material consumption and use of fossil fuels.

— Transition Town Peterborough
TB Projects

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