Along the Great Lakes, it’s time to prepare for extremes

New York Times / Peter Annin / 13 February 2020

The relentless high water is bound to bring more strife this year even as officials along the Great Lakes continue to promote climate adaptation strategies and resiliency. Armoring the shoreline is one form of adaptation. Property buyouts are another. History will show which strategy is most effective over time. What’s clear is that some people have built too close to the water’s edge. Their property was fine during low water, and they managed to hang on during the record high water of the 1980s, but today’s weather patterns have brought panic.

The devastation has been remarkably widespread, with properties sliding into the lakes from one end of the expansive watershed to the other. In this new era of extremes, property owners, taxpayers — and the officials they elect — will need to take a serious look at their lakefronts and decide whether armoring up is a wise investment, or a Sisyphean venture.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Managing Climate Change and Variability Risks in the Great Lakes Region

GLISA / 2016

GLISA supports the region, as it charts its future, facing multiple and simultaneous changes and uncertainties. The Great Lakes region represents a unique socio-ecological system. Bound by the Lakes that shape both its culture and natural resources, Great Lakes communities have experienced dramatic changes in the past five decades, including deep economic downturn, population shifts, and negative environmental impacts. While climate change impacts are projected to exacerbate some of these challenges, leaders in the region are increasingly committed to a sustainable future by leveraging opportunities to mitigate climate impacts and adaptively respond to them.

As a boundary organization, GLISA produces and integrates information from a wide array of scientific fields, helps develop collaborations among stakeholders and organizations with similar goals, and provides climate information to support decision makers throughout the eight Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario.

[ FULL REPORT ]

‘Overwhelming and terrifying’: the rise of climate anxiety

The Guardian / Matthew Taylor, Jessica Murray / 10 February 2020

The physical impact of the climate crisis is impossible to ignore, but experts are becoming increasingly concerned about another, less obvious consequence of the escalating emergency – the strain it is putting on people’s mental wellbeing, especially the young.

Psychologists warn that the impact can be debilitating for the growing number of people overwhelmed by the scientific reality of ecological breakdown and for those who have lived through traumatic climate events, often on the climate frontline in the global south.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Most households will get more than they pay from carbon tax

CTV News / 04 February 2020

A new analysis by Parliament’s budget watchdog has found that most households in provinces where the federal carbon tax applies will receive more money back in rebates than they will pay through the scheme — just not as much as projected last year.

“Under the federal government’s current rebate structure, most households will still receive more than what they pay in fuel charges,” parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux said Tuesday.

“However, once the provincial and federal sales taxes on carbon pricing are accounted for, these amounts will be lower on a net basis when compared with the analysis in our previous report.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

No disaster aid for new homes in flood plains

The Energy Mix / Mitchell Beer / 07 February 2020

Canadians building or buying new homes in areas at high risk for flooding will no longer have access to federal disaster relief under a new insurance plan set to take effect in the next three years, The Energy Mix has learned.

The new high-risk insurance system, now under development by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, will “replace government assistance and ensure that those who are at high risk pay for their own risk,” said Craig Stewart, vice-president, federal affairs at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, in an interview on the sidelines of Nature Canada’s Nature-Based Climate Solutions Summit in Ottawa.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Single-use plastic ban coming in 2021

CBC News / Mia Rabson / 30 January 2020

A national ban on many single-use plastics is on track for next year after a government report concluded Thursday that there is more than enough evidence proving plastic pollution is harmful, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

“We will be moving towards a ban on harmful single-use plastics and we will be doing that in 2021,” said Wilkinson.

The federal Liberals promised last June they’d seek to ban plastic versions of a number of products, such as straws, take-out containers and grocery bags. The ban would happen under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which requires a scientific assessment of the problem first.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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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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