Newsletter 121, 16 January 2017

Newsletter comments and suggestions are welcome at editor@transitionbrockville.com

TB screens DiCaprio's global warming documentary

Transition Brockville / 13 January 2017

Screening and discussion of Leonardo DiCaprio's global warming documentary, Before the Flood, are the focus of our next presentation, on Sunday, January 22, 2-4 p.m., at the Brockville Public Library.

Released the month before the U.S. federal election, the film follows Hollywood star DiCaprio, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, as he visits places around the world where global warming is having devastating effects, or where industrial activity on a massive scale leads to very high CO2 emissions.

Passionate about fighting climate change since he met Al Gore in 2000, DiCaprio interviews numerous people who support the need to reduce fossil fuels, as well as those whose goal is to continue producing them. Along the way, the viewer may reach conclusions on how to begin turning awareness of the problem into means of solving it.

Discussion of positive actions we can take as individuals and as a community will follow the film. Refreshments will be served. This presentation is free and open to the public; a free will donation to Transition Brockville, however, is always welcome.


Seedy Saturday, March 11, 2017 – Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library are partnering again this year to offer a fun day for gardeners, featuring a seed swap and gardening displays. Mark the date on your calendar!

Transition Backgrounder:
Introducing the new Transition Universities Guide

Transition Network / Maria Cooper / 09 January 2017
I went to university in St Andrews, Scotland, where we had a Transition University of St Andrews. Transition started out for me as something I just did to survive – it was cheaper to grow food than buy it, cheaper to swap clothes and books than buy them, and being outside planting trees or me...


REGIONAL

Summer drought continues into the winter

Cat Tales / Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority / Winter/Spring 2017
The lack of rain was the lead story in the previous edition of Cat Tales and continues to create headlines – and headaches – for folks living within the CRCA jurisdiction. As of the writing of this article, in early December, officials with the Cataraqui Region Water...

Township mayor supports backyard animals

Recorder & Times / Wayne Lowrie / 12 December 2016
Mayor Joe Baptista wants residents to be allowed to keep such small farm animals as goats and chickens in the backyard of their homes in his Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. Baptista notes that the township is a rural one, yet an existing bylaw prohibits landowners on fewer tha...

On January 1, 2017, Ontario begins a cap and trade program as part of changes intended to lower levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the province. As part of the program, there will be costs related to the GHG emissions from natural gas used in homes and businesses. The government has indicated that it ...

ONTARIO

The cost of carbon pricing in Ontario and Alberta

Maclean's / Trevor Tombe, Nicholas Rivers / 04 January 2017
Claims that carbon pricing will lead to skyrocketing price increases throughout the economy are misplaced at best — and misleading at worst. On January 1, Ontario and Alberta adopted broad-based carbon pricing policies. Alberta opted for a carbon tax while Ontario chose a cap-and-t...

Timmins hosts Indigenous climate change summit

Timmins Press / Alan S Hale / 07 December 2016
The conference's keynote speaker, Seattle-based conservation biologist Jeff Wells, noted that not only is the conference the first of its kind for Timmins, but it may also be the only one where scientists and First Nations leaders meet to discuss climate change in Canada. "I think that this is ...

CANADA

2016 broke record for damage caused by natural disasters

Toronto Star / Peter Goffin / 09 January 2017
Canada's insurance industry is calling on all levels of government to improve climate-change preparedness, after a record-breaking year of damage caused by natural disasters. The Insurance Bureau of Canada says $4.9 billion in insurable damage was caused by natural disasters such as wildfires, floods and ice storms across the country in 2016. It's the most ever in a single year. Damage costs have increased steadily since the 1980s, says the IBC. They are expected to ke...

Young Vancouverites: AGW, pipelines a profound moral crisis

The Georgia Straight / Charlie Smith, Travis Lupick / 07 December 2016
Parker-George said that he's terrified by the prospect of more petroleum shipments because carbon-dioxide emissions are already at a dangerous tipping point. And he said that if these emissions keep increasing, this will wreak economic and social havoc as climate-change ind...

Lack of tiny home legislation prompts big fights

Globe and Mail / Sharon Crowther / 02 December 2016
The Tiny Home Alliance of Canada was formed in 2014 to meet the growing demand for information and resources among tiny-home owners and prospective tiny-home owners. Their mission statement is "research, education and effective change." And change could be imminent as amendments which ac...

THE BIG PICTURE

2017 - A sea of exponentials

Peak Prosperity / Chris Martenson / 31 December 2016
"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." ~ Al Bartlett. Perhaps the most vexing challenge remains how to more effectively communicate the various predicaments and problems we face. It's not having more numbers, or more dat...

World Economic Forum: Climate change is the world's biggest risk

Climate Central / Brian Kahn / 12 January 2017
The rise of the machines isn't the biggest threat to humanity. It's climate change, extreme weather and other environmental factors. The World Economic Forum surveyed 750 experts on what the most likely and impactful risks facing humanity are in 2017. In a report released Thursday, they ranked extreme weather as the most likely risk and the second-most impactfu...

During the Miocene of 14-16 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 levels, which had hovered around 400 parts per million for about 10 million years jumped higher due to volcanic activity. Global temperatures rose from about 2-3 C hotter than Holocene values to around 4 C hotter. Antarctic ice melted and seas w...

Robert Jackson, a co-author of the paper and professor in Earth system science at Stanford University, said methane can come from many different sources, including natural sources such as marshes and other wetlands, but about 60 percent comes from human activities, notably agriculture. A smaller portion of the huma...

From Oil Age to Soil Age

John Thackara / 21 November 2016
In 1971 a geologist called Earl Cook evaluated the amount of energy 'captured from the environment' in different economic systems. Cook discovered then that a modern city dweller needed about 230,000 kilocalories per day to keep body and soul together. This compared starkly to a hunter-gatherer, 10,000 years ...

It's final -- Corn ethanol is of no use

Forbes / James Conca / 20 April 2014
The summary in the new report also states, "Increasing bioenergy crop cultivation poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity" (WGIII). The report lists many potential negative risks of development, such as direct conflicts between land for fuels and land for food, other land-use changes, water scarcity...

STUFF YOU CAN DO

Sustainable activism: Managing hope and despair

resilience.org / Paul Hoggett, Rosemary Randall / 14 December 2016
Sustainable activism has what Gramsci called a 'pessimism of the intellect' which can avoid wishful thinking and face reality as squarely as possible. However it also retains an 'optimism of the will', an inner conviction that things can be different. By holding optimism and pessimism in tension, sustainable activism is better able to handle despair, and it has less need to resort to binary thinking as a way of engaging with reality. It can hold contradictions so that they don't become either/or polarities and can work both in and agai...

Alternative investment options in the cleantech space

Corporate Knights / Jason Visscher / 11 January 2017
Canadians who want to invest in environmental solutions and clean technologies (cleantech) – the sector of companies that minimizes the impacts of non-renewable resource use – have several options. Some of these are available to retail investors wary of choosing individual stoc...

10 ideas to save money as a homesteader

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Poindexter, Morning Chores / 14 December 2016
Homestead living is a unique lifestyle that many embrace. There is a great deal of work that goes into being frugal, though. Both you and your property must change to accommodate your lifestyle. As one who practices the self-sufficient, fulfilling way of life, I have a fe...

All about garden seeds

Mother Earth News / Cindy Conner / August 2016
The mission statement of Seed Libraries (New Society Publishers, 2014) by Cindy Conner is to introduce a movement that keeps seeds in the hands of the people while revitalizing public libraries and communities. Seed libraries preserve and protect the genetic diversity of a harvest by keeping the seed...

Farming the neighborhood

Mother Earth News / Kristi Quillen, K.C. Compton / December 2016/January 2017
Sarah, her husband, Jeremiah, and their four daughters turned their lawn into garden and began growing their own food as a solution to the family's health concerns and the cost of organic vegetables — and they achieved a lot at their 1/5-acre backyard homestead i...

Food Storage Directory

SaveTheFood.com
This directory is filled with specific info about your favorite foods. You'll learn how to store them, freeze them, and keep them at their best longer. You'll also find helpful tips about safety and ways to revive food. As you read, please keep a few things in mind. First up, the time frames are only estimates (If you can't...

The best batteries for your off-grid battery bank

Mother Earth News / Allan Sindelar / December 2016/January 2017
Renewable energy systems should be sized so that the total amount of daily charging energy from all sources — PV, wind, hydroelectric, or generator — exceeds a home's total average daily load. The role of the battery bank is to provide stored energy between charging periods ...

The myth about warming up your car on a cold day

Globe and Mail / Peter Cheney / 26 February 2016
Few processes are as poorly understood as the cold-weather start. Back in the days of carburetion, a car couldn't be driven until it was warmed up. Today, warming-up is a counterproductive exercise that wastes fuel, harms the environment and damages your car. Let's have a look at the science, ...

NEW IN MEDIA

  Arctic Report Card 2016

NOAA / 13 December 2016
Tracking recent environmental changes, with 12 essays prepared by an international team of 61 scientists from 11 different countries and an independent peer-review organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Arctic Council...

  Glyphosate: Unsafe on any plate

Peak Prosperity / Dave Murphy / 01 January 2017
Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, joins us this week to explain the finding of this new report on the world's most-used herbicide (more commonly known by its retail brand: Roundup). As happened in past decades with the alcohol and tobacco industries, there's compelling evi...

UPCOMING EVENTS

Nature's Garden: Native Plants from the Ground Up

Athens Garden Club
WHEN: Tuesday, January 17, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Fellowship Hall, Free Methodist Church, 58 Elgin St. N., Athens, ON

Don Ross, chief ecologist at the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, will give a talk on the topic of Nature's Garden: Native Plants from the Ground Up, with a particular emphasis on native shrubs you can plant to attract wildlife. Refreshments will be provided, but please bring your own mug.


Winter Environmental Conference

Save The River
WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 9:30 am
WHERE: 1000 Islands Harbour Hotel, Clayton, NY

This is a regionally significant event we have held every February for over a quarter of a century. This year's conference will be another great opportunity for coming together with other friends of the River to share information, discussion and fellowship as we hear from national and regional policymakers, scientists, opinion leaders and students about the important issues facing the River we all love and want to protect.

Program and registration details: http://blog.savetheriver.org/?p=9814


LGL Good Food in Schools Forum

The Table Community Food Centre, FoodCore LGL and the Two Rivers Food Hub
WHEN: Wednesday, February 22
WHERE: Gallipeau Centre, Smiths Falls, ON

Learn from others, share your progress and challenges in incorporating healthy foods and food literacy into everyday student life & curricula.

Keynote: Carely Shelck Carley is dedicated to bringing healthy wholesome and from-scratch foods to institutional settings as demonstrated in her work at St. Paul's University, the Parkdale Food Centre and her son's school where she is helping set up a garden and supporting teachers to introduce food literacy into their classrooms.

Additional speakers, workshops and panel discussions will cover topics such as: indoor and outdoor gardening, the provincial BrightBites! program, transforming cafeterias, farm-to school programs, healthy food fundraisers, and how to create school environments that foster positive body image/self-esteem, healthy eating and physical activity.

If you have developed a food literacy or healthy food program in a school and would like to share your experience - please let us know - we'd love to include you in the day's program. Something missing? Please propose a topic for a presentation, workshop or panel.


Brockville Seedy Saturday

Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library
WHEN: Saturday, March 11
WHERE: Memorial Centre, Brockville, ON

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