Local Resilience and COVID-19

Transition Brockville / 23 March 2020

Transition Brockville's work supporting local, community resilience extends to ensuring the health and wellness of our community. While we will not be holding our regular monthly programs, we are hoping to use our virtual tools – this newsletter, our website and Facebook group – to explore how we can build social resilience under COVID-19, and what this means for community resilience in the future.

To this end, we hope you enjoy Chris Stesky's reflections after she listened to "Uncharted Territory," a conversation between the Post Carbon Institute's Asher Miller and Nate Hagens.

Each month in our newsletter we will highlight some issue, local or otherwise, arising out of the response to the global pandemic.

We would also like to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the possibilities in front of us as we respond, and adapt, to life in the time of COVID-19? Please send us an e-mail or comment on the post.

Remember – social distancing is not social isolation! We are in this together!


TRANSITION BROCKVILLE

  • Dear Fellow Transitioners

    I would like to encourage all of you to listen to this powerful and empowering interview on the impact of the coronavirus on society's future that Asher Miller, of the Post Carbon Institute, had with Nate Hagens, a fellow of the PCI, on March 16, 2020:

    Uncharted Territory: The economic, energy and societal consequences of the pandemic

    I believe that if you listen to these 41 minutes, you will come away with an understanding of why we, as Transitioners, need to be explaining to family and friends – from a suitable social distance – why the novel coronavirus is a just-in-time wake-up call for global society.

    Nate Hagens used to work on Wall Street with asset management and investment firms, but turned away from that world and studied ecological economics. He now teaches about the relationship of energy to our debt-based, consumption-driven society, and what will happen when it's no longer possible for the economy to grow.

    We are in uncharted territory, he says. It was a novel coronavirus that brought us here in a way that has already profoundly changed how our society is functioning. As COVID-19 has now made utterly clear: we are all in this together. Whether we learn some lessons while we are here will affect how the next decade unfolds.

    Hagens has a way with colourful metaphors. He pictures our global society as a superorganism that is currently checked into the hospital for a virus. Will the organism listen to its doctors (scientists) and use the illness as the impetus to consciously reduce its consumption?

    If we all go back to business as usual when the virus is finally tamed, we will have missed a rare opportunity to begin to reset society on a different path, one that no longer uses monetary gain as a measure of prosperity; that reduces social inequities; that uses the earth's resources for the greater good.

    In the next weeks and probably months of social distancing and constrained purchasing, as we spend time with our families, as we telephone and write to friends and relatives, as we talk over the balcony or the garden fence with the neighbour next door, let us try to imagine with them a better world.

    So give Hagens and Miller a listen. I think you'll be very glad you did. And let us know what you think about their ideas.

    Chris Stesky
    23 March 2020

  • Your feedback is always welcome

    ... through this online form, or email us at info@transitionbrockville.com.

REGIONAL

ONTARIO

  • New climate action funding announced for Science North
    Environment and Climate Change Canada / 21 February 2020
    This funding will allow Science North to engage Indigenous students and youth across Northern Ontario on climate change. Approximately 2,500 students will participate in hands-on school programs in First Nation communities and over 400 students in Thunder Bay and North Bay will attend Climate Connections events. These activities, such as the Climate Connections event taking place today at the Thunder Bay Science Festival, will increase students' understanding of climate change science and …

CANADA

  • Telecom networks dealing with ‘unprecedented’ pressure
    CBC News / Thomas Daigle / 20 March 2020
    Bell spokesperson Nathan Gibson said home internet usage is up to 60 per cent higher than usual during the day and 20 per cent higher at night. Widespread outages have not been reported, but University of Toronto computer science professor Yashar Ganjali warned “significant changes in typical traffic might lead to unforeseen situations that might lead to temporary disruptions in some services.” The three main service providers said they’re all increasing their ability to deal …
  • A 26-week climate emergency transition program for Canada
    Below2C / Guy Dauncey / 11 March 2020
    In this post we imagine a world where my country Canada recognizes we're in a full-blown climate emergency, one that requires unprecedented war-time-like measures. The reader is asked to assume that the Canadian government is acting on this emergency by launching a 26-week climate transition program consisting of a climate action announcement every Monday for 26 consecutive weeks. This post features the first 8 weeks of the 26-week climate transition program. Subsequent posts will feature …
  • Wetlands, forests save millions in climate adaptation costs
    Globe & Mail / Michael Tutton / 01 March 2020
    As Canadian communities brace for rising risks of spring flooding related to climate change, a non-profit group has published findings suggesting preserving wetlands and forests can be key to reducing adaptation costs. The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative released its second set of results recently on how forests, creeks, wetlands, ponds and other natural features help cities avoid costly infrastructure projects. The approach has been applied to the New Brunswick communities …

THE BIG PICTURE

  • Coronavirus is our future
    TEDx Talks / 11 March 2020
    Global health expert Alanna Shaikh talks about the current status of the 2019 nCov coronavirus outbreak and what this can teach us about the epidemics yet to come. Alanna Shaikh is a global health consultant and executive coach who specializes in individual, organizational and systemic resilience.
  • Credit crunch could make 2008 look like ‘child’s play’
    The Guardian / Martin Farrer / 20 March 2020
    A worldwide credit crunch triggered by the coronavirus will set in motion a wave of corporate bankruptcies that will make the global financial crisis look like "child's play", investors have warned. With the world's most advanced economies all entering a shutdown that could last months, companies that have gorged on cheap money for the past decade face going out of business thanks to a huge spike in borrowing costs on international money markets. The sudden loss of revenue faced by airlines, …
  • Diana B-K on the flawed thinking that got us to climate crisis
    The Tyee / Andrew Nikiforuk / 25 February 2020
    It is bright and frozen beyond the walls of Diana Beresford-Kroeger's cozy home this winter's day in the farm country of southeastern Ontario. We are sipping tea and discussing best-laid plans gone up in flames. In early November, a California radio station in Marin County invited the world-renowned botanist to participate in a podcast about her new book To Speak for the Trees. The book, already in its fourth printing, has much to say about climate change and the healing role of forests. But …

STUFF YOU CAN DO

  • Think the world is ending? Grab a shovel, not a shopping cart
    The Guardian / Adam Liaw / 15 March 2020
    My late grandmother lived through poverty, wars and military occupation – if you had asked her how to prepare for hard times, she'd grab a spade and start digging a vegetable garden. If things really get bad, the garden growers will be better prepared for the future than the bunker stockers. If you planted the likes of spinach, Asian greens, snow peas or cabbages this weekend you'd be knee deep in homegrown fresh produce within a month or two, and it could last you all through winter. …
  • Staying sane in the time of coronavirus
    Post Carbon Institute / 18 March 2020
    PCI Executive Director Asher Miller speaks with licensed psychotherapist Leslie Davenport on how to care for the mental and emotional well-being of ourselves and loved ones as we navigate social isolation and anxiety in the face of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19: Limit spread of fear by changing online behaviour
    CBC News / Jeff Yates / 14 March 2020
    Public health authorities worldwide have asked people to change their habits in order to slow the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. They implore citizens to wash their hands more frequently, to avoid large gatherings and to put themselves in voluntary quarantine if they feel flu-like symptoms. But as health authorities attempt to calm the public, coronavirus mis- and disinformation is spreading through social media. Disinformation about the coronavirus not only generates fear and panic, but …
  • 50 simple ways to make your life greener
    The Guardian / various / 29 February 2020, The Guardian / various / 29 February 2020
    Expert tips on how to be kinder to the planet – from cooking and cleaning to fashion and finance Clean up your kitchen All green on the home front Let the garden grow Reboot your wardrobe Learn to mend Give the bathroom a makeover Save to save the planet…
  • Don’t buy new, fix the old: The repair business is booming
    CBC News / Dianne Buckner / 03 March 2020
    The Repair Café holds monthly gatherings, where not only small appliances and other household goods get fixed, but also clothing that needs patches or mending. When the Repair Café started seven years ago in Canada, there was only one chapter, in Calgary. Now Cheng says there are 47 similar Café organizations in cities across the country providing the same type of services — free. More are coming; Cheng says she’s been getting calls from community groups who want help to set up their own, …
  • Planning your community food forest
    Mother Earth News / Catherine Bukowski, John Munsell / January 2019
    Our experience studying and leading community food forests taught us that starting with the basics and seeking to understand fundamental management phases leads to effective planning. This is true whether the food forest is an independent project or part of a larger community initiative. Thinking about phases helps leaders identify and plan for when, where, and how to direct precious resources instead of trying to do everything at once. The Community Food Forest Handbook provides a general …
UPCOMING EVENTS
WITH COVID-19 POLICIES CONSTANTLY BEING UPDATED, PLEASE RECONFIRM ANY EVENTS OF INTEREST
 

Annual Sustainability Fair and EV Show

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Sunday, April 19, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Complex, 285 County Rd. 44, Kemptville

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/600316110573071/


Youth Climate Action Summit

Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network
WHEN: Monday, April 20 - Tuesday, April 21
WHERE: Aquatarium, 6 Broad Street, Brockville

The Summit will combine informative plenary sessions and workshops in a fun atmosphere for a powerful 2 day educational experience leading to changes in the lives, communities and schools of young people working towards a more sustainable future.

More info and registration: https://youthclimateactionsummit.ca/