ONTARIO

  • 'Trojan horse' for rolling back environmental protection
    The Energy Mix / Mitchell Beer / 9 July 2020
    Recent announcements on transit-oriented development, affordable housing, air conditioning in long-term care homes, and even education policy are shaping up as a screen for the Ontario government's latest attempt to scale back environmental protections and clear the way for unrestrained, decidedly unsustainable development, critics say. The 188-page omnibus bill tabled July 8 amends 20 different pieces of legislation, "so it's going to take some time to unpack it," but the announcement is …

CANADA

  • So you think electric vehicles cost more?
    Toronto Star / Stephanie Wallcraft / 23 June 2020
    Longer-range capabilities and the new federal incentive program, iZEV, are combining to make battery electric vehicles a more appealing and attainable option than ever. But if you're looking for even more motivation to choose an EV, consider the lower total cost of ownership. EVs don't have oil to change or sparkplugs to replace, and that means fewer trips to the shop. According to current estimates, EV owners can expect to spend roughly a third less on maintenance over the life of their …
  • Time to retreat from living on the riskiest waterfront land?
    CBC News / Janet Davison / 18 July 2020
    Across Canada, flooding has become the most expensive natural disaster, costing $1 billion annually in damage to homes, property and infrastructure, according to the federal Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Insurers and many policy experts expect that number will go up. Sea levels are rising. A recent study by researchers at Environment and Climate Change Canada found that climate change has made rainfall more extreme and storms with extreme rainfall more frequent. While …

THE BIG PICTURE

  • We're dumb about exponential growth. That's proving lethal
    The Tyee / Andrew Nikiforuk / 16 July 2020
    About 300 years ago the human population went on an exponential ride thanks to the proliferation of fossil fuels, which allowed an increasing number of people to eat, drink and spend like kings. It took roughly 300 years for human population to double from 500 million to roughly one billion in 1804. It took 110 years to double to 1.8 billion. Then things went wild, taking only 60 years to hit 3.6 billion. And then just 45 years to hit 7.3 billion in 2017. The consumption patterns driven by …
  • Rock dust on fields could remove vast amounts of CO2
    The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 8 July 2020
    Spreading rock dust on farmland could suck billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air every year, according to the first detailed global analysis of the technique. The chemical reactions that degrade the rock particles lock the greenhouse gas into carbonates within months, and some scientists say this approach may be the best near-term way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The researchers are clear that cutting the fossil fuel burning that releases CO2 is the most important action …
  • Coronavirus and climate change: How to deal with converging crises
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists / Dawn Stover / 8 July 2020
    Like climate change, the pandemic seemed distant and unreal until it was already upon us. Now both urgently require a society-wide response. Scientists have offered clear recommendations about how to solve these problems. However, the coronavirus won't subside without broad social cooperation on behaviors such as physical distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing—an expanded version of the neighborly help that solved my electrical problem. Similarly, the climate won't heal without a new …
  • IEA summit on global green recovery from Covid-19 crisis
    The Guardian / Fiona Harvey / 29 June 2020
    Key to success will be that governments can sign up to green recovery plans even if – like the US – they are sceptical on the climate crisis, said Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA. "Even if governments do not take climate change as a key priority, they should still implement our sustainable recovery plan just to create jobs and to give economic growth. Renovating buildings, for instance, is a job machine." Birol fears a rerun of the recovery after the financial crisis of …

STUFF YOU CAN DO

  • Cheap, simple DIY water catchment and irrigation
    resilience.org / Kara Stiff / 8 July 2020
    Last year in foothills North Carolina, we had a hundred-year flood in June. Then we went three months without any rain at all. Some things produced well in spite of drought, but tomatoes really suffered and I hardly got any pumpkins. I was not able to keep things adequately watered by hand even before my catchment tank ran dry. I know that the carbon footprint of tap water is pretty small compared to, say, tropical vacations. But I still have a philosophical problem with paying to have water …
Transition Brockville reminds everyone of the need to stay safe, and to protect our loved ones and our community. Ontario has moved to Stage 3 recovery. Masks are still required in all enclosed public spaces and when maintaining physical distancing is a challenge. The virus is still highly infectious. With more places opening, our prevention measures are more important than ever to keep us all safe.