Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Biodiversity (147)

Loss of bees causes shortage of key food crops, study finds

The Guardian / Oliver Milman / 29 July 2020

A lack of bees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, a new US-based study has found, suggesting that declines in the pollinators may have serious ramifications for global food security.

Species of wild bees, such as bumblebees, are suffering from a loss of flowering habitat, the use of toxic pesticides and, increasingly, the climate crisis. Managed honeybees, meanwhile, are tended to by beekeepers, but have still been assailed by disease, leading to concerns that the three-quarters of the world’s food crops dependent upon pollinators could falter due to a lack of bees.

The new research appears to confirm some of these fears.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Collapse: a helpful guide for the perplexed

Small Farm Future / 27 July 2020

I won’t attempt anything but a cursory description of the literature analysing potential collapse, though I’d be interested to hear other people’s suggestions for worthy contributions to it. Inevitably, that literature varies from the learned to the loopy. One of the cornerstones of collapse literature in modern times has been the Limits to Growth report emerging from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and first published in 1972. Despite its academic pedigree, critics have long sought to position the report as more loopy than learned, but with increasing difficulty over the years as actual trends have pretty much tracked the ones modelled by the LTG authors (see this, for example, or this). Meanwhile, various new currents of thinking have emerged around energy, climate and economic futures that take forward the ‘business as usual is not an option’ package of LTG.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Lanark County moves forward with Climate Action Plan

Lanark County / Media Release / 27 July 2020

Since adopting its Climate Action Plan in January 2020, Lanark County has taken some decisive actions towards achieving goals for sustainability.

Protecting and enhancing the natural environment is a core strategy in the county’s 2005 Strategic Plan, and council established “climate and environment” as one of its top five priorities for this term.

“We need a holistic approach with a multitude of strategies in order to reach a level of sustainability in our county,” explains CAO Kurt Greaves. “Climate change and environmental degradation are defining challenges of our time.”

A work plan outline set goals for this year and includes strategies related to grant research and applications, homes, forests and farms, industry, waste diversion, transportation, municipal buildings, and public engagement. A number of actions are already underway.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

‘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 already shaping up as a “Trojan horse,” Environmental Defence Programs Director Keith Brooks told The Energy Mix.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Ontario reinstates the environmental protections it suspended

Cottage Life / Andrew Cruickshank / 22 June 2020

The Ontario government is revoking a regulation it passed on April 1 that suspended a wide range of environmental protection laws. Citing COVID-19 as the reason, the regulation allowed the government to bypass part two of the Environmental Bill of Rights.

Established in 1993, the EBR was created to allow Ontario residents to participate in environmental decision-making. Bypassing part two “was a green light for going ahead and making decisions on things without the public knowing and being able to comment,” says Rob Wright, a lawyer for Ecojustice, an environmental group.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Let it bee, Augusta declares

Recorder & Times / Wayne Lowrie / 17 June 2020

Augusta Township has proclaimed itself to be a bee-friendly community by agreeing to set aside vacant township properties to be used by beekeepers.

In a report to council, planner Myron Belej said the plan would have the dual benefits of helping the struggling bee population and beekeepers as well as assisting farmers in the pollination of their crops.

“It’s a sweet deal that will create a lot of buzz,” Belej told council this week.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

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