Narrated by Emma Thompson, this documentary examines the rise of extreme energy extraction in Canada and its impact on the environment, economy and local communities. The fossil fuel industry’s intensive hunt for unconventional non-renewables, including Arctic drilling and shale gas fracking, also gives rise to a formidable array of scientists, authors and activists who envision a post-growth economic future premised on co-operation, social justice and ecological stewardship.
Healthy food is the mantra at Funny Duck Farm, just north of Brockville in Ontario. When Samantha Klinck and her husband, Aaron, bought their 96-acre property in 2001, it hadn’t been farmed since the 1970s. Samantha said its pastures were “almost visible” in spite of the trees, brush and rubble left behind by the previous owner.
Unable to afford expensive, heavy equipment, Samantha and Aaron relied on their foraging livestock – mostly pigs – to help clear the land. It’s a long process, but it fits their “all organic” CSA philosophy. Samantha’s sister, Jen, manages a second farm nearby. Shares include a bit of everything grown on the two farms: beef, pork, chicken, duck, lamb, eggs, honey, maple syrup, and veggies.
Transition Brockville’s Feb. 26 presentation featured Dr. Ellie Bennett, speaking on the International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, whose aims are to inspire creative, innovative, and effective ways for people and nature to thrive together in rural communities.
In future, that could mean Brockville and area residents will benefit from ICSRC initiatives ranging from hosting a freshwater institute, restoring wetlands and offering sustainability training for farmers, to sponsoring citizen science (such as a 24-hour bioblitz to do a species count in the area) and promoting setting up bee boxes in backyards.
Still in the formative stages, this not-for-profit centre (with charitable status) will be located in Downtown Brockville. It will be North America and Europe’s virtual and physical hub for achieving the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program’s strategic objectives, focusing on building sustainable rural communities. Project proponents for the ICSRC are the Canadian Biosphere Reserves, Queen’s University, and the Aquatarium.
Winner of two awards at Sundance and nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, Diane Bell’s ravishingly beautiful debut feature OBSELIDIA tells the story of lonely George, a man out of step with the 21st century who is writing an encyclopedia of obsolete things. On his quest to catalogue endangered occupations, he meets Sophie, a cinema projectionist at a silent movie theater, and together they journey to the desert of Death Valley to interview a maverick climate scientist who is predicting the eminent end of the world. Part road movie, part love story, OBSELIDIA is an intelligent, thought-provoking bittersweet meditation on loss and how we live with it – given that everything we love is going to end.
The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts.
A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.
The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”
Transition initiatives share many of the same goals as other groups, and works collaboratively with a variety of organizations in their local areas. Transition differs in that it focuses specifically on preparing communities for the changes associated with unprecedented resource depletion and transitioning away from fossil-fuel dependency.
Our own survival depends on the stability of the intricate and complex interactions of various ecosystems within the biosphere. Keep pulling threads out of that tapestry and sooner or later it all unravels.
— Comment by Fred Magyar, RobertScribbler.com (02 March 2015)