Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Canada (113)

More heat, drought and longer fire season in Canada’s future

Montreal Gazette / Anna Junker / 18 August 2018

Heat and drought. A longer fire season with more frequent wildfires and larger areas burned. That’s what’s in store for Canada, especially the prairie provinces, in the coming years, experts say, a situation that is being directly attributed to climate change.

In Canada, 2.5-million hectares — equivalent to about half the size of Nova Scotia — burn every year from wildfires on average. The annual destruction has more than doubled since about the 1970s, where numbers were around one million hectares.

Current projections forecast even warmer, drier conditions across the country, creating the perfect catalyst for more wildfires in the future.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

10 handy facts about Canadian energy

DesmogCanada / James Wilt / 01 May 2018

Every day, we’re assailed with dozens of facts and figures about energy issues in Canada: how many jobs or royalties will come from a new pipeline, the annual growth rate of renewables, our per-person energy consumption.

But it’s often tricky to decipher truth from fiction.

That’s where the new 176-page encyclopedic report by veteran earth scientist and expert in coal and unconventional fuels David Hughes is meant to come in.

“Hopefully what it does is it provides the foundation of facts,” Hughes said in an interview with DeSmog Canada. “There’s a lot of rhetoric when it comes to energy. I wanted to make that quantitative so we actually had that bottom line of facts, rather than conjecture. I’m not trying to be prescriptive. I don’t have a magic answer. But I think we need to start with the facts.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Recent federal audit exposes Canadian climate failures

Huffington Post / David Suzuki / 09 April 2018

In Canada, despite hopeful rhetoric after the 2015 federal election and leading to the Paris climate summit, neither the federal nor provincial governments are doing enough to indicate they even understand the severity of the crisis.

Federal Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand and auditors general in nine provinces conducted an audit of climate change planning and emissions-reduction programs between November 2016 and March 2018. They concluded that “most governments in Canada were not on track to meet their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and were not ready for the impacts of a changing climate.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Breaking the gas habit

Corporate Knights / John Lorinc / 03 April 2018

According to federal government data, fully two-thirds of all the energy Canadians use to heat their homes is supplied by natural gas and propane. For climate activists and building owners who want to decarbonize Canada’s building stock, that figure is, well, chilling. While natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, this statistic alone offers a bracing reminder that Canada remains a long way from the day when our housing stock is no longer responsible for a formidable share of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet federal and provincial policymakers these days are actively promoting so-called “net zero energy” homes, which use enough renewable and passive energy to cancel out the consumption of non-renewable sources.

So the question is, how should we go about weaning ourselves of our dependence on natural gas for space and water heating?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Many Canadians are recycling wrong, and it’s costing us millions

CBC News / Emily Chung / 06 April 2018

Canadians are throwing too much garbage into their blue bins, sometimes out of laziness or ignorance, but sometimes with the best of intentions. And it’s costing recycling programs millions of dollars a year.

Even a few spoonfuls of peanut butter left in a jar can contaminate a tonne of paper and make it unmarketable — destined for the dump. Same for that glob of yogurt left in the bottom of the container.

“It’s shameful, it’s awful. In some instances almost one in three pounds of what goes in a blue box shouldn’t be there,” says Mark Badger, executive vice-president of Canada Fibers, which runs 12 plants that sort about 60 per cent of the curbside recycling collected in Ontario.

Contamination is the technical name for non-recyclable material or garbage in the recycling system, from leftover food in containers to non-recyclable plastic packaging to more obvious garbage such as clothing and propane tanks.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Vancouver targets straws, bags to cut down on plastic garbage

Globe and Mail / Mark Yuen / 04 April 2018

Plastic straws are among the items in the crosshairs as the City of Vancouver develops a strategy to cut down on plastic and Styrofoam waste by placing restrictions on single-use disposable cups, bags, takeout containers and utensils.

The city says it costs about $2.5 million per year to collect single-use items from public green spaces and waste bins, and its strategy contains proposals to reduce, reuse or recycle the offending items.

In its strategy, the city says plastic straws and stir sticks make up about three per cent of shoreline litter in Vancouver, while Canadians throw out about 57 million straws every day.

Some Vancouver businesses, including the city’s aquarium, have already phased out the items, while Victoria is set to ban straws in July, following the lead of Montreal, which abolished them in January.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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