Newsletter 092, 16 June 2014


Energy revolution needed to avert blackouts

The Guardian / Nafeez Ahmed / 06 June 2014
We need $48 trillion of new investment to keep the lights on – and it's far from clear that investing in increasingly expensive unconventional oil and gas is going to cut it, without serious impacts on the global economy.

Currently, already, the IEA report reveals that over 80% of oil company investment is going into making up for exhausted fields where production is in decline. The agency also calls to ramp up investments in renewables and increasing efficiency, along with regulatory reform to incentivise investments, as part of the package.

While the fossil fuel empire is crumbling, the renewable energy sector has received 60% of total investment in power plants from 2000 to 2012.

Those who keep banking on fossil fuels to solve our energy and economic woes should take stock – they ain't the answer. The time to ween well off was yesterday.


Next up: Social enterprises

In the face of the deepening global economic crunch, Transition Brockville has been looking into various alternative work arrangements, including home-based production, worker-owned cooperatives and buyer-owned cooperatives.

Making big profits is not always the key driver for a business. This is particularly true of the "social enterprise" business model, which looks beyond financial gain to the social and environmental benefits from operating a business. Transition Brockville has invited Shelley McCaffrey, case manager at Leeds-Grenville Mental Health (LGMH), to talk about social enterprises at our next public presentation.

McCaffrey has been given the go-ahead from LGMH to combine three separate projects the agency has been fostering into a sustainable social enterprise. "That includes an artists' studio, our garden project making raised garden beds from wooden pallets, and our bike repair service, which has already repaired 40 bikes," McCaffrey said. These projects give LGMH clients throughout the counties the opportunity to express their creativity and their desire to serve the wider community.

Her goal is to set up a social enterprise distinct from LGMH that gives the agency's clients the chance to engage with the general public and work together for a better, more inclusive community. She envisions a central location where the three current projects can operate and expand, and which could include other enterprises. The artists' studio could start offering workshops; the garden beds are just one of 30 ways wood from free pallets can be re-purposed; and the bike repair shop could start renting bikes, she said.

"I'm hoping this presentation will help Brockville and area residents to think outside the box for ways to create our own jobs in the community," she said.

WHEN: Sunday, June 22, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

July 26 (Saturday): Sean Watt, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority: Regional flood risks and adaptation
August 23 (Saturday): Brockville Veggie Garden Tour
In the works: Emergency preparedness; A discussion on GMO foods

Please let us know what you'd like to hear about, or to hear more about, through this online form.


Call for veggie garden sites

In line with our ongoing encouragement of food gardening and handling skills, TB is organizing a Brockville Veggie Garden Tour as its August presentation. We hope to offer a range of veggie garden types, from community gardens and institutional gardens (businesses, agencies, faith groups, etc.) to permaculture gardens, forest gardens, healing gardens, accessible gardens, raised bed gardens, hydroponic gardens, straw bale gardens, wall gardens and container gardens. If you have one of these within city limits, or know of one which might be available for visits through 6 hours on Saturday, August 23, please let us know at

Cascaded TB rain barrels

TB rain barrels soon available

Transition Brockville is delighted to announce that local egg producer Burnbrae Farms will soon be providing us with used, food-grade barrels for conversion by the TB team into rain barrels. Keep an eye on the sidebar of our website for rain barrel availability later this summer.

Leeds-Grenville Official Plan

Transition Brockville has been invited by the United Counties of Leeds-Grenville to participate as a stakeholder in the development of their first Official Plan. Soperton resident and TB steering committee member Brian Killins will be acting as our liaison on this project. TB was earlier invited by the City of Brockville to comment on its first Sustainability Plan.

Community outreach

Members of our Steering Committee are available to speak to groups throughout the community, whether it be a lunch-and-learn at your place of business, a presentation to your board of directors or group members, or an informal neighbourhood discussion. Contact us at

Our top 50 article tags


Group rides for seniors

Transition Brockville / 15 June 2014
Two group leaders from the Shepherd's Welcome Centre, Kay and Ken Carlson, have organized regular group bike rides for seniors through the Centre's summer hiatus period. Weather permitting, the rides depart from the Metro parking lot on King Street West at 8:00 am on Mondays, Wednesd...

LG launches new promotional videos and YouTube channel

United Counties of Leeds and Grenville / 21 May 2014
The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office is pleased to launch its four new promotional videos for the region. These videos are now featured in the Counties video gallery, see the links below to view. The video gallery features the newly released videos and an in...

Community Power Northumberland

OSEA / 20 May 2014
Solarize Energy L.P., a leading developer of clean energy projects, today announced that it has reached agreement on a development and financing partnership with Community Power Northumberland (CPN), a community co-operative. The agreement includes the design, construction, and finance and operation of three FIT2 projects rece...

Transition Cornwall+, mayor send healthy message

Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Todd Hambleton / 29 May 2014
For Penny Bateman, the symbolic planting of a small vegetable garden in front of the Justice Building in Cornwall on Thursday morning was perfect timing. A global study on obesity had just been released, and it indicated that nearly 30 percent of the world's population is overweight....

New Canadian students embrace food gardening

Evergreen / LeeAnne MacGregor / 16 May 2014
Recent immigrants from around the world, several of the students in Elska Malek's ELD class had come from refugee camps in Somalia, Nepal and South Sudan, and Elska recognized the need for her students to have opportunities to engage with each other, make new friends and overcome past traumas rel...

Brothers nearly ready to open brewery

Kingston Whig-Standard / Meghan Balogh / 23 May 2014
Both brothers are intent on keeping their brewery as hyper-local as they can, and toward that end will be growing their own barley and hops. "It dovetails really nicely with the farm," said Ivan. "We've been growing malting barley and hops here on the farm for a few years, just testing out ...


Green energy sector breathes easier

Globe and Mail / Richard Blackwell / 13 June 2014
Ontario's renewable energy sector has breathed a sigh of relief that a Liberal majority government has been elected in the province. The positive outlook is less a reflection of enthusiasm for Liberal policies, than satisfaction that the Progressive Conservatives did not win. The Tories had promised to dismantle many of the green energy policies that had supported the renewable industry...

Energy East: When the pipeline spills …

Council of Canadians / 12 June 2014
TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project would convert an up to 40-year-old natural gas pipeline to carry crude oil from Saskatchewan to Ontario, connecting it with new pipeline through Quebec and on to Saint John, New Brunswick. It would be the largest oil pipeline in North America, transporting 1.1 million barrels of oil every day. When it comes to pipelines, it is not a matter of if a pipeline spills, it is a matter of when, where and how much it spills...

Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin

Green Communities Canada / GCNews 842 / 26 May 2014
The Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin is a new biweekly newsletter for knowledge-sharing about green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management. It covers the latest developments in Ontario and beyond, including noteworthy policies and projects, research, resources and events. View the first...

Industry still wrestling over neonic pesticides

Eastern Ontario Agrinews / June 2014 – Vol. 38, No. 6
Neonicotinoid-treated seeds are going into Ontario farmland again this spring. While researchers may be building an increasingly strong case against ‘neonic’-coated seed as a chronic honeybee killer, there’s no consensus here yet on the adoption of a European-style ban. The Grain Farmers of Ontario rema...


Australia and Canada put business first

The Guardian / Daniel Hurst / 10 June 2014
The Australian and Canadian prime ministers have suggested that economic growth is more important than tackling climate change, playing down the prospects of strong co-ordinated global action. Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper indicated during a joint media conference in Ottawa that they felt no additio...

Meteorologists silenced on climate change

Climate Progress / Emily Atkin / 28 May 2014
A spokesperson for Canada's federal government has confirmed that meteorologists employed by the Stephen Harper administration are not allowed to speak publicly about climate change, saying the scientists are not qualified to weigh in on the issue. The government's communication policy does all...

No gas tax funds for climate change adaptation

Globe and Mail / Justin Giovannetti / 26 May 2014
While funding for expensive new infrastructure will be required over the next few decades, officials say Ottawa doesn't support even inexpensive, current planning efforts. The lack of financial aid is compounded by a lack of organization in the federal bureaucracy, according to deputy city mana...

Climate change is here / David Suzuki / 27 May 2014
It's disturbing that political leaders in Canada – a northern country already feeling impacts, with a long coastline particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels – ignore the issue in their drive to make Canada a petro-power. Our government prefers to spend taxpayers' money to support the fossil fuel ind...

Spiking energy costs cutting billions from Canadians' spending

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 06 June 2014
Canadians have seen their household energy bills climb by 5 per cent this year, an increase that will divert $4-billion from other spending if sustained over the year, a senior Bank of Nova Scotia economist said in a report Friday. Economist Adrienne Warren said the higher energy prices will crowd...

Meat prices soar in time for grilling season

Globe and Mail / Eric Atkins / 25 May 2014
[Halifax butcher Chris] de Waal, who has been in business for five years, says he has been able to limit his price increases to the point there is not a big difference between the price of the pasture-raised meat he sells and the supermarket. "The good news to all this is farmers are making money f...

Nationwide effort to weather-harden cities

University of Waterloo / Press Release / 04 June 2014
The 20 demonstration projects were selected from 75 submissions made by conservation authorities and non-governmental organizations from across the country. The projects, which will be carried out in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, are aimed at showcasing viable an...


April 2014 tied for Earth's warmest April on record

Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog / 20 May 2014
April 2014 tied with April 2010 as Earth's warmest April since records began in 1880, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) today, making April the first month since November 2013 to set a global monthly temperature record. NASA rated April 2014 as the 2nd warmest April on record; global ...

Physical limits to food security: Water and climate

The Automatic Earth / Nicole Foss / 21 May 2014
Our relentless human expansion is running up against hard, non-negotiable limits to food security, which is already threatened in so many places. Our current extractive methods amount to a draw down of natural capital, allowing us to feed (most of) ourselves today, but in highly wasteful ways which...

World Bank warns of food riots as prices rise

Natural News / Mike Adams / 30 May 2014
A new report issued by the World Bank warns that food prices are skyrocketing globally, with wheat up 18 percent and corn up 12 percent this quarter. Ukraine, one of the largest wheat exporters in the world, has suffered a 73 percent increase in domestic wheat costs. Argentina has seen wheat prices skyrock...

A price tag on carbon as a climate rescue plan

New York Times / Justin Gillis / 30 May 2014
Eighteen months into the venture, it is still too soon to tell how well it will work. But [California] has so far managed to avoid some of the mistakes that have plagued efforts in other parts of the world. Hundreds of industrial facilities have been brought under the plan, prompting those businesses ...

UK to 'run out of oil, gas and coal' in five years

The Independent / James Vincent / 16 May 2014
The UK is set to run out of its oil, coal, and gas supplies in a little over five years, a new report had claimed. The research from the Global Sustainability Institute has said that other European countries are facing similar shortages and that many nations will become entirely dependent on energ...

IEA says the party's over

Post Carbon Institute / Richard Heinberg / 05 June 2014
The International Energy Agency has just released a new special report called "World Energy Investment Outlook" that should send policy makers screaming and running for the exits–if they are willing to read between the lines and view the report in the context of current financial and ...

The inevitable demise of the fossil fuel empire

The Guardian / Nafeez Ahmed / 10 June 2014
Since 2000, the oil industry's investments have risen by 180% - a threefold increase - but this has translated into a global oil supply increase of just 14%. Two-thirds of this increase has been made-up by unconventional oil and gas. In other words, the primary driver of the cost explosion is the shift ...

The new Club of Rome report says that: The phase of mining by humans is a spectacular but very brief episode in the geological history of the planet… The limits to mineral extraction are not limits of quantity; they are limits of energy. Extracting minerals takes energy, and the more dispersed t...

Twenty (important) concepts I wasn't taught in business school

The Monkey Trap / Nate Hagens / 20 September 2013
Many of us intuitively recognize that we've constructed a ginormous Rube Goldberg machine which for a number of reasons may not continue to crank out goods and services for the next 30-40 years. We blame this and that demographic for our declining prospects – the Republicans, the environment...

If we can't change our economic system, our number's up

The Guardian / George Monbiot / 27 May 2014
Economic growth is an artefact of the use of fossil fuels. Before large amounts of coal were extracted, every upswing in industrial production would be met with a downswing in agricultural production, as the charcoal or horse power required by industry reduced the land available for growing food. Every...

Throughput and the Ecological Footprint

Mother Earth News / Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill / 19 May 2014
The word "economy" actually derives from two Greek words, oikos (household) and nomos (management). Economics is literally the management of the human household. The larger the household, the more difficult it is to analyze, but researchers have devised useful tools for tracking t...

Monsanto's Roundup found in 75% of air and rain samples

EcoWatch / John Deike / 27 February 2014
Roundup herbicide, Monsanto's flagship weed killer, was present in 75 percent of air and rainfall test samples, according to the study, which focused on Mississippi's highly fertile Delta agricultural region. GreenMedInfo reports new research, soon to be published by Environmental Toxicology and Ch...

'Trillions' of pieces of plastic may be trapped in Arctic ice

The Weather Network / Cheryl Santa Maria / 23 May 2014
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only 8% of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 in the U.S. actually made it to recycling plants. The other 92% was shuffled off to landfills or found its way into the water. Now, a new study has found plastic debris in the unlik...


Control, don't freak

NASA Global Climate Change / Laura Faye Tenenbaum / 13 May 2014
A few weeks ago, I began blogging about three action steps that I've come up with to help you connect with planet Earth and stay strong while facing the reality of climate change. You can read the first installment, which is about nourishing your relationship with nature every day...

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher on anger, love, and sacrifice

Yes! Magazine / Sarah van Gelder, Tim DeChristopher / 30 May 2014
van Gelder: What is it that enrages you? DeChristopher: I've met very few baby boomer liberals who understand what it means to be a young person facing the reality of climate change. It means that we're never going to have the opportunities that our parents' and our grand...

Steering children away from self-obsession

Globe and Mail / Adriana Barton / 30 May 2014
Drawing from nearly 600 academic sources on child development and moral psychology, [psychotherapist Graham Music, of London, England] argues that harried parenting and rampant materialism are making children meaner and more self-absorbed. Raised to prize consumer goods over people, children with low...

Depave Paradise creates vibrant and healthy communities by transforming unwanted asphalt into green space. Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground and creating heat sinks, warming up our cities. By removing pavement and replacing it with ...

Coping with heat in the garden: Drought-tolerant crops and more

Mother Earth News / Gary Paul Nabhan / June/July 2014
If we've learned anything as food growers in recent decades, it's that climate change has placed not just one but many kinds of stress on our gardens and farms. "Global warming" does not adequately describe the "new normal," given that many food sheds and farms have suffered from ...

Low-cost drip irrigation system saves time and money

Mother Earth News / George DeVault / August/September 2002
For an investment of a few hundred dollars, our low-cost drip irrigation system allows us to gross $15,300 per acre from our high-value organic vegetables and flowers, even in the driest years. That's as much as many farmers get in a good year from 200 acres of corn, 261 acres of soybean...

How to get the world back on its feet

On the Commons / Jay Walljasper
How to Encourage Others to Walk . Plan a walk with friends & family: Suggest a walk first and then maybe a meal or drink or movie or round of cards . Walk Every Wednesday: Around the country, people are organizing walks every Wednesday . Suggest a Walking Meeting: Energize that afternoon discussion by doing...

The best folding bikes

The Guardian / Martin Love / 08 June 2014
Whether you are a time-pressed train commuter or an urbanite short on living space, a folding bike offers a smart solution. But be warned: a little practice will stop you trapping your fingers and getting oil all over your clothes. Here are five of the best to get you going.


  Global oil market forecasting: Main approaches & key drivers

Columbia SIPA / Steve Kopits / 12 February 2014
The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a presentation and discussion with Steven Kopits, Managing Director, Douglas-Westwood, on the different approaches to global oil market forecasting. Mr. Kopits' remarks focused on both supply and demand-based methodologies, including how these models re...

  Hope on Earth?

EcoShock Radio / 04 June 2014
Population Bomb author and Stanford Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich and film-maker/activist Michael Charles Tobias on hope in the midst of danger.

  The Standup Economist on carbon taxes

TEDx The Evergreen State College / 16 April 2012
Stand-up comedian and economist Yoram Bauman: "Yes I really do have a Ph.D. in economics (Univ. of Washington, 2003)"

Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces. Do you dream of a low-maintenance perennial garden that is full to the brim of perennial vegetables that you don't have to keep replanting, but have only a small space? Do you want a garden that doesn't take much of your time and that needs little attention to control the pests and diseases tha...

  The Power of Potlucks

Peak Moment TV / 20 May 2014
Dave Pollard and Tree Bressen riff on the power of potlucks to bring people into the sharing economy. Some people may be uncomfortable at first, but it's a dynamite way to have fun and begin to forge a community – plus, all kinds of connections can flow from them.


TransCanada open house: Eastern Mainline Project - Brockville

WHEN: Monday, June 16, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Convention Centre, 7829 Kent Blvd., Brockville

You are invited to attend a TransCanada Open House for the proposed Eastern Mainline Project. TransCanada will be hosting a series of open houses along the proposed route in a location near you.

Project Overview: TransCanada is proposing to construct new natural gas pipeline facilities primarily along our existing pipeline corridor between the City of Markham and the community of Iroquois located in the Township of South Dundas. Route deviations away from the existing pipeline corridor are being considered in some locations due to: environmental features; adjacent land uses; construction constraints; and stakeholder feedback. The project is proposed to include up to approximately 370 kilometres of 36 inch diameter pipeline as well as new compressor units at five existing compressor stations located in the Municipality of Clarington, the Township of Alnwick Haldimand, the Township of Tyendinaga, the City of Kingston and the Township of Augusta.

REAL Potluck Dinner and Annual General Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, June 18, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Community Health Centre, 2 Gould Street, Smiths Falls

The Board of Directors of the Rideau Environmental Action League invites all members to our Potluck Dinner and Annual General Meeting. Bring a food to share! Beverages provided. Gather for dinner at 6:00 pm. AGM proceedings at 7:00 pm. Your membership must be paid up in order to vote at the AGM.

RSVP to Karen at 613-283-4604 or

Art in the City Studio Tour

WHEN: Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22
WHERE: Downtown Brockville

Stimulate your artistic senses at the 8th annual ART in the City Studio Tour being presented in the heart of Heritage Brockville this summer. Art lovers, tourists and cultural enthusiasts from far and wide are invited to partake in the stunning walking tour. This FREE tour takes place through the picturesque home and garden laden streets of downtown Brockville to various displays in art studios and at the Brockville Museum. The tour features hundreds of breathtaking works of art in a variety of media, technique, colour and form created by local artists who are driven by the awe inspiring ambiance of the 1000 Islands region.

More info:

Canadian Tire gardening seminar series

WHEN: Wednesdays, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
WHERE: Canadian Tire Brockville Garden Centre, Parkedale Avenue, Brockville

June 25 - Waterwise Gardens: Learn about the types and use of watering systems - about how and when to water, rate of application, pH and temperature of the water - and how to create and maintain gardens that require lesswater and still look amazing!

July 2 - Pond and Bog Gardens: Learn how to create and maintain pond and bog gardens of various sizes and types - about plant selection, supplies, materials and site selection - and about disease and pest prevention and remediation.

July 9 - Fall and Winter Gardens: Learn about fall cleanup, plant division and protection - how to stretch the gardening season and create winter interest - how to extend your vegetable garden season and harvest - and about disease and pest prevention.

Maria Breton, plant physiologist and certified Landscape Designer will be giving this series, and will remain available for Q&A until 5 pm. Cost: Free! Small donation requested to Brockville's Canadian Tire Jumpstart Chapter.

1000 Islands Wine and Food Festival

WHEN: Friday, June 27, 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm and Saturday, June 28, 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Country Club, King Street West, Brockville

Souvenir Wine Glass • Ontario's Fine Foods & Restaurants • Ontario and International Wineries, Breweries & Spirits • Wine, Beer and Cooking Demonstrations • Local Live Entertainment • Tasty Cheese Seminars.

More info:

Brockville Museum's children's summer programs

WHEN: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, from 10:00 am to noon
WHERE: Brockville Museum, 23 Henry Street, Brockville

From the Ground Up - July 8 to 10
Let's dig! Join us as we discover the many practical and valuable uses of plants in our history. Prepare to get dirty as you learn the gardening methods used by our ancestors. Dig, plant, and create with activities like Flower Tasting, Heritage Gardening, Edible Mud Pies, Natural Dyeing and many more!

Rivers, Roads and Rails - July 15 to 17
All aboard! Come learn about the development of the three major modes of transportation in our city: rivers, roads and rails. Explore the recreational, commercial and even criminal ways these modes of transportation were used in Brockville's past through fun activities, crafts and more!

Tea is the Key - August 5 to 7
Think you know how to throw a party? You've never been to a party until you've been to one hosted by the Victorians! Discover how the Victorians planned and hosted Garden Tea Parties, and help plan the event of the summer. Take charge and plan games, food and entertainment in preparation for hosting our own authentic Garden Tea Party.

From Scratch - August 12 to 14
Calling all food lovers! Spend three days with us and learn how to bake bread, make jam and churn butter all from scratch! Using local ingredients, discover the methods used by the pioneers. Tasty treats abound!

Ages 6 to 11. Members $30/Non-members $35.

For more information or to register, contact Emily Thurgood at or 613-342-4397. Registration forms available at the Brockville Museum, 5 Henry Street, Brockville

It is not the strongest of the species that survives... nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.


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