Transition Brockville

Newsletter 100, 16 February 2015

10 reasons you don't hear the Doomsday Clock ticking

MarketWatch / Paul B Farrell / 31 January 2015
Here's why we are already repeating the same fate as the Mayans in today's world of endless hypocrisy and denials about global warming, failing to prepare, oblivious of the coming storms. We are self-destructing our civilization and our planet with nonsense rationalizations like these:
  1. Climate costs must be balanced against jobs and the economy
  2. Technology will solve all our climate problems
  3. If you exhaust one resource, just switch to another that works as well
  4. We just need more genetically modified crops and better distribution to get food where needed
  5. Improvements in life span, health, and per capita wealth prove life on Earth has been getting better for decades
  6. Earlier dark predictions by fear-mongering environmentalists prove wrong
  7. The population crisis is solving itself
  8. Planet Earth can easily handle infinite population growth
  9. Climate-change concerns are the luxury of affluent First World citizens who have no business lecturing desperate Third World citizens
  10. If environmental problems get desperate, so what, it'll happen after I die, so I can't take them seriously today...


An alternative to economic growth

"We need to get the economy growing again," say our politicians, our corporate CEOs, and our economists.

But the global economy just isn't growing the way it used to, because it is running up against the problem of depleting resources on a finite planet. For the past 250 years, a vast store of fossil fuels has been exploited to fuel apparent unending growth. But it's time to question the myth of perpetual growth. It's time to examine the idea of degrowth.

The Transition Brockville presentation in January took a big-picture look at the dangers of our dependence on growth. In continuing that global look at our economic predicament, Transition has invited Bob Thomson, of Degrowth Canada, to describe the growing international degrowth movement.

Thomson, an organizer of the Ottawa-based non-profit and co-ordinator of an international degrowth conference in Montreal in 2012, will discuss the degrowth concept in his talk "Degrowth: Heresy in the Church of Growth," at the next Transition Brockville presentation.

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

Later Presentations

March 22: Neil Kudrinko, Kudrinko's Ltd: Greening Your Local Grocer
April 26: David Hahn, Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-op: Investing in Local Renewables

Also: Brockville Fire Chief Chris Dwyre has advised us that his department will be holding a public information session on Emergency Planning around the time of Emergency Preparedness Week, May 4 - 10.

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


Action Item indicators

We are introducing Action Item indicators with this issue of our newsletter. A click on the indicator will load a web page where you can take some action pertaining to that specific news item.

SC meetings open to all

The Transition Brockville Steering Committee meets at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of the month at Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street. Our SC meetings are open. If you'd like to participate in some broad-ranging discussions on resilience and sustainability, please consider attending. The next SC meeting will be on March 9, 2015.

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


Butler's Creek Community Garden

BCCG / 11 February 2015
Although all 23 of our plots have been assigned for the 2015 season, there is usually some churn amongst the plotholders, and we continue to add gardeners to our waiting list. We are also accepting names of gardeners interested in a new, second garden at a site in Brockville yet to be determined. We are especially keen to hear from a few people who might be interested in forming an initial Steering Committee to establish the new garden. Please contact

Gravel lot benefits Brockville, committee told

Recorder & Times / 03 February 2015
The property is a two-and-a-half-storey dwelling, but the owners want to rezone it from residential to mixed-use downtown to allow for a commercial office for a real estate company. Their application also seeks an exemption from the requirement to pave the parking area. Wheeler said there is "a movement afoot" in other...

While many business owners are happy to tout the benefits of their environmental sustainability initiatives, corporate leaders should also be cognizant of the economic benefits of greening their operations. Taking the 2007 energy consumption numbers from Kudrinko's and applying today's energy prices we se...

Playhouse solar panels feed the grid

Thousand Islands Playhouse / Media Release / 15 January 2015
On December 9, the new solar panels at the Thousand Islands Playhouse were turned on and began producing energy to feed the grid. This new installation is part of the "FIT program" with RemarkableENERGY. The project began development in November of 2009 and has now – after ins...

Energy East could spill 2.6 million litres per day undetected

Conservation Council of New Brunswick / Tracy Glynn / 30 January 2015
An independent study of TransCanada's Energy East oil pipeline indicates that leaks as large as 2.6 million litres per day could go undetected. The study, commissioned by the MRC d'Autray- a municipal region in Quebec, states that the company's leak detection system cann...

Local food highlighted in Cornwall

Eastern Ontario AgriNews / Carolyn Thompson Goddard / January 2015
The Mindful Cookery in Cornwall hosted a "Mingle and Tingle Networking Event" sponsored by All Things Food / Bouffe 360 and the Eastern Ontario Food Network. The Dec. 7 event showcased local food producers and provided them with a networking opportunity to discuss issues facing the...

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change / Media Release / 12 February 2015
Ontario has released a climate change discussion paper and invites citizens, businesses and communities to share ideas about how to successfully fight climate change while fostering economic growth and keeping our businesses competitive. The government will enga...

NEB approves Enbridge's Line 9 reversal

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy, Jeff Lewis / 06 February 2015
The National Energy Board has given Enbridge Inc. the all-clear to open its reversed Line 9 pipeline, providing western oil producers with direct access to Quebec refineries for the first time in 17 years. The approval came as the oil sands industry and its governmental backers wo...

First Nations demand NEB halt Energy East review

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 05 February 2015
Ontario's First Nations leaders are demanding the National Energy Board halt its review of TransCanada Corp.'s Energy East project until they can be properly consulted. In a letter to Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, Ontario regional chief Stan Beardy said First Nations have "g...

Solar energy: A leap of faith

OSEA / Newsletter / February 2015
What do many faith communities have in common besides shared teachings and philosophies that speak of caring for the earth? Buildings of course, with rooftops - many of which are perfectly angled to receive the glorious light of the sun! In Ontario, there are around 7000 religious organizations and of these, ...

Storing energy in giant balloons under Lake Ontario

Financial Post / David Kennedy / 30 January 2015
Hydrostor founder Cameron Lewis was trying to design a small-scale pumped hydro station until he realized the project was not cost-effective. While investigating alternatives, Mr. Lewis had a breakthrough. "He said, 'Well, if I'm just lifting water in the air'," Mr. VanWalleghem said,...

New Great Lakes agreement boosts green infrastructure

Green Communities Canada / 19 January 2015
Here's some good news to start off 2015. The new Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health, signed last month, contains numerous references to green infrastructure, also known as low impact development. Green infrastructure is seen as part of the solution to Great L...


Newfoundland pulls out of CETA "free trade" negotiations

Council of Canadians / Media Release / 20 January 2015
The Council of Canadians continues to call for broad public consultations on CETA and lobby in Canada and Europe to stop the deal, which will unfairly restrict how local governments spend money by banning "buy local" policies, add hundreds of millions of dollars to the price of pharmaceu...

The Next Wave: Weathering the Coming Storm

Ontario Smart Growth Network / Lorna McCue / 08 December 2014
On November 28th, Canada Conserves released a challenge paper on the future of Canada entitled The Next Wave: Weathering the Coming Storm. It was written by Chris Winter, Project Director of Canada Conserves and a 30-year veteran of the environment and conservation movement in Canada....


Brazil drought: water rationing alone won't save Sao Paulo

The Guardian / Marussia Whately, Rebeca Lerer / 11 February 2015
It should be the rainy season. Instead Sao Paulo state is experiencing a third consecutive year with soaring temperatures and rainfall patterns well below historic records. The main water reservoirs are operating at their lowest capacity. The Cantareira reservoir system, which s...

Iceland is melting so fast, it's literally popping off the planet

Quartz / Gwynn Guilford / 30 January 2015
In Iceland, at least, global warming is the culprit, according to Richard Bennett, a UA associate professor of geosciences. He and his team figured this out by attaching GPS receivers to rocks all over Iceland, and then calculating how far the rocks traveled over time. "What we're observing is a c...

Lack of preparation currently leaves supply chains in Brazil, China, India and the United States more vulnerable to climate risks than those in Europe and Japan. However, suppliers in China and India deliver the greatest financial return on investment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and demons...

Climate change is altering the global heat engine / Sarah Zielinski / 29 January 2015
Climate scientists have been warning for a while that as the planet heats up, storms will become fewer but stronger. This trend has been seen in a variety of historical data tracking wind speed, rain and snow over the past century or so. Now a team of researchers has figured out why, and the ex...

Ocean warming is off the charts

SME Science / Mihai Andrei / 26 January 2015
What we are dealing with here is a matter of perception – only 2 percent of climate change goes into the atmosphere, so it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that climate change is not accelerating – or it's even slowing down. But in the meantime, oceans are taking the heat – literally...

Low oil and gas prices forevermore? Maybe not.

Peak Oil Barrel / Jeffrey J. Brown / 01 February 2015
The Supply Side: High Decline Rate in Existing Global Oil Production. The IEA puts the underlying gross decline rate in existing oil wells worldwide at about 9%/year. At a 9%/year gross decline rate, to just maintain existing oil production for 11 years, the global industry would have to pu...

Our renewable future

Post Carbon Institute / Richard Heinberg / 21 January 2015
Let's start with the claim that giving up coal, oil, and gas will hurl us back to the Stone Age. It's true that fossil fuels have offered extraordinary economic benefits. The cheap, concentrated, and portable energy stored in these remarkable substances opened the way, during the pas...

Forget peak oil; we've reached peak everything / Gwynne Dyer / 02 February 2015
Peak oil is so last year. Now we can worry about peak everything: peak food, peak soil, peak fertilizer, even peak bees. Let's start small. We depend on bees to pollinate plants that account for about one-third of the world's food supply, but since 2006 bee colonies in the United States have b...

William R. Catton Jr., 88, RIP

The Archdruid Report / John Michael Greer / 04 February 2015
Plenty of books in the 1970s and early 1980s applied the lessons of ecology to the future of industrial civilization and picked up at least part of the bad news that results. Overshoot was arguably the best of the lot, but it was pretty much guaranteed to land even deeper in the memory...


Prevent flooding on your property this winter

CRCA Cat Tales / Winter 2015
Most people are focused on ice and snow removal this time of year, but it is also important to consider how snow removal will affect winter flooding or leak risks on your property. Snow melt and rainfall, especially when the ground is frozen, can cause runoff to area watercourses and along urban roadways. Whether dur...

The importance of young children's relationship with nature

White Hutchinson / Randy White / 2004
Research provides convincing evidence of the more profound benefits of experiences in nature for children due to their greater plasticity and vulnerability (Wells & Evans 2003). The findings indicate that: Children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are better able to ...

Four ways to have an equitable, earth-loving, awesome wedding

Yes! Magazine / Linnea M. Paton / 13 February 2014
For us, a relatively young couple thinking about having children, the climate crisis was on the forefront of our minds. We were also concerned about the corrosive effect of a society that turns every experience into a transaction and tells us that you can shop your way to love and happiness with...

Wise pairings: Best flowers to plant with vegetables

Mother Earth News / Rosalind Creasy / February/March 2015
It turns out that flowers are an essential ingredient in establishing a healthy garden because they attract beneficial insects and birds, which control pests and pollinate crops. Most gardeners understand this on some level. They may even know that pollen and nectar are food for insects, ...

How to prepare your garden for spring planting

Mother Earth News / Barbara Pleasant / 14 January 2015
Taking time in spring to build fertility and loosen soil will set you up for a more productive year. First, a few weeks before you plan to plant, work in any cover crops and then blanket your garden bed with at least a half-inch layer of good compost – a full inch would be even better. The...

How to relieve stress and more through gardening

Mother Earth News / Chelsea Clark / 28 January 2015
You have probably known some gardeners like this – people who live long, healthy lives, spending their days outside happily digging in the dirt. But is gardening actually good for you, or is it just a coincidence? In one study, people with a garden scored better on measures of health and well...

Peak Prosperity / Chris Martenson, Arthur Berman / 07 February 2015
The amount of commercially-recoverable shale oil is much less than touted, returns much less net energy than the petroleum our economy was built around, and is extremely unprofitable to extract f...

Egg Studios / 07 January 2015
In 2014 the use of the K-Cup reached unparalleled levels. Output became so high that there was enough discarded K-Cups to circle the earth 10.5 times. The numbers continued to grow until the day of the invasion ... Know your facts: In 2013, Green Mountain Coffee produced enough coffee pods to wrap around...

Radio Ecoshock / Greg Moffitt, David Fridley / 14 January 2015
The take-home from green energy lovers and haters alike is simple: we can't have this crazy civilization running just on the sun and wind. When we stop milking the billion year-pile of concentrated solar, known as oil, g...

The Extraenvironmentalist / 22 December 2014
In Extraenvironmentalist #83 we publish a much belated podcast to wrap-up our two part series on the 2014 International Degrowth Conference where The Extraenvironmentalist tea...

Peak Prosperity / Chris Martenson, Gail Tverberg / 22 January 2015
What we need is cheap energy. We need cheap, liquid oil. When it's high-priced it really messes up the economy. We need oil to run our cars and to operate our trucks and such things, but it nee...


Kingston: Ontario Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit info session

Loving Spoonful
WHEN: Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 pm
WHERE: St. Luke's Anglican Church, 236 Nelson Street, Kingston

Learn about local implementation of the new Ontario Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit under the Local Food Act. Janice Link, former Canada Revenue Agency manager, and Mara Shaw, Loving Spoonful, will discuss how this works for you. We'll also discuss Loving Spoonful's gleaning program that makes it easier for you to share your surplus harvest with the community and receive the tax credit for your donations.

Questions? Contact Mara at 613-217-9404 or

Kemptville Winter Woodlot Conference

Eastern Ontario Model Forest
WHEN: Wednesday, February 25, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
WHERE: Municipality Of North Grenville, 285 County Rd 44, Kemptville

This year's keynote speaker is Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
  • Registration, coffee & exhibits open at 8:00-9:00 am.
  • Managing your Woodlot in a Changing Climate
  • Invasive Species – Are we losing the battle?
  • Woodlot Owners: Ontario's Biodiversity Bankers
  • Lyme Disease and Ticks
  • Wild Turkey Management
More info:

Prescott: Business, Government Services, and You

Grenville CFDC
WHEN: Thursday, February 26, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
WHERE: Prescott Town Hall, 360 Dibble Street West, 2nd Floor, Prescott

Presented by Canada Business Ontario with presentations from Launch Lab, EODF, Canada-Ontario Job Grant and FedDev Ontario. Contact or call 613-925-4275 ext. 27 to register.

Cornwall: Eco Farm Day - Healthy Land, Healthy People, Healthy Profits

Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa-St Lawrence-Outaouais Chapter
WHEN: Saturday, February 28, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
WHERE: Ramada Inn Cornwall, 805 Brookdale Avenue, Cornwall

A winter day full of food, friendship and inspiration – it's Eco Farm Day 2015 and it's a highlight of the season for organic (and organic-curious) farmers and gardeners in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. You'll start the day at the keynote presentation, Healthy Land, Healthy People, Healthy Profits: Holistic Management for Sustainable Agriculture, delivered by Tony McQuail and continue with interactive workshops, break for a feast of local foods, and have plenty of opportunity to visit with old friends and new, as well as investigate the products and services of the exhibitors and sponsors at our trade show.

The focus is on practical techniques and management skills that work in our area. Workshop topics include beekeeping, pork production from farrow to finish, open pollinated field corn, small-scale organic certification, root cellars, and more – all with an emphasis on sustainable organic stewardship of land, food and fibre.

Registration, including lunch, is $60 (before Feb 14) or $75 at the door, with a $10 discount for COG and Organic Meadows members. A sliding scale down to $25 is available for limited-income individuals.

More info:

Gananoque: Conversation About Food

Gananoque Community Food Access working group
WHEN: Wednesday, March 4, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
WHERE: Gananoque Intermediate & Secondary School, 175 William Street South, Gananoque

We are a small group of people who share an interest in our students' and clients' dignified access to healthy food and, in some cases, their skill level and access to the tools and equipment needed to grow, choose, prepare and store healthy and enjoyable food. We know there is local work currently going on such as the Salvation Army's Good Food Box Program and the existence of community gardens. We suspect there is more. We invite you to join us for a light meal and a Conversation About Food. We hope to:
  1. Learn about community food programs currently going on in Gananoque andsurrounding area
  2. Learn about your ideas to improve equitable access to healthy food for all our citizens, to make our area food secure
  3. Learn about your ideas to increase food skills and food literacy across our area
  4. Learn from you how we would define success in these efforts
  5. Recruit you to be a part of our working group!
A complimentary light meal, prepared by Chef Hill's hospitality students, will be served in the dining room at Gananoque Intermediate & Secondary School. RSVP to

Athens: Vegetable Gardening Workshop: Starting Seeds, and Early, Mid and Late Garden Plans

Athens Garden Club
WHEN: Saturday, March 7, 9:00 am - 12 noon
WHERE: Athens District High School, Athens

Second in a series of five workshops being presented by master gardener Jeremy Dutton. Jeremy is head gardener at the successful community garden in Perth, and an experienced market gardener. He is also an excellent workshop presenter – knowledgeable, humorous and well-organized. A useful information handout package is included. The five workshops are focusing on each stage of the vegetable gardener's year and the workshop dates are spaced to fit this sequence:

January: Location Planning and Catalog Reading
March: Starting Seeds, and Early, Mid and Late Garden Plans
April: Soil and Garden Preparation
May: Growing Techniques
September: Harvesting, Preserving, and Garden Cleanup

Cost: $15 per workshop

Registration: First, contact Jean at 613-924-1944, or, to reserve your spot. Then mail your payment to: Jean Brassington, Secretary, Athens Garden Club, Box 164, Athens, ON, K0E 1B0

Note: There will be NO REFUNDS after payment, but substitutions are acceptable. Simply pass your ticket/receipt to some one else who would like to attend.

Transition Brockville Steering Committee

Transition Brockville
WHEN: Monday, March 9, 7:00 pm
WHERE: 2nd Floor, Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street, Brockville

Sit in on a Steering Committee meeting for in-depth discussions on many aspects of local sustainability and resilience.

Kingston: GreenProfit Conference 2015

WHEN: Monday, March 30, 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
WHERE: Four Points by Sheraton, Kingston
  • Leading speakers and analysts from throughout the sustainable energy sector
  • A full program featuring six panel sessions and two keynote presentations
  • The presentation of the SWITCH Sustainable Energy Awards
  • Great opportunities to network and generate leads for your business
More info:

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.

Charles Darwin

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