Newsletter 105, 20 July 2015

What's really warming the world?

Bloomberg Business / Eric Roston, Blacki Migliozzi / 24 June 2015
Skeptics of manmade climate change offer various natural causes to explain why the Earth has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. But can these account for the planet's rising temperature? [Our infographic shows] how much different factors, both natural and industrial, contribute to global warming, based on findings from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


Upcoming Presentations

August 22 and 23: Open House at permaculture-based MiKu Valley Farm, Mallorytown
September 27: Harvest Potluck Supper and Annual Review

This autumn: Managing your Woodlot in a Changing Climate; Update on Climate Science

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


TBSL now open

The Transition Brockville Sustainability Library is now open and operating seven days a week at Leeds County Books, 73 King Street West in Brockville. This collection of over 80 books offers 'big picture' analyses of the science behind climate change and resource depletion, thoughtful discussions on civilization, economics and ecology, and manuals for on-the-ground building of personal and community resilience. A complete catalogue and borrowing instructions are available on our website.

New TB branding and display board

With the launch of the Transition Brockville Sustainability Library and this issue of our newsletter, we are introducing our new look and branding. We thank Toronto-based graphic designer Hannah Carriere for her steady hand in guiding us through this process. We also thank the Brockville and Area Community Foundation for their funding of a display board which can flexibly present information specific to any event or function we use it at. The board was designed and constructed by Donna Larocque's Sign Shoppe in Sharbot Lake.

Steering Committee update

  • 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 August 10, 2015.

  • Members of the SC 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


Incredible Edible Plant Festival enjoys growth

Cornwall Seaway News / Adam Brazeau / 31 May 2015
New gardeners learned about growing fresh food, while children got a hands-on lesson in composting and cooking workshops. Hundreds flocked to the Justice Building in Cornwall to reap the benefits of the third annual Incredible Edible Plant Festival on Saturday, May 30. The event, headed by Transition Cornwall+, started as a small free plant giveaway with tips from local edible organic gardeners and has grown into a family-centered multi-activity festival with community planting, kidsí zon...


Limestone District School Board now encourages school gardens

Kingston Whig / Julia McKay / 09 June 2015
The Limestone District School Board has been working, in partnership with Loving Spoonful and a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to implement the Grow Project. "At Lord Strathcona, we're opening the seventh Grow Project garden," Mara Shaw, Loving Spoonful's executive director, said...


The future of energy in Ontario

OSEA / 28 June 2015
From a Centralized to a Decentralized, Integrated and 100% Sustainable Energy System. Ontario households, like most households in western jurisdictions, are connected to what can be classified as a centralized power system – connected to a grid that transmits power from large, state-funded power generation units, such as ...

FIT/microFIT annual price review

IESO / 17 July 2015
The IESO has commenced the annual price review to determine the FIT and microFIT pricing structure for 2016. The IESO is required to review the prices offered to generators on an annual basis to ensure they receive a reasonable return on investment under the FIT and microFIT Program...

Help plug Ontario into low-cost power from Quebec

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / Angela Bischoff / 24 June 2015
Ontario is on the cusp of a mega-billion dollar disaster. The government is steaming ahead with plans to rebuild 10 aging nuclear reactors despite the fact that everyone knows these projects will cost billions more than budgeted and that nuclear represents yesterday's technology. M...


Energy storage projects underway in Ontario

Beacon News / David Dodge, Duncan Kinney / 26 June 2015
There are not many entrepreneurs who can command a room like Elon Musk. When he stepped onto a stage in May to unveil the Powerwall, the audience oohed and ahhed and dutifully pre-ordered more than 38,000 of Tesla's new home battery systems. And while Tesla gets the headlines, other en...

Oxford County commits to 100% renewable energy by 2050

Oxford County / Media Release / 24 June 2015
A motion put forward by County Councillor Trevor Birtch (City of Woodstock) and passed unanimously by County Council will see Oxford County rely on 100% renewable energy by 2050. Oxford County is the first municipal government in Ontario to commit to a 100% renewable energy target. The motion means...

A call to action for Ontario's urban forests

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition / 09 June 2015
The Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO) has issued 'Ontario's Urban Forests: A Call to Action'. Supported by stakeholders across the province, the Call to Action identifies priority actions urgently needed to help protect and sustain Ontario's urban forests. Our urban area...

Link between obesity and neighbourhood walkability

Ottawa Citizen / 15 July 2015 / Andrew Duffy
A new study shows that people who live in neighbourhoods where they can walk to grocery stores, schools and shops are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who live in places where the car is king. Researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that people who...


Premiers to fast-track oil pipelines while cutting regulation

Globe and Mail / Adrian Morrow / 13 July 2015
Canada's premiers are poised to sign an agreement to fast-track new oil sands pipelines while watering down commitments to fight climate change. The Canadian Energy Strategy will be finalized and unveiled at a premiers' conference in St. John's beginning Wednesday. But The Globe and Mail ha...


Unprecedented Canadian wildfires send smoke pollution across U.S.

Climate Progress / Natasha Geiling / 07 July 2015
Fueled by unusually high temperatures, hundreds of wildfires are burning across Western Canada – and they're sending their smoke south across the United States border. Wildfire danger throughout Western Canada is "very high," according to the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (...

NWT stretched as Canada-wide firefighter supply dwindles / Ollie Williams / 29 June 2015
The Northwest Territories is prioritizing the fires it fights as Canada diverts firefighters to provinces with a more pressing need. Western Canada experienced more than 600 fires over the weekend, according to territorial authorities. Canadian provinces and territories pool their firefi...

BC drought: Yes, we need rain, but we also need snow

The Tyee / Pauline Holdsworth / 13 July 2015
The most recent snowpack and water supply bulletin from B.C.'s River Forecast Centre shows that province-wide snowpack levels on June 15 were only at five per cent of normal conditions for that time of the year. In many basins -- including the Lower Fraser, Okanagan, South Coast, Vancouver Island -- t...


How do federal parties compare on climate action?

Environmental Defense / 08 July 2015
In early June Environmental Defence published a comparison of the position of federal parties on climate action, specifically the issues that will be discussed at the Paris climate summit. The basis of the comparison is: The parties' post-2020 carbon pollution reduction target Each party's...

Meet EcoSuperior: Green Community of the Year

Green Communities Canada / 07 July 2015
Every year, Green Communities Canada recognizes a member organization that demonstrates innovation in programming, partnerships and marketing and successful local community transformation. This year, EcoSuperior, based in Thunder Bay, is the worthy recipient. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, EcoSupe...


The freakish year in broken climate records

Bloomberg Business / Tom Randall / 17 July 2015
The annual State of the Climate report is out, and it's ugly. Record heat, record sea levels, more hot days and fewer cool nights, surging cyclones, unprecedented pollution, and rapidly diminishing glaciers. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issues a report each year compiling the latest data gathered by 413 scientists from around the world. It's 288 pages, but we'll save y...

Record-breaking rainfall events increasing under global warming

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research / 08 July 2015
Heavy rainfall events setting ever new records have been increasing strikingly in the past thirty years. While before 1980, multi-decadal fluctuations in extreme rainfall events are explained by natural variability, a team of scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Resea...


Air travel and climate: A potential new feedback?

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution / 13 July 2015
Global air travel contributes around 3.5 percent of the greenhouse forcing driving anthropogenic climate change, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But what impact does a warming planet have on air travel and how might that, in turn, affect the rate of warming itself...

Dutch court says: Climate action is a human right

Common Dreams / Lauren McCauley / 24 June 2015
In a landmark ruling that many hope establishes a new global precedent for a state's obligation to its citizens in the face of the growing climate crisis, a Dutch court on Wednesday said that the government has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020. The decision came in re...

Washington judge delivers youth climate win

Common Dreams / Deirdre Fulton / 25 June 2015
Citing what she called the "historical lack of political will to respond adequately to the urgent and dire acceleration of global warming," a judge in Washington state handed a group of eight young petitioners a landmark win this week, ordering the Department of Ecology (ECY) to consider statewide re...

Greece's place in the Global Monopoly Game

Sustainability / Mike Nickerson / 03 July 2015
Remember the board game Monopoly? It is based on our economic system and offers insight into these historic times. Most players of the board game know that when one player begins to win, it is very seldom that any one else moves into the lead. Most people concede the game when a front-runner bec...


How to talk to a 5-year-old about climate change

Climate Progress / Ryan Koronowski / 13 July 2015
The grassroots organization Moms Clean Air Force hosted a "Play-In for Climate Action" last week, with parents from all over the country rallying in a park north of the U.S. Senate with their children. They played games, danced to music, heard speeches, and then marched to the front of the Ca...

Talking resilience
What is community resilience? How can you know if your community is resilient? Is there a relationship between resilience and justice? What resources have proven particularly useful in actually building resilience? These are just a few of the questions we're bringing to conversations with leaders from a wide variety of backgr...

Coping with heat in the garden

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 ...

Getting the most out of your summer vegetables

Quartz / Deena Shanker / 28 June 2015
Summer is officially upon us and that means it's time to start enjoying lots and lot of vegetables. Whether you're an enthusiastic farmers market shopper, a backyard vegetable grower, or, in the US, a member of a community supported agriculture ("CSA") program, sometimes you just end up with too many...

Introducing our Food Preservation headquarters!

Mother Earth News / 15 July 2015
The new MOTHER EARTH NEWS Food Preservation online hub stocks more than 45 years of reliable, comprehensive know-how on pressure canning, water bath canning, drying, fermenting, freezing, pickling, curing and root cellaring. We boil down the details on required equipment and which preservation method best suits w...

New ENERGY STAR score for Medical Offices

Natural Resources Canada / 16 July 2015
On August 3, 2015, NRCan will release a new Canadian 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for medical offices in Canada. This new score will provide powerful metrics specifically created for medical offices in Canada, including dental and psychiatric outpatient care facilities that will enable users to quickly understa...

Low-tech living as a 'demand-side' response

The Simplicity Collective / Samuel Alexander / 14 July 2015
Energy is often called the 'lifeblood' of civilisation, yet the overconsumption of fossil energy lies at the heart of two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: climate change and peak oil. While transitioning to renewable energy systems is an essential 'supply side'...


The transformative power of nature

Global Voices for Justice / 25 June 2011
GVFJ interviews Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle, Last Child in the Woods, The Web of Life, and other books. Louv shares a hopeful message for every area of life from more productive workplaces, to better classroom learning and healing our nature-starved spirits.

Seafood supply altered by climate change

University of British Columbia / 30 June 2015
The global supply of seafood is set to change substantially and many people will not be able to enjoy the same quantity and dishes in the future due to climate change and ocean acidification, according to UBC scientists.


Transition Brockville Steering Committee

Transition Brockville
WHEN: Monday, August 10, 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.

Downtown Brockville Sidewalk Sale

WHEN: Saturday, August 15
WHERE: King Street, Brockville

Many great specials - Local Talent - Children's Jumpers - Martial Arts Demos - And MUCH MORE!

Open House at MiKu Valley Farm

Transition Brockville
WHEN: Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: 130 Quabbin Hill Road, Mallorytown, ON

Bring the whole family and explore this permaculture farm. A guided tour begins at 1:00 pm on both days.

Vegetable Gardening Workshop: Harvesting/Preserving/Garden Cleanup

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

Last 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, September 14, 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.

Harvest Potluck Supper and Annual Review

Transition Brockville
WHEN: Monday, September 27, 4:00 pm

Green Energy Doors Open 2015

WHEN: Saturday, October 3
WHERE: Ontario-wide

Green Energy Doors Open is a province-wide, year-round communications campaign and showcase of individual, community, and commercial sustainable energy projects. It is organized and spearheaded by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. The initiative aims to showcase advancements in the sector, demonstrating that Ontario is already on the path to building a 100% clean, sustainable energy system. The event is free to participate in as a host and to attend. More info here.

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

Mini-icons by Yusuke Kamiyamane. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.