Newsletter 109, 17 November 2015

Canada is at a crossroads. The solutions to the climate crisis exist, solutions that:
  • Create low carbon jobs
  • Respect Indigenous rights
  • Stop tar sands expansion
  • And create a clean, renewable energy economy, for everyone.

A 100% clean, renewable economy by 2050 is not only possible, it is NECESSARY. It's a vision for a healthy, diverse economy that leads to a safer, more sustainable, and more just future.

The CLIMATE MOVEMENT is growing. From New York to Quebec City to Toronto. But we must keep moving. This fall, we have a historic opportunity to be HEARD by our new government in their first month in power, on the eve of their first international meeting in Paris. On the eve of the Paris Climate Summit, let's show our new government that a 100% clean economy is 100% possible.

JOIN US IN THE 100% POSSIBLE MARCH - November 29, Ottawa



Next up: Queen's U professor to discuss impact of climate change on our biosphere

Remember those frozen pipes in downtown Brockville last winter? That extended deep freeze we saw in eastern Ontario might suggest there's been little global warming.

Our region was actually one of the few that didn't experience abnormal heat in that period. Globally, 2014 saw the third warmest atmospheric temperatures on record. According to NASA, the 20 warmest years have occurred since 1981, and all 10 of the warmest years have occurred in the past 12 years.

Changes in the climate system have been molding the Earth for billions of years, but human activities through the recent past have resulted in an unprecedented increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) with serious and relatively rapid consequences on our climate systems.

The scientific principles behind these impacts of GHG were first identified by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius way back in 1896, and have been well understood by the scientific community since the 1950's. Increasing GHGs are having knock-on effects on biodiversity, human health and the availability of natural resources. Climate change has been warming our lakes, acidifying our oceans, increasing desertification, reducing glaciers and increasing sea levels.

In advance of the international climate talks being held in Paris at the end of this month, Transition Brockville has invited bioclimatologist Dr. Adrien Djomo of the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen's University to discuss the most recent advances in climate science and the impact of global warming on the environment.

In mitigating climate change, enhancing forest growth and minimizing deforestation will play a crucial role. During his presentation, Dr. Djomo will explain how forest ecosystems could be better monitored in the future so that they can effectively work in concert with other steps to mitigate the threats of climate change.

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

Upcoming Presentations

January 24: Agata Bedynski, Earthship Homes
February 28: TBA

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


Tiny Homes and the Ontario Building Code

Transition Brockville / 26 October 2015
Green Terra Homes discussed their 'tiny home' products at the TB/BPL presentation yesterday. During the talk, City of Brockville planner Andrew McGinnis pointed out that the City has no minimums regarding residence or room sizes, and that the Ontario Building Code applies. Facility planner Alan Epps atte...

TBSL shelves at Leeds County Books

Transition Brockville Sustainability Library

The TBSL is 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 procedures are available on our website.

Thanks to a generous grant this year from the Brockville and Area Community Foundation, Transition Brockville has recently acquired a 4' banner presenting our new logo and tagline. With this banner, our new 3-pane display board and updated logo, we expect to be more recognizable at the community events we participate in.

Steering Committee

  • The Transition Brockville Steering Committee normally meets at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of the month at Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street. The next SC meeting will be on Monday, December 14, 2015. Our SC meetings are open. If you'd like to participate in some broad-ranging discussions on resilience and sustainability, please consider attending.

  • 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


Brockville cycling network to be proposed

BCAC / 13 November 2015
Over the past year, members of the City's Cycling Advisory Committee (BCAC) have been drafting a long-term plan for a cycling network throughout the City of Brockville. BCAC surveys have shown there is a lot of latent demand for cycling: more of us would choose to ride if we felt safer on our routes. In the meantime, the Brock Trail Committee has been making real strides in building out and standardizing lengths of the Brock Trail.

At the City's FAO Committee meeting on December 2, the BCAC will be proposing an initial phase for the cycling network. This phase would include the creation of one bi-directional cycling lane along Laurier Blvd and the creation of two uni-directional cycling lanes along King St. West from Rivers Road to the city boundary. These new cycling routes would provide safer access to the Brock Trail for residents of the neighbourhoods they travel through, at a minimal cost to the City.

To learn more about this proposal, and to support the emergence of a cycling-friendly city, please consider attending the FAO committee meeting on Wednesday, December 2, 4:15 pm.

Brockville tops in Charitable Spirit

Credit Unions of Ontario / 06 October 2015
The Co-operative Communities Index is a province-wide initiative led by Credit Unions of Ontario ranking 30 Ontario communities on their commitment to co-operative values and community spirit. The City of Brockville was ranked as the leading community in the Charitable Spirit category. Charitable communities are healthy communities. To determine the helping spirit of the communi...

Scaling up Transition in Peterborough

Transition Network / 05 November 2015
Like many Transition and other changemaking initiatives around the world, Transition Town Peterborough (TTP) has been giving some serious thought to how it might scale up its impacts. Founded in 2007, but built on REconomy principles long before the term 'REconomy' was even used, entrepreneurship has a...

Housed in a 15,000 square foot warehouse in Ottawa, we exist to grow and promote small food manufacturers and start-ups. Our goal is to create a community helping local businesses thrive and for entrepreneurs to bring their passion to our community. The Ottawa Incubator Kitchen is one component of the Ottawa Food Hub - a non-profit, social enter...

E-K Rookie of the Year business operators

Leeds Grenville Economic Development / 20 October 2015
Madelyn Piehl, owner of Eternal Care Cremation, and David Leonard, of AireSun Global (Canada) Inc., are sharing 2015 Rookie Business of the Year awards. The new businesses were honoured by the Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley Council and the Economic Development Committee as being new and...


Seven ways climate change is getting personal in Ontario

The Tyee / Joshua Rapp Learn / 12 November 2015
Climate change is hitting home across Ontario, whether you love hiking, skating, swimming, or sipping a craft wine from the Niagara region's vineyards. It's affecting jobs, too, including in tourism, shipping and energy sectors. Here are seven ways climate change is getting personal in the province...

An Ontario Superior Court has upheld a provincial regulation to dramatically reduce the number of acres planted with corn and soybean seeds coated with a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which are toxic to bees. In a decision reached Oct. 23, the court rejected an attempt by the Grain Farmers of Ontario ...

It's time once again for OSEA's prestigious Powering Prosperity Awards! The awards will recognize excellence, innovation and best practices in the sustainable energy sector, shining the spotlight on champions whose ideas and actions are advancing Ontario's prosperity and our transition to a more sustainable energy economy....

Energy Savings Guide helps small business to reduce costs

Government of Ontario / Ministry of Energy / 23 October 2015
Today in Ottawa, Minister Chiarelli released Helping Small Businesses Save Energy, a guide on new Ontario programs and services that will help reduce costs for businesses. The plan will: Promote the use of local energy managers, which help small business owners find savings a...

Electrification of transport is key in climate change strategy

Yahoo Finance / Plug'n Drive / 26 October 2005
In response to Ontario's Climate Change Discussion Paper, released in February 2015, non-profit advocacy group Plug'n Drive published Electric Vehicles: Reducing Ontario's Greenhouse Gas Emissions, a comprehensive report that outlines five future electric vehicle (EV) adoption scenarios and their as...


Canadians are leaders in climate-safe electricity

National Observer / Barry Saxifrage / 02 November 2015
When it comes to the climate crisis, Canada is best known for failing to live up to its international promises. Overall, emissions are rising and the nation is way off course for meeting its 2020 pledge. But there is one bright spot. Canadians have quietly become world leaders in climate-...

Manitoba first to sign right to healthy environment declaration

Province of Manitoba / News Release / 16 October 2015
The Manitoba government will invest $400,000 over the next two years in the new Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg, Premier Greg Selinger announced today, adding that Manitoba also becomes the first Canadian province to sign the Blue Dot Declaration put forward by the David ...

The Fundy Biosphere Reserve is introducing local climate change education to New Brunswick schools. "A lot of the content that is prepared for teachers comes from Brazilian rainforest or coral reefs in Australia. We have some truly spectacular examples, in a scary sort of way, right here in our own backyard," said M...


2015 likely to be the hottest year on record

VOX / Brad Plumer / 22 October 2015
It's now looking exceedingly likely that 2015 will go down as the hottest year on Earth since we first started keeping records. Through the first nine months, no other year has even come close: According to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration yesterday, September 201...

Greenhouse gas concentrations hit yet another record

World Meterological Organization / 09 November 2015
The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached yet another new record high in 2014, continuing a relentless rise which is fuelling climate change and will make the planet more dangerous and inhospitable for future generations. The World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Ga...

Climate change and mental health

Psychiatric Times / Chris Lang, MD / 26 October 2015
Climate change has emerged as a major factor in the escalating patterns of extreme weather conditions. The effects are severe and global, affecting world economies, triggering migrations and wars, and having profound effects on mental and physical health. The consequences are not shared equall...

The fatal blindness of unrealistic expectations

Peak Prosperity / Adam Taggart / 28 October 2015
America does not have the wealth to meet the entitlements it has promised. Nor can it sustainably meet its operating costs. Why is that? Because we, as a society, have very much indeed lived beyond our means. By building up such a tremendous amount of debt through our profligacy that a small ri...

Finding hope within the doom and gloom of climate change

Toronto Star / Tyler Hamilton / 28 October 2015
It's been a decade since Australian scientist and author Tim Flannery released his award-winning book The Weather Makers, which detailed the science behind climate change and its disturbing consequences. His new book, Atmosphere of Hope, focuses less on all the doom and gloom and more on the prog...

The vast majority - 85 percent - of tampons, cotton and sanitary products tested in a new Argentinian study contained glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, ruled a likely carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, 62 percent of the samples tested positive for AMPA, glypho...


Riding your bike through the winter

Green Action Centre / 10 February 2014
With the snow on the ground you may be thinking that riding a bike is done for this year. Or maybe you are already planning to keep riding but are still not sure of the best way to deal with the elements or maintaining your bike. Riding your bike in the cold and snow can be challenging, but if you plan and dress for it, you can successfully ride through the winter. Here ar...

Grab 'n' Go: Homemade convenience foods

Mother Earth News / Shelley Stonebrook / October/November 2015
Perhaps since the era of the TV dinner, "convenience" has reigned king in food marketers' appeals to consumers. From the overwhelming variety of store-bought snack options to instant meals in boxes and bags, food is always at the ready, and its preparation is largely outsourced. Even homesteaders and advocates of eating nourishing, local foods may have difficulty avoiding processed, store-bought options when the goin' gets busy. But all of this so-called convenience comes at a cost. Additives, stabilizers, preservatives, artificial coloring and trans fats – along with sugar-packed, sodium-stuffed, and refined-carb-lo...

Scientists: Be lazy, don't rake leaves

Newser / Kate Seamons / 20 November 2014
Your honey-do list just got one item shorter, and you can tell your spouse he or she can't argue it - because scientists say so. Washington state's KING picks up some fresh advice offered by the National Wildlife Federation in a blog post titled "What to do With Fallen Leaves" (summary: not much). Leave y...

Keeping heat in and near your body in a cool residence / Claire Schosser / 29 October 2015
In the first post in this series, I focused on clothing that will help to keep you warm in a minimally-heated residence like ours. We typically heat our home to 60F / 16C from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., 63F / 17C from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and 50F / 10C overnight. The method of clothing I discussed was base...

Why urban trees solve so many of our problems

Sierra Club / Catherine Schuknecht / 22 September 2015
Trees in urban spaces suppress noise, beautify monochromatic pavement, and reduce wind speeds. If offensive city noises do traverse the leafy canopy outside your window, you'll be less stressed about it. In 1984, healthcare design researcher Roger Ulrich conducted a study that revealed ...

The benefits of localism / Steve Dubb, Michael Shuman / 20 October 2015
SD: You've done a lot of consulting studies on local procurement. Just how much of an economic difference does local procurement make? MS: What these studies do - and I've authored about 20 of them - is look at what would happen to a community, city, or region if the presen...

Joining forces for more sustainable communities

Mother Earth News / K.C. Compton / October/November 2015
The alienation and affluenza so prevalent in our society can sometimes seem overwhelming. Happily, we're aware of some amazing alternatives. As MOTHER's readers dig in and put their homesteading skills into practice, they realize that the work of self-reliance often goes better in comm...

Platform coops can beat Death Stars like Uber and AirBnB / Neal Gorenflo / 06 November 2015
Uber's big bet is global monopoly or bust. They've raised over $8 billion in venture capital, are on track to do over $10 billion in revenue this year, and have over one million drivers who are destroying the taxi industry in over 300 cities worldwide. They've done all this in just over fiv...

Bullfrog Power / 29 September 2015
Burnbrae Farms president Margaret Hudson chats with us about eggs, the environment and dinosaurs!

Orca Footprints are nonfiction books for ages 8 to 12 that encourage ecological literacy and global solutions to ongoing environmental issues. With topics ranging from sustainable energy, to clean water, to waste reduction, these engaging and accessible titles encourage young activists to take small steps toward big changes. ...

It all started with neighbors meeting to save money and share information around energy, water, food and more. It has grown into shared projects, shared tools and deepened friendships.

TEDxOU / Jason Roberts / 21 February 2012
Opposite to the 'top down' concept of urban design is Better Block, founded in Dallas' Oak Cliff by Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard. The Better Block project is a demonstration tool that temporarily re-visions an area to show the potential to create a walkable, vibrant, neighborhood center. The idea ...

Union of Concerned Scientists / 12 November 2015
Everyone knows electric cars are cleaner than gasoline vehicles - but just how much cleaner? This video explores the global warming emissions of EVs on a lifecycle basis, from the manufacturing of their batteries to their ultimate disposal or reuse.

Peak Moment TV / 21 October 2015
When Dave Pollard started his blog "How to Save the World" over a decade ago, he believed he might actually play a role in changing the world. After studying the three major systems of civilization - energy & resources, ecology, and economy - he finds all three unsustainable and out of control. Rather tha... / 14 November 2015
Local governments are faced with a tsunami of Sharing Economy activities. This roadmap helps local governments across North America strategically engage to foster more sustainable cities. It’s also useful to audiences including city staff, local politicians, sustainability practitioners and Sharing Economy innovators, Sharing Economy critics and supporters...


100% Possible March for Climate Solutions and Justice

100% Possible Coalition
WHEN: Sunday, November 29, 1:00 pm
WHERE: Ottawa City Hall, Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa

Join us for a family-friendly march to celebrate climate solutions and justice as we urge our new government to take bolder action on climate change.

Organized by a growing alliance of national and Québécois environmental groups, community organizations, unions, First Nations, faith groups, and other communities. We are united by a vision that Canada can be a leader on climate change, by making the world better instead of being part of the problem.

Learn more about the march - and book your seat on the Brockville bus - at

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.