Newsletter 116, 20 June 2016

May was the 13th month in a row to break temperature records according to figures published this week that are the latest in 2016's string of incredible climate records which scientists have described as a bombshell and an emergency.

The series of smashed global records, particularly the extraordinary heat in February and March, has provoked a stunned reaction from climate scientists, who are warning that climate change has reached unprecedented levels and is no longer only a threat for the future.

Alongside the soaring temperatures, other records have tumbled around the world, from vanishing Arctic sea ice to a searing drought in India and the vast bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. The UK has experienced record flooding that has devastated communities across the country and scientists predict that the flash floods seen by parts of the country in recent days will increase in future ...


Next up: Community Hubs

A three-year experiment in multigenerational community building is underway at the newly-opened Brockville Community Hub, in the Bartholomew Street neighbourhood.

At our next public presentation, Kristina Hubert, the hub's executive director, and Mark Heffernan, community officer for Brockville Police Services, will describe the hub and what its goals are.

At heart, a community hub is a place where people working together can build a safer, healthier community, and Transition Brockville believes hubs like this one are an ideal way to build resilience as we learn to adapt to a lower energy future.

The Brockville Police Services (BPS) and over 30 community partners across a wide range of sectors are working together to provide this central access point for needed health and social services, along with cultural and recreational spaces to enrich community life.

The hub is located in a town home unit on Bartholomew Street that BPS is leasing rent-free from the United Counties. It offers a warm, welcoming environment for tenants to access services and to meet, plan and learn together.

Hubert and Heffernan will describe other hubs in Ontario, why the Bartholomew neighbourhood was chosen for Brockville's first hub, the progress of the project, the partners and donors who make it possible, planned programs at the hub, and plans for future hubs here.

WHEN: Sunday, June 26, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Upcoming Presentations

July 24: Lyndsay Price, City of Brockville: 'Talking Trash' workshop
August 28: Community Garden Celebration

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

Backgrounder: Transition and Working Groups

Members of the Transition movement tend to split up into working groups around specific projects. A common one is an "emergency preparedness" group, which devises things like phone trees and alternative heating sources for use in the event of disaster. "Yard share" working groups match would-be gardeners to landowners willing to lend a patch of fertile ground. "Heart and soul" or "inner transition" working groups stress psychological and spiritual transformation, drawing on the teachings of thinkers such as Buddhist deep ecologist Joanna Macy. "Reskilling" working groups offer trainings in all manner of practical pre-industrial skills, from cheesemaking to animal husbandry to knot-tying to knitting.

Steering Committee

  • From June to September, our Steering Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month - at 7:00 pm at Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 6. Our SC meetings are open and anyone may attend. (From October to May the SC meets on the first Monday of the month.)

  • 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


Survey: How age-friendly is Brockville?

Age Friendly Brockville
Your participation is critical for helping us understand the features of our community that facilitate or hinder successful aging. Being able to identifying what's most important to older adults in our community will help us to develop our future Age-Friendly Brockville Action Plan to benefit all citizens. The Age Frie...

Spirits high for Johnstown distillery

Recorder & Times / Nick Gardiner / 17 June 2016
"We have started production and have spirits ready to be bottled and sold and we are awaiting the final permits from the province which are expected in three weeks," said distillery co-owner Laura Bradley. Bradley was guest speaker for the annual general meeting of the Grenville Community Fu...

Reshaping the food environments in our hospital retail settings

Healthy Foods in Champlain Hospitals / Partner Newsletter / Spring 2016
Since the first seven hospitals signed the Healthy Foods Declaration in April 2014, the program has grown exponentially. All hospitals have lots to celebrate as they have made tremendous strides in providing great tasting and healthier food options. Here is just a sample of what we have been u...

We are seeking the public's input as part of a feasibility study on re-establishing agriculture and agri-food operations that would include offender employment initiatives at the former penitentiary farm locations of Collins Bay Institution and Joyceville Institution, located in the greater Kingston area.


Ontario releases new Climate Change Action Plan

Office of the Premier / 08 June 2016
Ontario is continuing to lead in the growth of the low-carbon economy with the release of the province's Climate Change Action Plan, which will provide people and businesses with tools and incentives to accelerate the use of clean technology that exists today. Through this plan, the province will continue to ...

Ontario passes new Waste-Free Ontario Act

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change / 01 June 2016
To help divert more waste from landfill, the province has passed the Waste-Free Ontario Act that will: encourage innovation in recycling processes and require producers to take full responsibility for their products and packaging lower recycling costs and give consumer...

The 2016 Create-a-Co-op Challenge is on!

Ontario Co-Operative Association / 17 June 2016
Youth: it's time to turn your entrepreneurial ambition into a co-op business pitch. You could win up to $1000. This Dragon's Den-style competition is brought to you in partnership with Gay Lea Foods Co-operative. To enter: Create a pitch video (approximately 2- 3 minutes max.) about y...


Greenhouse gas emissions: Transportation sector

Environment and Climate Change Canada / 14 April 2016
Changes in the mix of vehicle type used, such as the increasing preference of passenger vehicle owners to choose light trucks rather than more fuel-efficient passenger cars, played an important role in shaping the evolution of GHG emissions. Since 1990, the increase in the number of light trucks has been more than three times greater than the increase in the numbers of the overall fleet of passenger on-road vehicles...

'Energy superpower' status threatened as world shifts to RE

CBC News / Robson Fletcher / 30 May 2016
Canada's status as an "energy superpower" is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, according to a draft report from a federal government think-tank obtained by CBC News. "It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap rene...


Antarctic CO2 hits 400ppm for first time in 4 million years

The Guardian / Brian Kahn / 16 June 2016
We're officially living in a new world. Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, setting a new high year after year. There's a notable new entry to the record books. The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it. ...

According to a Science study published during 2014, lightning strikes are expected to increase by 50 percent in the United States alone due to the human-forced warming of our world. Europe, which sits between numerous unstable air masses — the Arctic Ocean air mass to the north, the Greenland air mass to the northwest, and the rapidly changing North Atlantic air mass — is likely to see ramping climate instabi...

France, Germany and Austria hit by fatal flash floods

The Guardian / Agence France-Presse / 02 June 2016
Bodies found of people trapped in houses, villages flooded and roads wrecked, with forecasters warning of more downpours and rising waters in coming days. At least four people have been killed in flash floods caused by heavy rain lashing France, Germany and Austria. The flooding cut roads, stranded people on rooftops and forced schools to close their doors. Weath...

Understanding glyphosate toxicity: An interview

Mother Earth News / Hannah Kincaid, Thierry Vrain / June/July 2016
Vrain: Recent scientific studies clearly show that glyphosate doesn't degrade easily in soil or in humans and animals. A German study suggests that glyphosate accumulates in all organs (liver, kidneys, intestines, heart, lungs, bones, and so on) of animals and people eating foo...

Organic farmers are not anti-science - that's genetic engineers

The Ecologist / Elizabeth Henderson / 24 May 2016
Those opposed to the mass release of GM crops and foods inadequately tested for health and ecological safety are routinely accused of being anti-science, writes Elizabeth Henderson. But it's the GM corporations and their academic allies that are suppressing scientific research, and organic farmer...

If children lose contact with nature they won't fight for it

The Guardian / George Monbiot / 19 November 2012
"One woe doth tread upon another's heel, So fast they follow". That radical green pressure group PriceWaterhouseCoopers warns that even if the present rate of global decarbonisation were to double, we would still be on course for 6C of warming by the end of the century. Confining the rise to 2C re...


How to lower your electricity bills and GHG emissions

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / Angela Bischoff / 13 June 2016
When you turn on your computer, lamp or TV do you think about the source of the electricity you are using? Its climate impact? Its cost? Most of us don't give a second thought to these concerns when we hit the "on" switch, but there are important decisions pending around all of...

Off-grid food preservation methods

Mother Earth News / Leda Meredith / June/July 2016
Before widespread refrigeration and electricity, people developed other food-preservation methods to slow down spoilage. Adopting some of these long-established ways to preserve food and relying less on modern ones will reduce your carbon footprint; increase your self-reliance; and cost less tha...

Solder, stitch, patch: Fix your life with Repair Matters

The Story of Stuff Project / Andrea Newell
Along with the wave of tool libraries that are popping up around the globe, repair cafés, repair popups, bike kitchens and so much more are coming to life and (yes, we'll say it) disrupting the make-take-waste cycle that defined the last century. Repair Matters was started by four women in Vancouv...

82 sustainable gardening tips

Mother Earth News / Shelley Stonebrook / October/November 2011
Most gardeners have sustainability on their minds. After all, growing your own food is a huge step toward leading a sustainable lifestyle. Organic, chemical-free methods are inherently more sustainable — for human health, wildlife, the soil and the water supply — than non-organic...


  The breakthrough in renewable energy

vpro international / 05 May 2016
Renewable energy is becoming cheaper than energy from fossil fuels. It means that progressively the choice for wind and solar energy is no longer an ethical one but an economic one. And this will speed up the transfer to renewable energy.

Life Off Grid is a two-year journey exploring the lives of Canadians in every province and territory who have made the choice to disconnect. Life Off Grid is a film and book about people who have chosen to build their lives around renewable energy, with beautiful, inspiring, and often challenging results.


Carbon Pricing Is Here: Is Your Business Ready?
Assessing Cap & Trade Costs, Risks, And Opportunities

SWITCH Kingston
WHEN: Wednesday, June 22, 12 noon - 2:00 pm
WHERE: Innovation Park, 945 Princess Street, Kingston

Join us for this timely workshop to find out how you can ensure your business is ready for Ontario's Cap and Trade legislation. Our two speakers will address Cap and Trade regulatory requirements, economic opportunities, compliance issues, and allocation/offset considerations.

Register now as spots are limited: Non-Members – $50.00 (CAD); Members – $40.00 (CAD)
More info and registration:

Lansdowne Textiles Festival

Lansdowne Association for Revitalization
WHEN: Saturday, June 25
WHERE: Lansdowne Community Building, 1 Jessie Street, Lansdowne

We will have weavers, spinners, quilter, rug hookers and many other fibre artists demonstrating their crafts. There will be vendors available as well so that you can bring home some of their products.

More info: Contact Liane Salmon at or 613-659-4708

Open House - Zero Carbon Build

EcoGen Build
WHEN: Saturday, June 25, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: 732 Heritage Drive, Merrickville

Special features of the house:

  • Ultra efficient, zero carbon-built to the Passive House standard
  • Uses up to 90% less energy than a traditional home
  • Extreme comfort and healthy, consistent air quality
  • Solar add-ons including space and water heater, off-grid and PV
  • Rainwater storage, greenhouse, electric car plug-in and more
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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