Newsletter 119, 17 October 2016

Regional green power projects at risk

Brockville Recorder & Times / Sabrina Bedford / 04 October 2016

New community-owned solar power projects slated for development in Leeds and Grenville are at risk of not getting off the ground due to a lack of community support, according to an energy co-op.

The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC) has been actively developing new projects in Leeds-Grenville, however, the company says renewable energy cooperatives must now prove new projects have community backing.

David Mazur-Goulet, a spokesperson for OREC, said meeting the 50-member threshold is necessary to apply for Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contracts with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) this fall ...


Next up: Kids are healthier when they play in nature

Lois Dewey, Healthy Communities Partnership Coordinator at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, says today's children are much less active than those of a generation or two ago. They spend a great deal of their time looking at electronic screens and don't get outside much. "But research now shows phenomenal benefits of going outside and being active in nature," Dewey says.

Children who spend time in nature are more likely to have healthier social behaviour, improved self-esteem, resilience, ability to learn and concentrate, as well as environmental awareness and stewardship ethics. Time in nature decreases stress and anxiety, depression, diabetes, hypertension and many other health problems.

At our next presentation, Dewey will discuss that research and the Healthy Communities Partnership's Nature 4 Life program, designed to encourage parents and grandparents to get kids out into the natural world, exploring it and developing a connection with nature that will stay with them all their lives.

Establishing that connection with nature is a key goal of the worldwide Transition movement. When people realize that humanity is intimately connected with nature – not somehow separate from it – they understand the value of working with and protecting the natural world, rather than opposing it.

Dewey will show a couple of short videos during her presentation. She'll bring handouts about the Nature 4 Life program, and she looks forward to answering questions from the audience. This presentation is free and open to the public. Refreshments are served following the talk.

WHEN: Sunday, October 23, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Upcoming Presentations

November 27: [ TBA ]

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

Transition Network is a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the Transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions. Ultimately it's about creating a healthy human culture, one that meets our needs for community, livelihoods and fun. We run events, conferences, trainings, blogs, webinars. We produce monthly newsletters, books, films, guides, tweets, and more, all with the intention of best supporting those around the world who are doing Transition ...

[ TB: Regionally, there are Transition initiatives based in Brockville, Gananoque, Kingston, Perth, Ottawa and Cornwall. ]

In this report, Savaria Expert-Conseils Inc. evaluates the impacts of a petroleum hydrocarbons spill from TransCanada's Energy East pipeline in the main watercourses of the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The proposed Energy East pipeline would pass through the south end of the City of Ottawa. It would cross 68 watercourses in the Missi...

Dangers posed to St. Lawrence River, mayors tell water summit

Montreal Gazette / Michelle Lalonde / 06 October 2016
Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume says he gets "the chills" when he recalls incidents that have threatened his city's drinking water supply, because they remind him of the vulnerability of Quebec's rivers and waterways and the terrible burden of responsibility on municipal leaders to ...

Counties conduct table-top emergency response exercise

Kemptville Advance / 29 September 2016
A table-top emergency exercise simulating widespread tornado damage and extreme weather striking the region has recently been completed by a majority of municipalities in Leeds and Grenville. More than 75 emergency response officials, including police, fire, health, Counties and municipal staff from Leed...

Area abbatoir set to open as a non-profit

Recorder & Times / Darcy Cheek / 12 October 2016
When Rideau Meats in Smiths Falls closed early in 2015 Barbara Schaefer felt she had to do something to try and keep local livestock producers from spending more of their hard-earned cash transporting cattle, swine and sheep to a dwindling number of available slaughterhouses. With a local f...

Brockville's first bike lanes

Brockville Active Mobility Matters / Alan Medcalf / 06 October 2016
Line painting on King St W and Cty Rd 2, along with new signs, clearly show Brockville's first bike lanes. Some stencil and line painting remains, yet the lanes are marked and in force. This segment is part of the Ontario Waterfront Trail, and the eastbound welcome to Brockvi...


Ontario scraps plans for $3.8B in renewable energy projects

Toronto Star / Rob Ferguson / 27 September 2016
In another measure to keep hydro bills in check, Ontario is scrapping plans to sign $3.8 billion in contracts for renewable energy like wind and solar, Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said Tuesday. The move — which the Progressive Conservatives have been calling for regularly — will keep $2....

Help develop Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan

Ministry of Energy / 13 October 2016
Ontario is seeking public input to help develop the province's next Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) to maintain a reliable supply of clean, affordable electricity. Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault visited Holy Cross Elementary School in Sudbury to launch consultations with a Grade 5 class of students, who r...

Applications now open for Great Lakes project funding

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change / 04 October 2016
Ontario is supporting the work of community groups across the province to protect the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that flow into them. Applications for the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund are now open to organizations working to protect, restore and enhance the Gr...

Ontario's colleges are playing a leading role in Canada's efforts to tackle climate change, says a new report released today. The report, Moving to Net Zero: Colleges Leading the Way, highlights the 24 colleges' achievements in everything from leading-edge research that promotes energy efficiency to the development of programs that prepare increasing numbers of graduates for careers in areas such as renewable energy and sustainable building constru...


Trudeau government 'dangerously misled' on benefits of pipelines

DesmogCanada / Carol Linnitt / 07 October 2016
Economist Robyn Allan has a penchant for details. The former president and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia also sees the benefits of informed decision-making, which is why Allan recently wrote a myth-busting letter to federal minister of natural resources, Jim Carr, on the issue of oil pipelines. The minister, Allan said, had been "dangerously misled" by senior ministerial staff about the economic ben...

Rising sea levels a threat to Metro Vancouver

CBC News / 29 September 2016
People call him "Dr. Doom," but Simon Fraser University earth sciences professor John Clague says the Lower Mainland needs to prepare for the effects of climate change in the region. Clague says sea levels are already rising, and unless action is taken now, the costs could be massive in the coming decades. He s...


Planet at its hottest in 115,000 years thanks to climate change

The Guardian / Oliver Milman / 04 October 2016
The global temperature has increased to a level not seen for 115,000 years, requiring daunting technological advances that will cost the coming generations hundreds of trillions of dollars, according to the scientist widely credited with bringing climate change to the public's attention. A new ...

Earth CO2 levels: Have we crossed a point of no return?

The Christian Science Monitor / Weston Williams / 28 September 2016
"The last time our planet saw 400 ppm carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was about 3.5 million years ago, and global climate was distinctly different than today," David Black, associate professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New Yor...

Pace of climate change too hot for crops

Climate News Network / Tim Radford / 05 October 2016
Climate change is happening faster than many species can adapt to - and climate is changing between 3,000 and 20,000 times faster than many grassland species can respond. Since the grass family includes wheat, corn, rice, sorghum, oats, rye, barley and many other plants that underwrite hu...

U.S. Southwest: Megadrought lasting decades is 99% certain

EcoWatch / Dan Zukowski / 06 October 2016
A study released in Science Advances Wednesday finds strong evidence for severe, long-term droughts afflicting the American Southwest, driven by climate change. A megadrought lasting decades is 99 percent certain to hit the region this century, said scientists from Cornell University, the Lamont-Doherty ...

Reservoirs are a major source of global greenhouse gases

Washington Post / Chris Mooney / 28 September 2016
Reservoirs are a classic instance of how major human alteration's to the Earth's landscape can have unexpected effects. Flooding large areas of Earth can set off new chemical processes as tiny microorganisms break down organic matter in the water, sometimes doing so in the absence of oxygen ...

12 extreme weather events of the summer of 2016

Insurance Journal / Seth Borenstein / 23 September 2016
The summer of 2016 has lurched from one extreme weather disaster to another at great cost in lives and damages. Here are just some of the worst and weirdest, according to insurance statistics and meteorologists: Flooding in China's Yangtze Basin from May through August killed at least...

Why the food movement is unstoppable

Independent Science News / Jonathan Latham / 20 September 2016
Not long ago, the New York Times asserted that the centre aisles of US supermarkets are being called "the morgue" because sales of junk food are crashing; meanwhile, an international consultant told Bloomberg magazine that "there's complete paranoia", at major food companie...


Brockville: Curbside collection of leaves

City of Brockville / 06 October 2016
Curbside collection of leaves will take place on your regular waste collection day during October 17 to October 21 and November 14 to October 18. Please note that plastic bags are not permitted for leaf collection. To ensure collection, residents must use paper bags or reusable containers only for their l...

How to get back on your bike in your golden years

Momentum Mag / Karen Jenkins / 12 May 2016
Whatever your age, grab your bicycle and ride! If you are 60 or older, and do not ride a bicycle, let me convince you to ride. Bicycle ridership among those 60 years and older is growing the fastest according to data collected by the US Department of Transportation. Between 1995 and 2009, the rise in...

Fall apple madness: Harvesting and processing fall apples

Mother Earth News / Charlyn Ellis / 09 September 2016
Fruit trees are an excellent addition to any homestead, even a small urban lot. We have several: a 'Macintosh' apple, an early summer plum, a huge and ancient fig, a new persimmon, and a yellow plum that is too big to harvest. There are also two hazelnut trees on the back lot line. They provi...

Exploring the gap between business-as-usual and utter doom

Common Dreams / Richard Heinberg / 20 September 2016
When it comes to forecasting the future, count me among the pessimists. I'm convinced that the consequences of decades of obsession with maintaining business-as-usual will be catastrophic. And those consequences could be upon us sooner than even some of my fellow pessimists assume. Yet I...


  Enbridge Home Winterproofing Program

Enbridge Gas / 29 March 2016
Take advantage of our free Home Winterproofing Program, keep your home warm and comfortable all winter, and save energy.

  Flash flood in Ontario strands motorists, swamps basements

The Weather Network / Andrea Bagley / 01 October 2016
A strong and slow moving system left some southern Ontarians waking up to significant flooding on Thursday. The heaviest rain fell in parts of southwestern Ontario where over 190 mm quickly swamped streets and basements in Tecumseh. Mayors in Tecumseh and Windsor both declared a state of ...

  Technological optimism

The Extraenvironmentalist / 04 March 2012
Are you optimistic about technology? Let's talk about why. Could the majority of our proposed technological solutions be doing little more than kicking the can down the road towards ecological collapse? Politicians and economists speak of the ability for technological innovation to boost and grow e...

  Alternatives to the growth economy: Real world examples

Peak Moment TV / 26 September 2016
The growth economy is historically relatively recent, and is now consuming 1.5 Earths and growing. Compound interest is sucking the lifeblood out of the real economy, from households to countries. Mike Lewis, co-author of The Resilience Imperative, tells the story of the successful JAK cooperative Bank in S...


Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

NFU-O Local 316
WHEN: Wednesday, November 23
WHERE: Maranatha Church, Belleville ON

Our local food systems are being constantly challenged by climate change, shifting trade landscapes, and social trends. At the same time, local food systems help to create resilience. They create environmental resilience by supporting diverse production and attracting more farmers into the field. They create economic resilience through business opportunities all along the value chain. They create social resilience by drawing communities together through food. This year's conference will explore what we can do today to maintain and enhance the resilience of our local food system through uncertain times ahead, as well as the strong role that local food can play in buffering these challenges.

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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