Newsletter 135, 18 July 2018

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Heatwave sees record high temperatures around world this week

The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 13 July 2018

From Europe to Africa, extreme and widespread heat raises climate concerns in hottest La Niņa year to date on record

Record high temperatures have been set across much of the world this week as an unusually prolonged and broad heatwave intensifies concerns about climate change.

The past month has seen power shortages in California as record heat forced a surge of demand for air conditioners. Algeria has experienced the hottest temperature ever reliably registered in Africa. Britain, meanwhile, has experienced its third longest heatwave, melting the roof of a science building in Glasgow and exposing ancient hill forts in Wales.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the rising temperatures were at odds with a global cyclical climate phenomenon known as La Niņa, which is usually associated with cooling. "The first six months of the year have made it the hottest La Niņa year to date on record," said Clare Nullis of the WMO.


  • No presentations in July, August; Culture Days; 2nd community garden
    • Please note that our monthly presentation series will be on hiatus in July and August this year. Our informative and timely presentations will resume in September.
    • The TB Steering Committee is planning some engaging activities for its booth at the King Street West Hub during Culture Days on Saturday, September 29. Mark your calendars for this one, and drop by to see us and many other community groups at the Hub.
    • The Steering Committee is assisting the Food Matters Coalition as it explores the potential for a second community garden in Brockville. This one would be in the north end of town, and would be host to young gardeners from a nearby EcoSchool.
    • Our Mission is to inform our community about the 'big picture' issues which our world is facing such as climate change, resource depletion and economic disruption, and to work with the community to build local resilience through both mitigative and adaptive efforts at the household, neighbourhood and community levels. If you see value in this, please consider joining our Steering Committee. For more information, contact
  • Notes from our Food Foraging workshop
    These notes reflect the discussions at the workshop on Food Foraging hosted by Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library on Sunday, June 24, 2018. Please consider them only as suggestions for further research.


  • E-bike charging station proposed for Blockhouse Island
    Transition Brockville / 13 July 2018
    On the Agenda for the Finance, Administration and Operations Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon, July 17, is a proposal to setup an e-bike charging station on Blockhouse Island Parkway. From Report to FAO 2018-073-07: With the introduction of e-bikes, City staff has seen an increase in requests for access to power to recharge the vehicle batteries. In the past, staff has noticed people have plugged their personal electric vehicles into accessible outlets on City buildings and streetlight …
  • Library expanding into bike loans
    Recorder & Times / Marshall Healey / 07 July 2018
    Expanding on its Experience Collection, the Brockville Public Library will be adding bicycles to its borrowable collection starting July 10. Starting on Tuesday, library card holders who are 18 or older will able to borrow a "Bibliobike" for up to two days at a time. Library CEO Emily Farrell said she hopes the bikes will be used in a variety of ways. "The Bibliobikes will enable individuals to easily get around the city, whether they're interested in going for a leisurely ride or need …
  • Big bucks from solar, counties told
    Recorder & Times / Wayne Lowrie / 04 July 2018
    Leeds and Grenville municipalities could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by incorporating renewable energy into their management of land and buildings, according to environmental consultant Sally McIntyre. McIntyre urged the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville council on Tuesday to consider incorporating solar power into municipal projects as part of the provincial government's "net metering" program that starts this fall. Under the program, municipalities would be able to …
  • Bud’s sheds plastic straws
    Recorder & Times / Marshall Healey / 28 June 2018
    John Ackerman wants to make sure he is doing his part. The owner of the downtown restaurant Bud's on the Bay announced and implemented the use of paper straws, instead of plastic, on Wednesday. "I saw some articles pop up… and even at the G7 Summit, that topic of plastic in the oceans was going to come up there," Ackerman said while speaking inside his restaurant. "I've seen pictures of sea turtles with straws in their nostrils and reading about the large floating islands of plastic in the …
  • Plenty of plans for waterfront
    Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 15 June 2018
    As demand for boating slips grows, the city may one day relocate the Brockville Rowing Club to St. Lawrence Park to make room for a marina expansion. While that idea is nowhere close to the planning stages now, it could be among the more controversial proposals being floated before the public at a special waterfront open house meeting Monday. Brockville's waterfront ad hoc committee, which has been developing a "Waterfront Action Plan" for the city's waterfront and shoreline, is inviting …


  • Ottawa companies: renewable energy contract cancellations a waste
    CBC News / Matthew Kupfer / 14 July 2018
    The Ontario government is cancelling 758 renewable energy projects, a move people involved with the sector call a ‘waste’ that will create uncertainty. The government made the announcement Friday, which includes the cancellation of 26 Ottawa projects. Four of those cancelled are solar projects that belong to the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative, according to spokesperson Aaron Thornell. “This is the province undermining efforts of municipalities, of Indigenous communities, …
  • Electric car rebates end in Ontario
    Green Car Reports / Eric C. Evarts / 12 July 2018
    Following the election of Conservative Doug Ford as premier July 7, Ontario, Canada, has canceled the province’s generous tax incentives for electric cars, according to an announcement on Wednesday on the Ministry of Transportation’s website. The move was widely expected after Ford ran on a platform of cutting government expenses, which included canceling the credits. The credits, which included up to $10,645 ($14,000 Canadian) for the purchase of an electric car in the province, …
  • Ontario Municipal Commuter Program (OMCC) cancelled
    Share the Road / Jamie Stuckless / 05 July 2018
    This week, communities across Ontario received notice from the Ministry of Transportation that the Ontario Municipal Commuter Program (OMCC) has been cancelled. The OMCC was funded through the cap and trade program, which has also been cancelled. This is not surprising. The new government was very clear on their intentions to cancel cap and trade throughout the election, however, it is still disappointing to see the official announcement. Through the OMCC, Ontario invested $93 million in …


  • Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show
    The Guardian / Matthew Taylor / 13 June 2018
    Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate study warns that unless urgent action is taken in the next decade the melting ice could …
  • Video: Stuart Scott on
    UPFSI / 31 May 2018
    This was a small part of the 4 hour, no-fly climate conference called A three minute summary of the event is also at


  • It's official – spending time outside is good for you
    University of East Anglia / Press Release / 06 July 2018
    Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits – according to new research from the University of East Anglia. A new report published today reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure. Populations with higher levels of greenspace exposure are also more likely to report good overall health – according to global data …
  • 7 fast growing shade trees to slash your electric bill
    Treehugger / Derek Markham / 02 April 2014
    The free solar energy that hits the Earth each day can keep us warm, light our homes, grow our food, and generate clean renewable electricity, so we often invite it into our lives, but when the weather heats up in the summer, the sun can actually cause us to use more energy, because we then need to run air conditioners to cool us back down. Keeping the sun off of our homes and windows during the summer can end up saving us both money and energy, because we can avoid some of the heating effects …
  • 24 tricks to survive hot summer nights (without A/C)
    Greatist / Sophia Breene / 30 May 2017
    We’ve all been there — tossing and turning in bed, struggling because our sweat has us practically glued to the sheets. It. Is. Awful. There are few things worse than trying to catch some shut-eye (or even just relax!) in an incredibly hot, sticky room. But brutal summer temps are unavoidable for most of us at some point in the year. So how to cool down a room without AC? It’s possible, we swear! A few quick tips and trips, a bunch of which you’ve probably never heard, can …
  • Book: Changemakers: Embracing hope, taking action …
    New Society Publishers
    With every news report, the world seems to be careening off the rails. It’s all too easy to slip into despair waiting for co-opted, self-serving governments to act. The antidote to fear and despair is hope and action. We each hold the power to make personal changes that can drive local changes and cascade into large-scale social transformation. This is the guidebook for ordinary people who want to create a new society now. The first section explores the idea of transformative change — …
  • Video: Wild Edibles – Season 1 – Episode 1
    The Outsider / 14 February 2014
    This season covers almost 20 Common Wild Edibles: How to identify them, Where to find them, and How to eat them! Yum!… • • Facebook Group