Newsletter 136, 18 September 2018

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A hopeful film about meeting the challenge

Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library

If you know climate change is a challenge that must be faced, but you don't know how to talk about it with your family and friends, Beyond Crisis is a film that aims to help you find a way.

Transition Brockville's next presentation is a free public screening of Beyond Crisis, Sunday, September 23, at 2 p.m. in the Brockville Public Library. Following the film, Lynn Ovenden, of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, will facilitate a discussion.

"It's my hope that people will leave our meeting feeling encouraged and a lot more energized" to talk to others about acting on climate change, says Ovenden. A new grandmother, retired government biologist, and longtime field biologist, Ovenden lives near Casselman, Ontario. Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) is a non-partisan grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Ovenden signed up with CCL Canada (NCR Chapter) in 2016 to help build the political will for effective climate action.

Beyond Crisis is a story of hope for a rapidly changing world: a meditative call to action that explores what it means to be living in this new era of climate change, as told by over fifty diverse voices from across Canada, the U.S. and beyond.

The film is also a unique conversation piece: a grassroots model for what a healthy conversation on climate could look like, inspiring viewers to take the next steps in discussing these issues with their friends, community and loved ones.

Everyone is welcome at this free public presentation.


  • Some things we've been working on
    • Transition Brockville will be participating in the King Street West Hub during Culture Days on Saturday, September 29. As well as trying your hand with our popular all-in-one apple corer/peeler/slicers, you'll be able to test your knowledge about recyclables. 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 its planning continues for a second community garden in Brockville. This garden will be in the north end of town, and will be host to young gardeners from a nearby EcoSchool as well as area residents. An announcement is expected shortly on this.
    • We have received a query from a local high school teacher interested in working nature topics into her English classes. She has asked for referrals "to potential nature specialists in the area who might be willing to lead a nature walk in Brockville, or come in to do a lecture, or workshop, on trees, birds, or other nature issues in the area." Writers would also be welcome. If you have any suggestions, please forward them to and we will pass them along.
  • Consider this
    Our Mission is to inform our community about the 'big picture' issues with which our world is faced, trends such as climate change, resource depletion and economic disruption, and to work together 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 attending one of our open Steering Committee meetings. No commitments expected. For meeting dates and locations, please contact


  • Ford has decided to consult Ontario about climate change
    National Observer / Steph Wechsler / 12 September 2018
    Premier Doug Ford’s government has decided to consult Ontarians about its climate change policies, one day after it was taken to court for “unlawfully” scrapping action to reduce carbon pollution. The government’s Environment Ministry opened an online portal to seek public feedback about what it should do about climate change, pledging to use the information collected in order to introduce a new plan. Ontario is Canada most populous province and makes up a key component ...
  • Spike in temperature of the Great Lakes has scientists worried
    CBC News / Conrad Collaco / 11 September 2018
    The Great Lakes are getting hotter, seeing a rise in some parts of three degrees. Aaron Fisk, a professor with the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor, spoke with the CBC’s Julianne Hazlewood about why temperatures are on the rise and what that means for the Great Lakes and the things that live in it. You can read an abridged and edited version of the interview or listen to the full audio interview ...
  • The Fourth Pig co-operative
    OCA / Press Release / 04 September 2018
    The Fourth Pig co-operative, one of the most innovative sustainable construction companies in Ontario, is improving the environment for our province and those living and working in their buildings. "The simple fact is that conventional buildings are a climate change catastrophe. If we don't change the way we make them, then we will not meet the greenhouse gas targets we need to address climate change," says Matt Adams, one of the co-operative's founders and director of operations and education. ...


  • More heat, drought and longer fire season in Canada’s future
    Montreal Gazette / Anna Junker / 18 August 2018
    Heat and drought. A longer fire season with more frequent wildfires and larger areas burned. That's what's in store for Canada, especially the prairie provinces, in the coming years, experts say, a situation that is being directly attributed to climate change. In Canada, 2.5-million hectares — equivalent to about half the size of Nova Scotia — burn every year from wildfires on average. The annual destruction has more than doubled since about the 1970s, where numbers were around one million ...
  • Orphan wells: Alberta's $47 billion problem
    The Western Producer / Barb Glen / 22 March 2018
    "It's been my concern for many years, as an advocate for landowners and farmers, that diligence by government and the oil industry was required to ensure that farmers and ranchers don't get left with the legacy problems of old oil and gas wells," said Keith Wilson, a lawyer known for his work on property rights. He quoted a report by the C.D. Howe Institute that estimates more than 155,000 Alberta energy wells have no economic potential and will eventually require reclamation. He also quoted ...


  • How should we face the challenge of climate change?
    Al Jazeera News / 14 September 2018
    Much of the world’s attention this week has been focused on two powerful storms: Hurricane Florence in the United States and Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines. The signs of climate change are everywhere, and what were once rare forces of nature are becoming almost regular events. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts longer, and the storms are more powerful than they were a generation ago. Across the continent, wildfires in California have burned one million acres (404,685 hectares) ...
  • The world is hot, on fire, and flooding. Climate change is here.
    Grist / Eric Holthaus / 24 July 2018
    The worst ravages of climate change are on display around the world. Wildfires have ripped through towns in Greece, floods have submerged parts of Laos, and heat waves have overwhelmed Japan. These are striking examples of climate change playing out in its deadliest forms, and they're making the term "natural disaster" an outdated concept....
  • Summer of fire, heat and flood puts a focus on adaptation
    Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 07 September 2018
    The deluge flooded downtown streets and basements of high-rise office towers, causing more than $80-million in damage and nearly drowning two men who were trapped in an elevator with the rising water. The Aug. 7 downpour in Toronto dropped 72 millimetres of rain in the city centre in a few hours, the kind of storm that is expected only once every 100 years, according to Environment Canada. Bay Street towers, including TD Centre, took on storm water and lost power; service was disrupted at ...
  • Extreme temperatures ‘especially likely for next four years’
    The Guardian / Jonathan Watts / 14 August 2018
    The world is likely to see more extreme temperatures in the coming four years as natural warming reinforces manmade climate change, according to a new global forecasting system. Following a summer of heatwaves and forest fires in the northern hemisphere, the study in the journal Nature Communications suggests there will be little respite for the planet until at least 2022, and possibly not even then. Rising greenhouse gas emissions are steadily adding to the upward pressure on temperatures, but ...
  • CO2 has soared to levels not seen in 800,000 years
    Common Dreams / 03 August 2018
    As temperatures bust heat records across the globe and wildfires rage from California to the Arctic, a new report produced annually by more than 500 scientists worldwide found that last year, the carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere reached the highest levels “in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years.” While the most significant jump was the global average for carbon dioxide (CO2)—which, at ...
  • Ted Nordhaus is wrong: we are exceeding Earth's carrying capacity
    UnDark / Richard Heinberg / 26 July 2018
    In his article, "The Earth's Carrying Capacity for Human Life is Not Fixed," Ted Nordhaus, co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute, a California-based energy and environment think tank, seeks to enlist readers in his optimistic vision of the future. It's a future in which there are many more people on the planet and each enjoys a high standard of living, while environmental impacts are reduced. It's a cheery vision. If only it were plausible....
  • AI, fake images and crumbling trust in our narratives
    Resource Insights / Kurt Cobb / 19 August 2018
    In a piece I wrote in 2014 I opined, “If you want to corrupt a people, corrupt the language.” I added, “Once it becomes impossible to say the truth with the language we have, it will ultimately be impossible for us to adapt and survive.” In that piece I was complaining about what I dubbed “oil Newspeak,” an Orwellian lexicon created by the oil industry to deceive policymakers, investors and the public. Of course, back then I concerned myself only with words. ...


  • World Food Day celebration
    Transition Cornwall+ Food Action Group / 29 August 2018
    Come celebrate World Food Day at the South Stormont homestead of Bill and Karen Carriere, on Sunday, October 14, 11 am – 3 pm. The free day is packed with activities for the whole family in this beautiful setting, focusing on sustainable food production, both locally and globally. People can take guided and self-guided tours of the property's fruit and nut groves, winter greenhouse, young food forest as well as enjoy woodland 'mirror' walks. There will be demo ...
  • Small businesses can save your community
    Strong Towns / Quint Studer / 31 July 2018
    Over the past few decades, most communities have had their "pillars" pulled out from under them. Big institutions like banks, hospitals, and newspapers used to be locally owned. Their owners lived and worked in the same place. Their children went to the local schools. As a consequence, their leaders were deeply invested in the community and worked hard to keep it vibrant. But over the years, large corporations have bought up many of these pillar institutions and consolidated them. It's now ...
  • Tips on freezing the harvest
    Mother Earth News / Carole Coates / 04 September 2018
    It's that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you're spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons. For one, when it's time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier. And relatively speaking, it's fast and easy. Over the years, I've come up with a few tips to make freezing even easier. Use these freezing hacks to help ...
  • How to dry herbs
    Mother Earth News / Tabitha Alterman / February/March 2013
    Of all the various types of foods and ways to preserve them — freezing or canning fruits and vegetables, pickling, curing meat, making cheese and yogurt — dehydrating herbs is the easiest place to jump in. Most herbs contain so little moisture that your job is done soon after you've bought or harvested them. Drying herbs is an economically savvy food preservation strategy, too, because fresh and dried herbs and teas demand high prices at the grocery store. Your own dried herbs will taste better ...
  • Tips for success in germinating seeds in hot weather
    Mother Earth News / Pam Dawling / 27 July 2018
    In an earlier post I wrote general themes for starting seeds in hot weather. Here are some specific tricks. Seed Storage Viability and vigor of seeds deteriorates when they are stored in warm places, especially if containers are not airtight, and the air is humid. If you have crops you grow in spring and again for the fall, store those seeds in a cool place over the summer. Chilling lettuce seed can help germination in hot weather. We make a practice of putting our spinach seed in double ...
  • How to make your home-based business greener
    Mother Earth News / Jennifer Tuohy / 25 June 2018
    Taking steps to make your business "greener" is a win/win. It can help your bottom line, improve your company's image and promote a healthier planet. As the owner of a home-based business, you have an advantage over most companies: Your carbon footprint is already smaller thanks to cutting out a daily commute and the expense of heating, cooling and lighting an extra space. Use this head-start wisely and be sure to implement a "Green Policy," even if you're your only employee. A Green Policy is ...


Green Energy Doors Open - Ottawa

Ottawa GEDO
WHEN: Friday, September 21 - Sunday, September 23
WHERE: Ottawa and area

Host Sites in and around the Ottawa Region who will be participating in GEDO 2018 are shown at

Reflections on Earth's Beauty - Music That Celebrates Nature

Wall Street United Church
WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Wall Street United Church, Wall Street, Brockville

Includes a short presentation by Transition Brockville.

Culture Days - King Street West Hub

Russ Disotell
WHEN: Saturday, September 29, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: King Street West, between Buell and Perth Streets, Brockville

Part of the cross-Canada volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility and engagement of all Canadians in culture and the arts.

More info:

Business Trade Show: Green Economy Program

Sustainable Kingston
WHEN: Thursday, October 18, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Convention Centre, 7829 Kent Blvd, Brockville

Sustainable Kingston will be introducing its Green Economy Program supporting and recognizing organizations that are accelerating the shift to a low carbon economy. It is complimentary to attend so come see us to learn more about our organization and how you can get involved.

Edible Landscapes: Kingston Home Gardeners Conference

Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners
WHEN: Saturday, October 27, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
WHERE: Christ Church Parish Centre, 990 Sydenham Road, Kingston

Special guest Diana Beresford-Kroeger, world renowned author, medical biochemist and botanist. Topics include:

  • Converting lawns to new gardens - 2 easy methods
  • Unusual varieties and germinating and saving your seeds
  • Edible mushrooms and wild plants in the garden
  • Why and which trees for our area?
  • Making your own fertilizer — new insights on how to make great compost
  • New approaches to pruning fruit trees
  • Edible perennial polycultures
  • Mimicking forests and permaculture design

More info and registration:

Fair Finance Fund Forum

Local Food and Farm Co-ops (LFFC) and Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN)
WHEN: Tuesday, October 30, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
WHERE: Arts Centre Hastings, 230 Durham Street South, Madoc

LFFC and RAIN, a division of Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), are proud to announce a new initiative, the Fair Finance Fund. Designed to support the local food and farm sector across Ontario, the Fair Finance Fund will support social enterprises and farms that have explicit values in enhancing local food systems, local economies, and the planet. This loan fund will build on seed capital to implement an ongoing investment opportunity for community-minded investors to support food that is grown, raised and processed in their own backyards. During the event, we will share more about the progress of the fund and receive your feedback. We welcome all stakeholders engaged in the local food and farm space. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. Are you a farm and food enterprise? Community investor? Local food advocate? Economic development organization? We want to hear your voice!

Please contact us at if you have any questions. More info can be found on our website: • • Facebook Group