December 7, 2009
The long awaited Copenhagen Climate Change Conference kicked off yesterday. It’s a critical moment, one that will test our global community’s ability – and desire – to work together to solve a problem that will impact every single human on Earth.
This week, a few visuals worth watching:
From 1992, “The Girl Who Silenced the World” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQmz6Rbpnu0, a twelve year old’s powerful message to world leaders gathering for the Rio Earth Summit.
“The Story of Stuff” http://www.storyofstuff.com/, a frank look at where stuff comes from and where it ends up – worth thinking about during this ‘season of stuff’.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to 500 young people about climate change. To me, their bright, young faces represent hope and promise for the future. For their sake and the sake of all youth everywhere, let’s hope our leaders gathering in Copenhagen get it right.
In the news
Check out this editorial http://www.thestar.com/news/sciencetech/environment/copenhagensummit/article/735124–star-joins-global-climate-crusade calling for action from world leaders on climate change, published yesterday by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages.
Sometimes short-term cheap comes with a much larger long-term cost. http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/magazine/article/873098
September 14, 2009
There are less than 100 days until “Copenhagen”, the critical international meeting that will determine the follow up to the Kyoto Accord. Many of the world’s biggest emitters hold positions that are miles apart – yet climate experts tell us a strong successor to Kyoto is critical to solving our climate crisis.
If you’ve never been politically active before, perhaps now’s the time to discover your “inner activist”. After all, could there be any more compelling reason than the well-being of our children?
Here are a couple of ways you can make a difference:
Tell your elected representative(s) what you think. Contact information is available here: http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx?TimePeriod=Current&Language=E (Canada) and here (US): Congress http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html and Senate http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm .
Use the power of technology to organize a ‘flashmob’, a spontaneous gathering to make a point to leaders at all levels. You can use the template of Avaaz.org, a global web community planning a network of events September 21: http://www.avaaz.org/en/sept21_hosts/?cl=313334902&v=3906 .
(Check out this tactic being used in Quebec to put social pressure on people commuting solo: http://www.atsa.qc.ca/pages/encoreseuldanstonchar.asp ).
“We must be the change we seek in the world” – Mohandas Gandhi
“We are now in a race between climate tipping points and political tipping points” – David Spratt & Philip Sutton, “Climate Code Red”, July 2008
Terry Fox Run
Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far to my Terry Fox Run this weekend. If you’d still like to contribute, please visit http://www.terryfox.org/cgi/page.cgi/Run/participants.html/USH8SW.
June 18, 2009
Most of us feel good about recycling, and for good reason: recycling helps us stretch more life out of resources and it can greatly extend the life of landfills.
But recycling isn’t truly recycling – it’s actually ‘downcycling’, because products sent for recycling are never remanufactured into the same product – they are turned into something of lesser quality, lower down the chain of products. Eventually, virtually everything ends up as trash.
So while recycling is much better than throwing something out, the best thing you can do for the environment by far is the first R: reduce.
You can read more about downcycling here: http://miramichileader.canadaeast.com/rss/article/701445 and an excellent book on the subject is “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things” http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm .
In the news
Yesterday, the Obama White House released a worrisome 196 page report projecting how climate change will affect Americans in the coming years. As one scientist put it, the report shows that climate change “affects the things people care about”. http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/06/17/17climatewire-us-study-projects-how-unequivocal-warming-wi-29186.html
Energy independence in ten years? That’s the goal of Repower America – and here is their latest 30 second ad. http://www.repoweramerica.org/(Hmmm… if the US can set such a target for a power grid much, much larger than Canada’s, what’s holding us back?)
June 3, 2009
According to Statistics Canada, eight of ten Canadians count themselves among a faith community. Faith communities – be they Christian, Jew, Muslim or other – can be tremendous forces for change and social progress. Since environmental stewardship is consistent with the teachings of virtually every faith, faith communities can play a huge role in ‘spreading the word’ and ‘being the change’.
If you are a member of a faith community, there are plenty of resources out there to help:
http://www.faith-commongood.net is an interfaith organization based in Toronto to provide guidance toward improved sustainability
http://www.theregenerationproject.org is a California-based interfaith group with similar objectives and an information-filled website
More ideas for ways faith groups can combat global warming are available here: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/04/faith_earth_day.html , and a full column on the subject is here: http://tribunenb.canadaeast.com/rss/article/687165.
In the news
Huge new solar power projects are planned for Australia and Argentina – harnessing the free, limitless energy of the sun.
The UK is taking bold steps toward more efficient housing. By 2016, all new homes are expected to be net-zero (producing as much energy as they consume), and smart meters will be installed on all homes by 2020.