Archive for October 2013

ZooShare biogas co-op

Bullfrog is thrilled to announce that through our Bullfrog Builds initiative, we will be supporting the development of ZooShare’s exciting biogas plant at the Toronto Zoo! The facility, projected to start construction in mid-2014, will turn the zoo’s poo and local grocery waste into electricity, heat and high-quality fertilizer. This community-based project will save more than 12,000 tonnes of GHG emissions from entering the environment, and 10% of its earnings will contribute to conservation programs at the Toronto Zoo.

Organized by ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc., a non-profit organization, the 500 kW biogas plant will be the first co-operatively-owned biogas facility in Canada! Bullfrog has been selected as the official education sponsor for the project.

How will it work? The plant will accept poo from the zoo (animals such as rhinos, bison, hippos and pandas will make major contributions!) and food waste from local grocery stores—these materials will be stored for roughly 50 days in an anaerobic digester. This process creates biogas that will be burned in a generator, producing enough electricity to power approximately 250 homes annually. Any leftover material will serve as high-quality fertilizer for local farmers and backyard gardeners.

Thanks to your support for green energy, your green energy dollars are helping to develop innovative renewable projects such as ZooShare.

Learn more about the project—and how to invest through Community Bonds—at



Ontario electricity moves closer to “no coal”

Ontario shuts down Lambton power plant ahead of schedule


TORONTO — The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Oct. 22 2013, 6:53 PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 22 2013, 6:56 PM EDT

Photo courtesy of Ontario Power Generation

One of the last coal-fired power plants in Ontario has been shut down early, bringing the province’s Liberal government closer to fulfilling a long-delayed promise, industry and Queen’s Park sources told The Globe and Mail.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli will announce Wednesday (October 23, 2013) that the coal plant in Lambton, near Sarnia, Ont., finished operating in late September, three months ahead of schedule, the sources said. The government, which is on a long-term mission to replace all of the province’s coal facilities with greener sources of energy, said in January that the Lambton plant, along with another in Nanticoke, would close by the end of the year.

More at:

Posted October 27, 2013 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

Book – Aboriginal Power

Chris HChris Henderson is the Author of: Aboriginal Power.

For the past two and a half decades his professional focus has been at the intersection of clean energy, sustainable development, environmental action, economic development and Aboriginal communities.  He is Canada’s most respected commentator on Aboriginal clean energy opportunities, and acts a Clean Energy Advisor to over a dozen indigenous communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Chris plays a leadership role in the domain of Aboriginal Power, acting as:

    1. President of Lumos Energy Clean Energy Value Advisors Inc.

    2. Program Designer and Lead Mentor, 20/20 Catalysts Program

    3. National Coordinator, Aboriginal Clean Energy (ACE) Network

    4. Managing Director, Canadian Aboriginal Fund for Energy (CAFÉ)

Aboriginal communities, governments, utilities, private corporations, independent power development companies and financing firms regularly seek Chris’ strategic advice to catalyze clean energy projects and markets.

In 1988, Chris co-founded The Delphi Group, a leading national environmental consulting firm that has been at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change through cutting edge business strategies, innovative technologies and new economic thinking.

As head of Lumos Energy Chris wears multiple hats.  Through long-standing relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities he works to make hydro, wind and biomass projects a reality that can fuel sustainable prosperity for Canada’s First Peoples.  He acts as a mentor for Aboriginal clean energy leaders country-wide.

Chris is energetic and energized about making a difference in our world.  His life-force comes from a deep love for his partner Andrea, and their sons, Isaac and Noah; and a spiritual belief in Nature and the Creator.

You can contact him at:

David Suzuki: climate change and extreme weather

Video: David Suzuki explains how climate change relates to extreme weather

Want to know why are there so many more big downpours and floods? Watch David Suzuki explain the link between carbon emissions and more frequent and intense extreme weather brought on by climate change

This past summer, we saw two of our great Canadian cities knocked out by devastating floods, showing how vulnerable our communities are if climate change is allowed to intensify.

The good news is that the latest science also shows our future will not be determined by chance – it will be determined by choice.

Please watch this short video in which David Suzuki explains the links between climate change and increased extreme weather. Share it with your family, friends and social networks. If more of us know the science, more of us will act.

WATCH VIDEO: David Suzuki explains the link between carbon emissions and more frequent and intense extreme weather brought on by climate change.

Posted October 18, 2013 by allanbaker in Environment

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Award for climate change researcher

U of G Prof Wins SSHRC’s Highest Research Honour

October 15, 2013 – News Release

A University of Guelph professor who is one of the world’s leading authorities on climate change has won this year’s top research honour from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Barry Smit received SSHRC’s 2013 Gold Medal, which includes a $100,000 grant, today during the World Social Sciences Forum in Montreal. He is the first University of Guelph professor to win the prestigious award.

More at:

Posted October 17, 2013 by allanbaker in Environment

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Conservation and climate change

KAIROS Briefing Paper #37 – Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground Essential to Curb Climate Change

KAIROS’ latest briefing paper evaluates the strength and weaknesses of the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It cites a new study by climate scientist James Hansen showing how burning just one-third of remaining fossil fuels would make the Earth uninhabitable. The paper describes how both the carbon budget suggested by the IPCC and the International Energy Agency’s calculations highlight the need to keep most known fossil fuel reserves, especially from the tar sands, in the ground. It concludes with a discussion of tar sands export pipelines and feasible alternatives for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

For the full report;

How Hot Will It Get

Geothermal in Kenya

My friend Jim Kirkwood recently came across some GOOD NEWS, and he wrote the following summary:

geothermal power plant

Geothermal power plant in Iceland / Photo by martin_vmorris


“Geothermal development first exploded in Kenya, which boasts numerous sites along the Rift Valley with immense profit potential. If currently-planned Kenyan geothermal projects thrive, the nation could produce as much as 1,600 MW-more than enough to supply its people’s annual demand for power. The Eastern Rift spans nearly a dozen countries, and most of these have joined the list of nations eligible for international development funds.” These efforts parallel the impressive global growth of geothermal power.” JK

For the whole story:

Posted October 10, 2013 by allanbaker in Environment

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A Comfortable Pew for You?

Wednesday October 9, 2013


By Jim Taylor

IMG_0159Sometimes a sermon stops me in my tracks.
For a regular church-goer, church can feel very comfortable. Regular routines unfold as I watch. Familiar music wraps me like a security blanket. Smile s greet me. Words wash over me like warm waves on a seashore …
And then I hear the minister’s voice saying, “Maybe we are a little too comfortable here in church.”
He wasn’t talking about physical comfort, of course. He wasn’t suggesting we give up our upholstered chairs and go back to sitting on stiff wooden pews. Or that we turn off the heating system and shiver through the coming winter. Or even that we should feel uneasy among the other worshippers.
No, what we’ve grown “too comfortable” with is the culture that our church lives in.
We tend not to be aware of that culture. The same way the fish probably aren’t aware of the medium they swim in. I doubt if trout have philosophical epiphanies about water.

But unlike trout, we can consider the culture we live in with a critical eye.
Don’t get me wrong — I much prefer this culture to most of the alternatives. I don’t want to live where a week in hospital can wipe out my savings. Nor do I want to live where there are no hospitals at all. I don’t want to live where a ruthless dictator keeps any kind of dissent under his thumb, nor where equally ruthless ideologs turn government into anarchy.
Still, it’s not perfect. As Winston Churchill once described democracy, “the worst form of government, except for all those other forms…”
John Kenneth Galbraith popularized the term, “conventional wisdom,” in his book The Affluent Society, back in 1958. He used it to refer to commonly accepted notions that are rarely scrutinized for their accuracy.

GETTING OFF THE TRACK In our culture, conventional wisdom uncritically endorses competition. Also economic growth, lines of command, having power, and climbing the ladder. I went through most of my life convinced that if someone offered me a promotion, I had to take it. Even if I wasn’t suited for the job. The whole point of working was to move onward and upward, wasn’t it? I went through most of my life believing that I should eat everything put on my plate. It never occurred to me that I could ask for smaller helpings. I went through most of my life believing that winning mattered. I told myself I wasn’t competitive, but who wants to be a loser? Whether in a game or an argument, I wanted to come out on top. But maybe losing matters just as much as winning. Only when I realize I made a mistake, in hindsight, can I re-examine what I might have done and learn from it. Perhaps life is a constant succession of course corrections. Conventional wisdom always contains some truth. That makes it comfortable. Which, as economist Galbraith noted, enhances its ability to resist any serious consideration of alternatives. Whenever we treat our culture’s conventional wisdom as holy writ, we should feel uncomfortable.

Copyright © 2013 by Jim Taylor. Non-profit use in congregations and study groups, and links from other blogs, welcomed; all other rights reserved.
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IPCC Report

IMG_0799IPCC Report Confirms Humans Cause Climate Warming

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)report released Saturday, states that it is extremely likely (95-99% certainty) that humans have caused over 50% of the global increase in temperature since 1951.  Read more on the website, which highlights these points:

  • 95%-100% is the same level of certainty as that smoking cigarettes causes cancer

  • The earth has a carbon budget of 1 trillion metric tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere before warming will exceed 2oC, a critical point.  More than half of this budget has already been used.

  • The last three decades have been the three warmest in recorded history.

Articles from The GuardianGlobe and Mail, and The Star analyze the IPCC report.

Many thanks to the Green Awakening Network for this report.

Posted October 6, 2013 by allanbaker in Environment

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Sunrise at Cape Spear - a new day!From a poster at Five Oaks – a United Church of Canada retreat centre:

Live fully in the present

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Honour tradition and the ancestors

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Hear the voice of tomorrow