Archive for the ‘environment’ Tag

Change for the common good   Leave a comment

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Take Responsibility!

March 24, 2018 was the annual “Earth Hour”, when people voluntarily reduce their consumption of electricity for one hour.

A report on the behaviour of people in Toronto, from the CBC, notes that;

Several Toronto landmarks went dark tonight for Earth Hour, but Toronto Hydro says overall enthusiasm for the event has waned so much in recent years that they won’t supply numbers for energy use declines for this year’s event.” (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/earth-hour-toronto-2018-1.4592026 )

So, how are Canadians doing with consumption of another energy source – gasoline?

The David Suzuki Foundation reported this week that the increased sales of SUVs and light trucks has offset the increased fuel efficiency for autos, that has been mandated by governments in North America. For more information, read the David Suzuki Foundation report at: https://davidsuzuki.org/story/suvs-trucks-nullify-car-efficiency-gains/

These trends represent a challenge for change in behaviour. It is obvious that we are living in an economic / political system where human behaviour is resistant to change. Someone once said that the only ones who appreciate a change are babies with wet diapers.

Change is possible!

The CBC report referred to above also indicates that people in Toronto are saving on electricity use every day: Between 2006 and 2017, Toronto Hydro says 2,300 gigawatt hours of electricity have been saved in the city, which is enough energy to power 780 large condos.”

 

In addition, Canadian data shows that sales of electric-powered vehicles were up by 68 per cent in 2017. https://www.fleetcarma.com/electric-vehicle-sales-canada-2017/

Change for a better environment is happening every day!

 

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Posted March 25, 2018 by allanbaker in econotheism, Environment

Tagged with , , ,

Good News in the Forest   Leave a comment

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The Great Bear Rainforest agreement has been decades in the making.   Photo by Jens Wieting.

Good news from Canada’s west coast arrived last week.

20 First Nations; advocates for the environment; government(s) and forestry companies all endorsed a land use planning agreement concerning the Great Bear Rainforest. Although negotiations took too much time, and there were countless protests by environmental advocates, the accord is an illustration of what good-hearted people can accomplish.

Read more about this agreement at: http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/02/01/Great-Bear-Rainforest-Deal/

Climate Depression   Leave a comment

Naomi Klein counsels all of us NOT to succumb to “climate depression”, but to continue to act to reduce carbon emissions, AND to speak up. In her book, This Changes Everything, she says that little has happened to reduce carbon emissions because the actions that would do so, and benefit the vast majority of humankind, “are extremely threatening to an elite minority”.

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Winter 2014 on Lake Ontario

She also writes that, “during the same years that our governments failed to enact a tough and binding legal architecture requiring carbon emissions, supposedly because cooperation was too complex, they managed to create the World Trade Organization – an intricate global system that regulates the flow of goods and services around the planet, under which the rules are clear and violations are harshly penalized.”

Is it any wonder that the agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 did not have legally binding provisions?

Addressing climate change cannot be relegated to governments, and the political elite. It is what all of us can do, both as individuals and as a part of grassroots communities that demonstrate that the power to do the right thing will not be taken away from us.

 

Save Thy Planet: The Gospel According to Francis   Leave a comment

imagesCrawford Kilian has crafted an articulate analysis of the new encyclical by Pope Francis, and distilled some of the wisdom therein into the following:

“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

“The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs to buy, own and consume.”

“Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us.”

“For indigenous communities, land is not a commodity, but a gift from God, a sacred space.”

“Earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.”

“We should be particularly indignant at the enormous inequalities in our midst.”

“We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

Kilian writes that, “This is highly incendiary stuff, and the pope is clearly aware that not all his bishops and cardinals will want to propagate this kind of revolutionary faith. But his encyclical frequently credits the clergy of various nations (including the Canadian bishops) for their endorsements of countless key points. They are on his side whether they want to be or not.

Read more at: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/06/22/Pope-Save-Thy-Planet/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=220615

Zoo Poo in Toronto   Leave a comment

 

Ontarians invest $2.2M to turn Zoo Poo & Food Waste

into Renewable Power!

 

TORONTO – Nearly 300 local investors are celebrating after reaching their goal of raising $2.2 million to build North America’s 1st zoo-based biogas plant. The facility will be located across the street from the Toronto Zoo and will recycle 17,000 tonnes of Zoo poo and local grocery store waste into renewable power for the Ontario grid.  “We are extremely proud today – all of our members, investors, Board and staff have been focused on this goal for almost two years now,” said ZooShare’s Executive Director, Daniel Bida. “Having these funds in the bank brings us one step closer to putting shovels in the ground, which we plan on doing in the coming months. Our project proves that, given the opportunity, people will choose to invest for impact: our financial returns are good, but are our environmental returns are better – and our investors wanted their portfolios to reflect that.”

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Beginning in October 2013, ZooShare began raising funds for the project by offering Community Bonds to both local retail and institutional investors. Supporters are almost entirely individuals, ranging in age from 18 months to 83 years old, and most live in the Greater Toronto Area. “It was exactly the kind of investment I had been looking for,” says investor Jennifer Neirinckx, “Smart, green and helping out right in my own city! Go poo power!” A few companies have also invested: “Bullfrog Power participated early on as a founding investor and the project’s Educational Sponsor and, earlier this year, increased our financial commitment,” says Ron Seftel, Chief Operating Officer of Bullfrog Power.

 “As a not-for-profit organization, the Toronto Zoo is committed to energy efficient operations and environmental protection. We are excited to be associated with North America’s first zoo-biogas project, which will further strengthen the Zoo’s role as a global leader in conservation and sustainability,” said John Tracogna, CEO of the Toronto. “I want to congratulate everyone at ZooShare in reaching this significant milestone and thank the Community at large for their incredible enthusiasm and support for this project,” he added.

 The Ontario Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, is also a fan of the project: “ZooShare is a fine example of community power in action – raising local dollars to make a local impact through the development of a renewable energy project. I congratulate them on their success.”

 ZooShare supporters celebrated their success at The Community Bond Showcase, an event ZooShare co-hosted with other leaders in the sector, SolarShare and the Centre for Social Innovation.

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About ZooShare

The ZooShare biogas plant will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from Canada’s largest grocery chain into renewable power for the Ontario grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer. To learn more, visit Zooshare.ca.

For more information contact:

Daniel Bida

Executive Director

daniel@zooshare.ca

 

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Fossil Fuel Divestment   Leave a comment

February 13 / 14 has been designated as “Global Divestment Day(s).

From a blockade at the International Petroleum Conference in London to hundreds of people dumping their dirty banks on the same day in Australia, the photos and videos are already pouring in from our friends on the other side of the globe. Click here to see (and share!) some of today’s early photos on Facebook:

Today people are demonstrating that there are thousands of people around the world who know that fossil fuel divestment is both the smart thing to do and the right thing — and those people are willing to take action in their own communities. We know that if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.

Earlier this week, the fossil fuel industry launched a concerted counter-attack on the divestment movement, only to have their efforts fall rather flat. This (perhaps apocryphal) Gandhi quote feels more apt than ever: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Let’s show the world that we’ve got the guts, the heart, and the numbers to win against the power and money of the industry driving the climate crisis.

Let’s make fossil fuels history.

For information on what one courageous church community is doing, check out: http://www.trinitystpauls.ca/climate-justice/

Oil train trouble in Toronto: citizens demand answers   Leave a comment

A Toronto neighbourhood is taking the unusual step of asking the Auditor General of Canada to get answers to the urban community’s oil train concerns.

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Oil trains rolling past a Toronto west end homeowner’s backyard at dusk. Photo by Safe Rail Communities.

A Toronto neighbourhood group, alarmed by what appears to be a surge in oil trains rumbling past their urban backyards, is taking the unusual step of urging the Auditor General of Canada to intervene to help it get answers to safety concerns.

The group, called Safe Rail Communities, says it has been asking basic questions to CN, CP Rail and the federal government about the safety of transporting these explosive fuels, but found the responses lacking.

“We’re getting stonewalled,” said Helen Vassilakos, co-founder of Safe Rail Communities, who lives near the train tracks.

“Transport Canada is refusing to speak with us and the minister is actually refusing to send anyone out to our meetings.”

Full story from the Vancouver Observer at: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/oil-train-trouble-toronto-citizens-demand-answers