Posts filed under ‘Biodiversity’

14 leading national environmental organizations release platform expectations for the federal election

Today, Canada’s leading environmental organizations released a set of 20 federal party platform recommendations that address the climate, biodiversity, toxics and waste crises harming our country.

These recommendations represent the collective priorities of the 14 organizations and reflect a comprehensive set of solutions to today’s most urgent environmental challenges. These platform priorities are currently being discussed with each of the five main federal political parties to help them develop their own set of committed actions.

In late summer 2019, the organizations will release a non-partisan, comparative evaluation of the environmental platforms of all the parties, to help Canadians make informed voting decisions.

The 20 federal party platform recommendations can be found here.

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May 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

What Can We Do?

Tapajós River in the Amazon © Todd Southgate / Greenpeace

At the University of Minnesota Dr. Nate Hagens teaches an honours course called “Reality 101: A Survey of the Human Predicament.” Hagens operated his own hedge fund on Wall Street until he glimpsed, “a serious disconnect between capitalism, growth, and the natural world. Money did not appear to bring wealthy clients more well being.

”Reality 101 addresses humanity’s toughest challenges: economic decline, inequality, pollution, biodiversity loss, and war. Students learn about systems ecology, neuroscience, and economics. “We ask hard questions,” says Hagens. “What is wealth? What are the limits to growth? We attempt to face our crises head on.”

Some students feel inspired to action, and some report finding the material “depressing.” One student shared the course material with a family member, who asked, “So what can I do?” The student struggled to answer this question, and the listener chastised her: “why did you explain all this to me, if you can’t tell me what to do?!”

A fair question. One that, as environmentalists, we often get asked. At the request of Dr Hagens, here is my list: Read What Can We Do? by Rex Weyler at Greenpeace.

December 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

It’s time to talk about We

While change at a local level has created practical pieces of a regenerative culture; what an initiative that has emerged from the Stockholm Resilience Centre called seeds of a Good Anthropocene. [https://goodanthropocenes.net/], we have failed to significantly and measurably move the big picture.

From my time working with Transition groups all around the world, I have seen these issues present in just about every Transition group. They lead me to ask whether we are working in the right way, or whether we are asking the right questions, or working in a way that will ultimately produce change, or whether the structure of the Industrial Growth System somehow prevents fundamental systemic change. Here are some of the main stumbling blocks.

Read It’s time to talk about We by Naresh Giangrande at The Transition Network.

November 5, 2018 at 11:46 am Leave a comment

SD&G exploring controls to halt depleting forest

The United Counties is looking at a broad set of tools, including land control laws, in a bid to stop the dwindling forest cover.

SD&G Planner Alison McDonald presented the plan to a committee of the whole session of county council this morning (Thursday).

“The balance is shifting…perhaps shifting too far,” McDonald said, noting the cover had dropped below 29 per cent in 2014 and below the widely-held benchmark of 30 per cent.

Part of the problem, McDonald explained, is land owners are secretly clear-cutting forest or filling in wetlands ahead of applying for a permit to build a subdivision or proceed with other developments. “Landowners are getting savvy,” knowing there are few people on the ground to catch them.

Read SD&G exploring controls to halt depleting forest at Cornwall Newswatch.

July 18, 2018 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

How land under solar panels can contribute to food security

Adding plants to solar farms offers all kinds of benefits to the facilities’ primary aim of reducing carbon emissions and expanding renewable energy. “Solar development is happening on a massive scale as lands are being converted from agricultural land or unused land into solar projects,” says Jordan Macknick, energy-water-land lead analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which funds research on the impact of native and crop plants grown in solar farms. “That represents an amazing opportunity to improve our agriculture and improve our food security while developing energy at the same time.”

And native and crop vegetation can help improve the health of pollinators, which are threatened by habitat loss, pesticide poisoning, poor nutrition, disease, decreased genetic diversity and a host of other factors.

Read How land under solar panels can contribute to food security by Frank Jossi at Ensia.

July 13, 2018 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Connecting nature, culture and community

This Thursday is Summer Solstice; the longest day of the year and the official beginning of the summer season. It also happens to be National Indigenous Peoples Day, and Cornwall Transition+ is planning events throughout the day to celebrate all three aspects.

The events’ head organizer, Susan Towndrow, said the group wanted to plan a day that would help people get back in tune with nature.

“This is the longest day of the year so we had this idea of celebrating the sunrise and the sunset as a way of connecting people with nature and bringing us back into the rhythms of life,” she said.

The day will start bright and early at 5 a.m. with a Tai Chi session in Lamoureux Park led by Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi. People will be meeting by the gazebo at the boat launch, and beginners are encouraged to come out to greet the sun as well.

Read Connecting nature, culture and community by Alan S. Hale in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

June 20, 2018 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

Climate change impacts on birds we love

What will climate change mean for the more than 45 million American birdwatchers? Much more importantly, what will it mean for the birds we most love and enjoy?

In Case You Missed It

With birds finely tuned to their living conditions – landscape, vegetation, weather, food, water – we know that a warming globe will add to the problems they already face.

The Audubon Society’s “Birds and Climate Report” website offers a useful overview. At the site’s core: its maps of changing climate ranges for 588 North American species, over half of them heading for trouble.

Read Climate change impacts on birds we love at Yale Climate Connections.

June 18, 2018 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

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