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...

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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? 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...

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQliow4ghtU&w=560&h=315] Is there a link between the vanishing Arctic sea ice and extreme weather? Some prominent climate researchers think so. That’s because warming temperatures in the Arctic are altering the behavior of the polar jet stream, a high-altitude river of air that drives weather patterns across the globe. As the winds that propel the jet stream weaken, storms, droughts, and extreme heat and cold move over continents at slower rates, meaning bad weather can stick around for longer. Eli...

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKV5v3BQoEo&w=560&h=315] Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming and reach the point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. Hear from Project Drawdown on how its team of PhDs developed the plan, based on existing solutions and technologies, and how businesses can act on these opportunities now to put carbon back where it belongs

Banking on Climate Change 2018 is the ninth annual report that ranks bank policies and practices in funding fossil fuel production and extraction, including drilling for oil in tar sands, the Arctic and in deep water. The report examines 36 private banks from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan and China, and breaks down how much funding is going to different fossil fuel subsectors and companies. This year’s numbers saw an 11 percent jump in funding, from $104 billion in...

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Ottawa is among 13 cities worldwide that are projected to see temperature hikes that could exceed 2 C over the next decade or so, according to a new report. Cities that could see the steepest temperature increases during the 2020s include Helsinki in Finland (2.5 C), Ottawa (2.3 C) and Trondheim in Norway (2.3 C), the study showed. The new data provides “foundation knowledge” for cities at the forefront of efforts to rein in the effects of global warming, said...

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Urban forests play a vital role in helping communities adapt to and mitigate climate change, reduce air pollution, sequester carbon and save energy through natural heating and cooling. But urban forests are facing increasingly difficult growing conditions. Exotic pests, more frequent and severe storms, and the loss of soils in urban developments all contribute to stressed urban forests. In order to contribute to healthy, resilient communities, these valuable assets need to be managed proactively and supported consistently across the province. Green Infrastructure Ontario’s urban...

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bQLUpctvR8&w=560&h=315]   Link to Stoknes’ full TEDGlobal talk HERE>> The biggest obstacle to dealing with climate disruptions lies between your ears, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes. He’s spent years studying the defenses we use to avoid thinking about the demise of our planet — and figuring out a new way of talking about global warming that keeps us from shutting down. Step away from the doomsday narratives and learn how to make caring for the earth feel...

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As long as you and I consume oil, we make oil nastiness possible in the most basic way. Our money, and how we spend it, is an extension of our values, our intent, our convictions. If we don’t consume the oil, then, yes, someone else might. But when we participate in the ugly world of oil by consuming its products, we not only make it profitable, we give the whole craziness our implicit consent. Our efforts to change this are...

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Sustainable activism has what (Antonio) Gramsci called a ‘pessimism of the intellect’ which can avoid wishful thinking and face reality as squarely as possible. However it also retains an ‘optimism of the will’, an inner conviction that things can be different. By holding optimism and pessimism in tension, sustainable activism is better able to handle despair, and it has less need to resort to binary thinking as a way of engaging with reality. It can hold contradictions so that they...

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