Opportunity to input: Government and expert review of  Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Secretariat for Canada wishes to inform you that the Second Order Draft of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate is available for government and expert review until January 11, 2019, 19:00 EST.

The SROCC is highly relevant for Canada with its focus on high mountain areas; polar regions; sea level rise and implications for low-lying islands; coasts and communities; changing ocean, marine ecosystems and dependent communities; and extremes, abrupt changes and managing risks.

Review of the SROCC Second Order Draft by experts in Canada will help ensure that it provides a balanced and comprehensive assessment of the latest scientific findings and relevant, factual and scientific information for policy makers.

An online registration process is open for prospective expert reviewers via the SOD Review webpage. Registration will close on 4 January 2019, 19:00 ESTone week before the end of the review period.

The IPCC Secretariat for Canada values the contributions of Canada’s expert reviewers in this process and we thank-you in advance for your time and efforts. Opportunity to input: Government and expert review of

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Environment Network (EN) Report to Diocesan Council Dec. 2018

National recognition: I am pleased to say that our diocese EN was featured in a national church article during Seasons of Creation:  https://www.anglican.ca/news/diocesan-environment-network-builds-alliances-in-nova-scotia-and-p-e-i/30022769/

Membership is approximately 200 and growing. Many churches have multiple members. The Church of St Andrew in Cole Harbour probably has the most, approximately a dozen parishioners are members of the EN. Members are involved in varying degrees.

Communication: At our September meeting we reviewed the EN’s call to teach, inform and motivate parishes to be greener, support all people who care about God’s creation, encouraging environmental activism, energy conservation and waste reduction. We agreed to take advantage of the Diocesan Times, to submit articles about people and parishes, profile them, what they are doing and how they are accomplishing it. Good news stories, for example the St Margaret’s community garden. Provide information on where to go to obtain information and funding. We should also continue to promote the EN in parishes and throughout the diocese. Engaging parishes in greening our buildings. A subcommittee developed a resource list for our webpage with the DT. One of our members, a journalist, will write articles featuring parishes that are engaged in caring for creation and a quarterly article on a “big issue”.

EN Retreat Weekend and Day Retreats: Evaluations showed satisfaction with the retreat in May and there were requests for more retreats. Some asked for annual retreats and one person asked for “mini day retreats”. As a result, the EN partnered with Kairos Canada and Christ Church, Darmouth and held an initial day retreat Nov. 18 with 30 participants. More day retreats are being planned for 2019 in Charlottetown, Pictou, Cape Breton, possibly Amherst and Yarmouth. Day retreats spreads those events throughout the diocese, engages more people and reduces costs. We would also be happy to provide day retreats for parishes, regions and various groups within the diocese as well. The EN is requesting Diocesan Council support. Estimated costs of day retreats is $500 each.

Season of Creation: We will approach Archbishop Ron about in promoting Season of Creation next year to increase participation. That being said, from my latest Creation Matters meeting, it appears that our diocese has more parishes engaged in Season of Creation than any other diocese in the country. At least a dozen parishes engaged in Season of Creation. I was guest preacher at the Church of St Andrew in Cole Harbour the end of September. Kudos to all who celebrated Seasons of Creation particularly:

Parish of Horton, Wolfville:

Held a mid-week book study using “Grounded: Finding God in the World.

Adapted a creation focused Eucharist from South Africa. “The response from a diverse group of folks was thought-provoking and theologically deep.”

Undertook a day retreat called “Soil and Spirituality” According to the rector, “Quiet contemplation on dirt, spirit, connecting with our roots in a beautiful garden setting at the Quiet Garden in Wolfville. Rev’d Lynn Uzans of the Anglican Parish of Wilmot lead this restorative day retreat.”

St. John the Evangelist, Middle Sackville:

Who marked the Season of Creation on four Sundays through September.
One of their Lay Readers, Maxine Simpkin found an “Earth” beach ball that was suspended from the cross beam in the middle of the congregation. They used the Joe Miller piece, “If the Earth were only a few feet…” as part of the liturgy opening. Maxine also found some “Earth” squeezy balls that they gave out to the children and the rest of those present the next week which was Welcome Back Sunday had a caring for creation theme.
One week they located the new baptismal promise to sustain and restore the Earth at the opening of the service as a reminder of our commitment.
They used the “Earth Blue Marble” photo from space on their bulletin covers (instead of the church photo) and on their slides for the projector.

“This was St. John’s first year so we started small and hope to do better next year.”

Developing relationships with like-minded organizations inside and outside the church: The church is in the unique position of being able to provide spiritual care and support to environmentalists. To better connect with other environmental groups and individuals Tory Byrne represents our network on the board of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network and serves as treasurer, https://nsenvironmentalnetwork.com/

Our EN promoted and supported Nova Scotia Environmental Network, Ecology Action Centre, Healthy Forest Coalition, Northern Pulp, Alton Gas and Council of Canadians Blue Community campaign.

Our expression of support to the fishers who are protesting pollution by Northern Pulp on Facebook resulted in well over 60 likes and positive comments from members of the Clean Up the Pictou County Pulp Mill FB page.

Provided support to Joanne Light for travel to Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada ‘s 13th National Conference and Lobbying Days, “Building Bridges,” on Parliament Hill (https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/).  

I am still an active member of national church’s Creation Matters Task Group and represent the ACC on the Kairos Eco justice Circle. And I recently acted as a resource to United Church Maritime Conference on their new environmental program Faithful Footprints.

Lenten Practice in our diocese: It was agreed at our September meeting that the EN would develop a “Stations of the Cross” type spiritual practice for Lent using local photographs taken by Donna Giles from the Church of St Andrew in Cole Harbour. The Stations will be available to parishes and regions throughout the diocese. Parishes or regions will be able to book the Stations in advance. EN members could be available for support. Contact Rev Marian if your parish would like to book the Stations. marian.lucas.jefferies@gmail.com 902-483-6866

On Line Book Club: After a member of the EN lent me a book called Chasing Francis, I am hoping to introduce an on line book club.

Tory Byrne’s letter to the Nova Scotia Environmental Network re the meeting with the Minister of the Environment:

Specifically, the three areas I would like to see addressed are

1. The need for environmental non-profits to have core funding support from government, especially at a network level. It’s hard enough to find financial support for specific projects; it’s nearly impossible for administration, coordination, communication and education. Governments, both federal and provincial have noted the need for the public community groups to do monitoring and education because governments aren’t doing it. – And because self-monitoring by industry fails in the face of the need for industry and shareholder profits.

2. The environment can heal us, physically, mentally and spiritually, and keep us healthy. But if we continue to destroy the environment, it will kill us. This is a link which governments are missing. This government is taking a beating on health care, yet ignores practices and papers from other parts of the world that show that healthcare costs can be significantly reduced and health significantly improved by maintaining and building healthy forests, waterways and air, while providing access to all people. This is an environment issue, a health issue, a social justice issue and a spiritual wellbeing issue.

3. Listen to environmentalists: indigenous, academic, and the ecologically involved. Value all the knowledge that is out there. We don’t expect legislators to be environmental experts. We do expect them to listen and consider, act on and continue to be visibly acting on advice and information from all sources. Don’t pit industry against environmentalists (we do that well enough) but work with the issues to protect the environment AND provide for jobs. And probably profits – though these tend to leave the province anyhow). Example: according to the Economist, it costs $14,000 to extract one kilo of gold from the ground, as is currently being proposed for the Goldboro area gold mine, a mine which will devastate the land and waters and wildlife for generations. It costs only $4,000 to extract that same one kilo of gold from recycling electronics, which does minimal damage or even benefits to the environment. Both methods provide jobs. Due diligence may provide ways to better outcomes for the environment and for the people.

Tory

Respectfully submitted,

The Rev. Marian Lucas-Jefferies

Coordinator, Environment Network

Environmental Assessment: Highway 104 Twinning Sutherlands River to Antigonish Project

Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal registered the Highway 104 Twinning Sutherlands River to Antigonish Project for environmental assessment, in accordance with Part IV of the Environment Act.

The purpose of the Project involves the twinning of Highway 104 between Sutherlands River (Pictou County) and Addington Forks (Antigonish County). The Project alignment is approximately 38 kilometers and will include twinning two segments of the existing alignment (approximately 28 kilometers), in addition to the construction of a new four‐lane highway (approximately 10 Kilometers) diverging to the south from the present alignment near Barneys River Station and reconnecting west of Exit 30. The Project construction may commence in 2019 and is expected to be completed within 5 years.

From December 6, 2018, all project information including the Registration Document is available on the Nova Scotia Environment website at http://www.novascotia.ca/nse/ea/.

Please note that comments must be provided no later than January 15, 2019 to be considered in this environmental assessment. Comments are requested to be provided via e-mail if possible.

On or before February 4, 2019, the Minister of Environment will decide if the project can be granted conditional environmental assessment approval. All submissions received, including personal information, will be made available for public review upon request.

Contact:

Helen Yeh

E-mail: Helen.Yeh@novascotia.ca

OPINION: Why I’m Finding it Difficult to Believe in the Current Corporate-Owned Capitalist Political System We Have

I wish I could believe. I respect progressive politics– the creators of the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation – they were my people after all [Baptists!]). I’ve believed for a long time. I want to believe now. I really do. Trudeau has nailed the final nail in the coffin of me not believing in the voting and election process. I wrote “Spoiling the ballot” as a shout out to trigger an example of the level of civil disobedience needed. I really feel we have flatlined as far as governments go–there are no worse and no better because what we desperately need NOW– a declaration of a state of emergency and a war level effort to slow global warming–they cannot produce. They are all chained to being bad because the corporate capitalist takeover of democracy is complete.

I’ve been reading and listening to Chris Hedges for eight years. He’s saying we MUST carry out acts of legal, peaceful civil disobedience. Most of us who have slipped from the middle to the lower income quintile are now the “underclass” that indigenous Canadians have been for 250 years. We really need to join with them in resisting environmental “extractivism” and degradation. John Risley doesn’t need any more profit for a second private plane. Galen Weston doesn’t need any more profit from his palm oil-laced processed foods to the detriment of the rainforests being decimated and the habitat of orangutans and tens of thousands of species lost. For our junk food? To make us obese? Why is this allowed? Because governments will not regulate industry because industry owns them, the way Northern Pulp owns McNeil, the way the Big Boys owned Dexter and every other politician who gets into power.

All our employment must come from small organic farming (permaculture) operations. Everyone must go “back to the garden” and governments need to help people get back to growing their own food. Focusing on a non-polluting energy industry and an improved grid, as well as a new tax system which heavily taxes the richest (as FDR did in the 1930s) in order to create clean infrastructure jobs,  should be prioritized. Selective silva culture forestry and rebuilding of the Acadian forest will follow.

Prevention of lifestyle disease through nutrition education and massive numbers of public government-run kitchens which distribute fresh food and teach skills about what our bodies need and what the environment can handle now is key for a healthy future. Extreme heat and irregular weather is upon us, so we must shut down biomass, fracking, coal mining and pulp mills, (nationalize our energy system), restore salt marshes for protection from storm surges and put people to work doing all these things.

We need to encourage the creation of organic farms, clean energy technology, conservation (rewilding, tree planting), a plant-based diet and active transportation programs to encourage exercise and healthy eating. Redistribution of excess food to low-income households should be a law–no corporation should be throwing out perfectly good food. All these things must be put in place by government.

Thirteen-year-olds are striking from school and suing federal governments. They know they have no future. We have to do something more radical because of the climate crisis is fully upon us. Even at the oft-quoted 1.5 degrees temperature rise limit, growing food may be too difficult. PEI ploughed under 30% of its potato crop this summer. Growers told me it was the hardest year to grow food they have seen in 30 years. If that’s the case at 1.1 degree temperature rise that we already have, what will 1.5 degrees bring?

Seven years ago we were at 380 parts per billion of CO2. Now we’re up to 412 and it’s rising in greater increments all the time, especially in the last two years. We have to draw down, and drawback from business as usual which federal and provincial governments exemplify as fast as possible on our own and maybe with the help of municipal governments declaring a state of emergency. We need to collapse unregulated corporate capitalism. Piketty’s book is called ‘The End of Capitalism‘. The sooner we get there, the very slight chance we have to create a green economy and a more socially just world.

Climate disruption demands we change everything from plastic bags to limiting flying to the shifting the tax system to upping public transportation and limiting car use in urban cores. We must tax the rich heavily and use all the money to transition to a no carbon, zero growth economy. We have no time to wait for governments who are under the thumb of Big Oil in the case of Trudeau and the Mafia (in the case of Thug Ford). We have no socialist party in Canada. Otherwise, the NDP or the Greens would have promoted things like “The Leap Manifesto” (in the case of the Federal NDP) or “Carbon Fee and Dividend” (in the case of the Green Party). There are no parties that will do what is needed. It’s a state of emergency, no less.

Chris Hedges doesn’t even get to talking about climate change. He has just thoroughly dissected and exposed neoliberalism, austerity and the corporate takeover of government. In Canada as well, we have books and articles written by whistleblowers. Such as ‘Deep Oil State‘, which spells out how the multinational oil companies took over the federal government, and Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret exposes what factory farming is doing to the atmosphere, not to mention our health. The UN has announced our global food system is broken. People are starving; people are morbidly obese; people are full of disease caused by what they eat or don’t eat. Corporate agriculture and billionaire food processing giants are killing us so that big pharma can squeeze millions of insurance dollars out through heavy drug prescribing.

As Chris Hedges said, “If we don’t stop them, they’re going to kill us all.” Climate change is the most obvious evidence of how the thugs, the goons, the greedy, the sociopaths, the criminal, the power mongers that control the world are killing us.

We need to have face to face discussion about what we, the people must do in Nova Scotia and all across Canada. That’s why I’m trying to bring activists together to brainstorm and listen to each other. Convince me that the NS NDP will come with policies that address all these concerns.

The frog is seconds from croaking its last croak. We need to get him out, do major revival work on him and there’s a minuscule chance he will recover. But we have to make Nova Scotians understand what Hedges is saying and that’s a big challenge unless maybe they can see how serious it is now because of the difficulty growing food.

By Joanne Light

Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability launches FREE ‘Exploring Sustainability’ online course in January 2019

(Halifax NS) The College of Sustainability will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2019. To commemorate ten years of sustainability education, the College will launch its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The course, called Exploring Sustainability, is free and open to the public and begins on 7 January 2019, hosted on the Canvas Network.

Dalhousie FREE Sustainability Course

Exploring Sustainability allows anyone with an interest in sustainability to learn from leaders in the field — historians, architects, biologists, archaeologists, and political scientists. Themes such as food production, Indigenous-settler relations, land use, energy, resource allocation, water, and urbanization are explored through engaging videos and online discussions.

Registration for this class is now open. Participants do not receive academic credit for the course and must have access to a computer and the Internet. This course is based on SUST 1000: What is Sustainability — the first-year introductory course in the Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS) program in the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University.
“An understanding of sustainability and the dependence between humans and their environment may be the most important education that universities can provide the next generation.”
– Steven Mannell (course instructor)

Dalhousie Sustainability Course Instructor

Course Instructor: Steve Mannell, Director of the College of Sustainability, NSAA, FRAIC

Steve is internationally recognized for his innovative work on interdisciplinary curriculum for sustainability education. His academic research includes waterworks architecture and engineering, the conservation of modern built heritage, and the late 20th century emergence of “ecological” architecture. He is curator and author of Atlantic Modern: The Architecture of the Atlantic Provinces 1950- 2000 (2001) and Living Lightly on the Earth: Building an Ark for Prince Edward Island 1974-76 (2016).

Course Coordinator:Bridget Graham, MA

Bridget Graham is the Engagement and Retention Coordinator in Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability and a graduate of the ESS program. She enjoys supporting current, prospective and former students in the College of Sustainability.

Resource Links:
College of Sustainability: https://www.dal.ca/faculty/sustainability.html 
Sustainability at Dalhousie: https://www.dal.ca/about-dal/sustainability.html
Canvas Network: https://www.canvas.net/
Contact for more information: sustmooc@dal.ca

The East Coast’s First Package Free Shop

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According to the CRC’s website, Canadians produce 31 million tonnes of waste each year. Only about 30% of those 31 million tonnes is recycled, and the rest is added to landfills, or worse, ends up polluting the natural environment.

Kate Pepler has been making an impactful change with the recent opening of a package-free cafe, bulk store, and community hub, The Tare Shop, in the north end of Halifax. When asked where the idea for the shop came from, Pepler explained, “After graduating, I was pretty depressed about the state of the world, so I started Our Positive Planet as a way to seek out and share environmental success stories to inspire action. That’s how I fell into the zero waste movement and started looking at my own plastic consumption… I realized how hard it was in Halifax to shop package free. There wasn’t one place that offered it all, so that’s where the idea came from.”

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The shop carries a variety of products in bulk that you can fill your own containers with, as well as sustainable lifestyle items. “The easier it is for people to access these products package free, the more people will live this way,” says Pepler.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetIn the shop’s cafe, there are no disposable cups or plastic food wraps. You have the option of bringing your own travel mug to take out, or sitting in to use one of theirs. If you don’t have a travel mug, there are some available for purchase, or you can borrow one from the store’s mug library.

Not only does The Tare Shop greatly help people live a life with less waste, but it also encourages taking a few minutes out of your busy day to sit down and enjoy a coffee, which is something we all could get value from. The cafe carries Java Blend coffee, World Tea House, and fresh goodies from local bakeries (often with gluten-free and vegan options!).

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Clearly, waste is a huge problem that the whole world faces. When considering this pressing issue, Pepler suggested, “I think that the biggest issue is how disconnected we’ve become from everything. From where we get our food, to the products that we use, how things are made, the impacts that our actions have. I think that’s where the biggest issue lies. We consume without thinking about our actions… When we throw something ‘away,’ it isn’t going away. There is no magical land that is ‘away’. It goes somewhere, whether it’s a landfill or an ocean, it goes somewhere.”

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If you’re interested in seeing more from The Tare Shop and learning about upcoming events, you can check out thetareshop.com, find them on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram: @thetareshop.

 

Words & Photos by Jenna Clayton