• Friday, February 15th, 2013
Too bad this wasn’t reported in the newspapers or 6 o’clock news…
Source: The Royal Society of Biological Sciences
Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse, a loss of socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline in population size . Some, such as those of Egypt and China, have recovered from collapses at various stages; others, such as that of Easter Island or the Classic Maya, were apparently permanent [1,2]. All those previous collapses were local or regional; elsewhere, other societies and civilizations persisted unaffected. Sometimes, as in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, new civilizations rose in succession. In many, if not most, cases, overexploitation of the environment was one proximate or an ultimate cause .
But today, for the first time, humanity’s global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as ‘an act of suicide on a grand scale’ , facing what the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental problems . The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption. But other elements could potentially also contribute to a collapse: an accelerating extinction of animal and plant populations and species, which could lead to a loss of ecosystem services essential for human survival; land degradation and land-use change; a pole-to-pole spread of toxic compounds; ocean acidification and eutrophication (dead zones); worsening of some aspects of the epidemiological environment (factors that make human populations susceptible to infectious diseases); depletion of increasingly scarce resources [6,7], including especially groundwater, which is being overexploited in many key agricultural areas ; and resource wars . These are not separate problems; rather they interact in two gigantic complex adaptive systems: the biosphere system and the human socio-economic system. The negative manifestations of these interactions are often referred to as ‘the human predicament’ , and determining how to prevent it from generating a global collapse is perhaps the foremost challenge confronting humanity.
The human predicament is driven by overpopulation, overconsumption of natural resources and the use of unnecessarily environmentally damaging technologies and socio-economic-political arrangements to service Homo sapiens’ aggregate consumption [11–17]. How far the human population size now is above the planet’s long-term carrying capacity is suggested (conservatively) by ecological footprint analysis.
• Sunday, February 10th, 2013
Even if it doesn’t spill, it will already have been an environmental disaster.
Last fall, the pipeline company Enbridge asked the National Energy Board (NEB) for permission to:
- reverse the flow in a section of its Line 9 pipeline
- use the pipeline to carry heavy tar sands crude from Alberta through Ontario to Montreal
Citizens need to know that:
- domestic oil is not necessarily ethical oil
- by the time tar sands oil does make it to a gas station, it may already have generated as much as 82% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil
The Line 9 pipeline reversal:
- will not save you any money at the pump
- will not create significant jobs in Montreal
- may expose communities along the pipeline to the risk of a heavy oil spill
- may simply be intended to access foreign markets, where more money can be made per barrel
What you can do
Attend an upcoming public meeting, where environmentalist Steven Guilbeault will give more information on the issue, and explain how you can make your voice heard:
- Montreal, February 6, 7 p.m. – Centre Roussin, 12 125, rue Notre Dame Est
- St-Césaire, February 11, 7 p.m. – Hôtel de Ville, 1111, avenue St-Paul
- Ste-Justine, March 11, 6:30 p.m. – Centre communautaire, 2842, rue Principale
For more information (including sources) (in French only)
• Sunday, February 03rd, 2013
This book is one of the most powerful books that I have ever read. Already I’ve read it twice and I will read it for a third time this year.
Published in 2008, this book is now available for FREE download. To get your free copy of the book, go to: GreatWavesOfChange.org
What is coming to our World is beyond what we have seen in recent history (100 years) and we need new tools and new techniques to mitigate the myriad problems we face. Extreme weather events in the U.S. have already increased 5-fold since 1980. This book gives us a clear picture of the future and the perspectives we will need to navigate our unprecedented difficulties. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
In The Great Waves of Change, Marshall Vian Summers explains the steps you can take to navigate our increasingly turbulent and uncertain times. In the face of such uncertainty, Summers presents a revolutionary new way of knowing—a unique process that can be applied by people everywhere. By understanding the Great Waves and by connecting to a deeper authority within, you can find the strength, courage and inner certainty to adapt and to become a contributor, not a victim, to a rapidly changing world.
Table of Contents
• Saturday, January 19th, 2013
This is a quote from a very powerful interview with Richard Heinberg about his newest book, Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth.
The debate in our politics has been: how can we get more energy resources and how can we grow the economy so that we can produce more jobs and more prosperity. Of course, there is never any consideration (in mainstream media or politics) about the sustainability of this policy of more, more, more…it just isn’t questioned.
Heinberg’s new book is a heavy tome of large photographs that show the physical affects of this policy of endless growth on our Earth, on our natural world. And the pictures are very bleak, depressing and dark. This is our future if we continue on this path of more, more more.
We must start to act like adults rather than children who insist on more, more, more without considering the consequences.
Endless growth is a delusion with consequences…The spiral of climate change, peak energy, and economic crisis, with author Richard Heinberg. Fresh interview on giant new book “Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth”. Followed by speech to Chicago Bioneers “Life After Growth: Why the Economy Is Shrinking and What to Do About It”.
Eye-popping, jaw-dropping, – I’m out of words to describe the tsunami of agencies and experts admitting our troubles are bigger than our brains.
• Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Update 3/29/12: The series has been disappointing so far, but I’ll stick with it for a few more days.
This is a FREE online series of events you may want to consider. These events can inspire you to live a greener, healthier, more spacious life and transform any frustration you may feel about the state of our planet.
It’s called the Spring of Sustainability, and it features more than 100 pioneers of sustainability – Jane Goodall, Ed Begley Jr., Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Vandana Shiva, John Robbins, Hazel Henderson, to name a few – who will share the most cutting-edge insights and tools for creating a sustainable and thriving world.
Learn more at this link: http://springofsustainability.com
This 3-month series of virtual and live events starts on March 26th. Each weekday, you’ll have the chance to listen in and learn from an inspiring sustainability leader via your phone line or computer, or access the replays at a time more convenient for you.
The Spring of Sustainability is the season for you to:
- Transform fear and frustration into hope and actions you can contribute directly to creating a sustainable world for all beings
- Learn fun, inspiring ways you can engage your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers in creating a healthy and sustainable community
- Discover why new systems rooted in justice and sustainability principles are the only viable solution for our planet
- Network and collaborate with other passionate people and organizations on sustainable initiatives – and help create a thriving planet
- Get the latest cutting-edge insights into green building, green business, green living, renewable energy sources, wildlife preservation and climate change
- Understand the role of culture and social will in creating a paradigm shift in economic, political, and social systems that are destroying the planet
Research Credit: John Lumiere-Wins
• Monday, February 06th, 2012
Here is an exciting new book that I plan on reading. An aquaculture system is a great compliment to a biodome, greenhouse or back yard garden.
Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution, and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.
Aquaponic Gardening is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, focused on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh, and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits, and potential of aquaponics, the book goes on to explain:
- System location considerations and hardware components
- The living elements–fish, plants, bacteria, and worms
- Putting it all together–starting and maintaining a healthy system
• Saturday, October 01st, 2011
Source: Centre for Sustainable Development
The eight member organizations of the Centre for Sustainable Development invite the public to a week-long open house at their brand new green building in the heart of Montreal’s revamped entertainment district, the Quartier des spectacles.
If you care about such issues as clean transportation, climate change, micro-credit or fair trade, you won’t want to miss it.
Schedule of activities
• Sunday, March 06th, 2011
Source: The New York Times
Climate change and the larger issue of environmental sustainability are another challenge, Ms. Coyle argues, in which the balance between our actions today and our responsibilities to the future is out of whack. One does not have to look far to find evidence of depleting fishing stocks, accelerated extinctions of species, water shortages and atmospheric changes to realize that we are using up natural resources at a rapid rate.
What will this depletion, which is fed by current consumption, mean for future generations? Ms. Coyle writes that we “do want more in order to be happier — but how much more is feasible without destroying the natural and social environment, and how much more is fair to the people who will come after us?”
Borrowing from the future this way shows our inability, or refusal, to assume responsibility for the impact of today’s choices on tomorrow’s prospects, Ms. Coyle says.
Three elements — measurement, values and institutions — are needed to bring about a better balance between the present and future, she writes.
In the area of measurement, she says we must adopt broader, longer-term measures of economic well-being than G.D.P. Such metrics would account for health, education, the environment, employment, purchasing power and other conditions. They might also measure the stocks of the world’s resources — from fish in the ocean to human capital — in addition to the annual flows of national income calculated in G.D.P.
• Wednesday, January 05th, 2011
If the major issues surrounding sustainable urban development are an everyday concern for you, don’t miss the Ecocity World Summit 2011, in Montréal, August 22-26 @ the Palais des Congres.
This major international conference will address a number of themes at the heart of ecocities: climate change, ecomobility, governance, the economy, built environment, etc.
The Ecocity World Summit is the opportunity to present research projects and achievements which will help governments, researchers and industry professionals meet the challenges which they face in the quest for a healthier and more sustainable world.
This is a reminder that the deadline to SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSALS is January 31, 2011.
Please click the links below for details on the conference themes.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ECOCITY »»»
ECOMOBILITY, URBAN PLANNING, PUBLIC SPACE »»»
GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY IN THE ECOCITY »»»
ECONOMICS OF THE ECOCITY »»»
HEALTH AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT »»»
BIODIVERSITY AND URBAN AGRICULTURE »»»
• Thursday, February 04th, 2010
Update, July 31, 2012: Please see Chris’ request (below the article in the Comments section) for a venue to introduce his new book and film on the subject of Green Spirituality.
Sunday February 7th, 7pm, at Mainfilm. More details below:
The Resilience Cycle aims to inform citizens about the issues raised by peak oil and climate change, and to help them take concrete action to help Montreal become more “resilient” in the face of future challenges. The purpose of this fifth evening will be to provide you tools to spread the word around you: family, neighbours, elected officials, community organizations…
- How to talk about peak oil and convince others that this issue will impact us very soon?
- How to discuss climate change and its consequences for Montreal?
- What is the Transition Town movement, which offers a response to these issues – a movement created by citizens for their community? It is based on facts, focuses on concrete action, and most importantly, is also fun and inclusive!
- How can we find inspiration in the Transition Town movement to launch initiatives in various areas of Montreal, in order to reduce our dependence on oil and better resist the shocks of the near future?
We are inviting to this evening all the folks who want to take action and start initiatives in their neighbourhood, in preparation for the challenges we will face very soon: limited energy supply (in particular gasoline, whose price will go up), more expensive food, challenging of the current road transportation system – and therefore of the way and price at which we bring food and items to Montreal stores… As well as the risk that our communities rise against each other, and that governments be even less able to protect the most vulnerable citizens.
Where: Main Film – Saint-Laurent subway
4067 Saint-Laurent in Montreal
When: Sunday February 7, at 7pm.
Free entrance – Donations welcome
Bring your mug!