Archive for 2007 March

Is incineration an option?

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) has just released a new report: Ontario’s Waste Management Challenge “Is Incineration an Option?”

This paper suggests that any discussion of incineration should only take place for waste that is truly residual, within a waste hierarchy framework that primarily seeks to prevent and reduce the generation of waste, and then seeks to achieve the highest possible rate of diversion.  The paper concludes with 11 recommendations for Ontario.  It, as well as our recent news release, can be downloaded from the CIELAP website.

2007 Apr 2: Straw bales at Grassroots

Here’s an interesting neighborhood workshop. Admittedy, it didn’t work out so well for the first little pig.  But I imagine there were some techniques of which he wasn’t aware.

Straw Bale Building With Ben Polley
Monday, 2007 April 2, 7:30 pm
Grassroots–Riverdale, 372 Danforth Ave at Chester Ave

$10 ($5 for students/seniors/unemployed)

Pre-registration and payment are necessary to reserve one of the twenty spaces. Please call Grassroots at 416-466-2841 or register at either Grassroots location.     Read more »

Ontario climate act petition

Please sign the petition, tabled by our MPP Peter Tabuns, asking Ontario to meet our Kyoto requirements even if Canada does not.  Energy and Transportation are provincial mandates so a great deal of climate change legislation will have to be put in provincially anyway.

I participated in provincial climate change consultations a few months ago, which theoretically were supposed to lead to an Ontario strategy.  Unfortunately, judging by the 2007 Ontario budget, the response will be anemic.  We’ll keep the coal plants running, put in as many natural gas plants as we can as well, limit wind and expand nuclear.  Transportation funding focuses on roads rather than public transit.

If you can spare the time, phone or write your MPP as well.

Petition against dolphin slaughter

Magda Constans has asked that everyone sign the petition against the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan.  There is also a very disturbing video if you have the stomach for it and want to see the process to judge for yourself.

Why I know the Green Party is a Force

Hello citizens of our world,

this morning while walking from the bus through some buildings to my lecture hall, I stopped to buy a coffee in the Fine Arts building and over-heard a heated discussion amongst a group of students. One fellow about 20 y/o said:

when I want I destroy; when I wish I create

I nearly dropped the coffee. 


Low-carbon campaign challenge

This is a companion piece to my previous post, where I railed about carbon offsets becoming permission to go ahead with “business-as-usual”.  Well, it is incumbent on us not to have a business-as-usual campaign, then, whether or not we choose to go with carbon offsets.

So here are some ideas.  I welcome more.

  1. Our signs will be stored in local depots and delivered on foot or bicycle.
  2. Elena from our campaign team has offered her bicycle to be available to campaign staff running errands.  Several other members enthusiastically added that they would be happy to add a bike to the mix as well.
  3. We will try to reduce emissions from heating by keeping the office cool (or, if the campaign ends up in the summer, we’ll try to keep the office warm to reduce emissions associated with electricity for cooling).
  4. We will use 100% post-consumer recycled paper for our flyers and other materials.
  5. We will scrupulously recycle everything we can at the office.
  6. We will try to perform as many functions manually as we can.
  7. We will try to reduce the energy used on lighting and computers by turning them off when they are not absolutely needed.
  8. We will do our best to keep water use low.
  9. We’ll try to eliminate disposables as much as possible — no styrofoam cups for coffee, for example.

To offset or not to offset

As campaign manager, I’d like some input into whether we should offset our campaign or not.  Email me or add your comments below, and I’ll let those comments guide the decision.     Read more »

Progress on climate change!

Today, 120 members of the House of Congress in the United States introduced the Safe Climate Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by 80% by 2050.  Canada’s Liberal climate change plan calls for reductions of 60-80% by 2050.  The NDP calls for reductions of 80% by 2050 as well.  While some analysts propose even higher reductions, (George Monbiot, in his book “Heat” proposes reductions of 94% by 2030 for Canada) these are certainly in the range of what is called for.

Also today, the Star reported that all 3 opposition parties in parliament tabled amendments to the Clean Air Act that are so similar that consensus will likely be reached and these changes instituted.  All of this is great news.

There is one quibble I have with all of this legislation.     Read more »

2007 Mar 22: World Water Day

Thursday March 22 is World Water Day.

The theme this year is “Coping with water scarcity”.  We’re very fortunate in Canada that we have an abundance of clean water, but the availabilty of drinking water is already a problem for many millions of people on the planet.  Global warming and population growth will make matters worse in the future.  For more information see  There’s also an article “Many Major Rivers are in Danger of Dying” based on an assesment by WWF posted March 20 at

Connecting the environment to social justice

We do not want people to live in energy poverty. The solution is really easy. We need to eliminate poverty.
Elizabeth May

By delivering a Guaranteed Liveable Income, the Green Party will do most to enhance social justice now.  By focusing on the environment that sustains us, the Green Party will do most to secure social justice for the next generation.     Read more »