Archive for 2009 May

The increasing devastation of climate change

There was more grim news on the impacts of climate change yesterday.  A new study from the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF), a group headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, estimates that climate change now kills 315,000 people annually.  This is an increase from a previous World Health Organization estimate of 150,000 deaths per year.     Read more »

2009 May 29: Countdown to Copenhagen

Isuma TV has a Countdown to Copenhagen project that emphasizes the importance of protecting Inuit culture from the ravages of climate change.  A special programme will be aired this Friday.  We’ll be gathering to watch at Hart House.

Countdown to Copenhagen
Friday, 2009 May 29, 7:45pm
Hart House Debates Room
Hart House in the University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle
Contact Pieter Basedow for more information:

Flaherty expects manufacturing sector to shrink

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty predicts that the manufacturing sector will shrink as a percentage of the Canadian economy.

I’ve been fearing that manufacturing will shrink for some time.  Energy scarcity and corresponding high energy prices are likely to shrink industry for the foreseeable future until we develop a new, post-carbon energy system.  I feared that the pressure to reduce emissions might put a further squeeze on manufacturing.  But I’m glad Mr. Flaherty said it first.     Read more »

2009 May 28: Community safety forum

The Ralph Thornton Community Centre, Ryerson University and the South Riverdale Community Health Centre are presenting a community safety forum for South Riverdale residents.

Safety in Riverdale Community Forum
Thursday, 2009 May 28 6:30-9pm
Ralph Thornton Centre
765 Queen Street East
(east of Broadview)

RSVP Joanne Fisher at 416-392-6810 ext. 231

A Solar Affair in Withrow Park

Withrow ParkJust got notice today that Solar Neighbourhoods is sponsoring an information session about solar power in Withrow Park next to the Farmer’s Market.

A Solar Affair
Saturday, 2009 May 23, 10am-1pm
Withrow Park

northeast corner, near Farmer’s market and playground     Read more »

2009 May 25: Bike to Work 2009 this Monday

Thanks to Andrew James for alerting me to a Bike to Work Day event this Monday, May 25, sponsored by the Toronto Bicyclists Union.  All participants get a t-shirt.

Bike to Work Day
Monday, 2009 May 25, 7am
meet at Woodbine and Danforth


Update: There is better information available on the City of Toronto site.  Ride begins at 7am at Woodbine and Danforth and should arrive at Broadview and Danforth about 7:15am.

2009 May 23: Play-in in a destruction zone

Play-In at Riverdale Park
Saturday, 2009 May 23, 10am

Riverdale Park by statue of Sun Yat Sen

Walking back from a wonderful talk by Thomas Homer Dixon tonight, I walked through Riverdale Park and was shocked to see that at least half a dozen mature, seemingly healthy trees had been felled in the area that has been fenced in for the last couple of weeks.  It looks barren and forlorn.  They worked quickly.  This afternoon, the trees were all still there when I met my son’s schoolbus.

I was informed only after the orange fence went up that the St. Matthew’s Lawn Bowling Clubhouse was to be relocated there.  Later, I read the article in the Toronto Community News about the project, advising that 13 trees would be removed so that the structure could be moved through the park so as not to disrupt traffic.  So in order to keep traffic flowing for a day, the city has decided, in its wisdom, to permit the felling of mature trees that take decades to grow.  The priorities are all wrong.     Read more »

Buddhist statement on climate change

The Dalai Lama has signed a strong statement supporting a target below 350 ppm of atmospheric carbon.  This target is supported by a number of eminent climate scientists and is rapidly becoming the new consensus target.  It is, however, a very difficult target to meet because the current concentration of atmospheric carbon stands today at 390 ppm or possibly more.  It is good to see religious leaders recognizing and embracing the science of climate change.

Here‘s a Buddhist website devoted to climate change.  It includes a statement to sign.

Global warming worse than thought

On this first smog day this spring in Toronto, there’s grim news on the climate.     Read more »

Support a lasting peace in Sri Lanka

Yesterday, the Sri Lankan government celebrated the defeat of the rebel Tamil Tiger group.  Today, it is showing how hollow any hopes for a lasting peace are.     Read more »