Archive for 2011 May

Volunteer your fruit tree or your fruit picking skills…

Not Far From The Tree has established a new hub in Riverdale.

From the announcement:

Not Far From The Tree is a non-profit organization that connects people with fruit trees and local agencies. A team of trained volunteers pick the tree and the fruit is divided three ways, between the tree owner, the volunteer pickers, and a local community agency such as a food bank or shelter.

Tree owners get a substantial amount of fruit without the work or mess, and good food gets put to good use instead of rotting on the ground. This year the organization has established a new “hub” in the Riverdale area.

If you have a tree you would like picked (this year or next), are interested in being a volunteer picker, or would like more information, visit or contact Riverdale hub coordinator, Chris Sharp, at


Hard questions for Margaret Wente

A letter from George Monbiot published in the Globe and Mail in response to Margaret Wente’s “Hard Questions for Elizabeth May“:

Margaret Wente suggests I said that environmentalists “don’t understand the science and they don’t understand the economics” (Hard Questions For Ms. May – May 10). I’ve said nothing of the kind.      Read more »

The problem with the NDP

The NDP have now grown up into a mainstream, increasingly centrist party nickel-and-diming the poor for their vote and misleading on the environment.  I’m deeply disturbed by their success in Toronto-Danforth.

Over a week has passed since the night while I watched in horror as the Harper government got its majority coupled with the relatively minor shock of seeing the Green vote collapse in Toronto-Danforth despite the widely acknowledged strongest campaign we have ever had.

Nationally I am most concerned about a majority government which clearly caters to oil industry priorities.  In Toronto-Danforth specifically, I’m concerned about the success the NDP has had with convincing voters with timid and contradictory policies that will do little for climate change and will hurt the constituents the party has professed to care about in the past.  I ran a campaign promoting the positive aspects of the Green plan without challenging the obvious defects of NDP policies.  But it’s clear to me now that these need to be made explicit.

I had never expected to win in the NDP leader’s riding this time around, but I did hope for a strong Green vote to pressure Jack Layton and the NDP to improve their climate change policies and address some of the priorities of Green voters.  That didn’t happen, so I need people who care about the Green Party, the thousands who told me that they were considering voting Green, to help put the pressure on the NDP to get it right.

It’s time to stop mincing words.  The stakes are simply far too high.     Read more »

The dangers of fracking

Further to a discussion with someone who was convinced that hydraulic fracturing for shale gas was perfectly safe (see comments here), there is now a peer-reviewed study linking the practice with methane in the drinking water supply nearby.

2011 Jun 15: How Much Time? Urgent Priorities for Averting Climate Crisis

Wednesday, 2011 June 15, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Ryerson International Living Learning Centre
240 Jarvis St (north of Dundas)

Adriana will be speaking at this town hall meeting, along with Hon Glen R. Murray, MPP (Toronto Centre), Minister of Research and Innovation. The discussion, which will focus on opportunities in building the clean energy economy, will be moderated by David MacDonald, United Church of Canada Minister, former MP (Rosedale) and former chair of the standing committee on the environment.

2011 May 19: Powering The Future

Thursday, 2011 May 19, 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Ave

How can cities tackle the energy challenges of the 21st century?

Powering The Future, a lively panel discussion featuring some of Canada’s leading energy experts, will explore these energy concerns, with a special focus on how we can all best respond in our own communities and backyards.

Join moderator and award-winning CBC host Bob McDonald, TREC and Evergreen, as we kick off the Kids’ World of Energy Festival, and be a part of the conversation. Panelists include Tom Rand, Judith Lipp, Mary Pickering, and Elizabeth McDonald.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit Powering The Future.

Happy Mother’s Day 2011

I’ve cleaned out the office (though I still need to fetch the signs), I’ve spent most of yesterday sleeping.  Yesterday, I also canvassed again for the first time since the election.  I will have to develop new strategies but reaching out to constituents will remain an important part of what I do.  But today, I just want to wish all mothers out there a joyous day with their children.  It is children who drive me.  It is children whose eyes and smiles invariably make me think that I must work harder.  And it is my protective mothering instinct that motivates my energies.  So this day is very special, for all of us Greens.     Read more »

Observations from a young Green on the eve of the election

This note was written on May 1 by Sarah Kitai, the daughter of one of our exceptional, dedicated candidates, Georgina Wilcock from Don Valley West, and reflects a lot of the feelings many of us have felt.  Election battles seem to be all about soundbites and jabs and media attention.  Unsatisfying results affect all parties but it is particularly hard on Greens, because what we’re fighting for is not just seats or even a political vision – we’re fighting for a Parliament that supports humanity.  The stakes really are that high, and it really is true that every other party is fundamentally compromised.  Georgina, wrap Sarah in your arms and tell her you will never stop fighting for her future.

So, as our 41st federal election nears its inevitable conclusion, it seems appropriate to reflect on the highs and lows of the campaign. It has certainly been a long five weeks.

I’ll start with the positives. I have not yet heard a single constituent deny the existence of climate change, or dismiss the environment as an issue not worthy of our attention. While rarely discussed in the media, these are nevertheless serious concerns on the minds of most Canadians. At the door, I’ve met intelligent, upstanding citizens with an appreciation of democracy and well-informed political opinions.     Read more »

And on the bright side

Elizabeth May did get elected.

We are so screwed

International Energy Agency Chief Fatih Birol has stated that the IEA now believes that global crude oil production peaked in 2006.  It’s all downhill from now.  We can expect the kinds of supply discontinuities and price rises that led up to the 2008 economic downturn with regularity from now on.

So what is the US response?  Shoot the messenger.  They have cut funding to their own national energy agency and specifically ordered that agency not to prepare data on oil and gas reserves.  Keep us in the dark, that’s the ticket.  I expect the Harper government to follow suit shortly.     Read more »