Here is a link to CBC’s Ideas show on degrowth. It is a thoughtful look at how keeping it simple and small can be good for us AND good for the planet. It’s worth a listen:
OK. Here’s the exciting news: one of our good ideas (!!) is going to be tried by a company called Parkbus. Started by a group of outdoor enthusiasts in 2010, it is meant to make the Ontario outdoors accessible to those seeking alternative modes of transportation. Other partners involved with this fantastic initiative include the Ontario Parks, Parks Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Buses have been going to Killarney Provincial Park and Algonquin P.P. for the past couple of summers, and this summer they will respond to a demand to come up to the beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park.
The bus will leave Toronto early in the morning, and arrive at several stops on the Peninsula through the afternoon. But here’s the tricky part, it would appear that the Parkbus is going to give us a trial run, and there are only three September dates on the books. So we need to spread the word, and take the bus, and let them know there is need for this service. This is a great attempt to give public transit a try up the Peninsula.
Check out the site, and spread the word. And take the Parkbus this summer!
In an effort to address the problem of pollinator the Canadian Pollination Initiative is creating a network that will raise awareness and increase pollination research. This is important: cultivate the biggest garden you can manage, but you’re nowhere without a steady stream of pollinators visiting and doing their thing. And it’s not just true for agriculture, it matter in natural ecosystems as well.
They following is from CANPOLIN’s website, and neatly identifies the reasons for moving informing ourselves about the issue of pollinator decline:
A decline in pollinators and deficit in pollination is already documented.
The problems being faced by the honeybee industry are becoming ever more complex.
Future declines in both pollinators and pollination are inevitable with or without climate change.
The international community is well aware of the importance of the topic.
Agricultural, forestry and natural ecosystems will have to adapt to changes in pollinator distributions and abundances and it will be crucial to be able to predict these in order to design mitigation procedures.
Canadian research has been at the forefront in determining the crucial importance of bees as environmental indicators.
Expertise in all aspects of pollination biology is available among Canadian professors and scientific community
There is a widespread understanding of the importance of the topic in Canada and of the need to train highly qualified personnel in all aspects of the subject.
A “critical mass” of skilled personnel is ready to provide this training, along with a critical mass of people willing to learn.
If you think you are one of those willing to learn, then join BPEG as they host an evening with Tom Woodcock from CANPOLIN in Guelph. The information is on the sidebar under coming events. Links to CANPOLIN are also in place.
The Peninsula is special for a lot of reasons, but we know birds, orchids, and endangered species like the Massassauga Rattlesnake really depend on a healthy Peninsula ecosystem. So do pollinators. Come and hear what you can do to help them bee here.
You might be interested in this: the history of the Oil Age in less than 6 minutes. Thanks to Linda for sending this our way.
This film is part of a collection of films on a variety of topics; Transition, Permaculture, and Co-Housing to name a few, that can be found at Next World TV. http://www.nextworldtv.com/ By Clicking on this link, you can check out a compilation of many films, both short and long, that discuss many of the issues Transition Community is concerned with.
Check it out. Enjoy.
In the course of reading Raj Patel’s book ‘The Value of Nothing’, I came across an organisation he describes fighting for people’s right to have rights, La Via Campesina (LVC). LVC is a worldwide organization of farmers and peasants working, and in some cases fighting, for their right to food sovereignty: the right of the people and their countries and unions to determine food policy. If you have seen the film ‘The World According to Monsanto’, then you know this is no small battle; controlling a population with crippling food policies is a lot more effective than with expensive munitions. Peasants fighting the powers that control food production, from corporate seed producers to governmental policy makers, is nothing short of a David and Goliath showdown.
Alas, it is often the women and children who bear the brunt of these food policies. In the ‘Declaration of Rights of Peasants – Women and Men’ the preamble directly states that “Women’s and children’s rights are the most affected. Women are victims of psychological, physical and economic violence. They are discriminated in their access to land and productive resources, and marginalized in decision-making.” It is women who bear the brunt of more difficult access to food supplies, women who sacrifice up their own share of food to feed their children, women’s education which is sacrificed up first as family resources diminish, and all of these things come with the extra burden of often being considered second-class citizens with, somehow, less of a ‘right to rights’ than their male counter-parts.
I’m tossing this into the discussion of Transition Communities for a couple of reasons. In light of recent events on our side of the Atlantic that have hopefully made life or death decisions for a woman named Sakineh in Iran, we need to be aware that we can band together and make a difference by sharing in a collective moment or movement. So increase awareness, at the very least, of where your food is coming from and acknowledge the rights and necessities that have perhaps been sacrificed for you to eat that rice/mango/cuppa-jo.
I think, in North America, we need to constantly remind ourselves of how hard our fore-parents have fought and sacrificed for the rights we enjoy today. As things become more topsy-turvy in our world, which could increase as people feel their way of life more threatened, we need to cherish and work very, very hard to protect those rights. We dare not give them up, because history shows they are not granted with a wave of policy-wands, they are usually hard-gained, despite declarations and constitutions stating they are necessities to life. Again, respecting the rights of others around the world is essential to our self-proclaimed title of ‘sentient beings’.
The other thing that becomes obvious, is that we need to work hard to cultivate and protect our local food supply. The more reading I do, the more obvious it becomes: the most important thing we in NBP can be doing to ready ourselves for an uncertain future is secure a local food supply that we can plant, grow, harvest, prepare or store, and re-seed ourselves. It is revolutionary and essential. I think between the Heritage Seed distribution, the school garden initiative, the community garden initiative, the grade 8s doing their ‘agents of change’ projects (there are many, many 13-year-old gardeners on the Bruce these days!) and BPEG’s seed committee, there is lots of movement in this direction. Good.
By the way, down in Haiti, where they certainly have enough to worry about, and even more to keep them occupied, the peasants and farm workers have been demonstrating. They want to say ‘no thanks’ to Monsanto’s “deadly gift” (their words) of free seed. Remember, Monsanto seeds require expensive fertilizers only available through Monsanto, and they do not produce seed, so next year the Haitian farmers are in exactly the same predicament they find themselves in today – looking for ways to sustain andsecure food production. They understand that the Monsanto seed cannot build resilient and independent communities with control of their own food production. Wish them luck.
Since getting this Transition initiative underway 6 months ago, we have been monitoring some media outlets to see what they have to say about Peak Oil. Here’s what we have found out: No one likes to mention the phrase, ‘Peak Oil’. No one, not even David Suzuki in his interview on CBC about what is driving our decision to drill for oil out in the middle of really, really difficult spots like – the middle of a gulf near Mexico. Nothing. Rien. Nada. He said we are running out of oil, that oil is a finite resource, but not ‘Peak Oil’. There has been much discussion amongst us about the why’s and the why nots of using this term. It’s scary? It’s overused? It’s unknown? Why does nobody ever use it in mainstream media?
Until Friday! Friday it got mentioned. They said it! On the radio and everything. CBC Radio’s The Current said the phrase in their show previews, and used it again – several times, during the show! That-which-shall-remain-nameless has been named, and the whole world can hear it. You can hear it as well if you go to www.cbc.ca/thecurrent (June 18: Part 1) and have 20 minutes to spare.
You may have seen the Story of Stuff. Actually, you may have seen it at the early March Transition meeting. The link is at the side if you want to have a look at this excellent short film on the perils of our consumer society.
Annie Leonard and her crew have done it again. On World Water Day, March 22nd, they released The Story of Bottled Water. It’s even shorter, but the presentation of the concepts is just as powerful. Check it out. Links are included at the side under ‘Video’.