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Talk and Film Series at Friends House

 

Talk/Film Series that will be located at Friends House.  Below is the list of Films in the Series.

 

GREEN SCREENS – FRIENDS HOUSE - 60 LOWTHER AVE., 2 blocks north of Bloor at Bedford

 

Viewings sponsored by Toronto Climate Campaign and the Peace and Social Action Committee of Toronto Friends Meeting (Quakers) torontoclimatecampaign.org

 

 Friday April 20th, 7 pm - FRIENDS HOUSE, 60 LOWTHER AVE.  PWYC

 

How to Boil a Frog is a feature-length eco-comedy that mixes rapid-fire humor and hard-hitting facts to show the consequences of “overshoot” - too many people using up too little planet - and what it means for our future. With an up-front Everymanapproach, smart writing, world-class experts, and iconoclastic humor, How to Boil a Frog gives us the scoop on the imminent end of the world as we know it, and five surprising ways to save civilization while laughing along the way.  What I like about this movie is the personal approach and the lightheartedness of the host when faced with grim information. It takes us on a journey that ends up in a very hopeful spot. I can see this being used as a starting point for intergenerational discussion, or with a youth group, as the approach is creative, fun, and empowering.  We'll show the sixty minute version followed by discussion of what we can do.  Liz Rice of Citizens Climate Lobby will be present with info on this campaign.  Fi

lm sponsored by Toronto Climate Campaign and Quaker Peace and Social Action Committee, torontoclimatecampaign.org

Submit your letter of comments to the Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project

 

The Joint Review Panel (Panel) for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project amended some of the deadlines included in Hearing Order OH-4-2011. The deadline for submitting a letter of comment to the Panel is now 31 August 2012 (formerly 13 March 2012).
 
If you want to know how to submit a letter of comments to the Panel, please visit the Panel’s website by clicking here (link: http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/prtcptngprcss/lttrfcmmnt-eng.html).
 
 
La commission d'examen conjoint (commission) pour le projet Enbridge Northern Gateway a modifié certaines dates limite établies dans l’ordonnance d’audience OH-4-2011. La date limite pour soumettre une lettre de commentaires à la commission est maintenant le 31 août 2012 (plutôt que le 13 mars 2012).
 
Pour savoir comment soumettre une lettre de commentaires à la commission, veuillez consulter le site Web de la commission en cliquant ici (lien : http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/prtcptngprcss/lttrfcmmnt-fra.html).

 

Polly Higgins Earth's Lawyer

 

UPDATES: http://www.ecosanity.org/blogsanity/compilation-crime-ecocide-polly-higgins

To get involved with the Ecocide Campaign in the future, visit our Calendar to see the Toronto Climate Campaign meetings.

 

 

Polly Higgins, award-winning author of Eradicating Ecocide, barrister and international environmental lawyer, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 a law of Ecocide to be classed as an international law alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes as a 5th Crime Against Peace. Ecocide is defined as the mass "damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished." http://www.thisisecocide.com/

Polly arrives in Toronto midday Friday February17th. She wishes to meet with faith, environmental, youth, political, business, legal leaders and civil society to discuss how to make Earth law at the Earth Summit. The event Saturday, February 18th is free (donations welcome).  She is also available for meetings, and flies to Vancouver the morning of February 20.

Open Letter in response to Joe Oliver

By John Bennett, Sierra Club Canada Executive Director

January 9, 2012 (6pm EST)

The Federal Government is engaged in an unprecedented campaign to damage the credibility of the environmental movement. In the latest move, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver (apparently replacing Environment Minister Peter Kent as the chief anti-environmentalist government spokesperson) submitted an “open letter” to the media. In it, he links “radicals and environmental groups” and charges they are against everything. 

As a father of three grown daughters and grandfather of one beautiful baby boy, I struggle with being called a radical. It’s true I work for a conservation organization. Sierra Club was founded in 1892 and has a long track record of drawing public attention to environmental issues and, perhaps more importantly, helping governments develop laws and policies to protect Canada’s magnificent natural heritage. Nearly every day I’m am contacted by individuals or groups asking for help with an environmental issue in their neighbourhoods.

I believe the public has adopted some of my “radical” suggestions over the years – that is if the rows of blue boxes and green bins, huge sales of energy-efficient cars and all those big companies touting their green records are any indication.  I thought these things were pretty mainstream, but following Mr. Oliver’s logic General Motors and just about every Canadian home owner is a radical!

Why has the Minister resorted to name calling? Apparently he’s upset that 4,300 people have asked to participate in the Northern Gateway environmental assessment joining with 100 First Nations who strongly object to the scheme.

An oil spill in the 1970s resulted in a moratorium on oil tankers off the BC coast. Successive Liberal, NDP, Conservative and even Social Credit governments have kept it in place because the people in BC support it.  Building pipelines over mountains to ship Tar Sands oil to China will not only require a lifting the moratorium – it will put some of our most pristine forests, lakes and salmon rivers at risk (not to mention the impact of climate change when the oil is burned).

Risks this big have naturally raised a lot of valid questions and thoughtful objections. People are just exercising their democratic right to be heard on an issue that will impact all Canadians, present and future. The purpose of an environmental assessment is to ask tough questions and hear the answers. Why does Mr. Oliver so strongly object to this? Do we no longer live in a democracy? Do our citizens no longer have the right to ask tough questions and express their opinions?

Mr. Oliver says “environmentalists and radicals” just want to delay the scheme until it becomes economically unviable - an interesting charge. But is that really what’s happening – is that really what we do? Is asking government to make sure development is economically and environmentally sustainable and in the best interest of local residents and Canadians just a delay tactic? Of course not.

Haven’t we already learned the hard way that NOT asking tough questions can lead to devastating unintended environmental consequences? Last week I saw a news report on the reestablishment of eagles in New Jersey. They had dwindled to one pair by 1980. Back then there was no environmental assessment of DDT - just assurances from industry and government that it was safe and good for the economy. The eagles, falcons and other birds of prey are thankfully recovering because of “environmentalists and radicals” like Rachel Carson who used their democratic right raise the alarm and ask tough questions. Thankfully the government listened to, rather than attack, environmentalists and acted before it was too late.

Mr. Oliver’s other point is that foreign foundations are influencing Canadian public dialogue. We are preached to every day that we are in a global market where goods and ideas no longer have borders. Soliciting foreign investment, we are told in the sermons of CEOs and government ministers, is keyto our future. The oil industry certainly seeks foreign investment ($100 billion and counting), including from the government of China through its state-owned oil companies.

It’s interesting how Mr. Oliver failed to raise concerns over revelations that Alberta secretly worked with the oil industry to develop a PR campaign and joint messaging to counter Canadians’ well-justified concerns about fracking. Further, recent press reports indicate that oil executives and their lobbyists have had the greatest number of meetings with ministers and government officials (including Mr. Oliver).

I guess that’s why we don’t see any feigned indignation from Mr. Oliver about big oil influencing Canadian policy.

My first interaction with a US foundation resulted in a campaign calling for California emission regulations (the gold standard) for all of North America. They heard Sierra Club Canada was campaigning for better fuel-economy regulations in Canada and asked if they could help. The plan was to pressure Washington and Ottawa to adopt North American standards based on the excellent California regulations. Was helping Canadians get access to more fuel-efficient cars and trucks a bad thing? We think not.

The reality is we share a continent with the United States which includes numerous eco-systems and migratory routes. We also share a largely harmonized regulatory system. We cannot protect our common environment without working together. Just as Canadian businesses work with US and global companies to further their interests, we work US and global organizations (including foundations) to further ours – protecting the planet!

The critical point to make -- and for Mr. Oliver to understand -- is the fact that Sierra Club Canada and other environmental organizations decide on policy and programs and then look for ways to finance them. It’s not the other way around as Mr. Oliver suggests. There is no tail-wagging-the-dog here, although Mr. Oliver would certainly like that to be the case for his misinformation and propaganda purposes.

I guess Sierra Club Canada and other environmental groups are doing a really good job to have gained the attention of the government. The responsible thing for the government to do would be sit down with all stakeholders (including environmentalists and First Nations) and work-out sustainable solutions. This is not a radical approach in my mind.

Unfortunately, bullies rarely compromise even when it’s in their own best interest.

John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
jb@sierraclub.ca
613-291-6888

 

The biggest story of 2011 for me? Canada's failure on climate change

by Maude Barlow

 

The biggest story of 2011 for me was the national and international attention given to the environmental dangers of Canada's tar sands, and the failure of the Harper government to meet our obligations to combat climate change. Until this year, most criticism of Canada's climate policy was restricted to Canadian and some international environmentalists. But three events of 2011 caused Canada's energy and climate policies to come under intense scrutiny here in Canada and around the world.

The first was the surprisingly passionate and bitter debate in the U.S. over the Keystone pipeline, meant to carry Alberta bitumen -- the dirtiest oil on earth -- over an endangered aquifer to be refined in Texas. A noisy and organized opposition that included environmentalists, Native Americans, ranchers, and even Republican politicians sounded the alarm. They made daily national and international news in the late summer when over 1,200 people got arrested in front of the White House. That inspired a more active movement in Canada. On September 26, over 200 people crossed an arrest barrier in a similar demonstration on Parliament Hill. This too made national and international headlines. On November 6, 12,000 people surrounded the White House to call for a halt to Keystone and solidarity demonstrations were held that day in front of the Canadian High Commission in London and a number of other cities around the world. Soon after, in a very public display of concern, President Obama ordered a halt to the project while an environmental review assesses an alternative route.

The second event was the news that the European Parliament will likely brand Alberta's bitumen as a "high emission crude oil" when it adopts its Fuel Quality Directive, a new agreement to promote the use of cleaner fuels in European transport. Their researchers have reported that emissions from tar sands oil production produces 23 per cent more greenhouse gases and has recommended closing off tar sands oil to Europe's markets. Although Europe uses very little Canadian oil currently, the Harper government hopes that will change if Europe and Canada sign their proposed trade deal called CETA. A possible ban on tar sands oil is a huge trade irritant between Canada and Europe. As well, a negative rating for Canada's tar sands exports could have a ripple effect and curb sales in other countries. Certainly, this move by the European Parliament has shone a European spotlight on the tar sands of Alberta and helped make this story one of international importance.

The third was the role played by Canada at the December climate summit in Durban and the announcement immediately following it that Canada was pulling out of the Kyoto Accord. Environment Minister Peter Kent announced even before going to Durban that Kyoto was a creature of the "past" and set out to destroy it. Once again, for the fifth year running, Canada won Climate Action Network International's Fossil of the Year Award, and this too was reported around the world. But the biggest scorn was saved for Minister Kent's withdrawal from Kyoto on the day after his return to Canada. Headlines around the world blared the news and linked the government's decision to Canada's refusal to curtail the growth of the booming tar sands. Environmental groups were outraged. Christina Figueres, UN climate chief, said the move was "regrettable," and several governments, including China, Japan, and France, voiced strong disapproval. An animated cartoon on national Taiwanese TV reported the story, showing a cartoon Steven Harper figure spitting oil in the face of critics.

So, I submit that Canada's reputation as a responsible country that keeps its word, cares about its neighbours, and walks a moderate path on the world stage took a beating in 2011. Although flawed, Kyoto was the only legally binding climate agreement ever adopted. Harper and Kent saying they would not agree to another deal until all countries agree is like saying "I won't drive safely until my neighbour does, even though I have a more expensive car, the money to keep it tuned, and have been driving unsafely before my neighbour even got his driving licence."

What happened to leadership? What happened to setting goals? What happened to my country?

Let's hope 2012 is better, but I am not holding my breath.

 

Hungry for Climate Leadership

 

Final Report of the Vigil and Fast at Minister of the Environment Mr. Peter Kent Office

 

The Toronto Climate Campaign wanted to send out a message to Mr. Kent (Minister of the Environment) that we didn't like the approach that was taken at the United Nations COP Meeting that happened in Durban, South Africa in December 2011 and the Canadian Government's reaction to dropping out of the Kyoto Protocol. In conjuration with that, Toronto Climate Campaign organized a Vigil and Fast, along with wanting to meet Mr. Kent. The latter didn't happen as Mr. Kent had scheduling constraints that didn't allow him to meet anyone from the groups that organized the event.

 

There were about 20 people who started to fast from Wednesday Morning on December 21st, to Thursday Morning on December 22nd, 2011. They were fasting in the wake of Mr. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment) and his government's position to say they are going to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol in Canada (First Country in the world to say that). The people fasting were from Across Canada and even 1 people from San Diego, California who fasted for 5 people in response to what the Canadian Government did.

 

In the afternoon of December 21st, we had around 30 to 40 people come with us and walk in the heavy rain from Steels and Yonge to Mr. Peter Kent's Office in Thornill, Ontario. This walk was 30 minutes and was very nice as we were able to talk to many people who came out from different groups and ages, we had many seniors, to young people who wanted to delivery a message to the Canadian government. During our walk, we noticed that we were getting a police escort to Mr. Kent's office, and this didn't even think was possible. Once we arrived at the office, we say that there were 6 police offices just waiting there for us to show up, and they said we had to wait either in the parking lot or sidewalk. When we started to look around, and ask the police if some of us could go inside the office, they said “No one from the office is around, they closed down early.” We went out to the sidewalk and the grass in-front as to let the people in the cars know what we were protesting.

 

During the time we were there, there were a number of speeches given and people enjoyed being out there and delivery a strong message to Mr. Kent. People lit candles for the vigil and just started to sing and have a great time. At one point the head of the police came up to us, and started to ask why we were there, and wanted to know if we had anything to give to Mr. Kent. We had a 2 letters that people wanted to give Mr. Kent and 1 of them got delivered to his office. The other letter will be devliered to the office in the days ahead.

 

In the end, everyone enjoyed what was organized and want to plan for more of these to happen over the course of 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address of Vigil: 7600 Yonge Street, Thornhill Ontario and Map of Peter's Kent Constituent Office

For More Information Please visit Hungry for Climate Leadership

Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/256152634447609/

EVERYONE: Please contact your MP and MPP and share your concerns.

 

 

 

Toronto Climate Campaign Supports Powerful Letter of Canadian Youth at COP17

 

On Wednesday morning, six young Canadians walked out of Environment Minister Peter Kent’s plenary address to the United Nations climate negotiations. The six Canadian youth stood silently and turned their back on Kent for several minutes, before being escorted out by UN security.

We, the undersigned from across Canada and the world, support these youth for their bold refusal to let the Canadian government negotiate away their future.

On this issue, Canada is becoming a global pariah, standing alone as the only country to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and then refuse to honour it.

However, the Canadian government has not just been inactive. It has relentlessly pursued short term profits from the production of the dirtiest oil on the planet; the tar sands. It now protects the interests of corporations over the health and livelihoods of people. In the past year alone, the government lobbied for the Keystone XL Pipeline and sought to weaken fuel standards in Europe. The expansion of the tar sands spells “game over for the climate,” however, the Canadian Government has publicly stated that its priority was coming to the negotiations to defend the tar sands. Not only that, but the government has been accused threatening to withdraw aid money to coerce poor countries into arguing against a second Kyoto period.

For these reasons and more, we stand with these youth and their walkout of Canada’s address to the High Level plenary of the United Nations climate negotiations. We support their actions and so too demand that the Canadian government starts putting the interests of people before polluters. For too long our leaders have lobbied on behalf of the fossil fuel industry rather than protecting the future of its people.

Sincerely,

Dr. David Suzuki, Co-founder, David Suzuki Foundation, www.davidsuzuki.org

Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International

Judy Rebick, founder of rabble.ca

Bill McKibben, author and 350.org founder

Tony Clark, Polaris Institute

Jamie Henn & May Boeve, 350.org

Tzeporah Berman, Climate and Energy Campaigner Greenpeace International

the Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Indigenous Environmental Network

Roger Rashi, Alternatives

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Toronto Climate Campaign

 

 

Ottawa Tar Sands Action Phase One Video

Here is a video from the Training and Rally from the Tar Sands Protest that happened in Ottawa, Canada on September 26th.

 

Climate Reality Project - Canada Video

The Climate Reality Project is looking at the problems, and solutions to bring them to the mainstream and engage the public to discover the truth, and take action.  Founded by Al Gore, and is guided by one simple truth: The climate crisis is real, and we know how to solve it.  If this is true, we can solve the problem, we just need to give more of the public the tools to get to work.

 

Here is a presentation from Victoria given by Peter Schiefke (co-founded Youth Action Montreal).

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