A small beginning and a big example!

CAROLA VYHNAK. Anthony and Mary Ketchum’ built a half-buried hillside home that relies on solar energy. It reflects their passion for leaving a greener footprint for the sake of their grandchildren’s future. ___________________________________________________________________ We owe a lot to Mary and Anthony Ketchum, the couple who with other grandparents were the inspiration of 4RG (For Our Grandchildren).  They …

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Waking up to Catastrophe

4RG’s Climate Change Forum, “Waking up to Catastrophe”, took place Saturday, May 25th, in Peterborough, Ontario. The title of the Forum was a carry-forward from last year’s “Sleep Walking to Catastrophe”. Since then public opinion in both Canada and the U.S. has changed, as most people now recognize that climate change is a threat to the future well being of the Earth.

Three panelists covered various dimensions of the topic:

Alanna Mitchell, the author of “Sea Sick”, reviewed the increase of Greenhouse Gas emissions.  She explained that the failure by the nations of the world to cap the emission of carbon dioxide means that the critical limit of GHG in the atmosphere will be exceeded in the next decades. She also pointed out that the oceans are absorbing both heat and carbon dioxide, a situation that will seriously impact fish stocks crucial to feeding the Earth’s population.

Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, reviewed the progress of the Province of Ontario in reducing GHG emissions.  He acknowledged that the Province had made progress to date, but pointed out that there were no programs in place for continued reductions from next year to 2020, the target date for Canada under the Copenhagen Accord.

The Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister of Rural Affairs and MPP for Peterborough, reviewed the various programs instituted by the Ontario Government that had put Ontario close at the top of Canadian provinces in reducing GHG emissions.  He then answered a wide variety of questions from the audience directed to environmental issues.

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Get Statoil out of the Tar Sands!

Open letter to The Norwegian Government, attention of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

The government must instruct the Board of Statoil to withdraw the company from Canadian tar sands

The Norwegian oil company Statoil’s engagement in extraction of oil from tar sand in the traditional homeland of some of Canada’s First Nations has been controversial from the start in 2007. Warnings of negative impact on local communities, the environment and the climate from the oil industries’ devastating extractions, have proved well founded. Documentation of damages is mounting, as also confirmed in a recently published paper in the highly reputable scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Both scientists and the affected First Nations have long opposed the environmentally destructive extraction of tar sands, due to increased occurrence of cancer and other serious health issues.

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For Our Grandchildren (4RG) and public opinion

Many North Americans believe that the public only recently recognized the issue of climate change, thanks to campaigners such as Al Gore who released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2003. Gore has been criticized for what is claimed to be an exaggerated presentation of what is really “natural variability”. These critics point out that the current variability …

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In defence of Grandparents!

 Checking out at the store, a young woman at the check out suggested to an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The young cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. …

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December 21 – the Day the world was to end but didn’t.

Although the future of our world is in question, we don’t preach doomsday scenarios. Here are six basic points that we accept: 1) Our grandchildren have only lived in an economy based on growth, but we live in a finite planet. We cannot continue our present rate of growth indefinitely. 2) Many grandparents remember a time when there …

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The Great Divide at Doha.

It is a good legal principle that an agreement to agree is not enforceable in a court of law.  The countries attending the COP18 Conference at Doha are finding that such a principle has a practical basis. Supposedly all countries agreed at last year’s COP17 Conference at Durban to negotiate a replacement for the Kyoto Convention by 2015. …

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