Last year the world received the dire warning that we have, at best, 12 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions. A climate emergency was declared in Sooke and across Canada. But what can we actually do to slow climate change or better prepare our community for the impact it may have?
On June 22, Transition Sooke held a town hall in conjunction with more than 150 similar town halls across Canada to share our ideas for what a Green New Deal would look like for Canada. Over 70 people attended and they identified 12 areas of concern: food security, water conservation, ocean and forest protection, divestment from fossil fuels, zero waste, a new economic model, transportation, emergency/disaster planning, green energy, climate angst/connecting with youth, direct action and green lifestyle.
A follow-up day-long Community Action Workshop was held on September 29th to build on the work from the town hall and plan “made-in-Sooke” climate actions.
After keynote talks by Ron Bilinsky of Sooke Emergency Planning detailing how to create community “pods”, Al Wickheim of Otter Point Emergency Services discussing the problem of groundwater depletion and the precarious state of our thirsty forests and J. Ocean Dennie of Friends of the Sooke Hills Wilderness talking about preserving ecosystems, the 60 attendees divided into small groups, each focusing on one of the areas of concern identified in the June town hall.
These groups came up with some pretty compelling action plans, most of which included advocacy with politicians of all levels of government as well as with already-working groups in the Sooke Region such as the District of Sooke Climate Change Action Committee and Zero Waste Sooke.
Among the many actions being brought forward are:
- a pilot community kitchen;
- acquiring an historic farm or underused parklands to establish community farms and gardens;
- a free afternoon rainwater harvesting workshop (held on Nov. 2nd); creating community pods for emergency situations;
- a community-managed forest and ecotourism;
- exploring bulk ordering possibilities;
- creating a co-op retail hub in Sooke;
- persistently advocating for better Sooke area transit options with B.C. Transit;
- creating and maintaining a RideShare website for the region;
- starting a Green Lifestyle group that meets regularly to share ideas and promote re-skilling;
- educating the public on ways to save 75% on our house’s energy bills by practising energy conservation and retrofitting before investing in new technologies such as solar, geothermal and wind generators; and
- forming a healing circle that will meet every Tuesday evening for 4 weeks in November and December to address our angst and feelings of powerlessness.
All of these actions and many more are open to public participation. If you are ready for action or want to learn more visit Transition Sooke’s website transitionsooke.org and sign up for the newsletter or contact TS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International: Educating girls is the right thing to do – for them and for the planet
- Sooke citizens to take action on the climate emergency
- Carbon Majors: Update of Top Twenty companies 1965-2017
- Sooke youth head up to the Leg for the climate strike (live updates)
- Land is a critical resource, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says
- Society calls for urgent and ambitious action to tackle Canada’s “Nature Emergency”
- Report: Canadian communities responding to changing climate
- What you can do to support The Pact For a Green New Deal
- Climate Emergency: Where are we going? Green New Deal town hall open to all, June 22
- Canada approves TMX despite failing to achieve consent: Declaration of Climate Emergency rings hollow
- Trans Mountain approval amid climate emergency a violent act towards young people, says Sierra Club BC
- Eco lawyer to talk with northern BC municipalities about costs of climate change
- New Report: Nature’s dangerous decline unprecedented; species extinction rates accelerating
- Summary of SK Court decision on federal carbon pricing law
- Zero Waste and Sooke Youth urge Council to act on the single-use plastics ban, NOW!
- Sooke Art Bombers react to climate emergency on Earth Day
- Severe Chinook salmon fishing restrictions hit West Coast, feds response to dramatic decline
- Sooke declares climate emergency
- Legislation to guide move to electric vehicles, reduce pollution
- Transition Sooke issues call for people to support Monday’s Climate Emergency motion
- Canadian grocery chain gets $12M boost from the federal government for climate change initiatives
- B.C. government agency logging Vancouver Island’s last ancient stands into oblivion, say environmental groups
- Healthy Schools Day proposes ‘do-able’ actions to reduce children’s exposure to diesel emissions from school buses
- Sooke elected officials consider declaring a climate emergency
- Canada’s climate is warming twice as fast as global average
- Consumer group demands RBC, TD and Scotiabank stop bankrolling fossil fuel industry
- B.C. government gets ready for 2019 wildfire season
- Climate Café: common sense discussions on the emerging climate emergency
- Mapping project on Haida Gwaii reveals rare ecosystems
- BC set to attract investment, build on climate commitments with Budget 2019 say eco lawyers
Image: Photo by Ariah Cummings, of the recent climate action in Victoria.