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Toronto Environmental Alliance Response to Toronto Floods

Monday’s extreme weather was a record-breaker for Toronto and a stark reminder of what climate change will bring to Toronto on a regular basis.

As Franz Hartmann, TEA’s Executive Director, noted in a media release on Wednesday, “Monday’s storm was bad. But climate change will bring worse storms and much higher temperatures....our water, electricity, and transportation infrastructures are not ready.”

Toronto Flood - by Justin Friesen

5 Actions to Prepare Toronto for Climate Change

To help prepare Toronto for climate change, TEA is sharing a short list of 5 actions you can take today!

1. Keep rainwater out of your home and sewers. Disconnect your downspouts from city sewers, replace hard surfaces withabsorbent, green ones, and protect yourself against basement flooding. Get inspired by the Paradise Unpaved story, written by TEA member and local artist Franke James!

2. Reduce your electricity use. Our city’s electricity system is old and needs major upgrading. We need to build a more resilient electricty grid, and we also need to reduce our electricity demand, especially during peak hours. Turn off electronic devices when not in use and support green energy projects. Learn about TEA'sSmog and Climate Change campaign.

3. Promote green infrastructure. Trees and plants -- both in Toronto and around it -- are key to absorbing water and cooling us down during hot days. Tell your MPP and City Councillors to invest in green infrastructure, protect the Greenbelt and increase Torontos' tree canopy.

4. Keep your car at home; use public transit, walk or cycle.Climate change happens when we burn fossil fuels. Cars and light trucks are responsible for 37% of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions. By driving less, we reduce how bad climate change will be and we improve local air quality!

5. Tell your City Councillor to stop cutting Toronto's climate change budget. City staff developed a plan in 2008 called Ahead of the Storm. Unfortunately, staff and program cutshave slowed down staff efforts to get Toronto ready.

 

Tar Sands Is Worse Than You Can Imagine: Incredible Images You Have to See

 

The Suncor Energy upgrading refinery, on the banks of the Athabasca River.
Photo Credit: Copyrighted image; photographer not disclosed.

Post Carbon Institute andAlternet have partnered to shed a powerful light on the true costs of our addiction to fossil fuels, starting with the Alberta tar sands 
 
Every powerful photo is linked to three meaningful actions that you can takeright now to fight back against tar sands mining. We need your help getting the word out; please take a look at the imagestake a stand , and share far and wide with your friends, colleagues and neighbors.
 
The mining of the Alberta tar sands is the biggest industrial project on earth and quite possibly the world's most environmentally destructive. The visuals are hard to stomach, but the story is an important one to tell. 
 
 
As conventional oil and gas deplete, the energy industry must resort to unconventional resources that are more expensive, more technically challenging to access, and pose far greater risks to ecosystems and communities than ever before. The result is destruction on an unprecedented level.
 
The tar sands tale is told frame by frame in the image deck, guiding us from the clear-cutting of pristine Boreal forest and creation of vast open-pit mines all the way to the pipelines that transport diluted bitumen across the continent. 
 
The connection between the astounding environmental destruction taking place in Canada and the debate over approval of the Keystone XL pipeline here in the USis clear. As the recent rupture of the Pegasus Pipeline in Arkansas makes abundantly clear, the transport of diluted bitumen from Alberta via pipelines to oil refineries thousands of miles away poses unacceptable environmental risks. 
 
As important, the Keystone XL Pipeline is a key litmus test for the Obama Administration and the country as a whole. And the rest of the world is watching. 
 
Although the Canadian tar sands contribute a small percentage of total global oil production and the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one of many contested fossil fuel projects in the world (in fact, First Nations and thousands of other Canadians are fighting an equally dangerous tar sands pipeline, the Northern Gateway Pipeline), this decision by President Obama is a keystone of a different kind - representing the kind of energy future we want for ourselves and our loved ones. 
 
For that reason, it's not mere hyperbole to say that this is a life and death decision. 
 
We're reaching out to you to speak up against the Keystone XL Pipeline by sharing these images with your friends, family, and neighbors, and by clicking on one of the calls to action associated with each image.

Revolution Movie

Revolution

 

Revolution is a film about changing the world. The true-life adventure of Rob Stewart, this follow-up to his acclaimed Sharkwater documentary continues his remarkable journey; one that will take him through 15 countries over four years, and where he'll discover that it's not only sharks that are in grave danger – it's humanity itself.

In an effort to uncover the truth and find the secret to saving the ecosystems we depend on for survival, Stewart embarks on a life-threatening adventure. From the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in history in Alberta, Canada, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth's ability to house humans. How did this happen, and what will it take to change the course that humanity has set itself on?

Travelling the globe to meet with the dedicated individuals and organizations working on a solution, Stewart finds encouragement and hope, pointing to the revolutions of the past and how we've evolved and changed our course in times of necessity. If people were informed about what was really going on, they would fight for their future – and the future of other generations. From the evolution of our species to the revolution to save it, Stewart and his team take viewers on a groundbreaking mission into the greatest war ever waged.

Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution inspires audiences from across the globe to start a revolution and change the world forever.

Produced and directed by Rob Stewart

Launch of the International Women's Earth and Climate Initiative Online Solutions Forum

You are receiving this email because you signed up for the Women's Earth and Climate Caucus mailing list or have worked with Osprey Orielle Lake or Sally Ranney.
If you're having trouble viewing this message, view open it in a browser window.

 

International Women's Earth & Climate Initiative (IWECI)
—a project of the Women's Earth & Climate Caucus in partnership with eraGlobal Alliance—

is pleased to announce the launch of the IWECI

Online Solutions Forum
www.iweci.org

 

Friday, March 8, 2013
International Women's Day

Join women leaders from around the world by contributing your voice to the chorus of women (and men) demanding climate change action and sustainability solutions! 

Network and collaborate with others.

We invite you to share your 
ideas • research • projects • green businesses • campaigns

 

Your compiled work will be presented to the delegates at the International 100 Women Summit for Climate Change and Sustainability Solutions, September 2013 in New York.

The Summit Outcome Documents and Online Solutions Forum will be used for international strategic planning, advocacy and unified actions. We will present our outcomes to everyone from grassroots leaders to Heads of State; from local governments to UN meetings (connecting to the post 2015 Agenda, UNFCCC and others), from neighborhood gatherings to international conferences such as the Clinton Global Initiative.

Inspire Others, Network, Share Your Ideas,
Bring About Systemic Change, Let Your Voice be Heard! 

Join the Dialogue www.iweci.org


Thank you for your participation!

Help spread the word!
Please send this email to your networks to invite other women to contribute their ideas. Share on Facebook and Twitter

 

WHY IWECI?
Global climate change is no longer a distant warning but is rapidly approaching a tipping point of no return. Scientists admonish that the chance to prevent the worst impacts of climate change will be “lost forever” unless the global community changes course immediately.

It is internationally recognized that women bear a heavier burden from the impacts of climate change, yet it is also known they are key to implementing climate change and sustainability solutions.

Learn more at www.iweci.org
 


IWECI to engage women to take action!
The International Women's Earth and Climate Initiative (IWECI) is designed to accelerate a holistic Global Women's Earth & Climate Action Movement, recognizing and promoting women as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions.

IWECI utilizes networking, partnerships, projects, trainings, alliances, consumer choice campaigns, and economic and social action to move forward its solutions-based work, directly addressing threats and helping implement solutions and projects on the ground. Bringing together a coalition of women from civil society, grassroots activists, Indigenous and business leaders, policy makers and culture shapers – from the Global South and the Global North – IWECI is determined to stop the escalation of climate change and environmental degradation. Understanding that this work requires ongoing dedication, IWECI is a long-term initiative.

Visit www.iweci.org to learn more

 


IWECI’s 2013 AGENDA
To learn more, please visit www.iweci.org

Online Solutions Forum  - to spark project collaborations, sustainable business opportunities, and campaigns designed to advance long-term cross-cultural, cross-sector, cross-generational and cross-socioeconomic networking and mobilization.

International Day of Action (September 7, 2013) - creating a global photo mosaic of women promoting  “Women for Earth and Future Generations”.

The International 100 Women Summit for Climate Change Action and Sustainability Solutions (September 20 – 23, 2013) in New York
- a gathering of 100 women leaders dedicated to addressing solutions for climate change and environmental degradation. With interactive live-stream vision hubs for worldwide participation.

Solution Spotlight, Projects & Action Campaigns - promoting best-practice solutions, on the ground sustainable projects that deliver benefits to both women and the environment, and engaging in projects, trainings and action campaigns focused on the most pressing issues.

The North American Gathering - date TBD , San Francisco. To engage women in the US to mobilize for resilient community trainings, green business networking, projects and in support of concerted climate and energy policies for the US.

Learn more


Women are living on the frontlines of climate change, and are ready to be active partners in dealing with climate change. If the international community is serious about addressing climate change, it must recognize women as a fundamental part of the climate solution.
—Wangari Maathai

 

 

The Time is Now! Share Your Ideas at iweci.org

Help spread the word by sharing this email with your network!

IWECI is a project of the non-profit organization, the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) and its primary partner, eraGlobal Alliance. Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder/President of WECC, is Founder/Co-Director of IWECI. Sally Ranney, Founder of eraGlobal Alliance and President of the American Renewable Energy Institute  (AREI), is Co-Director of IWECI.

For more information, please contact:
Osprey Orielle Lake | Osprey@iwecc.org

 

Follow us on Twitter @IWECI to stay up to date on IWECI progress

Like us on Facebook at the Women's Earth and Climate Caucus to keep up on our news, updates and to join in the discussion.

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Thanks to Namastelight for planting trees for the emails we send!

 

Keystone XL Report Back from Washington D.C. Events

Toronto Climate Campaign was an endorser of the Keystone XL Rally that happened in Washington D.C. and we had members from Canada go down to the rally.  

 

As for the official word on the main organizer of the Rally, here is what they have said:

 

photo credit: Jenna Pope, jennapope. com

 

Forward on Climate partners,
 

Thank you. There's no better way to say it.
 

Together, we brought over 40,000 people to Washington D.C. this Sunday to show President Obama that it's time to put action behind his words and move forward on climate. More than 170 organizations stood together to put their power behind this rally and the message that it's time to move Forward on Climate. We came from across the country, across issues, and across the spectrum of organizations for this rally -- from volunteer-led groups on the front lines of fossil fuel development, to national and international nonprofit organizations, to clean energy and other companies that align themselves with our mission.
 

Over the last six weeks in the organizing of this rally, you have brought forth your organizations' voices and the perspectives of those you represent to show why it is important that we as a country address climate change. You have recruited your members, built the buzz for the rally, organized buses, lent your Facebook pages, your twitter accounts, and your organizations' front pages, and recruited your partner organizations to come on board.
 

For this we thank you.
 

We see this rally as an opportunity-- as a starting point for continued action, for deeper collaboration, and for future successes. If we can put together this rally in six weeks, imagine what we could do together in the next year.
 

Today, let's celebrate-- and in the coming weeks and months, let's continue to work together and ensure that the president keeps his promises to move forward on climate. Thank you for all that you do.
 

Forward,

Michael Brune, Allison Chin, May Boeve, Bill McKibben, Rev. Yearwood, and Liz Havstad

 

Here is a list of reports, videos and photos from the rally and arrests that happened during that week.

 

Feb. 13 - Civil disobedience to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

 

John Kerry On Climate: 'We Need To Find The Courage To Leave A Far Different Legacy'

 

Forward on Climate Rally - February 17, 2013

 

Tens of Thousands Rally to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline & Urge Obama to Move "Forward on Climate"

 

Toronto 350.org Photos

Prominent Canadians Support Forward on Climate Rally

For immediate release
Feb. 11, 2013

Prominent Canadians Support Forward on Climate Rally
Support from Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow,
Elizabeth May,
David Suzuki, and others

OAKLAND, Calif -- Prominent Canadians from a variety of backgrounds have signed on to a letter in support of the “Forward on Climate” rally on February 17, when tens of thousands of committed activists will converge on Washington DC to tell President Obama to act on the climate crisis. (1)

The letter reads, “The recent extreme weather events and record breaking temperatures in North America and all over the world leave no doubt, if any doubt persisted: we must act, and act fast, on climate.  The world's scientists have made it clear that unless bold action is taken it will no longer be possible to avoid climate chaos.”

“Forward on Climate” will be the largest climate rally in American history. One of the rally partner organizations, 350.org, says the first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis.

This letter shows, though, that Americans are not the only citizens concerned about the drastic impacts the unnecessary exploitation of Canadian tar sands will have on the climate: “A large majority of Canadians are concerned about climate change and want our government to consider the long-term implications and the need for immediate action to reduce our emissions. We also need the leadership of the United States and President Obama,” the signers say.

“We know that this struggle won’t end overnight; we have much work ahead of us. But history is made at events like these. I join with our American friends in saying to President Obama: We need your leadership on climate, starting right now. Reject this pipeline, and we will support your decision in every way we can,” they conclude.

CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, 350.org, daniel@350.org, 510-501-1779

1. The full text of the letter is below:

I am supporting the tens of thousands of people converging in Washington, DC on Feb. 17 as part of the "Forward on Climate" rally. The recent extreme weather events and record breaking temperatures in North America and all over the world leave no doubt, if any doubt persisted: we must act, and act fast, on climate.  The world's scientists have made it clear that unless bold action is taken it will no longer be possible to avoid climate chaos.

President Obama was encouraging in his inaugural address, when he said, "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations...Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."  One of the first steps he can take is to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would drive reckless expansion of Canada's tar sands. The tar sands hold an enormous pool of carbon, which must be left in the ground if we are to have a fighting chance to meet the climate challenge. Denying the permit would be just the sort of bold action scientists say we need.

This is in our interest because Canada is extremely vulnerable to the consequences of escalating climate change.  As a northern nation, we already see warming in the Arctic; with the longest marine coastline, we will be hammered by rising sea level; and climate sensitive areas such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism are already being impacted.

That's why, as a Canadian I am working with other individuals and organizations to inform Canadians about the social, economic and ecological costs of the expansion of tar sands production and pipelines, such as Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan Transmountain. A large majority of Canadians are concerned about climate change and want our government to consider the long-term implications and the need for immediate action to reduce our emissions. We also need the leadership of the United States and President Obama.

We know that this struggle won’t end overnight; we have much work ahead of us. But history is made at events like these. I join with our American friends in saying to President Obama: We need your leadership on climate, starting right now. Reject this pipeline, and we will support your decision in every way we can.

Sincerely,

David Suzuki, Professor emeritus, UBC, Vancouver
Tzeporah Berman, Author, BA, MES
Naomi Klein, author
Mark Jaccard, Professor of Sustainable Energy, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
Clayton Ruby, C.M. B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. (honoris causa)
Elizabeth May, O.C., Member of Parliament, Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party
Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians, Ottawa of Canada
Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Sarah Harmer, a Canadian singer-songwriter and activist

Join The #ForwardOnClimate Rally On 2/17!

 

Timing is Everything When Talking About Climate Change

By ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability Canada)

 

Sometimes, when talking about climate change, timing is everything. A week after Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the United States causing significant devastation and impacting tens of millions of people very directly (including 150,000 people in Ontario who lost power), Matt Galloway, the host of CBC Toronto's morning show, Metro Morning, spoke with Lawson Oates, Director of the Toronto Environment Office about a report going to the City's Parks and Environment Committee on November 9th entitled: Toronto's Future Weather & Climate Driver Study.

The report, prepared by SENES Consulting with the Toronto Environment Office, looks at what Toronto's climate will look like by 2050. The study notes that the city will see increased heat waves, increasing temperatures in the winter, and more intensive rain storms. Mr. Oates emphasized the costs associated with these major impacts, noting that while a one hour deluge in August 2005 cost the city $47 million and caused $600 million in insured losses for residents, future storms may be more intense and costly. The report also notes that the number of days with temperatures more than 30 degrees will more than triple, with maximum humidex ratings reaching up to the high 50s. He emphasized the need to adapt in order to avoid costly repairs in the future, protect vulnerable populations, and avoid the loss of services which have significant impacts on people and businesses.

To listen to the interview, click here

 

Full Website: ICLEI Canada

 

“Tar Sands Come to Ontario: No Line 9” Conference Report

 

Dear Friend,
Our November 17 teach-in delivered a clear grass-roots message: there is now a strong basis for organizing education and broad collective action to stop Enbridge from piping tar sands oil across southern Ontario. This is an environmental battle against global warming, in continuity with what the Bolivians initiated at the 2008 conference in Cochabamba. Here are two reports on our event, by John Riddell and Brent Patterson. 

Toronto conference lays basis for pipeline challenge
www.t.grupoapoyo.org

by John Riddell
The November 17 conference, “The Tar Sands Come to Ontario: No Line 9,” was a big success. Three hundred people jammed into a lecture theatre at University of Toronto for the plenary session. Every seat was taken, more than 50 people stood or sat in the aisles, and an equal number listened from just outside the door.

The unusually large turnout for an educational teach-in shows clearly that there is now a basis for organized public initiatives against the threat of hazardous tar sands oil being piped across southern Ontario and Toronto through Enbridge Inc.’s “Line 9.”

The all-day conference, which included 16 workshops led by 35 speakers and facilitators, was attended by close to 400 participants in all.

The initial session featured sixteen speakers in six simultaneous workshops. Each workshop took up a different form of the tar sands’ challenge: to communities, to unionized and migrant workers, to the Global South, to climate stability, to native–non-native relations, and to environmental movements.

Following the plenary session, the conference closed with a People’s Assembly. Five workshops considering different issues involved in tar sands resistance were followed by five more bringing together activists in different regions of Toronto and Ontario.

Piping tar sands oil east
Line 9 was built in 1975 to transport imported oil from Montreal to refineries in Sarnia. Enbridge has now applied toCanada’s National Energy Board to reverse its direction of flow, so that it can pipe Alberta oil to Montreal. The pipeline giant admits that among the possible uses of Line 9 is transport of “heavy oil,” a category that includes bitumen, the hazardous raw material extracted from tar sands.

Tar sands profiteers now face the prospect of declining demand and declining prices in the U.S., while plans to export the product to the west coast have run into a wall of popular opposition in British Colombia. The oil giants have responded with projects to ship their raw product east to Montreal and  the Atlantic Coast for export.

This puts them and their government backers on a collision course with communities in Ontario and Quebec that could be victims of tar-sands pipeline leaks and ruptures.

Indigenous challenge
The November 17 conference highlighted the role of First Nations both as victims of the tar sands threat and as leaders in resisting it.

In the plenary session, Vanessa Gray, a youth organizer from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, spoke of the dilemma of youth in her community. Aamjiwnaang residents’ health is severely undermined by pollution from oil refineries in nearby Sarnia, a present destination of tar sands bitumen. Indigenous young people “are starting from a hopeless place … frustrated and scared,” Gray said. “They are willing to fight for a better future but can’t do this on their own. They need support and help and encouragement.”

Aaron Detlor of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Development Institute also launched a challenge to the audience, relating to Enbridge’s Line 9. “We don’t see how movement of tar sands products helps develop sustainable communities,” he said. “Enbridge says they don’t need to talk to us. We are sceptical about a court process. We have our own process… The next step is a cease and desist order from the chiefs.”

The meaning of such an order was spelled out by Haudenosaunee land defender Wes Elliott, using the example of a recent dispute with a giant corporation, Samsung. “We issued a cease and desist order…. They refused to discuss with us,” he said. “That night, word went out to our allies. With ten hours notice we had at least a hundred people [on the disputed site], some of whom are in this room. Samsung then negotiated with our Confederacy.”

Following the incident, the chiefs made an unprecedented declaration thanking the allies. “Things can be done when you have allies,” Elliot said.

“We are at a crossroads,” Detlor explained. Given the possibility of a cease and desist order, “we need to come up with some strategic means for developing a relationship among the different groups here today, and come up with something concrete.”

‘We now have the support of 80%’
Art Sterritt, Executive Director of Coastal First Nations, described how such a strategic alliance has been forged in British Columbia. A decade ago, the ten component peoples of Coastal First Nations had united all stakeholders in their region around a plan for sustainable development, winning agreement from the B.C. government in 2001.

Then Enbridge announced its “Northern Gateway” project to pipe and ship tar sands bitumen across the Great Bear Rainforest – the lands of Coastal First Nations. “It was a bomb that would destroy everything we stood for,” said Sterritt. “So we declared a ban on tanker traffic in the Great Bear Rainforest.”

To make the ban effective, the First Nations had to go beyond the 20,000 members of their alliance and “win all the people in B.C.,” Sterritt said.

“We now have support of 80% to stop Northern Gateway. That is what you will need to do to stop Line 9.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to drive the Enbridge pipeline through, regardless. “So we are getting ready legally, politically, and with direct action,” Sterritt said. At a rally of 5,000 protesters in Victoria, October 22, Sterritt asked who is prepared, if Harper bulls ahead, “to lie down in front of the bulldozers. They all said, ‘We will’ – men, women, and children. And I have 10,000 personal pledges to do just that.”

The final speaker in the plenary session was Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “We must fight the expansion of the tar sands, the most terrible energy product in the world,” she said. “We have to stop the growth of the pipelines. If we can stop the arteries, we can halt growth of tar sands extraction.”

In British Columbia, “132 First Nations communities say [to Enbridge], you will not pass.” The people of eastern Canada must now build an equally effective alliance. “What we do here in the East is for the whole world,” Barlow said.

“The oil companies have more money than we can ever dream of. But we have the passion of our people, … and with the outpouring of support we are receiving from all over the continent we will confront big oil and protect our lands and our rights.”

Time for action
Only two months ago, almost no one in Toronto had heard of the Line 9 threat. Energetic educational work has now alerted a wide range of progressive activists, and the pipeline controversy has begun receiving coverage in major media.

The November 17 teach-in was not geared to the discussion or adoption of specific proposals, but the unexpectedly large turn-out delivered a clear message from the grass roots: there is a strong basis to begin organizing broadened education and collective action to stop Line 9.

That is the challenge now facing climate justice activists in Toronto and southern Ontario.

“The Tar Sands Come to Ontario: No Line 9” conference was organized by an ad-hoc committee and was held in conjunction with the November 16-18 OPIRG Toronto+York Rebuilding Bridges conference. 

To contact the organizing committee, write boliviaclimatejustice@gmail.com. or go to http://t.grupoapoyo.org.

First published in: http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/11/23/toronto-conference-lays-basis-for-mass-challenge-to-tar-sands-pipeline/

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