Chairperson Cllr. Tony St-Pierre, council's appointee to the CRD Climate Action Intermunicipal Working Group, is seeking up to 10 individuals to join him and District staff around the table to identify local actions and broader advocacy campaigns to address the CRD and Sooke declarations of a climate emergency. At a planetary scale, of course, there's also the five-alarm reports of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and, just recently, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity bombshell revealing that one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction.
Tony is a super bright, engaged, savvy and passionate advocate for rapid action on climate change. He regularly reminds council of the IPCC's call for governments large and small to move to war footing in dealing with the crisis in the immediate future (#2030). Like us all on this council, Tony recognizes that climate change is the big-picture lens through which we must view local issues: housing, local economic development, transportation, Smart Growth, energy infrastructure, hiking/cycling trails and all the rest. Backing us up in this view is the fact that the Official Community Plan (both the current 2010 model and the early public feedback for the next one) clearly cites a healthy environment as the #1 priority for Sooke residents.
With a mind to doing what we can as best we can locally, Cllr. Beddows and I would both like to participate on the committee as well (however council will need to revise the Terms of Reference to make that possible.) Al is keen in his unofficial and, I reckon, hugely invaluable role as a bridge to a vital sector of Sooke society that he jokingly but respectfully describes as "red neck" (and in which he counts himself; personally, I find him a wholly reasonable, common sense gentleman -- and there's no question that practical, common sense solutions are what's needed as we face what's looming ahead of us.)
Me, I'm the Transition Sooke alumnus and former chair of the Climate Change committee in the final two years of its six-year existence. The likes of T'Sou-ke Nation solar project manager Andrew Moore, the Rotary Club's Mark Ziegler (a former federal government economist in the Climate Change Secretariat), Solar Colwood's Nitya Harris and the Pachamama Alliance's Michael Tacon (a co-founder of Transition Sooke and it's first president) were all part of the committee along with council liaison Ebony Logins and such key District staff as Laura Hooper, Brent Blackhall and former fire chief Steve Sorenson. We dreamed big yet didn't accomplish all that much given all the other priorities the District had on its plate then. For the record, our conversations focused on such seemingly achievable undertakings as a community solar project (solar farm, solar parking lot, and/or solar panels at EMCS or/and the Municipal Hall); a yard-waste depot in the District's Kaltasin works yard; EV charging stations (which is one good evolving legacy thanks to the work of the District's Paul Butterfield); a local compost facility as potentially facilitated by Net Zero Waste that could serve local farmers and backyard growers; and potential collaboration with the BC Sustainable Energy Association on its Renewable Energy By 2050 campaign (with which the District of Saanich is now well underway).
That was then and this is later (i.e.,now). If indeed you're planning to apply to the resurrected committee, please explore some of these related links:
* Two foundational documents that guided the Climate Change committee previously
~ Sooke Climate Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP, 2014)
~ BC Climate Action Charter (2008), to which Sooke and all BC municipalities are signatories.
* Capital Region District agendas and videos re: this winter's Climate Emergency Declaration
~ Feb. 13: CRD Board of Directors meeting at which Climate Emergency was formally declared
~ Jan. 23: CRD Parks & Environment Committee meeting at which a Climate Emergency declaration was first discussed following a motion by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Saanich councillor Ned Taylor and Sooke's own Mayor Maja Tait.
~ CRD Climate Change website page
~ CRD Climate Projections for the Capital Region (2017 PDF report ... in brief: drier summers marked by extended droughts combined with wetter winters featuring heavy storm events)
* Government of British Columbia
~ BC Climate Action Toolkit + "Sooke's Innovative Town Centre Takes Shape," 2010
~ CleanBC (2018)
~ PDF of the CleanBC plan released in Dec., 2018
~ Community Energy Association of BC summarizes the plan
~ Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analysis of CleanBC
~ BC Energy Step Code + its new website
Regarding local governments, CleanBC states "they will play a critical role in areas such as developing new clean energy sources, supporting active and cleaner transportation options and helping B.C. transition to zero waste. Their ongoing efforts to make communities more compact, complete and energy-efficient are essential to this strategy’s success. B.C. local governments are leaders on climate action, managing their corporate and community wide GHG emissions and creating clean, compact, more energy efficient communities."
* Government of Canada
~ Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change
~ The Paris Agreement
~ Canada's Climate Plan
* Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
~ Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C (final report)
~ The Guardian on the IPCC report
~ Wikipedia entry
~ National Geographic coverage
* Generation Now & Next
~ Greta Thunberg's TED Talk + address to COP24
~ BC Climate Strike
~ Profiles of Canadian Climate Strikers
~ Sooke's Finn and Chloe Unger on the Declaration of the Right to a Healthy Environment (the BlueDot initiative passed by DOS council in February, 2015 as a relatively early adopter to a document now signed by more than 300 municipalities across Canada).
~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's New Green Deal
~ Canada's New Green Deal (May, 2019)
* Greening Sooke/T'Sou-ke
~ Climate Emergency Declaration (passed unanimously by Sooke council on April 8, 2019)
~ Plastic Bag Bylaw (draft received by council on May 13, 2019; public hearing set for June 10)
~ EV Charger Station program (2018/19)
~ FireSmart program and emergency response preparedness by the Sooke Fire Rescue Department as we in BC prepare to deal with potential local impacts of the "fifth season."
~ Draft tree protection bylaw (spring 2019)
~ Environmental due diligence in the development of Sooke's Lot A public lands
~ DOS achieves carbon-neutral municipal operations in 2015, earning Level 3 (highest) recognition from UBCM
~ Sooke Climate Energy & Emissions Plan approved by council in Oct. 2014. Priorities:
i) Promotion of home retrofits & demand-side management programs;
ii) Improved walking infrastructure;
iii) Organics diversion from Hartland;
iv) Urban containment (i.e., less sprawl, more OCP-directed town centre development)
~ BC Transit's Sooke Local Area Service Plan review (2019)
~ T'Sou-ke Solar City
~ T’Sou-ke Centre for Sustainability Housing Innovation
(skills training in the creation of energy efficient housing for BC indigenous communities)
~ Transition Sooke (founded 2010)
~ Zero Waste Sooke (founded 2015)
~ TS Pesticide Education Group (founded 2016)
~ TS Ecohome Tours (2016/17/18)
~ Planet Earth Party: Earth Day Sooke (April 22, 2018)
~ Sooke Region Food CHI
~ Sooke Farmland Trust Society
~ CRD Foodlands Access Program
~ District of Sooke council is among the Vancouver Island councils that have accepted the District of Highlands' 2019 Municipal Survivor Climate Change Challenge. Global Footprint Network's personal calculator here.
Miscellaneous other reasons why it's getting easier to be green and proud of it locally ...
~ Roadside clean-up: The iconic, heroic Sifu Koshin Moonfist (aka Broomfist)
~ Tradition of litter-busting with Rotary Club, EMCS Youth Engagement Team, Zero Waste Sooke & other community groups
~ First/only BC municipality to vote, via electoral plebicite, for a ban on increased oil-tanker traffic
~ Youth for Change students fundraise for EV station at Edward Milne Community School, 2016/17
~ Youth for Change group revitalized by EMCS leadership students in spring 2019
~ Tidal power: Accumulated Ocean Energy (in collaboration with T’Sou-ke Nation and academic institutions)
~ Solar installation: Viridian Energy Co-Operative + Endless Energy & Solar Solutions + independent contractors
~ T’Sou-ke Nation, Timberwest and EDP Renewables Canada announce intention (2013) for $750-million in large-scale wind power projects on Vancouver Island's southwest coast.
~ Geothermal heat pumps in select homes at Woodland Creek
~ Built Green Canada Gold standard met by Harbourside Cohousing
~ Green residential builders in the region include Keary Conwright + Frank McKendry + Forest Adam + Tony Johnson + David Dare, among others.
~ Invasive species removal by the Juan de Fuca Trails Society and the Greater Victoria Green Team
~ Regional beach clean-ups by Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island
~ District of Sooke's Subdivision and Development Standards bylaw requires that street trees are planted on new roads
~ Urban tree inventory is part of the District's GIS mapping system (photographs, caliper size, species name)
~ Community Gardens at Sunriver and the Sooke Baptist Church
~ Food gardens at John Muir Elementary and Edward Milne Community School (the latter being the 2019 winner of Farm to School BC's Polllinator Award)
More Big Picture Links
~ NASA website: Global Climate Change ~ Vital Signs of the Planet (evidence)
~ The Royal Society - Climate Change Evidence and Causes
~ Climate Atlas of Canada - Climate Change: The Basics
~ "The last five years were the hottest ever recorded" ~ National Geographic, Feb. 2019
~ Al Gore's Climate Reality Project + "The Green Revolution is Unstoppable"
~ Heartland Institute on Climate Change (American think tank for the conservative movement)
~ Climate Change Denial: Articles from The Guardian
~ Skeptical Science: "Getting Skeptical about Climate Change Skepticism"
~ DeSmogBlog: "Clearing the PR Pollution the Clouds Climate Science"
~ "How to Talk to A Climate Change Denier"
~ International Monetary Fund report (May, 2019) on global fossil fuel subsidies
"The Canadian government spends $58 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies to the oil and gas industry.
That’s $1,600 per person."