Climate Action Muskoka

Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday that the province is reversing the Greenbelt land swap. (Mike Crawley/CBC)

Doug Ford reverses Greenbelt decision

 Sept 21, 2023 – Emma McIntosh and Fatima Syed – the Narwharl

“I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that I am very, very sorry,” Ford said with his caucus standing behind him — many of them the same ministers who voted to approve the plan last year.

“It was a wrong decision,” Ford added. “We’re putting this land back in the Greenbelt.”

Global March to End Fossil Fuels —
Huntsville, Sunday, Sept. 17

Photo credit: Ian Hastie

Climate Action Muskoka, Climate Action Parry Sound, Almaguin Climate Action and more than 75 supporters met in the pouring rain at the Flag Park in Huntsville and together marched to River Mill Park. – more
local media

False Advertising Complaint Challenges Enbridge’s Claim of ‘Cheap’ Natural Gas

September 11, 2023 –  The Energy Mix staff

With gas network expansions in Ontario costing the average consumer $10,000 more than a high-efficiency electric heat pump over the lifetime of the equipment, “Enbridge’s dishonest marketing is duping people into signing up for its gas service,” Environmental Defence Canada Program Director Keith Brooks said in a release.

“Heat pumps have come a long way in recent years,” he added. “They are now the most affordable way to heat a home, and are far superior from an environmental perspective. Enbridge needs to stop lying to people and pushing its fossil gas agenda on communities.” – more

Planet Wreckers: How 20 Countries’ Oil and Gas Extraction Plans Risk Locking in Climate Chaos

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023 – Published by Oil Change International

Download the report
Download country specific factsheets: USCanadaAustraliaNorwayUK

Read the press release

Ontarians should take action to address the Greenbelt scandal

Aug 17, 2023 – Tim Grey – Opinion – Canada’s National Observer

…The Greenbelt is also a powerful symbol of the future where towns and cities are livable, homes are affordable and the role of natural areas in supporting them is recognized and respected.

Ontarians recognize the importance of the Greenbelt. Fully 83 per cent of us in a recent poll, conducted just before the auditor general’s report was released, oppose development on Greenbelt lands.

Read Tim Grey’s Opinion

Read the Auditor General’s Report in full  – here.

Canada’s wildfires in 2023 and the role of climate changeMedia reaction!

“Heat pumps are the most efficient heating technology ever invented”

July 18, 2023 – – Dr Jan Rosenow, discusses why overall energy demand will reduce by 40% if we electrify everything, and why energy efficiency is a key part of the electrification journey.
The International Energy Agency is predicting a global explosion in the uptake of heat pumps. Their modelling, and that of other organisations, has identified heat pumps as the critical technology we need to get to net zero by 2050.
… heat pumps “are the most efficient heating technology that we have ever invented.”

Read the articleListen to the podcast

Update Aug 15, 2023 – Read more about Gas Expansion projects in Muskoka

“Natural” gas or methane: which would you choose?
Actor Rick Roberts of Artists for Real Climate Action asked some passers by what type of stove they prefer to cook with: natural gas or methane? It’s a trick question – but the reason why may surprise you. – watch the video

FYINatural gas is primarily methane. In addition, various amounts of higher alkanes and low levels of trace gases like carbon dioxide,  nitrogenhydrogen sulfide, and helium are present.

Think of your body as an ecosystem: Muskoka Watershed Council

Sunday, July 16, 2023 – By Geoff Ross former chair, Muskoka Watershed Council –

Our bodies are incredibly complex assemblies of hundreds of systems, all interconnected and all essential to survival…

It’s the same with an ecosystem, all parts are connected, and they all must function if the ecosystem is to survive. Yes, we can remove a few turtles, swamps and pieces of shoreline. But if we remove too much, push the system beyond its limits, it will die.
Read the opinion piece By Geoff Ross

An Invitation: Join CAM’s New Muskoka Electrification Group

Community Carbon Challenge - Count Me In
  • Create YOUR Personal Action Plan to reduce your carbon footprint!
  • Visit the Challenge page for ideas to get you started.
  • Let’s take action together.

Warning: This is not the good news department

Good news can be found – here

Planet Wreckers: How 20 Countries’ Oil and Gas Extraction Plans Risk Locking in Climate Chaos

SEPTEMBER 12, 2023 – Published by Oil Change International

Only 20 countries, led overwhelmingly by the United States, are responsible for nearly 90 percent of the carbon-dioxide (CO2) pollution threatened by new oil and gas fields and fracking wells planned between 2023 and 2050. If this oil and gas expansion is allowed to proceed, it would lock in climate chaos and an unlivable future.

Five global north countries with the greatest economic means to rapidly phase out production are responsible for a majority (51 percent) of planned expansion from new oil and gas fields through 2050: the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom. 

Download the report
Download country specific factsheets: USCanadaAustraliaNorwayUK

Read the press release

Media reaction: Extreme weather hits world’s seven continents in July 2023

July 16, 2023 – Carbon Brief’s journalists analyze media coverage.

“While Fires Rage, Premier Ford Announces Program to Burn More Wood”

by David Robertson

I am sitting here under a smoke advisory. I am in southern Ontario, about 200 kilometres from the nearest forest fire but the air is hazy, there is smoke in every breath, our windows are closed and the air is being filtered. I can only imagine what it is like for those on the front lines, living in the danger zones or working as firefighters trying to restrain the inferno. more

Gas Carries the Same Climate Clout as Coal, Study Shows, as Ontario Plans New Gas Plants – July 18, 2023 – Energy Mix – Even if a natural gas system leaks as little as 0.2% of the product into the atmosphere, “it’s as bad as coal,” Deborah Brown, lead author of the new study 

For the third time this week, Earth sets an unofficial heat record. – July 7, 2023 – AP.
– July 3:  17.01 Celsius Earth’s highest ever average global temperature.
– July 4:  17.18 Celsius,
– July 5:  17.18 Celsius, .
– July 6:  17.23 Celsius, Global temperatures reached a new high. Scientists say the daily drumbeat of records — official or not — is a symptom of a larger problem where the precise digits aren’t as important as what’s causing them.

Temperatures soared 10°C to 16°C above average in the Northwest Territories and the northern Prairies provinces. – May 15, 2023 – Western and northern Canada witnessed record-breaking temperatures over the weekend, as dozens of records were shattered. 

Governments Spent Record $1 Trillion Last Year Subsidizing Fossil Fuels
Feb 16, 2023 – Bloomberg –
Even as global governments raise their ambitions to cut fossil fuels in the future, they spent a record $1 trillion last year subsidizing energy

Exxon scientists in the 1970s accurately predicted climate change – Jan 12 2023 – NewScientist – Exxon scientists accurately predicted the pace and scale of climate change more than 40 years ago, according to a study that its authors say adds weight to claims the oil firm knew about and sought to downplay the risks posed by continued fossil fuel use.

Atmospheric levels of all three greenhouse gases hit record high – Oct 26, 2022 – The Guardian – Scientists warn world ‘is heading in wrong direction’ amid rise in nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane

This is the good news department

Lion Electric buses to power P.E.I. relief centres in emergencies

May 9, 2023

School buses in Prince Edward Island have an additional use beyond transporting students.

The government of P.E.I. is collaborating with Lion Electric on a pilot project to use the province’s 82 LionC electric school buses to provide electricity to emergency community disaster relief centres in the event of a power outage. – more

Ocean treaty:
Historic agreement reached after decade of talks

Mar 5, 2023 – BBC News

Nations have reached a historic agreement to
protect the world’s oceans following 10 years of negotiations.

The High Seas Treaty aims to place 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030, to safeguard and recuperate marine nature.

The last international agreement on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago in 1982 – the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

This story was also reported in Common Dreams as ‘The Biggest Conservation Victory Ever!’ 

Aggressive Net-Zero Plan Puts PEI at ‘Centre of Energy Transition Universe’

February 14, 2023 – the Energy Mix –  Mitchell Beer

A clever series of presentation slides at a conference in Ottawa last week placed small communities at the centre of the energy transition and spotlighted Prince Edward Island as Canada’s next source of breakaway climate leadership.

Powerful Example’: California Now Largest Economy to Back Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty – Sept 1, 2023 – Common Dreams – “We hope this move locks in real action on ending the era of fossil fuels in California, and spurs other regions, states, and countries to join forces in tackling the root cause of the climate crisis”

Hamilton Plant to Supply Recycled Steel for GM Cars – Aug 27, 2023 – the Energy Mix Through the agreement, steel produced for GM will include a minimum 70% recycled material

Amazon Deforestation Drops 34% in Lula’s First Six Months – July 18, 2023 – the Energy Mix
Full Story: The Associated Press – After four years of rising destruction in Brazil’s Amazon, deforestation dropped by 33.6% during the first six months of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration, according to government satellite data released earlier this month.

Young Climate Activists Take Montana to Court for Its Role in Global Warming – June 12, 2023 – Youth plaintiffs say warming temperatures are harming their health and threatening their futures as a closely-watched climate trial kicks in Montana.

Repsol Abandons Plan to Ship Canadian LNG to Europe
Mar 17, 2023 – Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol SA has dropped its plan to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe from a terminal in New Brunswick,

Purolator Pledges $1B to Electrify Last-Mile Delivery – Mar 14, 2023 – …with the purchase of more than 3,500 electric last-mile delivery vehicles and electrification of more than 60 terminals.

Forests flourish under community control, and NASA has the satellite imagery to show it.
Feb 10, 2023 – The Verge
NASA published a set of maps yesterday showing the incredible recovery Nepal’s forests

We May Not Actually Need All That Lithium
Jan 25, 2023 – USA – Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining

Busiest ferry routes inside Arctic Circle go electric – Norway’s successful transition to zero-emission transport sector continues. By the end of 2022, the last remaining ferry connection along European route E6, Bognes-Skarberget, will operate on batteries.