Re-Imagining the Future: Climate Action Muskoka Launches Vision

This is the first submission in the Re-Imagining Series from Climate Action MuskokaMuskokaRegion.com

Imagine a future where we are no longer staring down a climate crisis but are experiencing a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere, where the health and well-being of people in an equitable and resilient Muskoka are reflected in communities around the world, and where a global response to what was once a heating planet has been achieved.

Imagine our Muskoka filled with small, thriving, locally-supported businesses and hundreds of green energy and care sector living-wage jobs — where everyone has an affordable, sustainable home built or retrofitted with carbon sequestering materials — a Muskoka powered by locally produced electric power.

Imagine walking or cycling to services from your neighbourhood, visiting neighbouring communities via a network of paved, separated and safe cycling lanes. Imagine no more noisy, internal combustion engines, quiet streets and lakes, an accessible public transport system, an inexpensive train service linking us to communities both near and far.

Imagine urban agriculture within easy walking or cycling distance of our homes where we can work our own plot, buy fresh, local, organic produce, or subscribe to a regular delivery of produce to our homes — a Muskoka where feeding ourselves means food no longer travels long distances or is at the whim of constant price rises. Imagine a tourism economy thriving on ecotourism in a protected and cherished world class destination.

Imagine a future in which we no longer worry about our children’s and grandchildren’s future, because we ensured it would be safe 20 years ago when we took action in 2021.

We know the path we are on now is unsustainable. We know we need to set out on a new path. Join our inspired Climate Action Muskoka team of contributors on a journey as they look to Muskoka in 2030, 2040, and onwards. Through a series of columns, they will be Re-Imagining the Future and capturing the steps we need to take now in order to get there.

From their diverse areas of expertise, our writers will help us imagine a decarbonized, equitable and resilient Muskoka. They will motivate us to see our opportunities as individuals, as communities, and as elected officials to get to where we need to go. Seeing what that future could look like makes it easier for us to embrace the changes needed now to get there.

Impossible you say? We are at a crossroad with opportunities like never before. We have the solutions. Join us as we explore the possibilities within our own Muskoka communities.

Imagine what a collective difference we could create in Muskoka if our very first step is to take up the Community Carbon Challenge (CCC) and reduce our own carbon footprint 50 per cent by 2030: climateactionmuskoka.org

In the words of Christiana Figueres, key architect of the Paris Accord, “Impossible is not a fact. It is an attitude.”

Linda Mathers -Thursday, March 11, 2021

Linda Mathers is a retired teacher, advocate and longtime volunteer working for a future for her grandchildren.

Find links to all the columns in the series –here

Who Are The Rabble Rousers To Watch In 2021?

Fridays For Future weekly climate strikers before the covid19 lockdown
Bracebridge, Muskoka, Ontario

Why Muskoka Declared a Climate Emergency

Maya Bhullar – March 4, 2021

In 2020, amidst the pandemic, the district government of Muskoka declared a climate emergency and endorsed a plan which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and take them down to zero by 2050. This is a region which votes staunchly conservative every provincial and federal election. Who made this happen and how did they do it? The organization behind the curtain working tirelessly to make these changes are the “rabble rousers to watch” at Climate Action Muskoka. Here is what I learned in my interview with rabble rousers Sue McKenzie and Linda Mathers from Climate Action Muskoka.  Read the whole storyhere


Listen to Sue McKenzie and Linda Mathers speak with Maya Bhullar about how they organized to have their municipality declare a climate emergency on rabble radio- here.