Regional district staff recommend approving an amended application for groundwater extraction in Merville as a “home occupation,” but rural area directors want more clarity on its legal definition
Comox Valley climate activists join 1,700 discussion events worldwide
Comox Valley citizens participated in 24 Hours of Realty, the worldwide climate action this week | Dan Vie photo
Comox Valley climate activists join 1,700 discussion events worldwide
While former U.S. Vice President kicked off a worldwide discussion about the climate crisis at Vanderbilt University yesterday, Gore-trained climate activist Will Cole-Hamilton provided a similar keynote presentation for close to 100 people at the Comox United Church Hall.
Cole-Hamilton spoke about global progress in developing solar and wind technologies to replace fossil fuels, how the City of Courtenay has addressed climate change and why growing public sentiment expressed in climate marches are so important.
And he brought the topic down to a personal level. Recalling a recent conversation with one of his young children, Cole-Hamilton had trouble keeping his own emotions in check.
Comox Valley Youth Environmental Action has scheduled another Climate Strike for 1 p.m. Nov. 29 at Courtenay’s Simms Park
When his young daughter announced she never planned to have children, Cole-Hamilton asked why. “Because it’s not fair to bring kids into a world that’s not safe,” she said.
Celia Laval, of the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship, a co-organizer of the event, which was one of 1,700 same-day presentations in 75 countries called 24 Hours of Reality: Climate Truth in Action, also acknowledged the seriousness of the issue.
“This is a heavy topic,” she said. “And I’m glad I don’t have to face it alone.”
After Cole-Hamilton’s presentation, participants broke into small groups to discuss the climate crisis and share the practical steps that individuals and neighbourhoods can take to reduce the human impact on climate change.
CLIMATE CRISIS PRESENTATION
Cole-Hamilton started his presentation showing an aerial photo of the Puntledge Road and highway bypass area of Courtenay during the 2014 flood, a rain event that climate scientists predict will become more frequent in the future.
And he showed an old photo of the formerly robust Comox Glacier. Experts now believe that all Vancouver Island glaciers will disappear within 20 years.
But Cole-Hamilton moved on to good news. Many nations have pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the Paris Accord. China and India have generated half or more of their new energy from solar and wind. In the last five years, solar energy jobs have grown six times faster than the overall economy.
In Canada, Cole-Hamilton said, there are now more clean energy jobs than exist in Alberta’s tar sands oil patch.
Cole-Hamilton, who also serves as an elected Courtenay councillor, said he’s proud of how the city is addressing climate change. That includes new electric vehicle charging stations, a ban on single-use plastic bags and declaring a climate emergency.
He said the city’s revision of its Official Community Plan, which is underway, will consider climate change “every step of the way.” The city’s consultants say Courtenay will be the first Canadian city to put the climate crisis at the core of its planning.
WHY JOIN THE CLIMATE MARCH?
More than 3,000 people — nearly five percent of the Comox Valley population — joined 800,000 other Canadians on Sept. 27 in climate marches to demand that governments at all levels do more to reduce human impacts on climate change.
Cole-Hamiltion told the audience that such public displays of public sentiment are more important than people might realize.
When large numbers of people show their support, it gives local governments social license to take positive actions. He noted that all Comox Valley councils and the regional board all declared climate emergencies after the march.
And, he said strong showings are also seen by businesses and other institutions, and they give everyone the strength of conviction to talk about the climate crisis.
“If we continue to grow climate marches, we will change our community,” he said.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING
At the end of the evening, people from the small group discussions talked about the practical actions they are taking to create issue awareness and reduce their carbon footprint.
Those actions ranged from creating more community gardens, to consuming less (Nov. 29 is Buy Nothing Day), supporting local farmers, pledge to have a zero waste Christmas and supporting such local organizations as Project Watershed and Lush Valley.
The list will be posted on the Facebook pages for Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship and Comox Valley Nurses for Health Environment.
The Comox Valley Nurses for Health and the Environment also co-sponsored the event.
WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR CLIMATE DENIER FRIENDS
The website Skeptical Science has made a list of the 197 most common myths about global warming and climate change and how you, as a climate activist, can respond to each of them.
Get the list here … cue cards not available.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
On Merville groundwater extraction it’s deja vu all over again
Merville water bottling issue returns to the CVRD, highlights provincial water policies
The Comox Valley Electoral Areas Service Commission will consider on Monday an amended application for water bottling operations in Merville and draw attention to larger water policy issues in British Columbia
What’s dire: the lack of Comox subdivisions or climate change and gradual deforestation?
A Comox Valley developer is suing the Town of Comox because his permits to cut down trees and build more single-family homes haven’t been issued as fast as he’s wanted and because the town wants a wider walking trail through the property
Join the discussion Oct. 3 about food system security in the Comox Valley
The Watershed Sentinel magazine is hosting a zoom webinar Oct. 3 on food system security in the Comox Valley
Comox Valley Nature webinar to discuss effect of climate change on marine life
Comox Valley Nature lecture to discuss how this summer’s heatwave killed off billions of sea life and the future for marine ecosystems
New North Island organics processing facility raises concerns about cost, fire and odours
Campbell River environmentalists raise concerns about the the cost and location of the Comox Strathcona Waste Management Commission’s new organics processing facility
THE WEEK: 5 things wrong with how Comox tried to hide sewage spill information
Comox Town Council has nothing to say about raw sewage leaking into Brooklyn Creek beyond issuing a press release, which makes misleading statements
Tonnes of sewage mud removed from Brooklyn Creek, nearby residents say its been piling up for years
A Town of Comox infrastructure failure could have spilled raw sewage into Brooklyn Creek for a long time, according to nearby residents who have noticed unusual plant growth and sewage-type odours for nearly 24 months. Mayor and councilors say they didn’t know about it
Town of Comox spills raw sewage into Brooklyn Creek, doesn’t inform public
A broken pipe has spilled raw sewage into Brooklyn Creek and it appears that efforts to mitigate the damage have created a high level of turbidity, a double whammy for fish as well as a potential public health concern. But the Town of Comox has not yet formally informed the public.
Campbell River Environmental Committee lists its current top priorities
The Campbell River Environmental Committee has kept North Island residents aware of environmental risks and promoted awareness of potential concerns to help government and industry make informed decisions