Welcome Rumors

welcome rumorIf what I’m hearing is true, we are in for some good news.

March 23 is the GHG Roundtable at City Hall. The level of interest in participating was strong and with little promotion from the City the event filled up only a week after its date was announced.

Participants will be hearing and talking about practical ways to reduce climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions but a coalition of individuals and groups have been advocating for the roundtable to be the starting point for the City to re-energize its climate change management plan and revisit GHG reduction targets for our community.

Although there have been reasons for frustration over past years, cautious optimism is the vibe I’m feeling in talks with people hoping that the roundtable will be a useful and meaningful event.

In addition, there are moves in the community to get the word out quickly for those interested and who’d tried to register too late. Tweeting and a rapid third-party report are among the possibilities.


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Act Locally Now – Your Invited to the City’s GHG Roundtable

WebGHG-RoundTableThe following extract from Ecology Ottawa’s recent post. Your job is to register to attend.

We’ve worked for months to get the City of Ottawa back on track to do its fair share in the fight against climate change and we’re writing to let you know that there’s a critical meeting coming up and you’re invited!

The City of Ottawa has officially announced that they are holding a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Roundtable on Saturday, March 23rd from 9am to 2pm at City Hall and they are extending an open invitation to anyone interested in this important issue.

If you believe that all levels of government have a role to play in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, then we are asking Continue reading

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Climate Change Dampens Local Winter Sports

Ridge Road hard to identify after December 21 storm

Ridge Road hard to identify after December 21 storm

The following is reposted from Ottawa Outdoors Magazine. If you want to help make a difference right here in Ottawa send an email with your interest in climate change issues to volunteer@ecologyottawa.ca

Climate Change Dampens Winter Sports in Ottawa-Gatineau

Shorter seasons, more mush, less ice

When the storm hit Gatineau Park at the end of December and devastated ski and snowshoe trails, I was at a cottage north of Montreal where power lines snapped under branches laden with wet snow, leaving 130,000 hydro customers without power for six days.* I spent a lot of time reopening cross-country ski “trails” so blocked with a tangle of broken trees that they were unrecognizable and impassable. Continue reading

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Thank You Mayor Watson

On February 1 Mayor Jim Watson posted a list of green initiatives that are underway in the City of Ottawa. One of those was

In the first quarter of this year the City will host a roundtable to review the way forward for our Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan and GHG control in our city.

Thank you Mayor Watson for your leadership on this. We who are concerned about climate change are so glad to see how closely this lines up with with the climate change objectives enunciated by Ecology Ottawa.

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Who is Taking Leadership

It is notable that Mayor Watson in looking back over the past two years includes in his list of green initiatives the planning of the the upcoming greenhouse gas roundtable. Yet Environment Committee Chair Councillor Maria McRae in her verbal update of the achievements of 2012, delivered on January 15, made no mention of the roundtable.

[audio http://climateottawa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MariaMcRaeYearEndReview.mp3]
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[Action] Contact Your City Councillor

With Ecology Ottawa I am asking people to call their city councillor to ask that the upcoming greenhouse gas roundtable be used as a starting point for the city to revisit its climate change strategy. Here’s why:

You can help by

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An Encouraging Evening – Professional Engineers talk Sustainability

PEO-EngineeringDimensionsI was invited last night to attend a sustainability seminar put on by the Ottawa Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Ontario.

It was quite uplifting. Consider:

  • the event was sold out, capped at 150 seats, the most popular event that the PEO has held
  • the first speaker – discussing Bio Diesel – began his presentation with a slide similar to the one below, emphasizing the link between


    concentrations and the world’s temperature tracked through past ice ages

  • pretty much all the speakers (including the Toyota rep, shamelessly amping his brand) gave considerable focus to climate change Continue reading
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How Can Global Warming be Real When it’s -27°C Outside?

I see that Ecology Ottawa’s latest email Update newsletter (dedicated to stimulating responsible action on climate change) is landing in people’s inboxes on the coldest day we’ve had in 8 years.

Could the wind chill be blowing away people’s conviction that things are actually getting warmer?

As they say: climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. Today’s cold weather had a lower probability of happening as the climate has warmed, but that lower probability isn’t zero.

This is explained by a graph that comes from US climate scientist James Hansen, here borrowed from the blog of the American Geophysical Union.*


What it shows are statistical results for actual temperatures measured all over the world. The red bit bunging out to the right of the “normal” curve shows how temperatures have increased since the 1950s. But what we’re interested in is the thin blue tail on the left. That blue bit used to be much thicker, meaning that below average temperatures were more frequent, but the fact that there is any blue there at all anymore means that even though we’re seeing extra cold temperatures less often, they still do happen occasionally even though most days are warmer.

*The American Geophysical Union call themselves “the world’s largest organization of Earth and space scientists”


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The Year in Review

new year chasing old 2012 20132012 has been an eventful year for residents of Ottawa concerned about global warming. It’s ending on a high note but we’ve sure seen some lows over the last twelve months. To ring in the New Year let’s celebrate a few important points.


This past week Mayor Jim Watson took leadership in the city’s commitment to our climate change contributions by announcing that the greenhouse gas roundtable would be convened before the end of March 2013. Continue reading

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Resident of River Ward Calls on Maria McRae to Disavow Climate Change Denial

This morning on CKCU Mark Brooks interviewed Joan Kuyek.

[audio http://climateottawa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/JoanKuyek-w-MarkBrooks-on-CKCU.mp3]

Here’s some of what she said:

It came to my attention too that Paul McRae, who is Maria McRae’s husband, had in the past been a climate change denier…

Councillor McRae, who is my councillor, has been very recalcitrant on dealing with greenhouse gas emissions in the city and as Chair of the Environment Committee she’s got real responsibilities to do something about it…

I’m really concerned about this…it matters to me, it matters to my kids, it matters to my grandchildren…

I think she needs to publicly disavow what her husband has been saying on the blog…and state clearly where she stands on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, and if she can’t do that, I think she should resign.

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