Is There a Connection Between Climate Denial and the City’s Environment Committee Chair?

In trying to promote the City’s greenhouse gas roundtable I’ve been talking to people. One of these people pointed me to the blog of Paul McRae husband of City of Ottawa Environment Committee Chair Councillor Maria McRae.

His blog contans more than 20 pages and posts asserting that global warming is a hoax and a swindle.

Admittedly the views expressed there are several years old and represent the views of Paul McRae, not necessarily Maria McRae.

Still, one would like to think that the elected official in charge of environmental issues for the City of Ottawa would be opposed to such a position.

Further, it raises questions in one’s mind: if Councillor McRae did believe global warming was a hoax, would she allow that view to influence her management of climate change initiatives under her authority? Could there be any connection between her potentially holding such a view and the difficulty that the public has had in engaging her on constructive solutions?

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Where’s that progress City Council agreed to? (You can help)

In 2005 the City of Ottawa was making fair progress on the issue of climate change. That stagnated during O’Brien’s Mayorship and since Councillor Maria McRae became Chair of Ottawa’s Environment Committee has actually slid backward.

Concerned citizens and groups worked together with supportive councillors to change this. We were successful in having City Council approve a motion to host a roundtable to engage the community in greenhouse gas reduction. Maria McRae claimed chairmanship of the roundtable and for six months has done nothing to organize it.

One thing motivates City Councillors to action. That is calls from their constituents. Please contact your City Councillor:

  • Ask them what is their role in moving forward on the GHG Roundtable*
  • Ask them to work to make it happen in a timely manner

Please contact the Mayor:

  • Ask Jim Watson to take a lead role at the GHG Roundtable – you’d like him to make his presence felt.

Contact info can be found here.

Ecology Ottawa has set up a system to keep count of how many people ask city politicians these questions. Please consider adding your name to that count at this link.

*GHG = greenhouse gas

This article cross-posted with Ecology Ottawa

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What’s With The GHG Roundtable?

I’ve been giving a number of presentations over the last few weeks and as I tell my audiences that the City of Ottawa has committed to hosting a GreenHouse Gas Roundtable the question is beginning to come up more and more, when will that be held?

I’m going to look into that.

In the mean time Continue reading

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SLOWest Energy Conservation Workshop

On Thursday, Nov 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at MEC, 366 Richmond Road, I’ll be presenting on behalf of Sustainable Living Ottawa West.

The program says I’ll focus on practical ways to reduce energy consumption. To that end I offer below a number of resources that people can use.

But I will be focusing on the practicality of actually motivating people to take action. These days most presentations of this type focus on saving money and I’ll certainly touch on that. Saving money is something that is an immediate reward that is so important to get people to pay attention when it’s so hard to get them to Continue reading

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Kitchissippi Times Coverage

As noted here, I’ll be speaking at SLOWest’s energy conservation competiton promo evening Thursday, Nov 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at MEC, 366 Richmond Road.

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CKCU Climate Reality Panel

On Thursday I joined Candace Labelle, Vice President of Climate Reality Canada, and Muni Ahlawat, of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with CKCU Earthgauge Radio host Mark Brooks to discuss Al Gore’s Climate Reality project.

The following audio is from that panel discussion.

If you are interested in having me talk to your group about the issue please contact me at either or 613-728-2016

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Climate Reality with Al Gore

Ottawa temperatures in 2011

In August I traveled to San Francisco and attended a three day training session presented by Al Gore.

At the time of his movie An Inconvenient Truth for which he won both an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Gore had been asked during a TV talk show interview “what are you going to do for an encore?” He replied that he was planning to train a thousand people to become presenters of the slideshow that formed the basis of his movie. The August 2012 training brought the total of trainees to something like 5000, of which perhaps 400 have been Canadian. The overall effort now goes under the banner of The Climate Reality Project.

By attending the Climate Reality training I have obligated myself to give 10 or more talks over the coming year. Yesterday I gave the first of those talks to a leadership group at Ecology Ottawa. Continue reading

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How to Create a Temperature Graph

In another post I discussed how Environment Canada temperature records show climate change happening right here in Ottawa. This post will describe how you can reproduce the graphs I showed there for any weather station across Canada; plus, what that means.

We’ll start by going to Environment Canada’s Weather Office website. Once there navigate by map or by pull-down list to the weather station you’re interested in, in this case Ottawa (Kanata – Orleans).

In the lower right corner next to “Historical Data” click on “More Info +” then select “Historical Weather.” Continue reading

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GHG Roundtable

On Wednesday June 27 City Council accepted the recommendation of Environment Committee to “host a stakeholders’ Round Table … to engage the community on the matter of GHG* reductions.” This was a cause for celebration among those of us who’d like the City to take it’s past commitments on climate change seriously.

At first what we heard from the City was that the Roundtable likely wouldn’t get organized before the fall. Things definitely won’t have sped up due to the loss due to department reorganizations of two city employees closely associated with GHG work; David Miller and Michael Murr. Continue reading

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Thanks to Mark Brooks at CKCU (Earthguage Radio)

Mark was good enough to have me on his show today to talk about next week’s Environment Committee meeting at City Hall where councillors will talk about the greenhouse gas inventory (and hopefully take some positive action too).

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