Statement to national and international political leaders from Concerned Grandparents – united for our grandchildrens’ sustainable future
Halfdan Wiik, chair, Grandparents Climate Campaign, Norway
Peter Jones, chair, For Our Grandchildren (4RG), Canada
International Grandparents call for a new moral leadership, giving priority to the safety of all our grandchildren and their right to a sustainable planet. Putting their best interest at the top of national and international political agendas will demonstrate solidarity between generations.
The latest IPCC reports leave no doubt – the health of our planet is in grave jeopardy.
Our grandchildren must cope with the risk of uncontrollable global warming in a world ridden by famine, sickness, displacement and despair. This risk has greatly increased, yet international climate negotiations are stalled.
The search for new sources of fossil fuel grows. More fertile land is being stripped, precious water contaminated, and more habitats for animals and humans disrupted.
We know that most fossil reserves must remain in the ground if global warming of more than 2 °C is to be avoided. Consequently, coal must be phased out faster. Environmentally costly fossil fuel sources such as tar sands, coal seam gas and shale gas cannot be exploited. In the fragile High Arctic, where unique habitat and precious marine life must be protected and prioritized, oil exploitation must stop.
“Turning down the heat” for the sake of our grandchildren will require changed attitudes and sincere efforts to slow down consumerism in affluent societies. We need to recognize and adjust to the limits of the Earth’s resources. We must regard saving, caution and moderation as positive values – economically beneficial to both today’s and future societies.
As elders we acknowledge our time-honoured role as caretakers of the inheritance of future generations. We owe grandchildren everywhere sustainable living conditions, clean air and water, fertile and uncontaminated land, and a contained global climate.
In short, we owe them a planet Earth as wonderful as the one we have enjoyed.
Therefore we call upon concerned grandparents of the world to join us in efforts to force political leaders – national and international –to protect the rights and safety of children and all future generations.
In Nature’s infinite book of secrecy a little I can read
- William Shakespeare
This month I have a field trip along the trails of Stanley Park to view how the forest has regenerated after the storm of 2006 and a hike up to the peak of Mt Strachan in Cypress Provincial Park looking at the geology on the way.
Sunday August 24th, 2014
The Perfect Storm
An interpretive field trip for Suzuki Elders: Bringing youth and elders together.
Trip leader: David Cook
Meeting location & time: 10:00 am in the parking lot at Third Beach concession stand in Stanley Park. Turn right at Tea House after the Hollow Tree then right again.
Duration of field trip: 2 to 3 hours.
Registration: Not required
Description of event: Walk with me through the forest of Stanley Park where the effects of the storm of 2006 were most destructive and see how it is recovering by natural regeneration with some assistance by human management. We will discuss how such natural events are beneficial to the long term ecology of a forest. We will see how we as managers can influence the pace of forest recovery as well as guide it towards what we require as users of the forest.
A free public event sponsored by Suzuki Elders. All ages welcome. Membership in Suzuki Elders not required.
Click here for further information about the Suzuki Elders.
Saturday August 30th, 2014
Ascent of Mt Strachan, Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver. A slow hike with many geological interpretive stops.
A joint field trip for Nature Vancouver and Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society.
Meeting Time & location: 09:30 am at McDonalds, Park Royal (West Vancouver) for car- pooling. Payment to cover gas costs for those receiving a lift from Park Royal would be appreciated. An alternate meeting location will be at the green Olympic rings at 10:30 am in the downhill ski area of Cypress Provincial Park.
Duration: 5 or 6 hours.
Terrain: A steep ski run with a loose, pebbly surface that is treacherous on descent because of the loose pebbly surface. Deep-tread hiking boots with ankle support are essential. Sneakers not recommended. Walking poles recommended.
Elevation Gain: 500 metres.
Trip Leader: David Cook.
Description: Join me on a hike from the down-hill ski area at Cypress Bowl up the Collins Ski Run to the peak of Mt Strachan (1454 m), an elevation gain of about 500m. On the way there will be numerous stops to view the geology of the area in rock-cut exposures formed during the construction of the ski-run. While this field trip will be primarily to look at the geology, we will make a short side-trip for lunch and to look at an area of sub-alpine pasture recovering back to forest after a pre-historic lightning fire. The highlight will be the southern peak of Mt Strachan where there are magnificent views of Howe Sound and the glaciation has smoothed a remarkable polished pavement of metamorphic rocks, the oldest rocks to be found in the region. Those who wish can continue to the main peak of Mt Strachan. This is a full day’s hike, so bring lunch, water and prepare for changes in weather. If it is a clear day, a hat will be required, as the full length of the route is open to the sky.
Registration is not required. Membership in Nature Vancouver or Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society is not required.
by Jill Schroder
Vancouver has a deserved reputation as a green city but, with a population approaching 2½ million, has to work hard at dealing effectively with the disposal of solid waste (currently estimated at 1.5 million tonnes annually. Recycling currently accounts for about 55% of garbage reduction. Metro Vancouver’s targets for the future are 70% recycling by 2015 and 80% by 2020. Community recycling programmes are now, and will continue to be, essential components in solid waste management.
Residents at Panorama Place apartments in the West End have, through the efforts of half a dozen volunteers, run an effective recycling programme for the building which has reduced the building’s garbage by more than 25% and, over the years, has diverted tonnes of garbage from landfills. We would like to see other residents in Vancouver do the same thing for their buildings.
Our Panorama Place Green Team got its start some 15 years ago when a group of residents campaigned to convert the roof of the apartment’s parking garage into landscaped green space. Our efforts in that direction were ultimately unsuccessful but they started a conversation about how we could make our building ‘greener’. The start was simple enough – providing a bin for residents to recycle beverage containers, which were then not included in the City of Vancouver’s recycling program.
Over time the diversity of recycled materials has grown significantly. In the past 6 months our group has collected 30 98-litre bins of styrofoam, 30 bins of waxed cartons and beverage containers, 30 bins of soft plastics (including shopping bags and wrapping), four bins of hard plastics, hundreds of batteries and light bulbs, and dozens of electrical appliances. In May of this year Metro Vancouver expanded its blue box recycling program to include things like waxed cartons, Tetra Paks, and ice cream tubs.
We all take turns driving the bins to the depot when they are full. Of the 146 units in the building, about three-quarters are currently taking part in the recycling program. Municipal garbage pickup from the building has been reduced from four times a week to three.
November 2013 saw a step forward when our Green Team embarked on a food scraps recycling program. We started with a 25-unit 6-week trial run before opening up the program to the entire building. Metro Vancouver has proposed banning all food scraps from landfills and transfer stations by 2015, so we saw the need to get a head start. The program has been a huge success, collecting more than 2 tonnes of organic waste in the past 6 months (enough to fill four large dumpsters). Since the inception of the food waste program we have noticed that recycling of other materials has increased. An unexpected side benefit has been the transformation of the buildings recycling room into something approaching a social hub.
We are now making our progress and achievements wider known so as to spread the word and encourage others to start similar programs in their buildings. Start small with a committed group of people and just do it!