I've been a terrible blogger lately. I've totally neglected you.
I promise it's for a good reason, though! The last time I blogged, I had just found out that the pipeline 3.5 miles away from my cottage is supposed to eventually start carrying diluted bitumen (a mix of heavy crude and 30% toxic chemicals) from the Tar Sands. I was devastated.
But I have some good news! Tomorrow, Climate Justice Montreal is putting on a community forum against tar sands and pipelines. I'm one of the volunteer coordinators and I'm presenting a 101 workshop, so I've been pretty busy.
It's free! We'll be on the 7th floor of the Hall building in Montreal. Childcare, whisper translators, and free lunch will be provided. You should go - it's gonna be awesome.
It's been a little crazy here in Montreal in the past few months. Personally, the feeling of craziness started in March with the Anti Police Brutality march, which culminated a few blocks away from my apartment. Next was the start of the tuition hike protests, which celebrated the 100th day of protesting on Tuesday. On my walk to work, it became really common to see smashed bank windows, extra traffic, spontaneous groups of people shouting, and busses of policemen zooming by with the sirens on. Since I work at three English universities, it was all people talked (mostly debated) about. It has been interesting to get one perspective at work, and completely another from my family and friends, and a third perspective from the media. No matter my thoughts on the tuition issue, it's obvious to me that it is growing into a bigger issue: should we accept the norm, or fight for what we believe in? The older people I've talked to seem to say "suck it up, stop whining." and the younger or more open-minded (is that the word I'm looking for?) people seem to say "it doesn't have to be like this, but it will be like this if no one speaks out."
I haven't been too involved personally with the tuition hike activities, but I've found it really inspiring to see people speaking out for what they believe is right. A few weeks ago, the federal budget got passed, with scary implications. The government is budgeting $8 million on auditing charities like environmental groups. It will completely change the Environmental Assessment Act, so that projects like the Enbridge pipeline could get passed much more easily. There will be less emphasis on public consultations, so that politicians can pass things or issue permits behind closed doors. For a better explanation, see here: http://blackoutspeakout.ca/about.php
In a time when we need MORE transparency, MORE public consultations, BETTER regulations, LESS power of lobby groups, this is ridiculous. The government is getting more power to pass projects that certain companies (cough cough, oil) want, and gives less opportunities for environmental groups or the public to speak out about it. So people are speaking out. And blacking out.
On June 4th, organizations and bloggers will be blacking out their website, to represent the silence that the budget will entail. So I'll be blacking out, and speaking out.
I've been working for Sustainable Concordia as the Sustainable Event Guide Coordinator. There has been a guide for event organizers who want to learn how to put on an event (especially a more eco-friendly one). I'll be working on this sustainable event guide, and putting together a resource section of where to find local and sustainable products and services. Check it out if you're going to be helping to plan an event soon!
I tend to work office jobs, and am equally glued to my computer when I get home. But this article from BBC has publicized that doing two Google searches uses the energy equivalent of using an electric kettle. About 7g of CO2 is used per search. This energy is used by the computer terminal, and the huge data centers that run all around the world to have such fast search results.
Also, I thought I would let you know about this interesting book that will be launched on Thursday, January 26th at 7pm at the Concordia Greenhouse. The greenhouse is on the roof of the Henry Hall building on Maisonneuve + Mackay downtown.
"The United Nations designated October 31, 2011, as the "Day of 7 Billion," when the global population reached seven billion people. Many environmentalists now argue that overpopulation is the greatest threat to the environment today, but Ian Angus exposes the serious dangers of this argument in his latest book, Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis. Join Ian Angus and Yves Engler at the Concordia Greenhouse to celebrate the Montreal book launch of Too Many People?
Ian Angus is an ecosocialist, climate justice activist and editor of climateandcapitalism.com
Yves Engler is an activist and author of Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Environmental Decay.
This event is unfortunately not accessible by wheelchair.
For more details email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“This excellent book is steadfast in its refutations of the flabby, misogynist and sometimes racist thinking that population growth catastrophists use to peddle their claims.” —Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved.
(Space is limited so please come early to get a good spot!)"
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to unglue myself from my computer and read a book...in the dark.
I'm an eco-conscious girl from Montreal, Quebec. I'm currently an adjunct science professor at Champlain College of Vermont (Montreal Campus). I'm interested in any opportunities to expand my experience with grassroots activism, climate change legislation, or environmental education.