Fire / Feu


Projets de base des étudiants mettent Sackville sur la carte

Dans son article, Yuill Herbert examine le changement climatique et il
nous parle de certains projets
en cours et 
ŕ venir au Nouveau-
Brunswick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    

         

Student Grassroots Projects
put Sackville on the Map


Yuill Herbert,
Blue-Green Society
April 2000

 

s I think back to this past winter, I can remember one day that I awoke to the sunshine streaming through the window. It was warm, very warm outside. I took off my jacket and then my sweater. The sky was blue with a few wispy clouds. The grass was green. The wind was warm, just like the average breezy summer day.


(photo: NBEN-RENB)

I shivered and not because of the temperature. The date was January 12 and the place, Sackville, NB. Long time residents of Sackville talk of harsh winters, prolonged storms, biting temperatures and blowing snow. However, on that day, Sackville could be Florida and in general, this has been the trend for the last two winters. Strange weather is nothing new to me. As an individual worried about environmental issues, I have been following the reports of increasing storms and warmer global temperatures for the last six years.

Upon returning home, I called Environment Canada and this is the surprising message that I heard:  "Welcome to Environment Canada’s weather service. Climate change could change our way of life. Rising temperatures and sea levels, increasing participation in some areas and decreasing in others and changing extreme weather behaviour. For more information please call 1 800 959 9606." Then the familiar "Forecasts for New Brunswick issued at 11 am…" and so on. It is official. Climate change is happening. What credibility the Global Climate Coalition had has gone down the drain.

Environment Canada scientists predict that by the year 2080, the ice will be gone from the Arctic and the North will be thirty degrees warmer. The predictions are slightly less severe for southern Canada. Indeed, this is mind-blowing. France just lost most of their forests and has a clean-up bill of an estimated 75 billion dollars after a severe weather event this Christmas, and NASA has documented a six percent decline in total Arctic ice over the last 20 years. Canadian researchers have discovered that the weight for both male and female polar bears is declining and female bears are having fewer cubs. They are starving. The future for the Polar bear is grim. 
If you still doubt they symptoms visit www.climatehotmap.org, for a compilation of indicators from a coalition of environmental groups in the US.


(photo: Environment CA)

=============

"Climate Change
could change our
way of life. Rising temperatures
and sea levels..." 

=============

As a part of Blue Green Society, a group of about forty students based at Mount Allison University, I have been working on climate change on and off since the major international meeting in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. 
At about that time, it became evident that the luke-warm government policies would have little impact on the volume of greenhouse gases being emitted each year and so Blue Green has made climate change a focus area.


Here are some of the ongoing projects:

· Energy audits- as part of a wider scoped environmental audit, in 1998 two students completed an analysis of the energy used by the university and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Another audit will be completed this year to see what progress has been made (contact: environment@mta.ca . The entire audit can be found at www.mta.ca/environment .)
The audit resulted in Mount Allison University adopting a comprehensive environmental policy, the first of it’s kind in Canada, which commits the university to reducing energy consumption wherever possible (and there are many possible ways!)

· Bike trailers- based on a design from the US, two students have been building trailers that fit behind bikes. These are constructed out of aluminum and can move three hundred plus pounds (a sofa or two). We will be employing these as a means to move furniture around Sackville for a nominal fee, thereby reducing greenhouse emissions from cars. The design can be found at www.bikesatwork.com . For more information contact: jadnn@mta.ca

· Parking tickets- these were developed by Adbusters to mimic legitimate Department of Transport parking tickets with a few notable exceptions. There is a fine of $17,000 for climate related damages. We have awarded at least sixty of these already and have had a number of people trying to pay these at the local police station. The police were confused. The tickets can be downloaded from the suburbia section of www.adbusters.org.


· Climate Change Caravan- in the spirit of recent Direct Action activities against the WTO and the WB/IMF, a group of twenty of us (and anyone else who wants to) will be heading off across Canada on bikes next summer, pedalling various contraptions including a car and a rickshaw. We will be performing concerts, speaking in schools and stopping at the various legislatures along the way. The event is being planned via a discussion list. Please join if you are interested: climatechangecaravan@egroups.com.

· A final project underway is the establishment of a wind turbine to power the Mount Alison University, thereby eliminating our greenhouse gas emissions. There is significant wind potential in the Sackville Marsh. With permission from NB Power, it would be economically feasible to establish a wind turbine. Much work remains to be done on this one.

For more information contact: yhrbrt@mta.ca