Last week we left the update sparse, with the understanding that we were crazy busy juggling a lot of balls. This week we work at trying to catch up on much needed sleep to alleviate that deep ache in behind the eye balls. And as for Gord… well we just won’t go any further except to say he is almost caught up on the list Ann has given him. And for those who have been on a tour… you know what that means.
Seeing the fruits (and nuts) of our labour. This year brings more surprises than we have ever seen with virtually all our various plants fruiting from Seaberry, Haskap, Cornelian Cherry, Aronia, 13 types of plums, 11 types of apples, 5 types of pears, 8 types of black currants, 6 types of figs, 4 types of saskatoons, 5 types of kiwis, apricots, currants, goose berries, 6 types of mullberries, 4 types of elderberries, and a host of other edible plants filling in the spaces between. That may sound a little nuts, but then there are Gord’s nuts. The hazelnuts and almonds have set this year, and the walnuts are close. The Russian almond set as well. The chestnut are growing extremely quick, and likely will set next year.
A special approach to the nursery stock this year. Virtually all nurseries are compromised by time, and watering usually occurs in such a manner as to drench and move on. This process often causes water to leach nutrients out. Nurseries compensate by adding fertilizer to the pots, in excess to compensate for this leaching. This year Gord has been making concoctions of compost tea… with kelp, sea minerals, comfrey, nettle, straw, EM, chicken manure, and composted/ing fish. The result is a bacterial dense spray every 2 weeks. The plants love it and we can see a difference. The nursery is lush and diverse.
As usual, the nursery is open on Saturday May 14th from 10am – 2pm. (Our 11th Anniversary). If you cannot make it out on Saturdays and want to buy some plants, just send us an email to set up another time. firstname.lastname@example.org
Eco-Sense photo memories from the past: Met online Sept 2004, Engaged Dec 2004, Married on May 14, 2005, had 1st and 2nd anniversary living in the trailer building the Eco-Sense house.
Eco-Sense Video of the Week: First Peak moment video of Ann and Gord talking about their plans to build the Eco-Sense home…our first video filming ever. (Gord still has never watched it).
Baird Council Initiative of the week: A couple weeks back Gord was pressing to have Deborah Harford, the Executive Director of SFU ACT (Adaptation to Climate Change Team) come speak to council and staff. He was successful and this past Monday (May 9) Ms. Harford presented – covering the newest science on climate change that is being used in her policy work with governments in preparing adaptation plans. Highlights? OMG LOTS! Governments have been working on data since 2010 that they had to prepare infrastructure (natural and human created) for 1 m sea level rise by 2100. Five years after, with the newest science, that number has more than doubled. How do you plan for adaptation when projections for sea level rise doubles in five years? A 2m sea level rise by 2100 is the same thing as saying 1m sea level rise by 2050 (in 34 years a large percentage of human population globally could be/will be inundated.) How the hell do you prepare for that? When asked how theses agencies respond to this new benchmark… answer, “They have fear in their eyes.”
Sea level rise locally is one aspect…then there are other risks such as fires, floods, droughts, food and water insecurity, climate refugees, and war (fighting over dwindling resources).
We also learned:
- that loss of soil carbon accounts for 1/3 of global emissions.
- Eco-System Valuation is an emerging trend, and being able to account for such on your balance sheet allows for better choices when faced with development that potentially impacts the eco-system services.
- That every last bit of remaining habitat is critical as species try to adapt to a rapidly chaining climate
- That municipalities only receive 8 cents of every Canadian tax dollar, yet we are responsible for almost all of the municipal infrastructure and adaptation to climate change. I wonder where that other 92 cents of our tax dollars go?
OK, so all well and good, but what happened after the presentation by Ms. Harford was astounding. Highlands had a consultant present to council and the community on their analysis and results on the cost/benefit analysis of a proposed aggregate mine in the community on 65 acres of park quality forested ecosystem (adjacent to Thetis Lakes Park). The consultant was clearly uncomfortable recommending to our community that there was more benefit to the community to clear and blast (65 acres over 36 years) a biologically diverse thriving forest ecosystem that functionally is an extension of Thetis Lake Park. The financial benefit to the Highlands would be realized slowly until year 36 when the lands would become “industrial” was stated to be more financially profitable than the natural capital that would be lost. The consultant was visibly uncomfortable as he presented their conclusions.
It gets better… the audience was full of community members and many actually thought that the consultant was the representative of the mine owner. The questions and comments were tough and it was sadly clear that the report was based on status quo assumptions of business as usual, with not a single observation of climate change and what that will mean for the site, the services it provides for people and nature, or whether the economic fallout from climate change will even support such an extractive industry 36 years into the future. One way or another we will be transitioning to a low carbon future…either willingly or through ecological and economic collapse. Planning for a status quo industrial park in 36 years is insane given the current state of knowledge of the ecological, climatic, and economic projections. If anyone would like to view the Highlands appraisal form that qualifies the flows of capital (natural, human, social, manufactured, and financial), check out this 4 page PDF. Form was completed by the consultants and Ann’s notes are overlaid.
Baird Council Failure of the week: (Or CRD FAILURE of the week). A couple weeks back, Ann shared here in this blog, that she had managed to get the discussion on sea level rise onto the CRD Climate Action Inter-municipal Steering Committee agenda. Her goal was to gain support in putting forward a recommendation to the CRD Environment Committee and the CRD Climate Action group to update their adaptation plans for sea level rise (currently it’s based on the old numbers of 1 m by 2100.) This week, Ann was told no, that her agenda item was actually not going to appear on the agenda and that forecasts for sea level rise are set by the province…these are what the CRD bases their adaptation plans on. Anyone have any faith in the provincial government to update their forecasts in line with the current science? ACK! Anyways, we have to let these things go and know that in order to keep doing what we do (and maintain sanity) we have to let go of attachment to outcome and just enjoy “stirring the pot”.
Stirring a really big pot,
Gord and Ann