Earth Spirit Action Team’s “Good Tidings” II.
Welcome to the second issue of “Good Tidings”, the “Earth, Spirit, Action” Team’s bulletin on environment and climate change issues for the St. Matt’s family and all who want to do what we can to keep God’s creation healthy. Our “good news” bulletins will provide information about global and local environmental and climate change issues, along with options for personal and political actions you can take to preserve and build a healthy planet. The information or options will focus on five priorities identified in congregational feedback to a recent survey conducted by the Earth, Spirit, Action Team for guidance in its future work. The priorities identified were:
We hope to include a feature article in each “Good Tidings”, and this issue features a letter from James McCurdy on behalf of Annapolis Waterkeepers to the Premier (Feb.13, 2021) about the Arlington Heights Dump near Bridgetown. McCurdy states that the dump “sits at the apex of three watersheds” and could impact water quality in the area. The dump site is in MLA Stephen McNeil’s riding. We copied this open letter from the Anglican Diocesan Environmental Network Newsletter because we think this is a local issue that merits our attention.
Also under Local Environmental Issues we have also included correspondence between Elaine Murray and her Councillor Kathryn Morse (District 10) about green transportation. These emails demonstrate that our Councillors are accessible and listening, and that we can cultivate positive relationships with them. The Chronicle Herald ran articles (Sat. Mar. 13th) addressing green transportation and the recent Federal decision making $400 million for green transportation available. Watch for upcoming local community town hall meetings to offer your suggestions.
We welcome feedback from readers who would like to share their thoughts with us. Our email is: email@example.com
Local Environmental Issues:
Correspondence between Elaine Murray and Councillor Kathryn Morse on Green Transportation in Halifax
On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 9:53 AM Elaine Murray wrote:
Today is a Day of Action for people of faith all over the world. Over 400 events are happening in 43 different countries representing all faith traditions. We are asked to pray and meet (safely) with others to urge our government representatives at all levels to move more quickly to sustainable ways of living. The program is called Sacred People, Sacred Earth.
I learned last week that there is now more federal money available to municipalities for green transportation and am writing to ask that council revisit their decision about diesel buses. Would it be possible to get some electric buses and use this new funding to build the infrastructure needed to convert to all electric uses in the future? I have also heard of cities which are switching to hydrogen buses. Might it be possible to use some of this new funding for that ?
I realize that NS Power is a long way from green power and there needs to be pressure put on them to get off coal but in the meantime electric buses would do so much to reduce the carbon footprint of the city. Please take this request forward if at all possible.
Thank you. Elaine.
From: Kathryn Morse
Date: Sat., Mar. 13, 2021, 9:25 a.m.
Subject: Re: Green transportation
Hi Elaine--Nice to hear from you. This is top of mind for the Mayor and Council. Not sure if you saw my Facebook post this morning, but I mentioned the federal Active Transportation funding along with positive news at Metro Transit, where they just hired an analyst to work on electrification of the fleet. The main challenge and expense is getting the new electric charging infrastructure in place, as well as new bus garages for maintenance of the electric buses. I think there will be great progress in the next 2 years. Thanks for your note and for getting involved in this issue. Kathryn
* The good news here is that we can all have an impact. It’s as simple as finding an email address and writing a letter to your Councillor, Mayor, MLA, MP, or Cabinet Minister (Provincial or Federal).
Petition Alerts: MP Lenore Zann’s Bill on Environmental Racism.
A National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism (Bill C-230) was introduced in the House of Commons on February 26, 2020 by Lenore Zann, the MP for Cumberland-Colchester and moved forward to second reading on December 8th, 2020. The debate at second reading continues on March 23, 2021, after which the Bill will be voted on. Sign this petition to tell Canada’s leaders that we need to redress environmental racism across Canada.
From the Ecology Action Centre:
The Biodiversity Act (Bill #4) is under attack once again by Forests Nova Scotia (the forest industry’s lobby group) and others. They are whipping up fear and paranoia over the intended purpose of the act and are trying to get it killed again as they did two years ago. With 50% of global diversity already lost, we simply cannot allow this to happen. We need you to help save the Biodiversity Act. The Act would be the first of its kind in North America and is a critical step in protecting the natural spaces and ecosystems we all love and rely on. Decision makers need to know that you support it. Please send a letter to your MLA expressing your support for the Act and for making biodiversity protection a priority in Nova Scotia.
Ecology Action Centre website: ecologyaction.ca
(Arlington Heights Dump - Feature Article)
Letter (excerpts) from James McCurdy, Annapolis Waterkeepers, to Premier re: Arlington Heights Dump, Feb. 13th, 2021. (We have edited this letter for purposes of brevity.)
“As you will recall, we have verified, and Nova Scotia Environment has admitted, that large amounts of prohibited material (auto-fluff) have been dumped at Arlington for a period of years. Also, we are told by a former employee that these illegal shipments were not recorded in the regular dump tare receipts. We estimate that 70% of the dump contents are fluff,
(Editor’s Note: Auto fluff is ‘a mixture of materials including plastics, foam, textiles, rubber and glass that make up the 25% of automobile components that can’t be recycled. Autofluff is contaminated with rust, dirt, and a variety of fluids and is not recyclable.’)
“We filed our first formal complaint about fluff dumping on Nov. 1st, 2018, though we suspected that fluff was being dumped as early as 2015. Then Minister Miller acknowledged the fluff dumping but said it was tested (for metals only) quarterly and was “considered to be safe for current use.” We reiterated our complaints in 2019.
“Minister Wilson eventually responded that fluff was, in fact, not considered safe for disposal in gen. one landfills, and that he would not be allowing the practice to continue. He reassured us that the impermeable soil at Arlington would protect our downgrade communities.
“The idea of impermeable soil at the dump is a falsehood perpetrated in the original permit application of 2004; the claim was never verified by Nova Scotia Environment. However this falsehood, which is easily disproved, is consistently repeated and cited as support for all subsequent NSE approvals at Arlington. However, the fluff continued to flow in defiance of the Minister’s order to cease and desist.
“A third request for explanation was met with correspondence from Adrian Fuller, who assured us that the department’s rigorous inspections had “found no outstanding problems at Arlington,” case closed.
“Throughout this long process, NSE has responded with inconsistent, contradictory, incomplete, and misleading replies. A recent CBC interview with Lori Skaine only compounds the confusion; she claims that NSE discovered the illegal auto-fluff in a routine inspection at Arlington in November 2020, and advises that an investigation is “ongoing.”
“Because of these inconsistencies, we ask that you AUTHORIZE YOUR NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER TO APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATOR with a mandate to get to the bottom of activities at Arlington. We ask that the mandate be broad enough to encompass all aspects of the dump, including original approvals which we believe should be revisited for a variety of very important reasons, including:
“As you may suspect, there is much more to this story. Hopefully, we will be given the chance to express our concerns in detail before your appointed investigator.
Sincerely James McCurdy, for Annapolis Waterkeepers" www.annapoliswaterkeepers.ca
To find more information or learn how you may support the Annapolis Waterkeepers, please go to their website or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/AnnapolisWaterkeepers , or email AnnapolisWaterkeepers@gmail.com
If you wish you can also send your own version of this letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Full text is at: https://www.facebook.com/AnnapolisWaterkeepers/posts/115585150572311
Learning about Environmental/Climate Change Issues in General:
Earth Spirit Action Team Demonstrates on Faith Day of Action on Climate March 11th.
St. Matthew’s joined faith communities around the world on Thursday March 11th to call on local, regional, and national governments to address issues causing and resulting from climate change. We must act now not later, and we must act justly, to avoid further degradation of creation and life on our planet home, and the growing inequity of the effects of climate change.
Anne, Margaret, Elaine, Molly, Anne Marie, John. Harley, Paul, & Molly
The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann… review by Laurette Geldenhuys. “This is a book on the climate crisis that lifted me right out of my intense eco anxiety and depression. It attacks the new strategy of dark money and the fossil fuel industry to create the illusion that there is no hope, thus paralyzing action. He emphasizes that while the climate crisis is serious, we have agency to effect change” and there is hope.
And an environmental movie review by Laurette and her grandson…
This afternoon my seven year old grandson and I watched the animated Netflix movie, Bigfoot Family, which tells the story of how Bigfoot and his family of humans and animals defeat a wicked and greedy oil company planning to destroy a beautiful valley in Alaska. The movie was recommended to me by my grandson, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Interestingly, Alberta’s Energy War Room is very unhappy about the movie, as I noticed last night in the CBC article below. https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5948163
Another book review…
A Good War, Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency by Seth Klein
Review by Nancy Blair, one of the Coordinators of the Diocesan Environmental Network.
Many of us know we want to fight climate change but don’t yet know what we need to do. We have passed through year one of the Covid pandemic and know that countries and people around the world can work together to successfully combat a global crisis. Seth Klein’s “Good War, Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency” draws lessons from Canada’s experience in World War II, describing how our government led citizens through major changes to the economy and society, mobilizing Canadians to support the war effort with the day to day sacrifices that had to be made. In order to win, we must ensure no-one is left behind. We must include everyone, and support a Just Recovery to win the war against the climate emergency.
(Editor’s Note: Nancy Blair has also provided a link from the Council of Canadians to a webinar with Seth Klein, Green Jobs Oshawa organizer Rebecca Keetch, and Climate Justice Edmonton organizer Hannah Gelderman. The webinar features conversation about mobilizing for the climate emergency, and about the experience of local organizers working on critical issues of transformation and climate justice!)
Opportunities for Environmentally Themed Worship and Prayer
Just a Reminder: The Anglican Diocesan Environmental Network hosts Morning Prayer each Friday at 9:30 on Zoom. Prayers take shape from different traditions and focus on various aspects of our relationship with Creation. To obtain link, please email email@example.com
Eco-Projects Related to our Church Buildings and Grounds.
We are soliciting ideas from members of the congregation on “greening” our Church buildings and grounds. Anne Marie Dalton’s article in our first issue of Glad Tidings pointed out that even modest changes in how we use our facilities are often quite effective in saving energy or resources. Do you have some suggestions? Or with spring approaching, perhaps you have ideas for tending or using our garden spaces? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning New Personal Lifestyle and Earth Friendly Practices.
Please check the extensive list of personal lifestyle changes folks from our congregation have already made to inspire your own “eco-actions”. This eco-action list is on the Earth Spirit Action Eco-Team page under “About” on the Website. And be sure to check out Margaret Machum’s “Tips for Lent” for your own Lenten Practice this year. It is not too late!