100% Possible – Join The March For Climate Solutions

March For Climate Solutions November 29 Ottawa

March For Climate Solutions November 29 Ottawa

There is a growing consensus that we must get to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 in order to stop the worst impacts of climate change. But what does this mean for Canada and how do we get there?

Clean, renewable energy creates electricity using natural systems such as the wind, sun, and water – harnessing that energy to power cars, heat homes, and sustain communities without harmful GHGs.

Canada has been caught between a rock and hard place when it comes to transitioning off fossil fuels. Not only have we built communities that are dependant on these fuels for energy – part of our economy and many jobs rely on the industry.

But there is more then just hope that we can change – there is proof. Cities, states, companies, and countries all over the world are increasing their supply of clean energy and phasing out coal and oil, faster than you can imagine. They are building clean energy infrastructure, creating jobs, and reducing their dependency on fossil fuels.

It is no longer technology that stands in our way. That’s why we call on Canada’s federal government to take the following actions to get us to a 100% clean economy by 2050.


1:00 PM / Ottawa / City Hall

2015 Paris Climate Conference – COP21 vs. Coal

“Coal will remain a safe bet for investors for decades to come as Asia drives future demand, says head of World Coal Association, Benjamin Sporton.”

The Asia Asthma Development Board said China has the world’s highest mortality rate from asthma.

The Hidustan Times reports that 13 of the worlds top 20 polluted cities are in India.

While Obama is reducing the amounts of coal exported from the U.S., Australian exports are increasing. Reuters reports that more than $3 billion has been invested in Australian coal projects  in the 18 months prior to August 2015.

As the latest round of who’s who in the World of climate change arrive in Paris, eyes will be on China and the US.  But maybe this time the deadline needs greater imminence and the target needs more focus – on coal.  With black-eyes on China, India, Malaysia and Australia.

Let me share with you just how bad coal is vs other fuels…

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:Carbon loadsNow for the first of our Black Eye Awards lets take a look at the top exporters of Coal in the world

Coal Exports

Wow look at these bad boys! We are all anxious to see what Prime Minister Trudeau will come up with at Paris and of course the worlds media will cover Obama, but what about Joko Widodo and Malcolm Turnbull?

Where does all the coal go?

“I said ‘mama I come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell’
She said ‘son this is the road to hell” – Chris Rea

Ian Barnes of the IEA Clean Coal Centre talks about how HELE technology will reduce emissions from coal fired power plants in the future. HELE means high- efficiency, low-emissions…China HELE Emissions

India HELE emissions

The point Ian is trying to make here is that by providing “clean coal” to countries shackled by “energy poverty” we are helping them advance economically. Really? Even with the introduction of the new technology, the most probable scenario is growth of coal fired plants in China and India and continued growth of carbon emissions until at least 2035. Notice how Ian has both countries carbon emissions peaking at 2035.

We Canadians have high hopes for Catherine McKenna to deliver for us at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, but unless the world is prepared to do a lot more about reducing coal as a source of electricity, Indonesia, Australia and Russia all come to the valley of the rich, coal to sell. Yup, you can bet this is the road to hell.

Sources for information:

Upgrading the Efficiency of the World’s Coal Fleet to Reduce CO2 Emissions

US Energy Information Administration/International Energy Statistics

Leapmanifesto – Naomi Klein, Neil Young, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen

A Call For Canada based on caring for the Earth and One Another.

We could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher-wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities.

Canada is not this place today – but it can be.

To read more and become a signatory go to: https://leapmanifesto.org/en/the-leap-manifesto/

“First Things First Okanagan” Inaugural Annual General Meeting, September 15

Date: September 15
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Shatford Centre, Penticton (on Main across from the Museum)

If there are any individuals who wish to put their names or the name of another forward for a position on the Board we ask that you contact Brita Park by phone at 250-498-8899 or by e-mail at  bobandbritapark@gmail.com.

Nominations will also be received from the floor on the night of the AGM.

Please note that only members will be eligible to vote or run for a position on the Board.  Memberships will be accepted before the meeting commences.  Current member renewals are also required.  The Board has set the membership at $20.
Non-member observers are welcome.

The Environment – Does Your Candidate Get It?

This document contains questions prepared by “First Things First” for use in the current Federal Election.  It provides the outline of credible answers to the suggested questions as well as links to sites for your further investigation.  You may find opportunity to use these questions when speaking to your local candidates, when creating letters to the Editor or to generate discussion with friends, family and others.  We can move forward if we make climate change and the reduction of green house gases an issue in this election.

The Questions

A Tale Of Two Sciences – Fracking

B.C.s Environmental Appeal Board has revoked a water licence granted to Nexen Inc in 2012, ruling that the original licence was based on bad science. Score one for the Fort Nelson First Nation and 0 for Nexen.


The recent earthquakes in Fox Creek, Alberta have been linked to hydrofracturing (or “fracking”), which is a method used to facilitate the extraction of oil and gas from shale rock. University of Alberta is sponsoring a seminar,”Fracking and Earthquakes…a cause for concern?


Portland Propane Project Derailed

In September of 2014 Pembina Pipleline announced that it planned to build a $500 million propane export terminal near the Port of Portland . In May, in spite of a promise of 800 construction jobs and $12 million in taxes being injected into the economy every year, local citizens concerned about the environmental impact of the project, torpedoed the plan.

Initially, the Mayor of Portland Charlie Hales, supported the project, downplaying safety concerns about moving propane by rail though the port. Once environmentalists and community organizations organized against Pembina creating overwhelming opposition to the project, the mayor reversed his support.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JONATHAN HOUSE - Protesters came out in force against the proposed project at the Port of Portland during the Planning and Sustainabiltiy hearings on it.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JONATHAN HOUSE – Protesters came out in force against the proposed project at the Port of Portland during the Planning and Sustainabiltiy hearings on it.

On May 7, Pembina reaffirmed its plans to proceed towards next steps in the development of its proposed Portland Propane Export Terminal Project. Mayor Hales will be one of five votes that will be represented at the City Council hearing, scheduled for June 10, 2015.

For a summary of the story from the Audubon Society of Portland click here


What To Do About Climate Change

The climate change issue is very complex. First Things First Okanagan recently sponsored UBC professor Simon Donner to speak to the issue at the Penticton Library. Simon gave overwhelming evidence that climate change is real, happening now and caused by humans. Many people feel overwhelmed and repeated ask WHAT CAN WE DO? We as volunteers do not have all the answers. First Things First Okanagan encourages you to become active, engage, learn more, demand that Canada model better outcomes. Change will only come if and when people like you do something. It is up to US, the human race, individually and collectively to find ways to change the path of destruction we seem to have embraced. We have a responsibility as global citizens to care for the earth.

Here are some suggestions of what you can do:

  • Vote- to influence the direction of local and federal decisions
  • Write politicians and demand that Canada commits to the Copenhagen Accord. Take action at the Paris summit. We, as a country need to do better
  • Create study groups, become educated and talk to others
  • Support organisations you believe in: Lead Now, Dogwood Initiative, Suzuki Foundation are just some groups interested in Environmental protection
  • Plant trees, compost and garden to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Support alternative sustainable energy systems: some countries subsidize solar and wind initiatives
  • Protect our environment: Protest when air and or water quality is jeopardised
  • Use your voice and or $$ to influence decisions
  • Live your life a little differently. Be creative
  • Google: How to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Check our website: firstthingsfirstokanagan.com

Katherine Tomczuk – member of the FTF Board

March 21, 2015

Canada’s First Solar Thermal Plant

Something that may surprise you. Canada’s first Solar Thermal Plant is located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, “Canada’s Sunniest City”. It’s a pretty cool sight to see — row after row of large concave metal mirrors glowing in the early morning sun on the hill just above the Trans-Canada Highway and Medicine Hat’s existing natural gas power plant. concentrated solar thermal plant


To compliment the solar power station, in the summer of 2014 Medicine Hat built the Box Springs Wind Farm, which can generate enough electricity to power 2,000 homes. They state that the cost of power generated is a mere 9cents per Kwh.

Box Springs wind farm


Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston, “… And you know what, you can debate it all day long. It’s the right thing to do.”