November 2014 Update

I don't like to open this newsletter with sobering news, but it's hard to ignore the latest Synthesis Report (see the easy to digest slideshow) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  The world's scientific community has never before been as unified in it's message: climate change is real, it's already happening, it's going to be bad, and we must work extremely hard to avoid the worst possible climate impacts.

"Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems."

More importantly:

"Without additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today, and even with adaptation, warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally... [Risks from efforts to reduce emissions] do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change, increasing the benefits from near-term mitigation efforts."

It has been the position of the Town of Bridgewater, and of this Network, that climate change is a critical sustainability issue for our community because it affects our environment, our wellbeing, our economy, and the very fabric of our community.  It's time to roll up your sleeves, Bridgewater and Lunenburg County - there is much work left to do.

Upcoming Events
Know of any relevant events to add to this FREE calendar? This is your chance to inform people about all the great things going on around here!  Posting an event is easy: go to the Events section of the website, click on "submit an event", and fill in the form. One of our moderators will review the information and post the event if it meets our general criteria.  If you have any questions about what kinds of events you can post, please contact us.

A Discussion with Local Businesses about Sustainability

Please join us at our next CSN event: "In Conversation with Local Businesses: Sustainable Products & Practices, Sustainable Economy". On Tuesday, November 18, we will be having in-depth conversations with a large, a medium, and a small local business to find out what sustainability means to them, and how all businesses in the area can contribute towards a greener, more self-supportive local economy:
  • Jim Drescher - Windhorse Farm
  • Lynn Hennigar - Lighthouse Media Group
  • Reno Roy - Michelin North America (Canada)
These presentations and the discussion following will be moderated by the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce, and will be of interest both to businesses as well as community members who would like more perspective on how the business community is contributing toward sustainability. 

The presentations will take place in Room C112A at the NSCC Lunenburg Campus in Bridgewater from 6:30 to 7:30PM and be followed by a regular meeting of the Community Sustainability Network.  This meeting we will be focusing on the discussion "how can the CSN better serve business members in promoting sustainability or working toward sustainable communities?" Please join us for this interesting and worthwhile evening! Light refreshments will be served.  Non-CSN members warmly welcomed.

For more information or to RSVP your attendance, please visit our website.  Click here to download the poster.

Local Environmental Conferences & Celebration Coming Up

Our community is blessed to have two great environmental organizations leading important sustainability work in our area.  Over the next two weeks both organizations will be hosting important conferences and fundraisers on environmental issues:

Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute: Third Annual Conservation Science Meeting will take place on November 7th at the Lunenburg Fire Hall, and will be followed by a fundraiser that evening to celebrate MTRI's 10 year anniversary - congrats folks!  Featuring musicians David Myles and Ashley Moffat. Tickets for sale on their website.

Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation: "Clean Water: Protecting Your Watershed!" Symposium and Trade Show will take place at the NSCC Lunenburg Campus on November 15th - lots of booths and information on water-related issues!

Please help support the important work that these organizations and their partners are doing for us and for future generations.

Bag Reduction Initiative: Survey

The Town of Bridgewater, in conjunction with the Dalhousie University School of Management, is seeking your participation in a potential town wide plastic shopping bag reduction initiative. In order to create a realistic implementation strategy, we are seeking input on your plastic bag use and associated opinions. The following short survey covers a range of topics surrounding this issue, and will provide us with the information needed to formulate an actionable plan to create positive change in the community. Please follow the link included below to complete this short survey by November 20th, 2014. We thank you in advance for your time and participation.  Survey Link:
Note that business owners as well as non-residents are welcome to take this survey too, as long as you shop in Bridgewater at least on occasion.

"Walking Buddy" Needed for Senior

An interesting request was brought to our attention recently: an elderly lady is seeking a "walking buddy" twice a week for 20 minutes or so in order to help her stay active and get outside.  The person lives in Bridgewater near the NSCC Campus.  During winter, it would be preferable to bring her to the HB Studios indoor track for safer walking.  If anyone is interested in helping this lady with her "active transporting" needs, please contact VON Site Manager Stephanie Lohnes at 902-624-0318 /

We've been told that the client is warm and friendly, and will appreciate good company!

Climate Change in Atlantic Canada Documentary Film

Across Atlantic Canada, coastlines and communities are already being adversely affected by climate change due to increasing storm intensity, surging sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding. Preparations are now being made for the super storms of the future, but this will not be easy, as ocean levels are expected to increase over one meter globally by the year 2100 due to melting Polar Regions and warmer waters undergoing “thermal expansion”.

This film, shot across Atlantic Canada, represents a consultation with over 100 stakeholders, and documents their real world experiences and efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Despite being on the frontlines, Atlantic Canadians show that solutions to this pressing global issue are within our grasp, provided we decide to act.

Ian Mauro, Executive Producer, Director & Video Editor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg. He holds a BSc in Environmental Science and PhD in Geography, from University of Manitoba, and was a SSHRC Postdoctoral fellow in Ethnoecology at the University of Victoria. He previously held a Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change at Mount Allison University.

Dr. Mauro attended the World Festival Premiere at the Lunenburg Doc Fest in September as well as the Climate Change Day of Action on September 20 in Bridgewater. He donated a copy of the film so that other residents in the area would have access to it.

The film will be catalogued and added to the South Shore Public Libraries catalog and available to borrow through the library system.

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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Town of Bridgewater

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