Lots going on! Please read on for events, updates, and more from the Climate Hub. View in browser 

September Newsletter

September has arrived with a flurry of energy and activity. So we will get right to it. If you are new to our newsletter, welcome!

Please read on for some time sensitive things going on, and other ways to get involved.

Tip: consider clicking the “View in browser” link at top to come back to things to engage with.

Also note: click "View entire message" if your email is clipped before our sign off.

This Thursday! Don’t Miss This Opportunity to See John Vaillant

Thursday Sept 14, 7 pm

Capitol Theatre, Nelson

Listen to award-winning author John Vaillant speak about his newest book, Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast. Released during the worst fire season on record, Fire Weather has been described as “riveting, spellbinding, astounding on every page…compulsively readable…a towering achievement.”

The book follows the events and aftermath of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and describes the tangled history of humans and fire, how this dynamic energy has shaped our society, and how it now threatens society in the context of ongoing climate disruption.

John Vaillant is also the author of the best-selling books The Golden Spruce and The Tiger. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, National Geographic, Outside, and more.

This community event is hosted by Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College in partnership with the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.

Tickets options available for both in person at the Capitol Theatre or for live streaming (link is good for a week). There are also low barrier and student options available so that anyone can attend.

Hope to see you there! Look for our Climate Hub table too.

Friday in Nelson! Solidarity with Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels

Friday Sept. 15, Noon-3 pm

Sidewalk alcove in front of 459 Baker St. (near CIBC building), Nelson

On September 15 to 17, millions of people around the world will take to the streets to demand a rapid, just, and equitable end to fossil fuels.

This wave of global mobilisations will include the March to #EndFossilFuels fast, fair, forever in New York City on September 17, as world leaders attend the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Ambition Summit.

Our solidarity event will be on Baker Street in Nelson. Stop by to learn more about the Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels, the local Sue Big Oil campaign, and ways to get involved with the Climate Hub. Expect some interactive activities and a chance to share how you feel about the climate crisis affecting us locally and the entire globe.

Learn more about the Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels

Book Study: A Future We Can Love

September 26 - November 21 (every other Tuesday, 1:30-3 pm PDT

Zoom: either solo or with a small group

How We Can Reverse the Climate Crisis with the Power of Our Hearts & Minds? Join our fall book study on A Future We Can Love, by Susan Bauer-Wu and inspired by the conversation between the Dalai Lama & Greta Thunberg.

This is a partnership between the West Kootenay Climate Hub, Castlegar United Church, and Sakuraji (Creston Zen Centre). All are welcome!

It’s been a tough year with devastating wildfires, heat waves, drought, and extreme weather impacting us locally and around the world. This can easily make us feel helpless, anxious or despairing. We look forward to reading this book together to fortify us as we face the climate emergency. There is also an option to join a small writing group, for those who enjoy writing.

Discover wisdom and guidance from the most influential spiritual and environmental leaders of our time, including the Dalai Lama, Greta Thunberg, Joanna Macy, Vandana Shiva, Paul Hawken, Katharine Hayhoe, and Matthieu Ricard. Readers embark on a four-part journey toward active hope in the face of the climate crisis: from knowledge of climate science through the capacity for change, to the will that is needed and the actions we can take.

Register here

RDCK Climate Plan Update and Requests

We’re in the midst of public consultations for RDCK’s Climate Actions Plan. There has been a lot of pushback from climate deniers, so here are 3 actions that we ask that you do, and please consider sending this to your friends. Thanks, Diana, for this sample email to send with those actions:

After a nerve wracking summer of forest fires, many want to take action on the climate, but aren't sure what to do. Here are three actions that can make a big impact if you live in the Regional District of Central Kootenay, which includes Nelson.

  1. Sign the petition in support of RDCK climate action plan

  2. Share ideas online on the RDCK climate action engage page (need to register)

  3. Email your support and any suggestions to [email protected] (and CC RDCK directors). You can find directors' emails here and their jurisdictions here

A few of the RDCK drop-in open houses have been disrupted by people antagonistic towards climate action, but if you're interested in attending one, you can see when and where they're scheduled here.

If you know others who want to take climate action, please forward this information to them.

FYI, upcoming RDCK (drop in):

  • Sept 18, 4-7 pm, Brilliant Cultural Centre, 1876 Brilliant Rd, Castlegar
  • Oct 2, 4-7 pm, Castlegar & District Recreation Centre (Selkirk Room), 2101 6th Ave
  • Oct 3, 4-7 pm, Kaslo Legion, 403 Fifth St, Kaslo
  • Oct 10, 4-7 pm, Nakusp & District Community Complex (Auditorium), 200 8th Ave NW
  • Oct 11, 4-7 pm, Robson Hall, 3067 Waldie Rd
  • Oct 16, 4-7 pm, Taghum Hall, 5915 Taghum Hall Rd

Have you signed and shared our petition?          

If you haven’t already signed our petition in support of RDCK’s climate plan, please click here and sign. Can you forward the petition to 3 friends and ask them to do the same? We also have a paper petition if you prefer to get signatures that way and return it to us.

We are at close to 600 signatures. Help us get to 1000 before we present to the RDCK Board in October.

Friends of Kootenay Lake Upcoming Shoreline Cleanups

Friday September 15 - Beach Cleanup at Lighthouse Beach in Kaslo, from 11AM-1PM, more info and sign up on event page

Sunday September 24 - BC Rivers Day Cleanup at Cottonwood Falls Park, from 11AM-1PM, more info and sign up on event page

United for Old Growth

Sept. 28, 2:30-1:30 PM

Outside MLA Brittny Anderson Constituency Office, 433 Josephine St, Nelson

This is a critical moment for forests in British Columbia. Three years have passed since the BC government promised to work with First Nations to implement a paradigm-shift in forest stewardship laid out in the Old Growth Strategic Review. Yet the BC government has made little progress on their promises. In fact, most old growth remains on the chopping block. Will you help hold them accountable?

Communities across BC and beyond are experiencing the worst fire season on record. Intact forests are one of our best allies in the climate crisis – they help protect us from worsening climate risks like fires and floods, they store massive amounts of carbon, provide fresh air and clean water, and so much more.

Let’s ramp up the pressure. This September 28 day of action happens right before the BC Legislature returns to session. Our actions outside government offices and in key communities across BC will send MLAs back to Victoria with a strong mandate to do more for the forests and all the life they sustain.

More info here

TEDxSelkirkCollege Countdown 2023: Championing and Accelerating Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Thursday, Nov. 23, 4-6pm

Castlegar campus, 301 Frank Beinder Way

In person this year! The event will be at Selkirk College's Castlegar campus "pit" -- near the main entrance. The Climate Hub is excited to be working in collaboration with Sustainable Selkirk and Kootenay Outdoor and Environmental Learning Society to bring you our 4th annual TEDx Countdown event.

Local speakers will share their passions about their work on climate solutions. More details to follow!

Transportation options available between Nelson, Castlegar and Trail. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Register to reserve you seat

Climate Friendly Homes Tours: Coming to Castlegar, Creston, Nelson and Rossland

Saturday, October 14

The Climate Friendly Homes Tour is a chance for homeowners to open their doors to those curious about the energy efficient features of their home.

Visitors to the homes will be able to learn about what steps to take to make a home more climate friendly. They can ask questions about the costs, work involved, and hear about the experience of living in an energy efficient home.

Building contractors, HVAC specialists and energy advisors will be available at stops in each city for people to chat about building or renovating homes that maximize energy efficiency and comfort.

More details here. The homes on the tour will be added over the next few weeks.

Help Support Rossland’s City Council to Pass Zero Carbon

Do you live in Rossland or know someone who does? We have an open letter that commends Rossland’s City Council on being forward looking by leading on the Zero Carbon Step Code – which would require all new buildings to be electrified. This not only reduces emissions, but makes homes healthier and more comfortable to live in.

Not surprisingly, they have been getting push back from those with vested interest in keeping methane gas flowing into homes.

You can help by printing our open letter, signing, and asking friends and neighbours to do so too. Reach out to [email protected] to get the petitions to our friend Roma in Rossland.

We will keep you posted when they vote on this (probably October or November), as it’s important for residents to attend the Council meeting to show support.

Print Open Letter

    Getting Out in the Community

    We really enjoyed tabling at Selkirk College’s Get Connected events at Castlegar and Nelson campuses last week. The interactive board was a fun way to engage over shared values. Thanks Judeth and Tia for your help!

    We’ll be tabling at Slocan Park Hall’s Community Awareness Day on Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm. Please stop by if you are in the area.

    Recent Tragic Wildfires

    Our friend Tracey Davis, who heads the Okanagan Climate Hub, reflected on the horrific fires and smokes in Kelowna last month.

    August 24. This past week the air quality severely deteriorated as the McDougall Creek fire exploded across the landscape. Firefighters, emergency services personnel, public servants and volunteers came together in a heroic effort to protect our communities both in the fire fight and evacuating residents to protect life, infrastructure, and property, for which we are forever thankful to them.

    With people evacuated from the fire zones and air quality conditions rapidly deteriorating, exposure to the air became a greater public health hazard.

    Hazardous, thick grey smoke filled the valley with ash falling from the sky. The AQI index went from Moderate, “Sensitive individuals should take precautions,” to Hazardous, “General public at high risk to experience strong irritations and adverse health effects that could trigger other illnesses.”

    According to Health Canada, there is no safe level of exposure to fine particulates from wildfire smoke. Yet despite high-risk conditions, the communications to the public were inadequate. No official sounded the alarm about the associated health risks, nor steps people could take to protect themselves. As of Monday, the public were still advised to stay indoors and that exposure was a concern for only high risk groups. Little did they get informed that the indoor air quality in most buildings is suboptimal to protect their health.

    Meanwhile, evacuees were in tents and trailers, homeless people remained on the street, people continued to recreate unprotected outside, and many were at their workplaces and community facilities all inadequately protected from exposure.

    Read her full OpEd here

    REMINDER: Participate in Nelson’s vision survey: deadline extended until THIS Friday!

    Please take a few minutes to complete the Nelson 2050 Vision Survey available until this Friday, September 15. More details can be found on the website Nelson 2050.ca.

    This is your chance to help shape our city’s future! The survey won’t take very long, and here are some points to consider before you get started. You will be asked about:

    • What you love most about Nelson, so think about some things that we need to protect like our trees and green spaces, walkability, natural spaces along creeks and shoreline, clean air.

    • Three words to describe your vision for Nelson in 2050 so please consider what a sustainable, climate resilient city would be like.

    • Three challenges that need to be addressed, and possible solutions for them - please include climate change, and consider challenges with transit, food security, water security, active transportation, building retrofits, need for pedestrian only spaces downtown.

    • Top priorities from a list - please consider selecting climate action and other supporting actions.

    • Open ended question for additional ideas.

    • Demographic data, which is completely optional.

    REMINDER: Ask that CBT’s 10-year plan does more to address climate change

    Columbia Basin Trust just released their draft management plan and are taking feedback until September 20. You can read the 10-page draft plan here.

    We are happy to see climate adaptation and resilience are incorporated, but we feel there needs to be a greater emphasis on helping our basin communities reduce our climate pollution (greenhouse gas emissions) during a crucial critical 10 years when experts tell us that we must rapidly reduce our use of fossil fuels to stave off the worst of global heating.

    Please provide input into the online survey and ask that more be done on climate solutions to reduce our emissions. For example, CBT could support low emission transportation and building retrofits.

    The survey is linked here

    As we said in our opening – LOTS going on. I hope you will stay engaged, show up, and be involved in many of the actions we highlighted. Don’t forget to open this newsletter in your browser so you can engage in links at a later time.

    See you in the community!

    Laura and Judy

    West Kootenay Climate Hub

    We gratefully acknowledge that we live, work, and play on the traditional and unceded territories of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, the Syilx peoples.

    West Kootenay Climate Hub

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