The hard science behind climate change and the need to address its impact locally through improved regional food security is the focus of a Transition Sooke presentation at the St. Rose of Lima Church, 2191 Townsend Rd., on Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. Admission is free or by small donation.
Aerospace engineer Dr. Parvez Kumar will begin the evening with an audio-visual presentation titled Our Planet In Crisis: A View From Above. With a diverse background that includes stints with the Canadian and European space agencies, the Sooke resident uses dazzling satellite photos to illustrate rising sea levels, melting icepacks, extreme weather events, deforestation and ocean acidification. As those who saw Dr. Kumar speak at EMCS in May can testify, he convincingly argues that we’re already at the point of no return and that immediate remedial action is essential.
Following his lecture, Sooke Farmland Trust co-founder Mary Coll and former federal government economist Mark Ziegler will make the case for a revitalized Sooke foodshed that generates more local food for local plates. Currently, Vancouver Island has enough food to last just 72 hours in case of emergency. And the ongoing California drought is expected to reduce the volume while increasing the price of imported fruit and vegetables.
Ziegler, acting president of the Rotary Club of Sooke, will quantify the potential value of an intact, managed, protected and coordinated Sooke foodshed that creates jobs, gets more land into production and cultivates a stronger local food culture.
The evening is a prelude to an Esquimalt Saanich Sooke federal candidates’ debate on climate change and related issues set for EMCS on Sept. 16. The debate is being co-presented by Transition Sooke, the Dogwood Initiative and the Victoria chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association.
A Sooke foodshed working group has begun meeting recently at the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre at the invitation of the Farmland Trust and Transition Sooke. Led by Christine Bossi, it includes Inishoge Farm’s Coll, her Farmland Trust colleagues Mary Alice Johnson and Steve Unger, the Sooke Fall Fair’s Ellen Lewers, the Sooke Harbour House’s Frederique Phillip, Sooke Food CHI’s Britton Jacob-Schram, the Chamber of Commerce’s Michael Nyikes, chef Tom Kral, the Good Food Chain’s Christopher Warner and Transition Sooke’s Martin Bissig and Jeff Bateman.