Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?
From Green New Deal Town Hall to Community Action
Sooke Community Taking Action on Climate Emergency
Following a successful Town Hall in June, Transition Sooke will be hosting a Community Action Workshop titled “Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?”
“Participants at the Green New Deal Town Hall identified issues they think need to be addressed in our community,” said Jo Phillips, one of two coordinators for Transition Sooke’s Climate Emergency Action Group. “We are inviting everyone from Sooke Region to join us on September 29 to form teams to take action on these issues.”
“Sooke region residents are anxious about the impacts of climate disruption on their cherished West Coast environment, on their family’s health and on the local economy,” said Susan Clarke, the other coordinator for the group. “Many members of our community have indicated that taking action reduces their anxiety and sense of powerlessness. They have also made it abundantly clear, particularly with provincial and federal inaction on climate change, that we need to take local, meaningful action as soon as possible.”
The Community Action Workshop will take place in the downstairs dining room of the Sooke Community Hall from 10 – 5 on Sunday September 29. The morning will feature several, short keynote addresses, followed by quick briefs by facilitators on the different issues that will be discussed around small “action tables” in the afternoon. The action tables will focus on creating teams, hearing from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, and starting to build action plans for the upcoming year. Some of the identified issues that will be discussed include: rainwater harvesting, divestment from fossil fuels, local renewable energy options, greenspace protection, local economic models, and local food and agriculture.
Starting at 10 a.m., the first hour will feature keynote addresses, an opening circle and first steps. We’ll then break from 11-12 to enable participants to attend the Orange Shirt Day gathering in the nearby town centre.
Back at the hall, lunch will be provided by Transition Sooke.
We’ll then be breaking into action tables. Each will focus on creating teams, hearing from a number of different resource people in the community already working on these issues, and starting to build action plans for the upcoming year.
Our focus will be on the 12 big themes identified at Green New Deal Sooke, namely …
1. Food security and local agriculture
2. Water (conservation, rainwater catchment, greywater)
3. Habitat and species protection (land use, forest preservation, development, tree bylaws)
4. Divestment from fossil fuels
5. Zero Waste (reduce garbage footprint, energy cycles, consumerism)
6. New economic model (cooperatives, localization, affordable housing)
7. Transportation (Ride share, biking and walking infrastructure, electric cars, BC Transit liaison)
8. Building Community with Neighborhood Pods
9. Green energy/efficient/non-toxic houses (solar, heat pumps, cement alternatives)
10. Climate Angst (emotional, mental and spiritual health and listening to youth)
11. Green Lifestyle (individual action/re-skilling for resilience)
12. Direct Action (non-violent resistance, challenging governments and corporations who are not responding responsibly to climate emergency)
“We have identified 12 areas of concern to Sooke,” says Susan Clarke, coordinator of the TS Climate Emergency Action Group along with Jo Phillips. “Contact us if you would like to suggest another area where climate action would be relevant in Sooke. Some identified areas may not have enough interest to proceed to action. The gathering will determine which of the areas have an action-ready team.”
“Sooke is an incredible community of volunteers and there are already many existing groups working on different aspects of the climate emergency,” said Phillips. “We want to work with those groups wherever possible, and we will also take action in other areas.”