SHIFT: Beyond the numbers of the climate crisis

Filmmakers Sam and Kate Fullbright checking out a gas flare.

TransitionKW is super excited to present Shift: Beyond the numbers of the climate crisis this Wednesday at 7pm at the REEP House. You can check out the trailer HERE.

We still have a couple seats left, so before reading any further, RSVP for this screening here. Also! This movie will be the last film of our 2013 series, and to celebrate we’re giving away a bunch of PRIZES including Bailey’s and Seven Shores gift certificates and an AJ subscription! 

This film comes at an interesting time as both Waterloo and Cambridge have recently adopted a made-in-WR Climate Action Plan. The plan will be put  before the Kitchener City Council tomorrow (you can show your support by clicking here), and will then go to the Region for a vote in December. Should the plan pass at all these levels, the Region moves into an interesting phase: implementation.

This, of course, is the true test. It is one thing to sign onto a plan, and quite another to allocate municipal and regional dollars to the new projects, policies and behaviour-changings campaigns that will propel it forward. For this to happen will require us, Region of Waterloo residents, to buy-into these projects. It is my hope, too, that participation will allow the Region to blow through the modest targets set by the plan.

To do this, we have to accept that maintaining the status quo is not an option. This realization need not be gloomy, though. As a friend of mine put it extremely well in a recent blog post,

If there is one thing activists in this area (including myself) might still have to learn it’s that terrifying people or overwhelming them with the enormity of the problem, again and again, is not necessarily the best way to incent meaningful short- or long-term change: instead, we must find some way to describe not only the world we’re against, but the positive vision we are for… If we want to ingrain a sense of stewardship to the planet as a whole into our human societies, then we have to paint such engagement as an attractive, not terrifying, way forward. This will undoubtedly be a highly diverse and pluralistic vision, with all the differences in opinion that implies, but it will be unified around the common sense that caring for the whole – often by caring just for one small part of it – is in fact incredibly satisfying and life-affirming work, and will in the end create a far happier, richer world to live in.

Heck, I’m sold 🙂

We’d love to have you out on Wednesday to help plot out a vision for a more sustainable Waterloo Region, and discuss how we can work together to move this vision forward at the grassroots level.

Nick

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  • eleanor7000

    Wed night is also, of course, the Regional budget public input mtg. I plan to go and listen. Doesn’t sound as if there’ll be new $ for much this yr. I’ll be very interested in hearing where Transitioners think funds are needed to implement a C A P. Reg Ccl are already getting so much flak for the LRT, that politically they’re a little behind the 8-ball in this election yr. How can we offer them support?

    My 2¢, Eleanor

  • nickbelanger

    Hi Eleanor,

    That’s a great point re: hashing out the specifics of what funds would be required and where these would come from. To be sure, I don’t have these answers and I can’t speak on behalf of TransitionKW. I am very much interested in starting this kind of discussion however, as I believe the most interesting ideas may in fact come from the grassroots, and not the tired programs and policies implemented by government officials. That’s not meant to be a blanket attack – just an assertion that the residents of the Region (and the province or the country, for that matter) aren’t merely rationale economic thinkers that respond solely to price signals.

    For instance, a tool sometimes used by municipalities to encourage alternative ‘active’ transportation (walking, biking) is to raise the cost of parking downtown. While on the surface this may seem like a no-brainer, and some municipalities have experienced relative success with this strategy (thinking of London, UK here specifically), others may point that this strategy works to increase suburbanization and the growth of box stores on the outskirts of town as consumers seek out more convenient and cheaper ways to do their shopping.

    Personally, I would prefer a less blunt instrument such as encouraging businesses (the large insurance companies, the universities and colleges, the hospitals, and the municipalities for example) to buy-into the LRT/GRT by providing their employees with free passes (perhaps deducted in-part from pay but topped up by the employer?). These institutional investments into the system would (hopefully) relieve congestion, reduce greenhouse gases, and subsidize access for other users. Just an idea.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. Further, please connect with me should you be interested in blogging about the activities taking place at Council meetings! We’d love to have you on board.

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