What action are you taking now?
Collaboration is Key
By working together we build stronger relationships, learn from each other, and become better prepared for the effects of climate change. I feel hopeful when working with community partners with the common goal of strengthening neighbourhoods. We are collaborating for Thunder Bay's Strong Neighbours Night Out.
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Only Together
350.org founder Bill McKibben says that the most important thing an individual can do about climate change is to not be an individual. You can’t solve this yourself. On November 29th, 2015, two hundred people walked from Hillcrest Park to the Paramount Theatre to raise awareness of the need for action on climate destabilization just before the Paris Climate Talks. Canada signed the agreement and still, governments talk about building new pipelines. Will you join us?
There to Turn
As the world’s economy and climate are rapidly destabilized, we have the power to prepare for the changes, to slow things down, and to move into a future acting like we want humans to be on this planet for at least another few thousand years. We can turn the corner. Will we?
What impacts do-you see and feel?
What lies ahead?
As any mother can attest, the first thing we worry about are our kids. Did I teach them enough? Show them enough of the world? Prepare them enough? And that last one is the one that worries me most. Will he be prepared to live in a world facing the pains and hardships of a changing climate? To be sure there will be hardship, no matter how privileged of a life he leads. This is an urgent issue to me because of my son. At the same time, he gives me hope. He is smart, sensitive, sympathetic, strong, and sweet. Perhaps he will be the next scientist who invents a new technology to help combat climate change? Perhaps he will be the next teacher to help students understand what climate change is? Perhaps he will be the next visionary that will lead a low-impact lifestyle that others will follow. Perhaps….
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Yards and Gardens Need Water
One use for water retained by rain barrels is the maintenance of healthy plants.  Water can be used as needed which means that the surface runoff during storms is eliminated (reduced flooding) and the demand for city water is reduced (reduced water bills).  Also, locally produced vegetables eliminate the greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with industrial agriculture, storage, transport and distribution of food.
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Household Rain Barrels Reduce Stormwater Runoff and Conserve Water
If every household in Thunder Bay had a rain barrel, then the water holding capacity of our urban environment would increase by approximately eight million litres.  That’s a lot of water diverted from runoff.  Water can be released from the rain barrel after the storm at the home owner’s convenience.
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Clotheslines Save Money and More…
What would you do without power for your clothes dryer?  Using a clothesline can save electricity or gas costs, as rates will continue to sharply rise. Even during wintertime clotheslines will partially dry laundry and help you to save electricity.
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Living infrastructure does the heavy lifting
I get so much out of these new Low Impact Developments the City has recently developed (since when can I say I get so much out of any other stormwater infrastructure system!). Not only are they attractive greenspaces within the built environment, but they are a low GHG, highly functional, and cost effective at treating stormwater. Yes this oversized rain garden even removes heavy metals, fertilizers, and petrochemicals from the stormwater. I’m proud the City is applying these as best practices, a practice that will help us become much more resilient in the face of increasing rain events in the future!
What action will you take tomorrow?
Let's put wasted space to work!
Check out the MASSIVE amounts of unused space on the edge of Memorial avenue.  I'm terrified to cycle on Memorial avenue, especially with my son in tow and so we avoid shopping or visiting here during the warmer months.  I also see countless people cycling illegally on the sidewalks and edges of Memorial.  Let's turn this useless space into a beautiful protected cycling path to encourage the whole community to visit this area safely.
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Strength in We
To me these photos embody a healthy and resilient community; one that is knit together with a strong sense of neighbourhood connectivity and trust. A community that knows each other is a community that can depend on one another in times of need and crisis. Strong social communities can ‘weather storms’ much better than communities in social isolation. City planning, zoning, and engineering all play a big role in how close a community will feel to each other. Regardless of the shift these past decades to an individuality mindset, let’s resist the trend and keep building neighbourhoods that are conducive to strong social connectivity.
What action are you taking now?
Building Resilient Neighbourhoods in Thunder Bay
The creation of strong neighbourhoods is key to building resilience as a community. Developing neighbourhood hubs provides opportunities for neighbours to join together, learn about each other and to support each when faced with challenge. Strong neighbourhoods grow from simple actions – waving, saying hello, walking together, or sharing resources. It gives me hope to see these things happening in Thunder Bay neighbourhoods. In the face of challenges brought on by climate change, our community needs neighbours who support each other through emergencies and recovery.
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Holding it together
The snow in this picture is melting so fast my sons had to hold the snowman together so I could get them a picture. That’s how I feel we’re “tackling” climate change: holding it together, looking for the upside. You need hope to inspire action, but if you fail to plan that action - you’re planning to fail. Climate Change means seasons don’t act like they’re supposed to. So more snow-man snow days than our cold winter months used to give us means less food in the garden, better odds of a house insurance claim, more bugs invading and killing that wouldn’t survive an “old” winter. I’d feel better about our ability to thrive despite climate change if we were actively changing to accommodate our changing world rather than just trying to hold the old together.
What impacts do-you see and feel?
The Importance of Trees
The strength of our urban forest is a good indicator for the health and resilience of our community. Trees produce oxygen, reduce flooding, cool our homes, and make our city a beautiful place. But climate change is causing a lot of damage to our trees, right when we need them most. These pictures not only remind me of how integrated and dependent we are with the urban canopy, but it also reminds me of how vulnerable these trees are, especially with increasing occurrences of drought, freezing rain, and strong wind – all the more important for applying best management practices to create a stronger urban forest that benefits our true wealth of our community!
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Hot Chicks (Sorry I had to)
Increasing temperatures and prolonged heatwaves throughout the summer as a result of climate change will put our most vulnerable population; including infants and elderly people at greater risk of heat induced stress or trauma. Such a potential threat extends towards our animal friends as well, as a sudden spike in temperatures in spring and early summer can adversely impact vulnerable populations such as chicks, small mammals and aquatic species. Migration and spawning habitats for bird and fish species may also pass the temperature threshold required to facilitate these natural processes, leading to declines and possible extirpation (local extinction) of certain species in impacted regions.
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Crisis Drought
The rising average temperatures in NW Ontario this summer led to some droughts early in the growing season. I was looking forward to a great gardening year but it was very hard to get the veggies to take root and fruit trees to blossom without rain for weeks in May. Changes to weather patterns go with climate change and concern me. We need to do what we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the climate stable if drought/flood is the alternative, or it will be tough to adapt.
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Turning the world on its head
As the world is rapidly warmed, climate destabilization is messing things up and turning things, as we and other species knew them, on their heads.
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Doing my part
I'm baking bread, preserving food and thinking before I buy
What action are you taking now?
Continuing the conversation
We want to tell everyone about climate change; what it is, the impacts, and what we can do. Let’s talk with the community and tell them about this amazing new website that is connecting information, actions, and stories to inspire climate engagement in the Thunder Bay region.
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Rise and change
Sudden climate change from rainy to sunny and sunny to snowy can directly affect people’s daily mood and hygiene. So, to stay as per change be awaken, be accepting of change
What action will you take tomorrow?
Break the Silence
I will talk to one person everyday about climate change and why it is the greatest challenge (and opportunity?) of our time. I will teach my children to acknowledge the reality of climate change while remaining hopeful and engaged.
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Going to the beach?
There is so much unpredictability when it comes to precipitation and water levels due of climate change. In 2007 we had near-record low water levels in Lake Superior and a lot of beautiful beaches to go to. In 2017, highs water levels mean no beaches and a lot of erosion.
What action are you taking now?
Climate Change Means Changing Lifestyle
A changing climate means that certain things that I enjoy about life in Thunder Bay will be seriously altered. Our quality of life is vulnerable, and that makes climate change an urgent issue. Increasing periods of drought and frequency of extreme heat events may leave our forests and grasslands dry and fire prone. Thunder Bay and area has already experienced periods of fire bans and burn permit suspensions. Without action for climate change mitigation, our campfires and backyard fire pits may become a thing of the past.
What action will you take tomorrow?
For my kids
I don’t know how climate change will challenge my kids. We’re just starting to see the tip of the iceberg: the tip of the iceberg: crazy weather & seasons…It frightens me. I find courage in how great our kids are, what they will come up with that will help...
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Hidden Vulnerability
When I see a street construction project I’m often reminded of how expensive road infrastructure is to develop and even more expensive to update at the end of its lifecycle. Research (and basic accounting) help demonstrate that roads and infrastructure in suburbia is not only a substantial GHG emitter...
What impacts do-you see and feel?
Local food security still forced underground.
Food security is becoming increasingly important in a world with a changing climate. Although Thunder bay does not presently have a by-law that allows for backyard chicken, many residents still provide local food for their families and neighbours.  Will we see a change someday soon?