Posted in New thinking

My blog is my Memory

This title is a quotation from Wendy Mitchell. She has been diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia. This came to my attention through the CBC Radio program Out in the Open presented by Piya Chattopadhyay. The January 4th edition is called If Memory Serves.cbcradiopodcast

If you check out the podcast, you will also find Wendy’s blog describing her interview with Piya. It is very inspirational.

Indeed my blog is fed by both my day to day experiences, as well as a lifetime studying the geographic sciences.

cover_worldbeyoundyourhead

After listening to the podcast, my first reaction was to go to the bookshelf and pull out Matthew Crawford, The World beyond your head. On becoming an individual in an age of distraction.

Last week, I had a meeting with Ed Symons, instructor in Community Planning at COGS. We discussed the need for asset mapping as a pre-requisite for evidence-based decisions at the municipal and provincial level. The context was a concept we have called PENCIL.

It has two elements: PEN and CIL. PEN refers to Place-based Educational Networks and CIL refers to Collaborative Ideation Laboratory. Together, they stress the need for learning networks that focus on ‘a sense of place’ and the necessity for a laboratory where groups can share ideas, technology and different approaches to problem-solving.

This concept fits well with community planning and the engagement of citizens in the day to day management of our natural and human resources.

Later this week, there will be a meeting of the Ernest Buckler Literary Event Society (EBLES). We will discuss the possibility of a new event in 2019. Stay tuned.

Addendum

This afternoon, we went for a cross country ski down to the Annapolis River, through the old provincial forest nursery. We ended up at Lunn’s Mill. Every second Sunday, they have an Irish Jam session from 1-4 pm. Afterwards, we skied home. Imagine, in rural Nova Scotia, in January.

Acknowledgements

I want to acknowledge my conversations with Ed Symons, Edward Wedler and Heather Stewart.

References

CBC Radio. January 4th, 2019. Out in the Open. Hosted by Piya Chattopadhyay.

Recording an Interview for Canadian Radio. November 8,2018 Wendy’s blog

Matthew Crawford. 2016.The World beyond your Head. On becoming an individual in an age of distraction. Penguin Books.

Matthew Crawford. 2009. Shop Class as Soulcraft. An Inquiry into the Value of Work. Penguin Books.

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Posted in Event Review

Preview of Sensors conference

banner_cogsconference_2019On Wednesday and Thursday (January 23 and 24th), COGS in Lawrencetown is hosting a two-day conference, entitled: Sensors High and Low: Measuring the reality of our world. A draft copy of the agenda is available online. My plan is to write a review after the event for GoGeomatics.

Here, at this time, I want to explore the main components of the conference and make a few personal observations. The conference title suggests that it will cover a variety of sensor systems for different environments; terrestrial as well as marine. High and low presumably refers to both spatial and spectral resolution.

Looking at the list of speakers, we can identify three different perspectives: industry, academia and the community. AGRG has had a lengthy involvement with sensor technology. From my time at AGRG, this ranged from LIDAR technology to weather station networks. In parallel, COGS has maintained strong relationships with a number of technology leaders.

From industry, there are speakers from Leica Geosystems, Esri, IBM, Hoskins Scientific, Stantec Consulting, Global Spatial Technology Solutions and Hanatech IoT Inc.

From the academic community, speakers are from the NSCC (AGRG, Applied Oceans Research Group, COGS), St Marys University (Beacon Labs), Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) and CIDCO.

While there are a number of businesses and colleges with regional interest, there does not appear to be specific presentations by community groups. The one exception is Nathan Crowell’s presentation on the Garrison graveyard in Annapolis Royal, combining UAV and ground penetrating radar. Partners are Boreas Heritage and MapAnnapolis.  This leads me to the following suggestion.

As an instructor at COGS in the 1980s, I recall the yeoman efforts by Phil Milo, Survey Department in reaching out to the high schools in Annapolis County and well beyond. In this same spirit of community outreach,  it would be unorthodox, yet progressive, if COGS/CANMAP could provide a select number of gratis seats for high school students across Annapolis County to allow them to attend the conference. This would encourage future community engagement. Sensor technology is only as useful as our ability to ground truth the results. Ongoing monitoring of change in both the terrestrial and marine environment requires collaboration with the user communities, whether in the context of fisheries, forestry, agriculture or other types of land use. Or whether to address questions of alternative energy, climate change or physical infrastructure.

Note on Terminology

If we think about imaging the earth’s surface we can use satellites, aircraft or drones. As the platform is placed closer to the surface you can expect a higher resolution. If you think in terms of trail cameras for wildlife, the camera can be triggered by movement or sound. Another approach is to put in place a network of sensors, for example, weather stations across the Annapolis Valley or a set of sensors for temperature and moisture in a vineyard. AGRG has used LiDAR onboard aircraft and boats to measure the topography of the land as well as the sea bed. Many of these applications will be presented at the conference.

Acknowledgements

I appreciate my recent conversations with both Rachel Brighton and  Edward Wedler on community engagement.

References

The web site for the conference is at https://geomatics.one/. It includes the draft agenda. It also details the industry expo, the GANS  and GoGeomatics social event at Lunn’s Mill Beer Company.

ADDENDUM by Edward Wedler
Considering Annapolis Royal high school students have launched their own “Annapolis Royal Space Agency” balloons, with sensors, I’d like to think that COGS/CANMAP could promote these UK-Kettering-type students at events such as these and maybe even have them tell their stories.
11jan19 4-43-40 pm

 

Posted in Book Review

Orwell’s Nose

orwellsnoseThe idea for the Ernest Blair Experiment blog came from a combination of Ernest Buckler, writing about the Annapolis Valley and Eric Blair (aka George Orwell) known for his writing about England. When I came across John Sutherland’s book Orwell’s Nose – a pathological biography, it was hard to resist.

Sutherland, Emeritus Professor of English at the University College London describes Orwell’s life (b. 1903 and d. 1950) in terms of his literary career, but within the context of smells.

David Lodge, in his review of the book, states. ‘Orwell’s obsession with smells, agreeable and (more often) offensive, has been noted before, but never explored to such effect, not excluding the smells of shag tobacco and BO he emitted himself’.

Orwell was born before the First World War and died after the Second. He went to school at Eton, served in the Burma police service. He was inspired by social anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. He spent time ‘down and out in Paris and London’, as well as visiting the North of England (The Road to Wigan Pier).
orwell_roadtowiganpier orwell_1984
His final book was Nineteen Eighty-Four, completed on the remote Scottish island of Jura.

Robert MacFarlane, in The Wild Places, writes:

” It is clear that Orwell needed to be in that wild landscape to create his novel; that there was reciprocality between the self-willed land in which he was living and the autonomy of spirit about which he was writing. The price of this vision, though, was his life’.  p.140.

petermaher
A visual biography, taken from artist’s website www. petermaher.ca

It is interesting to reflect on the next generation in England, born around the start of the Second World War and subsequently emigrating to either Canada or Australasia. I am part of that generation, as well as my older brother. This year my artist-brother has put together a series of postcard paintings for his grandchildren, with notes for every five years of his life. This has now been supplemented with a YouTube video matching each postcard painting.

All of this reflection has set me thinking. How does the landscape enter into the writing task?

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Edward  Wedler for his graphics contribution. Peter Maher for sharing his autobiographical work in progress. Shared memories indeed.

References

John Sutherland. 2016. Orwell’s Nose. Reaktion Books.

Robert MacFarlane. 2008. The Wild Places. Penguin Books.

George Orwell’s books include Burmese Days, Down and Out in Paris and London, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, The Road to Wigan Pier, Homage to Catalonia, Coming up for Air, Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

 

Posted in Nature

Puzzles and Otters

puzzle_handsThis Christmas, we decided to send Cobble Hill jigsaw puzzles to our three grandchildren families. The puzzles were images of dinosaurs, birds and marine life. They are designed so that the size of the pieces changes from left to right. This allows the youngest grandchildren to match the larger pieces, and the parents can work on the smaller pieces.

The puzzle can be seen to be a metaphor. It is a problem to be solved. Each age group works on the puzzle pieces that they can handle. The community (family) work together, applying their particular skills to complete the puzzle (or solve the problem). From a fragmented image, we derive a holistic picture.

 

puzzle_birdCountLast Thursday, it was the Christmas bird count. It was a cold (-15C) windy day. The birds were sparse. In the morning, we walked up the Inglisville Road to the top of the mountain, and then back down through our property for lunch at home. In the afternoon, we went down through Andrew’s property to the Annapolis River. We saw a Golden Crested Kinglet flitting around the upper branches of the poplars. On the river, we spied a Common Merganser.

puzzle_ottersThe Annapolis River was full of floating ice pans. The highlight was to see two river otters who were curious to see two humans on the bank.

The otters reminded me of Gavin Maxwell and his book Ring of Bright Water. Maxwell went with Wilfred Thesiger to see the Marsh Arabs in Southern Iraq. The otter was a gift from Thesiger to Maxwell. Later Maxwell established an otter sanctuary near the Isle of Skye in Western Scotland. Not that far from where George Orwell (Eric Blair) ended his days on Jura.puzzle_iceBooks

Today, I am struggling to finish reading John Sutherland’s book, Orwell’s Nose: a pathological biography. It describes the importance of smells to Orwell and Orwell’s England.

Best wishes for the New Year 2019 to all readers.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to David Colville for reminding us about the Christmas Bird Count. Edward Wedler for his graphics contribution.

References

Gavin Maxwell. 1960. Ring of Bright Water. Longmans.

John Sutherland. 2016. Orwell’s Nose. Reaktion Books.

Cobble Hill puzzles Cobble Hill puzzles

Posted in New thinking

The Open College

NSopencollegeFifty years ago in the United Kingdom, they created The Open University.

” With more than 174,000 students enrolled, it is the largest academic institution in the United Kingdom. Since it was founded more than 2 million students have studied the courses.”  [Wikipedia].

Imagine, as we start 2019, if Nova Scotia created The Open College.

What would be the impact on the Nova Scotia Community College? What would be the effect on its relationship to the Gordonstoun Nova Scotia and Kings Edgehill schools?How would this influence the statement by the Principal of the Annapolis Valley campus on the creation of a Centre of Rural Aging and Health at the Middleton site?

Urban Coyote CoverOver the Christmas break, I came across two connections to the Centre for Local Prosperity (CLP). Gregory Heming (Senior Advisor) forwarded to me a copy of his essay, entitled ‘Letter to Wendell Berry’, as well as ‘Conjectures of a Northern Journeyman’, published in Urban Coyote.

From the first essay, Heming notes the following quotation.

” Thomas Merton once remarked that having lost our ability to see life as a whole, to evaluate conduct as a whole, we no longer have any relevant context into which our actions are to be fitted, and therefore all our actions become erratic, arbitrary and insignificant. My work (Heming) intends to promote the importance of community as a discipline of hope, which elevates us to a conduct of wholeness.”

yearRoundVegetableGardenerThe second connection was to discover a reference to the work of Robert Cervelli in the book by Niki Jabbour Year-round Vegetable Gardener. Cervelli (besides his role as Executive Director, CLP) grows vegetables in his cold frame and unheated greenhouse.

Looking forward to 2019, there are two scheduled events at the end of January.

  1. Sensors High and Low: measuring the reality of our world. Workshop at NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences. January 23-24, 2019
  2. MashUp Weekend: Rural Business Activated. Annapolis Royal Library. January 26, 2019. Supported by AIRO , PeopleWorx and Common Good Solutions.

If we want to establish a Centre for Rural Aging and Health at the NSCC in Middleton, one of the first steps is for the community to define healthy aging for the diverse population of Annapolis County, and beyond. This could be achieved within the larger context of The  Open College.

In conclusion, from the 2019 Annapolis Seeds Growing Calendar (by Owen Bridge, Nictaux) the December entry reads:

“Our region has seen generations of clearcutting, largely exported for pulp, and now for biomass energy. Drive anywhere, and you see forests of crowded conifers, lacking most of the biodiversity they once had. Luckily our bioregion is a very resilient one, and biodiversity can return with more selective and community focused forestry. If policymakers start getting their act together, our great grandchildren might still live amongst a healthy Acadian Forest.”

From my old school friend, Andrew Ronay in England, I have now heard about the University of the Third Age (U3A). Another possible model for Nova Scotia.

Acknowledgements

To my family and friends. Thank you Edward for the graphics from Florida. And to quote, John DeMont (Chronicle Herald, December 24, 2018).

Home: the place that, more than any other, makes you who you are. That you can never forget.

References

Niki Jabbour. 2011. Year-round Vegetable Gardener. Storey Publishing.

Gregory Heming. Letter to Wendell Berry. (electronic copy from the author)

Gregory Heming. 2003. Conjectures of a Northern Journeyman. Urban Coyote p.153-162.

John DeMont. Home. Chronicle Herald, December 24,2018

Lawrence Powell. Healthy Aging – NSCC Middleton hopes to make campus Centre of Rural Aging and Health. Annapolis Spectator, December 19, 2018.

 

Posted in Opinion

Wallander and the RID fund

Wallander is a BBC production, available on the CBC channel, about a detective solving murder crimes in Sweden. It combines problem-solving (joining the dots) with personal life issues, set in  a rural landscape. This scenario reminds me of living in rural Nova Scotia and attempting to understand the day to day political culture.

The Rural Innovation District (RID) fund is one of three funds administered by the NSCC. The other two funds are designed to address  innovation ecosystems in metro Halifax and Cape Breton. The ‘rural district’ refers to the geography of all of rural Nova Scotia, excluding the metropolitan areas.

Thinking about the ‘rural district’ and the community college, there are a significant number of non-metro campuses across Nova Scotia. If we were to address the needs of Annapolis County then the primary campuses would be COGS in Lawrencetown and the Middleton site. If we wanted to understand the innovation culture in this part of rural Nova Scotia, we would look at new directions in the business culture, the non-profit sector, as well as ongoing community initiatives.

Given this challenge, there would be two basic, first steps:

  1. establish a network of partners who could define the needs of Annapolis County;
  2. analyse the resources at both campuses that could be deployed to meet these needs.

My mental model would have two components:

a) a place-based education network (PEN)

b) a collaborative innovation laboratory (CIL)

These would be combined to form PENCIL. A pencil is a tool. It is used for both writing and drawing. With this concept, we would be able to ‘join the dots’. We could identify potential partners and test solutions to specific problems within a laboratory environment at the college. This has been tried in the past with the ACOA funded Business Incubation Centre on the Middleton campus. The difference, in this case, is that the community partners define the issues that need to be addressed, and work collaboratively with the campus resources.

The other difference is a ‘place-based’ education approach. This means that the issues are determined by the conditions in the local landscape. This could include forestry, agriculture, fisheries, culture, tourism, social and economic development. It might involve innovative approaches to science and technology.

Rather than expect the agenda to be driven by the college, allow the local geography to determine the issues. If the PENCIL concept works in one rural location, then look to the possibility of a modified version in a different geography. The key ingredients are a place-based education network and support for a collaborative innovation laboratory. It could be piloted in Annapolis County.

Perhaps we can get the BBC to produce a film series here. The new star might be Gordonstoun Nova Scotia.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year !

Acknowledgements

To all friends and associates, who have encouraged me, all year, in writing this blog.

References

Wallander. Kenneth Branagh plays the Detective Kurt Wallander.

Rural Innovation District Fund Rural Innovation District Fund

Posted in Opinion

Bring back Coastlands

As we readied the house for Christmas, it was time to sort out a stack of old magazines for recycling or garbage. The pile included Haida Laas from Haida Gwaii, as well as Northword from Northern BC. From Nova Scotia, it contained the Nova Scotia Policy Review. Politics, culture and justice and its successor, Coastlands. the 
Maritimes Policy Review. My last issue was Volume 4, Number 1. Spring 2011. Feast to Famine. Why our food system is in decay. Coastlands was published and edited by Rachel Brighton from Bridgetown.

On Wednesday, I caught up with Rachel at Bistro 300 in Middleton. I wanted to know what had happened to Coastlands. The answer – while policy issues remain a passion for her – the magazine subscriptions  were hardly paying the bills. She moved on, to other roles, and work environments.

As we come to the end of 2018, with local conversations about climate change, ‘coastlands’ are very much on the table. Part of my engagement is that I enjoy seeing the use of simple, provocative, geographic language.

Seven years have passed. These days, I receive the Guardian Weekly to obtain a global perspective. The Walrus gives me a Canadian view. What is available at the local, provincial level to give me a critical perspective ? What has happened in terms of rural Nova Scotia and its development ?

If I look at the last issue of Coastlands, I find feature articles on Community Economics, Ecology, Food and Agriculture, Health, Politics and Culture, Energy and Environment, Justice. There is a book review of a biography on David Adams Richards. Coastlands included cartoons by Janet Larkman, as well as the editorial talent of Rachel Brighton.

Here are but two examples. Rachel writes a column called Orwell Answers.

“A jolly good fallow.

George,

Where have you been ? We’ve all been wondering, what’s become of George ? I missed your replies and battling thoughts back and forth. I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits even in these dreary days when all anyone hears about is this famine or that flood or that assassin. I would like to hear some words of wisdom and encouragement, but find none.

Wistfully, Frank.

Dear Frank,

I thought to lie fallow for a year. To be honest though, I was beginning to find the periodical that publishes these exchanges a little depressing and perhaps tiresome. We have so many pamphleteers and so little peace. I hope I can be of some encouragement to your readers, especially you.

Write soon with some good news,

George ”

 

The second example is a Vesper. The Marinade of Time.

“Let us think of quietly enlarging our stock of true and fresh ideas, and not, as soon as we get an idea or half an idea, be running out with it into the street, and trying to make it rule there. Our idea will, in the end, shape the world all the better for maturing a little.”

Matthew Arnold 1914.’The Function of Criticism” in Essays. Oxford University Press.

This speaks directly to my impatient, blogging self.

After seven years, it may be time for Coastlands to resurface. Perhaps an online version. There has been a lot of water splashing up on our shores, without a critical policy review or any evidence-based analysis.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Rachel Brighton for her insights into the concerns of rural Nova Scotians.

Sorry, no graphics. Edward is still afloat somewhere down South in warmer climes.

References

Haida Laas is the newsletter of the Council of the Haida Nation.

Northword Magazine is a regional magazine for northern BC, published in Smithers. Northwood Magazine

The Nova Scotia Policy Review and Coastlands were published between 2007-2011.

Posted in Event Review

Gordonstoun Nova Scotia

Congratulations to our hard-working councillors for their procurement of this opportunity. In my terms, it speaks volumes for ‘place-based education’ in Nova Scotia. I had every intention of being at the announcement. There were swirling rumours about a new Cannabis operation at the Britex plant in Centrelea, as well as the Gordonstoun connection.

Saturday, Heather Stewart decided to attend the workshop at Mersey Tobeatic Research Institure (MTRI) for woodlot owners on the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Being car-less, I walked down to the Lawrencetown library to retrieve David Quammen’s The Tangled Tree. This is a revision of Darwin’s tree of life. Afterwards, I did not have the energy to walk into Bridgetown from East Paradise for the announcement.

In the Annapolis County Spectator, Tim Habinski makes an interesting observation.

“If there’s a point I really want people to know about the school, and about why this project, it is this: when we went to Gordonstoun, I presented specifically on the values and culture of Annapolis County. I wanted them to know what kind of county it was.”

This is our collective challenge ‘what are the values and culture of Annapolis County ?”

Being a Geographer, with a long-term commitment to the educational institutions in the County, I would argue they are ‘place-based’: the Bay of Fundy, Annapolis Valley, South Mountain (Kejimkujik National Park and the Tobeatic Wilderness Area), North Mountain.

Historically, this will takes us from the Mi’kmaq culture, to Samuel Champlain, the Acadians, Black Nova Scotians to Joshua Slocum and then more recently, the writings of Ernest Buckler, and other artists.

Of course, its way too soon for me to recall, digest and reflect on my memories of the United Kingdom, the monarchy and the school system there. Oddly enough, we were watching Prince Philip in an old episode of The Crown on Netflix last night. Its now over fifty years since I made Canada my permanent home.

Acknowledgements

Edward Wedler is away in the Caribbean, and so we will miss his graphics.

References

David Quammen. 2018. The Tangled Tree. A Radical New History of Life.  Simon and Schuster.

Annapolis County Spectator December 9, 2018. Annapolis County Spectator

Developer’s interest in vacant Annapolis County schools leads council to Scotland.

Mutual ethos and historic connection – ‘Gordonstoun reflects our values’, says Annapolis County Warden Habinski.

World Class – Top international private boarding school franchise coming to Annapolis County.

Posted in Book Review

Proust and the Squid

On CBC’s The Sunday Edition (December 2nd), Michael Enright interviewed Maryanne Wolf on the subject of the reading brain in the digital world and her new book.readerComeHome  squid

 

The following day, we went over to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. At Lexicon Books, I purchased a copy of the earlier book Proust and the Squid: the story and science of the Reading Brain.

‘Knowing what reading demands of our brain and knowing how it contributes to our capacity to think, to feel, to infer and to understand other human beings is especially important today, as we make the transition from a reading brain to an increasingly digital one.’ p.4.

Wolf describes the reading brain’s development and evolution – both the personal-intellectual and the biological. She uses Marcel Proust as a metaphor and the squid as an analogy for two different aspects of reading.

Proust saw reading as a kind of ‘intellectual sanctuary’ where human beings have access to thousands of different realities.

‘The study of what the human brain has to do to read is analogous to the study of the squid in earlier neuroscience’.

My interest revolves around the relationship between reading about a landscape and experiencing that landscape. From my blogs, you will have noticed the tendency to link reading of a variety of local authors to our sense of place.

The other dimension relates to our changing digital world (check out the podcast). There is a difference between book-length reading and short blogs. It is increasingly difficult to balance the reading brain between these different formats. However, the challenges presented by Wolf in her books make it all worthwhile.

Addendum

Kent Thompson describes his search for copies of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina as an excuse for getting out of town on his bicycle. Today, I found two volumes of this book at the Thrift store in the village of Lawrencetown.

artOfTravelMy second link relates to Alain de Botton’s book The Art of Travel. He describes the work of John Ruskin on word-painting.

‘The effectiveness of Ruskin’s word-painting derived from his method of not only describing what places looked like but also analyzing their effect on us in psychological language. He recognized that many places strike us as beautiful not on the basis of aesthetic criteria – but on the basis of psychological criteria because they embody a value or mood of importance to us’.

Back to Wolf (in fact Walter Ong)

‘The interaction between morality that all human beings are born into, and the technology of writing, which no one is born into, touches the depth of the psyche.

Writing introduces division and alienation, but a higher unity as well. It intensifies the sense of self and fosters more conscious interaction between persons. Writing is consciousness-raising’.

Finally, Marcel Proust:

‘I believe that reading, in its original essence, is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.

References

CBC Sunday Edition. December 2, 2018. Michael Enright. Podcast.  Come Home: the Reading Brain in the Digital World.

Maryanne Wolf. 2008. Proust and the Squid. The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. Harper Perennial.

Maryanne Wolf. 2018. Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World. Harper and Collins.

Alain de Botton.2002. The Art of Travel. Penguin Books.

Posted in Event Review

Climate Change and the Human Prospect: Annapolis Royal

On Wednesday evening, we attended the screening of Climate Change and the Human Prospect in Annapolis Royal. This was a month after we attended a screening at the Municipal building in Kentville (see earlier blog October 25). I want to highlight a number of differences in the context, as well as offer some thoughts on next steps.

cover_drawdown
“The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming …”

The venue last night was at King’s Theatre. Janet Larkman spoke well to the role that the theatre plays as an educational hub in the region.  It also allowed for the use of modern technology. We were able to ‘Skype’ with Crystal Chissell in San Francisco. She is Vice-President of Operations and Engagement at Project Drawdown. We had access to a large screen. The viewing of Andrea Vandenboer’s documentary on the Thinkers Retreat was a very different experience. Thirdly, we had the pleasure of Gregory Heming, Centre for Local Prosperity and local Councillor facilitating the evening. Again, this was missing in Kentville. The Centre for Local Prosperity sponsored the making of the documentary and the screening. The audience in Kentville was primarily municipal officials whereas in Annapolis Royal the much larger audience was a diverse group of interested, informed citizens.

Starting with Project Drawdown, solutions were divided into seven sectors: Materials, Electricity Generation, Food, Land Use, Women and Girls, Transport, Building and Cities. These solutions formed the core of the discussion at the retreat. The documentary presented the view from the twenty-four thinkers at the three-day retreat.

After the screening, Gregory hosted a question and answer session with the audience. Some questions addressed specific concerns in Annapolis County, namely forestry practices, sea level rise, as well as the larger issue of citizen engagement.

What can citizens do?

There is a new group in town, Annapolis Climate Change Action Group. Specific questions related to how we can influence politicians and the necessity for place-based education.

There were some missing pieces. In Kentville, all members of the audience were invited to sign up, if they wanted to keep in touch. Unfortunately, the same thought did not arise last night in Annapolis Royal.

assetMapping_2In the documentary, there was a focus on Energize Bridgewater, perhaps Annapolis Royal could play a similar focal role with Land Use. If so, they may seek to collaborate with the Centre of Geographic Sciences, Lawrencetown and develop current maps and statistics on the status of the forest, agriculture and other land use types in the County.

logo_centreForLocalProsperityFrom the audience, the comment was made that ‘we only have twelve years’. How can we organize resources that go beyond the Centre for Local Prosperity and the Municipality of Annapolis County? What can we do to change our institutions: provincial and municipal government, as well as schools and post-secondary education institutions? How do we fully utilize the creative human resources in the region?  Are we taking full advantage of town hall-style meetings? We need to continue to keep looking everywhere for good ideas, innovation, and where appropriate new technology. Conversely, we need to share the special resources that we have locally with other communities. The impossible becomes an opportunity.

Acknowledgements

Edward Wedler continues to find relevant resources and images on the Internet. Heather Stewart always reminds me of the needs of other non-human species that inhabit our regional landscape, both on the land and in the surrounding waters.

References.

Project Drawdown Project Drawdown

Centre for Local Prosperity Centre for Local Prosperity

Energize Bridgewater Energize Bridgewater