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.
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.
In 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.
From 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.
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.
Project Drawdown Project Drawdown
Centre for Local Prosperity Centre for Local Prosperity
Energize Bridgewater Energize Bridgewater