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The ‘Greening’ of Christian Monasticism and the Future of Monastic Landscapes in North America

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-07-16
Abstract: 

Christian monasticism has an ancient land-based foundation. The desert fathers and later reform movements appealed to the land for sustenance, spiritual metaphor, and as a marker of authentic monastic identity. Contemporary Roman Catholic monastics with this history in mind, have actively engaged environmental discourse in ways that draw from their respective monastic lineages, a process sociologist Stephen Ellingson calls ‘bridging’. Though this study is of limited scope, this bridging between monastic lineages and environmental discourse could cautiously be identified with the broader phenomenon of the ‘greening’ of Christianity. Looking to the future, while the footprint of North American monastic communities is quite small, and their numbers are slowly declining, a variety of conservation-minded management schemes implemented since the 1990s by some communities suggests that the impact will remain for many decades to come.

Document type: 
Article
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Potential Benefits of Vessel Slowdowns on Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-06-26
Abstract: 

A voluntary commercial vessel slowdown trial was conducted through 16 nm of shipping lanes overlapping critical habitat of at-risk southern resident killer whales (SRKW) in the Salish Sea. From August 7 to October 6, 2017, the trial requested piloted vessels to slow to 11 knots speed-through-water. Analysis of AIS vessel tracking data showed that 350 of 951 (37%) piloted transits achieved this target speed, 421 of 951 (44%) transits achieved speeds within one knot of this target (i.e., ≤12 knots), and 55% achieved speeds ≤ 13 knots. Slowdown results were compared to ‘Baseline’ noise of the same region, matched across lunar months. A local hydrophone listening station in Lime Kiln State Park, 2.3 km from the shipping lane, recorded 1.2 dB reductions in median broadband noise (10–100,000 Hz, rms) compared to the Baseline period, despite longer transit. The median reduction was 2.5 dB when filtering only for periods when commercial vessels were within 6 km radius of Lime Kiln. The reductions were highest in the 1st decade band (-3.1 dB, 10–100 Hz) and lowest in the 4th decade band (-0.3 dB reduction, 10–100 kHz). A regional vessel noise model predicted noise for a range of traffic volume and vessel speed scenarios for a 1133 km2 ‘Slowdown region’ containing the 16 nm of shipping lanes. A temporally and spatially explicit simulation model evaluated the changes in traffic volume and speed on SRKW in their foraging habitat within this Slowdown region. The model tracked the number and magnitude of noise-exposure events that impacted each of 78 (simulated) SRKW across different traffic scenarios. These disturbance metrics were simplified to a cumulative effect termed ‘potential lost foraging time’ that corresponded to the sum of disturbance events described by assumptions of time that whales could not forage due to noise disturbance. The model predicted that the voluntary Slowdown trial achieved 22% reduction in ‘potential lost foraging time’ for SRKW, with 40% reductions under 100% 11-knot participation. Slower vessel speeds reduced underwater noise in the Slowdown area despite longer passage times and therefore suggest this is an effective way to benefit SRKW habitat function in the vicinity of shipping lanes.

Document type: 
Article
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Climate Risk: Getting to Action. Professionals' Perspectives on Climate Change Challenges. First Summary of Discussions

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

Professionals within key practice areas responding to climate change through new approaches have the collective potential to achieve widespread transformation and improve climate resilience throughout multiple sectors. If we do not work with the early adopters and innovators on achieving this goal, however, failure to update best practices and professional approaches in a timely manner may result in increased vulnerability, missed opportunities, and exacerbation of future risks.

Further, policy- and decision-makers could benefit from consultation with professionals during the development of climate change-related policy and regulation to ensure the practicality and applicability of new approaches, given professionals’ in-depth expertise and implementation experience.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Canada's Crops and Food Supply: Summary for Decision-makers

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-07-03
Abstract: 

The Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) reviewed Canada’s and other countries’ leading climate change adaptation and extreme weather risk reduction practices and proposes a transformative, nested set of strategies, action plans and implementation programs, and practices that employ these types of principles. ACT also looked for barriers that require attention, and pitfalls to be avoided, in particular with respect to overland flooding, and proposes an agenda for giving focused attention to the roles of government, the private insurance industry and stakeholders to achieve effective and affordable overland flooding risk reduction, relief and recovery.

 

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity: Background Report

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-01-27
Abstract: 

This report synthesizes information compiled from input contributed by ACT’s Communities in Jeopardy: Plant, Animal and Human conference participants in April 2008, along with a review of publications from leading authorities researching climate change impacts on biodiversity, and adaptation responses.

The purpose of this report is to provide a background summary on the following points of discussion:  Observed and projected climate changes in BC;  Observed and expected climate change-induced impacts on biodiversity in BC and northern temperate regions;  An overview of the state of biodiversity in BC;  A discussion on the link between biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and the value of natural capital;  An overview of vulnerable natural and socioeconomic systems in BC;  An outline for a general adaptation framework that addresses ecosystem resiliency and examines the challenges and opportunities associated with launching adaptation measures in BC.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity: Summary Report

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-01-27
Abstract: 

British Columbia is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, a veritable “biodiversity ark” – a refuge for thousands of species, from Canada’s largest population of large carnivores to the denizens of some of the last old-growth forests on the continent. Those species, threatened by the spread of human activity, now face an additional serious challenge posed by the impacts of climate change.

This report lays out key aspects of this compounding challenge to BC’s biodiversity, and recommends ways to adapt by making the transition to an ecosystem-based economy that will include the full value of the province’s ecosystems in resource decision-making. This transition will necessitate a paradigm shift from the sectoral, agency-specific approach to one that considers ecosystems as whole systems that are governed, ideally, by a single agency. This shift will allow British Columbia to address the impacts of climate change while sustaining the province’s economy.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC: Background Report

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-12-08
Abstract: 

This report, which forms the background to the various ACT “Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC” reports, seeks to encourage dialogue about three major challenges that must be addressed if we are to pass on a sustainable world to our children:

The ENERGY challenge – our heavy reliance on oil will present significant challenges now that the era of cheap and easy oil has passed;

The CLIMATE CHANGE challenge – the abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pumped into the atmosphere, are changing our climate and threatening to destabilize the delicate balance that makes life on Earth possible;

The ECOSYSTEM challenge – the majority of the ecosystem services that nature provides are not currently being used in a sustainable manner.

We are currently exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth and degrading the ecosystems we rely upon for life. We are running a substantial ecological deficit. (NB: For convenience, we routinely refer to these three challenges collectively as the sustainability challenge throughout this report, with the acknowledgement that sustainability as a concept can include a far more complex set of issues, including social justice).

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and the Low Carbon Economy in BC: Summary Report for Decision-makers

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-12-08
Abstract: 

This report seeks to encourage dialogue about three major challenges that must be addressed if we are to pass on a sustainable world to our children:

The ENERGY challenge – our heavy reliance on oil will present significant challenges now that the era of cheap and easy oil has passed;

The CLIMATE CHANGE challenge – the abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pumped into the atmosphere, are changing our climate and threatening to destabilize the delicate balance that makes life on Earth possible;

The ECOSYSTEM challenge – the majority of the ecosystem services that nature provides are not currently being used in a sustainable manner.

We are currently exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth and degrading the ecosystems we rely upon for life. We are running a substantial ecological deficit. (NB: For convenience, we routinely refer to these three challenges collectively as the sustainability challenge throughout this report, with the acknowledgement that sustainability as a concept can include a far more complex set of issues, including social justice).

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance: Background Report

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-10-04
Abstract: 

The challenges facing water governance and management in Canada are many and varied, and climate change will exacerbate them all. However, Canadians are prepared to meet these challenges and we are hopeful that Canadians will find the courage to change our concept of water and its value in a way that will help us promote long-term sustainable well-being for our ecosystems, communities and industries. We need to act now, before the effects of climate change become a challenge on an order of magnitude with which we have difficulty coping, rather than one for which we are prepared.

In this report, Simon Fraser University’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team explores ways to effect adaptation in the form of planned water policy responses, designed to complement the equally important goals embodied in the drive to reduce emissions and promote sustainable development, while increasing the resilience of Canada’s natural, socio-economic and built environments.

This report represents the results of background research carried out from March 2010-June 2011, and acts as the basis for the accompanying Summary Recommendations for decision-makers. This process included in-depth study and literature reviews by a team of graduate researchers drawn from the disciplines of Resource and Environmental Management, Planning, Earth Sciences and Public Policy, guidance and insights from lead policy author Bob Sandford, policy advice from ACT’s Board, and consultation with all orders of government, industry, NGOs, experts and communities through roundtables in three regions.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance: Summary Report for Decision Makers

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009-10-04
Abstract: 

Effective governments prefer proposition to opposition. This report outlines a new national proposition on water that aims to strengthen Canada’s economy and assure its sustainability while at the same time enhancing our adaptive capacity in the face of growing climate impacts on our national identity and well being, and therefore our nation’s future. Fortunately, Canadian consciousness of our overall good fortune in terms of water resources, and popular understanding of water issues, is growing. We also know from world example much of what needs to be done. Time is of the essence. Our changing climate and hydrology demand that we shift out of the coping zone of stationarity, and adapt to new circumstances.

 

Document type: 
Report
File(s):