Hi there. I’ve been getting lots of new views on my YouTube channel lately, mostly because of my song/video Lullaby for Livia, which I wrote for my granddaughter. The song is about the sorry state of the world that her generation will inherit, and my personal pledge to do the best I can for it before I leave. There’s only two song/videos on the channel right now, but I’m planning to add more soon. I’ve been working on a collection of songs for an album called Mystical Journeys, and I’ll be featuring selections from the album on the channel. You can check it out at the link below, and If you like what you hear, please consider subscribing. Ciao for now…
On the west coast of Nova Scotia in the tiny community of Meteghan River, sits a tidy little beach house that just might help save the planet from the coming ravages of climate change. The brainchild of Dave Saulnier and Joel German, the beach house is one of those elegant approaches where problems are re-defined as opportunities.
Like many coastal communities, Meteghan River will face severe weather in the decades ahead as the climate worsens. Sturdier shelter that can withstand severe storms is urgently needed, especially on the east coast of North America where hurricane-force winds are becoming an annual occurrence. At the same time, unwanted plastic is piling up in our landfills and littering our beaches. The solution? Use the unwanted plastic to build more durable shelter.
With a $109,000 repayable loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Saulnier and German, built the demonstration home using 612,000 recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Reduced to pellets and injected with a gas to turn them into foam, the bottles were re-constituted as building panels to assemble the beach house.
The result is a structure that can resist moisture, fatigue, corrosion and rot and is 2.3 times more energy-efficient than homes built using traditional methods. However, the real eye-popper is the ability of the panels to withstand windstorms. At Exova testing facilities in Mississauga, Ontario, they withstood 326-mp/h (524-km/h) sustained wind force, which is twice the strength of a Category 5 hurricane.
Through their company, JD Composites, Saulnier and German hope to export the technology to countries in the Caribbean and South America, as well as into the United States. Many of the processes and methods used actually come from the boat building industry in which the two partners have worked for many years.
The beach house is currently up for sale, but if it doesn’t sell, Saulnier and German say they’ll list it on airbnb to help spread the word.
This year we invited David Suzuki, a well-known environmentalist, author and activist to come to the Sunshine Coast to participate in the Arts Council Literary Reading Program. With funding by the Canada Council, the program brings authors and poets to the Sunshine Coast to present readings of their work throughout the year. For some time, we’ve had it in mind to have a theme evening devoted to the environment and climate change, and who would be better for that than David Suzuki?
We knew our chances of getting him were slim to none, and we were right. David reluctantly declined our offer, but he took the time to write a personal handwritten note explaining why. It was very cool for me to receive the letter because David Suzuki has been one of my personal heroes for decades. It is something I will keep and show to friends and family; however, I was also saddened by the last few lines of the letter, which read as follows:
“I am going to be working flat out on the election Oct 21st. After that, I think I will have expended all I have in me and I will withdraw from public life.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that David Suzuki, who will be 84 on his next birthday, has decided to step back from the role he has played as Canada’s leading spokesman for the environment and the danger of climate change. He has been such a strong voice for so many years that it is difficult to imagine the climate debate without him. It is, perhaps, a signal that it is time for the rest of us to step up.
Most of us agree that climate change needs to be addressed for the sake of our children and grandchildren. What is becoming more apparent with the onslaught of wildfires, drought, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes is that we also need to address it for our own sakes.