ICSP Approved

The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was something Council decided was needed once they declared a “Climate Emergency” – which they did in December 2019. Canada’s contribution to global warming is said to be ~2% and based on population, that makes Cobourg’s contribution .001%.  However, local environmentalists are keen for Cobourg to do its part and by showing leadership maybe the rest of the world will follow.  So in early 2022, work started on creating the ICSP and it was given final approval by Council at their regular meeting on July 3, 2023.  So what exactly is it?  It’s a top-level plan that is intended to guide and direct actions by staff on what to do to make life in Cobourg sustainable and for Cobourg to do its part in limiting anthropogenic (caused by humans) Global warming.

Cobourg has 11 master plans that the ICSP is supposed to guide – as the ICSP says:

“The ICSP provides a centralized framework and long-term vision for sustainable action that unites all the following plans:

  1. Transportation Master Plan (2011) – Page on Town web site
  2. Corporate Energy and Demand Management Plan (2014) – Energy Assessment Report on Town web site
  3. Heritage Master Plan (2015) – Download from Cobourg News Blog
  4. Downtown Cobourg Master Plan (2016) – Download from Cobourg News Blog
  5. Urban Forest Management Plan (2018) – Download from Cobourg News Blog
  6. Cultural Master Plan (2018) – Download from Cobourg News Blog
  7. Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2020-2024 (2020) – Page on Town web site
  8. Climate Action Plan (2020) – Page on Town web site
  9. Affordable and Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan (2020) – Download from Cobourg News Blog
  10. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy (2021) – Page on Town web site
  11. Tannery District Sustainable Neighbourhood Secondary & Master Plans (2021) – Download from Cobourg News Blog

The ICSP has 84 pages and although long is remarkably easy to read.   Although written by consultants, it is written as if the author is a Cobourg citizen.  There are 16 Actions – each one with most of the following attributes:

  • Key Steps
  • Role of the Municipality
  • Action Owner
  • Additional Expertise Required
  • Community Involvement
  • Supporting Actors
  • Measure of Success
  • Action is complete when
  • Links to other actions
  • Plans and Policies

There’s a lot of detail and there are many things to be done.  The full plan is available in resources below.  At the risk of over-simplifying, let me try to summarize:

16 Actions spread through 4 years

Action Highlights Start
Staff a Sustainability Coordinator position Hiring required Q1 2024
Host an annual growth, development, and sustainability summit Collect important resident inputs Q3 2024
Create a Sustainability Champions program Work as an information sharing group between the Town and residents Q4 2024
Formalize an extreme climate event preparedness process Define a extreme climate event preparedness process Q1 2024
Create a framework to improve active transportation Improve people-powered transportation like walking and bicycling Q3 2025
Create an Urban Agriculture Strategy Encourage local agriculture, apiaries, growing food Q4 2024
Develop a Community Energy Plan Plan to reduce carbon emissions Q4 2025
Create a Fleet Electrification Strategy Transition the municipal fleet to battery-powered where possible. Q2 2024
Develop a municipal greenhouse gas and waste reduction strategy Implement greenhouse gas and waste reductions Q4 2023
Integrate natural assets into the municipal asset management process Include assets such as wetlands, forests, and waterways in asset management Q4 2025
Pursue naturalization in parks and open spaces More naturally occurring indigenous plant, grass, and tree species Q1 2024
Support waste reduction and diversion Support positive waste diversion habits particularly for those living in multi-family residential buildings Q2 2024
Update procurement policy to promote sustainability Purchasing should benefit not only the organization but society as a whole, and minimize its impact on the environment. Ongoing
Create funding pathways to retrofit public and private building stock Support energy performance upgrades to housing stock Q4 2023
Create a working group to guide energy-efficient urban development Ensure sustainable building practices are implemented with greater frequency Q1 2024
Create a Land Acquisition Strategy to support land stewardship Ensure parks and open spaces support and enhance recreational and quality of life mandates while also promoting biodiversity conservation, mitigating erosion and flood risks. Q3 2026

I would note three things:

  1. Although in most cases the “action owner” is the sustainability coordinator, there is significant work to be done by staff other than the coordinator – e.g. developing plans, implementing them and enforcing them. 
  2. The new Strategic Plan for 2023-2026 has sustainability as a Major Goal.
  3. Nowhere does the plan talk about the cost of implementing it.

Resources

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Dave
7 months ago

Just received an e-mail from the Mayor of Cobourg about his India U20 conference, returning to implement waste free Ontario policies. How ironic – India, one of the biggest polluters.

Rational
Reply to  Dave
7 months ago

Take a look at his Facebook page. It’s open to all. The mayor posted a selfie of his excitement at an India meeting and is just gushing. Now I see why this group was commissioned for this environmental report so he could use it in his photo ops. So immature.

Mayor Cleveland is not right for Cobourg.

Last edited 7 months ago by Rational
Kevin
7 months ago

Notice how the 16 ‘action’ items do not really do anything? Host a summit, create a program, strategy or framework, develop a plan, etc. Well maybe hiring somebody does something but also adds to the payroll. All these things require work, meetings etc. but do not actually do anything. This is so typical of government. Instead of creating an agricultural strategy how about actually planting fruit trees? Trees are planted anyway. It would not really cost anything and could actually grow food. There are 11 master plans. Pick one and do something that is already planned. Replace the board walk with boards and keep it the same width. A hard surface or wider boardwalk will cost more, have a greater impact on the environment (several ‘action’ items mention the environment in one way or another) and will not stop negative interactions between cyclists and pedestrians. No matter how wide it it some pedestrian will not like seeing a bicycle on the board walk. Fix the east pier before it completely washes away. Actually do something instead of planning to make plans that might do something.

cornbread
Reply to  Kevin
7 months ago

Fixing the pier is a waste of money. Cobourg has not lost one cent of tourism over the last few years and we have not used the pier. It won’t wash away. Why spend 30 million dollars for no extra return.

IA_
7 months ago

NASA published an interesting study in regards to which countries were net carbon emitters, and which were net carbon absorbers. Of course, this was not touched upon by main stream media, but here’s a link for those who are interested.

I’m not saying the ICSP is right or wrong, just giving everyone another perspective as you reach your own conclusion.

https://climate.nasa.gov/news/3251/nasa-space-mission-takes-stock-of-carbon-dioxide-emissions-by-countries/

Cheers,

Sandpiper
Reply to  IA_
7 months ago

May be the Mayor , Puccini & Cobourg can get Trudeau to apply a International Carbon Tax on Just these countries instead of Canadians paying for the continuous Neglect of others
Its always Canadian pockets that are being Taxed

Judy
Reply to  IA_
7 months ago

Thank you for bringing this work by NASA to our attention. I see it fluctuates from year to year. Some years are better than others. I imagine 2023 will not be a good year with all of the forest fires occurring in Canada. It is wonderful that we can now see how much buffering of CO2 emissions the forests and waters in Canada undertake year to year. Nevertheless, that amount of buffering, given the size of our land mass to the relatively small population, is to be expected and is no excuse for complacency. Climate change is going to affect us all no matter what part of the world we live in.

Kathleen
7 months ago

Canada’s Wildfire Smoke is continually making the news as the Worst Air Quality IN. THE. WORLD! And Dr. Courtney Howard, Emergency Physician, Vice Chair of the Global Climate & Health Alliance says it will only get worse every year. Why? In part, because a heck of a lot of people (especially in small towns) don’t want to change the way they have been living their lives for years. They don’t want fire bans. They don’t want to give up their fireworks. They don’t want to give up their Gas Mowers and their Gas Snow Plows. And all the passive “Liberal” Sustainability Plans in the World won’t make them. Glad I’m on my last quarter and that I don’t have grandchildren.

Old Sailor
Reply to  Kathleen
7 months ago

HI Kathleen

Last time I checked the Canadian wildfires were not started in Cobourg. And when I periodically run my gas lawn mower and my gas snow blower they don’t start wildfires either. Cars idling in Cobourg’s fast food outlets (which I don’t frequent) are a much bigger contributor to air pollution than my tiny lawn mower and snow blower. Should we shut them all down?

Kathleen
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

Hi Old Sailor….
Sure! That’s a great idea. But it will never happen.
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Save your pennies and the dollars will look after themselves”?
If you, a lone penny, were the only one running a gas mower, then, no, there would be slightly to no difference in air quality. But when you have masses of people, unwilling to switch from smelly, polluting gas motors, unwilling to do anything to help our environment then it will, and has, made a difference.
I’m sure we both know people in Northumberland who burn their garbage. Even during the worst air quality days. No one will ever change their minds either.
And I totally agree, people will continue to idle their cars for as long as it takes to get their order.
A lot of people do not like change – especially if it inconveniences them personally. And that is what has made a difference in our environment. All those pennies. All those polluting pennies.

Mrs. Anonymous
Reply to  Kathleen
7 months ago

Kathleen,

Have you ever heard the saying “actions speak louder than words”?

i have observed time and time again throughout the world, that the most vocal people on climate change are complete and total hypocrites. Rules for thee but not for me. I’ll know it’s is a real problem when the people at the top of the chain start acting like it instead of just profiting from it.

Rob
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
7 months ago

Good point Mrs. Anonymous
Our PM has flown 783,580 kilometres internationally during his time in office, equivalent to more than a round trip to the moon. He has averaged 104,061 kilometres of air travel per year – Ranked #2 among G7 County Leaders in travel related emissions.

And the irony of our Mayor travelling to India, one of the most polluted countries on the planet, where he can spend time with the Mayor of Los Angeles, the most polluted city in the USA (who is a global emissions leader). #climatecrisis

Kathleen
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
7 months ago

Couldn’t agree more.
Kevin’s comments above are bang on.
Not enough individuals, companies and/or political parties have collectively shown that they have the willpower to create environmental change for the better. Not in my lifetime.

Judy
Reply to  Kathleen
7 months ago

Unfortunately, Kathleen, we only have your lifetime to get off fossil fuels then it is too late.

Mrs. Anonymous
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago
Newbie
7 months ago

The Carbon Majors Report has identified 90 companies, mainly fossil fuel companies, that are responsible for more than 1/2 of carbon emissions. Despite this, governments and these major fossil fuel corporations often conclude and perpetuate that individuals are to blame. This creates unnecessary individual guilt, hysteria, responsibility and extreme social behaviours—including social and governmental policing on individuals.

These same fossil fuel corporations “Greenwash” through multi billion dollar PR campaigns to market themselves as environmentally friendly—this all began in the ‘70s and ’80s.

Our government(s) should be focused on these multi billion dollar corporations, instead of individual taxpayers, to solve this “crisis”.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

Newbie, the report lists ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Peabody, Total, BHP Billiton, Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, National Iranian Oil, Coal India and Pemex. You appear to be referring to companies that allow us a comfortable life rather than freezing in the dark. These are companies that fulfill an essential need rather than companies to despise.

Newbie
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

Ken,

They do provide an essential need. I did not say I despise them. The point I was trying to make is essentially summed up by Kathleen’s comment above.

The government and these corporations perpetuating responsibility and blame for the “climate crisis” on individuals.

Hence, creating a strange hysteria (individual guilt, excessive anger toward each other, self-blame, blame on other individuals… as Kathleen noted; “…people not wanting to change the way they live their lives…”). Greta Thunberg? WEF?Government taxes, policies and new laws on individuals and how they run their small businesses.

Mark my words, a Sustainability Coordinator’s job will be to ensure us tax payers adhere to Cobourg’s own “proposed climate change policies, laws, etc.”…heading our way (at whatever cost to us taxpayers).

“Give us pizza, or give us death”

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

Apologies if I misrepresented your opinions, Newbie.

To be clear, without the companies listed as “evil” in the report, modern agriculture feeding billions could not exist. We would get about on horseback: no trips to Toronto for an evening’s entertainment, no Florida vacations, central heat and A/C, no Amazon next-day delivery. We would sit at home nights burning renewable whale oil for dim evening illumination. Without coal and oil for heat there would be no trees remaining in North America.

This is the world that some want for the future. Do you?

Eastender
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

Yes, I want a future where no-one vacations in fascist Florida.

Newbie
Reply to  Eastender
7 months ago

Eastender,

As per Mr. Draper (top of page, to the right) Florida is Way off-topic.

For this reason, I will not comment on your fallacious remark.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Newbie
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

No problem…I may not have articulated myself very well there.

I am a bit of a luddite, so part of your description sounds somewhat
romantic to me!

In all seriousness, I do agree with you. The farmers in Europe are being deeply affected by unreasonable climate change policies, the mainstream media does not cover much of the protests going on around the world.

I do not want to be eating insects either.

This is another “issue” that is, again, contrived to be a polarizing one.

In 2018 Greta Thunberg loudly (I think likely yelling) proclaimed the world would cease to exist in 5 years time, due to climate change…it is now 2023, and here we are.

Rob
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

Couldn’t agree more. Covid was the most divisive issue we have seen in our lifetime; pitting friends, families, loved ones, employers/employees against one another. You either had to believe the science or your were a denier. Governmental agencies and NGOs have sharpened their info-war tactics and that same approach is being applied to climate change. There is no room for discussion, there is no middle ground and there can not be a compromise; people are either supportive of climate policies at any/all cost or your are a denier. We are wading into very dangerous territory.

What Canada needs, given its comparatively small climate impact, is a reasonable and measured approach – but that ship seems to be sailing. Build the infrastructure to support EVs including more nuclear, protect our fresh water, farmland, forests and air quality, encourage business to dramatically reduce packaging, overhaul our waste recover systems, use more passive energy sources where possible…

Newbie
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

Rob- “There is no room for discussion, there is no middle ground and there can not be a compromise; people are either supportive of climate policies at any/all cost or your are a denier. We are wading into very dangerous territory.”

You have summed things up well Rob. Ugly, divisive tactics. Very Orwellian. The inability to have healthy, open, civil discourse, without being attacked, or censored is scary…and on so many issues as of late.

Yes! A reasonable and measured approach to environmental practices in our town.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

Newbie, I agree completely! Even worse than merely being a denier, you are a racist extreme right wing neo-NAZI at the slightest dissent from the ridiculous opinions of the anointed. I can’t imagine being a young thinking person needing employment and having to tolerate today’s obvious absurdities.

Newbie
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

Yes, all kinds of horrendous assumptions made and thrown at you if you disagree/ dissent, or even question.

“The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those that speak it.”-Orwell

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Judy
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

No one benefits from your point of view, but many people now and in the future will be harmed by the delay that 30 plus years of climate inaction hath wrought.

Newbie
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

“No one benefits from your point of view”
You speak for everyone? Not a very egalitarian comment, rather rude. Perhaps you should look at my comment on John’s EV post, especially because you have stated you are concerned about the homeless and poor. I am also concerned about the middle class’s future.
I speak only in facts. But you can keep making Assumptions.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Judy
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

You know, we have had more than 30 years to fix the climate problem, You have had your time to be skeptical. It would have been possible to take less drastic actions over the past 30 years if we had acted on the science back then. The problem is now bigger and more expensive to fix so that people who wanted to ‘do their own research’ and ignore science could have their say. It is now time to let real facts not ‘alternative facts’ take over. It is basic physics and chemistry that our world is heating up because of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) we are expelling into the atmosphere. If you’re concerned about the middle class then reducing GHGs will reduce their insurance bill, allow their children to play outside in a less smokie, healthier environment with no exhaust fumes and save them money on utilities with EVs and high performance homes ready for the 21st century.

Newbie
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

Judy, I am not sure what ‘skepticism and alternative facts’ you are speaking of. I do not think you read my comment on John’s EV post (as I suggested in response to your dismissive and rude comment), so here you go: I do not think you understand MANY people cannot afford even $50K for an EV. One of many scenarios: single mom. 2 kids. Rent is $2,300, plus utilities. Works full time. Currently drives 2007 gas powered given to her. No credit. Questions: how will she get to work, pickup kids from school, groceries, etc. without a vehicle? Some people are out of touch with the realities many others live, especially during these difficult times financially. Speaking in socioeconomic terms: Mandating people to own a vehicle, they cannot afford—will cause hardships and further polarization within our society. People are losing their ability to critically think. DISCLOSURE: comments based objectively, in reality, not conspiratorial,
not as an “anti climate change believer”.

These are SIGNIFICANT concerns/ questions, consistently left out of the “climate change conversations”.

Judy
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

I don’t have an EV yet either even though I see many pickup trucks worth more than an EV around Town. Canadians use more gas and drive bigger cars than anyone else in the world. That’s why the average vehicle in Canada sells for $58,000. Why are you not complaining about pickups, SUVs and the high cost of gas/diesel vehicles? I expect the prices for EVs to drop in the next few years. Tesla has already lowered their price on their sedans and replaced the battery with a lithium iron phosphate version that doesn’t use minerals mined in the Congo. Unfortunately, EV’s in north America are going to be more SUVs and Pickups because of the higher markup on these vehicles and because of customer demand. I have had a Prius for 17 years now. I don’t want a pickup and the market for used EVs is growing. I am looking in the Auto Trader for second-hand. The market will improve with time and supply is just beginning. Internal combustion engine vehicles will still be around. Keep in mind that due to lower maintenance and operating costs EVs are cheaper overtime.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

Ken please tell us about the nasty stuff you received from the “<snip> racist extreme right wing neo-NAZI at the slightest dissent from the ridiculous opinions of the anointed.</snip>”

Judy
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

The ‘ridiculous opinions of the anointed “ are the scientists who have been studying the problem and warning us for decades about global warming. Scientists who spent many years getting an extensive education on the topic first. I suppose you ‘did your own research’ and came to a different conclusion ie fossil fuels are not significantly harmful to the environment. Who should a reasonable person believe?

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

I wonder if one factor that has been overlooked is massive “irregular” immigration numbers etc in the equation, which puts ever increasing demands on every aspect of the country’s condition including farmland etc.

Judy
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

Many countries have had no hand in the climate chaos we are facing and yet with their poor population they do not have the resources to protect themselves, their children or their livelihoods speaking of farmers! Canada has a GDP in the top 10 in the world, bigger than Russia’s, with a small population compared to the others. We need to do everything we can for the good of humanity. War, famine and misery will ensue to a much greater degree in the world if the rich countries don’t act by reigning in fossil fuel use and eliminating it completely by 2050.

Judy
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

She probably stated that we have a 2030 target internationally to keep average global temperature no higher than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid the worse aspects of global warming which would lead to feedback loops we cannot control. She takes her information from the UN IPCC, is the body of scientists set up to advise the world’s countries on climate change.

Judy
Reply to  Ken Strauss
7 months ago

Sorry but I guess you you need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Electric vehicles ( EVS) are going to reduce pollution and eliminate the 85 percent of waste heat generated by internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles that help heat up cities and where only 6 percent ends up as motive power. Green development standards in the ICSP will make new homes cheaper to maintain, up to 90 percent energy efficient and resilient to weather extremes (including hurricane roof ties) and retrofitting existing homes with more insulation, HEPA filter air exchangers, cold weather heat pumps for heating and cooling starting with low energy income neighborhoods will help all of us survive the heatwaves, tornados, derechos (windstorms), and extreme rain, snow and ice events coming our way. That is what is in the ICSP. Its goal is to help the community survive, especially the most vulnerable to weather extremes – seniors, infants, the poor and homeless.

Scottie
7 months ago

WHAT a bunch of worthless hogwash – a HUGE waste of time and resources – but a great example of why our taxes keep rising and rising in Cobourg and our quality of life in Cobourg keeps decreasing – maybe our Mayor and CAO will find some inspiration during their trip to India — which contributes some of the WORST pollution to the planet! WHAT a joke — I would be laughing if wasn’t so disheartening. I think our newly elected Councillors need to take a good long look at what they’re NOT accomplishing for Cobourg and redirect their efforts to something more meaningful like making our downtown safe again.

Judy
Reply to  Scottie
7 months ago

His costs were co reed by the conference and not the Town.

Gigi
7 months ago

Wow these are really interesting comments. I just marvel at how dismissive some of the language is like for example, “pushed by the Liberal ideologues who resident (reside) on Town and County Council etc.”
Maybe they’re not Liberal. Maybe they’re people who think they have an obligation to future generations to not harm the earth and make amends if they do.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Gigi
7 months ago

Do you think that Foreign investment and buying up our Housing stocks or Non Working immigration / refugees being housed by Tax paying Citizens
in what used to be affordable rental housing is good for our future generations
?????? then maybe your a LL—-

Dunkirk
7 months ago

‘Create, update, support, pursue, host’….these are not the verbs used by any serious attempt at finding lasting solutions.

Pete M
Reply to  Dunkirk
7 months ago

But boy does it make them feel good that they’re “doing” something for the cause

Rob
7 months ago

Tremendous waste of resources pushed by the Liberal idealogues who resident on Town and County Council and within the Town and County staff. Of course, we should have responsible environmental practices in our Town – but the Sustainability Officer will look for opportunities to pass additional cost (aka taxes) to ratepayers to fund important sustainability actions, resulting in no measurable improvement. This is climate theatre…

Judy Smith
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

It is cheaper to prevent damage than it is to fix it. If you don’t want theatre than lobby for real improvements like helping to retrofit housing to be ready for the 21st century – extreme weather and making the on-demand shuttle transit door to door to get people out of their cars and give seniors and youth a break. See Okotoks Alberta for a transportation example.

Newbie
Reply to  Rob
7 months ago

“Sustainability Officer”, same type of hire as a “DIE”(Diversity, Inclusion and Equity) manager about 10 months ago. These hires are of CONCERN.

How much ‘power’ is this individual going to have…one extreme left, purple haired, “educated” GenZ or Millennial likely.

Cobourg officials virtue signalling and unnecessarily bloating themselves again. I see more mandates, fear mongering, regulations and restrictions coming—that will deeply effect the tax payer’s wallet and small business owners livelihood’s.

Look at New York pizza shops being shut down, because of coal burning stoves used for over 100 years. People are furious there…protesting—calling it the “New York Pizza Party”, akin to the Boston Tea Party.

Or last year’s threat re: people’s kitchen gas stoves.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Pete M
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

Some might call them the political commissar; ensuring political correctness

cornbread
Reply to  Pete M
7 months ago

D,I,E, The start towards Communism

Newbie
Reply to  cornbread
7 months ago

Yes. And reverse racism. This ideology bloomed out of Affirmative Action.

Rational
7 months ago

At 1/100 of 1 percent contribution Council needs to explain to taxpayers why are they going to this extreme to accommodate one group who wants Cobourg to be an example for the world. Proposing to hire more staff is ridiculous.

Like I said in yesterdays post – everything becomes overly complicated. Which results in nothing getting done or finalized.

All the Mayor and Council seem to do are one off projects which become distractions to looking after the “shop” like they were elected to do. And then pat themselves on the back, such as the Mayor is doing on his Facebook page about going to India.

Last edited 7 months ago by Rational
Judy Smith
Reply to  Rational
7 months ago

John has his facts wrong on per capita greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada report shows that we have the HIGHEST emissions per capita of any country in the world. See for yourself. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-indicators/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions.html

John Draper
Reply to  Judy Smith
7 months ago

Judy, the link you provided includes the statement: “Canada’s share of global emissions decreased from 1.8% in 2005 to 1.5% in 2019.” Canada’s population is approx. 40M and Cobourg’s is 20K. So Cobourg’s share of Global emissions is 20k/40M multiplied by 1.5%. That’s 0.00075%. If you base the calculation on Canada’s share at 2%, you get 0.001%. So I was not wrong unless you use a different math. And I did not mention “per capita” – I just calculated Cobourg’s impact. Please get your facts right.

Judy
Reply to  John Draper
7 months ago

John, my apologies. I misread your piece and thought you wrote Canada not Cobourg. Nevertheless, we as individuals are the biggest per capita producers of GHG’s in the world and I don’t think we should minimize our responsibility. Our share of total emissions has gone down not because we have done very much purposefully to reduce them only that other parts of the world economy are growing faster and using fossil fuel energy more inefficiently than us. Yet we still dedicate one-third of all our natural gas supply annually and we are the fourth largest producer in the world, to separating bitumen (tar) from sand in Fort McMurray and even then we have to combine it with more gas to get it to refineries in the U.S. where they managed to turn it into a usable fuel.

JimT
Reply to  Judy Smith
7 months ago

Of course our “per capita” emissions are higher.

A train in China carrying 300 people over 100 km. puts out the same amount of greenhouse gases as a train in Canada carrying 100 people over the same distance.

For example.

Beachwalker
7 months ago

This is positive news, indeed. Let Cobourg be a leader instead of being the stagnant specimen of a town. I think that banning single use plastics would be a good start. Yes they are recycled but into what? More single use plastics! Cobourg Concil is looking ahead to the future while a lot on this blog are living in the past.

Jones
7 months ago

Just fix the East pier allready

cornbread
7 months ago

Just heard on the news…About $500,000 in additional repairs needed (Scoreboard & All Boilers) for the CCC. This in addition to the new rink lights for both rinks needed last year because the old lights were dropping their plastic lenses to the rink surface.
Do we really have time for the “Frills” that this Council and Staff want to entertain. Get back to basics…that’s what we can afford.

Judy Smith
Reply to  cornbread
7 months ago

The CCC should convert to a heat pump which provides 300% more heat per unit energy than natural gas which at best can only reach 98%. This would save money overtime too.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Judy Smith
7 months ago

Judy, could you please provide the economic analysis to substantiate your assertion that a heat pump would actually save money? Include expected increases in electricity costs, costs of a backup generator (presumably natural gas powered) to power the heat pump during power outages, capital costs for all components, cost of borrowing, expected lifetime maintenance costs, etc. in your analysis. The answer is neither simple nor obvious!

Sandpiper
7 months ago

What we need is a independent unbiased public organization that can review and insure that the Public employees are actually doing something and are accountable for the time that they are paid . I see very little ever accomplished
in this Town over the last 10 yr that make Life more sustainable for its Residents .
Like upgraded Sewage & Water treatment sys. that have been overloaded for years . Reduced Property Taxes , Adequate parking not just for the Tourist
that visit for 3 months and leave behind huge amounts of Garbage .
We don’t need to hire anyone else Just put all those Venture 13 employees to work .
Again what is Sustainable ? and for who’s benefit are we doing this.
If you ask me this is OLD NEWS from the Town

Judy
Reply to  Sandpiper
7 months ago

We are doing this to benefit everyone in the Town. You have had 30 years to get used to climate change and now that it is upon us it is time to get your head’s out of the sand and act . It is almost too late. If you have grandchildren I hope you do it for them.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

YOUR Correct BUT This Town has been doing this for 30 yrs as you put it with out results
that’s why there is a need for over view of what the Town is actually accomplishing
with our Tax $$ donations and our efforts .
The Town is great at marketing it self but when it comes to Results ??????

Newbie
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

What is “almost too late”?
Apocalypse comes when?

What action should we take when removing “our heads from the sand”?

Should we throw tomato soup at priceless Van Gogh paintings?

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
Judy
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

That is the most extreme example and one I don’t approve of either even if the paintings were covered with glass.

Almost too late means just that. Creating CO2 feedback loops that cause continuously worsening weather is already upon us. It is unlikely at this late date that we will keep global average temperature increases to less than1.5 C by 2030.

We already have a self-perpetuating and self-amplifying wildfire situation where temperature increases due to CO2 are causing heat waves, which dry the vegetation and soil and spark heat lightning and along with typical human error are causing horrific wildfires across Canada like we have never seen in the past. Wildfires pour more CO2 into the atmosphere causing even greater temperature hikes and the cycle starts again only worse.

Old Sailor
7 months ago

Is anyone on Council working for the benefit of the 99% of the Cobourg taxpayers who do not have a ridiculous position to shove down our throats? Is all of Council hoping to be nominated for the Liberals in the next provincial or federal election? 20,000 Cobourgers divided by 40,000,000 Canadians equals .05 of 1%. Nothing. Nada. No impact on Canada. Leave the problem of climate change to the provincial and federal governments to solve.The above recommendations are a waste of time and taxpayer money. Especially hiring another expensive unneeded full time staffer. We need Council members with measurable IQ’s, not pant wetter activist supporters who are mandating projects beyond Cobourg’s capability or needs. How about dealing with the Homeless in Cobourg? Stop passing the buck to Northumberland County. The other towns in Northumberland don’t care about our Homeless problem! That project would get 99% Cobourg taxpayer support versus the stupidity above.

Elmo
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

A well articulated and accurate examination of the proposal. The plan sounds good, touchy, feebly, however, the reality is as Old Sailor suggests. An expense not required for a plan not feasible, proposed as a feel-good concept.

Judy
Reply to  Elmo
7 months ago

Sheesh, Elmo! You always seemed more optimistic on TV.

Merle Gingrich
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

I agree, our carbon taxes have no reliance. Send Justin Trudeau and Melody Jolly to China, India and other world polluters and Lecture them on carbon reduction.

Newbie
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
7 months ago

Now. Doesn’t THAT make sense? The irony. Agree with you there Merle.

Last edited 7 months ago by Newbie
JimT
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
7 months ago

…or no relevance, either.

Judy
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

The most vulnerable people to climate extreme weather caused by climate change are the homeless among us who are stuck outside as some were in that terrible December windstorm. The old Golden Plough Lodge should be used as transitional housing for homeless people instead of torn down. Cobourg could buy it ($1) and retrofit it with FCM and federal government climate grant money and the $2M the province just gave the County. There are 155 beds which will be available next summer when residents move to the new building. It is next to Social Services and the hospital and not beside a neighbourhood to object to them. It would solve many problems of mental health, a licenced injection site and social services to provide shelter while more permanent affordable housing is built while keeping vulnerable people safe from heatwaves, rain deluges, smoke, ice storms etc. all coming our way.

Gailr
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

Well summarized, Judy.

JimT
Reply to  Gailr
7 months ago

Yes, but what is “FCM”? Not pleasant trying to decode stuff that could easily spelled out for the reader in the first place.

Judy
Reply to  JimT
7 months ago

Sorry about that. It stands for Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I dislike acronyms too.

Newbie
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

The December windstorm was caused by Extreme Climate Change??

Can we stick to topic at hand, as per Draper’s rules.

Judy
Reply to  Newbie
7 months ago

Climate change energizes weather due to the extra heat in the atmosphere. Wind is stronger, rainfall is more intense. We had 100 km/hr winds for three days with gusts up to 125km/hr. Many trees came down including one on us. Because, instead of snow in December we had three days of rain which loosened the soil and and many trees were pulled out of the ground roots and all. So far we haven’t been hit by a tornado like Ottawa, Barrie or Goderich.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

Judy, you were sounding sensible until you mentioned the licensed injection site.

JimT
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

It’s called “Virtue Signalling”.
And that’s all it is.
Just for show.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

Is the ICSP another of the many projects that is behind schedule? April 1 was months ago!

Judy
Reply to  Old Sailor
7 months ago

This pant-wetter agrees with you on dealing with the homelessness problem in Cobourg. See the proposal to save the old Golden Plough from being demolished and have the Town take it over and with provincial and federal grants make it energy efficient and a refuge for the homeless where they can get services from the County Social Services and from the hospital mental and physical health services..

Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

Several random suggestions in no particular order: all schools should recycle, reduce the number of stop lights as everyone sits and idles, the worst is Elgin and Ontario (also managed by the county), no drivethroughs , replace the grass in parks with natural species, increase the amount of recycled material that is actually recycled (last I read maybe 19% is). Regarding new residential construction, the largest currently being serviced is on Elgin west of Brook Rd N, the site alterations there are tremendous. I don’t feel that is energy efficient or sustainable. Has the town ensured sustainable building practices there? If it’s too late there, what about along Brook Rd N when the further stages are built?
Let’s be honest though the hundreds/thousands more people eventually moving to Cobourg and hundreds of thousands to Canada will increase our carbon footprint and it will be increasingly difficult to reduce this.
To further focus on one point above: Develop a Community Energy Plan which includes a plan to reduce carbon emissions starting in 2025. Well I suppose it’s better late than never but seriously is this a novel idea?? There has been a sustainability committee in Cobourg for years, what did they accomplish, do they still exist? Shouldn’t reducing carbon emissions, increasing recycling, planting native plants been on the radar years ago? Well as I said better late then never…..

cornbread
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

Perhaps we should have much more logging in Canada and re-forestation. Just look at the carbon footprint this year with 7.5 million acres going up in smoke. More lumber at lower cost…more houses being built.
The Cobourg ICSP is a waste of money and time…Counci & Staff…just do your basic job for the people of Cobourg.

Judy
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

Carbon emissions have been on the agenda for a long time in Cobourg. The first greenhouse gas inventory and Climate Action Plan was done in 2010 and the Town spent $98K on converting to smaller vehicles and putting solar on the pool in Victoria Park in 2011. But then things went dormant except for the beginning of Go Green Together in 2007 helping deliver envionmental government and utilty programs to the community.

The Sustainability and Climate Emergency Advisory Committee got the Town to pass a Climate Emergency Declaration in 2019 and Sustainable Cobourg which began in 2008 lobbied for a sustainability plan those years and a County-wide environmental group called Blue Dot Northumberland began and so did Community Power Northumberlandduring that time. Community actions led to a second greenhouse gas inventory and a Town of Cobourg Climate Action Plan 2020 to 2050.This led to $300K spent on 3 plans – one to establish Green Development Standards to make all the new housing developments in Cobourg more energy efficient soon to come forward for public review and a low-income neighbourhood retrofit report on how to fund major local retrofits to bring housing up to standard for the 21st century extreme weather conditions and save resident money through efficiency improvements which would be mandated and supported with public funding and through energy savings achieved. And third, the broader sustainability report [ICSP] to guide the strategic plan for the next 4 years.

Community Power Northumberland, after being forced to stop building more rooftop solar projects by the Conservative Government sold their holdings and are using the $700K plus funds to help fund sustainability projects across Northumberland from protecting threatened turtles in Warkworth to supporting initiatives in electric vehicle charging and other community environmental initiatives. Google and join one of these groups to make your voice part of the solution.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Judy
7 months ago

I read over your list of committees and groups detailed above trying to remember which one I attended several years ago. I can’t remember if it was go green together in 2007 or sustainable Cobourg in 2008. Regardless, after I attended a few meetings, I heard almost no concrete suggestions, none, and I decided it was a waste of my time, particularly after I suggested some of the ideas in my previous post of which none were acted on.
While I do read a few concrete suggestions above let’s examine some in detail. In 2011 the town converted to some smaller vehicles yet massive ice ( internal combustion engines) city buses have been driving around empty for years. What were the monetary benefits of the solar panels on the pool at Victoria Park? What were the financial benefits of the other solar panels installed? What is the life of these panels? What type of products are used to build panels? How are they recycled? What exactly are environmental government and utility programs? I read an awful lot of plans being prepared in your post but I want more action and measurable results.
As far as more ev charging stations most ev owners have no concept of the environmental costs of driving an ev. What products are used in making a battery and the rest of the vehicle? Let’s talk about the mining required to obtain minerals. How are batteries recycled? What is the cost of a new battery? We drive diesel vehicles that have the best emissions controls available and get amazing fuel consumption. No intention of limping around in an ev, searching for a station that works and/or is not occupied. And yes I am very environmentally conscious: I use no plastic bags, I have rain barrels, plant native species, pick up litter and ride bikes everywhere.
The town should pick a couple actions such as planting native plants and banning drive throughs and focus there and actually accomplish something measurable. No more useless plans.

Judy
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

Well both groups were just getting started in 2007-2008 so its a little early to judge in my opinion. Please join us now.

With regard to the big lumbering empty buses the Town has converted to shuttles and on-demand service, However, the contractor Century bus line can’t seem to find enough drivers and the hours of operation have been cut and the service is not as fast as it should be as a result. Also, Public Works are waiting for new shuttles they have ordered which will be replaced with electric vehicles in a few years time.

With regard to the Y pool in Victoria Park, the cost of the roof top solar water heater to heat the pool was around $15,000 if I recall. It replaced a gas heater.

Your other questions on solar panels and EV’s I will take up another time.

JimT
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

The biggest opportunity we have by far in recycling is to “recycle” the Golden Plough Lodge into interim housing for those that need it.
Everything else is miniscule by comparison.

Kyle
Reply to  JimT
7 months ago

Who are you going to pay to be the “ringmaster” after you have”recycled” the Golden Plough into “interim housing? The $1 you paid for it would turn into a millions of dollars mess. First to maintain it then to clean it up after it has been destroyed.

Kevin
Reply to  Kyle
7 months ago

“Recycling” the Golden Plow is consistent with several of the action items. Sure there is a cost but much less of a cost than all the planning and building a new building. That is assuming there is a need. Action item 2 in the list is to collect residential inputs. Do we really need to collect inputs to know if there is a need for housing? This morning I noticed somebody cut and removed pieces of ground wire (for scrap copper?) from the poles on my street. A desperate thing to do, possibly by a desperate person in need of support or a jail cell.

Judy
Reply to  Kyle
7 months ago

It is the responsibility of the County of Northumberland Social Services department to look after homeless residents. The County covers shelter costs for several places around and warming rooms and they would be right beside the Golden Plough. How convenient would that be! Cobourg would be providing the building once it is upgraded with help and grants to make it energy efficient.

Judy
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
7 months ago

Some of your suggestions are good in my view — all schools should recycle, St. Mary’s secondary has for about 20 years and many public schools do as well. They have waste-free lunch, in other words you have to bring it home. Cobourg [East] has been a problem for years and both their student environment committee which does it now and both Go Green Together, the Town Environmental Advisory Committee and Sustainable Cobourg tried to get the principal and the school board to act since about 2006! St. Mary’s had a custodian who held an assembly every September with the Gr. 9s to teach them how to recycle properly and he went around the school neighbourhood putting out cans for litter and even developed special carts to recycle in the cafeteria that included a can to dump liquids.

The Town’s environmental advisory committee tackled idling in 2009 but instead of a bylaw which is hard to enforce it was to be an education campaign and some signs. All of this did peter out a year or so later. Port Hope did it too. Hybrid and electric cars don’t idle so the problem will be reduced as soon as new gas and diesel vehicles are no longer sold in 2035 and start to disappear.

The ICSP calls for more park naturalization and the Ganaraska Regional Conservation Authority has already naturalized James Cockburn Park mainly to help with potential flooding of the two branches of Cobourg Creek.

Waste diversion was around 47% but with new source separation in 2019 of paper from metal, plastic and glass contamination levels have dropped substantially. The green bin in 2020 is also making a difference diverting organics into compost instead of landfill. It reduces the number of garbage tags you need in a year as well. Toxics, electronics and paints are diverted too.

The new recycling system from the Ford government starting next year, run by companies instead of the municipality will remain the same as before for the first two years and then groups of like companies can set up their own methods. I am on the fence as to whether this will improve the recycling rate in the province.

The Green Development Standards in the ICSP are to make new housing energy efficient and bring them up to higher efficiency; 15% for houses built now to 25% for houses built in 4 years, to net zero ready for new houses built in 8 years to net zero in 12 years [2035] Included along with energy efficiency is fresh air and HEPA filtered air exchangers and many other improvements.