Climate change symposium looks at local actions

The Davies Student Centre at Trinity College School was the site of a productive brainstorming session on October 8th, in partnership with the Municipality of Port Hope and McMaster University. “Climate Change in Port Hope: Realities, Resources and Remedies” drew 50 members of the community to learn from Dr. Gail Krantzberg, to hear from climate action leaders, and to put forward priorities.

Dr. Krantzberg’s practical keynote address focused on the climate change effects the municipality will need to mitigate and adapt to, including increased severe storms, increased river flooding, increased drought, changing Lake Ontario levels and spreading pests. In the coming years, the town will need to renew infrastructure, adapt land use planning, regenerate contaminated properties, be innovative with agricultural practices, develop further tools for public engagement and seek strategies to help unlock additional funding support.

Following Dr. Krantzberg’s presentation, the symposium heard from local panelists including Alison Elliott, TCS environmental coordinator; Pam Lancaster, Ganaraska Conservation technician; George Kallonakis, founder of Olympus Burger; and Dan Fraleigh, founder of Carbon Zero. A common theme in each of their talks was the need to take responsibility for our actions now in order to ensure a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.

When the participants began brainstorming in their breakout groups, there was energetic discussion and many priorities put forward to the municipality. The consensus in the room seemed to be that there are many innovative ways the town can move forward in planning climate action and many groups who can come together to support a shared vision of resilience.

- By Alison Elliott, TCS environmental coordinator