View up the Northwest Arm, early morning, Sept 25, 2020.
Bookending this week with pictures of my daily commute, which is quite a pleasure these days. It’s not just the lower traffic with people working at home, though that is nice, it’s that I’ve finally been able to get back to commuting on foot. The Halifax Regional Municipality changed the buffer distance for students to qualify for bussing this year down to 1.6 kms this year – we are 1.7 km from the school. So instead of spending 80 minutes in the car a day, waiting in long lineups to get through the bottlenecks at the Armdale Rotary and feeling like part of the problem, I’m spending 80 minutes walking, in part along the lovely and narrow Northwest Arm. The above is a view of the Arm from that self-same Rotary, harder to appreciate when jockeying traffic. I wonder how many other families could be using more active transportation if bussing were more widely available?
Esa Fahlen at an actual dam removal in Sweden as part of a Dam Removal Europe Webinar, Canada Day, 2020.
An interesting way to spend Canada Day morning is tuning into a Dam Removal webinar for practitioners from Dam Removal Europe. The real draw for me was the fact that they are crossing regularly to a live dam removal happening on the Marieberg Power Plant in the Mörrumsån river, Sweden. The removal is a collaboration with a power company, Uniper. Great panelists from the UK, France, US, Sweden as well as from the US where there is such a long history of dam removal. Good to see some discussion of sometimes contrasting cultural values as well as generous sharing of errors that advocates have learned along the way.
I award a symbolic Master’s to Jessica Kern in the digital SRES graduation ceremony today (virtual skirts are the only kind I have).
The last week saw a bunch of firsts that showed me that we’re all getting pretty good at this online thing. An online graduation ceremony was held this afternoon for our amazing SRES graduates (MREM and MES); what a delight to see everyone again. A three-day retreat held last week for ResNet was similarly effective and downright fun. While the transition wasn’t easy, and of course the reason a real drag, I feel like we may have found some new ways of doing things that have some real benefits.
One of a few screens of faces for ResNet’s first AGM and online retreat.
Morning walk on the Northwest Arm, with companion boy.
Nine weeks into isolation, sequestered at home with family, has been a mix of pleasure and pain. One of the nicer bits has been morning walks with my kids on nice days, skipping stones and finding modest treasure. This last is hard to come by on the armored shore around Regatta Point, but the place still holds some mysteries, particularly during very low-tide days. Revealed are old stumps, wooden culverts, rusted equipment and runaway items from the yacht club opposite. Add in the keening and clattering of the weather-wrapped yachts on a windy day, which is downright eerie, and it’s kid heaven.
Lots to find at low tide in Melville Cove
A tiny mine tantalizes the mind.
I will be joining Scott Skinner, Clean Foundation President & CEO, for the next OERA Online Exchange on April 8, 3-4 AST, to discuss “How will COVID-19 change our energy future: A perspective on GHG emissions and climate change?“. Just polishing up my crystal ball…
Later update: OERA has made an audio recording available here and a Vimeo recording here.