Bright Green Lies, or half truths?

The film Bright Green Lies is now out, purportedly “exposing the illusions of green technology”. It’s already getting front page coverage in newspapers. I’ll be watching it myself this weekend. But now I’ve received an open letter raising questions about this film. Is renewable energy really as bad as it’s being made to look here? Or, in effect, is it propaganda for the oil industry? Here’s the letter:

“To the producers of Bright Green Lies,

Your message about clean energy is clear. I’m not an energy expert so I certainly couldn’t say how balanced your arguments are. I imagine there are others who would argue this.

But, whether or not your criticisms are fair — the much bigger question is this.

Why would you choose to target renewable energy, when there are much greater villains? Opponents ranging from fossil fuel barons, to faceless investors, even to the countless many who every day choose to support car culture, air travel, mass consumption?

Why would you direct your anger against renewable energy — when the result of your work is almost certain to empower the fossil fuel industry?

Having seen the front page coverage of your film so far, I don’t think I’m speculating on this. I am deeply concerned that Bright Green Lies is already being used by oil companies to strengthen their arguments, and defend their interests.

Are you being used? By choosing the title and focus of your film, have you set yourself up to achieve the opposite of what you intend? Or worse still, have you already been used — just by the headlines alone — since most people who have seen the headlines will never see the film, nor hear the subtleties of your arguments. Are you doing a great injustice to the many who are trying to make positive change?

Are you using your voice for real change — or is it heading in a very different direction?”

Myself, I’ll be watching the film this weekend —maybe my concerns will be dispelled.

Watch the film for yourself at But beware that any documentary can be very persuasive by presenting selected facts and leaving out others. If this film leaves you feeling that renewable energy is a bad thing, I’d encourage you to look further. Renewable energy organizations may be offering counterpoints and rebuttals. For starters, Google “renewable energy Canada” or do a news search.

In the past, industry’s approach to diffusing the environmental movement has been “divide and conquer”. Let’s hope that’s not what’s happening here, and if it is, let’s not fall prey.

Grow food!

Grow for yourself, as a part-time or full-time job, learn, volunteer…

Whether you’re out of work, or would just like to get outside and pitch in, this is a great time to get growing! Options include your own backyard, neighbour’s backyards, community gardens, organic farms…

10 tips for great urban walking…

We all know how to put one leg in front of the other. But how many have really learned how to walk? Once you’ve mastered the tricks of the trade, walking is fun, great exercise and good for the environment.

(1) Time of day. Mornings can be ideal… it tends to have the bluest skies, and is the best time to enhance your circadian rythms, e.g. a good night’s sleep. But anytime is good, whatever works for you. Once or twice a day is ideal, but if you can’t do that, aim for every second day. Continue reading “10 tips for great urban walking…”

Don’t cage it, plant it!

What if we applied this philosophy to how we design our communities, our streets, our lives? So we don’t have to jump in an airplane to go somewhere beautiful? Continue reading “Don’t cage it, plant it!”

What if?

How to make the best of it…

👉 50 Ways to Stay Sane During the Pandemic, by Guy Dauncey
👉 Grow local, resilience

👉 Meaningful work / How to change careers | more
👉 Work in nature, environment, sustainability (jobs, internships, volunteering)
👉 Climate action:

All we have to decide…

Image: Joel Lee, CC some rights reserved.

In our time — the anthropocene — how many of us are doing what really matters? How will history remember you, me, all the others who denied or despaired? Bilbo & Frodo didn’t run away from what needed to be done, or sit around and blame everyone else. Models of action, against all odds — exactly what we need today. Shall we rise to the challenge?

Work for  Climate | Climate Strike | Climate Action.


Birds worth protecting…

“I share this photo every spring, of a Scarlet Tanager pair that I found on the ground by a neighbor’s glass door. It was spring, and he must have been chasing her (she’s the one with yellow plumage). They both hit the glass and died instantly.

ABC | FLAP Canada | more 

“I thought about the long journey these stunning neotropical migrants had made from their wintering grounds in South America, and all the challenges they’d overcome to return to their breeding grounds here in upstate NY. It just seemed heartbreaking and senseless for them to die this way.

Continue reading “Birds worth protecting…”

School Strikes for Climate

Students Strikes for Climate Action
Friday May 3, across Canada

Toronto: Toronto Queens Park, May 3, 12:30 – 2:30pm | Ongoing
Ottawa: Parliament Hill, May 3, 11am – 3pm | Ongoing 

Many more locations:

Facebook |  #FridaysForFuture | #SchoolStrike4Climate | #ClimateStrike

Fridays worldwide: (2) | #FridaysForFuture 

More info, organizations, volunteering:

An eco-friendly Christmas?

Shopping frenzy to show our love?

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and togetherness. For many it’s a happy, joyous time of year. But it’s also a time when we drive around madly, feeling obliged to shop for everyone on our list. Each year we also use millions of plastic bags, throw out tonnes of packaging and food, and try to buy just about everything in sight.

Is this good for us? Our children? Are there better ways to show our love for each other and the world?

Continue reading “An eco-friendly Christmas?”

Ottawa tornado: one month later

This is what climate change looks like.

This was a healthy tree. And behind it? That was an apartment building.

True, you can’t prove that this specific tornado was caused by climate change. But there’s an abundance of evidence that climate change is causing more frequent and severe extreme weather events — and that climate change is caused primarily by humans. So while we can’t prove this tornado was entirely caused by climate change, the chances are pretty good it would have been less powerful or occurred somewhere else. 1600 homes damaged or destroyed. So the next time you hop on an airplane, or choose fossil fuels over solar or pedal power: think again. What are you doing to your neighbours, your children, maybe even yourself? This is what climate change looks like. We all need to kick the fossil-fuel habit as best we can!

More: Ottawa tornado | How to help (more) | Climate change action

Continue reading “Ottawa tornado: one month later”