Getting With The Plan

“Plans for mitigating the effects of climate change are generally straightforward: they look at ways to increase efficiency, transition to clean energy and improve heating, insulation and transport. In doing so, they are likely to result in financial savings or health benefits for the municipality, and the public. For example, more low-emission vehicles on the road doesn’t just mean less carbon emissions – it also means better air quality for the city’s residents.”
See We Examined 885 European Cities’ Plans To Tackle Climate Change — Here’s What We Found
OK, a plan for what you know is coming makes sense. What are my local cities’ plans?

  • Winnipeg – Thousands have participated in a consultative approach to making a plan. There’s no actual plan yet, but it’s happening
  • Selkirk – Just words so far…

This just shows that whatever the plans and initiatives of government it’s easier to get things started locally, like in your yard. Do you have an EV yet? Do you have solar panels up? How many trees have you planted? Are bees, birds and butterflies getting what they need in your yard? You can take care of most of those with or without support from local politicians but the more citizens you get interested in dealing with climate change, the easier it will be to get your politicians at any level to fall in line. For what are you waiting?

Some of my initiatives:

  • I’ve made a deposit on a Solo EV.
  • I’ve found suppliers of tree seeds (Schumacher, and TreeSeeds) to keep my costs down while my number of trees goes up. It’s best to grow trees in pots for a couple of years at least to increase survival. My caraganas are beginning to bloom. Lilacs, apples and cherries maybe next year (UPDATE: two cherries were badly chewed by hares but the one they missed is in FLOWER!!!). We are using tough trees to break the winter wind for more delicate species and provide shade and a windbreak for our home. You can have too many trees but we are not close to that limit yet…
  • My wife shops at end-of-season sales of garden-centres to buy nice trees at little more than the cost of the pots. These are often root-bound and need lots of care to survive.
  • I have made three bird-houses. Demand exceeds supply.
  • Our home uses passive solar and geothermal heating to cut the cost of heating a large house to about what a small house costs.

Trees I recommend for my area just north of Winnipeg:

  • Hackberry – If you like Winnipeg’s elms which are being decimated by Dutch Elm Disease, you’ll love hackberry. It looks and grows much the same but when it matures it grows berries instead of winged seeds. It’s very tough. The one I have growing in my yard is just now swelling its buds unlike those foolish other trees risking late frosts. It grows slowly so start soon.
  • Nanking Cherry and other sour cherries – These are very tough but yield edible fruit after a few years growing. Protect them from rabbits who love the bark when food is scarce in winter.
  • Lilac and caragana – These will grow on just about anything but soggy ground and bees love the flowers and so do I.
  • Many kinds of apple and plums – Even Macintosh apples will grow here but lose top growth over the winter. Get a few from a garden centre to keep you fed and make pies and applesauce. Stock up on cinnamon.
  • Grapes – need several years to get going but the fruit and juice are worth it. They are very productive even on rather limestone-filled soil. I have some growing on the edge of the backfilled gravel near my house.
  • Cedars, like Thuja occidentalis – beautiful and functional. They need adequate water especially to cover dry spells. Protect from sun and wind in winter if in an exposed area.
  • Red maple and some sugar maples – give brilliant red colour in the fall and sweet sap in spring.
  • Dogwoods, especially Cornus sibirica, provide bright red stems to contrast with the snow in winter and provide food for grouse. Amen.
  • Virginia creeper – Covers and shades just about anything and can survive even exposed to winter winds.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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