I'm really pleased today to have my small organization honoured by our mayor in Sarnia. Just last night I was meeting with another key member with suggestions on how to re-energize our group. I gave a talk to the local environmental community in August on how to increase its effectiveness.
Every year, the Sarnia mayor's honour list gives special recognition to individuals and groups who don't normally get much, but make a good impact in the community. This is a boost to our efforts and to strengthen the work done in Sarnia to shift it to an environmental stronghold.

"Sarnia Environmental Activists, a group that had pushed for a pesticide control bylaw and against Highway 402 emissions."

Here's the full list of those honoured ~ Congrats to all:


Christmas is a perfect opporunity to think about people in need in your community and around the world. What a perfect excuse to purchcase a gift of a charitable donation. Or to buy something fair trade or organic or locally made, or something you make yourself or do as a service. Or give someone you don't know something they need.

I'm inspired by a friend who's decided to gather a couple others and spend his day visiting elderly people who don't have any friends to talk to. Delivering a card and a smile. They don't need material things at this time of year. Just a little time.
I consider acts like these to be community-building; sustainability - seeing a need and filling it. What can I do like this over the holidays?

Merry Christmas.


so emo!


The campus climate action movement is really heating up.
It's unfortunate this didn't happen 10 years ago.
But things are moving and we have to pick up the pace and reduce our carbon footprint.



There's a lot of drowsy people in Sarnia today.
Maybe tens of thousands heard the explosion, or from my house several kms away, a loud but distant roar.
I went to sleep not knowing if people were safe, or if this might be the big one.
Just knew from radio that there was an explosion at Imperial Oil, and no one was telling us much more than to shelter-in-place (stay put and don't let scary outside air into your house).
But awoke to CTV and CBC news covering the story across the country.
Apparently no health risks due to the hydrocarbon burning.
More importantly though, their operations overall were barely affected.

This is approximately what I would have seen from my house if I could have been a little higher.
Interesting the potentially dangerous situation that police, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs must put themselves in by being placed nearby.


I just watched a rare Stephen Harper press conference.
He sounded worse than Bush, like a denier of science when he spoke of climate change in terms of "so-called greenhouse gases" and mentioned Canadian citizens' concerns about toxins as "perceived heath risks".


...on an unrelated but equally frightening note :) two people I helped set up in high school are going to get married. Maybe I should get paid to do this?


Darcy can't wait for Little Mosque on the Prairie on CBC!


Last night I attended an award dinner for (ten) top student volunteers at UW. The President’s Circle Award for Volunteerism was started in 1997 by the previous UW President after speaking with an extraordinary student about what she did with her time. The thought came up at that time: sounds like a more than 24 hour day. Many are familiar with this lifestyle.

The award is a great way, as David Johnston said, to honour student leaders and volunteers. It is a pleasant occasion to feel recognized for your time and often challenging work that no one is making you do. However, of course, the award is somewhat subjective and can’t possibly recognize every student who deserves such distinction and thanks. Congrats to everyone who was nominated!

It can be tough to balance volunteering, or work with clubs and societies or broader activism, with everyday life. I want to applaud everyone who’s put in the hours, who’s led in different ways on and off campus.

You know who you are …Thanks for your work.

My friend mentioned the other day the busyness of the student lifestyle – the need to take care of oneself before problems arise. Something often tends to give when we get this busy, whether it’s grades, health (fitness level, diet, illness, mental health), a clean living environment, or relationships or social life.

A deep breath (as in a relaxing day) here and there can be great. Actually, I saw a high school friend from Laurier on the train today, and she decided to go home for just a night to get in some R&R.

Good luck on exams!

Take care of yourself and have some fun.


I'm going to miss Janet Yip who died earlier this week.
It's such a shock to have a friend the same age pass away. Especially someone like Janet, an incredible, active, committed, beautiful young woman.

We had a lot in common - Buddhism, a Green, activism in her faculty and WPIRG; she was a witty, funny person.

I will remember her advice and wisdoms - quirky and intelligent.
She was one of those engineering students who didn't mind hanging out with my ES crew. She enjoyed different experiences, and brought people together.

Should make us want to work doubly hard to work for the peaceful, ecological world Janet was trying to build.
Life doesn't make sense sometimes. I guess life and death just happen.