This has been a busy year for those of us concerned about our environment. Among many other developments, the Jumbo Resort was approved, hearings are moving ahead on the Enbridge Pipeline, and the federal government has weakened protection for the environment. At the same time, drought and floods have struck all around us, with fatal consequences.

What can we do in the face of so much change? How can we plan or prepare for the future when it is so uncertain? One approach is to develop a series of contingency plans based on different scenarios, and I’m happy to say that EcoSociety’s Conservation Committee will be looking at ecosystem management in the context of climate change in the next year. Another important approach is to develop what I call our community capital – that is, our base of resources and abilities that allow us to adapt to changing conditions, take advantage of new opportunities, and work together.

Community capital includes things like savings accounts, resources and “hard” infrastructure. It also includes our relationships with each other, our ability to solve problems, and our capacity for collaborating toward a future that we can all enjoy. These skills will help us when things get easier and when conditions get more difficult.

One of the ways we can develop these skills is to get together and practice them. EcoSociety’s Outreach and Education Committee has put together a wonderful series of Conversation Cafés to start talking about some of our thorniest problems. We don’t expect solutions to emerge from these get-togethers (although that would sure be nice!), but we do hope that we can all begin to develop a better understanding of our community and each others’ needs and interests.

I hope you’ll join us for one or all of these conversations. I’m sure they will be rich and engaging, and they may even change your perspective.



David Reid, Executive Director


November 22 – Sustainable Affordable Housing: Is it Possible?

January 19 – Forestry for the Future: Seeing the Trees for the Forest

Feb 7 – Kootenay Lake: Working together to protect a treasure

February 15 – Energy Self-Sufficiency: Tar Sands and Site C vs. Conservation

April 9 – Regional Food Systems: Is Self-Sufficiency Possible

May 7 – Becoming a Zero-Waste Community