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What’s up with Climate Change: 6 things to consider for 2015

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Climate Math: 3 Critical Numbers You Should Know

For a brief but terrifying overview of basic climate math start here. What you need to know is over 150 countries have signed on to the Copenhagen Accord, agreeing that the maximum warming we can tolerate is 2 degrees.

After that, things start to look like a bit like a post apocalyptic science fiction movie.  To stay below that 2 degree target means sticking to a budget of 565 Gigatons of fossil fuels we can burn. Based on what I am reading it appears we are going to burn through that budget in less than 20 yrs!

But that is not the scariest number you need to know. The amount of oil and gas already sitting on balance sheets of companies worldwide is 2795 Gigatons, five times the budget mentioned above.

So What? 6 Things To Consider For 2015

1) Replacements: Some nurseries are reporting record sales due in part to all the replacement plant material that did not make it through the 2014 ice storm last year.

While business may be booming for some, others have incurred extra costs of labour and materials replacing plants on warranty.

2) Warranty: Have a look at your warranty policy. Are you adding extra charges for this or offering the warranty and hoping everything will be fine?

Consider increasing the amount you expect to replace or making an extended warranty an extra option.

3) Change How You Build and Maintain the Landscape: Do you need to take a look at changing if/how you wrap plants in winter? What about how you build with mortar? Is it time to consider adopting practices that are standard in colder climates?

I spent the first month of the season repairing stones steps where the mortar had failed and stones were literally falling off the concrete base.

4) Change Materials: have you considered not using a plant you normally use a lot as it is not hardy enough to survive severe weather? What about buying locally sourced stock that has been grown in our area (see our topic for November). Or if you are really serious have you considered seed source certified plants?

I have replaced several Redbuds this year and discovered that even though it is a native plant many of them are grown in the united states.

5) Public backlash: think about how your customers will react to losing plants. Will some of them decide planting trees is too risky an investment? Make sure your messaging is strong about the benefits of trees.

6) Emergency Response Group – In 2011 Landscape Ontario stepped up and repaired the damage to St James Park after the Occupy movement protest. In 2014 Landscape Ontario again stepped up to the plate and offered our services to municipalities devastated by the ice storm.

In both cases it all started with a phone call and a flurry of emails to organize a response. Perhaps it is time to consider putting a system in place to better enable mobilizing our membership should the need arise again.

carbonbubble

 

Can You Say That Again?

Well now you are up to date on the basic climate numbers you need to know for dinner time conversation with family and friends.

I have started the conversation and asked some basic questions about how to deal with it in the immediate future. Consider your replacement and warranty policy, how you build your landscapes and what materials you use, think about reassuring clients if they are nervous about investing in trees and finally organize and adapt to changing conditions. If you have other suggestions add them in the comments section or tweet me @ecomandotca.

 

 

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