Gabriola Talks – The Climate Crisis

The Climate Crisis Discussion, September 29, 2019

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, 120 participants poured into the Community Hall for the first discussion of the topic chosen as most pressing at the previous Gabriola Talks discussion in late May. About a third of the participants took up the ‘green’ transportation challenge and either walked, cycled, rode Gertie or carpooled to the hall.

GT Links
Intro to event by Elder Geraldine Manson

Elder Geraldine Manson welcomed the participants to the ancestral lands of the Snuneymuxw, spoke about the role they have had in caring for the land, water, and sky in their Territory and offered a prayer for guidance in our discussions. Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley, the facilitator, then outlined what the session would cover. The session began with an overview on GHG emissions and their causes by Steven Earle. Click here to view the presentation.

Then participants at each table, aided by their moderators, tackled two main questions. The first was, “What is currently being done on Gabriola that could be built on?” Posters around the walls outlined briefly what a number of local organizations are already doing. The second question had three parts and participants could decide whether they wanted to discuss all three parts or just one or two: “What can community organizations do? What can local businesses do? What can local government do?” Moderators took notes and the participants ranked their suggestions for reporting back.

Climate Crisis Discussion

At the conclusion of the discussions at each table, participants were asked to fill out a commitment card with some actions they were prepared to undertake.

The Commitment Cards

About 100 of the 120 participants filled out commitment cards.

What is a commitment card?

A commitment card provides participants in a community forum with an opportunity to record the action or actions they are prepared to undertake individually to forward the work that has been discussed so as to achieve certain objectives. It is a public declaration insofar as the organizers of the forum will witness the commitment made by reading the card and, if given permission, may follow up with the participant at a later date to find out what progress has been made on achieving the objective(s).

What did the participants commit to?

About 60% of the commitments involved either food or transportation, often both. Other areas of concern were education, energy, plastics, involvement in local organizations and/or lobbying.

Participant Commitments

Here is a representative sample:


  • use bike or scooter more often
  • bike or walk to the village
  • ride Gertie more often (even if it takes more time)
  • commute with Gertie to work
  • reduce vehicle use
  • plan before driving
  • rethink travel
  • save up for an electric bike


  • buy more local food
  • increase own food production
  • expand winter garden
  • increase eating seasonally
  • eat less red meat


  • educate self and others
  • participate in collective actions to fight climate change
  • lobby businesses or governments for changed practices or regulations
  • install solar panels
  • learn more about local organizations
  • volunteer
  • buy less plastic and plastic packaging
  • stop buying from Amazon

How are you doing with your commitments?

If you filled out a commitment card, how are you doing? Share your successes or struggles with us at and we’ll post your stories.

Can’t remember what you committed to? Contact us at and we’ll check your card for you.

Thank you

A draw for the ‘green’ transportation raffle prize brought the event to a close. Myles Ruggles won the draw prize.

The Gabriola Talks Working Group would like to thank all of the participants, the table moderators, and our sponsors:

  • Island Futures and Sustainable Gabriola

Draw prize: Heart Healthy Pet Treats, GALTT, Glean Cleaner, GERTIE, Dyan and Katharine.