Greenrock is proud to be one of the four charities selected by End-to-End to benefit from this year’s fundraising drive. This support will go a long way to supporting our environmental education programmes for the 2017-2018 school year. The monies raised will be used specifically for our Eco-Schools and Young Reporters for the Environment programmes.

Greenrock is joined in this by the Adult Education School, Age Concern and Raleigh as the other charities benefitting this year. Additionally, a fifth charity has the opportunity to receive up to $30,000 through this year’s People’s Choice Special Anniversary Award. Charities that may win this are YouthNet, BUEI, Society for the Blind and the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

We invite all of our supporters to sign up for this year’s End to End – it helps Greenrock and four other great charities!

Organising and related activities are gathering pace for Earth Hour 2017, to be held this year on Saturday, March 25th.

This year, we will be holding Earth Hour at City Hall, and during the day we will be hosting a Living Green Expo on the grounds of City Hall, featuring local green businesses. Live entertainment will begin the evening in the run-up to Earth Hour itself, which starts at 8:30pm. At the start of Earth Hour we will start our 5k Glow Fun Walk & Run throughout the City, beginning and ending at City Hall.

The registration website for the 5k Glow Fun Walk & Run is now open, for both individual and corporate teams – please sign up now!

We still need volunteers for Earth Hour, particularly for road marshals. Want to help out? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. now!

As February comes to an end here at Greenrock, we are busy with organising Earth Hour on March 25th, as well as our regular workload. February is also the start of the Budget debate, and we will be carefully reviewing the Budget and resulting debate to see what, if any, sustainability aspects there are in it.

In environmental matters globally, there is an interesting shift going on where discourse appears to be increasingly shifting from the concept of ‘sustainability’ to that of ‘resilience’. While this shift began over a decade ago, with the 2004 UN report ‘Living with Risk, it has more recently begun to eclipse the concept of sustainability.

While the two terms are often used interchangeably at the moment, conceptually they have two very different meanings. Resilience implies being best able to withstand global climate change and its related crises, whereas sustainability seeks to avoid these crises altogether and ensure a sustainable development for humanity and our planet, rather than a ‘survival of the fittest’ social and economic Darwinism. 

This leads to an interesting question for those of us committed to a more sustainable world – and in particular a more sustainable Bermuda. Do we want sustainability or do we want resilience – what is it that we should be working for?

Although it is true that we do want a Bermuda that is resilient in the face of climate change and its crises – Greenrock has long been calling for an urgent focus on ‘climate-proofing’ our island’s infrastructure – we do not feel that we should limit ourselves to a resilience only position. Resilience isn’t a solution – it’s a necessary precaution for the short-term. And from our perspective a focus on sustainability is the only viable approach to ensure the resilience of all, including future generations and the biosphere.

Greenrock will continue to work for a sustainable Bermuda - sustainability remains core to Greenrock’s focus and actions.

The Bad

It’s official – 2016 is now the hottest year on record, with data from NASA and the UK Met Office showing global temperatures were 0.07c higher than the previous record breaking year. Which was 2015.

This makes 2016 the third year in a row to break global temperature records.

Unfortunately, this will unlikely come as a surprise to any readers of our newsletter over the last twelve months, where monthly temperature records were consistently broken and written about here – and scientists were predicting as early as the spring of 2016 that it was likely going to be a record breaking year.

With the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, it is not clear what the fate for the Paris Agreement will be – President Trump having been critical of climate chance science, to the point of calling a hoax. Since his inauguration we have seen the removal of climate change from the White House’s website, and revelations of plans to ‘reform’ the way the Environmental Protection Agency uses science. 

What is clear is that President Trump will likely roll back environmental regulations in the USA, and remove the USA from global treaties on climate change – or at the very least reduce commitments under them. This is a worrying time for environmentalists and everyone concerned about the impact of climate change this century.

The Good

Fortunately it’s not all doom and gloom on the climate change front.

In Scotland, the Climate Change Act has continued to see successes, with the Scotland realising their 2020 goal, of reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 42% (of 1990 levels), six years early in 2014. This has led to a revised 2032 goal of reducing GHG emissions by 66% for 2030.

While there are valid criticisms to be made about the Scottish climate change plan, what it does show is the importance of a Climate Change Act to set out clear targets and a pathway to realising them.

And in India, a step forward in carbon capturing technology has been made, with carbon emitted from a coal-fired thermal power station being successfully converted into baking soda. While we support a transition away from fossil fuels altogether, this development is still welcome news.

In other good news, the cost of renewable energy has continued to decrease, with the Canadian Globe and Mail reporting that utility-scale solar and land-based wind power are now competitive with both coal and natural gas – with the trends indicating that the renewables will get even cheaper over the next few years.

Earlier this month we learned about a public meeting being held by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to discuss the results of their Glyphosate Monitoring Study.

This study evaluated the exposure risks from Glyphosate use, and looked at the human health risks involved, looking at:

  • -       Groundwater, pond water and potable water;
  • -       Soil and sediments;
  • -       Air samples; and
  • -       Foodstuffs from supermarket shelves.

This report concluded that the human health risks from Glyphosate use were within safe limits, and recommended the lifting on the ban on using Glyphosate that was introduced in May 2015.

Here at Greenrock we took the opportunity to review the report and conclusions developed by the Government, and consulted the relevant literature and evidence base concerning Glyphosate.

We reached the conclusion that the study in itself was insufficient to justify lifting the ban on its use, citing concerns in particular about the need to consider Glyphosate’s impacts from a wider environmental impact rather than a purely human health impact.

Of particular concern to us was the lack of consideration about the impact on bee populations.

We released a position paper on our concerns and urged our supporters and members to attend the public meeting to voice concerns, as well as to write to MPs and the Minister to urge the ban on glyphosate to be maintained.

The public meeting was well attended (standing room only) and Greenrock were pleased by the Minister’s announcement that he will not be lifting the ban for the immediate time being.

While we welcome the decision to maintain the ban on glyphosate for the time being, Greenrock will remain vigilant – and we ask that all those concerned with the potential reintroduction to write to their MPs and the Ministry.

The Ministry will also be collecting questions concerning their study and glyphosate generally – we ask that you take advantage of this and email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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