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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
CANADA V9E 2B9
Tel (250) 881-1304
www.earthfuture.com

Executive director of The Solutions Project

 

Newsletter No. 118 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - July/Aug 2002


THE CHILDREN SPEAK

All over the Earth, people want more food, bigger houses, bigger cars, and more consumer goods. And yet with every bite we take, we take another bite out of nature.

A new study by the California based Redefining Progress shows that humanity's demand for resources has soared during the past 40 years to a level where it will take the planet 1.2 years to regenerate what we remove each year. If Planet Earth was a corporation, we would have driven it into bankruptcy. And still we go on wanting more.

At a time like this, where do we look to find leadership? To the Earth Summit, that’s coming up this August? Maybe – but we also need to look to our children. It is they who will inherit the mess we leave behind, and live with the scarcity, bewilderment, poverty and loss that we are causing.

In May, 400 children aged 10 – 12 from around the world met in Victoria at the International Children’s Conference on the Environment. At the end of the conference, they issued a challenge to the governments and the people of the world, which two of them will take to Johannesburg. Here, with minimal editing, are their words to our governments:

WATER

* Be good environmental role models for everyone.

* Conserve water by promoting the use of organic farming, redesigning fuels so that they don’t pollute water, collecting rainwater for drinking and watering gardens, encouraging the use of technologies that help purify and conserve water, and supporting environmental groups.

* Use solar aquatic sewage treatment.

* Create more environmental projects and contests for kids.

* Ensure that people from developing countries all have access to clean

drinking water, and that it is shared equally.

* Put in place stronger laws and penalties against industries, individuals and corporations that pollute water. Fines should be put in place and the money should go towards cleaning up the water.

CLIMATE CHANGE

* Sign the Kyoto Protocol.

* Ban and create laws against CFCs and other toxic chemicals.

* Stop war. Return the environment to what it was 300 years ago.

* Support the use of alternative transportation such as biking, walking, public transportation and car pooling, instead of driving; limit the use of gas cars, make idling for more than five minutes illegal, and limit the number of cars per family.

* Make clear cut logging illegal and if you do log, plant two trees for every tree you cut down.

* Give money for research on electric cars, alternative energy and eco-friendly products and technology.

* Limit the number of factories in a city and fine cities that have too many. Close all industries for one day a year and penalize industries that use fossil fuels.

* Use greener energy like solar, wind, biomass and hydrogen. Ban non-green energy like fossil fuels.

* Have more recycling and composting programs.

HEALTHY CHILDREN, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES

* Help developing communities to be healthier, to work together, and to focus on leadership.

* Forgive the debts of developing countries.

* Promote health care and vaccinations for all children of the world.

* Have International Friendship and Multicultural Days.

* Make a lane for bikes and roller blades so that people can exercise without using cars.

* Have clean, healthy plants, animals and parks. Clean up slums.

* Incorporate environmental education into the school curriculum. Encourage clean-ups and more involvement in environmental issues.

* Stop child labour in harsh conditions (sweat shops and chemical factories).

* Make stricter laws on the environment and the use of landmines.

* Keep your community clean and children healthy by not using pesticides and herbicides.

RESOURCE CONSERVATION

* Create more efficient cars, limit how much fossil fuels we use, and limit the drilling of oil.

* Tax people who waste non-renewable resources.

* Find more sources of energy and use what we have more efficiently.

* Invent solar energy, use bio-degradable products; use buses, subways or carpools, and give tax breaks for environmentally friendly products.

And finally, again:

* Listen to each other, especially children.

Signed – The Children


ECONEWS

AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)A monthly newsletter, funded by your donations, that dreams of a Vancouver Island and a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community & the joys of deep fulfillment.

May June July
Circulation: 2100 2100 2000
By Email: 1211 1240 1237
Print & Post: $834 $837 $840
Editorial: $250 $250 $250
Donations: $1098 $755 You?
Advertising: $125 $110
Balance: $1203 $981

A big thankyou to Donna Tone, Katie Bloomfield, Cecilie Davidson, Elizabeth Loutit, William Draper, Maureen McArdell, Wayne Madden, Freda Milburn, Doug Seeley, Marilee Goheen, Fran & Bill Ashwell, David Wolsk, Elke Schlufter, Michael Balderston, Seymour Treiger, Susan Holvenstot, Diana Morris, Birgit Bateman, & Bristol Foster. Your kindness is much appreciated.

Many thanks to Dan Rubin & Jessica Hawryshyn for running the EcoNews EarthDay booth; to Ian Barclay for doing the address labels and Joanna Wilkinson for prepping the envelopes; and to all who help at the EcoNews mailout parties!

Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria, BC, V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send stamped addressed envelope.


THE ECO-CORNER

$5/line (non-profits & low-income free) 1" box ad $35, $2" box ad $65

* For Sale – 1 acre riverfront property. 3 BR home, 5’ from downtown Duncan, 40’ commute to Victoria. Renovated basement suitable for home business or studio. Hot tub, pond, permaculture-inspired organic garden, with small orchard. $209,000. Call 250-748-6850.

* The Victoria Butterfly Count needs keen-eyed volunteers, July 20th & 21st, Aug 17th & 18th. Jeff 381-7248.

* The Compost Education Centre is offering a Children's Summer Program, weekdays 9–3pm. $25/group for 1/hrprogram. 386-WORM.

* Eco-Pioneers wanted to establish a car-free cohousing eco-community in 17 acres of cedar forest just outside Tofino. Capital needed, plus leadership, adventure and a desire to build a living community. Call Mary 250-754-1321. See www.earthfuture.com/talkingcedars

* The Wild Garden Party - volunteers wanted to help with the display, Flower & Garden Festival, July 12th–14th. Call Susan 361-3122

* Accommodation needed by Aug 1st. After a lifetime of helping, I need to find a sunny, peaceful, quiet sanctuary that fits my meagre housing budget of $325/mo. I deeply appreciate nature and its rejuvenating qualities. No basements please. Valerie Hawkins, 704-0103

* Esquimalt Lagoon. Royal Roads University and the Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative are doing a visitor survey to develop a recreation plan for the lagoon; we need volunteer help during July. Call Tara 360-3066.

* Free trees! Peninsula Streams has been given thousands of Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Yellow Cedar, Sitka Spruce and Red Alder by Arbutus Grove Nursery, which are available for all types of restoration projects. Can be kept by refrigeration or planted in pots until fall planting. Must be moved ASAP. Mary Steel steelm@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca 363-6480

* CRD Parks seeks volunteers to educate visitors about our local flora and fauna. Also Volunteer Visitor Use Surveyors, Wardens and Naturalists, July - September. Call Laesha Berry 478-3344 lberry@crd.bc.ca


Share Organics

More than just an Organic Produce Box
Join us in nurturing local food production
* Supporting local organic farmers
* Farmers in Transition to organics
* Fair Trade Products

www.shareorganics.bc.ca 595-6729


FREE YOUR VOTE

Free Your Vote – the Great Citizens Initiative to reform BC’s voting system. Remember? Across BC, 3500 intrepid canvassers are seeking your signature to the petition to adopt a proportional representation system of voting. If we’d had such a system at the May 2001 election, the Liberals would have had 43 MLAs, balanced by 16 NDP and 9 Green Party MLAs. 70 countries around the world use Pro-Rep. Here are some local signing places:

  • Moss Street Market (Saturdays)
  • EcoSource Paper, 111-1841 Oak Bay Ave, Mon to Fri, 9:30 -1pm
  • 602 Dallas Rd, Mondays 6:30 - 8:30
  • Rainforest Store 651 Johnson St Mon-Fri 9:30–5, Saturdays 11 – 5
  • James Bay, Cup of Joe Cafe, #1 - 230 Menzies. Saturdays, 1:30 - 4
  • Sooke Country Market, Sat, 10-2
  • Salt Spring Ganges Market Saturday
  • Salt Spring – outside Pharmasave/ GVM Upper Ganges Rd, Tuesdays
  • Salt Spring - Etcetera Books

Local ‘Free Your Vote’ contacts:

Victoria region: 381-VOTE

Esquimalt-Metchosin
Earl Smith 386-0874

Malahat –Juan de Fuca
Stephen Bradley 642-4729

Oak Bay-Gordon Head
Michael Mascall 595-2393

Saanich North & the Islands
Andrew Lewis 653-4770

Saanich South
Phil Spidle 514-4348

Victoria-Beacon Hill
Susan Clarke 478-6906

Victoria-Hillside
Vince Cummings 385-7759


A SUMMER KIT

At last – the sun! The ocean! Summer! But is there a way to live and breathe the glorious green while we hike, swim, and play? Allow us to present this nifty "Save the Earth While You Play" hip-kit that you can take to any beach, café or campsite. It’s clean, cheap, and relatively drug-free:

1. Become a Pro-Rep canvasser Register to become a Free Your Vote Canvasser (it’s not too late), and invite your fellow campers to put their paw on the line for a more fair voting system. Go to www.freeyourvote.bc.ca and download an application form now, as it takes 1-2 weeks to be processed.

2. Promote Fair Trade Coffee. Make some copies of the EcoNews cover story on Fair Trade Coffee, and ask the cafés you visit if they sell it. www.earthfuture.com/econews. Or call me, and I’ll fax the original 881-1304.

3. Offset Your Carbon Emissions. Tally up the kilometres you travel by car or air, and make a commitment to repay your summer carbon debt to our children’s future. One litre of gas releases 2.5 kg of CO2; flying is about equivalent to driving, per person - www.chooseclimate.org/flying. To neutralize your carbon debt, you could buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs and give them away to a family which would not otherwise be able to afford them. One 15 watt compact fluorescent lightbulb will prevent 396 kg of CO2 from natural gas from being released over its 7-year lifetime. If efficient electricity displaces gas-fired energy from the Burrard thermal plant in Vancouver, you’ll need to give away one 15w lightbulb ($8 - $15 from IKEA or Home Depot) for every 158 litres of gas that your car uses. At 8 litres/100km, that’s one lightbulb for every 2,000 kilometres. For a year’s driving (14,000 km), you’ll need to give away 7 lightbulbs. A return flight from Victoria to Toronto, releasing 2475 kg of CO2, will need 6 lightbulbs. City Green, in Victoria (www.citygreen.ca) will doubtless find a good home for your donated lightbulbs.


FIRST NATIONS BBQ

Did you pitch, ditch or otherwise protest your referendum ballot on First Nations treaty-making? On Wed July 3rd, at 5pm, the Songhees Nations is inviting everyone who protested their ballot to a BBQ to encourage healing between First Nations and other BC citizens, as the struggle for justice continues. There’ll be guest speakers, drummers, dancers, musicians, and a papier-mâché canoe filled with ballots will be launched out to sea, where it will meet with a strange and wonderful ending. To volunteer, or donate food, call Shane Calder or Rose Henry, Capital Region Race Relations Ass’n, 380-7311. Meet at the Songhees Nation, foot of Maplebank Rd.


THE GARDEN PATH
ORGANIC PLANT NURSERY

ORGANIC WINTER VEGETABLES
& BEDDING PLANTS SALE

Sat Aug 24th – Mon Sept 3rd, 10 - 5:30pm

395 Conway Road
(250) 881-1555

www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath


PLASTIC & MICROWAVES

Do you use plastic dishes or plastic wrap when you cook food in a microwave? If so, PLEASE STOP. As a 7th grade student, Claire Nelson learnt that plastic wrap contains di(ethylhexyl) adepate (DEHA), which is considered a carcinogen (ie it causes cancer). As a 10th grade student, she ran a series of tests at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Arkansas, using olive oil and plastic wrap in a microwave, and discovered that when plastic wrap is microwaved, the chemical migrates into the olive oil at a level 10 million times higher than is thought to be safe. She also found that xenoestrogen (linked to low sperm counts and breast cancer) migrates from the plastic into the oil. Claire won the American Chemical Society’s top science prize for students for her work. The scary part is that no-one at the EPA had thought to analyze microwaves and plastic. The current advice is not to use any kind of plastic in a microwave. Babies are particularly sensitive to contaminants, so PLEASE, if you know of any young parents who are heating their baby milk in a plastic bottle in a microwave, ask them to stop.


SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM

One of the problems with many big corporations is the way they are controlled by their majority shareholders, and the inability of ordinary people to influence them. This may be changing, however, as shareholder activism finds its feet. This May, at the Hudson's Bay AGM, a sweatshop labour resolution received a 37% vote in favour of greater transparency around the conditions of apparel workers around the world. At ExxonMobil's AGM, a resolution from shareholders urging ExxonMobil to adopt a plan for renewable energy resources won 20.3% of the vote, more than double the 8.9% it won in 2001. (See www.campaignexxonmobil.org). The votes are not reaching a majority yet, but as more people embrace socially responsible investment, it’s getting closer. If we all pull together…


TRUTH AND LOVE

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fail -- Think of it always."

- Mahatma Gandhi


NO MAGIC ANSWERS

"There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: search for understanding, education, organization, action ... and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future."

NoamChomsky


THE UVIC CAMPUS PLAN

UVic has released its draft campus plan to manage growth over the next 15 years, after minimal consultation with the community. They expect to grow by 40%, and want 1,175, 404 square feet of land for new buildings, and 2,300 new parking spaces. The plan does not commit to a reduction in vehicle use, sustainable growth management, or densification. Alternative visions propose that 75% of new buildings be constructed within a growth boundary by building on already impacted sites such as parking lots, and retrofitting existing developments. It also fails to guarantee protection natural areas (see www.uvic.ca/draftcampusplan) Comments are invited until early September. To express your concerns, write to President David Turpin, pres@uvic.ca, UVic, BEC 454, PO Box 1700 Stn CSC, Victoria V8W 2Y2, copied to the UVic Sustainability Project, uvsp@uvic.ca Nancy Klenavic POLIS Project, 472 4637


ACTION OF THE MONTH

DUKE POINT POWER PLANT

A quick recap: BC Hydro is alarming us that Vancouver Island is running out of power, and wants to shift the Island to a natural gas fired electricity strategy, which will accelerate climate change, increase local air pollution, and lock us into the use of natural gas which will become very expensive as it runs out. They are refusing to examine the perfectly valid alternative, which is to renew the cable under the Georgia Strait, and produce renewable electricity from geothermal, wind, micro-hydro and biomass energy, coupled with accelerated energy efficiency to reduce our demand. The decision to move to gas did not come from a properly conducted cost-benefit analysis, or an exploration of the alternatives. It was driven solely by a desire by Glen Clark to produce "jobs for the boys" in Port Alberni by building a natural gas plant there. When that was rejected by Port Alberni’s citizens, BC Hydro tried to move it to South Cowichan. When that was rejected, they moved it to Duke Point, Nanaimo, where the relevant zoning is in place, so (conveniently) there is no need for public input. It’s now called the Vancouver Island Generation Project (VIGP), and BC Hydro has applied to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) for a Project Approval Certificate. It is almost certain that they will accept the application, and Daphne Stancil, the project assessment director, has indicated that they want to wrap it up by October, which means they want to review it at the Stage 1 level, with the least amount of public scrutiny. The VIGP would be fuelled by the proposed GSX gas pipeline. If VIGP does not go ahead, GSX probably won't either, and vice versa.

ACTION: Write to the EAO (with a copy to your local MLA), demanding a thorough Stage 2 (Project Report) or Stage 3 (Public Hearing) review of the VIGP (Duke Point) project : Daphne Stancil, EAO Project Director, PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Gov, Victoria, V8W 9V1 356-7483 Daphne.Stancil@gems6.gov.bc.ca


NOTICE

EcoNews provides this electronic version of the newsletter free of charge even though it costs time and money to produce. Please feel free to repost. You can help by making a donation, whether $5 or $100, to:

EcoNews, 395 Conway Road, Victoria V9E 2B9, Canada. Thanks !

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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

Author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change"
(New Society Publishers)
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