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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. 123 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - Jan 2003


THE OTHER AMERICAN DREAM

A War on Iraq. Is this what is coming? Did George Bush and Dick Cheney sit around their Christmas trees, wishing peace and love to their families, and then slip away upstairs to give more secret orders to their staff?

To attack. To assault. To drop super-high-power bombs from an enormous height and watch them go SPLAT as they eliminate a building; a bridge; a school; a hospital; an army.

To kill people. To blow their heads off. To shred them. To drop so many bombs that the dead become meaningless. That meaning becomes meaningless.

To invade. To take over a country. To dominate. To achieve American primacy. A geo-strategic imperative. A regime change.

To bully.

In his essay The Other American Dream, the Boston writer William Rivers Pitt (author with Scott Ritter of the New York Times best-selling title War On Iraq: What Team Bush Doesnít Want You to Know) shows that in addition to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (which is surely a recipe for national self-indulgence), there is another American Dream "which lurks in shadow, and speaks only in whispers of its designs. This other American Dream runs dark and silent, on rails lubricated by oil, blood and power. It works at all hours of the day and night to achieve its goals. It does not sleep. The existence of this other American Dream places the first one, the real one, in terrible peril. If this other American Dream is allowed to blossom into its intended potential, the American Dream we speak of to our children will cease completely to exist."

"The proponents of this Other American Dream look at the world in terms of empire. They seek to achieve hegemony over great swaths of strategically important territory, and will do whatever is necessary to gain this control. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, they see America as the first truly global superpower. With the use of economic and military might, they seek to gain absolute dominion in the space opened by the fall of our former rival. The term ĎGlobalizationí encapsulates only a fraction of the plan."

The evidence for this perspective has gradually fallen into place over the past year. The UN treaties that have been scorned. The lapses in intelligence that allowed September 11th to happen. The overweening desire to see an oil pipeline built through Afghanistan, and to establish access to the landlocked states of Central Asia. The plans to invade Iraq immediately after September 11th that were put on hold because the American public was not ready. The prominence in the Bush cabinet of people who have been nurturing a dream of US global dominance for many years. The vision laid out by Zbignew Brzezinski in his 1998 study The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geo-Strategic Imperatives, which lays out the importance of Central Asia. The concern that global oil supplies will soon start falling, making control over Iraq an essential part of the strategy.

It is not just a gang of people in the White House, however. It is also the mainstay of corporate America that has seemingly become possessed by the Other American Dream.

It has now come out that when Iraq handed the UN its 12,000 page weapons declaration, the US broke its agreement with the Security Council and blackmailed Colombia, which was presiding over the Council, to give the US possession of the UNís only copy. By the time the other members of the Security Council received a copy, 8,000 pages had been removed. In those pages, leaked by Geneva-based reporter Andreas Zumach, Iraq lists 24 US and 80 German companies which supplied them with weapons, in breach of the arms embargo. The list includes Hewlett Packard, DuPont, Honeywell, Rockwell, Tectronics, Bechtell, Unisys, and Eastman Kodak. It also names the US Departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce and Agriculture, and three US nuclear weapons laboratories whose staff trained traveling Iraqi scientists, and gave them non-fissile material for the construction of a nuclear bomb.

In retrospect, it all seems like a carefully laid trap.

So how should we react, in the knowledge of what is about to happen? This is not a simple case of disarming a potential Hitler, but of a schemingly set-up plan to gain power in the Middle East.

The mass media tells us none of this. Most of North Americaís mass media journalists have become as pathetic as Pravdaís were, in the days of the old Soviet Union. It is only because we have the Internet, with its free and open discussion, that we are able to share dissenting voices, and gain different perspectives on what is happening. Sites such as www.truthout.org , www.zmag.org , and http://pilger.carlton.com deserve to become regular reading.

I donít know how to end this piece. There must be 1,000 ways to say "STOP", to salvage the hope for peace. This is about all of us, everywhere. A better world is possible.

Guy Dauncey


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 fulfillment.

Nov Dec Jan
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Many thanks to John Roe, Steve New, Jean Wallace, Roshan Virk, Michael Monroe, Brian Allaert, Anne Murray, Marilee Goheen, Bob & Hilda Matsuo, Jane Brett, Ray & Donny Hill, Johanna Poll, Sandra Jacobsen, Debra Barr, Kathleen K. Schloessinger, Peter Carilho, Bill Moffatt, Rose Evans, Barbara & Michael Clague, Taannia Dancer, Christo Pandelidis & Bob McMinn.

Many thanks also to Ian for prepping the labels for so many years; Laura Anderson for prepping the envelopes; Dave Shishkoff (www.TheNoisies.com ) for webmastering; Wayne Poohachof for the downtown distribution; and all you EcoNews mailout volunteers, who know when youíre needed.

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

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THE ECO-CORNER

$1/word (non-profits, low-income free) 1" box ad $40, $2" box ad $70

* Volunteer research assistant required. Local developing ecovillage is working on a 'resourcery' detailing different models of ownership and governance in intentional communities, ecovillages and cohousing projects. (250) 743-3002 our@pacificcoast.net

* Welcome to Tom Lester, new Executive Director of the Sierra Club of BC. Tom comes from The Nature Trust of BC, where he helped protect 3,000+ acres of ecologically significant land.

* Another big welcome to Common Sense Cookery, a new all-organic, vegetarian restaurant at The Genesis Centre, 1127 Fort St, Victoria.

* Our heart-felt thanks to Jean Chretien, David Anderson, and all of the Liberal, NDP and BQ MPs who voted to approve the Kyoto Accord on December 10th. Itís a good beginning.

* Many thanks to Joyce Murray, for not pursuing the crazy plan to cull the wolves and cougars to please the hunters

* 1 month HEAVEN: Feb 8th - March 8th, 1 bedroom, lux, ocean view, nr town, no smoking, chemical free, all incl., $950.00 call Joanna 361-3181


Is Your Computer
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In-home and office solutions to hardware, software, upgrade and networking problems.
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WILDERNESS DEFENDERS

In the past year, the Western Canada Wilderness Committeeís Victoria team has achieved a lot, including successfully pressuring Weyerhaeuser to halt all new logging operations in the Upper Walbran (they are currently deciding whether to designate their Walbran tenure as a permanent no-logging reserve); working with forestry workers from the Cowichan Valley and Port Alberni in historic solidarity actions against raw log exports, and for tenure reform; dramatically raising the opposition to offshore oil and gas drilling in BC; organizing the first rallies and public awareness events about the BC Liberals' Working Forest initiative; organizing Wilderness Defenders Nights on everything from Kyoto to Offshore Oil and Gas; organizing camping and hiking trips to the endangered Upper Walbran Valley; sponsoring the Big Tree Derby which resulted in BC's 4th largest Douglas fir and Pacific yew trees being discovered in the Walbran; distributing tens of thousands of educational newspapers; helping to generate thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls to MPs and MLAs; and supporting the WCWC Vancouver office in its various campaigns. Their New Yearís wish list includes a new computer (Pentium 166 or better); mini DV video camera; good used van (for outings); digital camera; pens, calculators & office equipment. If youíre feeling generous, contact Ken Wu at wc2vic@island.net 388-9292. Membership costs $30, payable to Wilderness Committee Victoria, 651 Johnson St. Victoria, V8W 1M7


Clean by Nature

Will make your home sparkle using all natural
aromatherapy products
Call 383-8715 for a free estimate


VW BEATS THE BARRIERS -
320 Miles per Gallon!

About ten years ago, Amory Lovins, the worldís energy efficiency guru from the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado started talking about the Ďhypercarí. He works in a 4,000 sq ft super-insulated building above snow-level which has no furnace, and where they grow bananas and papayas, so this is a man who knows whereof he speaks. When you or I drive around in a regular car, he likes to points out, only 1% of the gas that we buy is used to get our bodies from A to B. The rest is used to move the tonne of steel that we sit in. In the hypercar concept, Amory proposed that a super-efficient engine design combined with superlight materials could increase fuel efficiency to perhaps 100mpg or 120mpg. Oh, how ridiculous, some might say. But behold, after a period of top secret design (because so many people said it was impossible), Volkswagen in Germany has unveiled a 2-person prototype car that can travel 100 km on just 0.89 litres of gas. For you non-metric folks, thatís 268 mpg in the USA, or 320 mpg in Canada (where our gallon is 20% bigger). The new VW WOB-L 1 (registered after the town where it was built, and 1 litre) carries two people, one sitting behind the other, with room for luggage in the back. It is very sleek and low, and averages 75 kph (46.6 mph) on the highway. The body is made from composite carbon-fibre reinforced material, with a reinforced plastic outer skin that conceals a magnesium space frame, which is lighter than aluminum. It has a 1-litre, single cylinder, direct injection diesel engine, and weights 290 kg. For safety, it has an anti-lock braking system, an electronic stability system, a driverís airbag, the same standards of impact and overturning as a GT racing car, and a rearview reversing camera. VW sees it being used as a low-cost day-to-day touring vehicle; they have not said when it will go into regular production. But just stop and pause for a minute. This is car that does 320 mpg (0.89 liters/100km) at 75 kph. And we have people saying that we canít meet the Kyoto standard, which needs an overall 20% increase in efficiency across the board? This is a 1,000% increase in efficiency Ė and itís not even a hybrid electric. For the full story (with photos), see www.vwvortex.com/news/04_02/04_16/index.shtml Ė and wonder .


WORMS EAT Ė SO WE LIVE

Another of the all-encompassing myths of our day is that we must use chemical fertilizers and pesticides if we are to feed the worldís ever-growing population. But letís look at this historically. The guy who first suggested using nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK) as soil fertilizers was Baron Justus von Liebig, the German father of organic chemistry, back in the 1830s. Curious to know what it was in soil that caused plants to flourish, he burnt some, and discovered N, P & K in the ashes. (A bit like burning a human to find out what makes us sing, love and think). Justus rejected the idea that plants get their food and strength from humus, and advocated the use of mineral fertilizers to boost soil fertility. He didnít know that plants absorb trace minerals from humus; he didnít know that the tiny amount of fluorine left after phosphate is turned into a fertilizer kills most life in the humus. He didnít know that plants canít absorb trace minerals until theyíve been pre-digested by a green leaf soil fungus which chemical fertilizers kill, or that when a plant lives off fertilizer it loses its immune system, making it vulnerable to pests. He learnt these things later in his life, but by then the fertilizer industry had taken over. Without chemical fertilizers, we are told, the world will starve.

But now, along come some Indian scientists in Tamil Nadu who are using worms to regenerate degraded soils in tea plantations, where yields have stalled despite the heavy use of fertilizers and growth hormones. The worms act as biological ploughs, bringing fertile soil nutrients up to the surface. After re-introducing the earthworms, including native species, the harvests at some of the plantations shot up by as much as 282%, while profits shot up by as much as $5,500 per hectare per year. Now the United Nations Environment Program is investing $26 million in Brazil, Mexico, Cote d'Ivoire, Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia and India to study the biodiversity of underground soil life, including bacteria, fungi, insects, mites and worms. Scientists estimate that one gram of forest soil contains up to 40,000 individual bacterial species, many of which have never been described. At one level, this is a story about worms. At another level, it is about the evolution of scientific understanding from the primitive 19th century chemistry that still underpins the agro-chemical industry to the sophisticated beauty of biology, which is about to reveal why organic methods of food production are not only smarter, but can also feed the world Ė and with better quality food.


A BIG WELCOME TO SPUD!

FreshPiks Organics, launched by Brent Hammond in Victoria in 1997, is merging with Vancouverís Small Potatoes Urban Delivery (SPUD). Fresh Piks staff will be joining SPUDís profit-sharing arrangement, and Fresh Piks/SPUD will expand to include the home delivery of a much wider range of organic produce, including dairy, bread, cereals and other groceries. SPUD was started by David van Seters in 1997, and has 4,500 customers from Mission to Whistler. SPUD supports local suppliers and community groups, and endeavors to source foods that are organic, wholesome, minimally-packaged, recycled, and fairly traded. SPUDís goal is that 50% of its produce should come from local sources. SPUDís research shows that a delivery vehicle delivering to 80 homes has a lot less environmental impact than 80 residents travelling to grocery stores in separate cars. Every SPUD customer gets a "food miles" tally with his or her delivery, which is typically 4 times lower than it would have been with regular supermarket food. SPUD won the 2002 Ethics in Action Award from VanCity. www.spud.ca/about/about.cfm Brent is not leaving yet for his next initiative, but EcoNews congratulates you on a fabulous job, well done!


SEEDS OF VICTORIA

Organically Grown & Locally Harvested
Flowers, Vegetables & Herbs
2003 SEED CATALOGUE $2
To request call (250) 881-1555

To view or order online: www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath


A BROAD COALITION

A group of Green Party and NDP supporters are meeting in the James Bay area to build a foundation of political agreement and friendship, with the goal that there should be one commonly supported candidate at the next election. They are planning a Town Hall meeting on January 22nd Ė see Green Diary, or Susan Clark, 478-6906. In a separate initiative, David Chudnovsky and a group of friends in Vancouver are proposing an electoral coalition of the Greens, the NDP, and the community coalitions that have formed in rural and northern BC to oppose the Liberal cuts. They are not proposing that any existing party dissolve or that a new party be formed. They suggest that the coalition might agree on increased support and resources for public health care and public education; a sustainable, diversified economic strategy; levels of social assistance and publicly-funded, community-based supports and services that provide security, dignity and inclusion for all; public services that are accountable to and meet community interests and needs; a healthy & sustainable environment; recognition of the rights of Aboriginal people; the right of workers to participate in free collective bargaining and have negotiated contracts honoured; and a system of proportional representation. See www.coalitionforbc.ca


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WEB

Some noteworthy sites that have passed my way:

The Other American Dream, & the War on Iraq:

TruthOut: www.truthout.org

Zed Magazine: www.zmag.org

Johnís Pilgerís journalism: http://pilger.carlton.com

What Would Jesus Drive? A gas hybrid, an SUV, or a bicycle?

www.whatwouldjesusdrive.org

BCís Green Electricity Resources: www.canmap.com/green.htm

Incredible collection of Canadian socio-political links: http://pluto.fss.buffalo.edu/classes/psc/duchesne/psc345/canlinks.html

Arctic Town Plugs into Tidal Energy:

http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/831472.asp

StopThermageddon: Dorothy Cutting (a 72 year old grandmother from Salt Spring Island) has put this website together about the urgent need to address global climate change:

www.stopthermageddon.com

BEDZED Ė the Beddington Zero Energy Development, in England:

www.bedzed.org.uk


ACTION OF THE MONTH
DEFEND DEMOCRACY

If there is one thing that might stop the weakening of Canadian democracy by corporate influence, it would be to end the financial influence of the big corporations and big unions on the political process. A good part of the Alliance Partyís opposition to Kyoto, for instance, was fuelled by the prospect of oil company dollars filling their very empty coffers. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, disturbed by the corruption that has crept into his government, has declared that he will present legislation to the Commons this winter to ban corporate and union donations to federal political parties and individual candidates. Individual donations would be limited to a fixed amount, and parties would be financed directly by the government based on the votes received in the previous election, similar to the way they do it in Holland. Thereís a lot of opposition within the Liberal ranks, so itís important that we should encourage the Prime Minister to persist with the Bill.

Action: Write to the PM, to support him in his initiative. A copy to Paul Martin and your MP would also be a smart move. No postage needed.

* The Rt Hon Jean Chrétien, House of Commons, Ottawa K1A 0A6.


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Author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change"
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