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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. 127 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - May 2003


WATER, SPIRIT AND PEACE

The occupation of Iraq has gone ahead; Iraq’s people have been freed from Saddam Hussein’s Stalinist rule. The Shi’ite muslims are free to worship again; the political prisoners have been released from their torment.

To achieve this, thousands of children, civilians and young soldiers have had their heads blown off, their limbs torn off by cluster bombs. 7,000 years of history have been looted from Iraq’s museums, and the US corporations are lining up for the reconstruction contracts.

Is this good? Is it bad? What an awful question to consider.

Is this just business as usual on planet Earth, the perpetual pursuit of power by war and conquest?

Is it the beginning of The New American Century, in which the US will deliver its might and awe to every corner of the Earth?

Or is it the beginning of something entirely different, when the people of Earth finally decide that enough is enough, and apply their compassion and resources with a whole new energy to the construction of a humane, sustainable world, beyond violence, beyond war, beyond ecological stupidity?

To explore this possibility, I want to take an enormous leap into another way of looking at the world, to the delight of some and the probable bewilderment of others.

If we leave aside the various fundamentalisms, whose believers lock onto a particular creed and declare it the only Truth, we are left with two major attempts to understand the world.

The first, the scientific worldview, says that the world is a material place, which happens to produce consciousness. It says that evolution is the result of a random biological process, as genes seek to replicate themselves, and that the struggle for survival is just the way things are, with some cooperative survival thrown in for good measure.

It’s a material world, filled with material conflicts, softened by an inexplicably strange human desire to make the world a kinder, gentler place.

The other worldview says that the world is a spiritual place. Spirit is primary, and evolution is the process by which spirit works through matter and consciousness to express itself on Earth, to realize the unity, justice and peace that we all long for, deep down.

In this worldview, matter is still real, but in the heart of every atom there is a form of consciousness. Surrounding all consciousness, whether in the atom or within our own sensibility, there is spirit. The world’s religions and shamanic traditions all talk about the value of prayer, meditation, chanting and ritual to open the doorways to the realms of spirit.

From this perspective, the pursuit of power and material gain is a foolishness that we pursue when we mistake ego for soul, and spend our lives trying to satisfy the ego’s unsatisfiable craving for a happiness it will never achieve.

Which is correct? Time – and science – will tell. Science currently tells us that the evidence is all stacked up in favour of the material view; but true scientists are deeply committed to the quest for truth, and if three conditions coincide, science could adopt a new paradigm.

These conditions are the presence of a plausible theorem, to define spirit and propose for it a formative influence; replicable evidence that consciousness, as a corollary for spirit, can exist in its own right, outside its material home; and the existence of a test which validates the theorem, or a null hypothesis which invalidates any alternative explanation. We don’t need to know all the answers to accept a theorem; we all accept that gravity exists, even though no-one knows what it really is.

Into this debate steps a pioneer Japanese researcher, Dr Masaru Emoto, whose work with ice-crystals is changing the way we think about water (www.hado.net). Dr Emoto has been photographing the crystal structures of water, no two of which are ever alike. Using high-speed photography, he has been demonstrating that the molecular structure of frozen water changes if it is polluted – and if it is exposed to words, music, or prayer.

Dr Emoto is producing evidence that human consciousness has an effect on water. The world’s surface is 70% water; our bodies are over 50% water. His work proposes that water is alive; that it carries its own unique magnetic resonance field; that it can carry a memory. I shall not go into this more here – Dr Emoto is speaking in Victoria on May 3rd (see Diary).

If the material worldview is correct, evolution is pretty, but meaningless. If the spiritual worldview is correct, evolution may be a process by which spirit seeks wholeness.

And how does it do it? Through the urgent desire that so many of us feel to heal conflicts, to overcome prejudice, poverty and injustice, and to live on the Earth in a peaceful, sustainable manner. Through the work that we do to realize these goals. And through our determination to go on asking questions, to question the assumed wisdoms that encourage us not to think, and to follow our own paths in life.

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.

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Many thanks to Minsky Designs, Ray Travers, David van Seters, Louise Irwin, Hannelore Ioannides, Janis La Couvee, Richard Pearson, Joan Hurwood, Claire Lynch, Anke van Leeuwen, Christine Johnston, George Wood, Bronwyn Brown, Ali Sproule, Susan Coward, Arnold Ranneris, Wayne Madden, Janice Stewart, Janice Turner, Elli Boisvert, Maria Bos, Virginia Newman, Ida Weatherby, Bernice Packford, Penny Tennehouse, Josephine Munro, Craig Harrold, Anne Clemence, Olive Boorman, Moireen Phillips, J Werner, David Greer, Lilly Willoughby, Walter Mayer zu Erpen, Chris Morrison, Patrick Fawkes, Gail Schultz, Susan Scott, Karen Skowron, Robert Newton, David Rothkop, Monika Kowalewski, Elinor Powell, Phyllis Cowan, Kathleen Woodley, Sunshine Coast Green Party, CRD, K. McCarthy, Leslie Gordon, Mel Moilliet, Anne Friedinger, Monica Oldham, Jennifer Williams, Janet Silman, Marion Irish, Philippa Barnes, Margaret Fear, Frances Thibeau, Marg & Art Simons, Robert Wickson, John McMahen, Joshua Craig, Tim O’Brien, Thomas Pater, Chris Bullock, James Geiwitz, Marlene Rice, Fred Knelman, Dan Jason, Ed & Jean Mackenzie, Andrea Gleichauf, Vince Cummings, Diane McLaren, Roger Edwards, Don Shaw, Margaret Schubart, Yvonne Bondarchuk, Heather MacAndrew, Anthea Archer, Elizabeth Garrett, Paul Gareau, Barbara Hourston, T. Macmurchie, Wave Hill Farm, Ken Wardroper, Barbara Haley, Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society, Patricia Whitfield, Roberta Hower, William Bender, Kate Stevens, Susan Hallatt, Alfred & Rose Stecher, Kay Stewart, Elke Schlufter, Arnold McCutcheon, Daphne Taylor, Janet Hawksley, Tania Honan, The Religious Society of Friends, Duncan Urquhart, Mel McDonald, New Society Publishers, Alison Phosy, Friends of Mt Douglas Park, Barbara Clague, Andrée Scott, Richard Atwood, Emile Lacroix, henry Gautier, Ann Gower, Vivian Chenard, Alan Greatbatch, Bill Levant & Jocelyn Floyer. Thankyou, all.

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


"Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare." Japanese Proverb


THE ECO-CORNER

$1/word (non-profits, low-income free)
1" box $40, $2" box $70, insert $180

* Growing Communities - your chance for a free garden plot, & lessons in organic growing. We’ll work as a team, growing for the Goldstream food bank. Call Jackie Robson, 361-9446.

* Unity Flags - Many thanks to everyone who helps. Diane, 655-5266

* Do you know of a business, co-op or non-profit enterprise in Victoria that is improving its social or environmental performance, or selling a social or environmental product or service? We're creating a directory of values-based businesses. info@molloy.ca by May 12

* The Bicycle: #1 Sustainable Wonder of the World! Free, 1-Day Traffic Cycling Skills Course that will change the way you cycle and think about cycling for ever. Bike to Work Society & CRD Traffic Safety Commission. Call Susanna Grimes 920-5705 www.biketoworkvictoria.ca

* The Sustainable Living Bus, a mobile eco-centre that encourages us to conserve energy and water, reduce waste, travel more wisely, and make informed consumer choices, is in the Victoria area in June & July. To book the bus for your event call 250 -384-1534. No cost.

* Gaviotas retreat with Paolo Lugari, in Colorado, October 3rd -5th. See - www.friendsofgaviotas.org/2003retreat.htm . 3-day gathering to explore the magic that sustains the imagination, creativity and innovation in this remarkable ecovillage in Colombia.

* Looking for people interested in building a rural EcoVillage in the Comox Valley. Rainwalker@shaw.ca


WOMEN IN THE WOODS

Right now, 14 Women in the Woods are blockading a logging road in the Walbran. Here’s Betty Krawczyk, one of their elders: "At age 74, I am the elder of our group. We, along with our supporters, are blockading a logging road on the Glad Lake Main in the Upper Walbran Valley. There are two logging companies clear-cutting the ancient trees here, Weyerhauser and TimberWest. We are concentrating on Weyerhauser, because they are an all-American firm, and are symbolic of the invasion and occupation of our public forests by US corporations. The CEOs of Weyerhauser were also invited to the BC legislature by Gordon Campbell to help formulate the groundwork of Campbell's "Working Forest" Initiative, which will eventually privatize all of our public forests in BC. As a great-grandmother, these changes strike me to the heart. It means my grandchildren, along with the rest of the world, will never know the wildness of these spiritual and botanical wonders. These ancient forests hold the history of human and animal evolution as well as the earth's evolution. We humans evolved along with these awesome wonders, and to degrade them for the momentary profit of a few is to degrade the human race and the earth itself."

"Someone has to take justice beyond rhetoric. Someone has to tell the truth. It might as well be me." Jen Bradley.

"As I sit on a bridge over a rushing river, in the middle of the wilderness, I send all of you this ripple in our great upwelling of environmental justice everywhere." Joelene Clarke.

"Scared as

Helpless

I am not." Klare Yakobuski, age 21.

Women In the Woods needs your support. Please send a financial donations and help spread the word about the blockade. Send cheques to Carolyn McPherson, 647 Speed Ave. Victoria, V8Z 1A5, marked 'for Women In the Woods'. Call Krista Roessingh 250-721-9445 (roessing@uvic.ca) or Justine Stark 721-8193(w) 382-8428 (h)


Share Organics

More than just an Organic Produce Box
Join us, nurturing local food production

* Supporting local organic farmers
* Farmers in Transition to organics

* Fair Trade Products

www.shareorganics.bc.ca

595-6729


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WEB

Some noteworthy sites that have passed my way:

Solar Electric Light Fund. Installing solar PV in remote third world villages. Right now there’s a $5 fundraising sweepstake to win a trip for two people to Bhutan, organized by Geographic Expeditions. The winner will chose between the 17-day Essence of Bhutan and the 17-day Sacred Valleys Trek. Airfares are included. See www.self.org

Green Legacies - important information for anyone who wants to make a gift for nature: www.greenlegacies.ca

Green Thumb – a way to help the environment, while (if) you shop on-line: www.care2.com/greenthumb

Community Drinking Water Atlas. An interactive research tool for people who want to know more about community watersheds in British Columbia. You can use it to create watershed maps containing important local information such as wildlife populations, water supply, mining operations and forestry activity. Developed by Sierra Club of Canada. http://scbc.dyndns.org/ms/bcview/intropage/specmap_intro.html

Petition from the Canadian AutoWorkers (Durham Regional Environmental Council) for "Extended Producer Responsibility". The sooner we make the producers of automobiles and other products responsible for what they take from this Earth, the better this world will be: www.PetitionOnline.com/drec002/petition.html

Ecological Fiscal Reform. A new website for anyone interested in fiscal policies for environmental objectives, including politicians, policy makers, scholars, executives, NGOs, students, tax and accounting professionals, and economists: www.fiscallygreen.ca .


HAVE FAITH!

A recent opinion poll on western Canadian attitudes shows that "protecting the environment" is our third highest priority (64%), behind "improving health care" (74%) and "retaining young people" (68%). "Lowering taxes" is far behind with 41% support. Support is consistent throughout the west; in Alberta it is the second highest priority after health care. The poll shows the public still cares, and wants to protect the environment.


CORPORATE THREE STRIKES

California has a shameful and draconian piece of legislation on its books called "Three Strikes", which says that if you commit three criminal offenses, however minor, including simply the possession of drugs, you are jailed for life (25 to 50 years). It is being applied as a nasty form of racism. African-Americans make up 7% of the California population, but over 31% of the California prison population, and 44% of the Third Striker population. (www.facts1.com).

Well, it seems that a bad idea can generate a good one. The FBI estimates that personal and household crimes cost Americans $17 billion a year. Corporate white collar crime costs $2 trillion for crimes such as toxic pollution, food and drug violations, fraud, bribery, wrongful death, and illegal agreements. The power corporations alone robbed Californians of $9 billion by their manipulative overcharging. Corporations are often allowed to claim the cost of fines as a tax-deductible expense, and see it as a normal cost of doing business.

Under legislation being proposed by Senator Gloria Romero, of Los Angeles, however, all this would change. The Corporate Three Strikes Bill SR 355 says that any corporation with three violations that result in $1 million each in fines or a death within a ten year period will be banned from operating in California. California-based corporations will have their charters revoked, while out-of-state corporations will lose their right to do business in the state. The legislation is designed to catch the big offenders, and to provide a meaningful deterrent.

Right now, it is hard to trace corporate crime, since the details are recorded in many different courts and agencies, and rarely brought to view. Under the proposed act, corporations would be required to submit a yearly statement of criminal convictions, to be displayed on the Secretary of State’s website, and to publish the details of each offense in a full-page newspaper advertisement. Whether or not it succeeds in California, this would be an excellent model for federal legislation in Canada. www.corporate3strikes.org .

STOP PRESS: ON April 29th, the bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now goes to the Appropriations Committee, then the floor of the Senate, and then the full Assembly. The deadline for completion is August 31st.


OUR PAPER

Fed up with the mainstream media? There’s a new paper in Victoria called "Our Paper", a quarterly tabloid with 16 pages. The current issue has stories on Iraq, the Campbell government, Palestine, Cuba, Burma Mexico, and poverty in BC. $16 from #223-3220 Quadra, Victoria V8X 1G3. A welcome addition, to keep us all informed!


LIVING BY WATER

Do you live next to a creek, river, lake or the ocean? All too often, lakeside property owners build boat ramps, decks and docks in ways that destroy the shoreline habitat. Help is here, however. Sarah Kipp and Clive Callaway have produced a fabulously detailed and practical handbook for waterfront living called On the Living Edge, which covers everything from the ecologically sound construction of docks and ramps to ways to prevent erosion, protect water quality, and keep chemicals out of the water, with detailed sections on wells, septics, trails, animals and visitors. For a copy, send $20.81 to Living by Water Project, Box 7, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4N2. The book would make a great gift to a living-by-water home-owner. I’d love to hear from any realtor who decides to give one as a welcome gift to any client who buys a house by water. www.livingbywater.ca


MR PRESIDENT

Source: Bio article on George Bush by Nicholas Kristof, NY Times, May 21, 2000: "We were terrible to animals," recalled Mr. Throckmorton, laughing. A dip behind the Bush home turned into a small lake after a good rain, and thousands of frogs would come out. "Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them," Mr. Throckmorton said. "Or we’d put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up." When he was not blowing up frogs, young George – always restless and something of a natural leader – would lead neighborhood children on daredevil expeditions around town, seeing how close they could come to breaking their necks. George also quickly acquired a colorful vocabulary.


THE GARDEN PATH ORGANIC PLANT NURSERY

Our Famous Tomatoes Are Ready

~40 Varieties to Choose From~

Open April, May & June
Daily 10 - 5:30pm

395 Conway Road
(off Interurban, 1 block past Camosun College)
(250) 881-1555

www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath


REAL ASSETS

Real Assets is Canada’s first investment firm that focuses exclusively on socially responsible investments. In addition to serving their clients, they go out of their way to influence the global playing field. One of their initiatives is a shareholder resolution that (with Ethical Funds and Meritas) they put to Canada’s banks, asking their directors to report on how social, environmental and ethical issues impact their business, and what they are doing to manage the risks. A recent report by a coalition of institutional investors including Merrill Lynch, Swiss RE and Credit Suisse, for instance, found that climate change would have a major impact on financial performance, slashing the share values of heavy greenhouse gas emitters by 40%, and causing banks to suffer a 29% loss in share value if their loans were impacted by 10% due to climate change related disasters. A normal shareholder resolution is lucky to win 2% of the vote. The Real Assets motion won 10.4% of the Royal Bank vote, 27.1% of the Toronto-Dominion vote, and 29.9% of the Bank of Montreal vote. Maybe there’s life in those shareholders yet! For details, see www.realassets.ca


ACTION OF THE MONTH
YES TO WIND, NO TO GAS

The federal cabinet will soon consider whether to approve the proposed GSX natural gas pipeline to Vancouver Island, as the National Energy Board will probably recommend. The gas is to feed the proposed Duke Point power plant, in Nanaimo. Natural gas is a polluting fossil fuel, and the electricity from the Duke Point plant will cost 8.9 cents per kilowatt hour. BC Hydro, meanwhile, is only offering 5.5 cents for "green" energy – and is receiving far more offers it than it can handle.

Action: Write to the Rt Hon Jean Chretien, House of Parliament, Otttawa K1A 0A6, and ask cabinet to turn down this foolish megaproject. Email: Pm@gc.ca


NOTICE

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

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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria
V9E 2B9
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

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