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AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)EcoNews reaches thousands of people each month, including every MLA in BC and every CRD municipal politician. It’s 95% funded by donations from readers like you. If you value the information it provides, will you support it with a donation?

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Contact Econews

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. 150 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - June 2005


PEACE

"The very agonies of war and the dark night of suffering that has lasted for centuries are awakening civilization to a new understanding: the peoples of the Earth have a sacred right to peace." Senator Douglas Roche

The peoples of the Earth have a sacred right to peace. Eleven short words, that say it all.

When animals fight, they hold back from killing, probably because the risk of being killed outweighs the possible gain.

But when our early ancestors learnt how to kill at a distance, perhaps by throwing a spear, the devil was out of the sheath. Now we could achieve dominance with far less risk of dying. Warfare, warriors, and death became a matter of glory among human tribes around the Earth.

In the past, there may often have been a good case for war. Tribes were often trapped in a "kill or be killed" situation, when invading tribes sought to steal their land, seize their women, and kill their men. The meek were driven to the margins; the aggressive picked up the sword.

As the habit of warfare took hold, every effort was made to train a better warrior, design a better gun, and build a bigger bomb, the better to slaughter the enemy.

And slaughter we have done, with cruel and relentless persistence. Four million people died during the Napoleonic Wars. Fifteen million died in the First World War. Maybe as many as twenty million American Indians died as Europeans took over their land. Fifty-five million died in the Second World War.

Against this, however, there has been a second trend. The boundaries of our consciousness, as humans, have grown steadily wider.

When we lived as tribes, every other tribe was a potential enemy. Through conquest, trade, and marriage, we gradually widened the boundaries, forming nations. We were still potentially hostile to each other, and full of prejudice, but within the nation we were mostly peaceful.

It was only in 1966 that we first saw Earth from space, and realized at a profound level that we lived together on a small and very precious planet. The number of humans who feel that their love for the whole Earth is deeper than their love for their nation is growing, every day. And with each day, the determination to end war forever grows stronger.

Peace is a very beautiful thing. Here in Canada we enjoy its presence every day, and I think we appreciate it, too. The Canadian impulse, affirmed by generations of Canadians, is to help the world become a more peaceful place. In a 2004 Environics survey of Canadian values, nearly a third of Canadians said that Canadaís peacekeeping and peacefulness was our greatest contribution to the world.

It was with this in mind that in the Fall of 2003, a small group of Victoria citizens started meeting together, their intentions set on one idea: that Canada should have a Department of Peace at the federal level, with a Minister of Peace in the Cabinet.

About this idea, the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada, said "After my lengthy tenure as Canadaís Minister of Foreign Affairs, I solidly support the creation of this new department, so that Canada can continue to project in the world an alternative to violent conflict as a peacemaking and peacebuilding nation."

Right now, we have a Department of Defence, and seven other departments that have a hand in various aspects of war and peace. By bringing these activities together in one new Department of Peace, they could focus on the task of creating a culture of peace and nonviolence in the world, in keeping with the Earth Charter.

As a country, we need to change our priorities. We can choose to spend $4 billion on buying and maintaining CF-18 fighter jets, with all their crews and back-up resources; or we can hire 4,000 Canadians to work for 20 years as peace-makers and peace-builders around the world.

Every Ministry creates its own culture; the recruitment and training of its staff is molded by this culture. If is one of tanks, missiles, and fighter jets, it attracts people who like these things. If it is one of citizen diplomacy, peacemaking, and non-violent communication, it will attract a different kind of people.

Peace-building is a very special kind of work. It involves working in a country with a potential for violence before a conflict breaks out. It involves developing joint projects for health, arts, sports and sustainability that bring together the conflicted sides to build relationships, and work for shared solutions.

It is absolutely necessary at this stage in our planetís history that we put aside the tools of war, and embrace the tools of peace. On June 10th-12th, there is a Festival of Peace here in Victoria (see Green Diary), where you can learn more. This is an initiative which deserves our strong support, to take it all the way. www.departmentofpeacecanada.com

Guy Dauncey

ECONEWS

AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)A monthly newsletter, funded by your donations, that dreams of a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community, & the joys of personal fulfillment, protected and guided by active citizenship.

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

Donations can also be sent by PayPal, please send to GuyDauncey@EarthFuture.com, be sure to 'earmark' it to EcoNews.

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A big thankyou to Susan Coward, Ruth Masters, Dave Secco, Harold King, Peter Schofield, Linda Billings, Anthony Kennard, Canadian Artists Response Team, Andrée Scott, Denise Dickson, & Karen Roberts.

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ECONEWS 150TH BIRTHDAY.

Yes, weíve been doing this since 1991. Weíve printed 250,000 copies on recycled or hemp paper, re-used 120,000 envelopes, and reached many people.

One of our readers, Rachel McElroy, who is Environmental Coordinator at Royal Roads, has been accepted for a place in the new one-year Masters Program in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability at the Blekinge Institute in Sweden, based on The Natural Step, after reading about it in EcoNews. (www.bth.se/tmslm )

She writes: "My hope is that my studies will cause a paradigm shift within, resulting in transformational change on this planet through collaboration between business and the environment." Now sheís looking for ways to fund her $11,000 living costs in Sweden (the tuition is free).

If you have any ideas, or would like to help her, please contact her: Rachelle.1mcelroy@RoyalRoads.ca Tel 250-391-2600 x 4277.

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ECONEWS SUMMER APPEAL

Dear Readers,

EcoNews is 150 issues old. Thanks to your help, we have nurtured the vision of a healthy, sustainable Vancouver Island and a peaceful world for 14 years. However, our bank account is now empty, so can you help?

EcoNews has been financed by your donations ever since it started, in 1991. Each issue costs around $600 for postage, $200 for printing, and $350 for editorial, totaling $1,150. For this, we reach up to 8,000 people by mail and email, including every MLA and local politician, and many more through the web page at www.earthfuture.com .

If you enjoy reading EcoNews. and value the information it provides, would you consider making a donation? Cheques payable to EcoNews, 395 Conway Road, Victoria, B.C. V9E 2B9

EcoNews is not charity tax-deductible, but if you would like a receipt, please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope. Many thanks .


THE ECO-CORNER
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THE ECO-CORNER

$5/line (non-profits, low-income free) 1" box ad $40, $2" box ad $70

* Unused letter envelopes always needed for EcoNews. Call 881-1304

* Vegan House! Vegan seeks 3-4 other veggies to meet up and rent a house together in Victoria by Sept, with the idea of sharing a vegan and eco-friendly space. If intrigued, email Dave: veganhouse@shaw.ca

* Charming and reasonable guest room, Cook St village & ocean 250-361-3102

* Professor with sabbatical wishes to lease, house-sit home or cabin Sept 2005 to June 2006. Sunshine Coast, Comox Valley preferred, not required. Single, non-drinker, non-smoker. Broadband connection a plus. Dr. Tom Jones tomj@athabascau.ca 1-866-514-6233 (Athabasca Univ, Alberta).

* Seeking partners to buy land for sustainable living. rainwalker@shaw.ca

* Mature female seeks quiet, private room with amenities, for barter. Often away. (250) 383-5144 ext. 3007

* Reiki Master offers classes all levels. Reiki, Thai massage, energy work. Excellent results, reasonable rates. 250-383-5144 ext 3007

* Experienced pet/house sitter. Mature female (B.Ed). Reasonable rates. 250-383-5144 ext 3007

* Bachelor sub-let. Seek non smoking female June 15 to Aug 15. $550/mth incl, furnished, single day sitting bed, Beacon Hill Park. Quiet. No pets. joannemarks@canada.com

* Portable Massage table summer rent $50mth joannemarks@canada.com

* Creekside Commons cohousing project, Courtenay BC, is in the design stage; our scheduled move is in late 2006. We are welcoming new members. www.creeksidecommons.ca

* Fran's Pet Friendly Lodging. Furnished 2 BR self-contained suite, quiet James Bay street nr ocean, shops downtown. Children, pets welcome. Reasonable weekly daily rates. Fran 250-380-7145 fran@pacificcoast.net

* Furnished Apt. July 1-Aug. 15 incl. pkg, hydro, internet/cable & phone. Quiet, non smokers please. Close to Oak Bay Rec Centre and Village. 6 wks $1350. A. Graham 370-1260

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Renovations

Residential + Commercial + Indoor + Outdoor

Eco-friendly Carpentry; Woodworking; Flooring; Composters; Creative storage

Harald Wolf 250-882-9653 www.wolfweb.ca/allegra

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DUKE POINT FOLLIES, Act 12

Tom Hackney writes: Whatís up with the natural gas-fired power plant thatís planned for Duke Point, Nanaimo? The GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition, the BCSEA and SPEC will appear before three judges of the BC Court of Appeal on June 3rd to argue that Judge Thackray's earlier decision to deny leave to appeal should be varied, and that the appeal should be allowed to proceed. The Joint Industry Electricity Steering Committee will appear beside us, supporting the same argument. If we are successful, this opens a no-liability way for BC Hydro to cancel the Electricity Purchase Agreement, thereby killing the project. If we are not, this will likely be the end of our campaign against the power plant. Please send good vibrations to us and the judges.

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SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

If Duke Point represents everything wrong with current BC energy policy, and youíre wondering whatís right, mark Saturday & Sunday June 4th & 5th in your diary for a trip to the BC Royal Museum, on Belleville St. The Victoria Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association is putting on a major Showcase Event on "Sustainable Energy Now. Solving the Energy Puzzle", with displays and speakers all weekend on everything from solar and wind energy to biodiesel and peak oil. While youíre at it, you can take in the Museumís new permanent exhibit on global climate change, and the temporary Tibet exhibit. 9am to 5pm, both days. On Monday June 6th, Cinecenta at UVic is showing "The End of Suburbia", a real eye-opener about peak oil and gas, and the coming shortages www.bcsea.org

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THE GARDEN PATH ORGANIC PLANT NURSERY

Open Daily: 10am to 5.30pm April, May & June 2005

2-acre Organic Display Garden Saturday Morning Workshops

395 Conway Road (Off Interurban, past Camosun College)

(250) 881-1555 www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath

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UVICíS MBA SCORES 0%

There is a good argument to be made that our entire ability to turn the world away from its current path of ecological destruction hinges on the ability of our business leaders to make a "mid-course correction", and to make sustainability their guiding mission instead of being fixated on the narrow, ecocidal goal of share value maximization, at any cost. We can push, and encourage, but if they fail, we all go down.

So what are Canadaís MBA business programs doing to educate their students about sustainability and corporate social responsibility? Corporate Knights is a Canadian Magazine for Responsible Business, and every year, they do a survey of Canadaís business schools as "a guide for students who want to change the world", based on the US "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" evaluation (www.beyondgreypinstripes.org).

For the 2nd year in a row, York Universityís MBA program came top for the 2003/2004 year, with an 82% rating. They were followed (a long way back) by Concordia University, the U of Alberta, and the U of Calgary. Royal Roads University just made it into the Top Ten (out of 25), with a score of 30%. For Undergraduate courses, Trent came top with 51%, followed by York, and the U of Alberta.

So how did UVicís business program fare? Itís rather embarrassing. UVicís MBA program came 22nd out of 25, scoring 0% for institutional support, 0% for student-led initiatives, and only 10% for the course itself. UVicís undergraduate program was equally hopeless: they scored 0% for institutional support, 0% for student-led initiatives, and just 4% for the course. If you know anyone up at UVic, please encourage them to do better. See www.corporateknights.ca

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CHASING MORGAN CHASE

Donít ever doubt that protest works; especially combined with dialogue. The San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has got it down to an art, and Americaís third largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, has just given in.

After months of grassroots activism, including protestors in white haz-mat suits, thousands of letters, hundreds of bank branches visited across the country, and the largest Global Finance Campaign Day of Action in years, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to adopt a comprehensive policy on climate change, forest protection, and indigenous rights.

It will take the lead in collective action by the finance sector in advocating for national action on climate change in the USA, and add carbon disclosure and mitigation to its client review process. From now on, in forests where conservation values are threatened, it will only finance preservation, and light, non-extractive use of resources, creating broad "no-go zones" where large-scale logging is off limits.

In areas of the world where over 50% of the logging is illegal, such as Indonesia, it will require Forest Stewardship Council chain of custody certification, so that wood is tracked from stump to store, and the market for black market timber dries up.

The bank also recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples on issues affecting their lands and territories, and will work to safeguard them.

"The private financial sector, more than any other, has the ability to begin the ecological U-turn modern that society so desperately needs", said Ilyse Hogue, RANís global finance campaign director. For details, see www.ran.org

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Elite Earth-Friendly Dry Cleaners

Victoriaís only solvent free dry cleaner

1019 Cook St. 381-2221 Mon-Fri 8-6 Sat 10-4 www.greendrycleaner.com

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STV FOR BC

In BCís recent election, an astonishing 57.38% of the voters said "YES" to a change to the Single Transferable Vote. It also received more than 50% support in all but 2 of BCís 79 constituencies Thatís more votes than any BC government has ever been elected on. The Liberals "won" in BC with 46% of our support. In Britain, Tony Blairís Labour party just "won" with 35% of the publicís support. On this basis, we should argue that "First Past the Post" is for losers. So why the 60% limit? Precisely to as to protect the losers. We must not give up on this; we should let all our new MLAs know that electoral reform must be top of their agenda.

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Looking for a community that cherishes the earth, challenges the mind, nurtures the spirit? You'll be welcome here.

First Unitarian Church of Victoria

5575 West Saanich Road 744-2665 www.victoriaunitarian.ca/eco.php

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FREEDOM for INFORMATION

Free the documents. BC has a Freedom of Information Act, but unless youíre a specialist, it can be tough (and expensive) to prize what you want out of the hands of the bureaucrats. But fear not. Galloping to rescue are the students from UVicís Environmental Law Centre, who have written a Citizenís Guide to Freedom of Information, designed to make it much easier, and talk you through the process, step by step. Great work, folks. It is free to environmental groups. Just send a self-addressed 10" x 6" envelope with $2 postage to Environmental Law Centre, PO Box 2400, Stn CSC, Victoria V8W 3H7. And anyone can download a copy from www.elc.uvic.ca

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ORGANIC FESTIVAL

Put July 9th & 10th in your Diary, for the Islandís first ever Organic Islands Festival at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, on Quayle Road, in west Saanich. There will be exhibits by local organic farms, landscaping services, brown box programs, organic catering services, locally made hemp products, and educational workshops; and (for sure) lots of great organic nibblies, and conversations. If youíre able to volunteer, call Deb Morse at 656-8130. www.organicislands.ca

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FIRST PAST THE POST

Congratulations to all our new and re-elected MLAs: Scott Fraser, Doug Routley, Maurine Karagianis, John Horgan, Leonard Krog, Claire Trevena, David Cubberley, Carole James and Rob Fleming (NDP); Stan Hagen, Ron Cantelon, Ida Chong and Muray Coell (Liberal). NB: Electoral reform.

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ACTION OF THE MONTH : A DEPARTMENT OF PEACE

Saul Arbess writes:

The Federal Government has become increasingly preoccupied with security and defence. Its recently released International Policy Statement sees a larger role for Canada in peacemaking, peacebuilding and early intervention, before crises escalate into shooting wars. Yet no-one is responsible for coordinating these efforts, or to liaise with NGOs and the considerable promise of citizen diplomacy. Right now, they are spread across at least 8 departments. This is where the idea of creating a Department of Peace comes in, with a Minister of Peace in Cabinet who could develop policy aimed at achieving true security based on global social, economic, and ecological justice.

Action: Please write to the Prime Minister (pm@pm.gc.ca), Foreign Affairs Minister Pettigrew (Pettigrew.P@parl.gc.ca), & NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Alexa McDonough (McDonough.@parl.gc.ca) who have all shown interest, and encourage them to act on it. Your letters and emails will make a difference.

House of Parliament, Ottawa K1A 0A6.

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WEB

Some great sites that have passed my way


NOTICE

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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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