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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

 

 ECONEWS


Newsletter No. 72 - Serving Vancouver Island's Environmental Community - May 1998


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WE ARE LIKE MOLECULES,ABOUT TO FORM AN ORGANISM

EarthDay Speech, April 25th 1998

As the years have passed, there is one thing I have learnt - we cannot base our work only on fighting what is bad. There is plenty that is bad, from clearcuts to genetically engineered food. We also need a vision, a shining vision of the kind of world we know to be possible. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we were to live with that vision always in mind?

There are many people who live their lives this way. Some have been to prison for their beliefs. At Clayoquot Sound five years ago and the Slocan Valley last year, many were arrested for their beliefs. Behind the scenes, meanwhile, small groups of thoughtful, intelligent people continue to work, day-by-day, becoming skilled and knowledgeable, so that they can make a difference. People in groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, the World Federalists, the Council of Canadians, the Garry Oak Meadow Society, LifeCycles, the Moss St Market, the Gaia Project, the Vegetarian Association, the Cycling Coalition, the Car Share Co-operative, the South Island Organic Growers, the First Nations, the Community Economic Development Corporation, the Deep Ecology Groups, the Women's Shelters, the Skies Above Foundation.

Sometimes we go for months without a sign that we are making any progress. All the work is hidden, behind the scenes. Then suddenly, the results appear, as if the Canucks have learnt to win. Most of the Sooke Hills are declared a wilderness park, with just two more valleys waiting to be saved. The MAI is derailed, after nine months of worldwide protest. Ayum Creek is saved. And then this   'MACBLO MAY AXE CLEARCUTS';  'INTERFOR    READY TO JOIN MACBLO CLEARCUT BAN'. Did you ever imagine such headings ? The pressure of all that constant, committed campaigning is having its effect. European and Californian consumers are saying they don't want to buy timber that has been harvested by clearcutting, destroying the future for the sake of a few 2 x 4s or a phone book.

In the Great Bear Rainforest, thanks to the incredible vision of people like Peter and Ian McAllister, the Heiltsuk Hereditary Chiefs have formally asked Western Forest Products to stop logging in the Ingram watershed - and two weeks ago, they stopped. Interfor have stopped their roadbuilding in the Johnstone, because of consumer and public pressure. Now they want to sit down to talk.

I have a vision of a not-so-distant future when ALL forest companies will give up clearcutting and move to ecoforestry, of forest hamlets where people can live together, earning their living from ecoforestry, processing their timber locally to make furniture or musical instruments.

I have a vision of our Island being organized so that the regional district boundaries are based on natural watersheds, with Watershed Stewardship Councils being elected to manage the forests, rivers and agricultural lands.

I have a vision of people living in ecovillage clusters that are free of cars, where children can play safely, of a Vancouver Island EcoVillage Society being established so that people who want to live this way can start organizing. Unless we organize, nothing happens.

I have a vision of cycle paths everywhere, of Safeways and Thrifty Foods having bicycle carts you can tow your weekly shopping home in.

My vision includes co-operatives, community banking and local currencies. It includes ecologically based regional planning, and roofs covered in solar shingles. Someone once said that an optimist is someone who hasn't understood all the facts. That may be true - but it is also true that a pessimist is someone who hasn't understood all the opportunities.

I have a vision in which we support each other spiritually and emotionally as we work for these goals, where none of us feels lonely as we go about our work. We are like molecules in an amazing parade, about to form an organism.

Now picture many such organisms working together around the world, from Canada to Bangla Desh, communicating through the Internet as we are doing on the MAI. Picture us working together for huge, previously unimaginable goals - the global elimination of all nuclear weapons, the establishment of global ecological rights. All this is possible, as long as we believe. We CAN build a solar society. We CAN stop the tiger from becoming extinct. We CAN close down the World Bank, if that is what it takes.

It IS possible : the biggest enemy is not the corporations or the banks - it is our own willingness to go along with the media, to be cynical, instead of being outrageously vibrant in pursuit of our dreams.

So hold tight to your dreams, and always remember the Fourth Law of Sustainability : 'If it's not fun, it's not sustainable !'. We are stardust, making our way back to the Garden.

- Guy Dauncey


 

ECONEWS

Published as a monthly service, nourishing the vision of an Island blessed by the harmony of nature and community, funded by your donations.AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)

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Many thanks to everyone who responded to our Spring Appeal - Alan Drengson, Tony Hodge, Dan Jason, Peter Dixon, John Olafson & Linda Beare, Judith Fetter, Andrea Tischhauser, Liz Reading, Todd Wellman, Susan Westmacott, Flora Rosen, Peter Walker, Yvonne Bondarchuk, Rich Atwood, Dorothy Bishop, ENVI Lawncare, Ivan Defaveri, Kathleen Stewart, Connie Mungall, Nina Corley Smith, Ken Wardroper, Blaise Salmon, Daphne Taylor, Doug Campbell, Kay Look, Unlimited Possibilities, Peter de Groot, Dale Hitchcox, PE Holmes, Craig Harrold, David Suzuki Foundation - Act Locally, Rob Wickson, James Whiteaker, Nina Raginsky, Shelley Milne, Andrew Glen, Alison Acker, Erica Tobias-Booth, Pat Johnston, Don Vipond, Jan Zwicky, Susan Day, Don Shaw, Hugo Sutmoller, Sandra Kerr, Ruth Masters, Marg Simons, Margaret Schubart, Diana Angus, Nancy McMinn, Colin Graham, Kate Rubin, Ms Scandiffio, Global Institute, Wayne Madden, Anke Bergner, Jo Phillips, Mary June Pettyfer, Noel Taylor, Stuart Wulff, Envision Environmental Consultants, Kathleen Gibson, William Patterson, Sheila Orr, Pru Moore, Pat Simpson, Jim Bohlen, Judith Cullington, Kathleen Johanneson, Bob Peart, Hal Knight, Gail Schultz, James Holtz, Freda Knott, Michael Carson, Transglobal Hemp Corporation, Drew Williams, Doug Crow, Andrew Gibson, Doug Patterson, Tom Read, Richard Price, Corey Miller, Habitat Acquisition Trust, Pat Henderson, Sharon Foster, Melanie Ransome, Sandi Ayer, Bob Stuart, Denise Savoie, Debra Barr, Aaron Rain & Anne Lindsay. And thanks for your many words of encouragement, too.

Donations can be made to EcoNews, 395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1. If you don't want to receive EcoNews, or are going away, please let us know - it avoids wasting the postage. To receive EcoNews call (250) 881-1304, or email guydauncey@earthfuture.com


SIERRA CLUB COMMUNITY NIGHT

'A Sustainable Forest for the Future'
with Merve Wilkinson
Wed May 13th,  7:00 - 10pm
Fairfield Community Place, 1335 Thurlow
Together, Building Community !

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
Albert Einstein


ECO-PERSONALS !!

  • Anyone interested in rural cohousing nr Victoria ? Call Jackie Robson, 361-9446

  • House to share. 3 community minded folks looking for 1 or 2 to share beautiful large (3,100 sq ft) 3 level house in Gordon Head near UVic. Self-contained suite or rooms available. Pat or Sue 477-0851.

  • Like to sail, but can't afford to ? Kathryn Molloy belongs to 21 ft sailboat co-operative in Oak Bay, and knows boat-owners who'd like to share. 4 shares @ $900 = one week a month, $40 moorage/ maintenance, scrape and paint. 995-0265.

  • Were you a Clayoquot Sound arrestee in 1993 ? The Friends of Clayoquot Sound want to contact you for a big Summer Reunion, Aug 8th/9th. (250) 725-4218

  • Anyone interested in improving and raising awareness of air quality issues in the Cowichan Valley ? Call Helen at COIN    (250) 743 4825 jtdiller@cvnet.net

  • Can you help EcoNews by pre-stamping our envelopes ? Call Guy, 881-1304


YOUTH LETTER PRIZE

Merve & Anne Wilkinson are inviting people 18 and younger to write a letter to "The Great Spirit - Creator - God" saying : "What I, with a great deal of help, want to do to make sure that the children of my children's generation will have a balanced natural world as much like the healthy habitat that my parents, and even I have known -- a habitat for all wild creatures, great and tiny, who are vital to it as we humans are not." The best letter wins a week-end for two at Wildwood, Merve's sustainable working forest near Nanaimo. Send your letter, marked "My Habitat", to Merve Wilkinson, Wildwood, RR #3, Ladysmith, B.C. V0R 2E0, by July 1st.


EMAIL YOUR POLITICIAN

The Crazy People at Tinmen (whoever they are!) have gathered all available emails for Canadian and US politicians and posted them on the Internet at www.tinmen.org/govemail.html

They say that Canadian politicians have been very good about replying to enquiries so far  - unlike the US politicians. Check out the list, and download the addresses.


LIFECYCLES COMPUTER LOSS

The youth-oriented LifeCycles Project and West Coast Ecological Youth Alliance suffered a big blow recently when someone broke in and stole their computers; the insurance company says it can't pay up for 4 months. LifeCycles runs 3 projects - helping low income people create their own veggie gardens (4 done, 20 planned); helping schools establish their own gardens; and running a community supported agriculture program delivering organic food from 4 farms to 20 customers (they've got openings if you want to join). If you can help them through their computer crisis, please call Tim at (250) 382-5800.


GYPSY MOTH VICTORY

Following the heart-warming success of the legal appeal by the Ecological Health Alliance and others to stop the spraying of BtK and other unknown chemicals over parts of Victoria, help is needed right now to help band Garry Oak trees with burlap, monitor for gypsy moth larvae and set up pheromone traps as an alternative defense against the gypsy moth. If you can help, please call Marisa Herrera (Sierra Club), 592-4293, Jean (Stop Overhead Spraying) 383-3336 or Katy (Ecological Health Alliance) at 658-2027. Webheads can learn more at www.surfport.com/gypsymoth


THE GARDEN PATH

Organic Heritage Plant Nursery
'Victoria's best known secret'
Vegetables - Heirloom Tomatoes Herbs - Flowers
- Bamboo & Grasses Heritage Roses - Native Plants

Open Every Day (except Mondays)  10 am - 5 pm
at the Greenhouse, 1834 Haultain St
(between Richmond & Foul Bay)
Carolyn Herriot, 592-4472


A SOLAR CAR-SHARE CO-OP ?

The Victoria Car-Share Co-operative now has 56 members. If you want to find out how it works, call (250) 995-0265. A Nanaimo Car-Share Co-operative is also in the making - call Ian Gartshore at 716-8888 shore@nisa.net

Long-term, the future for cars on our planet probably lies with hydrogen, using the kind of fuel-cell manufactured by Ballard, in North Vancouver, which splits the water through electrolysis, creating hydrogen and oxygen. The process requires energy, however, and it uses gas or nuclear energy, we are back at square one. The ultimate solution is solar hydrogen - hydrogen manufactured using solar energy.   Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo, have just developed a new process that will significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing hydrogen using solar energy, while improving efficiency. John Turner, a chemist at the lab, envisions corner hydrogen fuel stations within two or three decades, equipped with solar panels and devices that convert water into fuel. The challenge of global warming, however, means that we need those fuel stations within ten years, not twenty - and it has to be achievable. Yes ?


TRANSGLOBAL HEMP PRODUCTION CORPORATION

Ecology + Economics = Green $$$
$25,000 Minimum Investment Offering Memorandum, video.
Brian Johnstone  (250) 384-4873


THE GREAT EXPERIMENT

Some readers may find this story (which I received from friends on the Internet) one of the most significant pieces they have read all year; others may dismiss it as just another new age self-delusion. I am in the former camp - I believe that intentions and attitudes make a difference. When the whole world starts thinking together, miracles can happen..... (GD)

Can millions of people, focusing their minds on inner and world peace, heal the world in an instant? Can we, through scientific and quantifiable means, prove that we are the creators of the world we perceive, and that by changing our perception, the world itself changes? This is 'The Great Experiment'. Two months ago, James Twyman, author of the bestselling book 'Emissary of  Light', was invited by the government of Iraq to perform his Peace Prayer in Baghdad. The situation seemed desperate - war seemed almost inevitable and diplomatic efforts seemed to have failed. "I was being used by the Iraqi government," Twyman said. "But we had the same goal: to avoid this terrible war. I was given permission to sing the prayer for peace to Saddam Hussein and I wanted the world to join us in this prayer. Hundreds of thousands of people over the world participated, and when it was complete I felt a profound shift in the energy of that whole region. Three days later, a peace agreement was signed, something which seemed impossible before the prayer vigil began. A week later, I was invited by the government of Northern Ireland to sing at Stormont Castle in Belfast - the building where the peace talks were being held. For days, bombs were exploding all around that area. Many people were trying to interrupt the peace process and it seemed like the talks might fall apart. Once again, thousands around the world joined us in prayer, and three days later there was a breakthrough in the talks. A peace agreement in May now seems inevitable." On April 23rd, James Twyman was invited to sing peace prayers from the twelve major religions at the United Nations building in New York, and was once again joined by people all over the world. To get in touch with this rapidly growing phenomenon, send your email to TheGreatExperiment@PeaceSeeds.com


RADIO GREEN

It's time to find AM 900 on your radio stations on Saturdays ! CJVI has just launched two new shows which might interest readers. On Saturday mornings, from 8 - 9am, Carolyn Herriot has her own gardening show called
'The Garden Path', packed full of organic gardening tips, what to do in the garden each week, and once the show gets going, top organic growers from all over the world. Then on Saturday afternoons from 2-3pm, starting May 2nd, Rick Searle hosts 'The Green Magazine', exploring everything from regional growth to the pressures on CRD parks, sustainable forestry, eco-tourism, corporate greening and socially responsible investment.


BOWKER CREEKING

Been creeking recently ? I mean, it does just happen to be the most absolutely coolest thing going, so you'd best get started ! If you live anywhere near Bowker Creek, which runs from Saanich through Oak Bay, there's some neat things beginning to trickle - visions of a new Bowker Creek Greenway, native shrub planting, possibilities of a native plant and bird eco-healing park near the Jubilee Hospital, and on May 30th, from 1-3pm, the Great Bowker Creek Rubber Ducky Race and Clean-Up, to raise funds for future restoration projects. A hundred rubber ducks will paddle bravely off from the foot bridge at Armstrong Road behind Oak Bay High School sponsored at $3 a duck, to see which can reach the sea first - assuming they're not adopted en route by a feathered duck. Good creeking means getting your feet wet, so if you want to join in, call Maia (592-5921) or Roger (598-0077). To join learn about the Friends of Bowker Creek, call Ian at 370-1271. For their electronic newsletter, send a message to kjancows@pacificcoast.net


THE CAT'S MEOW

Bunk & Breakfast
595-8878
Quiet, comfortable alternative
accommodation in Fernwood.
Shared $17.50     Private $43.00


TO MAI, OR NOT TO MAI ?

By the time you get this, the OECD meeting in Paris which was supposed to have been signing time for the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (the MAI) will have come and gone (April 28/29th). Depending on the CBC, you might or might not have seen pictures of the festive protests, and the human chain of 1500 people encircling the OECD building. The OECD will doubtless put a brace face on it, and talk about the next stage of negotiations, but the non-profit community is equally determined that there will be no "next stage". The negotiations may move to the World Trade Organization, involving the whole world - which would open up a far wider protest. Connie Fogal, meanwhile, has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government, charging that the executive does not have any jurisdiction to sign the treaty on behalf of Canada, and that to do so would be a breach of the Charter of Rights and the Constitution Acts of 1867 and 1982. Index of MAI websites : http://news.flora.org/flora.mainot/3264


IS YOUR COMPOST HOT ?

If it's not, or if you are still throwing food wastes into the garbage, now's the time to warm up your knowledge. May 4th - 10th is National Composting Awareness Week, with a composter sale on May 9th and an Open Day on May 10th (see Diary). Backyard composting is part of our effort to reduce our wasteful ways, recycle organic matter back into the soil, and grow healthier, organic food.

On other waste stuff, May 1st is PAPER BAN DAY from the Hartland landfill. From now on, all paper wastes must go in the blue box. If you run a business, and wonder how to cope with the ban, call Penner Recycling at 652-7790 - they'll manage it for you. And what about plastics ? Chris Mowat will take 3 bags full of plastics to Vancouver for recycling for just $3 - call 381-2273. If you've got the space, the smart thing to do would be to set up a community plastics recycling co-operative on your street ! Back to compost, on May 23rd, the CRD is holding a Public Forum on Composting Facilities to get your input into their regional composting strategy. See Diary.


HELP ! I'M OUT OF SPACE !


And the Cycling Coalition needs volunteers to help as marshals on Cycle Sunday (June 7th), the grand finale to Bike to Work Week. It's going to be wild - and for the whole family too, so put the date in your diary. I'll see you there ! Call Denise Savoie at 380-4828 if you can help, or the Hotline at 413-3188.


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, B.C. V8X 3X1, Canada. Thanks !

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Click here for previous issues of EcoNews.


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

Available free by mail or email

Author of 'After the Crash : The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy'
(Greenprint, London, 1988. 3rd edition 1997)

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