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October 2017 Newsletter

Support Us! You can become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00), attend our monthly meetings (the 4th Thursday usually), donate, and/or volunteer. Mailing address: SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society), c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website:
*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***
Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.


1. Water Inspiration: October 26, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. If we’re masters of our own destiny, how can you act and be proactive with water to prevent environmental damage “before it’s too late” ? A documentary will show successes elsewhere that we can learn from and use locally. We welcome your input!...or just come and listen and learn!

2. Handmade Holiday: Saturday, Nov 18th, 11 am – 3 pm, Schubert Centre. If you would like to assist us in organizing this year’s event, please contact Heather ASAP. Most of the original ‘legwork’ has already been done…

3. Pecha Kucha Night: November 23rd, 7 - 9 pm, Schubert Centre. Here, with the aims to connect and improve SENS' positive community work, local groups will present briefly about what they do, provide a short future-wish-list, then discuss positive actions in break-out sessions. Join us to help move Vernon towards a sustainable, regenerative region. Your ideas are welcome!


1. Farmers’ Markets:

Vernon: Monday and Thursdays, 8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

Armstrong: Saturdays, 9 am – noon, Armstrong Fairgrounds until Oct 29th.

Lumby: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, Pat Duke Memorial Park.

Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave.

GMO and pesticide free produce! For more information, call 778-473-2230 or visit their website.

2. North Okanagan Naturalists: Oct 4th, 7 pm, Village Green Hotel. Dr Mary Stockdale speaks on "Resilience of Nature and Culture: Participatory Video-making with Agta and Aeta Tribal People of the Philippines”.

3. Wildfires 2017: Oct 4th, 7;30 pm, OK College lecture theatre. Come and learn about the causes, consequences, and solutions to B.C.'s wildfires this year. Dr Lori Daniels, UBC Prof of Forest Ecology, will present research on fire patterns and forest resilience as part of the Science In Society Series. Tickets are $7 in advance (Okanagan Science Centre, 250 545-3644 or purchase them online here) or $10 at the door.

4. Green Drinks: Tuesday Oct 10, 5 – 7 pm, Marten Brew Pub, 2933 30th Ave in Vernon. These are informal gatherings of those in the environmental field but open to all. Attend and enjoy the flow of ideas and make new contacts. Contact Matt

5. Astronomy Night: October 13, 9 – 11 pm at Allan Brooks Nature Centre with local members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Admission by donation.

6.Waste Reduction Week Charity Garage Sale: Oct 22nd, 9 – 1pm, Kal Tire Office parking lot, 1540 Kal Lake Rd. Support local non-profits and enjoy food vendors, live music, and other fun family activities. Free for Non-profit vendors; $20 for business/individuals. To reserve a stall: 250 558-3200 ext 528.

7. Innovation Through Collaboration: Fresh Outlook Foundation Conference: Nov 21 – 24 Delta Grand Hotel, Kelowna. Climate Action, Water Stewardship, Food Systems/Security, Community Capital / Infrastructure and much more. Registration details at

8. Water Harvesting Project - An International Volunteer Opportunity in April, 2018. Developing World Connections (DWC), based in Kamloops, is planning to construct a water retention structure in Udaipur, a dry area of India, to help subsistence farmer families and their community. DWC seeks up to 20 people who are interested in helping. This sustainable project will help the village move themselves forward. Leading this trip to India in April is veteran team leader Ray Fowell from the UK. This will be his 24th trip. The trip in April is a two-week trip, although a shorter option is available as well. Travelers can also extend their stay to do additional travelling after the volunteer portion is completed. As DWC is a registered non-profit, travelers are issued a charitable tax receipt for their entire trip costs. Trips are organized to be as affordable as possible with a portion of fees contributing directly to project materials and costs.

Contact: DWC Trip Co-ordinator, Thomas Johansen, Or contact Ray direct at:


1. Smoky Wildfire Summer:

2. Tiny House Paradise:

3. Fresh Veg Cooling Chamber:


1. Climate Change Course: Free for anyone, anywhere. Become climate change literate!

2. Green Bonds: A lot of people are moving ahead of government policy to invest in sustainability.

3. Holland and Sustainable Farming: “twice the food with half the resources”

4. BC Coast Salmon Farming:

5. Climate Leadership?

6. Neonics: The Latest updated assessment confirms that neonics have major impacts and represent a worldwide threat to biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) released the second edition of its Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Effects of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems in Ottawa. France will ban them by 2018… Please send a letter to Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Ask her to phase out imidacloprid and ban all neonics now.

On the same, topic, BC resident Toni Mira asks you (via to write to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham to ask for a BC wide ban on the herbicide glyphosate. Currently a large petition is circulating in Nova Scotia to do the same.

7. Decline of Nuclear Energy: Costs, oversupply of uranium and a burgeoning interest in renewables (thanks to global warming and Fukushima) is squeezing expensive nuclear energy into a corner.


1. Protecting Wild Salmon: Despite many letters to MP Dominic LeBlanc, our federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, there are still no precautionary steps being taken to test farmed fish for Piscine Retrovirus (PRV). This remains so even after the deadly PRV virus was diagnosed in a B.C. fish farm! As such, the Ecojustice team will to take him to court on this. Ecojustice asks for donations to assist. For the entire article, go here.


1. Pollutants in Tuna: According to new research, the levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the muscle tissue of tuna caught in the more industrialized areas of the northeast Pacific Ocean and northeast Atlantic Ocean can be as much as 36 times higher than in tuna caught in pristine waters of the West Pacific Ocean. The next time you go out for seafood, you might want to ask where the tuna was caught!


1. Exxon and Climate Change: Scientific evidence for human-caused global warming has increased to the point of certainty, but many still believe the role of fossil fuels in climate change is contentious. There’s a reason for that: According to volumes of research by journalists, investigators and academics — including this new study — some of the industry’s largest players have long been deceiving the public about climate science. One such player was Exxon Mobil. For more, read this New York Times opinion article!

2. Working With Nature: As the world warms, it’s getting worse. Instead of working against nature, cities in danger of flooding ought to “concede to the wisdom of nature” and design them to be more sponge-like. Restoring natural assets (e.g. swamps) is also a good start... “Ultimately, we must work with nature to prevent and adapt to problems such as flooding, water scarcity, wildfires, and climate disruption. When we work against nature, we work against ourselves.” For the entire piece, go here.

3. Economic Growth: It’s defined as a year-to-year increase in production, distribution and consumption, as expressed by gross domestic product”. This type of growth cancels out any pledges Canada has made in reaching climate action targets, but all politicians make it a primary goal. “Degrowth” shrinks the economy through shorter workweeks and more holidays and encouraging low-consumption lifestyles. “Agrowth” ignores GDP and evaluates progress using literacy, employment, rates of diabetes and heart disease, water and air quality and climate stability etc. Which would you prefer?

4. October 5 Deadline For Caribou: This deadline is for protection of caribou range but the Forest Products Association is pushing NOT to protect their habitat by questioning the scientific research proof that habitat disturbance can cause population decline and extinction. Please contact your MP and federal environment minister McKenna to support caribou and science.


1. Warming Waters = Smaller Fish: According to a recently published UBC study, the warming waters of the oceans (due to climate change) could cause fish to shrink as much as 45 percent. Big, active fish like tuna could see even greater effects. This stunted growth is because their bodies demand more oxygen (fish work better in colder waters) from waters holding less oxygen (past studies confirm this). This double whammy effect means important species could soon top out well short of their current sizes—shrinking fisheries and potentially causing problems up the food chain. For the original article, go here.


1. Saving Rare Species: A study released this summer has found that there is a backlog of work to be done to develop Recovery Strategies for many threatened or endangered species in Canada. As a result, proper protection is not possible to enforce. Political willpower, funding, and more expertise are needed to address this issue. For more, check out these news articles from UBCO and CBC!

2. Stream Work in Cherryville: Throughout this year of extremely high and low flows, the hydrometric station in Cherry Creek continues to provide real time water quantity data, which is helping to build a comprehensive water quality database on local streams and the Shuswap River.

3. River Restoration Workshop: Oct 3rd and 4th in Penticton. The workshop will discuss the planning, construction, methods (stream analysis and hydraulics), and successful results of the restoration designs. Presenters will include those from the Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries Department, from the En'owkin Centre, and from Newbury Hydraulics. For more information, go here or contact Dominique Alexis (250-707-0095 ext 201). A registration form is here too!


FROM EVIDENCE FOR DEMOCRACY (non-profit social media group)

Arctic Research: Canada’s high Arctic research station, The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), will be closed at the end of this year because its funding is being cut. As well, other climate change and atmospheric research projects have yet to receive funding for 2018. Call on the Minister for Science Kirsty Duncan to #savePEARL and re-invest in climate science today. Add your name here:



1. Site C Makes No Economic Sense: BC Hydro has consistently overestimated future electricity demand. As things stand, the Site C dam’s power would be sold at a loss after the project is completed. That means higher debt for BC Hydro—and higher rates for all BC Hydro customers. This would then be passed down to all British Colombians! Rather than move ahead with Site C, B.C. should undertake a more fulsome process of consideration of its climate action planning and its need for climate justice. For more, go here.


1. NAFTA Renegotiation: IISC asked experts to comment…

a) there could be an evisceration of the labour and environment commitments that had been upheld over the past 20 years.

b) An opportunity for Sustainable Development may be relegated to the sidelines.

c) Environmental provisions are ineffective and these flaws should be fixed so that foreign companies cannot ride roughshod over Canada’s environmental laws and cause taxpayers to pay for damages (because company shareholders and investors must be protected from share loss). Flaw fixing might not happen.

d) If there were a 20% tariff increase in North American industries (eg energy, steel, cement, automobiles) all three countries would suffer but the US would suffer the most.

All experts agreed that it looks bleak for the environment…


National Energy Board Decisions: The National Observer has uncovered information showing that some National Energy Board (NEB) members were in conflict of interest as they made decisions on Energy East. This puts our environment at risk. Sierra Club wishes to ensure that our government

* places the safety and welfare of people and communities over industry profit,

* removes environmental assessment from NEB's authority,

* respects the rights of Indigenous peoples, and,

* forces the NEB to align its work with our targets under the Paris Agreement.

Please sign this message today

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck



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