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September 2018 Newsletter


Support Us! Become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00),
attend our monthly meetings (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.
For the latest updates, check out the SENS Facebook Event Page!

1. Climate Action: September 27, 7-9 pm, Schubert Centre (3505 30thAve Vernon). Join us to hear about Kelowna’s new Climate Action Plan as well as City and RDNO actions, then engage with our community as you contribute to inspiring Municipal, Political or Personal action roundtable discussions. Fires, smoke, flood, drought and even food insecurity are the new reality. Let’s turn Climate Despairinto Climate Determinationas we act together for a safer, healthier future. The Vernon Climate Action Group joins SENS to help facilitate the evening.

2. October: “Make It Night”: October 25th, 7 pm. Join us and learn how to reduce throwaway containers by making soap, shampoo, hand creams, garden help sprays and more!

3. November: Handmade Holiday, Nov17, 11- 3pm, Schubert Centre

4. Clean Air: Nov 22, 7 pm, Schubert Centre.


1. Farmers’ Markets: 

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

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

GMO and pesticide free produce! Information is on their website.

2. Your Environmental Footprint:Where do you stand as an individual? Go hereto find out! 

3. Kal Tire Charity Garage Sale and Scrap Tire Round-up: Sept 8, 8 – 4 pm and Sept 9, 9 - 3 pm at Kal Tire’s offices, 1540 Kal Lake Rd, Drop of donations Tues - Sun, 9 - 4pm. (No clothing, magazines, died electronics, computer monitors, printers or large appliances).

4. B.C. Rivers Day:It’s September 23rdand coincides with World Rivers Day. Will you be helping clean one somewhere close to home? Check out the Outdoor Recreation Council 2018 endangered rivers list!

5. Bella Vista Industrial Cherry Orchard:Coral Beach Farms, which has an industrial orchard in Lavington, is planning another one close to Allenby Way and the airport... But Lavington locals are already presenting problems they are having with their orchard: unknown sprays, spray drift, loss of locally produced farm food from the land (most produce will go overseas), decreased quality of life (e.g. almost 24 hour blower noise), and much more! Sounds like bad news for nearby residents! Your thoughts?

6. Engage Vernon: link can be used to give input into helping Vernon become more child and youth friendly and other City initiatives. Your feedback goes directly to Council.

7. Climate Change, Community Health, and Resilience:This symposium is planned for Nov 5th– 6thin Kelowna and is meant to help organize collaborative action. For early sign-up details, gohere!


1. Species at risk Legislation:Thislegislationwill fulfill the Province’s commitment to reduce adverse impacts on B.C.’s most vulnerable species. Phase 3, an intentions paper, issued for public comment in the fall of 2018, will outline specific details of B.C.’s proposed species at risk legislation. The deadline for input is December 1st, 2018. Join the discussion here.

2. Kinder Morgan:MP Nathan Cullen spoke in the Canadian Parliament about the Kinder Morgan fiasco. There he fleshed out the realities of what we face. Follow this linkto find out what he said!

3. Fossil Fuel Subsidies:Check out Guy Dauncey's better ideafor these subsidies and much more!

4. B.C. Nature E-News Excerpts: 

a) Caribou in Danger Due to Fracking:A damaging audit from 2014 of fossil fuel fracking in northern B.C. was just leaked and it clearly shows how caribou protection has fallen well short … For more, go here!

b) Most and Least Polluted Cities in the World:Which cities are they? Find out by going here!

5. Preparing for Drought: With B.C.’s expected Level 3 droughtsof watersheds along the coast, Freshwater Alliance has developed the”10 Essential Messages about Drought” guideto assist communities in building up resilience to this for now and the future.

6. Climate Trailblazers:International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) reports that the Global Climate Action Summitreleased its listof everyday heroes (and their online handles), making a difference around the world!

7.Bacteria-Powered Solar Cell: UBC researchers have found a cheap, sustainable way to build a solar cell using bacteria that convert light to energy. Their cell generated a current stronger than any previously recorded, and worked as efficiently in dim light as in bright light. This innovation may lead to wider adoption of solar power in places like B.C. where overcast skies are common. In addition, they might prove useful in mining, deep-sea exploration, and other low-light environments. The research paper can be found here.

8. You Tube Links Worth Checking Out:

We got a whole slew 'em! Here they are:Germany’s renewable energy,Food growing in small spaces,Prius Pime drives in electric mode,Inexpensive Electric Cars,Winter greenhouse,Building with cob,Reclaiming deserts in China,Typical large modern recycling plant,Water from fognets,New electric vehicles,and finally Revolutionary electric car batteries.

9. The Path Towards True Sustainability:Human society is facing a profound transformation from exploitative, divisive, and competitive to regenerative, cooperative, and inclusive ways of conducting ourselves. Here are three presentations/articles that will show you where we can't go, where we are now, and where were, thankfully, starting to go. Thefirstis given by Hunter Lovins, who lays out a blueprint for a "regenerative economy" in the future. We're already seeing this shift, what with the rise of renewable solar energy and the failing fossil fuel industry! Next is an articleon UBC's Bill Rees, co-developer of the ecological footprint concept, who strongly believes we need to re-localize our economy. The thirdis given by Stanford University lecturer and energy futurist Tony Seba, telling an audience the astonishing truths about solar energy and the revolution in transport that is presently happening.

10. How to Fight Against Wildfires: As B.C. burns, it’s important to remember that fire is a natural process that makes forests more resilient to drought, disease and future fires. So while forest thinning is a good preventative measure, clear-cutting a burned-out forest is not the answer. Instead what’s needed is a national wildfire strategy such as this one.Many of its best recommendations haven’t yet been implemented, including the need to invest in wildfire science and prevention. If we did this, combining it with sensible preventative programs likeFire Smart, we could start winning against wildfires! For the full article, gohere.


1.FROM AVAAZ.ORG-ACTION - Only 800 Left:The Indonesian Government is planning the Batang Toru hydropower dam, which is where the last 800 Tapanuli Orangutangs (only recently discovered!) survive. Please sign this petitionurging them to stop!

2.FROM 350.ORG- Fossil Fuel Divestment:Bill McKibben, a founder of 350.ORG, noted that Ireland was the first nation on earth to divest itself fully from fossil fuel companies!. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recently issued a detailed reportthat shows that oil companies are a bad investment.

3. FROM CHANGE.ORG- Water Quality:The Great Lakes Basin is full of toxins that make its water unhealthy and dangerous to drink. We are protected because the Federal Government regulates water quality all over Canada. BUT, if you live on First Nations reserves in the region you are not protected…CHANGE.ORG's June petitionasked our PM to change this...Did it work? 

4. FROM SUMOFUS.ORG- Neonics Ban: The fight, which took 7 years and also involved AVAAZ, is over for now... We won!Meanwhile, Canada will ban only 1 of the 3 bee-killing neonics by 2022. Contact Health Minister Taylor asking for what the EU will have! To read more about the ban, go here.

Killing Sea Lice in Farmed Salmon: Despite opposition, on May 1st the B.C. Government gave the Norwegian salmon farming company, Cermaq, permission to dump 2.3 million litres of Paramove 50 in Clayoquot Sound to kill sea lice. The chemical also kills young salmon, herring, prawn and crab larvae, and other marine organisms. Clayoquot Sound is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.


1. Federal Methane Regulations:Environment and Climate Change Canada has deliveredthe world’s first comprehensive federal regulationsto reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

2. Insects and Climate-Related Diseases Spread: The U.S. can expect to see cases of dengue, Zika, and yellow fever as specific mosquito species move north. Lyme disease is already in Canada. Areport by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Preventionfound vector-borne diseases spread by parasitic insects and arachnids more than tripled in the U.S. over 12 years — from 27,388 cases in 2004 to 96,075 in 2016.

3.Mobility Pricingand Congestion:Studies show that you can’t build your way out of congestion.More roads and bridges bring more cars. Mobility pricingought to be the plan! London adopted such a plan and it’s paid off - traffic went down by 15 %and congestion dropped 30%. Traffic in Vernon has become much messier in the past years. We too need congestion pricing to encourage more “leave the car/take the bus” options.

4. A Solution to Construction: Varennes Quebec has a library that generated 120,000 kWh of renewable power – enough to power 6 – 7 homes! It’s net-zero energy from solar and geothermal. Shouldn’t every new home and building built in the Okanagan use the same construction equipment? What’s holding us back? Also, this summer,heat records have been broken worldwide.Provincial and federal governments need to implement massive change in how construction is regulated!

5. Action - Blue Dot: The Feds have chosen not to fix the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to include the right to a healthy environment despite so many communities signing on (they represents at least half of the Canadian population). Write a letter to the local news editor oand/or the National Post voicing your concern! To do so, gohere.

6. Action - Reducing Plastics: There are numerous cities and 60 countries moving to ban or impose levieson single-use plastic products. Check the list of things you can do to reduce plastics via the zero waste pledge!


1. Plastics Collection: This year’s collection cleanup of B.C. Beaches has increased from about 8 cubic metres to 40 cubic metres (That's 4 tonnes!) It may have to do with China's 2017 decision to close its borders to most recycled plastics. In the six months following that announcement, Canada's stockpiled recyclable plastic inventory grew to 7 million tonnes. As most of the developed world was sending plastic to China, the decision has left tens of millions of tonnes of plastic material stranded worldwide...


1. Replacing, Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Plastics:The national Plastics Group is developing tools to further the fight against plastic. Please join their campaign today and sign on to take action!

2. Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban:Health Canada is proposing a 3 year timeline to phase out two of these pesticides. Sierra Club would like a more rapid phase-out! For the full story, gohere.


1. Unsafe LNG Plans: Expanding unconventional fossil fuel production (gas fracking) has many problems associated with it. Chief among them is that, what with possible methane leaks (a greenhouse gas 100 times more potent than CO2) and the fact that shipping it to Asia is a very energy-intensive endeavour,LNG’s emissions would be on par with or even worse than Asian coal! And then there's the lost water, the risk to contaminate groundwater, and the safety concerns. Finally there's the risk to human health... LNG is just not worth it! And yet, the B.C government announcedbillions of dollars worth of tax breaks for the LNG industry, as part of what they called a “new approach” to B.C. resource development. For even more, gohere. Or here.


1. Deadly Heat Wave:It’s a sign of many years to come. In Montreal alone they expect to have 50 or more days/year that exceeds 30 degrees C by 2050 (if not earlier)! Currently it's only 8 days/year. It is also a global phenomenon. For immediate health and health care benefits we need low carbon alternatives NOW, including solar and cycling, not driving! For the entire article, gohere.

2. Pesticides:Manitoba is apparently musing on the idea of relaxing its toxic pesticide law, adopting our federal government's less stringent evaluation system. CAPE opposes such a move, noting that evidence used in federal pesticide evaluations often lacks independent review and doesn''t take into account damage from multiple chemical exposures. They urge you to sign thispetition!

3. Nuclear Power: It’s way more costly than solar! Read this articleto find why exactly…


1. Defying Trump on the Paris Accord: In a bold move, the Governor of California and Michael Bloomberg recently announced the launch of the America’s Pledge, which will allow U.S. states, cities, and businesses to stay aligned with the Paris Agreement. The new pledge includes 227 cities and counties, 9 states, and around 1,650 investors and businesses who aim to pursue the country’s initial commitment to reduce its GHG emissions by 26% by 2025 compared to 2005 levels. For the entire article, go here.


1.Protecting Freshwater: With municipal elections around the corner this fall, check out these documents and guides to help you engage officials around freshwater.This primeris first in the series. 

2.Communicating About BC’s Drought:This guideoffers Problem, Solution and Outcome messages that create a compelling narrative for your use in media, government relations and outreach.

FROM IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development)

Fresh Water and Climate Change: Warmer lakes means greater lake stratification and turnoverbottom sediment is disturbed, potentially releasing more phosphorus followed by more algal blooms along with their toxins, beach closures, low oxygen near the lake bottom, and mercury, which builds up in fish and is then consumed by humans. Fish will have shortened lifespans, poorer reproduction, and be physically smaller due to the lower oxygen.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck

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