November 2012 Newsletter

NOVEMBER 2012

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website: www.sensociety.org

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***

SENS STUFF

1. November 22, 7 pm, Schubert Centre: Make It Yourself! – a Pre-Christmas Faire. Visit 5 or 6 different “stations” and learn how to make cheap, easy toys for kids, and useful, cheap items for family and friends! Hand-outs provided. Co-sponsored with Vernon In Transition.

2. Seed Saving Chart: This comes from the September Food storage/preservation evening.

3. Eco-sanitation: For those who missed Kim’s great stories and information, here’s one website to check: http://www.ecotek.ca/ECO-TEK_Ecological_Technologies/Home.html

The Wetland Pacifics company was unable to attend on Oct 25. They provide different types of EcoSan applications – many for single housing. The pictures illustrate vegetative and outdoor wetland systems for different situations. Their website: http://www.wetlandspacific.com/

Bio Harmony in Vernon, also unable to attend, offers different solutions: www.bioharmony.ca/

LOCAL STUFF

1. Indoor Winter Markets:

  • Armstrong – Thursdays, 12 noon – 5:30 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street.
    • Contact: Art Cayford, @ (250) 546-3411.
  • Vernon – Tues & Wed, 8 am – 6 pm, 2913 29th Ave, behind Towne Theatre.
    • Contact: Dale @ (250) 549-4399. Grand opening is Nov 6 & 7.
  • Vernon - Wednesdays, 2 – 6 pm, Westbilt Centre on 43rd Ave.
  • Coldstream - Wednesdays, 2:30 am – 6:00 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall

2. Reel Sustainability Film Fest: organized by www.freshoutlookfoundation.org

Monday, November 5th - CARBON NATION (energy efficiency/renewable energy) Spider Agile Technology, 2821 Fenwick Road, Kelowna BC. 6:00 PM: Free appies, wine, beer, and a tour of the facility 7:00 PM: Film screening followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLs73KJI36w

Monday, November 19th - SWITCH (energy efficiency/renewable energy), Kelowna Toyota,

1200 Leathead Road, Kelowna BC, 7:00 PM: Film screening followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts Trailer: http://www.switchenergyproject.com/index.php

Thursday, November 22nd - ON THE LINE (Enbridge Pipeline), Okanagan College Theatre, 1000 KLO Road, Kelowna BC. 7:00PM: Film screening followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts

Trailer: http://www.onthelinemovie.com/

3. Nov. 14th Free UBC-O Talk: Sign up to “Everything Is Connected” for 7 pm at Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre here.

4. Environmental Leader: SENS director Mary Stockdale was awarded a Community Sustainability See Award this year by the City of Vernon. Congratulations!

5. Save Money; Go Green: You just got your latest water bill... A leaky toilet can waste 750 liters a day. Old toilets use 13 - 20 liters per flush; newest ones? 5 liters! Use a low-flow 7 liter shower head and save over 22,000 liters per year. A 1-per-second dripping tap wastes 11,000 liters per year. After repairs, what else can you do to re-use water before it leaves your house?

6. Nov 15, 7 pm, Schubert Centre, Chris Harris’ latest book: FLYOVER British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, with Proceeds to ABNC. Chris will show images set to music, and tell the stories and adventures behind the scenes of creating his books. 

MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED BY MEMBERS AND READERS

1. From “The End of Illness” by Dr. D Agus: The risk of an autistic baby rises over 3-fold when it is conceived within 12 months of the birth of a first baby. The risk is 2 times for those conceived between 12 and 23 months after a first child. The cause may be due to a deficiency of nutrients or a change in biochemistry, but researchers don’t really know… Zoledronic acid, a bone builder, was given to treat osteoporosis. but it also caused a reduction in breast cancer by 36%! Hmm! Bisphosphonates taken for osteoporosis reduced the risk of colorectal cancer too.

2. GMO Stuff: Check out this accurate and shocking video on GMO. Also, check out this link or this one for more on this unbelievable "contraceptive corn". Finally, here is a quick and easy shopping guide you can download to AVOID BUYING GMOs.

3. Ecojustice in Canada: For their Fall news, go here.

4. Dogwood initiative: A non-profit that’s going to bat for BC: http://dogwoodbc.ca/

FROM LIVING OCEANS SOCIETY (LOS)

1. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Misrepresented: The government would have you believe that the majority of Canada’s Pacific MPAs, are highly protected with no commercial fishing allowed, yet LOS MPA numbers in B.C. strongly dispute this; showing that almost all of the protected areas allow fishing inside their boundaries. What’s more, according to a new study, Canada has fallen from 66th place (of the 172 signatories) to 100th place with only 1.25% of our territorial waters protected in 2010. Given that Canada has the longest coastline in the world, this is truly sad!

2. Humpback Whales Threatened: Watch this video to see why supertankers on the coast would threaten humpback whales, a species of “special concern” that is making a slow recovery. The video uncovers the sad irony underlying government inaction. Send an e-mail to Prime Minister Harper asking him to follow DFO's recommendations and protect critical habitat for humpbacks.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Scott’s Miracle-Gro Pesticide Law Violations: Over a 7 year period, this company contaminated its bird seed with toxic pesticides. It has garnered the largest set of criminal and civil fines in U.S. history for violation of legal enactments on pesticides.

2. Exposure to Mercury or Lead Linked to ADHD: According to a new study, children exposed to higher levels of mercury or lead are three to five times more likely to develop ADHD-like symptoms that teachers notice. The findings may be clinically significant… For links on this, go here and here. Also be sure to visit the website of The First 6 Years, a grass roots organization concerned about childhood development.

Source: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/September/12-enrd-1088.html

3. Walking in Nature and Memory: New research shows that a 50-minute walk in nature can improve memory and focus by about 20 per cent (NOT in a busy urban environment). This suggests that simply by interacting with nature, people can improve human health and wellbeing across the board! This finding could impact how we design cities, schools, workplaces and hospitals, and how we treat many different kinds of illnesses. For an interview with the head researcher, go here. Also of interest is Japanese research that found that taking a “forest bathing” trip can increase the body’s natural defence against cancer (Here’s a Globe & Mail article on both studies). Finally, check out this link for a project called “Healthy by Nature”.

4. Drought Destroys GM Crops, But NOT Non-GM Crops: A recent report out shows that Non-GM varieties are more drought resistant, yet agritech giants, who have monopolized the seed industry, ensure farmers are unable to access them. As such, the record breaking drought the U.S. is currently experiencing is having global repercussions. For example, there are steep rises of cereal prices and reduced meat production in many countries. Read the rest of this ISIS report here. You can also read other related ISIS reports here too.

5. Environmental Injustice in Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan -- especially its northern half -- is undergoing a "nuclear cycle" in Canada. There are several spent, active and planned uranium mines there, uranium ore is processed there, and there are plans to dump high level waste in underground repositories there too. Even worse, the provincial and federal governments are working closely with the nuclear power industry to expand nuclear power development. If the thought of a nuclear power plant being built to pump Oil Sands crude horrifies you, please read this letter to the Premier detailing this environmental injustice. Hopefully with this awareness, action will follow…

6. Loss of 4 Cornerstones of Democracy: The Harper government is systemically attacking scientific evidence: dismantling Canadian institutions that collect it, muzzling government scientists that make it, and eroding its role in public debate and regulatory decisions. There are at least four reasons why all Canadians should repudiate this attack: (1) True democracy is possible only with a well-informed, often scientifically, and skeptical populace. (2) This attack undermines the intellectual capacity of all future generations of Canadian scientists. Future progress will falter! (3) This attack hurts our environment, which is critical for our health and welfare. And (4) our tax dollars are better spent on programs and policies that achieve certain goals when coupled with scientific evidence. Scientific evidence is a form of insurance that maximizes gains and minimizes losses. Read this excellent opinion editorial in its entirety here.

7. Corporate Power Exposed: SourceWatch monitors corporate infiltration into the public space. A blurb from their web site: The Center for Media and Democracy publishes SourceWatch, this collaborative resource for citizens and journalists looking for documented information about the corporations, industries, and people trying to influence public policy and public opinion. We believe in telling the truth about the most powerful interests in society­not just relating their self-serving press releases or letting real facts be bleached away by spin. With the help of volunteer editors, SourceWatch focuses on the for-profit corporations, non-profit corporate front groups, PR teams, and so-called "experts" trying to influence public opinion on behalf of global corporations and the government agencies they have captured. We also profile some of the individuals and groups shining a light on these PR campaigns and also feature clearinghouses for information about select "hot topics" (to your left). Please check out our other sites: PRWatch, BanksterUSA, and ALECexposed.

There are possible negative effects of wind turbines but very powerful vested interests deliberately feed into such concerns and amplify them purely for their own material advantage. Source Watch exposes this. See: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Bernard_Ingham

8. Sell-out To The Chinese?: Andrew Nikiforuk outlines the context and key aspects of Stephen Harper's recent signed contract with the Chinese oil industry.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/

Selling off of access to and exploitation of natural resources is already a long-standing political tradition in Canada. What distinguishes this deal is a) its occurrence in the 21st century when climate change is upon us and irrefutable, b) its engagement with business interests that are famously non-transparent and corrupt (and recognized as such by China's own citizens), and c) its embracing of the terms of the NAFTA, which allows secret tribunals to judge trade contracts between nations, gives corporate priorities pre-eminence over national sovereignty, and makes trade expansion more important than the environment or social justice.

9. Wild Salmon Advocate, Alexandra Morton: While in the Maritimes she found sea lice on supermaket farm salmon… Here is the blog with gruesome photos: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2012/10/when-is-truth-a-tactic.html

Please consider signing and "sharing" this petition to the supermarkets http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/costco-safeway-loblaws-please-stop-selling-diseased-farm-salmon

FROM RCBC (RECYCLING COUNCIL OF BC)

1. All Lighting Products Recycled Free Now: B.C. will be the first of the provinces to recycle all lighting products without charge, starting October 1. This includes all types of lights (bulbs and tubes), ballasts and lighting fixtures used in various applications. Read more here.

2. Producer – Pay: B.C. is heading towards a new waste management system that will see manufacturers and stores pay 100 per cent of the costs of recycling their products and packaging.

Doing so will save taxpayers an estimated $60 to $100 million a year! Read more here.

3. London Drugs Recycles: London Drugs is the first major retailer in Canada to introduce recycling collection boxes for all beauty packaging and chocolate wrappers. Read more here.

4. Glass Recycled into Wall Insulation: Under a new recycling initiative launched at the Te Maunga Transfer Station, flat glass will be crushed and made into wall insulation. Read more here.

5. Give Your Stuff Away Day: This day is fast becoming the world’s largest giveaway / recycling event. On (hopefully to be announced) simply take some of your stuff to the curb for others to take for free.  It will help millions of people, reduce clutter, free up landfills, and lower municipal hauling costs.  It will even give a boost to the economy! Greater Vernon ought to adopt this… Go here for more information.

6. October Recap: For a recap of all of RCBC’s October 2012 news, go here.

GUY DAUNCEY’AS ECONEWS

1. Sea Otter Saviours: Otters remove at least .18kg of carbon per square meter of coastal waters they occupy. As they make a comeback from human slaughter over the past centuries, they chow down on the sea urchins that have decimated our ocean kelp beds. When these kelp beds have completely recovered, they could store 10 + million tonnes of carbon worth $700 million on the EU carbon-trading market.

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck