December 2012 Newsletter


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:

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


No event in December – travel safely and have a great, family filled Christmas season!

The SENS – VIT November “Make It Yourself” evening of ideas for making, not buying corporate gifts, provided numerous great ideas. If you’re already avoiding consumerism check out:


1. Indoor Winter Markets:

  • Armstrong – Thursdays, 12 noon – 5:30 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street.

Contact: Art Cayford, 250 546-3411.

  • Enderby – Fridays, Dec. 14 and 21, 11 am – 4 pm at the Enderby Seniors Citizen Complex.

  • ALSO in Enderby – Mara Christmas Market, Fridays, 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm, at Mara Hall

  • Vernon – Wednesdays, 2 pm – 6 pm, Westbilt Centre on 43rd Ave.

  • Coldstream – Wednesdays, 2:30 am – 6 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall

2. Have 5 Gallon Pots?: Laurel is doing a “Youth and Tomato Plants” project with teens (and seniors eventually) and needs lots of 5 gal pots. Please contact her to donate your pots: 250 542-5478.

3. Wolf Talk: Dec 5, 1 pm, Trinity United Church, by donation. Doors open at noon. Sadie Parr speaks on our government’s war waged on wolves. Go here to sign a petition.

4. UBC to offer Free Online Courses: UBC has partnered with US-based Coursera to offer free (non-credit) online courses in genetics, computer science and climate literacy. The courses start in Spring 2013 and will consist of videos or voice-over PowerPoint presentations, with student-led discussion forums, interactive activities, quizzes and assignments. For more, go here.


1. Dogs and Babies: According to Paediatrics Journal, the healthiest babies are from homes where dogs spend much of the day outdoors and track in a lot of dirt and bacteria which most likely helps build a child’s immune system. For more, go here.

2. Fungi to the Rescue: Watch this talk as Mycologist Paul Stamets lists six ways the mycelium fungus can help the planet, from cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, to treating illnesses.

3. A Moving Tree: Here is a neat video that shows a 100-year old oak tree moved to a new home.

4. B.C. Pension Funds Tied to Clear-Cutting Timber Companies and Worse: One of the world’s biggest pension funds, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), is directly invested in the companies that are logging the heart out of Vancouver Island, fracking shale gas, and mining and transporting dirty oil and coal. These companies are eroding the forestland base in B.C. at an alarming rate and damaging communities and ecosystems. If you’re concerned, please send your inquiries to “Doug Pearce, Chief Investment Officer". Read the entire article here.

5. Oil Spill Retribution: In Nigeria, their oil regulator is asking industry giant Shell to pay $5 billion for a spill off the country's southern coast last December. The transfer leak of oil to a tanker led to 40,000 barrels spilling into the Atlantic Ocean. Shell is fighting, trying to remain blameless. For the entire story, go here. Also, here’s a link that contradicts their assertion.

6. Inequality in our Environment: The “haves” and the ‘have nots’ are compared in this short video

"This is what inequality looks like in BC" produced by students in Surrey.

7. Canadian Green Health Care Digest: Google their website to sign up for their free weekly digest.


1. 80% Waste Diversion: The city of San Francisco is diverting 80 percent of all its waste away from landfills. The city recorded in 2011 that 80 percent of waste was kept away from landfills, in part due to advanced waste reduction programs that include recycling and composting. Their goal to become zero-waste free by 2020 doesn’t seem so far fetched. So if San Francisco can do it, why not Vernon? For the entire article, go here.


1. Turmeric and Cancer: Cancer’s growth and spread is the result of the disruption of multiple cell signaling pathways in the body. Turmeric influences many of these pathways, helping to inhibit the development, growth, and spread of the disease. Here’s a recipe for a turmeric “Super Sauce”:–-heal-thy-self


1. The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) is Under Threat: Since 1882, the NWPA has protected the rights of Canadians to navigate Canada’s waterways without interference from logging operations, bridges, pipelines, dams, and other forms of industrial development. However, recent federal legislation is threatening to overturn this legislation. Read more about this here.

2. Impact Proofs: Imagine Canada, working in partnership with many other organizations, is aiming to create a more effective narrative for the charitable and non-profit sector. As part of this project they are collecting “Impact Proof Points”: 50 word statements that highlight the impact of our organizations. Please click here and submit your organization's key story.


1. Fermented Foods Fight Cancer: Here’s a great article: fermented foods impact gut flora to help fight tumours. And here is a demonstration on fermenting vegetables, also this Google search.

2. Action on Salmon: One recommendation the Cohen Inquiry calls for is a moratorium on fish farms in Sockeye routes and admits DFO must protect fish, not industry. Tell Premier Clark not to renew salmon farm leases! Also, Ask the Prime Minister and your MP to act on the Commission’s recommendations and start rebuilding salmon stocks. For the entire article, go here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Weakening Canada’s Gun Laws: Just this year, the Harper government has eliminated mandatory licence validation before long-gun purchases, forbidden provinces from requiring dealers to maintain records of long-gun sales, and announced plans to eliminate UN marking requirements.  The illegal gun trade here is set to flouring. There are strong indications that a loosening of licensing requirements will come next. Read more here.

2. The Real Waste of our Taxes: According to an independent analysis commissioned in 2009 by the RCMP, scrapping the long-gun registry would save only between $1.6 million to $4 million a year. If true, it contradicts the government’s numbers ($22 million to $1 billion) they were using to argue against the long-gun registry. Heck, they spend way more advertising their no longer used “Canada’s Economic Action Plan”! So Canadians lost a useful crime prevention tool so the government can air more attack ads. Ugh! For the entire article, go here.

3. Right for a Healthy Environment: Just imagine if our constitution included the right to a healthy environment: Canadians would have a greater role in making decisions that affect environment, our health and our communities. If governments and industries failed to respect our right to a healthy environment, we could hold them accountable. Over time, Canadians would breathe cleaner air, drink safer water, be exposed to fewer toxic chemicals, and enjoy healthier ecosystems. The David Suzuki Foundation and Ecojustice Canada are working together to ensure every Canadian receives legal protection of this right. Full article: here and video worth watching!

3. Solar Success for Denmark: Good News! They reached their solar energy goals 8 years early.
Read the whole story here.

4. The Destruction of Environmental Science: Here’s a great piece on how Ottawa is being blind to the dangers of firing our environmental scientists.

5. GMO Ballot Killed: Industry money - $46 million from food and biotech corporations - defeated the Californian ballot on mandatory labelling of GM foods. A similar ballot’s fate in Washington is unknown... Truly a sorry tale of deception and fabrication of evidence! For more, go here.

6. Fracking in Quebec: An extractive/exploitative company is challenging Quebec's moratorium on fracking. The silver lining here is that their case against the moratorium is very weak. Read the article here. More of fracking here:

7. Call for Phasing out Nuclear Power: Nuclear power is a serious threat to public health. Numerous studies on the health impacts of nuclear plants show an elevated risk of illnesses, such as leukemia, in nearby populations. Ontario's nuclear reactors are putting the nearby populations at risk. There’s also the risk (not impossible) of a major nuclear accident like Fukushima happening here. Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan have all decided to phase out nuclear power and invest in green energy. They are eliminating the risk of nuclear accident, protecting human health, and creating green jobs. We ought to follow suit! To read the entire article, go here.

8. Muzzling scientists who test for farmed salmon virus: Check Alexandra Morton’s blog for details

9. Corporate Control re: Uranium Mining For Tar Sand Use: It’s happening in Northern Saskatchewan communities that sit on rich uranium deposits.

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck