January 2013 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: www.sensociety.org

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


1. Green Building Excellence - Next In Vernon? January 24, 7 pm, Schubert Centre with Donna Lomas, Dean at South Okanagan College. Donna will showcase Penticton’s just completed Jim Pattison Centre of Building Excellence, now a student training centre for the state of the art sustainable building technologies and renewable energy conservation that was used to create this Okanagan College institution. It has virtually NO heating/cooling costs or sewer costs and is designed as a living building with better than LEED platinum design – one of only a few in the world! Everyone is welcome to see and hear how it was done and find out how we can do the same in Vernon. Questions welcome. Sponsor: Sustainable Environment Network Society (www.sensociety.org) Bring a builder/contractor friend!

Related to this topic is the following TED talk on architectural ideas that would be grand in Vernon… http://www.ted.com/talks/bjarke_ingels_hedonistic_sustainability.html

A combined Art Gallery and Museum on the Coldstream Hotel site come to mind…


1. Indoor Winter Markets:

  • Armstrong – Thursdays, noon – 5 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street. Contact: Art 250 546-3411

  • Enderby – 2nd & 4th Fridays, Jan 11 & 25, 11 am – 4 pm at the Enderby Seniors Citizen Complex.

  • Vernon – Wednesdays, noon – 5 pm, behind Westbilt Centre on 43rd Ave.

* Vernon – Tuesdays, 10am – 3pm, 2913 29th Ave, behind Towne Theatre.

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

2. Styrofoam Recycling: It’s free in Vernon until January 5, 2013 at Interior Freight and Bottle Depot, 4205 24th Ave and at Venture Training, 4240 Alexis Park Drive.

3.Ditch The Car And Get Active! The City of Vernon, UBCO and Interior Health are working with students at the UBCO Engineering School to develop an East Hill Neighbourhood Active Travel Plan. The focus would be on walking, cycling and transit as a primary means of getting around. Why? - to reduce congestion, chronic disease, obesity, poor air quality and GHG emissions.

4.Shuswap Community Radio Station: CKVS-FM 93.7 has been launched to bring forward concerns that affect the community and the environment and to showcase local music and literature. For donations, volunteering, memberships: station@voiceoftheshuswap.ca.

5. City Cycling by John Pucher and RalphBuehler: The authors use numbers and proof by example for other parts of the world, not emotion, to show why we need cycling infrastructure. Details at: http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/city-cycling -


1. Quote of the Day: "People go on at exhaustive length about the perils of cycling because cycling remains niche," says Walker. "Sitting around on one's arse watching EastEnders and eating Pringles is, however, a national pursuit, and not enough people make the connection between that and an impact on health which is, the scientists told us, now on a par with that from smoking."

2. People Power In Australia: Check out people power in Lismore, Australia! People here are 87% opposed to coal seam gas (the extraction of coal bed methane, which we have in B.C. and Alberta).

3. Living Democracy from the Ground Up: Watch the video at: www.envirolawsmatter.ca/

4. 2013 Bicycle Calendar: This 11" x 17" wall calendar celebrating bicycles, includes with each month remarkable photos of the bicycle as art and utility, captions in French and English, and provocative quotations and illustrations. It is a perfect gift for any bicyclist! For more information, go here.  

5. Bike Travel Programs: IBike offers programs to really interesting places that are not mainstream destinations, and by giving people an opportunity to see a mainstream destination through a different lens. Up-coming ibike programs include: Tunisia, Botswana / Namibia, Ghana, Tanzania, South Korea, and Seattle. For more details, visit http://www.ibike.org/ibike/index.htm

6. Radiation Damage from Smart Meters: Here’s another article outlining the dangers of smart meters!

7. Harper Government Caves in to Big Pharma: A recent report on trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union (CETA) says Ottawa is prepared to give the Europeans, and the pharmaceutical industry, at least part of what they asked for on drug patents – a move that could cost Canadians up to $1 billion a year. In Canada, new brand name drugs are already costing us at least an additional $2 billion a year. The provisions in the CETA on patent extension would cost at least another $1 billion annually. To make matters worse, the drug industry uses this money, not for innovation, but to buy influence with the federal regulator, physicians, consumers, and the media through their advertising departments. Read the entire article here.

8. Enbridge’s Underestimations of Oil Spills: This will be one of the points Wayne McCrory, director with the Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS), will make during community hearings, January 28 in Kelowna. Check his reports at the Society’s site: www.vws.org

Get Involved! – Use information from the VWS website and write to protect grizzly habitat by Jumbo Glacier by January 3/13. Support their Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal with a letter. Ask for an extension of the 3 week government review and respond time re; wolf kills and use the VWS’s submission for details to send in your action letter.

9. International Space Station Tour: Eye-opener on how they live with weightlessness in space and more… http://www.wimp.com/orbitaltour/


1. GE Free Support: BEE Safe will present to RDNO January 16 to ask that our area be added to the 11 municipalities that have already passed GE Free resolutions. They would like your presence at that time. More details to follow.

2. Farm Gate Sales: Provincial Meat Regulations prevent this – they’re only designed to benefit Agribusiness. Please e-mail info@rdno.ca to express your concerns that we want farm gate meats that we trust and sales that support local farmers and local environment.


1. Their 2012 Victories:

  • We made a deal with the bottom trawl fishery to protect corals and sponges.

  • Our testimony at the Cohen Commission resulted in clear recommendations from Justice Cohen for the removal of open net-cage salmon farms from the Wild Salmon Narrows

  • Our work with Safeway resulted in them joining the list of retailers who will only sell sustainable seafood

  • We exposed the illegal iron fertilization scheme carried out off Haida Gwaii and alerted the public to the danger of ocean acidification posed by such reckless experimentation

  • Our relentless research and media work helped counter Enbridge’s public relations offensive in support of pipelines and super tankers to the B.C. coast


1. Killer Windmills (US Stats): Wind turbines do kill birds (10 – 40 thousand yearly) but 100’s of times more are killed via house cats (100 million), pesticides (67 million), hitting windows and buildings (980 million), and power lines and communication towers (135 million). Emotion causes the windmill veto because the other statistics are not known or thought of.

2. Energy of Slaves by Andrew Nikiforuk: This book shows the link between energy of slaves that allowed people to plant and build so they could succeed and the link to the energy of coal and oil that followed abolition of slaving. Nikiforuk says we need to change how we use energy because we are behaving like slaveholders re: entitlement and want. More details at: http://www.dmpibooks.com/book/the-energy-of-slaves

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Logging News: Here’s a link to a clutch of articles on a brewing logging debacle on one of B.C.'s most pristine Gulf Islands. It's like Clayoquot Sound all over again…

2. The Danger of Fire Retardants: PDBE's (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), the main class of chemical compounds in fire retardants are rapidly being considered “too dangerous”. Mounting evidence suggests it is linked to serious heath problems, including cancer, disruptions to the human endocrine (hormone) system, and neurologic damage. Read more about it here. It was also discussed on CBC TV's Marketplace on Friday Nov. 30th.

3. Behaviour Change = Major Ecological Outcomes: Scientists and French farmers are working together to reduce water runoff and soil erosion by at least 50%, thus replenishing aquifers, saving soil, and reducing water pollution. Intensive mechanized agriculture to increase crop yields introduced so much more fertilizer and pesticides that water quality was greatly reduced. More at the ISIS website: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/How_Farmers_Can_Protect_Water_Quality.php

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!