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October 2014 Newsletter

OCTOBER 2014

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: www.sensociety.org

This newsletter is being sent out for your interest. Information contained within does not imply approval by SENS directors.

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

SENS STUFF

1. SENS’ Environmental All Candidates Forum:  Thursday, October 23, 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre. Be an informed voter! Find out how candidates have answered several environmentally related and Official Community Plan questions posed by SENS, and ask your own ‘green’ questions of concern.

2a. Vernon In Transition (VIT): October 4, 2 – 5 pm, Community Gathering and Public Launch, Trinity United Church. Share your plans for where you want Vernon to go in the next 30 years! Your ideas on food, transport, housing, local economy, alternative energy, conservation, and more are welcomed. Artist–led kids’ activities will take place during this time with creation of costumes and musical instruments from recycled materials. 

2b. VIT Celebrations (6- 9 pm): Same day, same place. Celebrate with a harvest dinner followed by a variety show of talented local  musicians, storytellers, and dancers. Donations are welcomed.

Please RSVP at VernonInTransition@gmail.com

3. SENS Video Documentaries Library: Contact Terry at 545-6191 for short term borrowing. There are many titles available, such as: In Transition, Power Down, On the Line, The Great Warming, etc.

4. Community Teamwork: Would you like to spend time with people who have similar interests and work on environmental issues you are passionate about? Whatever the issue, SENS has a team for YOU! Please contact Huguette Allen at huguette@Imagine-ere.ca to tell us of your interest.

LOCAL STUFF

1. Farmers’ Markets: Most will wind down by mid October or switch to an indoor venue for winter.

·       Vernon: Mondays & Thursdays, 8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

·       Vernon: Friday nights, 4 pm – 8 pm, 30th Avenue.

·       Coldstream, Fridays, 2:30 pm – 6 pm. All year!

·       Armstrong : Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon,

·       Enderby: Friday mornings, Cliff Avenue.

·       Lumby: Monashee Coop: Daily, 10 am – 5 pm . Arbour Mall on Highway 6. 250 547-7808.

°       Food from this co-op is organically produced, GMO free, and pesticide free!

·       Cherryville: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm.

2. Food Security Speaker Series: Amy Kermociev of Patchwork Farms at OK College is organizing a day of food–farm-permaculture-garden speakers for October 18 at our Kal Campus. Mark the date and plan to attend a great day of Workshops ‘n talks! More details to follow.

3. Outdoor Water Conservation Survey: A South Okanagan NGO wishes your input for research on residential outdoor water conservation trends. Feel free to take part.

4. Okanagan Rail Trail: On October 5, we will likely know the outcome of the railway property. If purchased by the municipalities, the next step will be to raise funds to turn the railway into a high quality community pathway that will provide benefits as outlined here. iTo show your support publicly, purchase an Okanagan Rail Trail T-shirt at your local bike shop.

5. Carpool Month, Oct 6 – 31: Details here: http://www.carpool.ca/Week.aspx     User numbers continue to increase since 2005 when SENS brought Carpool.ca to Vernon and surrounding communities. Have you tried carpooling yet? – even for movies/ arts productions and sports events? Talk to others at such events, make new friends and share the ride!   For October, new and returning registrants may win fuel card prizes. Fuel card prizes are possible for those completing the survey on the website. Spread the word! Queries?   Email: information@carpool.ca 

6. Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP): This fall, the OCCP, of which SENS is a member, is working on several initiatives. One is to help form an Action Team to help facilitate and coordinate stewardship activities (like the OSSS expansion in the Okanagan). OCCP partners are also working together on the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy for the Okanagan Region. If you have ideas, or would like to be involved in any of these initiatives, please contact Carol.

7. City of Vernon Parks Master Plan: Earlier this year, the City of Vernon took over the governance of local parks and, in order to manage the parks system effectively, is developing a Parks Master Plan. Natural area protection, identified as a top priority for the public, is a major consideration in the plan. The Parks Master Plan webpage has information, with details of the new parks structure.

8. Landscape of Human Systems - Nature Transformed By Industry: Oct 22, 7 pm, Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St.   Edward Burtynsky provides images that are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of modern existence as part of this UBC Distinguished Speaker Series. Register early at dss-burtynsky.eventbrite.ca  or call 250 807 8532.

MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED BY MEMBERS AND READERS

1. Think Like A Forest: Here's a The Guardian article where Rob Hopkins argues that the best way to tackle drought is by learning from how forests manage water.

2. Electronics' Noise Disorients Migratory Birds: Title says it all... This article goes more in depth...

3. Charges Dropped: Here's a good news story! All charges were dropped against two climate activists who delayed a tanker shipment of coal.

4. Dr  Oz: The Sept 22 TV show dealt with dangers of GMO crops. A preview is here .

FROM ECOJUSTICE - RECENT ACTIONS:

1. Canada’s National Parks – Not 4 Sale: Ecojustice lawyers are going to court to stop a commercial proposal to construct tent cabins in Jasper National Park. It has the potential to put park wildlife at further risk. Worse, in order to allow this commercial proposal to go ahead, Parks Canada says it intends to consider changing Jasper’s FINALIZED management plan. Such a move would set a troubling precedent... For the entire article, go here.

2. Arctic Offshore Drilling: For almost 40 years, a special regulatory requirement has protected Arctic wildlife and wilderness from a catastrophic offshore oil spill. Now though, the National Energy Board has put that requirement in jeopardy.

3. Censored: Remember how the non-partisan organization Canadian Environmental Network advised Harper against gutting thousands of environmental protections. No? Well there's a reason: They were axed! And to add insult to injury, the Harper government heavily censored a memo showing RCEN's effectiveness. This censorship is the latest example of problems plaguing Canada’s federal access to information system. For the entire article, go here.

4. The Price of Shrimp: "Mangrove [forests] are remarkable habitats for [many] creatures ... [and] are natural coastal defences." Despite this, the shrimp industry clears these mangroves to build temporary shrimp-catching ponds. This leads to salt water intrusion, contaminating the local freshwater, devastating local farms, and undercutting the local fishery. A shameful example of human greed and stupidity! To read the whole story on this cringe-worthy industry, go here.

FROM BC NATURE MAGAZINE

1. Kinder Morgan Blunders in Burnaby: Kinder Morgan planned to fell trees in Burnaby's conservation area as part of an " environmental" study for expansion of their Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline. They were stopped and the company now faces legal action. If approved, the Trans Mountain project would triple the barrels of bitumen shipped out of Burnaby to 890,000 per/day and increase tanker traffic on the Pacific coast to more than 400 supertankers a year.  For the latest news (KM lost!), go here.

2. Canadian Nature Survey Results: One of the finds from this survey is that we Canadians spend at least $41.3 billion on nature-based activities in 1 year, mostly dedicated to non-motorized, non-consumptive activities. How are we, locally, protecting our nature so that locals and tourists can appreciate what we have in the North Okanagan?

FROM DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION

1. Bird Deaths: In the U.S. alone, tens of millions of birds are being killed every year by electricity sources (e.g. from coal, transmission lines, oil and gas, etc.). Habitat destruction is a major cause. By working to ensure more bird species don't go extinct (e.g. switching to cleaner energy, finding alternatives to power lines, and protecting their habitats), we're also protecting ourselves from the effects of environmental destruction. For the entire article, go here.

2. Sustainable Seafood Pledge: Pledge to eat more that’s sustainable! Check out the recipes too.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Neonicotinoids: CAPE has set their sights on the banning of neonicotinoid insecticides. These insecticides have been linked to the collapse of bee populations, the stunning decline in bird and bat numbers, and to a general collapse of insect life since the mid 1990s. They are everywhere, horribly toxic (“5,000 to 10,000 times more toxic than DDT,”), and are highly invasive! Read a related Globe & Mail article here.

2. Wireless Radiation Symposium Video: Here is a full video record of the recent conference in Toronto on EMF and their health effects.

3. Glyphosate: Here's everything you weren't warned about regarding glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. It's told by a senior British anesthetist, now living on an acreage in Wales, and is both personal and scientifically detailed.

FROM LIVING OCEANS (www.livingoceans.org)

At the recent UN meeting over 340 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing to help redirect investment, and to end fossil fuel subsidies. Leaders acknowledged the economic loss that inaction will bring and embracing the stimulus of greening the economy.

Canada’s oil and gas sector is now responsible for one-quarter of the nation’s emissions, we have yet to see regulations that were promised 2 years ago, and much environmental legislation has been dismantled. Our oceans absorb much of the carbon in the atmosphere, but by 2100, it will be more acidic than it has been in 20 million years(no shellfish would be able to produce shells).

CAPE, reporting on this UN meeting, noted that these global institutional investors  have joined forces with the UN to reduce, by US $100 billion, institutional investment in businesses that create a large carbon footprint world wide. Investors now realize that GHG emissions are an unprecedented threat to economic stability and therefore to their portfolios!

SOCIAL MEDIA

In the past few years our ability to use facebook, twitter and numerous other means of educating and mobilizing people has increased drastically. Here’s a list of several non-profits that use volunteers to send out and ask for help from all of us to make change for people and for the earth:

AVAAZ.ORG - Avaaz is a 38-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; their team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. 

ONE.ORG - ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. Their latest action: A short film to send to world leaders at the UN General Assembly - What kind of world do YOU want to live in by 2030?

LEADNOW.CA - Leadnow is an independent campaigning community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.  Their latest campaign is to get funding to educate on FIPA, the China-Canada trade deal. FIPA could allow our environmental protection rules to be ruled invalid by non-Canadian companies out for profit or materials.

SUMOFUS.ORG - SumOfUs is a worldwide movement of over 5 million people, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. A recent victory: "After months of organized pressure, both Kellogg's and its massive partner Wilmar International -- a palm oil company that Newsweek named the “world's least sustainable corporation” -- committed to protect the rainforest by eliminating deforestation from their supply chains.”

DOGWOOD INITIATIVE.ORG - Dogwood Initiative brings together everyday British Columbians to reclaim decision-making power over their air, land, and water. Recent initiatives: “Beyond Coal” actions and “No Tankers” action.

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck