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November 2014 Newsletter

NOVEMBER 2014

Sustainable Environment Network Society Newsletter

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.

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. 3rd ANNUAL HOMEMADE HOLIDAY GIFTING: Saturday, November 22, Schubert Centre, 1 – 3  pm. Bring the kids and experience numerous ‘how to’ demos for making easy, but cost effective potpourri, toys, knitting, snacks, soaps, and much more! If you have a Christmas ‘making’ skill to share that would benefit those who attend please contact SENS co-sponsor: Vernon in Transition

2. Muzzling Non-profits? Apparently Mr. Mike de Jong, B.C.'s Minister of Finance, is planning to abolish a section of the Society Act that protects non-profit societies from frivolous lawsuits. This could potentially muzzle any less than rich non-profit societies (like SENS) from raising concerns on issues. Please sign the AVAAZ petition opposing this here. You can also read more about it here.

LOCAL STUFF

1. Farmers’ Markets: Most closed by mid October or switched to an indoor venue for winter.
·       Coldstream, Fridays, 2:30 pm – 6 pm.

·       Lumby: Monashee Community Co-op: year-round, daily, 10 am – 5 pm . Arbour Park Mall on Highway 6.
        Organic produce, both GMO and pesticide free. 250 547-7808.

2. Presentation on the November 15 Water Plan Referendum: Tuesday, November 4, 7 – 9 pm, OK College Theatre. Maria Besso and Gyula Kiss will speak on why they will vote ‘no’. You will get background information on irrigation history, ALR, implications of the drinking water protection act and economic repercussions on water rates, and be presented with an alternative to the current means of distribution and revenue collection so one rate payer doesn’t subsidize another.

3. Will There Be Action By Vernon Candidates?  They have all received this BCSEA information…

a)  The Five Most Important CLIMATE SOLUTIONS for SMALL TOWNS in BC

http://www.bcsea.org/SmallTownClimateSolutions

b)  The Five Most Important CLIMATE SOLUTIONS for CITY COUNCILS in BC  http://www.bcsea.org/CityClimateSolutions

4. Fresh Outlook Foundation's Community Innovation Lab: This two-and-a-half-day event, that focuses on sustainability challenges and their community-based solutions, is the first of its kind in Canada. It is still a long ways off (February 3rd -5th), but In the meantime mark your calendar and your budget ($349)! If you’re interested in being an event sponsor, please visit FOF for more information. Stay tuned for more info.

5. Wellwater pollution near Armstrong: (via Cam Lucock - Your Country News) Near a large industrial dairy, wells are polluted with nitrates and no longer useable for drinking. Property values have been affected. Should there by controls over “factory” farms?

Read more here and here.

6. Is Your Charity at Risk? –Revenue Canada may take charity status away from a bird watching group that wrote to express concerns about pesticides that kill bees…

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/revenue-canada-targets-birdwatchers-for-...

7. Science in Society Speaker Series $7 in advance from OK Science Centre and $10 at the door.
a) Great Bear Wild: Why should we care about its protection?  With Ian McAllister, 7:30 pm,

Monday, November  3, Okanagan College, Vernon Campus, Lecture Hall

b) Canadian Space Walkers: What’s it really like to step into the abyss?  With Bob McDonald

7:30 pm, Monday, November 17, Okanagan College, Vernon Campus, Lecture Hall

8. Permaculture Design Certificate Workshop: Element Eco-Design is offering this program in Lumby, every other Mon and Tues starting Jan 12 and 13, ending March 16, 17 in 2015. See  details on their website.  Also, do this when frost threatens your tomatoes…

https://vimeo.com/108599249

MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED BY MEMBERS AND READERS

1. Independent Science Watchdog: Right now, there is a bill before parliament that proposes to create an independent Science Officer. This Officer would provide MPs with balanced, non-partisan information on scientific issues to ensure policy decisions are informed by science.  Please sign this online petition.                   

2. Electricity for Half the Planet: Read this article to find out how solar can become the world’s largest source of electricity!

3. Munich - 100% Clean Energy By 2025: In Munich, Germany, authorities are targeting a 100 percent clean electricity supply by 2025, which would make the city a world leader in sustainability. An admirable ambition which is easily achievable! Read the entire article here.

4. U.N. and Climate: Here's a great film that was shown at the 2014 U.N. Climate Change Summit! It sums up some excellent information in just a couple of minutes.

5. Destroying our World of Wonders: Excerpt: "[Given] that in the past 40 years the world has lost over 50% its vertebrate wildlife, [it's rather obvious] that there is something wrong with the way we live ... [With new technologies being developed every year (e.g. new pesticides, new methods of resource extraction, etc.) and a blooming human population], we are waging an increasingly asymmetric war against the living world." Read the entire, reflective article here.

6. Help Scientists Speak: A recent report out that graded 16 -federal departments on their communications policies, found that, overwhelmingly, they fail to support open communication between scientists and the public. It's a good read! Please share it with your friends and colleagues. Also, add your voice to this open science communication petition.
7. Fukushima Radiation On Our West Coast: Excerpt: "They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile ... it is constantly getting worse.  The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima." To read about these distressing signs, go here.

FROM BC NATURE MAGAZINE

1. New Wilderness Park: Here's a story about this new park created near Kelowna.  

2. Arctic Pipeline: Here's a story where the N.W.T. Premier is floating a BAD Arctic pipeline idea!

3. Mount Polley Spill: As this story reports, the B.C. Liberals’ are stonewalling the investigation.

4. Birds in North America: According to this, HALF of them will be gone if we don't change course!

5. Canada-China Deal: Here are the likely consequences of FIPA for Canada’s ecological systems.

6. Polar Bears: - Live Vid cams and still shots - Link Here

7. Come-back of Near-Extinct Galapagos Turtles:   Link Here

FROM DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION

1. Site C vs. Treaty Rights: Excerpt: "The proposed Site C Dam has been criticized for [many things, chief among them] concerns about the environmental and social impacts of flooding thousands of hectares of prime farmland, irreplaceable cultural sites, and wildlife habitat." As per B.C. First Nations treaty rights, Site C is in violation. Who wins? To read the entire article, go here.

2. Petition to Protect Great Bear Sea: In a few days, the B.C. Government will be considering the fate of the Great Bear Sea, a national treasure and one of the richest marine ecosystems left on Earth. With your help, we can make sure our government knows Canadians want the Great Bear Sea kept healthy for generations to come. Take action today. Sign the petition.

3. Clean tech – Good For Economy And Environment:  Clean Tech is, according to Analytica Advisor consultants, Canada’s fastest growing industry. Direct employment rose 6 %  and revenues increased 9 % but the mining, oil, and gas sector grew only 0.3 %, manufacturing only 1.9 % and construction only 3.9 %. Clean tech also spends much more on research and development.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Tokyo’s Radioactivity: According to this report, the Fukushima disaster is far from resolved, despite Tokyo's draconian response of the contrary.

2. Mercury Pollution Worldwide: This September, twenty-two countries renewed their international commitment to combat the global threat posed to human health and the environment from mercury pollution. For the entire article, go here.

3. Glyphosate and Kidney Disease: As this article suggests, Monsanto's glyphosate-containing herbicide is linked to fatal kidney disease!

4. Glyphosate and Foetuses: Some sad news: embryologist Andrés Carrasco has died. Carrasco showed the harm caused to fetuses by tiny exposure to glyphosate (Roundup's active ingredient) and was consequently thrust into the public eye. Read the opinion piece here.

5. Phasing Out Alberta’s Coal: A delegation of doctors recently met with Alberta's Energy Minister and Opposition parties. They were again calling for a reasonable 10-year AB coal-phase-out. Here is the piece that the Edmonton Journal wrote to cover the event.

6. Electric Cars (ECs) Rock:  This article is a gem of investigative journalism! It's transparent, well-researched, timely and useful. It's an analysis of ECs vs. gas/hybrid cars and finds that they're better for the environment almost all the time. It also pits the EC against planes, buses, etc.

7. Environmental Lawsuit: Here's a long, interesting article about an intelligent, well-informed and energetic man's campaign to use legal means to bring realism into the oil and gas industry along the Gulf of Mexico.

8. Conventional Plant Breeding Outstrips GM Products: Apparently, researchers have created conventionally bred seed varieties tolerant to drought and low nitrogen soils, far outperforming anything that genetic modification has achieved. This could be a game changer, potentially pulling some 13 African countries out of poverty!  They hope to introduce these in eight countries over the next year. Read the report here.

9. Ebola – Why Now? This article of the highly plausible link between the growth of export-oriented palm oil production and the escalation of Ebola is very interesting. It suggests that we can no longer afford to separate the ecology and economy. This outbreak is hopefully the only wake-up call we need...

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

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