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April 2016 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. Website: www.sensociety.org

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

Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.

SENS NEWS               

1. Green Ideas Showcase: April 28th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Come early, check out info tables before we start, and be inspired! There will be about 15 presenters with ideas from 90 % energy efficient housing to Tiny House construction workshops, solar coops and installations heaters and gondolas!), roof top gardens, winter veg gardening for jobs and much more! … an evening of sharing, learning, group brainstorms, workshop sign-up and action! Start something great with others in Vernon!  Everyone welcome! 


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Vernon: Fridays, 12 – 4 pm, inside Kal Tire Place.

·       Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm,

2. North Okanagan Naturalists Club Meeting: April 6th, 7 pm, Village Green Hotel. Frank Townsley speaks on techniques for taking photographs of wildlife. 

3. Addressing Public Resistance to Vaccination: Thursday, April 7th, 7:30 pm, Vernon’s OK College Lecture Theatre. Speaker is Dr. Edgar Marcuse, Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, U. of Washington. Tickets $7 in advance (OK Science Centre at 250-545-3644) or $10 at door.  For more, go here.

4.Allan Brooks Nature Centre: Work Bees – April 12th and 13th - Confirm at events@abnc.ca. Also check out ABNC's 1 Hour Volunteer Orientations - April 4th or 5th. Register at volunteer@abnc.ca... Or, wish to only get involved in the Okanagan Raptor Festival? Email ed@abnc.ca. ABNC opens April 16, 11 – 3 pm with music, entertainment and more!

 5. “Just Do It”: Here's an inspiring Ted Talk on making New York more friendly to walkers and cyclists... This ought to be done in Vernon!  Also, the way we talk about people who use bicycles can become an “us” vs “them” situation but when wording changes, ”them” IS “us”! Check this out!    http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/02/dont-say-cyclists-say-people-on-bikes/385387/

6. Biogeography of Indonesian Forests: April 6th, UBCO, Kelowna. The speaker is Cam Webb. For more details, go here.

7.  Got Stuff to Recycle?: Spring Garage Sale April 9, Paddlewheel Hall. Reserve your $10 table at info@okanaganlanding.com  

8. Green Drinks: April 11.  Contact Matt for the venue this month – matt@valhallaconsulting.ca

9. Site C – Keep the Peace! - April 18, 7 – 9pm, Schubert Centre. It will impact government-indigenous relations and long term food security for all of BC as the area can feed 1 million people and is a culturally vital and sacred area to the Dane-zaa and Cree people. Data used to prove need for Site C comes from the 1980’s. Join Julian Napoleon, Saulteau First Nations and Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Ana Simeon, Sierra Club of BC to learn more about this area’s abundance and learn how you can help protect the Peace from another dam. Everyone welcome – and bring a carload! 

10.BC Sustainable Energy Association: The local BCSEA meets, April 20, 6:30pm. Vernon Library. Everyone welcome! 

11. Affordable Homes For Vernon Too? http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/161515/Big-problem-small-solution

12.North Okanagan Coalition for Active Transportation (NOCAT) is a new entity in our area and is a member of the BC Cycling Coalition.  Check out their information and get active!  https://m.facebook.com/NOCAT-is-North-Okanagan-Coalition-for-Active-Transportation-845643745545566/?ref=page_fan_invite_email


1. Ancient Medicinal Clay Beats All:.According to new research from UBC, naturally occurring clay from Kisameet Bay, B.C. — long used by the Heiltsuk First Nation for its healing potential — exhibits potent antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens. In vitro testing of the clay killed 16 strains of such bacteria. No toxic side effects have been reported in the human use of the clay, and the next stage in clinical evaluation will involve detailed clinical studies and toxicity testing. For a related story , go here.

2. High Water in our Future: According to a new study published in Science, sea-level rise is coming. Even if we keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above historic norms, we may still see oceans creep four feet farther inland by 2100. Here's the original article with some handy before and after images to help us wrap our minds around this. 

3. ESC Association of BC's Spring Conference and Tradeshow: April 19th -21st, Ramada Inn, Abbotsford.  Come for speakers from around North America presenting on various topics of Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC). You can also take the CESCL & CPESC training and accreditation exams here. Register for the Tradeshow here and/or for the CPESC Exam & Review here.

4. Glyphosate and Corruption: Dr. Thierry Vrain, the geneticist who worked on the first GMOs in Peachland and spoke at a SENS evening last year, sent this documentary made in Germany (translated in English) that details the corruption that allows glyphosate to threaten our food system, our health and that of the planet. Agricultural polices are clarified here too. 

5. Reducing Concrete To Zero Waste:  Concrete is the 2nd most consumed material, after water, on earth (3 tons per person globally), accounts for 5 % of global anthropogenic emissions of CO2, and affects climate change, emissions to air/water, natural resource depletion, and worker health and safety.      Canadian, Steve Thorpe, founder of Formablok, is selling a sustainable and reusable landscape block mould that converts waste concrete into a useable, segmental block product. The mold is made of plastic and aluminum that is lightweight, rust-proof and durable.

Footing, cutting, core filling and mortaring is not necessary when using the Formablok. Thorpe’s design recently received a U.S. patent. 

6. Eating Organic vs Non-organic: Much decrease in pesticides etc in the body after just 2 weeks of switching to organic foods!  https://youtu.be/oB6fUqmyKC8


This non-profit group recently sent a letter to our federal government asking them to safeguard science integrity, and champion science and smart decision-making. Engage with them on Twitter & Facebook    Action items at:  https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/en/action


1. Proposed Amendments to the Fisheries Act: This group is working to reinstate lost protections in the Fisheries Act and to enact a process to see modernization of the Act.  Check out the open letter and let them know if you would like to add your organization to the growing list of supporters!

2. Webinar-Fresh Ideas: Building Climate Resilience at the Water’s Edge: April 6th,  11-11:45 am PT / 2-2:45 pm ET  ... a 1-to-1 conversation with Rebecca Wodder about her vision—laid out in this blog post—for river and watershed groups to “play a key role in helping the communities they serve build resilience against future climate catastrophes.”  Register for this important discussion today! 



1. Policy Solutions for Climate-Resilient Agricultural Value Chains: “To date, most of the action taken to address climate challenges in agriculture has focused on production alone. However, IISD believes that we need policies and approaches that recognize that climate risks affect the entire value chain … For climate-resilient agricultural value chains in Uganda and other developing countries, [IISD] research suggests that the domestic private sector plays a vital role, and SMEs and commercial banks must be involved in the process of integrating climate change into relevant policies and strategies.” For the entire report, go here


Numerous events are on at this time of year., Please check out all workshops and events and information on volunteering at www.natureconservancy.ca/bcevents.

AVAAZ “WINS” so far in 2016:

a). Stopping the Fin whale slaughter by closing off ports to whaler use and causing a media and political storm in the Caribbean where the whaling ship was registered.

b) Blocking Monsanto’s most profitable poison. Europe was set to re-approve its glyphosate weedkiller licence for 15 years, Avaaz delivered a petition and thousands more sent urgent messages to respective governments. In the final hour, support collapsed, and the EU commission postponed the vote!

c) Plus numerous more humanitarian actions

CHANGE.ORG have a petition to ask Costco and Walmart to NOT throw good food away.  France recently passed a new law on the same theme:  https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/italy-passes-law-to-send-unsold-food-to-charities/


1.Investing in a Clean Energy Economy: Leadnow.ca thanks all who acted to ask for such investments…  The Federal government has committed to spending:

$1 billion on clean technologies - resource, energy, and agriculture sectors

$3.4 billion to address climate change, protect sensitive ecosystems, and build trust in the environmental assessment process

$3.4 billion to improve/expand public transit in communities across Canada

$5 billion in green infrastructure projects that help support Canada’s transition to a "clean growth economy" 

2. Action: -BC As A Climate Leader: In 2015, the government asked academics, scientists, economists, business people + First Nations to draft recommendations for BC’s climate plan. Their 32 recommendations are a great first step in making BC a climate leader again. The recommendations are being ignored, LNG is being pushed and a climate denier has been put in charge or creating BC’s new climate plan. Hmmm. Send our premier a message today calling on her to take action on climate and remove climate deniers from her staff. 


1. CAPE Successes of 2015:

a)   Bees and Neonics: CAPE conducted opinion polls, wrote op-ed pieces and letters to the editor, ran ads, and met with Ontario Ministers. As a result, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to protect its bees (and citizens) from neonic pesticides.

b)   Coal Phase-Out: CAPE educated the public on the impact coal has on human health and the climate, wrote op-ed articles, prepared press releases, produced fact sheets and backgrounders, published ads in local papers, and met with decision-makers.  As a result, Alberta will phase out its 6 coal fired power plants by 2030. 

c)    Climate Change:  CAPE got  more doctors involved in the fight against climate change. As a result, the Canadian Medical Association redirected investments  out of fossil fuels. 

2.  Oil Industry Influence on the National Energy Board (NEB): Entitlement… corruption of public consultation…check these investigative reports.  Trans-Canada actually edited the NEB's comments directly, before they were released, in undisclosed meetings.



 3. Global Flooding: Climate Change is happening now and  a new study  indicates that climate change is happening much more quickly than previously predicted.  Read the full blog here.

4.  International Instruments of Corporate Power(TPP, CETA, FIPA, NAFTA): This free event at Rm 320  520 West Hastings, Vancouver April 16, 9:30 – 3pm, will expose how corporate rights impact communities, social services health, food security and more. RSVP / Registration: http://bit.ly/1MnsN7z    On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1U8LVhP

Co- Edited with Egan Mandrec