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September 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.


1. Pesticides: September 22th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Dr Warren Bell, co-founder of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) speaks on the latest findings of such chemicals like round-up/glyphosate, the multinationals producers, and CAPE’s work. Questions/discussion encouraged.

2. Climate Justice and Income Inequality: October 11th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. SENS teams up with UBCO, CFUW, and other groups to bring in Seth Kline of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to speak on how these two things interconnect. He will also speak at UBCO Wednesday afternoon on Income Inequality and Taxes for those who can attend that event. Donation are appreciated and will assist with costs.

3. We Want To Hear From You! What topics/speakers/events would you like SENS to present next year? Let us know at jblissau@telus.net.


1. Farmers’ Markets: Until end of October…

  • Vernon: Mondays and Thursdays, 8 – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

  • Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm, in the park.

  • Armstrong: Saturdays, 8 – noon, Fairgrounds.

2. North Okanagan Naturalists Meeting: September 7, 7 pm, Village Green Hotel. Duane Thomson speaks on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

3. Green Drinks: September 12th (Every 2nd Monday of the month), 5 – 7 pm. Meet and discuss with like-minded people in the environmental field! For specifics (i.e. the venue), contact Matt.

4. Watershed 2016 Dialogue: Sept. 30th - Oct 1st, SFU Wosk Centre in Vancouver. Hear the talk onBuilding Capacity for Collaboration and Watershed Governance in British Columbia. Visit the website for costs, discounts and other details.


1. Site C and Water Privatization: According to this report, Site C, if built, could be bought by U.S. interests for the water rights. Ugh! Yet another reason to stop this reckless project...

2. Foreshore Mapping Project: RDCO will be starting the Foreshore Inventory and Mapping (FIM) for the entire Okanagan Lake this September. Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program
 (OCCP) is seeking volunteers to be part of the data collection team! Volunteers are needed to ride in a boat and collect data. Please contact OCCP123@gmail.com if interested.

3. Interesting Videos: Check out these videos on: (a) Simple Electricity Generation, (b) Mini RVs, (c) Growing In Winter, (d) NASA's Electric Plane, (e) CO2 Converted to Rock, (f) The True Environmental Cost to Industry, and (g) North & South Poles Glory!

4. Journey to the Future - A Better World Is Possible: Check out Guy Dauncey’s presentation on his book!

5. Renewables: South Australia gets 40 % of its electricity from solar and wind and hopes to reach 50 - 60 % within a few years. The area is blessed with abundant sunlight, but few jurisdictions have committed to solar as aggressively and successfully as South Australia. Solar panels are now mounted on one of every four houses!

FROM AVAAZ.ORG (A Non-Profit Social Media Group)

1. Deep Sea Mine: It’s now licensed to go ahead despite our oceans already being very stressed. As such, Avaaz wishes you to sign their petition!

FROM LEADNOW.ORG (A Non-Profit Social Media Group)

1. Proportional Representation: Check out their 1 ½ minute video at VoteBetter.ca. Such change would be better for the environment too!


1. Soil Building with Biochar: To reverse the damaging effects of industrial agriculture, one can mix biochar with organic waste to create humus-rich soil that stores large amounts of carbon, nutrients, and water. In the book Terra Preta, the authors claim that increasing the humus content of soils worldwide by 10% within the next 50 years could reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to pre-industrial levels!


1. Lawsuit: in July, they launched a lawsuit that challenges the unlawful registrations of a number of pesticides containing two neonicotinoid active ingredients, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam. Both have been linked to mass bee die-offs! The case could set an important precedent under the Pest Control Products Act for more rigorous review of toxic pesticides before they’re registered for use in Canada.

2. Good News: An April Lawsuit to remove Shell Canada’s expired oil and gas permits in Lancaster Sound from a registry of active permits was successful. A Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area can now be established.


1. Moratorium on Old-Growth Logging: There are new calls to stop this! For more, go here.

2. Elk Hunting: Despite their falling numbers in southeastern B.C., hunters remain opposed to a ban. Read this Vancouver Sun article to find out why.

3. Unsustainable Seafood: According to a report, most Canadian seafood fails the harvesting sustainability test. Read a summary on the Vancouver Sun's website.

4. Oilsands Smog Levels: Go here to find out why scientists are so amazed...

5. Park Opposition: Apparently a potential national park in the South Okanagan faces opposition as debate continues over land protection. For more, check out the Globe and Mail's article.

6. Shattered Dreams: A new report out is knocking down pro-pipelines 'fantasies'. Check out this must read article!


1.Fossil Fuel Subsidies: More than 200 civil society organizations, including IISD, urged G20 governments to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2020. Read this statement, as well as IISD’s recommendations to the G20 on realizing the commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies! Read more here.

2.Full Cost to Public Purse of UK’s Nuclear Power: Numerous subsidies benefit a possible new nuclear plant but an initial EUR 6 billion is now indicated at about EUR 30 billion due to uncertainties for accident clean-up, decommissioning costs, loan guarantees, waste disposal costs and more. It’s costly and risky…and power from solar PV and wind power is estimated to be cheaper and renewable energy projects wohave much less level of construction/operational risk. Read more here.

3. Low Carbon Growth With Canadian Expertise: Ideas are put forward here to support overseas countries to adapt to climate change. Much assistance would connect with agriculture, which is responsible for 1/3 of global emissions… and 2/3 of global mitigation potential from agriculture is in the developing world. Read more here.


1. Canadian Environmental Assessment Act: The federal government will be reviewing this law, noted by many as being weak and undemocratic. For more information on the weakening of Canadian environmental assessment processes since 2011, see this report. For more information on the Environmental Assessment Reform Summit, go here.

2. Tar Sands: The Koch brothers own more real estate in the Tar Sands of Alberta than any of the fossil fuel corporations that have invested there. They have vowed to spend substantially on the U.S. election (see link). Donald Trump and the Koch brothers are a dangerous mix...

3. Solar, Not Nuclear: According to the Ukrainian government, the contaminated nuclear wasteland around Chernobyl, which has about 6,000 hectares of “idle” land, could be turned into one of the world’s largest solar farms. The European Bank, two U.S. investment firms, and four Canadian energy companies have expressed interest in Chernobyl’s solar potential.

4. Roundup/Glyphosate: This Dr. Warren Bell article makes an excellent case for the opposition to pesticides! Based on a growing body of conflict-free scientific research, many pesticides once believed to be safe have proven not to be. As a family physician, Bell's criticism of pesticides is as rational as to how he dealt with his patients — sensible, analytical, and grounded in evidence. He speaks on Pesticides, Sept 22, 7 pm, Schubert Centre – all are welcome!

5. Obama on climate Change: Here's a fairly blunt address about climate change by the President Obama to the combined Commons and Senate membership. This little segment, showing him speaking elegantly and articulately without notes, is great! Human civilization is in serious jeopardy. The planet may just have to give us the boot.

6. Site C: Site C is to water what the Tar Sands are to fossil fuels: outdated, unnecessary, disruptive of First Nations and local settlers' rights, hugely expensive (at $9 billion estimated price, the costliest infrastructure project in B.C. history) and deeply damaging to the local ecosystem. Here's a short (4+ minutes) video on it from Desmog Canada.

7. Respect For Ecosystem Interconnections (Chickens Especially):

a) Here's an undercover investigation of a very large food corporation, Tyson foods, carried out by an advocacy group called "Mercy for Animals". Be warned though; It's very disturbing!

b) This website, and in particular a few videos on it illustrate what happens when humankind treats the other parts of the living tapestry of the planet with indifference, and ultimately with heartless cruelty….

8. Environmental Health Task Force: The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has established a Task Force on Environmental Health to look at environmental sensitivities/multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. For the full bit, go here. Also, background information about the work that lead to this can be found here.


1. Cell-Phone – Like Radiation: A new study disproves the hypothesis that the only damage from microwaves and radio frequency radiation (RFR) is from heating. Cancers are indicated. More details are available here. Also, here are some tips to minimize your personal exposure to RFR.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck