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February 2017 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. Tiny House Nite: February 23th, 7 – 9 pm, Vernon Library meeting room. See and hear about local tiny homes: planning, constructing, and occupying, presented by several residents in the know. Questions and discussion welcome!

2. Dr Andrew Weaver, Climatologist, Jan 26, 2017 talk, 200+ in attendance:

a) Short Morning Star report of the evening… http://www.bclocalnews.com/community/412001346.html

b) Please check this 1 hour Youtube posting (thank-you Carl Ross) from Dr Weaver’s talk (audio only) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek3By1J608w

c) And…a few notes, paraphrased, that stood out from his talk:

Climate Change is a fact and it’s happening now. Everyone (including politicians) making decisions now that impact climate change will be long dead before the results of their actions drastically impact YOUR grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. Politicians are only interested in getting re-elected so they cater only to those who get out and vote (seniors!) not to those who do not vote/speak out. As a consequence, money will continue to go to such things as hip operations rather than to education or alternative energy jobs which create about 15 times more employment than oil/LNG jobs. Former BC premier, Glen Campbell, cared about intergenerational equity and so implemented a carbon tax – it was the most advanced decision made in the whole world at the time. Unfortunately it is now ignored so that such big projects as LNG can be pushed forward (Australian taxpayers are losing a lot of money now because there are no markets for their LNG and the same is already true for BC taxpayers). The cost of action on climate change is borne by individuals (heels dug in yet?) but the cost of inaction will be borne by future generations (so, should we care if our generation is all going to be dead by then? Do we owe anything to future generations?). The Tragedy of the Commons can occur because there are no rules to ensure sharing of a finite resource so some will try to hog it all (check out related books on how sharing of the commons has worked well in the past for such things as grazing land). Dr Weaver pointed to our atmosphere as an example because we have no regulations to prevent pollution so we all put all our trash into it. This is one reason why we need a carbon tax – to ensure everyone is involved in protection (polluter pay principle). We all must be stewards of what we have and not assume we can ‘lord it over everything’ with no repercussions. As well, carbon pricing creates innovations (think jobs!). Change will be slow because humans hate to adjust and change behaviour but Dr Weaver did feel somewhat optimistic that technology, behaviour change and changing markets will help, despite such things as vested interests that make sure we still have the internal combustion engine instead of electric cars. His university students several years ago implied that if he wanted change he had to be part of that change so, he is now a green party MLA , a lone voice in the legislature, speaking against costly, unnecessary government decisions that ignore climate change. If YOU want (positive) change what will YOU do?


1. Farmers’ Markets:

Vernon: Fridays, noon – 4 pm, Indoors at Kal Tire Place.

Armstrong: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St.

Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave. GMO and pesticide free produce! For more information, call 778-473-2230 or visit their website.

2. North Okanagan Naturalists Club: February 1st, 7 pm, Village Green Hotel, speaker is Frank Ritcey, provincial coordinator of Wildsafe BC, who is based in Kamloops and is a frequent guest of Sheryl McKay on the CBC program North by Northwest (on weekend mornings, 6 – 9 am).

3. National Advisory Panel on Conservation and Biodiversity: Canada committed that at least 17% of land and inland water will be conserved by 2020, through networks of protected areas and other conservation measures. Applications are now being accepted for a National Advisory Panel that will provide advice to governments on solutions for protecting biodiversity, including how best to measure progress. Interested? Apply if interested!


Biodiversity Symposium: Jan 31st and Feb 1st in Victoria. OCCP has been assisting in the organization of "Conservation Without Borders” with SEAR-LGWG. OCCP will also be presenting at the symposium, providing an overview of the collaborative projects happening in the North and Central Okanagan, and outlining some of the recommendations from their recent "Planning for the Environment" workshop. You are encouraged to get involved and attend this symposium!! The SEAR-LGWG website has more information about this group, and how to get involved.


1. Ecological Economics: www.alternativesjournal.ca invites you to become a friend of A\J You’d receive a 2 year subscription and much more. The monthly magazine focuses on environmental change in Canada. For their next issue they partner with the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics on articles that help readers understand how to balance environmental protection with economic opportunities as we transition to a low-carbon economy, and articles that look at whether one can have well-being without traditional economic growth.


1. Learn and Grow! FASNO seeks new board members! Contact them at 250 275-8814 or info@foodaction.ca if you’d like to assist with any of the following: newsletters, websites, social media, finances, grant writing, staff recruiting, program development and management.


1. Bird-Window Collisions: Check the "FLAP" Website for details on joining the following webinars on how to prevent such collisions: Feb 16 - 10am, Feb 21 - 10am and 2pm, Feb 28 - 10am, March 6 - 10am and 3pm.

2. Action re: Toadlets at Summit Lake: This lake near Nakusp is a key breeding area for Western Toads but the forest where they head to complete their lifecycle after hatching is being logged right now by NACFOR. Only 6% of the forest is needed to protect these valuable amphibians. Write your letter now to Premier Clark using the Wilderness Committee’s information.

3. Mount Polley Mining Charges: The Crown hopes to stay the charges – ARGH!… See Mining.com Link


1.Climate Action: UBC researchers reported that if countries meet the Paris Agreement warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, global fish catches (but mostly in tropical areas) could increase by 6 million tonnes per year.

Our coastal indigenous people eat about 5 times more seafood than the rest of us so any disruptions (tanker spills, negative government decisions) would cost them greatly.

2.Carbon Prize: A UBC geology team hopes to put 2 common mining by-products—acidic drainage and carbon dioxide emissions—into stable, storable pellets and win a $20 million NRG Cosia Carbon X Prize.

FROM SUMOFUS.ORG (Non-Profit Social Media Group)

1. Water Action: Ontario has issued a moratorium to block Nestle from taking water from a community that was experiencing drought. Now Nestle expects to pay $200 to Michigan to double the amount of groundwater it takes. Nestle is already the largest owner of private water sources there… Tell Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality to cancel this ridiculous plan!

2.Mining Pollution Action: A Samarco Co. mining dam collapsed a year ago, polluting Brazil’s Doce River so that 250,000 people have no drinking water and can’t sell or eat the tumour-riddled fish. The Company is paying a pittance to fishermen and hoping that people will forget… Tell Samarco to pay full reparations to locals impacted by its pollution of the Doce River.


1. Ontario’s Mercury Dump Site: In the 1960s, Dryden's pulp and paper mill workers dumped 9 tonnes of mercury into the English-Wabigoon river system. Even now, locals are finding mercury contaminated soil! Fish near Grassy Narrows are the most mercury-contaminated in Ontario, damaging to the traditional fishing way of life. LeadNow asks you to ask Ontario and Canada to clean up the mercury and meet Grassy Narrows demands for mercury justice via a mercury treatment centre, fair compensation, and environmental health monitoring station until the fish are ‘clean’.


1. Sunlight For Power: Elon Musk’s company Tesla is making shingles that double as solar panels!

2. Scott Islands Action: 40 % of B.C.’s sea birds nest here, just north of the tip of Vancouver Island. The federal government would like to create a marine national wildlife area around the Scott islands. However there are insufficient new regulations on fishing, shipping, or oil and gas exploration right now. Urge the federal government to give this world-class seabird habitat the world-class protections it deserves. The deadline is January 30th.

3. Work Less, Live Better: and reduce GHG’s and energy costs! Government employees in Utah went to a four-day week in 2007- the state saved $1.8 million in energy costs alone. Fewer commutes meant a reduction of more than 11,000 tonnes of CO2.


1. 2016 Summary: Asbestos will be banned in Canada! And here's PCN’s other summarized issues. Hats off to Kathleen Ruff who doggedly pursued scientific skullduggery and politics over the years at Right On Canada.


1. Pharmaceuticals In The Environment: International Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) provides results from a recent workshop. Find the report here.... Find other materials from the workshop and presentations, online here.

2. Energy in B.C.: Check out former MLA Rafe Mair’s article about the B.C. parties and their ‘climate-change-denial’ energy policies and also Dr. Bell’s additional note on the 2 main B.C. Leaders! In a nutshell, the only candidates to vote for are those who commit to voting to scale down fracking and LNG, renegotiating the run-of-river hydro deal, coming clean about BC Hydro’s “hollowing out”, and seriously ramping up the renewable energy sector (which generates far more jobs than the fossil fuel industry ever did!).


1.Ecological Protection: The NCC has taken over 26 different natural areas from the Land Conservancy of BC to ensure they will be conserved forever. Read on

2. Winter Hibernation: Want to test yourself on how some species make it through our winters? Test your hibernation knowledge here.


1.Arctic Drilling: The Canadian and US governments have announced a ban on offshore arctic drilling – hopefully it will become law quickly.

2.Climate Denial: Ecojustice has launched a complaint with the Competition Bureau to investigate groups that spread misleading information to promote fossil fuel development.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck