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Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

December 2014 Newsletter +  

DECEMBER 2014

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT NETWORK SOCIETY (SENS) 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.

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 NEWS

1. SENS will not be holding an educational event in December. Enjoy a warm, safe time with family and friends this month!

2. January 22, 2015 SENS Event: An early “heads-up”. SENS Director John Barling will speak on “DIY Solar Energy Projects” and covered swimming pool / domestic water heating, cabin photovoltaics, solar greenhouses, cooking in the sun, and food drying. Workshop planning to follow.

 3. Vernon In Transition Launch: This October's Open Space Meeting was a huge success with about 200 people attending throughout the day. 12 working groups were formed there, with the hope that they will continue working towards transition to a resilient, low energy community. If you were unable to attend the launch and would like to take part in one of the working groups or be involved in some way, email VernonInTransition@gmail.com.

 FROM BEE SAFE

1. GMO Victory for Hawaiians: Despite Monsanto spending over $8 million to defeat the ban, Maui County residents banned the planting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Read more here. Predictably, following their loss, Monsanto announced plans to sue Maui. Please chip in to support the locals.

 2. Feedlot Photos: Here are some damning feedlot photos that show the shitty (pun intended) conditions animals here must endure. Even worse, this animal waste (chalk-full of antibiotics, pesticides, and diseases) leaches into the groundwater, land, and air, raising serious health and environmental concerns. For more, here's a recent study cited by the CDC. 

3. RDNO to do More Studies on GM crops? Readers of this newsletter all know how harmful these crops can be, so why on earth does RDNO need to hire a consultant to consult on studies we already know the answers to?! Obviously, we need new elected officials... 

LOCAL STUFF

1. Farmers’ Markets: Most closed by mid October or switched to an indoor venue for winter.

·       Coldstream: Fridays, 2:30pm – 6:00pm.

·       Armstrong: Saturdays, 10:00am – 1:00pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street.

·       Lumby Co-op: daily 10:00am–5:00pm, Sunday noon-5:00 Arbour Park Mall on Hwy 6 - Organic and GMO/pesticide-Free produce. 250-547-7808.

 2. Food Action Society Annual General Meeting (AGM): Dec 3, 7 pm, Vernon Library.  Come to meet, greet, and learn about successful functions throughout the year. Currently there are: (1) Communal Cooking for $1 per portion (email here to register for Jan 22 and 23 – Mexican dishes); (2) Good Food Box (visit their website or call Diane at 250-545-7617); and (3) Phones For Food: Recycle your old wireless devices and the proceeds go to your local food bank (Drop them off at any Rogers/Fido store OR mail them in using this postage-paid label).

 3. Vernon’s Infrastructure Deficit: We only set aside about $7 million annually for upkeep of Vernon’s existing roads but it costs over $8 million to maintain those same roads! Canada has been plagued with an infrastructure deficit for decades ($570 billion now). Here are the challenges and opportunities surrounding this crisis as discussed at the recent Canada 2020 Conference.

 4. Action By Vernon Mayor and Council?  Here is some helpful BCSEA information: 5 Climate Solutions for Small Towns and City Councils. The Mayor and Council already received copies, so hopefully action follows...   

 5. Liveable Communities Overseas: They're doing it right in France. According to one local resident living overseas, he's loving it! “Rode with the locals this morning. All four of us on bikes to take the kids to school…. It's all so very civilized to ride your bike everywhere. On a 4 kilometre ride we must have crossed hundreds of folks of all ages, 4 to 90+ going off in all directions. … shopped for tonight's dinner and rode back home with full paniers….Will go for a night ride with lights on, as all bikes are fitted with fore and aft lights.” Vernon officials, take note!

 6. Fresh Outlook Foundation's Community Innovation Lab (Feb 3 - 5): This first of its kind Canadian event, that focuses on sustainability challenges and their community-based solutions, is still a long ways off but mark your calendar and see FOF for more information. 

 7. The Okanagan’s Natural Capital: The Okanagan Valley is rich with natural ecosystems and biodiversity that provides enormous benefits to our well-being, quality of life, and pocketbook (e.g. tourism, agricultural, etc.) Researchers at the CEL Lab at UBC Okanagan estimate that its value likely exceeds $6.7 billion/year (in 2007 dollars). For more information, go here.

 8. Permaculture Design Certificate Workshop: Element Eco-Design offers this program in Lumby, every other Mon and Tues, starting Jan 12 and 13. Details on website. 

MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED BY MEMBERS AND READERS

1. Local Multi-layer Forests in A few Years? Here's an interesting video on how to create a mini-forest ecosystem ten-times faster than normal. Sadly it's short on details…

2. Save The Oceans: Here's a great video that proposes we need to fix our global fisheries. Doing so will save the oceans and feed the world. A win-win! 

 3. Japanese Ingenuity With Plastic: Here's a neat invention: a machine that converts plastics back into oil.

 4. The Hybrid Air Car: This article explains how such a car would work. Very cool!

 5. Earth Resonance and Human Health: This documentary tells the full story of how life on earth is threatened by the man made wireless frequencies that we use.

 6. Carnivore Numbers Determine Plant Diversity:  According to this UBC study, "The global declines in carnivore populations could embolden plant eaters to increasingly feed in areas they did not dine in before, driving losses in plant and tree biodiversity."

 7. Rooftop Garden Project: The Skeena Recycled Energy Garden Project has constructed a rooftop greenhouse to help local residents of Hazelton B.C. grow their own fresh, sustainable food. Read all about it here

8. The New “F” Word: Did you know that the pesticide Flupyradifurone, a toxic nerve poison akin to bee-killing neonicotinoids, might get approved here in Canada? Despite warnings, our Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency it is now preparing to give the green light for it. Read the entire David Suzuki article here. You can also take action by going here!

FROM DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION

1. We Must Clean Up Our Act: In this powerful piece, David outlines the global warming crisis, its solution, and what's impeding us from acting. He asks, " Will we take advantage of the numerous benefits of energy conservation and clean energy or remain stuck in the old way of just blindly burning our way through?" A must read. Also here's 10 Terrifying Facts From the U.N.'s New Climate Report that you ought to know. 

2. Right To A Healthy Environment: Did you know that our Canada doesn't yet recognize environmental rights?!? Evidence shows strong environmental protection can benefit the economy by spurring innovation and competitiveness and reducing health-care costs. Four Canadian municipalities have already adopted declarations recognizing their residents’ right to a healthy environment… shouldn’t Vernon be next? The entire nation? Well, the private member's Bill C-634 proposes to do just that. Read the entire article here and sign the petition

3. Attacks: Edelman (very large PR firm) has created fake citizen’s groups to attack the Foundation and 3 other organizations to change public opinion on pipelines. TransCanada Co hired them…

4. Involvement Via Citizen Science: Through NatureWatch, you can collect data on amphibians, record flowering times for select species, or monitor earthworms and soil health.  All help track effects of climate change.  Via IceWatch  record yearly freeze and thaw of lakes/rivers. With RinkWatch, track skateable days on local outdoor rinks.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Subverting Democracy For Profit: Kinder Morgan, the fossil fuel corporation that is trying to pipe Tar Sands crude through Burnaby and out through Vancouver Harbour, is getting annoyed at protestors. As such, it has launched a $5.4 million lawsuit against four of the protesters. Please support these beleaguered individuals! For more information and to take action, go here

2. Fracking For Dummies: Here's a quiet but effective 3D animation that lays out the basic technology - designed specifically to show how fresh water aquifers can be easily contaminated. Positively chilling!

3. Climate Change Advocate’s Talk: Here's a video of Leonardo DiCaprio taken Sept.23 at the 2014 .U.N. Climate Summit.

Happy Holidays!

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

 

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

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

Mid-September 2014 Newsletter +  

1.  Okanagan Water  & Biodiversity Forum.
Day conferences are 10$ per day and Night events are free and include reception and the keynote presentation. For more information click the link http://braes.ok.ubc.ca/forum/ or read below.

Sept 16 - Dr. Bob Sandford
Canada’s energized water cycle: climate change and its consequences

Dr. Sandford is EPCOR Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in support of the United Nations “Water for Life” Decades and Director of the Western Watersheds Research Collaboration. He will speak on the challenges of managing our freshwater resources.

7pm (doors open for wine and cheese reception at 6pm)
Venue: Rotary Centre for the Arts, Downtown KelownaSept 17 - Dr. Daniel Pauly

The Impact of Fisheries and Global Warming on Marine Ecosystems, with Some Emphasis on British Columbia

Dr. Pauly is Professor in Fisheries & Zoology, UBC Vancouver and Principal Investigator of the Sea Around Us Project. He is internationally renowned for his work in documenting the diminishing resources in our oceans and will speak about the marine biodiversity crises.

7pm (doors open for wine and cheese reception at 6pm)
Venue: Laurel Packing House, Downtown Kelowna

Attendance is free and open to the general public. See braes.ok.ubc.ca/forum for more information and to register for the talks (to reserve a space) and the Forum.

2. Allan Brooks Nature Centre Events:
a) Saturday 20th ABNC & Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Astronomy night 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm. Explore deep sky objects, the moon and Saturn on RASC members telescopes. Admission by donation
b) Sunday 28th BC Rivers Day @ Polson Park 11 am – 2 pm
Come join Allan Brooks Nature Society, the City of Vernon and the Regional District in celebrating BC Rivers Day with family activities, entertainment, and much more! For more information or to volunteer contact events@abnc.ca or call Janice Buick at 250-306-7945

3. Creating Resilience in Times of Extremes. Real Solutions in the Real World. September 27, 10am - 6:30pm at Sparkling Hill. Author and visionary scientist Gregg Braden  is speaker at this retreat. about $260 for the day...A fast-paced multi-media seminar that identifies converging cycles of climate, was, peak energy and peak debt, triggering dramatic changes in our lives.

4. Vernon In Transition invitation to take part and/or volunteer ( attachment to follow!)

September 2014 Newsletter +  

SEPTEMBER 2014

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT NETWORK SOCIETY (SENS)

 promoting environmental awareness in the North Okanagan

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.Developing Community: September 25th, 7 pm, Schubert Centre. Kim Flick, Community Development Director for the City, will explain how to build community for a healthier, happier, and more liveable life for all of us with the help of our Official Community Plan (OCP). Huguette Allen, SENS Director, will speak on planning seven generations or more into the future, and relate the OCP to our upcoming municipal elections. Questions encouraged. Everyone welcome!

2. Vernon In Transition (VIT): October 4 Community Gathering, 2 pm start, Trinity United Church. “How can we work together to become a more resilient, lower-energy community?”

 VIT, working under the SENS umbrella, seeks volunteers (contact VernonInTransition@gmail.com) for numerous activities and jobs for the day. Volunteers are welcome to take part in the afternoon’s and evening’s activities as we plan where we want Vernon to go in the next 30 years. Please contact VernonInTransition@gmail.com to volunteer.

One aspect of the day is creation (using upcycled or found materials) of costumes and musical instruments for children who attend. Please contact Joanne at riverjunkmail@gmail.com to contribute such items as jar lids, bead, yarn, buttons bottle caps and 4 foot branches with a ‘Y’. More items will be asked for as we plan for the October 4 community gathering.  A more detailed invitation letter will be sent soon so mark your calendars and plan to be there!

3. SENS Video Documentaries Library: Please 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.

FROM BEE SAFE

1.Roundup Dangers Re-Confirmed: For over a decade, corn with the GM trait NK603, known to cause severe liver and kidney deficiencies and hormonal disturbances, such as breast tumours, has been used for animal feed and in processed food ingredients in Canada. But did you know that Monsanto started putting that same trait into GM sweet corn as early as 2012? And according to tests, it’s in some grocery stores and farmers markets across the country. Concerned? Well here’s a 2-page resource on how to avoid GM sweet corn. Check it out!

LOCAL STUFF

1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       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.

·       Armstrong : Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon,

·       Enderby: Friday mornings, Cliff Avenue.

·       Cherryville: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm.

·       Lumby: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm and Sundays, noon – 4 pm, Lumby Shopping Ctr.

o   Support the Monashee food co-op! They provide seasonal and dried foods, organic pastas, pickles and more, as well as locally-made cleaning products, jewelry, art etc.Email Jaye Siegmuller to get involved!

2. North Okanagan Naturalist Society: September 3rd, 7 pm, Village Green Hotel.  Norbert Maertens speaks on “Waking up in a genetically modified world.”

3. BC Hydro's Community Champions Program: BC Hydro is looking for non-profits focused on sustainability and the environment. The grand prize is a $10,000 conservation award. Non-profit submissions are open until September 30th. Voting is open to the public and participating schools. Winners announced December 8th. For all the information you need to answer questions and get started, go here.

4. Haz Waste Round-up: Saturday, September 13th, 8 am – 2 pm, Okanagan College and 8 am – 1 pm at Enderby and Lumby Firehalls. For more, contact 250 550-3700.

5. Okanagan Water & Biodiversity Forum: The BRAES Institute and the Okanagan Basin Water Board  will be hosting this Forum in Kelowna on September 16th and 17th. For more information about the event and for registration, go here.

6. Food Action Society’s 4th Annual Fundraiser: September 20th, Best Western Vernon Lodge. Tickets are available at the Bean Scene.

7. Organic Okanagan Festival: September 28th, 11 am – 4 pm, Kelowna’s Rotary Festival of the Arts.

8. Energy Alternatives: Methane will soon be collected from our landfill for energy use. As well our area will soon be installing 14 super charging stations for electric cars.

9. Food Security Speaker Series: Amy Kermociev of Patchwork Farms at OK College is organizing a day of food–farm-permaculture-garden etc speakers for October 18 at our Kal Campus. If you have a topic you’d like to speak on for ½  - 1 hour, please contact  amy_kermociev@kindale.net

Also, mark the date and plan to attend a great day of Workshops ‘n talks! More details to follow.

MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED BY MEMBERS AND READERS

1. Badger Mom and Young Photo: Aren’t they cute? Thanks for sending this to Helen and Ann!

2. Safer Cosmetics: Interested in signing a petition as part of a campaign to ban microbeads (plastic) in personal care products? If so, go to 5gyres.org to sign.

FROM GUY DAUNCEY’S ECONEWS

1. Could B.C. Become a 100% Renewable Energy Region? “Here in B.C., 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions—the direct cause of climate change—come from burning fossil fuels [mainly for electricity, heat and transportation].” Obviously we need to change, just like Germany (PDF) is doing! Read Guy’s series of insightful articles (1-4) on how we can make this transition as smoothly as possible. As pointed out, “Where there's a will, there's a zero-carbon way.”

FROM DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION

1. Canada's Cities Lead on Climate Action: “With many benefits like livable communities, improved air quality, protection of natural spaces, and greater economic efficiency, it's not surprising that tangible positive action on climate change is happening in Canada's cities.” Calgary, Edmonton, Guelph, Vancouver, and many other cities are “[prioritizing] clean energy, better transit, smarter urban design, [and waste reduction] … There's still a long way to go, but cities are showing the way.” Read the entire article here.

2. Nano Particles: I never thought they’d come, but it turns out many items and food ingredients already contain them. And unlike the helpful machines flowing through my blood that I envisioned, these guys can be downright harmful! As the article points out, “We don't know enough about their long-term effects to be adding them so indiscriminately to our food systems and other products. If we've learned anything from past experience, it's that … reality doesn't always match speculation, and a lack of knowledge can lead to nasty surprises down the road.”

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Asbestos Scandal: Here’s a Globe & Mail worthy story about Canada's asbestos scandal written by Kathleen Ruff.

2. No Dying Fish Here: On his website, you’ll find interesting videos showing Alexandra Morton and three friends scouting a fish farm whose manager has said "there is no problem: fish are not dying" when in fact, the opposite is true. It's quite unnerving…  

3. Mt. Polley Mine Tailings Disaster: Here's a well-written outline about the spill of toxic tailings from this copper/gold mine in central B.C, and it’s clean-up from the Vancouver Observer.

4. Site C Dam: Here’s a Vancouver Sun article that explains why the B.C. government is planning to build this expensive ($7.9 billion) and destructive (will destroy many ecosystem services and disable prime agricultural land) megaproject. In a nutshell, it’s all so that there’s a big repository of water that B.C'.s shale gas industry can use. Ugh!

5. Coal and Human Health: Here’s an excellent Calgary Herald article that presents some of the science linking coal emissions to illness. The piece is part of CAPE's campaign to phase-out coal-fired power across Canada.

6. Economy Improves via Climate Change: The governing Ontario Liberals have taken the first step towards tackling climate change by appointing a dedicated minister of environment and climate change. Hopefully this will lead to other new steps, such as charging polluters for the pollution they create,  putting a price on carbon, investing in green infrastructure, etc. For even more steps, read the entire article here.

7. More on Fracking: Two pieces. First is an article that suggests that the German government is mulling over a proposed seven year fracking ban. Second is a video where The New York Court of Appeals has made it final: communities can "prohibit" fracking! Yeah!

8. We Mean Business: Check out this cool, no denial/prevaricating website on climate change!

9. GMO Industry’s “Safety” Studies: “Who would have expected that toxicology would become a rich reservoir of farce and irony? Yet that is exactly what has happened in the area of GMO toxicity testing, thanks to double standards that mean studies finding harm are judged very differently to those finding safety [and blatantly false claims of no self-interest].” For the latest example of this groan-worthy practice, read the entire article here.

10. Seralini Study Republished: Here’s some good news! The famous Seralini study of tumour formation in rats fed GMO corn, vilified by industry and its sycophants, has finally been republished, including all the raw data generated by the research carried out by Dr. Seralini and his team. And having found a new home, it’s quite unlikely the GMO industry will be able to quash its damning findings again! Read the entire good news story here.

11. YouTube“Do It”: Here’s a two-minute video that tells the story of how two young German women (along, no doubt, with a great team of others) set up a supermarket without any non-reusable packaging whatsoever… And it was remarkably easy!

12. China is the World's Leading Renewable Superpower: Here are a few reasons it’s #1: First of all, it’s got full government support. As a result, it’s leading substantially in global clean energy investment. In addition, many new policies and mega projects are geared towards renewables. Secondly, China is beginning to wean itself off of coal. For instance, a growing number of Chinese provinces have introduced caps on coal use. Finally, there is also increasing awareness that smaller scale decentralized forms of clean energy generation are just as important as mega projects. For even more reasons, read the report here.

13. Deepwater Horizon Disaster: - it occurred 4 years ago in the Gulf of Mexico and is continuing to cause serious problems (Vibrio vulnificus, found in tar balls on shorelines, can kill in 48 hours). http://www.care2.com/causes/flesh-eating-bacteria-renal-failure-and-the-long-term-effects-of-oil-spills.html

NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA

1. Invasive Species:  check out some from this photo gallery at http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-we-do/resource-centre/invasive-species/

2. Tasty Invasive Species Treats: Check out several nutritious dandelion recipes here: http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/blog/a-dandy-way-to-bite-back-for.html#.U_6HiEu4nH

 

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

Summer 2014 Newsletter +  

SUMMER 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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website: www.sensociety.org 

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

SENS STUFF

1. The next newsletter will be at the end of August – Have a great and safe, green summer.

2. SENS Video Documentaries in storage; should you wish to borrow a copy, please contact Terry at 545-6191 and return within about a week for use by others.

Video Documentaries
In Transition 1 Bokashi On the Line Blue Gold - Water Wars
In Transition 2 Fuel The End of Suburbia What in the World are They spraying?
Power Down Dirt The Great Warming Next Energy Geothermal
Radiant City Gasland Tapped Chemtrails

 

3. Community Teamwork: Would you like to spend time with people who have similar interest and work on environmental issues you are passionate about? Whether it is Biodiversity, Climate Change, Water, Food Production, Health & Environment, Green Transportation, Aquaponics, or even building an Earthship Centre, SENS has a team for YOU!  Please contact Huguette Allen at huguette@Imagine-ere.ca to tell us of your interest.

4. New Look:  Thank-you to co-editor Egan Mandreck for changes to print colours and header!

LOCAL STUFF

1. Farmers’ Markets:
·       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.
·       Armstrong : Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon,
·       Enderby: Friday mornings, Cliff Avenue.
·       Cherryville: Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm.
·       Caravan Farm: Sundays, 10 – 2 pm, June 29. August 3.
·       Lumby: Is opening a Co-op and has a list of prices from Pro-Organics.

Email Jaye Siegmuller to get involved!

2. Invasive Species: The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) has done a lot to prevent the arrival of new species, slowing their spread, and fixing the collateral damage these species bring. Become more familiar with these unwanted invaders and learn what you can do to make a difference at www.oasiss.ca. Donations are always welcome!

3. Gleaning – Utilizing Excess Food: The Salvation Army has restarted it's annual Gleaning Program.  They are currently seeking both donors of fruit and/or vegetables, and volunteers to help pick. The program benefits all involved as the produce is divied up equally to the donors, volunteers, and Vernon’s foodbank. Another successful season is only possible with your help! For more information (e.g. volunteer package), visit www.vernonbcfoodbank.com.

4. Drought Response: SENS represented the public on a Drought Response Team several years ago. Here’s the latest information on water conservation and the bylaw from RDNO:

Irrigation/Landscaping Handbook at www.rdno.ca/water  -click on “Water Conservation” left side grey box.   Monthly climate and water storage updates at www.rdno.ca website. The revised Greater Vernon Water Use and Regulation Bylaw No. 2545, 2014 should be on their website too.

5. Food and Local Agriculture: www.rdno.ca/agplansurvey Complete the on line survey to develop a regional agricultural plan by August 1 and be entered to win a local food basket! Help RDNO address local needs with your comments on profitability, giving a voice to the agricultural community on planning and future growth, development pressures and local decision-making.

6. Bat Conservation: www.bcbats.ca  is available for you to  make contact about bats in buildings, health and safety concerns, and helping to locate/monitor bat populations.

7. Green Croft Gardens: For seasonal farm workshops on cooking, seed saving, felting and more, check out their website at www.greencroftfarms.com You can also get on their e-mail list for a list of workshops etc. via greencroftgardens@mybcdc.ca

MATERIAL CONTRIBUTED BY MEMBERS AND READERS

1. Bill C-442: A long awaited national bill on Lymes Disease was unanimously voted for. Thank-you Elizabeth May!

2. Solar Roadways? Here’s the video. Neat, huh? But this counter-video pokes hundreds of holes into this expensive idea. Moving along…

3. Dr Olle Johansson: speaks with humour on wifi, smart meters and other health-related electromagnetics: http://citizensforsafetechnology.org/Dr-Olle-Johansson-a-Neuroscientists...

4. Climate Solutions Centre: Interesting film Carbon Pollution: Costs & Cures   via

http://climatesolutionscentre.com/

5. Community Is Everything: Check out the Soil Mate organization at www.soilmate.com to find out about how much they value use of local food and drink for self-sustainability and what they’re doing to support accessibility of local farmers.

6. Summer Reading? Avaaz.org is a 35-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.

7. Changes to BC Parks Act: The B.C. government has passed Bill 4, the Park Amendment Act that allows the province to issue research permits for industry looking to build pipelines, logging roads, and other industrial infrastructure in provincial parks. Take action here: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/2463/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=...

8. Dangers of Sewage Sludge: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faked sludge safety science:  http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/how-epa-faked-the-entire-sc...

DOGWOOD INITIATIVE

1.Pipeline Vote: Go to letbcvote.ca to sign a pledge saying we should be able to vote on plans to expand pipelines and oil tanker traffic on our coast.

2.The Real Economics of Northern Gateway: Take the online quiz at FairShareBC.ca  to see how their concept of a “fair share” stacks up against what Enbridge is actually offering.

FROM GUY DAUNCEY’S ECONEWS

1. The Great Electric Vehicle (EV) Race: Norway is very similar to B.C., yet they’re vastly ahead in this race (29,000 EVs to our paltry 932 EVs). Why? Two words: government support. In Norway, taxes on their sales are waived, as are parking charges and road tolls; EVs are allowed to drive in the faster moving bus lanes; and Norwegians have ten times more recharging stations (5,195 to B.C.’s 593). B.C. needs to do something in order to close the gap! For more than two oversimplified words, read the entire eye-opening article.

FROM DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION

1.  Climate Change and Allergies: Ah Spring! Warmer days, blooming plants, and for a growing number of us, dreaded allergies. And thanks to climate change with increased plant growth (in some areas) and extreme weather impacts, allergy symptoms are worsening. “This doesn't mean people should stay indoors. Getting outside offers numerous physical and mental health benefits.” Follow these tips to enjoy the outdoors with minimal allergic reactions. Of course, addressing climate change, the main culprit, is best. Read the entire article here.

2. Change Your Neighbourhood: Excerpt: “To make our cities truly green, we must bring nature to the oft-neglected bits between parks and existing green areas …  Residents can play an active, hands-on role in transforming the places they live, work, play and share … Starting small can pay big dividends.” This great article has plenty of ways you can get started.
FROM ECOJUSTICE

1. Stopping Unregulated Fish Farming: In 2013, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) granted 123 aquaculture licences to fish farm companies that allow them to transfer farmed fish carrying disease agents (e.g. PVR) into B.C. waters shared with wild fish. By this act, the DFO has effectively abandoned their responsibility to protect wild fish and the marine environment! Hence Ecojustice took them to Federal court this June to strike down these licences. To find how they fared, read this update. Also, here’s a handy primer to tell wild salmon from farmed.

2.Annual Victories Report: Some recent victories:

*Forcing the federal government to produce an emergency protection order for endangered Greater sage-grouse;

*Triggering a review of toxic pesticides already banned in Europe; and

*Helping a community protect its drinking water supply from corporate interests.

Also: 4 iconic species have help due to a successful species-at-risk lawsuit,  71 clients got access to environmental justice/free legal & scientific expertise, 383 toxic pesticide products may be potentially banned across the country ( federal review triggered by Ecojustice lawsuit).

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. GM Food Labelling in Vermont: It’s now required and predictably it’s being challenged in court.  And sadly it looks like it’s going to lose. Read the entire article here.

2. Fracking – The Reality: Here’s a great series of articles that shatter the myth of fracking that the industry would have us believe, from how clean it is to how safe it is.

3. The Sordid History of Water Fluoridation: Here’s a rather interesting chronology of events related to the use of fluoride in drinking water coming from a physician journalist in Minnesota. In a nutshell, there was one giant conspiracy against the public health that was orchestrated by a host of conscienceless, highly profitable multinational corporations, institutes and professional agencies that profited from the forced fluoridation of municipal water supplies. Warning: It’s long!

4. Thorium – What a Waste: The United States, after some 50 years and billions of dollars wasted trying to develop thorium as an energy source, is finally calling it quits. Now they just have to spend billions more to deal with the nuclear wastes produced by those efforts, find a state willing to house said wastes, and worry about some lost weaponizable uranium 233… Doh! Read the entire article here.

5. Subverting Solar: Excerpt: “This article, from Sierra magazine, details how electrical utilities – with a little help from the Koch brothers – are fighting to destroy the solar revolution … So when you hear repetitive messaging saying that renewables can never adequately replace fossil fuels or nuclear power, bear in mind that there are large, well-endowed and/or ideologically-driven commercial players working overtime [trying] to subvert the renewable revolution.”
6. All Things Nuclear: Detailed information on the entire spectrum of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the link between the two on the website of the CCNR .

7. Investing: The movement to divest from fossil fuel companies is gaining momentum rapidly, in academic, religious and other circles. The other side of divestment is re-investment. This article outlines some of the steps taken by various groups or bodies to put their investment money where their values are.

8. Abandoned Ocean Nets and Whales: This video shows how dreadful the effects of abandoned fish netting can be on "collateral" targets – in this case, a young humpback whale.

9. Dangers In Simplifying Complexity:  GMO technology and commercialization is too simplistic. Read about the new understanding of non-coding or "junk" DNA -- and its very important role in creating complexity -- and about the place occupied by RNA, assumed in the past to be a passive "messenger", but now understood to do a lot of meddling in genetic modification.   http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Noncoding_RNA_and_evolution_of_complexity.php

FROM NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA (NCC)  - www.natureconservancy.ca

Make the Most of Your Garden: Leave the dandelions! – they’re a multi-purpose super food of calcium, iron, antioxidants…put in hot teas, soups, smoothies…  Add  milkweed to nourish butterflies – get them into your garden for their unusual flowers and seed pods too!(June News)

BC SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATION

Could We?:  Check out Guy Dauncey’s ‘what if’ comments here: http://www.bcsea.org/blog/guy-dauncey/2014/06/18/could-we-live-without-p...

 

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck