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Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

January 2013 Newsletter +  


The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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 ***


1. Green Building Excellence - Next In Vernon? January 24, 7 pm, Schubert Centre with Donna Lomas, Dean at South Okanagan College. Donna will showcase Penticton’s just completed Jim Pattison Centre of Building Excellence, now a student training centre for the state of the art sustainable building technologies and renewable energy conservation that was used to create this Okanagan College institution. It has virtually NO heating/cooling costs or sewer costs and is designed as a living building with better than LEED platinum design – one of only a few in the world! Everyone is welcome to see and hear how it was done and find out how we can do the same in Vernon. Questions welcome. Sponsor: Sustainable Environment Network Society (www.sensociety.org) Bring a builder/contractor friend!

Related to this topic is the following TED talk on architectural ideas that would be grand in Vernon… http://www.ted.com/talks/bjarke_ingels_hedonistic_sustainability.html

A combined Art Gallery and Museum on the Coldstream Hotel site come to mind…


1. Indoor Winter Markets:

  • Armstrong – Thursdays, noon – 5 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street. Contact: Art 250 546-3411

  • Enderby – 2nd & 4th Fridays, Jan 11 & 25, 11 am – 4 pm at the Enderby Seniors Citizen Complex.

  • Vernon – Wednesdays, noon – 5 pm, behind Westbilt Centre on 43rd Ave.

* Vernon – Tuesdays, 10am – 3pm, 2913 29th Ave, behind Towne Theatre.

  • Coldstream – Wednesdays, 2:30 am – 6 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall

2. Styrofoam Recycling: It’s free in Vernon until January 5, 2013 at Interior Freight and Bottle Depot, 4205 24th Ave and at Venture Training, 4240 Alexis Park Drive.

3.Ditch The Car And Get Active! The City of Vernon, UBCO and Interior Health are working with students at the UBCO Engineering School to develop an East Hill Neighbourhood Active Travel Plan. The focus would be on walking, cycling and transit as a primary means of getting around. Why? - to reduce congestion, chronic disease, obesity, poor air quality and GHG emissions.

4.Shuswap Community Radio Station: CKVS-FM 93.7 has been launched to bring forward concerns that affect the community and the environment and to showcase local music and literature. For donations, volunteering, memberships: station@voiceoftheshuswap.ca.

5. City Cycling by John Pucher and RalphBuehler: The authors use numbers and proof by example for other parts of the world, not emotion, to show why we need cycling infrastructure. Details at: http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/city-cycling -


1. Quote of the Day: "People go on at exhaustive length about the perils of cycling because cycling remains niche," says Walker. "Sitting around on one's arse watching EastEnders and eating Pringles is, however, a national pursuit, and not enough people make the connection between that and an impact on health which is, the scientists told us, now on a par with that from smoking."

2. People Power In Australia: Check out people power in Lismore, Australia! People here are 87% opposed to coal seam gas (the extraction of coal bed methane, which we have in B.C. and Alberta).

3. Living Democracy from the Ground Up: Watch the video at: www.envirolawsmatter.ca/

4. 2013 Bicycle Calendar: This 11" x 17" wall calendar celebrating bicycles, includes with each month remarkable photos of the bicycle as art and utility, captions in French and English, and provocative quotations and illustrations. It is a perfect gift for any bicyclist! For more information, go here.  

5. Bike Travel Programs: IBike offers programs to really interesting places that are not mainstream destinations, and by giving people an opportunity to see a mainstream destination through a different lens. Up-coming ibike programs include: Tunisia, Botswana / Namibia, Ghana, Tanzania, South Korea, and Seattle. For more details, visit http://www.ibike.org/ibike/index.htm

6. Radiation Damage from Smart Meters: Here’s another article outlining the dangers of smart meters!

7. Harper Government Caves in to Big Pharma: A recent report on trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union (CETA) says Ottawa is prepared to give the Europeans, and the pharmaceutical industry, at least part of what they asked for on drug patents – a move that could cost Canadians up to $1 billion a year. In Canada, new brand name drugs are already costing us at least an additional $2 billion a year. The provisions in the CETA on patent extension would cost at least another $1 billion annually. To make matters worse, the drug industry uses this money, not for innovation, but to buy influence with the federal regulator, physicians, consumers, and the media through their advertising departments. Read the entire article here.

8. Enbridge’s Underestimations of Oil Spills: This will be one of the points Wayne McCrory, director with the Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS), will make during community hearings, January 28 in Kelowna. Check his reports at the Society’s site: www.vws.org

Get Involved! – Use information from the VWS website and write to protect grizzly habitat by Jumbo Glacier by January 3/13. Support their Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal with a letter. Ask for an extension of the 3 week government review and respond time re; wolf kills and use the VWS’s submission for details to send in your action letter.

9. International Space Station Tour: Eye-opener on how they live with weightlessness in space and more… http://www.wimp.com/orbitaltour/


1. GE Free Support: BEE Safe will present to RDNO January 16 to ask that our area be added to the 11 municipalities that have already passed GE Free resolutions. They would like your presence at that time. More details to follow.

2. Farm Gate Sales: Provincial Meat Regulations prevent this – they’re only designed to benefit Agribusiness. Please e-mail info@rdno.ca to express your concerns that we want farm gate meats that we trust and sales that support local farmers and local environment.


1. Their 2012 Victories:

  • We made a deal with the bottom trawl fishery to protect corals and sponges.

  • Our testimony at the Cohen Commission resulted in clear recommendations from Justice Cohen for the removal of open net-cage salmon farms from the Wild Salmon Narrows

  • Our work with Safeway resulted in them joining the list of retailers who will only sell sustainable seafood

  • We exposed the illegal iron fertilization scheme carried out off Haida Gwaii and alerted the public to the danger of ocean acidification posed by such reckless experimentation

  • Our relentless research and media work helped counter Enbridge’s public relations offensive in support of pipelines and super tankers to the B.C. coast


1. Killer Windmills (US Stats): Wind turbines do kill birds (10 – 40 thousand yearly) but 100’s of times more are killed via house cats (100 million), pesticides (67 million), hitting windows and buildings (980 million), and power lines and communication towers (135 million). Emotion causes the windmill veto because the other statistics are not known or thought of.

2. Energy of Slaves by Andrew Nikiforuk: This book shows the link between energy of slaves that allowed people to plant and build so they could succeed and the link to the energy of coal and oil that followed abolition of slaving. Nikiforuk says we need to change how we use energy because we are behaving like slaveholders re: entitlement and want. More details at: http://www.dmpibooks.com/book/the-energy-of-slaves

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Logging News: Here’s a link to a clutch of articles on a brewing logging debacle on one of B.C.'s most pristine Gulf Islands. It's like Clayoquot Sound all over again…

2. The Danger of Fire Retardants: PDBE's (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), the main class of chemical compounds in fire retardants are rapidly being considered “too dangerous”. Mounting evidence suggests it is linked to serious heath problems, including cancer, disruptions to the human endocrine (hormone) system, and neurologic damage. Read more about it here. It was also discussed on CBC TV's Marketplace on Friday Nov. 30th.

3. Behaviour Change = Major Ecological Outcomes: Scientists and French farmers are working together to reduce water runoff and soil erosion by at least 50%, thus replenishing aquifers, saving soil, and reducing water pollution. Intensive mechanized agriculture to increase crop yields introduced so much more fertilizer and pesticides that water quality was greatly reduced. More at the ISIS website: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/How_Farmers_Can_Protect_Water_Quality.php

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 2012 Newsletter +  


The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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 ***


No event in December – travel safely and have a great, family filled Christmas season!

The SENS – VIT November “Make It Yourself” evening of ideas for making, not buying corporate gifts, provided numerous great ideas. If you’re already avoiding consumerism check out: http://grist.org/living/forget-buy-nothing-day-could-you-hack-buy-nothing-christmas/


1. Indoor Winter Markets:

  • Armstrong – Thursdays, 12 noon – 5:30 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street.

Contact: Art Cayford, 250 546-3411.

  • Enderby – Fridays, Dec. 14 and 21, 11 am – 4 pm at the Enderby Seniors Citizen Complex.

  • ALSO in Enderby – Mara Christmas Market, Fridays, 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm, at Mara Hall

  • Vernon – Wednesdays, 2 pm – 6 pm, Westbilt Centre on 43rd Ave.

  • Coldstream – Wednesdays, 2:30 am – 6 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall

2. Have 5 Gallon Pots?: Laurel is doing a “Youth and Tomato Plants” project with teens (and seniors eventually) and needs lots of 5 gal pots. Please contact her to donate your pots: 250 542-5478.

3. Wolf Talk: Dec 5, 1 pm, Trinity United Church, by donation. Doors open at noon. Sadie Parr speaks on our government’s war waged on wolves. Go here to sign a petition.

4. UBC to offer Free Online Courses: UBC has partnered with US-based Coursera to offer free (non-credit) online courses in genetics, computer science and climate literacy. The courses start in Spring 2013 and will consist of videos or voice-over PowerPoint presentations, with student-led discussion forums, interactive activities, quizzes and assignments. For more, go here.


1. Dogs and Babies: According to Paediatrics Journal, the healthiest babies are from homes where dogs spend much of the day outdoors and track in a lot of dirt and bacteria which most likely helps build a child’s immune system. For more, go here.

2. Fungi to the Rescue: Watch this talk as Mycologist Paul Stamets lists six ways the mycelium fungus can help the planet, from cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, to treating illnesses.

3. A Moving Tree: Here is a neat video that shows a 100-year old oak tree moved to a new home.

4. B.C. Pension Funds Tied to Clear-Cutting Timber Companies and Worse: One of the world’s biggest pension funds, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), is directly invested in the companies that are logging the heart out of Vancouver Island, fracking shale gas, and mining and transporting dirty oil and coal. These companies are eroding the forestland base in B.C. at an alarming rate and damaging communities and ecosystems. If you’re concerned, please send your inquiries to “Doug Pearce, Chief Investment Officer". Read the entire article here.

5. Oil Spill Retribution: In Nigeria, their oil regulator is asking industry giant Shell to pay $5 billion for a spill off the country's southern coast last December. The transfer leak of oil to a tanker led to 40,000 barrels spilling into the Atlantic Ocean. Shell is fighting, trying to remain blameless. For the entire story, go here. Also, here’s a link that contradicts their assertion.

6. Inequality in our Environment: The “haves” and the ‘have nots’ are compared in this short video

"This is what inequality looks like in BC" produced by students in Surrey.

7. Canadian Green Health Care Digest: Google their website to sign up for their free weekly digest.


1. 80% Waste Diversion: The city of San Francisco is diverting 80 percent of all its waste away from landfills. The city recorded in 2011 that 80 percent of waste was kept away from landfills, in part due to advanced waste reduction programs that include recycling and composting. Their goal to become zero-waste free by 2020 doesn’t seem so far fetched. So if San Francisco can do it, why not Vernon? For the entire article, go here.


1. Turmeric and Cancer: Cancer’s growth and spread is the result of the disruption of multiple cell signaling pathways in the body. Turmeric influences many of these pathways, helping to inhibit the development, growth, and spread of the disease. Here’s a recipe for a turmeric “Super Sauce”: http://preventcancernow.ca/turmeric-–-heal-thy-self


1. The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) is Under Threat: Since 1882, the NWPA has protected the rights of Canadians to navigate Canada’s waterways without interference from logging operations, bridges, pipelines, dams, and other forms of industrial development. However, recent federal legislation is threatening to overturn this legislation. Read more about this here.

2. Impact Proofs: Imagine Canada, working in partnership with many other organizations, is aiming to create a more effective narrative for the charitable and non-profit sector. As part of this project they are collecting “Impact Proof Points”: 50 word statements that highlight the impact of our organizations. Please click here and submit your organization's key story.


1. Fermented Foods Fight Cancer: Here’s a great article: fermented foods impact gut flora to help fight tumours. And here is a demonstration on fermenting vegetables, also this Google search.

2. Action on Salmon: One recommendation the Cohen Inquiry calls for is a moratorium on fish farms in Sockeye routes and admits DFO must protect fish, not industry. Tell Premier Clark not to renew salmon farm leases! Also, Ask the Prime Minister and your MP to act on the Commission’s recommendations and start rebuilding salmon stocks. For the entire article, go here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Weakening Canada’s Gun Laws: Just this year, the Harper government has eliminated mandatory licence validation before long-gun purchases, forbidden provinces from requiring dealers to maintain records of long-gun sales, and announced plans to eliminate UN marking requirements.  The illegal gun trade here is set to flouring. There are strong indications that a loosening of licensing requirements will come next. Read more here.

2. The Real Waste of our Taxes: According to an independent analysis commissioned in 2009 by the RCMP, scrapping the long-gun registry would save only between $1.6 million to $4 million a year. If true, it contradicts the government’s numbers ($22 million to $1 billion) they were using to argue against the long-gun registry. Heck, they spend way more advertising their no longer used “Canada’s Economic Action Plan”! So Canadians lost a useful crime prevention tool so the government can air more attack ads. Ugh! For the entire article, go here.

3. Right for a Healthy Environment: Just imagine if our constitution included the right to a healthy environment: Canadians would have a greater role in making decisions that affect environment, our health and our communities. If governments and industries failed to respect our right to a healthy environment, we could hold them accountable. Over time, Canadians would breathe cleaner air, drink safer water, be exposed to fewer toxic chemicals, and enjoy healthier ecosystems. The David Suzuki Foundation and Ecojustice Canada are working together to ensure every Canadian receives legal protection of this right. Full article: here and video worth watching!

3. Solar Success for Denmark: Good News! They reached their solar energy goals 8 years early.
Read the whole story here.

4. The Destruction of Environmental Science: Here’s a great piece on how Ottawa is being blind to the dangers of firing our environmental scientists.

5. GMO Ballot Killed: Industry money - $46 million from food and biotech corporations - defeated the Californian ballot on mandatory labelling of GM foods. A similar ballot’s fate in Washington is unknown... Truly a sorry tale of deception and fabrication of evidence! For more, go here.

6. Fracking in Quebec: An extractive/exploitative company is challenging Quebec's moratorium on fracking. The silver lining here is that their case against the moratorium is very weak. Read the article here. More of fracking here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/20/fracking-ontario-dalton-mcguinty_n_2166786.html

7. Call for Phasing out Nuclear Power: Nuclear power is a serious threat to public health. Numerous studies on the health impacts of nuclear plants show an elevated risk of illnesses, such as leukemia, in nearby populations. Ontario's nuclear reactors are putting the nearby populations at risk. There’s also the risk (not impossible) of a major nuclear accident like Fukushima happening here. Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan have all decided to phase out nuclear power and invest in green energy. They are eliminating the risk of nuclear accident, protecting human health, and creating green jobs. We ought to follow suit! To read the entire article, go here.

8. Muzzling scientists who test for farmed salmon virus: Check Alexandra Morton’s blog for details http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2012/11/cfia-wants-to-strip-lab-of-status.html

9. Corporate Control re: Uranium Mining For Tar Sand Use: http://canadianyouthdelegation.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/corporate-control-the-profitability-of-consent/ It’s happening in Northern Saskatchewan communities that sit on rich uranium deposits.

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

November 2012 Newsletter +  


The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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 ***


1. November 22, 7 pm, Schubert Centre: Make It Yourself! – a Pre-Christmas Faire. Visit 5 or 6 different “stations” and learn how to make cheap, easy toys for kids, and useful, cheap items for family and friends! Hand-outs provided. Co-sponsored with Vernon In Transition.

2. Seed Saving Chart: This comes from the September Food storage/preservation evening.

3. Eco-sanitation: For those who missed Kim’s great stories and information, here’s one website to check: http://www.ecotek.ca/ECO-TEK_Ecological_Technologies/Home.html

The Wetland Pacifics company was unable to attend on Oct 25. They provide different types of EcoSan applications – many for single housing. The pictures illustrate vegetative and outdoor wetland systems for different situations. Their website: http://www.wetlandspacific.com/

Bio Harmony in Vernon, also unable to attend, offers different solutions: www.bioharmony.ca/


1. Indoor Winter Markets:

  • Armstrong – Thursdays, 12 noon – 5:30 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge Street.
    • Contact: Art Cayford, @ (250) 546-3411.
  • Vernon – Tues & Wed, 8 am – 6 pm, 2913 29th Ave, behind Towne Theatre.
    • Contact: Dale @ (250) 549-4399. Grand opening is Nov 6 & 7.
  • Vernon - Wednesdays, 2 – 6 pm, Westbilt Centre on 43rd Ave.
  • Coldstream - Wednesdays, 2:30 am – 6:00 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall

2. Reel Sustainability Film Fest: organized by www.freshoutlookfoundation.org

Monday, November 5th - CARBON NATION (energy efficiency/renewable energy) Spider Agile Technology, 2821 Fenwick Road, Kelowna BC. 6:00 PM: Free appies, wine, beer, and a tour of the facility 7:00 PM: Film screening followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLs73KJI36w

Monday, November 19th - SWITCH (energy efficiency/renewable energy), Kelowna Toyota,

1200 Leathead Road, Kelowna BC, 7:00 PM: Film screening followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts Trailer: http://www.switchenergyproject.com/index.php

Thursday, November 22nd - ON THE LINE (Enbridge Pipeline), Okanagan College Theatre, 1000 KLO Road, Kelowna BC. 7:00PM: Film screening followed by a panel discussion featuring local experts

Trailer: http://www.onthelinemovie.com/

3. Nov. 14th Free UBC-O Talk: Sign up to “Everything Is Connected” for 7 pm at Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre here.

4. Environmental Leader: SENS director Mary Stockdale was awarded a Community Sustainability See Award this year by the City of Vernon. Congratulations!

5. Save Money; Go Green: You just got your latest water bill... A leaky toilet can waste 750 liters a day. Old toilets use 13 - 20 liters per flush; newest ones? 5 liters! Use a low-flow 7 liter shower head and save over 22,000 liters per year. A 1-per-second dripping tap wastes 11,000 liters per year. After repairs, what else can you do to re-use water before it leaves your house?

6. Nov 15, 7 pm, Schubert Centre, Chris Harris’ latest book: FLYOVER British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, with Proceeds to ABNC. Chris will show images set to music, and tell the stories and adventures behind the scenes of creating his books. 


1. From “The End of Illness” by Dr. D Agus: The risk of an autistic baby rises over 3-fold when it is conceived within 12 months of the birth of a first baby. The risk is 2 times for those conceived between 12 and 23 months after a first child. The cause may be due to a deficiency of nutrients or a change in biochemistry, but researchers don’t really know… Zoledronic acid, a bone builder, was given to treat osteoporosis. but it also caused a reduction in breast cancer by 36%! Hmm! Bisphosphonates taken for osteoporosis reduced the risk of colorectal cancer too.

2. GMO Stuff: Check out this accurate and shocking video on GMO. Also, check out this link or this one for more on this unbelievable "contraceptive corn". Finally, here is a quick and easy shopping guide you can download to AVOID BUYING GMOs.

3. Ecojustice in Canada: For their Fall news, go here.

4. Dogwood initiative: A non-profit that’s going to bat for BC: http://dogwoodbc.ca/


1. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Misrepresented: The government would have you believe that the majority of Canada’s Pacific MPAs, are highly protected with no commercial fishing allowed, yet LOS MPA numbers in B.C. strongly dispute this; showing that almost all of the protected areas allow fishing inside their boundaries. What’s more, according to a new study, Canada has fallen from 66th place (of the 172 signatories) to 100th place with only 1.25% of our territorial waters protected in 2010. Given that Canada has the longest coastline in the world, this is truly sad!

2. Humpback Whales Threatened: Watch this video to see why supertankers on the coast would threaten humpback whales, a species of “special concern” that is making a slow recovery. The video uncovers the sad irony underlying government inaction. Send an e-mail to Prime Minister Harper asking him to follow DFO's recommendations and protect critical habitat for humpbacks.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Scott’s Miracle-Gro Pesticide Law Violations: Over a 7 year period, this company contaminated its bird seed with toxic pesticides. It has garnered the largest set of criminal and civil fines in U.S. history for violation of legal enactments on pesticides.

2. Exposure to Mercury or Lead Linked to ADHD: According to a new study, children exposed to higher levels of mercury or lead are three to five times more likely to develop ADHD-like symptoms that teachers notice. The findings may be clinically significant… For links on this, go here and here. Also be sure to visit the website of The First 6 Years, a grass roots organization concerned about childhood development.

Source: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/September/12-enrd-1088.html

3. Walking in Nature and Memory: New research shows that a 50-minute walk in nature can improve memory and focus by about 20 per cent (NOT in a busy urban environment). This suggests that simply by interacting with nature, people can improve human health and wellbeing across the board! This finding could impact how we design cities, schools, workplaces and hospitals, and how we treat many different kinds of illnesses. For an interview with the head researcher, go here. Also of interest is Japanese research that found that taking a “forest bathing” trip can increase the body’s natural defence against cancer (Here’s a Globe & Mail article on both studies). Finally, check out this link for a project called “Healthy by Nature”.

4. Drought Destroys GM Crops, But NOT Non-GM Crops: A recent report out shows that Non-GM varieties are more drought resistant, yet agritech giants, who have monopolized the seed industry, ensure farmers are unable to access them. As such, the record breaking drought the U.S. is currently experiencing is having global repercussions. For example, there are steep rises of cereal prices and reduced meat production in many countries. Read the rest of this ISIS report here. You can also read other related ISIS reports here too.

5. Environmental Injustice in Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan -- especially its northern half -- is undergoing a "nuclear cycle" in Canada. There are several spent, active and planned uranium mines there, uranium ore is processed there, and there are plans to dump high level waste in underground repositories there too. Even worse, the provincial and federal governments are working closely with the nuclear power industry to expand nuclear power development. If the thought of a nuclear power plant being built to pump Oil Sands crude horrifies you, please read this letter to the Premier detailing this environmental injustice. Hopefully with this awareness, action will follow…

6. Loss of 4 Cornerstones of Democracy: The Harper government is systemically attacking scientific evidence: dismantling Canadian institutions that collect it, muzzling government scientists that make it, and eroding its role in public debate and regulatory decisions. There are at least four reasons why all Canadians should repudiate this attack: (1) True democracy is possible only with a well-informed, often scientifically, and skeptical populace. (2) This attack undermines the intellectual capacity of all future generations of Canadian scientists. Future progress will falter! (3) This attack hurts our environment, which is critical for our health and welfare. And (4) our tax dollars are better spent on programs and policies that achieve certain goals when coupled with scientific evidence. Scientific evidence is a form of insurance that maximizes gains and minimizes losses. Read this excellent opinion editorial in its entirety here.

7. Corporate Power Exposed: SourceWatch monitors corporate infiltration into the public space. A blurb from their web site: The Center for Media and Democracy publishes SourceWatch, this collaborative resource for citizens and journalists looking for documented information about the corporations, industries, and people trying to influence public policy and public opinion. We believe in telling the truth about the most powerful interests in society­not just relating their self-serving press releases or letting real facts be bleached away by spin. With the help of volunteer editors, SourceWatch focuses on the for-profit corporations, non-profit corporate front groups, PR teams, and so-called "experts" trying to influence public opinion on behalf of global corporations and the government agencies they have captured. We also profile some of the individuals and groups shining a light on these PR campaigns and also feature clearinghouses for information about select "hot topics" (to your left). Please check out our other sites: PRWatch, BanksterUSA, and ALECexposed.

There are possible negative effects of wind turbines but very powerful vested interests deliberately feed into such concerns and amplify them purely for their own material advantage. Source Watch exposes this. See: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Bernard_Ingham

8. Sell-out To The Chinese?: Andrew Nikiforuk outlines the context and key aspects of Stephen Harper's recent signed contract with the Chinese oil industry.


Selling off of access to and exploitation of natural resources is already a long-standing political tradition in Canada. What distinguishes this deal is a) its occurrence in the 21st century when climate change is upon us and irrefutable, b) its engagement with business interests that are famously non-transparent and corrupt (and recognized as such by China's own citizens), and c) its embracing of the terms of the NAFTA, which allows secret tribunals to judge trade contracts between nations, gives corporate priorities pre-eminence over national sovereignty, and makes trade expansion more important than the environment or social justice.

9. Wild Salmon Advocate, Alexandra Morton: While in the Maritimes she found sea lice on supermaket farm salmon… Here is the blog with gruesome photos: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2012/10/when-is-truth-a-tactic.html

Please consider signing and "sharing" this petition to the supermarkets http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/costco-safeway-loblaws-please-stop-selling-diseased-farm-salmon


1. All Lighting Products Recycled Free Now: B.C. will be the first of the provinces to recycle all lighting products without charge, starting October 1. This includes all types of lights (bulbs and tubes), ballasts and lighting fixtures used in various applications. Read more here.

2. Producer – Pay: B.C. is heading towards a new waste management system that will see manufacturers and stores pay 100 per cent of the costs of recycling their products and packaging.

Doing so will save taxpayers an estimated $60 to $100 million a year! Read more here.

3. London Drugs Recycles: London Drugs is the first major retailer in Canada to introduce recycling collection boxes for all beauty packaging and chocolate wrappers. Read more here.

4. Glass Recycled into Wall Insulation: Under a new recycling initiative launched at the Te Maunga Transfer Station, flat glass will be crushed and made into wall insulation. Read more here.

5. Give Your Stuff Away Day: This day is fast becoming the world’s largest giveaway / recycling event. On (hopefully to be announced) simply take some of your stuff to the curb for others to take for free.  It will help millions of people, reduce clutter, free up landfills, and lower municipal hauling costs.  It will even give a boost to the economy! Greater Vernon ought to adopt this… Go here for more information.

6. October Recap: For a recap of all of RCBC’s October 2012 news, go here.


1. Sea Otter Saviours: Otters remove at least .18kg of carbon per square meter of coastal waters they occupy. As they make a comeback from human slaughter over the past centuries, they chow down on the sea urchins that have decimated our ocean kelp beds. When these kelp beds have completely recovered, they could store 10 + million tonnes of carbon worth $700 million on the EU carbon-trading market.

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

October 2012 Newsletter +  



The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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 ***


1. October 25, 7 pm, Schubert Centre: Eco-sanitation (environmentally safe/clean way of handling human waste that saves taxpayers $$$ millions!) How do we get local government to endorse it?

2. Carpool Week (October 22 – 26): Start arranging your carpool buddies! Go here for more info.

3. A New Beginning for Bee SAFE: The Bee SAFE office opened in March 2012 with the objective of supporting healthy agriculture. Six months later, they’ve largely succeeded, found hundreds of supporters, helped many to grow food organically, and spread the word about nasty GMO and pesticides. As such, the Bee SAFE office will close at the end of October. Fear not though, they’ll still be active via their website, emails, columns, and events held in various places. 


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  • Armstrong – every Saturday, 8 am – 12 noon, IPE Fairgrounds (BC’s oldest, started in 1973!)

  • Lavington – every Sunday, 9 am – 1 pm, at Jeffer’s Park on School Road

  • Cherryville – every Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm, by the Highway

  • Vernon – every Monday and Thursday, 8 am – 1 pm, behind Westbilt Centre ’til Oct ends.

ALSO: Fridays, 3 – 7 pm, north of Sport Chek, Village Green Mall

* Vernon Winter Market- 2913 29th Ave, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8am – 6 pm coming soon. $25 per table per day for crafts, baking and much more. Call 250 549-4399 (Dale). Grand opening Nov 6 & 7.

  • Coldstream Winter Market - Wednesdays, 2:30–6 pm, Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall.

2. Green Drinks: Second Monday of every month at Sir Winston’s Pub. Find out more at http://greendrinks.org/vernon and on this Facebook page.

3. Lacto-fermentation: These "functional foods" are now considered to be "probiotics", increasing your overall nutrition, promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aiding digestion and supporting immune function. For more details, check out the websites here and here.

4. Waste Reduction Week, October 15 – 21: Can you live without generating garbage for the entire week? How can you ensure that everything you ‘use’ is recyclable?


1. Electromagnetic Radiation: Here is an excellent summary of the REAL dangers of Electro Magnetic Radiation! 

2. ‘Lead Now’ Non-Profit: They’d like you to sign their petition to end billion dollar hand-outs to fossil fuel companies: http://www.leadnow.ca/end-big-polluter-handouts

3. Flooding In Venice: 3 inches of water in St Marks Square recently … experts agree it’s NOT the usual historical flooding but due to climate change and sea level rise.


1. Bottle Deposit Increase in Quebec: Quebec is doubling the deposit on beer cans, soft drinks, energy drinks and PET plastic containers and glass soft drink containers to $.10 effective January 2013. The increase will allow the government to free up more money to support retailers which collect the returned containers. Why not for RDNO? Read more here.

2. Abolishing Food from Landfills: A huge piece of the achieving zero waste equation is food scraps, which typically make up 25 to 45 percent of residential waste in western countries. One idea being floated around is to ban all food scraps from landfills. Enforcement wouldn’t really be hard since it makes sense! Read more here.

3. Worldwide Waste to Double by 2025: According to a new report, global solid waste levels will double by 2025. Continuing urbanization in developing countries will be the main driver behind this alarming news. Read more here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Infectious Diseases: A developing model of infectious disease shows that most epidemics (e.g. AIDS, Ebola, West Nile, etc.)­ are a result of things people do to nature. For more, go here.

2. Ecocide: Did you know that "any large-scale destruction of the natural environment or over-consumption of critical non-renewable resources" used to be considered an international crime by the U.N.? Apparently, the idea of ecocide first started in 1972, but was later shelved. A new report out, The Ecocide Project, hopes to unravel why. Hopefully the law can be revived… Go here and here for more information. 

3. Dental Amalgam: Finally, the use of mercury, considered highly toxic in every other context besides dental use, appears to be coming to an end. The problem now lies in finding a suitable replacement. Composite resin fillings are toxic too whereas gold fillings are expensive. Prevention is obviously the preferred route, but many Canadians have limited access to preventive dental care. We therefore need to promote access to oral health care (i.e. pushing for dentistry to be included in the Canada Health Act) and watch what we eat.

4. Think About This: “Every person born since the mid 1980's has come into a world where humans are using up more than the Earth can replenish and the rate of consumption is increasing to the point of estimated global overshoot of 50%. Never in all the time humans have been on this planet has this happened. If we don't address this, along with the mass extinction of species that we're perpetrating, we're missing the point entirely.” (Sent to the listserv by a PhD reader)

5. Climate and Global Weather: Check out this reasonably detailed article written by the experienced and well informed environmentalist Bill McKibben.

 6. Solar and Electric Roadways: Very cool! Check out this short 4 min video to find out what they are. For the really gung-ho, here is a TED lecture (Part 1 and 2) on electric roadways.

7. The Visible Ills of Pesticides: Go here and read about how in other parts of the world, the effects of pesticides are quite visible!

8. Ethical Politics: Here are Elizabeth May’s comments on Arctic development, Stephen Harper style. A great read!

9. Denmark Cuts Energy Footprint: This little 5 ½ minute video shows how Denmark has cut its energy footprint dramatically, by (1) taxing high carbon/GHG sources and by (2) subsidizing renewable energy sources and energy saving technologies (e.g. rainwater collection, bicycle use, better insulation in homes. In comparison, Canada’s policy under Harper is a joke.

10. Medical Basis for the Health Effects of Fracking: http://www.environmentalhealthproject.org/

11. Flawed Stanford University Study: Their analysis said that organic foods were not superior in quality to conventionally produced varieties and that the risk of exposure to pesticides was only negligibly higher in conventional foods. Others pointed out that the study ignored “traces on organic food vs many pesticides on one food” that would mean that one is 5 times more likely to ingest pesticides from non-organic produce. Frances Moore Lappe pointed out that short term studies were inadequate for determining health impacts over time (cancers take decades to develop). Also ignored was that organic food contributes to increased biodiversity in the field (more birds and beneficial insects, better soil biota) and to decreased pollution associated with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Farm workers (49 year lifespan) should also benefit.


1. Saving the Arctic: All of the fossil fuel bigwigs and others are mobilizing to get their ships up there, and get their hands on the potential 90 billion barrels of oil that lies at the bottom of the ocean. That represents three more years of energy bingeing, for which the oil companies would risk the ecological integrity of the Arctic marine ecosystem. Support Greenpeace and sign the petition to save the Arctic!

2. The Terrifying Math: This summer, Bill McKibben wrote a very powerful piece for Rolling Stone Magazine on Global Warming with some terrifying numbers. Bill reckons we need to really ramp-up the activism, including a fossil fuel company divestment campaign similar to the one that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa in order to avoid his math. There are scenarios out there that show it’s possible; we just need to turn it into reality! For ideas, check out www.350.org.

3. The BC NDP Election Platform: On current indications the NDP will form the government next May. What policies would you like the NDP to adopt on climate action, farmland preservation, green job creation, cycling, transit, proportional voting, affordable housing, poverty and homelessness? And how would you like to see them pay for them? What new taxes or sources of government income would you recommend? Send your thoughts to Carole James

4. Loss Of Arctic ice: We could be seeing a totally ice-free summer Arctic by 2015, and even an ice-free winter by 2040. www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews. As the ice melts the reflectivity (albedo) of the surface falls dramatically and the sun’s heat is absorbed by the water instead of reflected away. Methane is released from under the ice and permafrost – and each molecule of methane traps 72 times more heat than CO2. www.arcticclimateemergency.com With no Arctic ice the jet stream would be compromised, leading to climate instability, drought and heat waves, and therefore difficulty growing food (already happening!).


Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

January 2012 Newsletter +  



The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years!

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 ***


January 26 – Shaping Our Future Through Food. 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre. Panel discussion and audience participation on how our towns and rural areas can be resilient and flourish when we make local food the economic motor for future growth.

Guinea Pig” Homes Wanted: SENS director Huguette Allen is researching ecological sanitation (greywater recycling, composting toilets and more) for RDNO and hopes to see a pilot project initiated soon in Vernon. If you would like your home to be a “guinea pig”, contact her at huguette@imagine-ere.ca. For more, visit www.sensociety.org and click on Ecological Sanitation.

Liquid Waste Management: Click here for the latest short report on the Liquid Waste Management Plan - click on report #2.

AND, More About Local Water Use: The Regional District of the North Okanagan is asking for input, until January 20, into their new Water Use Restrictions. Chart is available at www.rdno.ca/water , at RDNO, City Hall, Vernon Library, and Coldstream Municipal Hall. Please comment!

We may not get a lot of snow to provide our melt water for summer and early fall use from now on. Would you prefer to have more severe restrictions NOW on non-essential water use so that there’s lots for our food producers in the summer? Should Stage 1 be our “Normal”? Do we really need to water lawns in spring or summer (other countries ban it!)? Would you prefer to abide by the minimal restrictions of ‘normal’ or ‘stage 1’ of the chart and possibly be at level 3 or 4 restrictions later that impact everyone severely because we did not conserve early in the year? We are moving towards more drought due to climate change…and we are said to be the water hogs of the world…


1. Winter Markets: The Green Croft Market will be held every Wednesday, 2 pm - 6 pm, at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall across from the school. The Enderby Market will be held on the Fridays of January, 2 pm - 5.30 pm, at the Enderby Seniors Citizen Complex.

2. The 2012 Walmart–Evergreen Green Grants: Supporting community development, environmental stewardship, and urban agriculture with projects across Canada (funds of up to $10,000) this greening program is now open to applicants. The deadline is January 31, 2012. For more information on how to enter, please visit the Evergreen’s Green Grants page.

3. The Occupy Movement: "Occupy Wall Street" occupied Vernon recently as a group including Greens gathered by the Library with signs & music. The message being that the root cause of inequality and environmental destruction is the unregulated acts of greedy corporations, while governments promote private advantage over the public interest. For others’ views on the movement, visit www.naomiklein.org, www.chrishedges.net, and www.chomsky.info.

4. Naturalist Observations Wanted: Environmental assessments are being carried out on the aquatic, wetland, and riparian ecosystems and habitats along the Swan Lake foreshore and BX Creek to identify the impact proposed works will have. Compiling data on these habitats and the wildlife (plants, birds, etc.) is essential! If you have any wildlife observations as it relates to Swan Lake and BX Creek, please contact Kyle Hawes (khawes@ecoscapeltd.com).

5. Save the Big White Mountain Ecological Reserve: Please watch this video on how you can help save this reserve! Contact Randy Schellenberg (250 308-7969) of www.savesilverstarpark.org for more information.

6. “Salmon Hero” Workshop: Near the close of this workshop, two awards (that included cheques for $2,500) were presented to Tom Minor and Gay Jewitt of the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre and Neil Brookes of the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre for exceptional leadership in the field of salmon habitat stewardship. For more on their projects, go to www.thinksalmon.com.


1. Rust Decontaminates Soil: Superfine iron dust releases electrons as it rusts. It has just been shown that these electrons will break down pollutants such as dioxins, PCB’s and many pesticides at minimal cost and with no environmental harm. For more on this incredible find, go here.

2. Your Brain’s Environment:  Exercising your brain causes a jump in your IQ. It is suspected that the training makes the brain become more efficient, using less energy and more oxygen. So how did you fare at work after this last holiday?!? For the article, go here.

4. GHG’s, Arctic Ice and Thawing Tundra: Methane, which is 40 times more damaging than carbon dioxide for climate change, is being released in large quantities as more and more ice melts. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-sea-ice-releases-deadly-greenhouse-gas-6276134.html

5. Veganism Anyone? Forget ending dirty coal or natural gas pipelines (actually don’t). As a recent report from the World Preservation Foundation shows, veganism offers the single most effective path to reducing global climate change. A global vegan diet (of conventional crops) would reduce dietary emissions by 87 percent. In addition, going vegan would reduce the costs of fighting climate change by 80%. So why is everyone so against this simple measure? Read why in this article.

6. Smart Meters – Not So Dangerous?: The fact is that the cell phone is a lot more dangerous than the Smart Meter. According to this article, “a 1-watt cell phone 1 inch from your brain is 1,296 times stronger than a 1 watt smart meter 3 feet away … So far, the claims I’ve seen that the radiation from a smart meter is somehow “special” do not pass [the] test.” Reassuring to know!

Compare the science in the article above with this video! In it, Magda Havas demonstrates how WiFi connects your laptop, iPhone and iPad to the internet via microwave radiation. You will also learn how WiFi base stations, portable phones and baby monitors constantly radiate microwave radiation. Her website is well worth visiting too.

7. Breath Taking Video: Here’s an excellent video on our beautiful world.

8. Pesticides Report: This report tells it like it is! Here’s a quote: "Toxic pesticides are poisonous, and they are making us sick. The diseases that we are exposed to everyday are not random, and they are caused by the spraying of these pesticides." It goes on to show us the destructive impacts they have on DNA, birth defects on newborns, and the increases in cancers.

9. Demise of the CWB: Here’s a good article on how abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board will affect family farms in Canada. The consequences are numerous and far-reaching, negatively affecting: local food processing, transportation, global warming, food security, and energy efficiency. It also paves the way for more genetically modified crops.

10.Bicycle Trivia: A British Medical Journal report says 2/3 of their doctors feel helmet laws make people give up cycling despite the health benefits. However, a recent Canadian study showed that over the last 10 years serious head injuries are down 30% due to helmet use(mostly in children). In Vilnius, Lithuania their frustrated mayor used a tank to crush cars parked illegally in bike lanes...

11.Leadership and Mental Illness: Google “Brian Bethune, Maclean’s, mental illness” for an intriguing interview on why normal “sane” leaders, biased towards optimism, are not capable of being good political and military leaders in a crisis. Those with mental illnesses are much more capable because they are realistic, creative, and empathetic.


1. 12 Days of Cancer Prevention: Visit their website at http://tinyurl.com/7r9d49b for the 12 tips.


1. Recycling for Revenue: In the Victoria region, recycling diverts almost 20,000 tonnes of material a year — more than a third of the waste generated in the region. A good chunk of this “garbage” is broken down to its parts, from wood waste to old mattresses, allowing a local growing industry to mine society’s waste for tomorrow’s new products.  Read full story.


1. Parks Canada; Boreal Forests; Holiday Deals: Having just celebrated its 40th Anniversary, Alternatives is proud of its latest issue: Inside Forestry (Vol. 38, No. 1). In it, author Jeff Gailus (The Grizzly Manifesto) looks at Parks Canada. The issue also features Andrew Nikiforuk on the wake of the pine beetle, Margaret Atwood on the strength of the Greenbelt, and CPAWS' best photos of 2011. Visit www.alternativesjournal.ca for more.


1.Organic Farming Is More Profitable:…and restores healthy soil and wildlife, requires much less energy, stores carbon in the soil, provides vital nutrients for our health, ends nitrogen-run-off pollution, and removes the cancer dangers linked to farmland chemicals. It also provides equal or better yields than traditional farming. Iowa State University’s Long-Term Agro-ecological Research Experiment showed this. Organic crops earned $200 an acre a year more than the conventional crops. In drought years, organic yields are 31% higher than from conventional farming. Rodale’s research: http://organicalberta.org/news/study-debunks-myths-on-organic-farms shows an average net return of $558 per acre per year for organic farming, compared to $190 for conventional - 300% higher income! A UN study shows that organic farms create 30% more jobs per acre. The organic farmer’s money is creating jobs, rather than buying chemicals.

2. ACTION On Climate Change: Write to Premier Christy Clark, and urge her to make action on climate solutions a top priority. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts note that 2012 will bring more extreme storms, floods, droughts and wildfires. It’s 99% certain that hot days have become more common; 66% likely that climate change has caused more heatwaves, intense rainstorms and extreme high tides; 90% certain that heatwaves will get worse; and 66% likely that hurricanes, intense rain and landslides will increase. Premier of British Columbia, Box 9041, Station Prov Gov, Victoria V8W 9E1 tel: 250-387-1715

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck

Mid-January 2012 Newsletter +  

SENS Mid Month News

1. SENS evening, January 26, 7 pm, Vernon’s Schubert Centre. Local Food As An Economic Motor? A panel will discuss growing local food as a means of building resilience so that jobs in tourism the arts and other sectors continue to flourish long into our future. Free! Bring a carload!

2. Simple 'green' resolutions: Save money in 2012 and cut commuting costs by carpooling.  Free carpool matching available through http://www.carpool.ca Carpool twice a week and reduce personal emissions by up to 40%.  http://www.carpool.ca

Ca$henger: A paying passenger occupying an otherwise empty seat in your car. http://www.carpool.ca

3. The Art of Hosting Water Dialogues: Waterlution is offering world-class facilitation training to passionate Canadian water leaders!

British Columbia (Bowen Island): Friday April 13 - Sunday April 15, 2012

Alberta (Canmore): Monday April 16 - Wednesday April 18, 2012

Application deadline: January 23, 2012 at www.waterlution.org/aohwd

Cost of workshop: $300 (includes tax, training, workbook, accommodation and food)

Note: The cost is only $200 if you have previous Waterlution experience as a participant in: the Canadian Water Innovation Lab, or the Future of Water Workshop Series or the Waterlution Hub Network (please make a note of it in your application).

Goal: To develop strong water leaders with the capacity to host and facilitate deep and meaningful conversations between diverse stakeholders.

The two-and-a half-day intimate workshop will be hosted by Tatiana Glad (co-founder of Waterlution, principal of Engage! InterAct and founder of The Hub Amsterdam) and Chris Corrigan (co-founder of Harvest Moon Consultants and one of Canada’s most reputed facilitators). Drawing on The Art of Hosting - a global community of practitioners and a practice in understanding the patterns of community-building beneath methodologies - we will discover and learn the art of the 'host' and how to host the conversations that matter for the health of our water. 

4. Dr Fish (AKA Kim Fulton) sends this query: If you are aware of any riparian areas in the Armstrong area watershed that could benefit from planting of native willows, cottonwoods and conifers please let me know (kfultondr_fish@yahoo.ca) The planting would not cost the land owners.

As you are probably aware, riparian planting can prevent erosion; act as a living wall to prevent and utilize live stock wastes entering the river or lake; improve air quality; help slow down the release of melt water, improve habitat for aquatic, terrestrial, and avian organisms; improve ascetics; and provide detritus for the base of the food pyramid. 

The planting would be done by students and any liability issues would be covered by the School District policies.  We would do the planting in April and May of this year before the spring freshette.

5. Smart Meters presentation: Monday, January 23, 7 pm, 2913 29th Ave (behind Towne Theatre). Some details provided from the poster: 30 BC communities have a moratorium on installation; the radio frequency of these meters is indicated by WHO as a Class 2B possible carcinogen; time of use billing will allow the company to make more money as it diverts daytime power to the US…electricity costs increased significantly for homeowners using the meters; some have caught fire… www.citizensforsafetechnology.org is presenting. Local group for contact: CSTVERNON@hotmail.com.