to Peter Carilho, Francis van Loon, Gilles Leclair, Warren Lee, Brian Allaert,
Catherine Bennett-Bourns, Louise Pothier, Zane Murdoch, Stephen Housser,
Gary Greenstein, Richard Bocking, Robert & Birgit Bateman, Susan Coward,
Nora Coro Strandberg, Barbara Benoit & Darlene Monkman..
PS THE ECONEWS BANK
ACCOUNT IS ALMOST TOTALLY EMPTY.
Donations can be sent
to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send stamped
To receive EcoNews
by email, send a message to email@example.com
$5 a line (free to
non-profits & low-income). 1" box ad $30, $2" $55.
* HELP! 30-40 volunteers
needed to marshal the barricades to close off Dallas Road between Cook and
St. Charles Streets between 11am and 4pm on Sunday, April 1st
(see Diary). Jane Victoria King, 380-2014 or 213-8189
* Mature couple seeking
2-3 BR home to rent in Greater Victoria rural setting. Need proper workshop
for home-based business, garden. Excellent tenants, non-smokers. Tim &
* To let: Small house
in Highlands, attached greenhouse on quiet organic farm; kitchen garden,
fridge, wood heat, propane stove. No pets $650 652-2613.
* BC Parks wants to
establish a volunteer Parks Stewardship in the Carmanah-Walbran Park. The
Carmanah Forestry Society will be undertaking some level of lead role, and
would like to hear from anyone who’d like to be involved. Call Syd Haskell,
* Spring Cleaning?
Donate unwanted household items, clothes & books to the Walk for Global
Justice (formerly the Earth Walk) Fundraising Rummage Sale, April 14th Fernwood
Square. 9am - noon. Pick-ups, info Kim 920-7261.
* Volunteers Needed!
for the Walk for Global Justice, April 21st (20th
Annual Earthwalk). Lend a hand and make this inspiring community event a
success. Help is needed for preparations, and on the day. Call Justine,
25 years ago, two Danish
farmers, Per and Inge-Lise Lauritsen, got together with their neighbours
and installed a 55 kW wind turbine. Their idea was to meet their needs,
and sell the surplus to the grid. The Danish electric utilities, however,
wanted Denmark to be all-nuclear, and refused to accept the Lauritsens’
power. To overcome them, the Lauritsens had to go all the way to the Danish
Parliament and obtain the direct intervention of the Minister of Energy.
After two years of negotiation, it was agreed that they would be paid 85%
of the price of electricity, with 15% for the use of the grid. The next
year, 377 wind turbines were set up through similar co-operatives, and the
Danish wind revolution was underway. Today, with a population of just 5
million people, and from a land base 1/20th the size of British
Columbia’s, Denmark produces 13% of its electricity from the wind, has 2,140
MW of wind capacity, employs 17,000 people in the wind industry, and exports
55% of the world’s wind turbines. Their success was far from straightforward,
however. Almost every vested interest fought to oppose them, including the
Woodland and Nature Administration, and Denmark’s planners. They succeeded
by working co-operatively through the Association of Wind Turbine Owners;
by publishing monthly turbine performance data which forced the less efficient
technologies to improve or leave the market; and because the Danish Parliament
(elected by proportional representation and ruled by a center-left-green
coalition) constantly overruled the objections from the utilities and its
own ministries. In Europe today, the market for wind turbines is growing
by 40% a year. Germany followed Denmark’s lead, paying a subsidy and introducing
a feed law that obliges utilities to buy renewable energy at 90% of the
retail price. By 2000, the north German state of Schleswig-Holstein was
producing 19% of its electricity from wind, with a goal of 50% by 2005.
In 2000, out of the world’s installed wind capacity of 17,000 MW, Germany
had 6,100 MW, Denmark 2,140 MW, and Spain 2,250 MW. The USA had 2,500 MW;
Canada just 137 MW. Europe’s target for wind energy in 2010 is 60,000 MW.
So why does B.C. have no wind energy? The reason lies with the B.C. government’s
determination to sell low-priced energy, which makes it hard for wind and
other renewables to compete. For the full Danish story, see www.windpower.dk
organic gardens, guided tours, workshops and afternoon teas
Plants at Great Prices
Does your yard or balcony
contain one of Victoria’s best organic food gardens? Lifecycles wants to
know! Beginning in April, Lifecycles will be working to reveal the plethora
of food producing activity happening in Victoria through the First Annual
Urban Agriculture Contest. Production levels, crop diversity, composting
and other factors will be judged, with fabulous prizes. Get involved! Get
your garden going, then submit your application in one of four categories:
Best Food Garden, Best Mixed Food and Flower Garden, Best Container Garden,
Best Children’s Garden. For more information, call Justine at Lifecycles
The next time you are
given disposable chopsticks at a Chinese restaurant, think about this. In
February, more than 100 state-owned restaurants in Beijing promised to "go
green" and start washing and reusing chopsticks. The Chinese government
is considering a tax on disposable chopsticks; Shanghai and other cities
may ban them. China discards 45 billion pairs of chopsticks every year,
from as many as 25 million trees. Kang Dahu, a 22-year volunteer with green
groups, said, "Just imagine, years from now, when my grandchildren ask me
what happened to all of China's trees, I'll have to say, 'We made them into
chopsticks.' Isn't that pitiful?" (Thanks to The Daily Grist www.gristmagazine.com
SALE or LEASE
24 acre pocket valley
farm, S. Gulf Is., 1200 sq ft house, creek, ponds, orchard, 3 acres irrigated
certified organic garden. Cabins, sauna, outbuildings. Walk to beach. $400,000.
Neighbouring 2 acres 2 floor heritage cottage, basement, solarium also for
sale, $145,000. 250-539-2034.
GREENS IN GOVERNMENT
After years as a small
minority party, the Green Party of B.C. is emerging as a serious political
force, with new leadership, a growing membership, and a whole new policy
platform. But if they were elected, what would they do? Here are some of
their key policies. For the full Platform, see www.greenparty.bc.ca
* Elect government
by a system of mixed proportional representation, combining a province-wide
vote for a party where 5% of the vote equals 5% of these seats, with a regional
"most votes cast" vote.
* Reform political
party financing to eliminate influence peddling.
* Solve budget shortfalls
by decreasing spending rather than incurring new debt.
* Phase in a comprehensive
tax-shift program, reducing taxes on beneficial economic activities and
increasing taxes on activities that harm the environment.
* Phase out PST on
environmental "goods" (eg solar panels, bicycles), and increase it on luxury,
* Require "triple bottom
line" accounting by all government departments, including economic, social
and environmental costs and benefits.
* Switch to indicators
that measure changes in environmental, economic and social wellbeing, such
as the Genuine Progress Indicator. (www.rprogress.org
* Oppose the privatization
of public resources such as water, forests and health-care; seek to end
the FTA and NAFTA; oppose the proposed General Agreement on Trades and Services.
* Promote a healthy
economy and ensure the sustainable use of public resources, but do not unduly
interfere in the free enterprise system. Promote smart economic growth and
small-scale, locally-owned businesses; provide tax incentives for companies
that start up or relocate to rural communities; reduce taxes to high-tech
companies that are socially and environmentally sound.
* Create a new model
for health care delivery that is holistic, that includes alternative and
preventative care; move away from fee-based billing towards salaries for
* Increase educational
funding by 10%; keep small classes in the primary grades; reduce intermediate
class sizes; ban the use of chemical pesticides on school grounds; require
school cafeterias to provide organic food; provide free tuition for post-secondary
* Index the minimum
wage to the rate of inflation; enact worker democracy legislation; provide
tax incentives for the establishment of worker-owned coops, for firms that
institute democratic management structures, and for companies that provide
on-site day-care, flex-hours and job-sharing; extend the BC Labour Code
and Employment Standards Act for part-time, contract and casual workers;
enact Whistle Blower legislation.
* Work with the federal
government to convert all income support programs into one comprehensive
Guaranteed Annual Income program; index welfare rates to inflation; provide
free transit passes to people on social assistance; provide an incentive
for people on welfare to become employed by allowing welfare recipients
to keep 100% of the wages they earn, up to the poverty line.
In May, we’ll feature
Forestry, Fisheries, Agriculture, Energy, Housing, Transport, and Environment.
To join the Greens, or help in a local riding, call Al, 381-1284
The Victoria Natural
History Society is one of our region’s older and more venerable societies;
the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is one of its younger offshoots. So
just how many conservation and stewardship groups and societies are there
in our region? To find out, and pull them all together, HAT is facilitating
a forum entitled "Connecting for Conservation in the Capital Regional District"
on April 21st (see Diary) to promote co-operation among the 100+
groups in the CRD. There will be booths, roundtable discussions, and HAT
will be unveiling its brand new "Conservation Connection" searchable website
with information on every group in the CRD. If you are involved in a conservation
group and this is the first you have heard about this initiative, please
call Tara Todesco (995-2428) ASAP!
that the forest is managed
to strict environmental,
and economic standards. Chain of custody certified by Silva Forest Foundation.
trademark © Forest Stewardship Council A.C.