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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
CANADA V9E 2B9
Tel (250) 881-1304
www.earthfuture.com

Executive director of The Solutions Project

 

Newsletter No. 109 - Promoting the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - October 2001


A PLEA TO AMERICANS

Dear friends in America,

The past few weeks have been so shocking, it is understandable why some want immediate punishment. Your President is asking the world’s nations to line up behind him in striking back, saying "if you are not for us, you are against us."

As the dust of death settles, however, and while the grief of so many continues, I would plead with you to pause and think, before we rush headlong into what may become a far worse tragedy.

First, let us assume that it is one of Osama Bin Laden’s well organized terror groups that is responsible for the attacks. That raises the question: why do he and his followers hate the USA so much; and why are they so eager to die for the cause?

To understand Bin Laden, we must understand the politics of the Middle East. Bin Laden comes from a very wealthy Saudi Arabian family who made their money in the construction business. He was a religious boy who was much affected when his family helped rebuild the mosques at Mecca and Medina. To a Christian, this would be like working on the world’s greatest cathedrals.

When the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Bin Laden went to help, taking with him some of his family bulldozers, and fell in love with the ardent life of the mujahideen, willing to sacrifice their lives to drive out the invaders of a Muslim nation (financed in part by the CIA, which had its own reasons to drive out the Russians). While there, he experienced serenity: "No, I was never afraid of death. As Muslims, we believe that when we die, we go to heaven. Before a battle, God sends us seqina, tranquillity."

After Afghanistan, he returned to Saudi Arabia, a feudal monarchy with no democratic elections, no opposition, where Muslim scholars are imprisoned. As any right-minded American might do, he campaigned against the dictatorship. Then Saddam invaded Kuwait, threatening Saudi Arabia - the source of 50% of America’s oil.

Let us be clear about this: if Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were exporting broccoli, no-one would give a damn. Since it is oil, however, America got very upset, and persuaded Saudi Arabia to allow US troops to be based there for the attack on Iraq. Make no mistake – it is this that has offended Bin Laden the most: that American troops should be swaggering around in his homeland, the country of the two sacred mosques, humiliating its people and dictating to its rulers. Imagine an Arab army occupying Washington: that’s how he feels.

On top of this, Bin Laden and millions of fellow Muslims see American support for Israel, but none for the Palestinians who have been expelled from their homeland; they see continuing American air-strikes against Iraq, and a trade blockade that is estimated to have claimed the lives of 600,000 children. They believe that America is out to destroy Muslims, and the whole Muslim faith. On February 23rd 1998, he issued a fatwa, calling on all Muslims who believe in God to kill Americans.

His plan is clear. By bombing America, he wants to provoke US retaliation against Muslim countries, awakening the mass of Muslim people to join his holy jihad against America. His plan is a trap: you take my queen, and it’s checkmate next move. If you allow the call for vengeance to over-ride the need for justice, you will walk into it, and the unintended consequences will be enormous. Bin Laden’s terror groups have over 6,000 committed members from all over the Arab world willing to give their lives while attacking nuclear power plants, spraying nerve gas across American cities, or dropping cyanide into reservoirs. If you allow yourselves to engage in this kind of struggle, you will invite endless tragedy on us all.

The solution lies in being cool-headed. It involves opening our hearts to realize that the pain of death in New York is no different to the pain of death in Palestine, Iraq, or in Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador and other countries where American foreign policy has supported grief. Our hearts all suffer in the same way.

It involves adopting a sustainable energy plan for the US, replacing oil with a solar/hydrogen economy (also the solution to global warming). It involves foreign policies that favour democracy and freedom over dictatorships, and cancelling IMF and other debts, which impoverish so much of the world (Pakistan alone has a $40 billion debt). It involves re-joining the global community, by supporting the UN and its various treaties, instead of standing so proudly aside. The world will work with you against this terror – but you must decide to work with the world, in return. The poverty, the tyrannies, the debts, the oil, the hatred: they are all part of the deeper cause. The wealth of North America and Europe casts a huge shadow over the world, which has risen up to strike back. If we open our hearts to compassion, instead of revenge, we will find ways to solve this problem.

Guy Dauncey is a British-Canadian author and publisher, who lives in Victoria, Canada. He is author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change


Please note:  the Green Diary has moved, click here to view.


ECONEWS

AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)A monthly newsletter, funded by your donations, that dreams of a Vancouver Island and a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community & the joys of deep fulfillment.

July Aug Sept
Circulation: 2250 2250 2250
By Email: 986 1014 1036
Print & Post: $950 $804 $780
Editorial: $250 $250 $250
Donations: $410 $210 ? ? ?
Advertising: $90 $90
Balance: $1053 $299 $low!

Many thanks to Roger Smeeth, Theodore Dixon, Al Craighead, Inez Walker, Katey Bloomfield, Christie Ward & Marjorie Vachell. Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send a stamped addressed envelope.


THE ECO-CORNER

$5/line (free to non-profits & low-income). 1" box ad $35, $2" box ad $65

* Join the Office Paper Buying Club. Deadline October 31st. Recycled chlorine free paper. $56 a case (5000 sheets, 8.5 x 11 inches white only) + delivery & taxes. Prepayment required. Delivery by Nov 15th. Delores, Reach for Unbleached! dbroten@rfu.org 250-935-6992.

* Resoration of Natural Systems – UVic offers a Diploma/Certificate program, starting in October, in a variety of formats & schedules to suit your needs. Call Peggy Faulds, 250-721-8463, email pfaulds@uvcs.uvic.ca


VICTORIA PEACE COALITION

"Islam is not the enemy. War is not the answer." The newly formed Victoria Peace Coalition has drawn together 100+ concerned citizens who have formed six committees to voice Victorians' deep concern about the US terrorist attacks, the drive towards war, and the increase in racism. "The Victoria Peace Coalition calls upon the Canadian government to respect international law and justice, and to not support military action in any form." There’ll be a Peace Vigil at 7pm every Wednesday at Victoria's Cenotaph, on the front lawn of the Legislature. If and when a war begins, there will be a Peace Vigil that night at 7pm, at the Cenotaph. The Coalition is forming a buddy system for those who feel threatened, especially those in the Muslim community who are living in fear of unjust retaliation. www.justicewalk.ca, or call Joan Russow at 598-0071 or Al Rycroft & Kealey Pringle at 592-8307.


WAR, PEACE, & THE TALIBAN

There is a growing body of useful material for those who want to understand, and take meaningful action:

Action for Justice: www.9-11peace.org

Canadian perspectives: www.rabble.ca

Centre for Research on Globalization: www.globalresearch.ca

From Tucson, AZ: www.ci.tucson.az.us/commxpression.html

Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash

Independent Media Institute: www.alternet.org

Views from around the world: www.openDemocracy.net

Who is Bin Laden? http://msanews.mynet.net/Scholars/Laden

On-Line Petitions:

A Call for Peace and Justice: www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/224622495

A Petition to President Bush: www.911peace.org/petition.php3

A Global Appeal for No More Violence: www.flora.org/coat/appeal


A WALK THROUGH TIME

When the whole world is breathing with nervousness, fear, and prayer, there is no better time to ponder: Who are we? Where have we come from? Thanks to the UVic Maltwood Gallery, the astonishing 90-panel, five billion year "Walk Through Time" is on public display in the quadrangle at UVic from Oct 3rd to 10th. DON’T MISS THIS CHANCE to learn our story. Please tell your friends, and tell any teachers you know, so that they can alert their schools and arrange a class visit. Volunteers needed – call Guy, 881-1304 www.globalcommunity.org/wtt


THE HOUR HAS COME

"The hour has come for us to demonstrate at the highest level our most extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are. There are two possible responses to what has occurred today. The first comes from love, the second from fear. If we come from fear we may panic and do things-as individuals and as nations - that could only cause further damage. If we come from love we will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others.

(…) Let us seek not to pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause. Unless we take this time to look at the cause of our experience, we will never remove ourselves from the experiences it creates. Instead, we will forever live in fear of retribution from those within the human family who feel aggrieved, and, likewise, seek retribution from them." From a letter by Neale Donald Walsch, James Redfield, James Twyman & Doreen Virtue


I WALK TO SCHOOL

It’s all connected. The way we conduct our lives reflects our commitment to heal not just our environment, but our planet. If we didn’t need oil, we wouldn’t need the Middle East politics of oil. On October 2nd, school-children in countries all around the world will take part in "I Walk to School Day", abandoning cars for feet, bicycles and rollerblades. (www.iwalktoschool.org). Here on southern Vancouver Island, 55 schools have registered. At Willows Elementary in Oak Bay, which has been making an effort since 1999, (and not just on this one day), they have raised their "non-car" travelling from 50% to 70%; on special days such as "Walkin’ Wheelin’ Wednesdays" they get 90% participation. At Honeymoon Bay Elementary on Lake Cowichan, the school had 100% participation this day last year. In Fairfield, Sir James Douglas School has a "walking school bus" where a group of children walk together on a designated route with parent ‘bus drivers’, and children join the bus at the ‘stops’. In Saanich, Torquay Elementary encourages parents to drop their bundles of joy off at a designated spot, so that they can at least walk part of the way to school with the help of a parent volunteer and crossing guards. It’s all connected – and the need to change is urgent, so urgent. For details, call Suzanne Kort, 1-877-325-3636, and see www.waytogo.icbc.bc.ca


TEE-DEE-MARVELLOUS

Speaking of alternatives to cars, Victoria’s own Todd Litman has developed what is without doubt the world’s most complete on-line Encyclopedia of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) initiatives. That may sound like a mouthful, but if you want your local council to bring in the best approaches to parking, traffic calming, trip reduction, telecommuting, car-free planning, and so on, check out his website, at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute: www.vtpi.org.


WILD ARC

Susan Scott writes: On Dec 31st, the Victoria Branch SPCA plans to close the doors of Wild ARC – the Metchosin Wild Animal Recovery Centre. This well-equipped facility has treated 6,130 animals and birds (orphaned or injured) in its five years of operation. The reasons given by the SPCA are financial - ARC's annual budget is $330,000. According to the Victoria SPCA's Chairman, the B.C. SPCA in Vancouver has increased its annual levy on the Victoria Branch from $2,000 to $200,000 in just five years. Despite this, according to the Times-Colonist (Aug. 21st), the Victoria SPCA has assets of $7,583,833, including a $4 million "endowment fund." The actual work of running Wild ARC is done largely by volunteers, who are devastated at the news. We have recently decided to found a non-profit society, "Friends of Wild ARC" and we will explore alternative means of funding in an effort to keep the centre open. If you can help in any way, call Susan Scott 598-6223.


ISLAND HARVEST DELIVERY

� Fresh organic produce

� Organic milk! cheeses

� Artisan breads & pastries

� Organic grocery items & more

� Free delivery in Victoria area

SHOP RIGHT FROM OUR VAN

Call 370-5125

islandharvestdelivery@home.com


90 DAYS OF LIBERAL BROWNERY

During the recent election, the Liberals made a promise that they would practice more open government, and be good stewards of the environment. Here’s how they have gone about it, with zero public debate or involvement:

* Lifted the grizzly bear moratorium.

* Dismissed 14 government scientists doing research on endangered species.

* Eliminated the province’s climate change program.

* Appointed a corporate-heavy task force to develop a BC energy policy.

* Scrapped the Green Economy Secretariat; cancelled the Green Communities Program.

* Eliminated 70%+ of the community economic development budget.

* Scrapped all new Environmental Youth Team (E-Team) funding.

* Scrapped the law prohibiting Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.

* Scrapped the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability.

Hw do you describe this kind of stewardship? Lies? Deceit? Ignorance? Thanks to Dale Marshall, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative


Dr. Barry Curran

Chiropractor

1825 Fort Street

(across from the Jubilee Hospital)

477-1133

** lots of free parking **

VANCOUVER ISLAND


GREEN ENERGY: A DIRECTORY

The alternative to oil, coal and gas is clean, green renewable energy, and there’s now an added urgency to phase out fossil fuels, instead of phasing in more (natural gas power plants would make good terror targets). Here’s an EcoNews Directory of Vancouver Island Suppliers. This is just the first cut – please send in additions.

Energy Alternatives (Solar, wind, microhydro, efficient appliances), 8-6782 Veyaness, Brentwood Bay, Victoria V8M 2C2. 544-0488. www.energyalts.com sales@energyalternatives.ca

Energy Options Ltd (Solar, wind, micro-hydro) 364 Lower Ganges Road, Salt Spring, V8K 2V7 (250) 537-8371 eo@energyoptionsltd.com www.energyoptionsltd.com

Lockhart Industries (Ground-source/ geo-exchange heating), PO Box 784 Duncan, BC V9L 3Y1 (250) 748-1731 lockhart@lockhart.bc.ca www.lockhart.bc.ca

Powersource Energy Systems. (Solar, wind, micro-hydro) 1-6809 Kirkpatrick Cres, Victoria V8M 1Z8 (250) 544-2115. info@powersourceenergy.com www.powersourceenergy.com

Solar Plus (Registered electrical contractor; solar, wind, micro-hydro). PO Box 76 Shawnigan Lake BC V0R 2W0 (250) 743-9796. 1755 Shawnigan/Mill Bay Road. solar@pinc.com

Soltek Solar Energy Ltd (Solar, wind, micro-hydro) 2-745 Vanalman Ave, Victoria, BC V8Z 3B6. 727-7720. soltek@soltek.ca www.soltek.ca

SunWater (Sunwell SW200 solar water heaters, $500 federal government discount until March 2002) 171 Vesuvius Bay Rd, Salt Spring, BC V8K 1K3.

Elizabeth White (250) 537-2616, elizwhite@saltspring.com; Tom Doylend (Comox Valley) (250) 338-8668 tomlindoy@home.com www.web.net/earthfest/sunwater/sunwater.html

Thermomax Industries Ltd (Solar hot water vacuum tube collectors), 3181 Kingsley St, Victoria V8P 4J5. (250) 721-4360 patrick@solarThermal.com www.solarThermal.com


GIFTS TO LEADERS

Thanks to a $100 donation and a subsidy by New Society Publishers, 10 copies of ‘Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change" are available for $10 for people to donate to Canadian or global leaders. Send $10 and email guydauncey@earthfuture.com with your suggestion, & we’ll mail a copy. David Anderson, Al Gore, Christie Whitman (EPA), Stan Hagen & Joyce Murray already have copies.


Human Security

in a Changing World

The World Federalists of Canada invite you to their

50th Anniversary

Fundraising Banquet

University Club, Sat October 13th

Lloyd Axworthy &

Iona Campagnolo

Tickets $57.00 Call 479-6027

International law is the only viable alternative to war


A QUARRY TOO FAR

The CRD has an idea – they want to quarry rock at the Hartland landfill, to make some money and dig a bigger hole to bury our wastes. The trucks will make 100 trips a day for 15 years along Willis Point Road and the windy West Saanich Road, much used by cyclists and tourists. According to the Mount Work Area Coalition (Michael Carson 478-1535; ronmcm@islandnet.com), they’re skating over the likelihood that blasting will cause increased rock fissures, allowing leachate to seep into local groundwater, and ignoring the costs of remediation and related lawsuits. They’re planning to stockpile the rock at steep angles above Willis Point Road – ignoring the fact that we live in an earthquake zone. The CRD says there’s a need, but there’s loads of gravel which can be barged here at low cost, and we can create landfill space by diverting the 33% of the wastes that are compostable. There’s a zoning review on Monday Oct 29th in the Saanich Council Chambers, when the public is invited to speak. Fax your thoughts to Saanich 475-1775, or email to council@gov.saanich.bc.ca.

 


ACTION OF THE MONTH:

Write to President & Laura Bush, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500, Fax 202-456-2461, email president@whitehouse.gov and first.lady@whitehouse.gov. Share your thoughts; share your deepest feelings.


The Green Diary has moved!  Click HERE to see whats happening!

 


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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

Sustainable Communities Consultancy

Author of 'After the Crash : The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy'
(Greenprint, London, 1988. 3rd edition 1997)

Now Available!
'Earthfuture : Stories from a Sustainable World'
(New Society Publishers, November 1999)
An ecofictional novel

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