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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. 110 - Promoting the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - November 2001


ONE WORLD, COOPERATIVELY

Since Sept 11th, Americans and Canadians have been experiencing ‘mind-shock’ as well shell-shock.

There are still many who argue there is no need to ask why some Arabs hate America so much. Evil is evil, they say; we need no more ask "why?" than we did when Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews, Poles, gays and gypsies. In this rather black and white world, America is good, and Bin Laden and his gang are bad. That’s all there is to it.

Oh, that it were so simple. If America is good, how come they support so many regimes which smother freedom and democracy, which they supposedly stand for?

That is not a question which is easily answered. We are all such mixed up bundles of good and evil, arrogance and kindness. When we find ourselves in positions of unchallenged power, as the US does today, the power often goes to our heads, and we act in a bullying, aggressive manner. It happens in families, and private schools. It happens in gangs. Before there were labour unions, it happened in businesses. Maybe it brought us an evolutionary advantage, way back when we were bands of hunter-gatherers, needing protection and land. It has happened to each of the world’s super-powers, from Genghis Khan’s Mongols to the British Empire. So glorious; so ignorant and cruel. Looking back over history, Spain, France, Germany and Japan all caught the disease, which comes from trying to act unilaterally in a multilateral world. Saddam Hussein and Milosevic (‘Greater Serbia’) also caught it.

If there is one lesson that September 11th hopefully teaches us, as well the need for greater security, it is the impossibility of trying to act unilaterally in a multilateral world. Before Sept 11th, President Bush was refusing to pay the United Nations, and saying "Screw You, World" to every global treaty, whether it concerned landmines, small-arms, a world criminal court, nuclear testing, or climate change. After Sept 11th, he is pleading with the world to join his treaty.

Global cooperation is a two-way street, however. Canada and the European Union should be standing up firmly, saying "Absolutely, we will join your global treaty against terrorism, but you must join the global treaties on climate change, land-mines, and such." Not as a condition, but as a firmly and loudly expressed statement.

The lessons of global multi-lateralism need to go much further, however. Underlying the refugee camps, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the mounting anger, lies the unchallenged dominance of the G-7 nations. Together, the US, Canadian, British, German, France, Italian and Japanese governments determine the way the private capital markets, the IMF, and the World Bank operate.

All around the world, the owners of private capital and wealth are storing more and more of their cash in offshore bank accounts, and contributing less and less to the financing of public services, while their governments are supposedly held ransome to the need to maximize the freedom of capital and minimize the role of government, which might try to intrude with concerns about justice, social values, and the environment.

Through the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and now the World Trade Organization, the G-7 nations are imposing these same values of capital freedom and government cut-backs on the rest of the world.

The results are plain to see. Behind most of the world’s growing mega-crises – the collapse of the world’s fisheries, the onset of climate change, the impoverishment of third world nations, the loss of the world’s forests – lies the unchallenged power of private capital, acting unilaterally in a multi-lateral world.

Most people are confused; they do not understand how bonds, derivatives and hedge-funds works, or how their operators have managed to achieve a unilateral conquest of the world. They feel things are slipping out of control, but they don’t know what they can do about it.

There is no great "plot" – this is simply the way unchallenged power goes to our heads. For every big-time financier wiring the proceeds of a currency manipulation to the Cayman Islands, there are thousands of ordinary middle-class people buying books on how to avoid taxes in much the same way.

Out of this mess, we must create a new pattern of global cooperation; even the arch-currency manipulator George Soros says governments must regain control, and re-assert social and environmental values. We need global leadership, for a co-operative, sustainable world. The World Trade Towers attack was just a warning: the real opportunity now lies ahead.

Guy Dauncey


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.

Sept Oct Nov
Circulation: 2250 2250 2250
By Email: 1014 1036 1049
Print & Post: $804 $803 $803
Editorial: $250 $250 $250
Donations: $210 $670 You?
Advertising: $90 $105
Balance: $299 $21 $low!

Many thanks to Katey Bloomfield, Peter Schofield, Judy Gaylord, Eileen Kenwood, Ann Tasko, Joanne Manley, Craig Harrold, Freda Knott, Camilla Turner, Taania Dancer, Irene Huntley, Margaret Fear, Janice Turner, Kildonan Womyn, Jane Victoria King, Robert Schutte, Janine Gagnier, Aarran Rainbow, Michael Eckford, Nancy Boorman, Patrick & Jane Fawkes, Gregg & Sheila Brown, and the Victoria Natural History Society. Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send a stamped addressed envelope.

To receive EcoNews by email, send a message to guydauncey@earthfuture.com


THE ECO-CORNER

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

* Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association has volunteers and $$ for a vegan Xmas hamper program but needs a volunteer to organize it. 386-2100

* The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition needs volunteers to sit in a lawn chair for 2 hours at Galloping Goose crossings and count bicycles and cars, to harden its case for improved cycle crossings. Call 480-5155

* Victoria's 13th Annual Earth Day needs volunteer organizers to make the celebration a reality for Earth Day 2002 (April 22nd), invite event listings, and publicize the program. Earth Day is the one time of year when we celebrate what we have, while we work towards a better future. Call Doug Koch, 383-5765.

* Organic Farming as a Business. Tina Fraser & Mary Alice Johnson are running a 36 hour course for would-be farmers, including the in's and out's of finding farm land, determining acreage, planning for efficiency, maximizing tax breaks, developing your farm plan, identifying profitable crops, finding labour, selling produce, and available support organizations. Hands on sessions, individual planning with each student. Nov 8th – 26th, Mon, Thur, and Sat. $165 To register, call Camosun College Interurban Campus. 370-4221.

* The Northwest Earth Institute is holding a November assembly for everyone who has been in a Study Group, for a potluck and some fun. Mostly for alumni, but anyone who wants to know more about the study circles in Voluntary Simplicity & Deep Ecology is welcome to attend. Call Rainey, 380-5055.

* City of Victoria – why not apply to join the Transportation, Cycling, Environment & Shoreline, Social Planning & Housing, or Planning Advisory Committee? Applications by 4:30pm, Nov 2nd. Details from City Hall, or www.city.victoria.bc.ca


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


GASEOUS, SMUG, and XENO-ECOLOGICAL (GSX)

GSX also stands for the Georgia Strait Crossing, BC Hydro’s natural gas pipeline mega-project that is supposed to make Vancouver Island magically more "self-sufficient" in energy by piping in natural gas from BC’s north-east (er...duh?) and burning it in cogeneration plants, releasing (by the by) enormous quantities of greenhouse gases. This is the WRONG way for our energy policy to be heading, and we need everyone to say so. More accurate load-forecasting, coupled with far greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy from wind, micro-hydro, biomass and ground-source heat would do the job in a much more ecologically and planetarily responsible manner. Apart from anything else, new natural gas wells have not been delivering the goods in sufficient quantity, and there may not be enough for North America’s demand beyond 2010. Thursday Nov 29th is the deadline for filing to be an intervenor if you want to be part of the National Energy Board / Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panel review of the GSX in May 2002. Call Guy Hamel, NEB Regulatory Officer, 1 (800) 899-1265 (Calgary). For general info, visit the GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition’s website, www.sqwalk.com. For regulatory info, see www.neb-one.gc.ca, then Regulatory Updates, then GSX.. If you don’t want to be an intervenor, a letter to the Premier would very valuable. Speak up, now! Fax 387-0087. Victoria V8V 1X4


GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE

Before the stock market crash of 1929, companies used to report their financial performance in radically different ways, making it hard to compare companies, and easy for companies to conceal information. After 1929, there was an overwhelming consensus that financial reporting should follow standard rules. Today, there is similar confusion about company reporting of environmental and labour standards. Some companies release information, most don’t. It’s hard to compare companies, and easy for them to greenwash their performance. The Global Reporting Initiative was started in 1998 to create a common standard for social and environmental reporting. Thousands of people in 50+ countries have used the Internet to produce Version 1.0, and 31 companies are involved, including Nike, Shell, GM, Ford, Texaco and TransAlta. As public concern about trade and global corporations grows, it’s a small but important step in the right direction. For details, see www.globalreporting.org.

 

ORNAMENTUM FURNITURE

ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGNS

1780 Vernon Drive
Vancouver, V6A 3T8
(604) 215-7444

FSC accredited certification means that the forest is managed according to strict environmental,
social and economic standards. Chain of custody certified by Silva Forest Foundation.

SFF-COC-005
www.ornamentum.bc.ca

FSC trademark © Forest Stewardship Council A.C.


IRELAND BANS SUPERSTORES

The New Rules project reports: The Irish government has placed a permanent cap on the size of retail stores. The new law restricts stores in the Dublin area to 3,500 square meters (38,000 sq. ft.) and applies a 3,000 square meter (32,000 sq. ft.) limit to the rest of the country. The policy also requires that new retail stores be located in town centers. If no sites are available, they may be located on the edge of the town centre, within convenient walking distance of the primary town centre shopping area. Out-of-town retail developments are strongly discouraged. The policy applies to grocery stores and "hypermarkets" which also sell general merchandise. Non-food warehouse stores and D-I-Y home centers are restricted to 6,000 square meters under existing law. "Where new developments compromise downtown vitality, they should be rejected," the policy states. In preparing the policy, the government commissioned a study by Goodbody Economic Consultants, who concluded that "available evidence suggests that economies of scale are exhausted at a store size of approximately 2,000 sq. m." Studies have found that grocery prices in Ireland are 5% lower than in England and Northern Ireland, which have few restrictions on large-scale chains. Independent grocers in Ireland enjoy a 45% market share, up 10% since 1990. In England, independents have 8% of the market. Limiting the size and location of new retail stores has become increasingly common as communities look for ways to maintain their character and local economies. Many US cities and many countries have used size caps, including Norway, France, Denmark, & Argentina. www.newrules.org/retail/size.html. For local relevance, come to the Local Farms & Local Businesses Fair, on Nov 10th.


Stuck in the mud? Feeling overwhelmed?
For sensible and compassionate problem-solving and counselling, phone

ANN TASKO, MA, R.C.C.
721-5995


CONGRATULATIONS, SALT SPRING!

Almost exactly two years ago, the Texada Land Corporation, armed with $16 million from the Manulife Insurance Corporation, bought one-tenth of Salt Spring Island - 5,000 acres in the southwest part of the island, the largest undeveloped part of the Southern Gulf Islands. The primary stated objective of the new owners was to make money as quickly and efficiently as possible by logging the island's forests. Logging on private lands is unregulated, and within a week, they began clear-cutting at a rate of 3-5 acres a day, 15-20 times the sustainable rate of harvesting. Almost immediately, the Islanders sprang into action. They have fund-raised, written letters, lobbied MLAs, posed nude for the Save Salt Spring calendar, blockaded roads, been arrested, embarrassed Manulife, monitored the logging, pressured all levels of government, gathered land-purchase pledges for $1 million+ from over 1,000 people, worked sleepless nights, and finally, after long periods of apparent hopelessness, it has all worked out. On November 30th, a $15.9 million agreement to protect 770 hectares of land around Burgoyne Bay will be honoured with the provincial government ($12.4 million), the federal government, the CRD ($1.5 million), and The Land Conservancy, which will be calling in personal pledges form $10 to $50,000 to contribute $1 million+. There is more work to be done and more land to be saved, but this success is fabulous. 215 hectares will become a regional park, and 555 hectares will become a provincial park, to be enjoyed forever by all future generations. For the back-ground, see http://savesaltspring.com


THE W-W-WONDERFUL WEB

Some more goodies to explore:

EcoForestry: www.ecoforestry.ca

Janine Bandcroft, Intrepid Serendipity: http://web.uvic.ca/~bandj

Oil-Free Coast: www.oilfreecoast.org

A Sustainable Energy Plan for the US, by Guy Dauncey: www.yesmagazine.org/19technology/dauncey.htm

Rabble, for progressive journalists, writers, artists, activists: www.rabble.ca

Sustainable Business & Environment: www.sustainablebusiness.com

WTO Action.org: www.wtoaction.org


DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

Afghanistan is a country the size of Texas, with a population of 27 million people. Because of war, drought, and now the bombing, 5 million have fled their homes and are in desperate need, with the winter about to begin. Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières - MSF) has medical teams in Afghanistan, and is strengthening its teams in Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, ready to respond to any possible refugee flow from Afghanistan. "It's heartbreaking and I don't see how these people can survive, knowing the situation as it was a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't good, and knowing that the situation is getting worse, I'm very concerned." (An MSF volunteer on the ground in Afghanistan). MSF urgently needs enthusiastic volunteers with various backgrounds to help their local groups. In Victoria, please email Natalie Vinette, nvinette@hotmail.com. In Nanaimo, please email Amy Lyn Hollings, hollinal@hotmail.com. For details, see www.msf.ca and www.msfaction.ca


SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING SEMINAR

Martell and Drew Henderson in partnership with Acuity Funds Ltd invite you to an evening that will both educate and challenge the way we spend and invest our money.

Speakers: Christopher Hilliard, VP Acuity Funds & Stacey Toews, founder of Fair Trade Concepts

Wed Nov 14th, 7-9pm

Holiday Inn, 3020 Blanshard Ave

For reservations, call 475-6577


WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The folks at the Center for a New American Dream have created a website called ‘Turn the Tide’ where you can join with others in tallying up the results that nine simple actions will achieve that you can take at home:

1. Skip one car-trip each week

2. Eat one less beef meal each week

3. Don’t eat shrimp (if 1,000 of us stop eating shrimp, we can save over 12,000 pounds of sea life a year.)

4. Get yourself off junk-mail lists

5. Replace 4 regular lightbulbs with high efficiency compact fluorescents

6. Turn down the thermostat by 1.5˚ C

7. Eliminate lawn & garden pesticides

8. Install an efficient showerhead & low-flow faucet aerators

9. Triple your effort by convincing two friends to sign up.

So far, they have signed up 1,700 people, who will save 5 million gallons of water and prevent the release of 340 tonnes of CO2 over a year. Anyone feel inspired to create a Canadian equivalent? See www.newdream.org/turnthetide


CRD WATER WATCH

We’re not out of the woods yet, however wet it feels:

Rainfall September 1st – October 17th:

Average, 1916 - 2000: 138.2 mm

2001: 81.5 mm (59% of average)

So keep on saving water wherever you can – toilets, showers, taps. See:

www.crd.bc.ca/water/levels/101701.gif

and www.crd.bc.ca/water/waterwatch


On Dealing with Terror

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is

the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one." The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?" The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

May the whole world walk in peace.


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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