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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
Tel (250) 881-1304

Executive director of The Solutions Project


Newsletter No. 111 - Promoting the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - December 2001


It is Christmas, 2012. Among most people, there is a quiet, deep rejoicing that the hopelessness of the past years has been lifted. All around the world, a new spirit of hope has entered people's hearts.

Eleven years ago, the world was plunged into despair by the seemingly endless assaults of nihilistic terror, ecological attack and opportunistic greed, which took their toll on the small, still yearnings of the heart. As if the chaos of global poverty, third world debt, AIDS, and ecological unravelling were not enough, now there were fanatics trying to impose theocratic fascism on the world, all in the name of God. Everyone seemed polarized and adrift, as fear and rhetoric replaced dialogue, compromise, and constructive solutions.

Some say it was the very success of the United Nations "Rio + 10" Summit that was held in Johannesburg in September 2002 that caused people to seek more. By the end of the Summit, every nation present had signed the Earth Charter, but people wanted something more - something tangible and specific. By 2004, over 12,000 global NGOs and civil society groups and over 40 million people had signed the new Global Charter for Justice, Peace and Ecological Rights. The Charter was signed in countries all over the world by seniors and schoolchildren, artists and unionists, professors, politicians and peasants, business owners and even some socially-minded bankers. Over 2000 cities and 300 state and county governments signed on, driven by energetic grassroots movements.

With its clear agenda for change, the charter represented a force that few politicians could ignore. By 2007, the signatories included the governments of 35 countries, which formed themselves into the Global Charter Alliance.

The Charter was the 21st century's equivalent of England's Magna Carta, forced upon a reluctant King John by his barons in 1215, to control his abuse of power. These are its leading clauses:

1. That all global trade rules should include minimum standards for health, working conditions and environmental protection.
2. That a World Environment Organization should be established to oversee the restoration of the world's ecosystems during the 21st century.
3. That all Third World debt should be forgiven, in recognition of its uncontrollable growth, and of the growing ecological debt that the developed world is placing on the rest of the world.
4. That all tax havens should be closed, and a global tax (Tobin Tax) should be charged on all international currency speculations, the revenues to address global poverty and disease.
5. That all banks around the world should introduce transparency rules, and prohibit the holding of funds from tax evasion, and other illegal dealings.
6. That the control of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund should be “one nation, one vote, instead of being controlled by the seven wealthiest nations on the basis of their financial power.
7. That nations should retain the power to require investors to invest their capital for a minimum of a year, restoring the stability required for sound business development.
8. That political funding from businesses and associations should be eliminated in all elections, with only eligible voters being allowed to contribute campaign funds.
9. That all weapons of mass destruction should be banned, and all international arms sales be subject to a stiff global tax, the revenues going to the victims of war.
10. That a new global climate treaty should be signed, committing nations to a global carbon tax, and to the purchase of agreed percentages of solar, wind, and hydrogen, enabling mass production to reduce the price and launch a global take-off.
11. That all nations should require eco-forestry certification of their forests, with the trade in non-certified timber being phased out.
12. That Global Charter nations should agree to legislate these changes together within the period 2012 - 2017, and work together to persuade the other nations to sign.

Historians may wonder how the global impetus was achieved which saw 100 of the world's nations endorse the Charter in October 2012. Looking back, they may see that it was the power of the Internet, by enabling people to communicate directly without the corporate media, that unleashed the worldwide grassroots movement for democracy and a civil society, which found unexpected cohesion through the Global Charter. That should be no surprise, since it was the invention of the printing press that unleashed the industrial revolution, and the earlier invention of writing that enabled cities and civilizations to blossom.

Perhaps the only real surprise should be that so many people had given up hope, and drifted into despair. This Christmas, 2012, hope has been restored – and the saviour has been we, ourselves.

Guy Dauncey

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


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.

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Many thanks to Louise Irwin, Ernie Yacub, Howie Siegel, Barb Atkins, Marta Gassler, Katie Bloomfield, Paula Foot, Virginia Newman, Claire Lynch, Joan Tiernan, Mary Hughes, Donna McLaren, Ann Redwood, Hanny Ioannides, Elizabeth Woods, Janice Turner, Susan Coward, Julia Roberts, Don Shaw, Fran & Bill Ashwell, Moireen Phillips, Michael Bonnor, Kim Feltham, Olve Boorman, Jean Wallace, Walter Riegel, Gerhardt Lepp, Barbara Benoit, Frances Thibeau, Christine Ward, Phyllis Cowan, Joyce Stewart, Daniel Harper, Elli Boisvert, Elizabeth Nuse, Anne Clemence, Alan Drengson, Wayne Madden, Ruth Miller, Heather McAndrew, Ed Mackenzie, Janet Hawksley, Susannah Day, Todd & Renate Wellman, Robert Wickson, Kathleen Kyle, John McMahen, Troubador Institute, Jo Briggs, Tony Embleton, Daphne Squire, John Azar, Ruth Masters, Margaret Schubart, Kate Stevens, Walter Meyer zu Erpen, Barbara Hourston, Andrew Glen, Ken Wardroper, David van Seters, Valerie & Michael Torontow, Colin Graham, Mel McDonald, James Whiteaker, Andrew Pringle, Elinor Powell, Barbara Graves, Michael Balderston, Constance Mungall, Vivian Chenard, W.H. Evans, Darla Drader, Gary Greenstein, Andrea Tischhauser, Alice Davis, Pamela Munroe, Alan & Joan Greatbatch, Gwynne Martin & Tim Andrew, Jim Stilburn, Daphne Taylor, Nina Raginsky, Ellie Roelofsen, Brad Jarvis, & Saanich Municipality.

To each and every one of you, a heart-felt thankyou.

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


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

* Experienced, creative, skilled office assistant seeks part-time work. Background in deep ecology, voluntary simplicity, organic gardening, lay counselling, alternative medicine, Tai Chi. Call Robbie Anderson, 391-0067.

* For sale - environmentally-conscious house by award-winning architect. Waterfront setting at 10916 Madrona Drive in Deep Cove. Mature native trees organic 99% native plant garden - won 2nd prize in the Sierra Club/Lifecycles Garden Competition (native plant category). Contact Anne Dalgliesh at Pemberton Holmes 384-8124.

* Christmas Shopping at the Western Canada Wilderness Cte Rainforest Store. Enviro-friendly, alternative gifts, all funds to wilderness and wildlife campaigns. Cards, posters, calendars, organic/fair trade coffee, hemp coffee filters, garden fairies, tree seed kits, hemp/cotton t-shirts; ecocook, naturalist and hiking books. Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat 11-6, Sun 12-5 at 651 Johnson St.

* Hunks for Habitat ñ remove a fig-leaf from one of these hunky males, (or add one, if you don't want to see what's under) to help raise the remaining $35,000 needed to save Salt Spring's forests.

* Vacancy: full-time Canvass Director for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. Canvass and management experience preferred. Details 388-9292.

* NANAIMO readers in the Nanaimo Area Land Trust urgently needs support in the form of signatures and pledges to help in the acquisition of 145 acres in Linley Valley. For info contact 714-1990 or email

A Gift of Seeds sows thoughts of you

Organic seeds harvested from
The Garden Path Nursery
Catalogue $2 – Call Carolyn 881-1555


As despair spreads around the globe,
where can I go to find hope?
As clouds of darkness gather,
where can I turn to find the light?
All things in life have a time.
There is a time for action and movement,
a time for stillness and remembering.
In the quiet of my soul,
I know that all is one.
I know that since the beginning of time
there has been an unbroken golden thread, a promise
that one day we would be one.
And if there must be flames and ashes,
I know in my soul
that the phoenix shall rise once more
and the movement towards the light will continue, for that
is the gift and the purpose of life.
Author unknown


A Vancouver building's triple-skinned exterior cladding, the first of its kind in Canada, will envelop the new Telus 8-story, 127,000-square-foot building. The company hired green architects, Busby & Associates Architects, for the $14 million revitalization of its 50-year-old downtown Vancouver offices. A double-paned frameless glazing system with operable windows will be suspended about a meter from the existing building face. In the summer, the glass skin will trap cool air inside and limit heat from the sun's rays. In winter months, the architectural skin will serve as an insulating chamber. The building is expected to be about 35% more energy efficient than Vancouver's energy code. Telus "wants to show its customers how we'll take them into the next century."


What would it take to make Victoria a centre for green hotels? The Green Hotels Association promotes conservation in the face of falling occupancy and high energy costs. Aurum Lodge in Alberta generates 50-90% of its electricity from solar and wind, and 90-100% of its ambient heat and water heating from solar and wood, resulting in a 90% reduction in fossil fuel use. Green hoteliers know that conservation saves money and preserves natural resources, so their planning has better prepared them to weather the current economic downturn. Member hotels use hundreds of options and techniques from the Association's Member Guidelines and bi-monthly newsletter to save thousands of dollars each year. Lake Powell Resorts, Arizona, has reduced its solid waste by 24 tons, water by 1.2 million gallons and electricity by 500,000 kilowatt-hours. General managers, chief engineers and executive housekeepers do not have much time to seek out ideas for conserving water and energy and reducing waste, so the Green Hotels Association has devoted itself to the task. Membership costs US $1 per guestroom per year, and the association guarantees that members will save more money than its membership fee by using its ideas. Thanks to


The next time you listen to 'Silent Night' this Christmas season, please give a thought to what's happening to the whales along our coast.

Alexandra Morton writes: In 1993, salmon farmers began broadcasting a 195 decibel noise, as loud as a jet engine at take-off, in hope of keeping harbour seals from attacking their penned fish. The acoustic harassment devices work by causing pain in the ears of marine mammals. Helena Symonds and I have combined 16 years of data on orca movements off N.E. Vancouver Island to examine the impact of the harassment on the whales, comparing the fish farm free waters of western Johnstone Strait with the adjacent Broughton Archipelago where 23 corporate salmon farms are located. Our study's results are clear. It was as if a door slammed in their face. The salmon farmers were only concerned with seals, but it was the whales that left, abandoning over 300 sq km of territory wherever salmon farms used acoustic harassment. Whales can not risk their hearing. When I alerted the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the potential harm of these devices, they conducted a controlled study measuring the impact of the noisemakers on harbour porpoise. The results were the same. Harbour porpoises declined precipitously when the noise was played. DFO never published their study, and acoustic pollution soon filled every whale route in the Archipelago. Ironically, the DFO study confirmed what some farmers suspected ñ that the devices, rather than deterring seals, actually attracted them in a ëdinner bell effect'. DFO continues to ignore its own scientists, to support the growth of the fish farm industry. I was horrified to find that DFO policy makers had no intention of protecting whales. Under the Fisheries Act, DFO is responsible for the protection of marine mammals ñ offences carry a $500,000 fine or a 24 month prison term. DFO's responsibilities are clear ñ acoustic harassment devices contravene the Fisheries Act and should have been banned outright. After 5 years of harassment, the farmers turned the devices near my research station off for undisclosed reasons. Within two years some whale families began to return, but resident pods with young babies have not yet returned. DFO has to silence the devices permanently. If we want whales as neighbours, we must enter an age where science is used to promote life, not careers.


How can we achieve sustainability? Research shows that most strategic planning is neither strategic nor actual planning. Too often, it is merely reactive progamming that rarely generates real and lasting results. In Creating Sustainability, Bruce Elkin shows us how to embed a truly strategic planning process in a broader, more comprehensive organizational design process. Quoting Paul Hawken, he calls for businesses to design a system of commerce and production where each and every act is inherently sustainable and restorative Ö where doing good is like falling off a log. He suggests shifting from a problem-focused approach to a creative stance, opening up a world of opportunity by shifting the focus from limitation to vision.

Creating Sustainability: Designing Organizations to Do Well by Doing Good, by Bruce Elkin. $5 from 141 Seaview Road, Salt Spring, V8K 2V8, Canada. Anyone giving a donation of $100 to EcoNews will receive a free copy.


Yes, it is Christmas, when the heart turns to thoughts of giving. And while the gift of stuff may often be the stuff of love, if you are tired of a world where we appear to destroy more and more for the sake of less and less, the good news is that there is an alternative. All around us, there are forests, Garry oak meadows, gardens, sea-lion haul-outs, bird nesting areas and homes for bears, eagles, moose, wolves and wildflowers that need protecting, now and forever. The incredible band of souls at The Land Conservancy have picked up the challenge. This Christmas, they invite you to give a gift that will last forever, long after we are gone. For $35, you can give a TLC membership, some forest in Merve Wilkinson's Wildwood, or land in the Sea-to-Sea Greenbelt. For $40, you can give a TLC Harbour Cruise. For details, visit the TLC shop at Abkhazi Garden, 1964 Fairfield Rd (Fri to Sun, 1-5pm), call 479-8053 and ask for a catalog, or visit


A book to inspire, and make you dream ñ Magnificently Unrepentant: The Story of Merve Wilkinson and Wildwood by Good Niosi (Heritage House, $18.95) is the charmingly written biography of Canada's leading eco-forester. The title comes from the words Judge Skipp used to describe Merve when sentencing him for blocking the logging road in Clayoquot Sound. ëMagnificently unrepentant' is also the spirit that sings through these pages as we share Merve's childhood and early life among the settlers of Yellow Point outside Ladysmith, where it was normal for neighbours to chip in and help each other in a spirit of self-help and community-building. We follow Merve's ups and downs. loves and losses, hopes and challenges, and his persistent desire to seek solutions that work for everyone, and for nature. This is a wonderful piece of local history, as well as a biography of global importance. This is Goody Niosi's first book. With this success under her belt, I hope she will go on to write the biographies of more of our local and global heroes.



We take it for granted that schoolchildren learn about pollution, waste, and ecological responsibility ñ and so we should. The Grade Four science program begins with a unit on waste in our world ñ but now there is a move to drop that unit in the proposed Western Canada Protocol, a new curriculum that is to replace the current one throughout the western provinces and territories. And guess who is behind the move? The oil companies and waste management companies, who fund the parties in power in BC, Alberta and the Yukon, and provide election funds to governing MLAs in the Northwest Territories. They don't want this message heard in our schools, and are hard at work to see it scrapped. The BC and Alberta governments have made it clear that they do not want to hear from teachers, who are considered a special single interest, as opposed to stakeholders, like business or parents.

ACTION: Please write to The Hon. Christy Clark, Minister of Education & Deputy Premier, PO Box 9045 Stn Prov Gov't, Victoria BC V8W 9E2.
Tel 250 387-1977. Fax: 250 387-3200

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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
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Author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change"
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