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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. 117 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - June 2002


LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG

Last September, two airplanes flew into the World Trade Centre, killing almost 3,000 people. Another 390 died in the planes that crashed, and at the Pentagon. In the shock-waves that followed, Americans bonded together around their flag, comforting each other in their grief and shock, supported by most Canadians and Europeans.

In the weeks that followed, America and its allies launched a massive attack on Afghanistan, routing the Taliban and killing several thousand civilians. The US military received a massive budget increase, and we were told to prepare for a war against terrorism that might last 50 years. The grief from that day is still tangible, and most people accept the consensus behind this new reality.

It was on May 15th that the consensus started to unravel. That was the day when it was revealed that the White House knew as early as August 2001 that a terror attack by Bin Laden was likely, and that Bush was lying when he claimed to have known nothing.

With that admission, voices which had been ignored since September 11th began to be heard. One belongs to Michael Ruppert, who has accumulated evidence that the US government knew the terror attacks were coming, and actively discouraged investigation into leads that could have exposed the plot, and possibly prevented it.

The US government received documented warnings about imminent attacks from the German, French, Israeli, Egyptian and Indian intelligence services. Russian intelligence warned that as many as 25 suicide pilots were training to crash airliners into important targets during the week of Sept 9th – and yet nothing was done.

In December 2000, Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, a US naval intelligence officer, was to deliver a pouch from Russia to a Canadian intelligence operative who failed to show up. When he opened the pouch, he found that it contained warnings of the pending attacks. He made urgent attempts to alert US and Canadian officials, but was jailed in Canada at the request of the US authorities. In March 2002, all Canadian charges against him were dropped, and he was granted political refugee status, fearing assassination if he returns to the US.

In August 2001, FBI operatives in Minneapolis arrested a suspected terrorist, Zacarias Moussaoui. Suspecting that he might be part of a larger plot, they sought permission to search his laptop. For reasons that have yet to be explained, the FBI HQ refused this until after Sept 11th.

Maybe there are explanations. Maybe it’s just incompetence. But the pattern also points to another, more appalling conclusion: that the US intelligence services knew the attacks were coming, and chose not to prevent them.

It is one thing to accuse the Bush government of stealing the 2001 election, or being influenced by the big oil companies; it is quite another to suggest a conspiracy of this nature. For details of the allegations, I refer you to the Online Journal, at www.onlinejournal.com, and www.fromthewilderness.com, by Mike Ruppert. If you check these out, you may see why I am thinking this way. I hope that I am wrong.

But why? The logic behind such a strategy lies in the politics of Eurasia, which includes the last great untapped reserves in a world whose oil supply is about to start declining. The best way to access the oil is by pipeline across Afghanistan, which is why the US government supported the Taliban in the past, in the hope that they would do a deal.

There is evidence that the US was planning to attack Afghanistan anyway in October, to oust the Taliban regime. To allow the terror attacks to proceed would provide the perfect justification for a full-scale assault on Afghanistan, as part of the larger US geopolitical policy to gain influence in Eurasia.

Inside this issue of EcoNews, you will find stories about the small, persistent ways in which people are working to build a better world. In August, the world’s leaders meet at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg with the intention of steering our world towards greater sustainability. So much effort is going into trying to turn the world away from ecological and climate chaos, to build a better world.

And yet at the same time, we live in this other reality, in which our world is being dominated by people who seek power, wealth and influence, regardless of the cost. The clash between the two sets of values, between global sustainability and global dominance, could not be clearer. One leads to more warfare, more hatred, and more ecological unravelling. The other leads to sanity, cooperation, and hope.

- Guy Dauncey


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.

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A big thankyou to Cindy Robinson, Helen Hughes, Katey Bloomfield, Susan Coward, Maggie Salmond, Judith Fetter, Bernice Packford, Louise Pothier, Brian Pinch Marianne Brackenridge, Felix Lion, M. Edwards, Alandra McLaren, Mary Walter, Virginia Newman, Elizabeth White, Stephanie Slater, Daphne Cuthill, Ashlee St Clair, Chris Morrison, Brian Lupton, T. Macmurchie, Kathleen Gibson, Brian John Day, Dan Schubart, Martin Weideman, Rainey Hopewell, Sharon Hooper, CA Browning, Hendrick Gautier, Andreas Demmers, Colin Graham, Beth Gibson, Kamal Bhattacharya, Gavin MacPhail, Sherri Hohert, Shirley Brodeur, Dave Secco, Jolyon Briggs, DI Robinson, Claire Lynch, Jan Meadows, Mary June Pettyfer, George Wood & E. McKinnon.

Many thanks to Dan Rubin & Jessica Hawryshyn for running the EcoNews EarthDay booth; to Ian Barclay for doing the address labels and Joanna Wilkinson for prepping the envelopes; and to all who help at the EcoNews mailout parties!

Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria, BC, V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send stamped addressed envelope.


THE ECO-CORNER

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

* It’s World Car Free Day on Sept 21st, and the Fairfield Community Association wants to plan another "Fresh Air/Car-Free Day", hoping the weather will be more predictable - sunny and warm! Funds are needed to pay the Police and City's costs. Can you help? Please contact Jane Victoria King at 380-2014.
* For Sale – 1 acre riverfront property with 3 bedroom home, 5’ from downtown Duncan, 40’ commute to Victoria. Renovated basement suitable for home business or studio. Hot tub, pond, Permaculture-inspired organic garden including small orchard. Call 250-748-6850.
* Help wanted with set-up and general assistance during the "Connecting for Conservation" day on June 8th, at Pearkes Arena. We also need help finding food donations, and getting posters around the city. Claudia 995-2428
* A Woman’s Place B & B, Salt Spring. Single $50. Organic food. Nr Ganges. Call 250-537-0804, 537-7873. Smallislandgraphics@yahoo.com
* Nearby double B & B $60, 250-538-0162
* Garry Oak trees – interested in their protection & restoration? Join the Garry oaks recovery list-serv, with 20+ committed, skilled people. Send an email to goerecovery@onenew.org , with "subscribe goerecovery" in the body of the message. See also www.goert.ca
* Environmentally ill Fairfield woman needs home support, 1 afternoon per week. Mostly housework, errands; computer work possible. Mandatory: applicant can lift 30 lbs; leads low-chemical lifestyle; never uses fabric softener; never shares laundry facilities with users; never uses items of unknown laundry history (eg 2nd hand clothes). Desirable: car in good repair, chemical free. Please call only if all 5 mandatory conditions are met. 920-0036
* Equinox Bike Trailer (cargo); almost new. Carries 250 lbs. $300. Call Shannon, 361-3414.
* Wanted – volunteer to run the EcoNews booth at the Connecting for Conservation day, on June 8th. 881-1304


Share Organics

is more than just an Organic Produce Box
Join us in nurturing local food production
* Supporting local organic farmers
* Farmers in Transition to organics
* Fair Trade Products


PRO-REP PROGRESS

The campaign to gather signatures to change BC’s voting system is on! The official number of signatures needed by August 12th is 212,473. More canvassers are still needed, especially in BC’s rural areas, and in Richmond and Surrey – you can download an application form at www.freeyourvote.bc.ca . If you are registered as a canvasser, you should have your kit by now; if not, call Walter Meyer zu Erpen at 386-4478. And good luck as you are out gathering signatures!


TLC WORKING HOLIDAYS

Oops! The secret’s out – The Land Conservancy’s working holidays on South Winchelsea Island and the Cowichan River are a wonderful break from normal life. The same goes for their Nature Cruises www.conservancy.bc.ca Call 479-8053


THE GARDEN PATH
ORGANIC PLANT NURSERY

Organic Plants at Great Prices

Heirloom tomatoes. Vegetables. Herbs.
Perennials. Roses. Bamboos. Shrubs.

Open Daily 10-5:30pm, till June 30th

395 Conway Road
(250) 881-1555


ONE PERC THAT NO JOB SHOULD HAVE
By Kevin Ablett

Have you ever noticed the smell of "clean" garments from the dry cleaners? You know… the one that makes you feel lightheaded? Chances are, that’s the smell of perchloroethylene, known as PERC. Dizziness is one of the many signs that you’ve inhaled it, along with headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Most dry cleaners use it as their primary treatment solution.

Prolonged exposure to PERC causes cancer in laboratory animals at doses only slightly above the legal limits in dry cleaning establishments; compared to the general population, dry cleaners have twice the rate of esophageal and bladder cancer (Sandra Steingraber – Living Downstream, p 84), and an excess rate of cancer of the tongue, intestine, lung and cervix. Spills, leaks and faulty separation equipment have enormous consequences when PERC gets into the water supply. The chlorine from released PERC also destroys the ozone layer.

Two years ago, the CRD worked co- with the Federal government and local cleaners to create industry regulations. Then they went one-step further, and pre-empted the Feds by enacting them. Prior to that we had no regulations. Sadly, the rest of Canada still doesn’t. Henry Lee, the CRD’s Municipal Sewage Control Officer, is very proud of their accomplishments. "The main goal has been to create a level playing field at a higher standard for all operators - we’re one of, if not, the first in Canada to do so. Eventually, the Feds will likely phase PERC out altogether." (PERC will be phased out of S. California by 2012)

To ease the transition, the CRD provided operators with a guide to the best management practices that focused on minimizing the discharge of PERC into the sewers, benefiting the environment, consumers and the operators. They are now discharging less, and profiting from it. After all, PERC doesn’t come cheap, so reducing waste is important to a dry cleaner’s bottom line.

Reducing PERC’s presence is in all our interests, with prevention being the

best medicine. Buy clothes that don’t need to be dry cleaned, or limit your use of clothes that do. There are thousands of great outfits that can be washed using biodegradable detergents in the comfort of your own home, for less. Save money and the environment at the same time. What a great concept. Once again, the Garden City has a head start on the rest of Canada when it comes to environmental initiatives. Congratulations Victoria! Hopefully, our positive results will serve as a beacon for the rest of the country.


Island Family Counselling Centre
Sherri Hohert, MSW, RSW
Individuals, Couples, Families

1520 Fort St, Victoria V8S 5J2
250-598-0544


LOCAL ORGANIC FOOD

If you want to be sure of eating locally grown, organic food, there’s a great choice of weekly brown box programs:

ALM Organic Farm 642-2131
Community Organicz 655-0818
Fresh Piks 383-7969
Kildara Farms 655-3093
Ladybird Farm 642-4575
Saanich Organics 544-4369
Share Organics 595-6729
Simply Organic 382-3624
Suz Natural Choice, Sooke 642-2495
Vegapotamia 656-9807


RENEWABLE ENERGY

Julia Roberts writes: The Friends of Renewable Energy BC (FOREBC) held a very successful public launch meeting in Victoria on May 23rd, attracting renewable energy pioneers from the 1970s, business owners, researchers, financiers, students, members of NGOs, a municipal councillor, and concerned citizens. An e-mail discussion list will be set up; possible projects include educating politicians, the public and school children about renewables, promoting a green arena and green rec centres, focusing on economically viable projects such as solar thermal for large water users, forming a renewable energy co-op, challenging provincial energy policy, and forming interest groups around energy sources such as wind, biomass, and solar. A networking picnic will be held on Sat. June 8th in Beacon Hill Park - see Green Diary.


KANANASKIS, ALBERTA

There’s an awful lot of work going on in preparation for the alternative, parallel events to the G8 Superpower Summit that’s coming up on June 26th/27th. The Victoria Mobilization for Global Justice group is meeting every Tuesday in Fernwood to fund-raise, prepare and plan travel (Keith Preston, 592-2118 mrpreston@shaw.ca). In Alberta, the Talking G8 Travelling Road Show, organized by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, is doing an 11-city tour offering a "Globalization 101" course, and discussions on how "A Better World is Possible". The RCMP have emptied the local jail to make room for the people they expect to arrest, which prompts me to say that non-violence, peacefulness and good humour are a total necessity if we want to people to listen. Protestors who indulge their anger in violence may as well be working for George Bush or the WTO, for the amount of harm they do to the cause. In Italy, it is an old Fascist tactic to infiltrate protestors with rock-throwing yahoos, to justify a police counter-assault. The protest is essential, for without it, the corporate globalizers would enjoy unchallenged supremacy, but we should not become like those we protest against. For the full details, see www.g8.activist.ca


GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

Good news! On May 22nd, the BC cabinet formalized interim protection of the 20 intact rainforest valleys identified in the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement of April 2001. In this first step toward protection, the government established executive Orders In Council that safeguard the valleys from logging and development for the next 15 months. This will allow First Nations time to complete the planning processes for their ancestral lands, and ensure that economic opportunities for their communities are fully explored. It also allows the Coast Information Team, an independent team of scientists, to undertake a thorough scientific and socio-economic analysis. Following the 15-month period, and pending approval by First Nations, the 20 valleys will hopefully move into permanent protection, while allowing uses that maintain ecological and cultural values. For the latest: www.savethegreatbear.org


FROM JULIUS CAESAR

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."


ACTION OF THE MONTH
THE NEW BC FOREST CODE

The BC government has announced its intention to give industry even more control over our public forests. The first step is the development of a "results-based" code, to replace the NDP’s Forest Practices Code. Under the new code, the responsibility to protect the environment will shift from the government to the timber companies themselves. The loopholes are as big as an 800-year old Douglas-fir. Targets for the preservation of old-growth, for instance, can be waived to build roads, ensure profitability, or ensure timber supply. The proposed code punishes those who damage the environment AFTER the damage has been done, rather than ensuring that it is avoided. It is part of a package that includes privatization of forest lands, and "working forest" legislation to increase operational security for companies in areas with unsettled aboriginal treaty claims. The code decreases public participation in forestry planning, with the opportunity for public interest groups to act as a watch dogs, and decreases public access to data and logging plans. Adequate planning is not listed as a requirement or a "result" of the proposed legislation. Good forest management requires good planning, not less.

Action: You can see the white paper at www.resultsbasedcode.ca, and offer your thoughts.

Write to: The Premier, Legislative Assembly, Victoria V8V 1X4.

Fax 387-0087, Email premier@gov.bc.ca

(Thanks to the David Suzuki Foundation)


NOTICE

EcoNews provides this electronic version of the newsletter free of charge even though it costs time and money to produce. Please feel free to repost. You can help by making a donation, whether $5 or $100, to:

EcoNews, 395 Conway Road, Victoria V9E 2B9, Canada. Thanks !

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

Author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change"
(New Society Publishers)
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