No. 118 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island -
All over the Earth, people want more food, bigger houses, bigger
cars, and more consumer goods. And yet with every bite we take,
we take another bite out of nature.
A new study by the California based Redefining Progress shows that
humanity's demand for resources has soared during the past 40 years
to a level where it will take the planet 1.2 years to regenerate
what we remove each year. If Planet Earth was a corporation, we
would have driven it into bankruptcy. And still we go on wanting
At a time like this, where do we look to find leadership? To the
Earth Summit, that’s coming up this August? Maybe – but we also
need to look to our children. It is they who will inherit the mess
we leave behind, and live with the scarcity, bewilderment, poverty
and loss that we are causing.
In May, 400 children aged 10 – 12 from around the world met in Victoria
at the International Children’s Conference on the Environment. At
the end of the conference, they issued a challenge to the governments
and the people of the world, which two of them will take to Johannesburg.
Here, with minimal editing, are their words to our governments:
Be good environmental role models for everyone.
Conserve water by promoting the use of organic farming, redesigning
fuels so that they don’t pollute water, collecting rainwater for
drinking and watering gardens, encouraging the use of technologies
that help purify and conserve water, and supporting environmental
Use solar aquatic sewage treatment.
Create more environmental projects and contests for kids.
Ensure that people from developing countries all have access to
drinking water, and that it is shared equally.
Put in place stronger laws and penalties against industries, individuals
and corporations that pollute water. Fines should be put in place
and the money should go towards cleaning up the water.
Sign the Kyoto Protocol.
Ban and create laws against CFCs and other toxic chemicals.
Stop war. Return the environment to what it was 300 years ago.
Support the use of alternative transportation such as biking, walking,
public transportation and car pooling, instead of driving; limit
the use of gas cars, make idling for more than five minutes illegal,
and limit the number of cars per family.
Make clear cut logging illegal and if you do log, plant two trees
for every tree you cut down.
Give money for research on electric cars, alternative energy and
eco-friendly products and technology.
Limit the number of factories in a city and fine cities that have
too many. Close all industries for one day a year and penalize industries
that use fossil fuels.
Use greener energy like solar, wind, biomass and hydrogen. Ban non-green
energy like fossil fuels.
Have more recycling and composting programs.
CHILDREN, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
Help developing communities to be healthier, to work together, and
to focus on leadership.
Forgive the debts of developing countries.
Promote health care and vaccinations for all children of the world.
Have International Friendship and Multicultural Days.
Make a lane for bikes and roller blades so that people can exercise
without using cars.
Have clean, healthy plants, animals and parks. Clean up slums.
Incorporate environmental education into the school curriculum.
Encourage clean-ups and more involvement in environmental issues.
Stop child labour in harsh conditions (sweat shops and chemical
Make stricter laws on the environment and the use of landmines.
Keep your community clean and children healthy by not using pesticides
Create more efficient cars, limit how much fossil fuels we use,
and limit the drilling of oil.
Tax people who waste non-renewable resources.
Find more sources of energy and use what we have more efficiently.
Invent solar energy, use bio-degradable products; use buses, subways
or carpools, and give tax breaks for environmentally friendly products.
Listen to each other, especially children.
– The Children
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.
big thankyou to Donna Tone, Katie Bloomfield,
Cecilie Davidson, Elizabeth Loutit, William Draper, Maureen McArdell,
Wayne Madden, Freda Milburn, Doug Seeley, Marilee Goheen, Fran
& Bill Ashwell, David Wolsk, Elke Schlufter, Michael Balderston,
Seymour Treiger, Susan Holvenstot, Diana Morris, Birgit Bateman,
& Bristol Foster. Your kindness is much appreciated.
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!
can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria, BC, V9E 2B9.
For a receipt, send stamped addressed envelope.
(non-profits & low-income free) 1" box ad $35, $2"
box ad $65
For Sale – 1 acre riverfront property. 3 BR home, 5’ from
downtown Duncan, 40’ commute to Victoria. Renovated basement suitable
for home business or studio. Hot tub, pond, permaculture-inspired
organic garden, with small orchard. $209,000. Call 250-748-6850.
The Victoria Butterfly Count needs keen-eyed volunteers,
July 20th & 21st, Aug 17th
& 18th. Jeff 381-7248.
The Compost Education Centre is offering a Children's Summer
Program, weekdays 9–3pm. $25/group for 1/hrprogram. 386-WORM.
Eco-Pioneers wanted to establish a car-free cohousing eco-community
in 17 acres of cedar forest just outside Tofino. Capital needed,
plus leadership, adventure and a desire to build a living community.
Call Mary 250-754-1321. See www.earthfuture.com/talkingcedars
The Wild Garden Party - volunteers wanted to help with
the display, Flower & Garden Festival, July 12th–14th.
Call Susan 361-3122
Accommodation needed by Aug 1st. After a lifetime of helping,
I need to find a sunny, peaceful, quiet sanctuary that fits my
meagre housing budget of $325/mo. I deeply appreciate nature and
its rejuvenating qualities. No basements please. Valerie Hawkins,
Esquimalt Lagoon. Royal Roads University and the Esquimalt
Lagoon Stewardship Initiative are doing a visitor survey to develop
a recreation plan for the lagoon; we need volunteer help during
July. Call Tara 360-3066.
Free trees! Peninsula Streams has been given thousands
of Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Yellow Cedar, Sitka Spruce
and Red Alder by Arbutus Grove Nursery, which are available for
all types of restoration projects. Can be kept by refrigeration
or planted in pots until fall planting. Must be moved ASAP. Mary
CRD Parks seeks volunteers to educate visitors about our local
flora and fauna. Also Volunteer Visitor Use Surveyors, Wardens
and Naturalists, July - September. Call Laesha Berry 478-3344
than just an Organic Produce Box
Join us in nurturing local food production
* Supporting local organic farmers
* Farmers in Transition to organics
Your Vote – the Great Citizens Initiative to reform BC’s voting
system. Remember? Across BC, 3500 intrepid canvassers are seeking
your signature to the petition to adopt a proportional representation
system of voting. If we’d had such a system at the May 2001 election,
the Liberals would have had 43 MLAs, balanced by 16 NDP and 9
Green Party MLAs. 70 countries around the world use Pro-Rep. Here
are some local signing places:
- Moss Street
Paper, 111-1841 Oak Bay Ave, Mon to Fri, 9:30 -1pm
- 602 Dallas
Rd, Mondays 6:30 - 8:30
Store 651 Johnson St Mon-Fri 9:30–5, Saturdays 11 – 5
- James Bay,
Cup of Joe Cafe, #1 - 230 Menzies. Saturdays, 1:30 - 4
- Sooke Country
Market, Sat, 10-2
- Salt Spring
Ganges Market Saturday
- Salt Spring
– outside Pharmasave/ GVM Upper Ganges Rd, Tuesdays
- Salt Spring
- Etcetera Books
Your Vote’ contacts:
–Juan de Fuca
North & the Islands
Phil Spidle 514-4348
last – the sun! The ocean! Summer! But is there a way to live
and breathe the glorious green while we hike, swim, and play?
Allow us to present this nifty "Save the Earth While You
Play" hip-kit that you can take to any beach, café
or campsite. It’s clean, cheap, and relatively drug-free:
1. Become a Pro-Rep canvasser Register to become
a Free Your Vote Canvasser (it’s not too late), and invite your
fellow campers to put their paw on the line for a more fair voting
system. Go to www.freeyourvote.bc.ca
and download an application form now, as it takes 1-2 weeks to
2. Promote Fair Trade Coffee. Make some copies of the EcoNews
cover story on Fair Trade Coffee, and ask the cafés you
visit if they sell it. www.earthfuture.com/econews.
Or call me, and I’ll fax the original 881-1304.
3. Offset Your Carbon Emissions. Tally up the kilometres
you travel by car or air, and make a commitment to repay your
summer carbon debt to our children’s future. One litre of gas
releases 2.5 kg of CO2; flying is about equivalent to driving,
per person - www.chooseclimate.org/flying.
To neutralize your carbon debt, you could buy compact fluorescent
lightbulbs and give them away to a family which would not otherwise
be able to afford them. One 15 watt compact fluorescent lightbulb
will prevent 396 kg of CO2 from natural gas from being released
over its 7-year lifetime. If efficient electricity displaces gas-fired
energy from the Burrard thermal plant in Vancouver, you’ll need
to give away one 15w lightbulb ($8 - $15 from IKEA or Home Depot)
for every 158 litres of gas that your car uses. At 8 litres/100km,
that’s one lightbulb for every 2,000 kilometres. For a year’s
driving (14,000 km), you’ll need to give away 7 lightbulbs. A
return flight from Victoria to Toronto, releasing 2475 kg of CO2,
will need 6 lightbulbs. City Green, in Victoria (www.citygreen.ca)
will doubtless find a good home for your donated lightbulbs.
you pitch, ditch or otherwise protest your referendum ballot on
First Nations treaty-making? On Wed July 3rd, at 5pm,
the Songhees Nations is inviting everyone who protested their
ballot to a BBQ to encourage healing between First Nations and
other BC citizens, as the struggle for justice continues. There’ll
be guest speakers, drummers, dancers, musicians, and a papier-mâché
canoe filled with ballots will be launched out to sea, where it
will meet with a strange and wonderful ending. To volunteer, or
donate food, call Shane Calder or Rose Henry, Capital Region Race
Relations Ass’n, 380-7311. Meet at the Songhees Nation, foot of
BEDDING PLANTS SALE
Aug 24th – Mon Sept 3rd, 10 - 5:30pm
you use plastic dishes or plastic wrap when you cook food in a
microwave? If so, PLEASE STOP. As a 7th grade student,
Claire Nelson learnt that plastic wrap contains di(ethylhexyl)
adepate (DEHA), which is considered a carcinogen (ie it causes
cancer). As a 10th grade student, she ran a series
of tests at the National Center for Toxicological Research in
Arkansas, using olive oil and plastic wrap in a microwave, and
discovered that when plastic wrap is microwaved, the chemical
migrates into the olive oil at a level 10 million times higher
than is thought to be safe. She also found that xenoestrogen (linked
to low sperm counts and breast cancer) migrates from the plastic
into the oil. Claire won the American Chemical Society’s top science
prize for students for her work. The scary part is that no-one
at the EPA had thought to analyze microwaves and plastic. The
current advice is not to use any kind of plastic in a microwave.
Babies are particularly sensitive to contaminants, so PLEASE,
if you know of any young parents who are heating their baby milk
in a plastic bottle in a microwave, ask them to stop.
of the problems with many big corporations is the way they are
controlled by their majority shareholders, and the inability of
ordinary people to influence them. This may be changing, however,
as shareholder activism finds its feet. This May, at the Hudson's
Bay AGM, a sweatshop labour resolution received a 37% vote in
favour of greater transparency around the conditions of apparel
workers around the world. At ExxonMobil's AGM, a resolution from
shareholders urging ExxonMobil to adopt a plan for renewable energy
resources won 20.3% of the vote, more than double the 8.9% it
won in 2001. (See www.campaignexxonmobil.org).
The votes are not reaching a majority yet, but as more people
embrace socially responsible investment, it’s getting closer.
If we all pull together…
I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth
and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers
and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always
fail -- Think of it always."
are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems
we face, just the familiar ones: search for understanding, education,
organization, action ... and the kind of commitment that will
persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many
failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a
UVIC CAMPUS PLAN
has released its draft campus plan to manage growth over the next
15 years, after minimal consultation with the community. They
expect to grow by 40%, and want 1,175, 404 square feet of land
for new buildings, and 2,300 new parking spaces. The plan does
not commit to a reduction in vehicle use, sustainable growth management,
or densification. Alternative visions propose that 75% of new
buildings be constructed within a growth boundary by building
on already impacted sites such as parking lots, and retrofitting
existing developments. It also fails to guarantee protection natural
areas (see www.uvic.ca/draftcampusplan)
Comments are invited until early September. To express your concerns,
write to President David Turpin, email@example.com,
UVic, BEC 454, PO Box 1700 Stn CSC, Victoria V8W 2Y2, copied to
the UVic Sustainability Project, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Klenavic POLIS Project, 472 4637
ACTION OF THE MONTH
POINT POWER PLANT
quick recap: BC Hydro is alarming us that Vancouver Island is
running out of power, and wants to shift the Island to a natural
gas fired electricity strategy, which will accelerate climate
change, increase local air pollution, and lock us into the use
of natural gas which will become very expensive as it runs out.
They are refusing to examine the perfectly valid alternative,
which is to renew the cable under the Georgia Strait, and produce
renewable electricity from geothermal, wind, micro-hydro and biomass
energy, coupled with accelerated energy efficiency to reduce our
demand. The decision to move to gas did not come from a properly
conducted cost-benefit analysis, or an exploration of the alternatives.
It was driven solely by a desire by Glen Clark to produce "jobs
for the boys" in Port Alberni by building a natural gas plant
there. When that was rejected by Port Alberni’s citizens, BC Hydro
tried to move it to South Cowichan. When that was rejected, they
moved it to Duke Point, Nanaimo, where the relevant zoning is
in place, so (conveniently) there is no need for public input.
It’s now called the Vancouver Island Generation Project (VIGP),
and BC Hydro has applied to the BC Environmental Assessment Office
(EAO) for a Project Approval Certificate. It is almost certain
that they will accept the application, and Daphne Stancil, the
project assessment director, has indicated that they want to wrap
it up by October, which means they want to review it at the Stage
1 level, with the least amount of public scrutiny. The VIGP would
be fuelled by the proposed GSX gas pipeline. If VIGP does not
go ahead, GSX probably won't either, and vice versa.
Write to the EAO (with a copy to your local MLA), demanding a
thorough Stage 2 (Project Report) or Stage 3 (Public Hearing)
review of the VIGP (Duke Point) project : Daphne Stancil, EAO
Project Director, PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Gov, Victoria, V8W 9V1
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:
Conway Road, Victoria V9E 2B9, Canada. Thanks !
here for previous issues of EcoNews.
395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304
Author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate
(New Society Publishers)
+ postage from www.earthfuture.com
Design by Dave Shishkoff.
shares Content Partnerships with the following:
Solar Access www.solaraccess.com
Sustainable Business.com: www.sustainablebusiness.com