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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. 124 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - Feb 2003


FROM OIL TO HYDROGEN

It’s all about the oil. Whatever Bush says, that’s why the US wants to invade Iraq and instate a new regime that will follow America’s bidding. If Iraq did not have the oil, Saddam would be just one more cruel dictator.

The same oil, however, is responsible for about half of the unprecedented warming of the Earth’s atmosphere that is melting the Arctic ice, turning prairies into deserts, allowing the pine beetle to devastate vast areas of BC’s northern forests, and burning the bush around Australia’s capital city. The world’s re-insurance industry (which insures the insurance industry) is warning that it faces global bankruptcy if the cost of climate-related disasters continues to rise.

I believe that the universe is full of other planets where life has evolved. Carl Sagan once said "The stars in the cosmos are more numerous than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth." The universe consists of the same basic chemistry, so it is reasonable to assume that life will have evolved elsewhere, with conscious human-equivalents (human-es).

On a 50:50 basis, it is fair to assume that on half these planets the human-es will have made more progress than ourselves. The more advanced planets may be anywhere from 20,000 to a few million years ahead of us.

If I could read a comparative overview of planetary development, I would be willing to bet my hyperdrive unit that most have been through a similar progression, from burning live carbon (firewood), to stored carbon (coal, oil and gas), and finally to renewable energy (solar and hydrogen). Human-es on the more advanced planets probably use their minds to control gravitational energy, but that’s a bit beyond us. As soon as you shift to solar and hydrogen, most of your energy problems are over. Every planet must have a sun, and wherever there’s water, there’s hydrogen.

I’d also be willing to predict that at least some of the planets ran into the same triple-whammy that’s about to hit us, when hostilities over the oil supply, ecological alarms about global warming, and economic alarms about the shrinking supply of fossil fuels propelled their civilizations into a critical period of change.

There are some who believe that the Earth creates new oil all the time. The reality is that the Earth’s reserves are fixed, while demand is growing by 2% a year. So far, we have used just under half the world’s reserves. Once we pass the half-way mark, production will peak, and start to fall.

How can we tell when production will peak? The production peak follows the discovery peak. In 2002, Harry Longwell, Executive VP of Exxon-Mobil, confirmed what many have said for years, that global oil discovery peaked in the 1960s, and production would peak around 2010 (see www.oildepletion.org and www.oilcrisis.org).

When this begins to happen, the price of oil will go through the roof. Developing nations will be unable to pay for their oil imports, and their enormous debt payments will push many into Argentine-style bankruptcy. American determination to control the remaining oil in the Middle East will probably persist.

Unless.

Unless we decide to work together as a whole planet to accelerate the progress of solar energy (which is due to hit mass production in Japan in 2005), of efficiency (by agreeing to double the fuel efficiency of every vehicle), of transit and cycling, and of hydrogen.

As soon as solar energy hits mass production worldwide, the price will fall to within everyone’s reach, just as the price of computers has fallen. It’s a law of technology and demand.

If every city and government in the developed world were to instate a simple bylaw that required every building to have 2kW solar system on its roof by 2010, and every flat-roofed commercial building to have a 20 kW system, the mass demand would drive the price so low that everyone could afford it.

With the enormous surge of solar energy coming onto the grid, coupled with more clean energy from the wind and other sources, we could use the surplus electricity to manufacture the hydrogen we need to run super-efficient buses, trains, trucks, and cars.

Countries with large desert areas, such as Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, could use solar energy to desalinate sea-water, and produce hydrogen. They’re chasing the wrong game.

Our most crucial need now is to speak out, and urge our leaders to change course. We need a new Apollo Project, to share and coordinate our efforts around the world. We need Canada to take the lead, to join with Europe and build a global ecological alliance – not a war alliance.

We must apply all of our creative energies to solve the land squabbles of the Middle East, and help the people of Palestine, Iraq, and other suffering countries to build strong local economies, using the sustainable eco-technologies that are available. We need to build peace, not war.

It’s up to us. Now. Today.

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 fulfillment.

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Many thanks to J Gerlach, Norah Forrest, David Stott, Yvonne Bondarchuk & Don Thiers, Brian Finnemore, Kathryn Harcourt, Gloria Macleod, Eric Bonham & Mary Nall, Sandra Rogers, Pauline Kenneally, Vicki Marston, Freda Knott, Susan Holvenstot, Joyce Stewart, Lesley Wicks, Hannelore Ioannides, Ruth Chase, Ann Redwood, Felix Lion, Jean van Cuylenborg, Julia Lissau & John Sprague.

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

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THE ECO-CORNER

$1/word (non-profits, low-income free) 1" box ad $40, $2" box ad $70

* If you have land, or safe parking space, the Carmanah Forestry Society and Sierra Club desperately need to park their buses, which are used for enviro tours and education. The CFS bus has had about $1500 worth of windows smashed this month alone. Please help. Syd Haskell, 381-1141

* $400/mo large upper suite shared BR for farm oriented person +/or 1/2 lease trail horse on GG trail 478-5334

* Seeking participants in weekly eco-spirituality circles. Marianne (250) 382-3582 or Jennifer (250) 598-5667

* Volunteer research assistant wanted to help OUR Ecovillage research different governance & ownership models for ecovillages & cohousing 743-3002 our@pacificcoast.net


Marianne Sämann-Wyss
Wholistic Counselling Services

An eco-spiritual exploration into how we relate to ourselves, each other, the earth and spirit.
Also specializing in dealing with environmental and wildness losses.
(250) 382-3582 msw@islandnet.com


OUR ECOVILLAGE

OUR EcoVillage is a community-based, eco-sustainable rural living initiative on 25 acres near Shawnigan Lake. (www.ourecovillage.org). From June 2nd – Sept 26th, the ecovillage is hosting a hands-on summer school on Practical Leadership and Natural Building (cob). It’s $375 - $450 a week, with space for 12 people – applications to Elke Cole by Feb 10th. elke@cobworks.com . www.cobworks.com


DADA – THE ECOFAUCET!

The world of new water technologies is just zipping along. First there’s the Caroma dual-flush toilet, the best water-efficient toilet on the market (available from Westburne). Then there’s the waterless urinal, from Waterless (www.waterless.com ) and Falcon (www.falconwaterfree.com ), eliminating water-use altogether by using a lighter-than-water fluid that traps the urine and lets it flow on its merry way. Just think, if every public urinal in Victoria had one). Next, there’s the GFX (gravity film exchange) shower unit, which captures the waste heat as it flows down the drain and applies it to the incoming cold water, reducing your heating bill by up to 50% (www.endlessshower.com ). Now, fresh from Japan, Toto USA has the EcoPower faucet. The most efficient taps in public places have sensors that only let the water flow if your hands are underneath. This needs hardwired electricity, or a battery which needs replacing. The EcoPower faucet has a miniature hydro turbine in the head of the faucet, which recharges a titanium battery, which lasts for up to 10 years.


DMTB – NOT SO YUMMY

Every February, as the bulbs announce the coming of spring, Victoria’s gardeners turn to thoughts of flowers and vegetables. For some, organic gardening is an item of faith. If you have friends who still reach for the chemical spray, however, you might want to show them this. In a peer-reviewed scientific study, researchers at the University of Washington’s Dept of Environmental Health interviewed parents entering two Seattle grocery stores, one organic and one mainstream. They visited the homes of the parents, and asked them to keep food diaries. After making sure that pesticide use in the home was not a factor, they took urine samples from the two groups, and analyzed them for diakylphosphate (DMTB), an organophosphate pesticide residue. All the kids had DMTB in their urine, but the children who ate non-organic food had 850% more than their organic counterparts. (0.34 micromoles vs 0.04). The researchers found that the most likely source of the DMTB came from four pesticides that are commonly used on fruits and vegetables, includng malathion. If your friends want to switch to organic gardening, the Compost Education Centre has a workshop that’s tailor-made for them on Feb 8th (see Diary).


WINNING IN VANCOUVER

COPE (the Coalition of Progressive Electors) swept Vancouver in the recent city elections. Vancouver voters elected COPE’s Larry Campbell for Mayor, and every COPE candidate who ran for City Council, School Board and Parks Board. The right-wing NPA pulled in as many votes as last time, so their supporters were faithful. The big difference was that COPE pulled in 30,000 new voters. How did they do it? Here (from the Vancouver Courier, a business publication) are some pointers, to be engraved on our electoral hearts:

* They kept the election debates focused on progressive issues such as the need for humane solutions to homelessness, addiction and crime.

* They stayed organized between elections by running a series of "Think City" workshops in which participants discussed how to make the city better.

* They followed the workshops with a "Think Youth" festival on youth art and culture, aimed at involving youth in civic issues.

* The workshops brought new groups into COPE, and introduced new people to progressive politics.

* During the election, 1/3rd of COPE’s 1,000 volunteers were new to politics, and the mean age of COPE’s volunteers dropped to 30.

* They revived door-to-door campaigning, made it fun, and encouraged people to leaflet their own neighbourhoods.

They also had a great website and electronic presence – wwwcope.bc.ca . The campaign to win the hearts and minds of young people for the 2005 civic elections needs to begin now – not in October 2005. By then, it’s too late. (Thanks to Graeme Taylor)


Co-Creative Counselling

"Pain is not a feeling. Pain is what we experience when we suppress feeling."

Explore your true nature in a nurturing, safe & confidential space. My office includes 350 acres of forests, fields, lakes & flowers. 30 mins from Victoria.

Morris Lamrock 474-2804

morrisorgf@canoemail.com


UNITED FOR PEACE

The nervousness that US citizens felt about criticizing their government after September 11th has vanished. With Bush on the rampage to assault Iraq, even if he has to invent a reason, ordinary citizens are getting to their feet across in an unprecedented show of protest. The MoveOn campaign (www.MoveOn.org ) has 600,000 people on its activist list, and gained 100,000 new members in a single week in January. Their message, "Let the Inspections Work" aired on almost every major TV News show. Their 310,000 strong petition shocked senators and congressmen. 9,000 people signed up to participate in Congressional district meetings, often speaking out for the first time. Congressmen and Senators had no idea this was brewing. A new mainstream coalition is emerging - "Win Without War", (www.unitedforpeace.org ). Fifty US cities have passed resolutions saying No to Bush’s call for war (Toronto too). For details, see www.citiesforpeace.org .

Locally, the Victoria Campaign Against War and Sanctions in Iraq (www.vcawsi.org ) is ramping up its energy for another big Peace Rally and Teach-In on Feb 15th & 16th (see Diary). VCASWI needs volunteers, and donations, since Deanna is shouldering much of the cost - call her at 385-0493. We should all be calling our MPs, asking them to meet with us. We must pressure Canada to work for peace, not war. (See Action).

PS: A study from the University of Sussex, UK, shows that protesting is good for your health, and can help overcome stress, pain, anxiety and depression, due to the feelings of encouragement, unity and mutual support that emerge after taking collective action. Maybe protest costs should be covered by Medicare!


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WEB

A good petition: Time to Move Beyond War

www.PetitionOnline.com/iraq123

Oh George

www.dubyadubyadubya.com

Email addresses for France and Germany, to thank them for not lining up behind George Bush:

Jacques Chirac (France) www.elysee.fr/ecrire/index.htm

Gerhard Schroeder (Germany) gerhard.schroeder@spd.de

If You're Happy And You Know It, Bomb Iraq

by John Robbins www.commondreams.org/views02/1216-06.htm

If You're Happy And You Know It, Bomb Iraq

Slightly different version with music and sound effects:

www.domdummaste.se/bomb_iraq.html

The Cowichan Community Land Trust Society www.island.net/~cclt

Caring for Our Shores: A Handbook for Coastal Landowners in the Strait of Georgia

www.island.net/~steward

Petition to Support the Romanow Report on Medicare www.petitiononline.com/romanow

Kraft Food – too good to pass by

www.krafty.org/flash

Download the CRD’s new Natural Areas Atlas newsletter:

www.crd.bc.ca/es/natatlas/news/jan2003.pdf

Left Coast Local Events

To sign up for Janine Bandcroft’s e-newsletter for green and progresive events on Vancouver Island, send email to peaceandjustice@acts.bc.ca and indicate in or near which city you reside.

GreenHouse Gas Online – News, Research and Resources (new website from Britain)

www.GHGonline.org

State of the Union Poster

Congress Meets Wall Street: How Big Corporate Campaign Contributors are Buying America, And What the Rest of Us Pay

www.publicampaign.org/stateoftheunion


FAIRFIELD TRANSIT CRISIS

BC Transit is proposing to cut South Fairfield’s bus services. They want to run the #1 at peak hours only, and the #2 and #10 to merge. Apparently the UVic student U-Pass is so popular that they need more buses – so they’re robbing Fairfield to feed UVic. Once a route is gone, it’s almost impossible to get it back, so Nancy Barnes has formed the South Fairfield Transit Riders Association, to fight for their bus services. It’s great that the UVic scheme is successful, but instead of raiding Fairfield, why not do as Boulder did, and introduce a Neighbourhood U-Pass, to win more Fairfield riders? If you believe we need to protect our transit, call 361-3621, email peterr@island.net .


LETS GET GROWING!

Victoria’s Seed & Garden Show

Victoria Conference Centre

Sat Feb 15th, 10-4pm Tel 385-0485

SEEDS, PLANTS, WORKSHOPS


REST IN PEACE, TOM

Our dear friend Tom Loring, who gave so much of his life to so many people, died on December 21st, aged 81. Tom was a professional forest ecologist who worked in New Mexico until he and Beth returned to Canada in 1980, and then retired to Victoria. Tom and Beth’s arrival was our gain. He helped to make St. Ann’s Academy what it is today. He was active with the Fairfield Community Association, and is said to have known almost every tree in the neighbourhood. He worked hard to get Victoria to adopt a tree protection bylaw, and equally hard for the Victoria Human Rights Coalition, the Franciscan Faith Community, and many others. We thank you, Tom, for your life, your love, your charity, and your kindness. The trees thank you too.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand, to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life." - St Francis of Assisi.


Share Organics

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

wwwshareorganics.bc.ca

595-6729


THE WORKING FOREST

The Liberal government has declared almost half of our Province's lands a "working forest", open to logging, mining and other activities, double the amount of land that currently being forested. "I'm sending a message to the investment community that British Columbia is open for business," Stan Hagen said. You bet he is. Ken Wu (WCWC) writes – "The Working Forest is basically an Anti-Forest Protection Act, that will guarantee to logging companies that anytime a commercially valuable forest is protected on our public lands, an equivalent area of protected forest must be opened up to logging. It guarantees a set area of forested public lands, 23 million hectares - that is, ALL of BC’s commercially valuable forests outside of our existing parks - for logging alone. There could be no net loss in the availability of our public forests for private logging companies, whether for new parks, protecting drinking watershed reserves, endangered species or wildlife and fish habitat, or First Nations land settlements." For actions and meetings against the proposed legislation, see Green Diary, or call WCWC, 388-9292


ACTION OF THE MONTH

(1) THE WAR ON IRAQ

Call your MP, and ask for an appointment when you and some friends can see him, to share your concerns about Canada’s role:

* David Anderson (Victoria) 363-3600 Anderson.D@parl.gc.ca

* Gary Lunn (Saan/Islands) 656-2320 Lunn.G@parl.gc.ca

* Keith Martin (Esquimalt/Juan de Fuca) 474-6505 Martin.K@parl.gc.ca

In Ottawa: c/o Houses of Parliament, Ottawa K1A 0A6. Postage free.

(2) KYOTO – THE BUDGET

Now that Canada has ratified Kyoto, the real test is the coming budget. It is now that we should be creating tax breaks, incentives and funding for things like transit, cycle trails, renewable energy, energy retrofits, fuel efficient vehicles and ecoforestry. Everyone is asking for more money for health-care. Kyoto is about health-care for the whole planet.

Action: Please write to John Manley, Minister of Finance, Suite 1500, 55 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A3

Tel: 613-952-4900 Fax: 613-952-4935

Email: jmanley@pco-bcp.gc.ca


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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria
V9E 2B9
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

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