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AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)EcoNews reaches thousands of people each month, including every MLA in BC and every CRD municipal politician. It’s 95% funded by donations from readers like you. If you value the information it provides, will you support it with a donation?

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Contact Econews

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. 152 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - September 2005


Before we start, our hearts go out to the people of New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport, and the surrounding area, who have been through such a battering, and who are still suffering so much. There is a definite connection to global climate change, since the waters of the Gulf of Mexico have been so much warmer, but that’s for later. Right now, we must send them whatever support we can. –G.D.

And now, back to EcoNews:

TURNING FROM WAR TO PEACE

There is a craziness at loose in the world which is threatening to overturn 60 years of careful progress.

We humans have a long and miserable history of making war when we want to get our way. We have used violence, torture, rape and murder to seize land, control resources, and impose our will on others, and glorified in doing so.

After the First World War, in which 15 million died (8.5 million soldiers and 6.5 million civilians), the American President Woodrow Wilson put a huge amount of effort to form the League of Nations, as part of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the war. The League set up a system whereby the world’s nations would work together for their collective security, and settle their disputes by lawful arbitration; any country which resorted to war would be subject to economic sanctions.

The first resistance came from Republican congressmen in the USA, who could not stomach the idea that other nations should tell them what to do. The US never ratified Versailles, and never joined the League. Japan left the League in 1933, Germany in 1933, and Italy in 1937, so life was frustrating, but the League was successful in averting wars between Bulgaria and Greece (1925), Iraq and Turkey (1925), and Poland and Lithuania (1927). It also had success in the fields of drugs control, refugee work, and famine relief. On the downside, it failed to stop Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931, Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935, and Germany’s invasion of the Czech Sudetenland in 1938.

Then came the Second World War, and the deaths of 55 million. (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm).

After the war, the leaders came together once again, and created the United Nations, determined:

"to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind;

"to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours;

"to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and

"to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest."

Russia, the US, France, Britain and China were given seats on the Security Council, and a veto over any resolution in order to avoid a situation where the UN would be called to act against one of the world’s most powerful military nations, in the full knowledge that it could not succeed.

The amazing thing is that in a manner of ways, it worked. During the long years of the Cold War, when the world was often on the edge of nuclear conflict and annihilation, we have withheld from a third global conflict. The United Nations acted collectively to stop the Chinese invasion of Korea (before China was a member), but it could not stop the conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iran-Iraq in the 1980s. As a global organization, it has always been difficult when the big nations wanted to impose their will: which is the core of today’s problem.

Today’s US government has in effect been taken over by a group of right-wing neo-conservatives, as a result of democratic "coups" in which they appeared to have rigged the elections first in Florida (2000), and then Ohio (2004). The regime is quite clear in its wish to undermine the United Nations. Their stated goal is to maintain global dominance, with war as an acceptable means to do so.

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, their desire to get UN approval was purely a fig-leaf. When they failed, it was back to the real agenda, in which no-one tells the US what to do. If the US is allowed to continue with this doctrine, it will take us back to the days of the 19th century, when nations formed pacts to defend each other against aggression.

It is for this reason that Gwynne Dyer, the eminent writer on military matters, writes in his latest book Future Tense that the sooner the US is defeated in Iraq, the better it will be for all of us, so that the world can get back to its agenda, to abolish war.

As we enter the last years of oil, the temptation to invade, overthrow or otherwise undermine other nations in order to seize control of the remaining supplies of oil will become enormous. This makes the need to show leadership on the development of sustainable energy resources hugely important, alongside returning to global cooperation on peace and conflict.

As Canadians, we must show leadership. We must oppose the current US policies with a strong, clear voice, while supporting the many millions of Americans who would agree with every word that is written here. As a world, we must move, now and forever, from dominance to cooperation.

Guy Dauncey


ECONEWS

AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)A monthly newsletter, funded by your donations, that dreams of a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community, & the joys of personal fulfillment, protected and guided by active citizenship.

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

Donations can also be sent by PayPal, please send to GuyDauncey@EarthFuture.com, be sure to 'earmark' it to EcoNews.

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A big thankyou to Norah Forrest, Vera Gottlieb, DK, Frances Johnson, Karen Chapple, Kathleen Gibson, Irma Berlin, Stefan Ochman, Patrick & Jane Fawkes, Alan Drengson, Barbara Hourston, Martin Weideman, Christo Pandelidis, Alandra Mclaren, Emile Lacroix, Daphne Taylor, Ann Johnston, Janet Kretz, Friends of Mount Doug Park, New Society Publishers, Centre for Earth & Spirit, Merv Wilkinson, Martin Golder, Jack & Heide Martin, Shelagh Levey, Rosie Tanner and Peter Carilho.


THE ECO-CORNER
$5/line (non-profits, low-income free)
1" box $40, $2" box $70. Insert $180

* Unused letter envelopes always needed for EcoNews. Call 881-1304

* Charming Guest room, $25/night. Cook St Village , ocean. 250-361-3102

* Seeking partners to buy land for sustainable living. rainwalker@shaw.ca

* Retired couple can house/pet sit in Victoria, Oct/Nov/Dec 2005. Roy 250-359 6896, rball2@imagotrackers.com

* Vegan House seeks 3-4 veggies to rent house together in Victoria by Sept. Dave: veganhouse@shaw.ca

* Looking for affectionate Green Man to share values and activist companionship. 60s+ plus, NS. Reply to DK, Suite 215, #1-5765 Turner Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6M4.

* Winter getaway. Columbus, New Mexico. Gorgeous round adobe house in intentional community on sunny desert lease land, nr Mexican border. Solar & propane. $35,000 negotiable. Chris 250-247-8102 or 505-531-2353 after mid-October.

* Practical Herbalist Program. Local economical environmentally friendly herbal medicine Vancouver. Oct 15th to June 11th. One weekend/month 1-866-592-7523 www.herbalhealingpathway.com

* Courtenay Cohousing Call 250-339-5993 www.creeksidecommons.ca

* Cob Sculpting Aug 5-12, Courtenay 338-0711 www.hobbithomes.ca

* Retired couple can house/pet sit in Victoria, Oct/Nov/Dec 2005. Roy 250-359 6896, rball2@imagotrackers.com

* November municipal elections. If you want to get involved, drop a line to the Conservation Voters of BC at info@conservationvoters.ca

* Organic gardening: Want to learn? Register for the Organic Garden Expert Course and the Ecological Landscape Design Certificate. 250-709-2229 www.gaiacollege.ca/news.php

* Organic Farm Land for lease or share, near Elk Lake. 382-2612.

* Wanted to rent small quiet dwelling, pref rural, nr transit. Can pay $500 inc; work exch for rent. Joanne 886-8285.

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Elite Earth-Friendly Dry Cleaners

Victoria’s only solvent free dry cleaner

1019 Cook St. 381-2221 Mon-Fri 8-6 Sat 10-4 www.greendrycleaner.com

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SOLAR BREAKTHROUGH?

Every few months, there’s a report of a breakthrough in solar technology which promises the world, but rarely come to anything. Well, I have just had a tour of a Burnaby company called Day4Energy which has developed a subtle change to the regular solar cell, which allows it to receive concentrated solar energy. If this pans out, it will allow solar PV to sell for the same price as wind energy: 7-12 cents kwh in BC. Maybe…? www.day4solar.com

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OUR ELLIE

Ellie Boisvert was a very sweet soul, who loved nature, and contributed to all sort of good green causes in Victoria, including the Victoria LETSystem community currency (www.lets.victoria.bc.ca), native plant gardening, and the monthly Social Justice Film Nights that she ran in her own living room. She also helped out quite often at the EcoNews Mailout parties. Ellie had an illness of some kind, which caused her much pain. In late July, she took her own life. Her body was found in Layritz Park three weeks later, with a note in which she said that she couldn’t stand the pain anymore. She said she was cozy and comfy, snuggled up among the summer moss and lichens, and she apologized to her friends and neighbours for this way of going. We thank you, Ellie, for 56 years of love, goodwill, initiative, and compassion. One life, full of love. We know that you will now be at peace, in your new world. To say goodbye to Ellie, see www.pej.ca/elli

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LIBERTE, EGALITE, NATURE

Ellie would surely have approved. The French Parliament has approved (by a vote of 531 to 23) an amendment to its constitution which places environmental protection right up there next to Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

  • Art. 1 - Every person has the right to live in a balanced environment that is conducive to his or her health.
  • Art. 2 - Every person has the duty to participate in the conservation and improvement of the environment.
  • Art. 3 - Every person must, under the conditions defined by law, prevent or at least limit the impact they are likely to have on the environment.
  • Art. 4 - Every person must contribute to the repair of damage that they cause to the environment, under the conditions defined by law.

Among other things, it enshrines the precautionary principle into the country’s constitution. Now the French have to turn their ideals into practice. For all ten Articles, see www.earthfuture.com/econews/back_issues/03-12.asp

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ETHICAL INVESTING

The Pinch Group

Connecting your money with your values

www.pinchgroup.ca 250-405-2468

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WASTELESS IN SEATTLE

Garbage, garbage, garbage. In spite of all our recycling, there’s still so much of it! Here in the CRD, we have a solid waste reduction goal of 50%, but our recycling and waste diversion rate has been falling steadily since 1998, when it hit a high of 42%. By 2004, it had fallen to 36%, while the volume we dump in the landfill is rising. Yikes! This comes as something of a shock.

What to do? Seattle has a similar problem; their goal is 60%, and performance is also under 40%. So the city has launched a new initiative called Wasteless in Seattle, which include mandatory recycling, and fines for violators who throw things like paper or cans into the garbage, beginning in January. It places a big focus on waste prevention, with a $400,000 budget to that end. People are being encouraged to set their copy machines to default to double-sided copies on recycled paper, and a product stewardship initiative is being set up with "take back" programs for computer monitors, furniture and maybe prescription drugs.

They also have Use-It-Again Seattle, which features community "garage sales" throughout the city, when residents are allowed to drop off and pick up items for free (except electronics, appliances, couches and mattresses). Should we let Seattle beat us? Come on Victoria! We need to get seriously back on track, and beat them to that 60% goal.

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Renovations

Residential * Commercial * Indoor * Outdoor

Eco-friendly Carpentry * Woodworking Flooring * Composters * Creative Storage

Harald Wolf 250-882-9653 www.wolfweb.ca/allegra

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CAR SHARING

Worried by the price of gas? You’d better get used to it; chances are the price will go up every year, as we pass the peak of oil production, and production can no longer keep up with demand. One solution that makes sense is car sharing, where instead of owning your personal tonne of steel, you own a share in a pool of vehicles, and use one when you need it, with transit, cycling and walking for other trips. Worldwide, 300,000 people are car sharing. In Switzerland, 60,000 people share 2,400 cars. In Vancouver, 2,000 people share 102 cars. Here in Victoria, 120 people share six cars in James Bay, Fairfield, Oak Bay, UVic, downtown and Fernwood, with more planned for other parts of the city. If this intrigues you, call Susan Belford at 995-0265, and learn about the Victoria Car Share Cooperative. (www.victoriacarshare.ca). There’s also car sharing in Nanaimo, Courtenay, Cortes, Tofino and Whistler. The overall effect is a 30% to 45% reduction in vehicle miles traveled for each member, so this is good for your pocket book, and a good way to meet your One Tonne Challenge for global climate change.

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I Find the Best Morṭgage Deals from Leading Lenders who Care about Sustainability

I arrange loans at the lowest rates with lenders who commit to community programs and investment, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable business practices.

Ian Baker, Morṭgage Consultant

BEYER MORṬGAGE SERVICES, INC. (250) 592-8969

ian.baker@beyer morṭgage.com www.beyermorṭgage.com

(In some rare, challenging situations, a broker/lender fee may apply)

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UVIC’s BUSINESS SCHOOL

In a recent issue of EcoNews, UVic’s MBA program was shown to score poorly in the Corporate Knights survey of sustainability education in MBA programs across Canada. The staunch UVic MBA staff retorted that the magazine took its information from their website, not from personal interviews, and that their website did not do justice to their efforts. So stand by to see UVic’s MBA romping up the ranks of sustainability education!

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NOVEMBER ELECTIONS

This is a brief reminder that we have municipal elections in November, and by far the best way to make green progress is to elect environmentally active councillors, who will advance the green agenda. This might be you! Please think about it. But please note: it makes no sense to run several green candidates, who will split the vote, and prevent any one from getting elected.

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THE OTESHA TOUR

Stand by for Otesha! "Otesha" is a Swahili word that means "reason to dream". The Otesha Project, founded by two young women in 2002, is a youth-run charitable program that has delivered green educational programs to 12,000 youth across Canada. Their message is that since the world’s biggest problems are caused by humans, they can also be solved by humans. They are touring BC, and will be doing full day events and programs on the Island promoting their dreams, and the One Tonne Challenge, in Port McNeill, the Comox Valley, Parksville and Duncan. It ends with The Otesha Jam, a Youth Summit for a Sustainable Future that will bring together 20 youth from 16 communities across BC for 3 days at OUR EcoVillage, in Shawnigan. For details, see www.otesha.ca, call Brooke at 361-9625 or email bctour@otesha.ca

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GRANOLA GROOVY ECO STORE

1005 Broad St, Victoria

Now proudly carrying COYUCHI Organic cotton bedding

(250) 477-0146 http://www.granolagroovy.com

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ISLANDS IN THE SALISH SEA

Watch out for the launch of this new Community Atlas at the end of October (see Green Diary): it’s a stunning collection of 30 artwork maps created by people who live on the 470 Gulf Islands; it’s worth a trip to Salt Spring especially to see the last public viewing of the maps themselves. These maps really show the love that the islanders feel for this beautiful land, and why they want to protect it.

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Garden Path Organic Nursery

WINTER VEGETABLE & BEDDING PLANT SALE

Sat Aug 27 thru Mon Sept 5

10am to 5:30pm Daily (250) 881-1555

For the best selection of winter vegetables available

www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath

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FRUIT TREE PROJECT

Do you have apple, pear or other fruit trees that you’d like to have picked, for the benefit of the wider community? The Lifecycles Fruit Tree project has volunteers who will come and gather your autumn harvest. The delicious fruit is then distributed among homeowners, volunteers, food banks and local community organizations. They also host preserving workshops, so that you can enjoy local fruit year round. Got trees? Call Laryl, 385-7425.

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ACTION OF THE MONTH:
THE SINGLE TRANSFERABLE VOTE

Roy Ball writes: Gordon Campbell has promised to move forward with electoral reform, but any delay will jeopardize implementation in time for the next BC election. The electoral boundaries commission must begin its work in the spring of 2006, and needs to know if it is to set boundaries for our current system, or a new STV system. Fair Voting BC is calling on the government to implement STV without further delay. The people of BC have voted overwhelmingly in favour of STV, and now is the time to act.

Action: Write to the Premier and your local MLA, and ask them to move quickly to implement STV. Rt Hon Gordon Campbell, Rm 156, Leg Assembly, Victoria V8V 1X4. premier@gov.bc.ca For your MLA:

www.legis.gov.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WEB

Some sites that have passed my way:


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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"
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