Newsletter No. 47 - Serving
Vancouver Island's Environmental Community - February 1996
2001 - A DREAM OF OUR ISLAND'S FUTURE
Global famine, global warming, global
economic "restructuring" - just how much bad news can good folks take ? So let's
take a hike down Imagination Lane .....
It's January 2001, and people of sound mind from all over
the Island have gathered at a forest retreat in the Comox Valley to address key issues
facing us in the 21st century, and devise appropriate responses. After several days
discussion they decide to launch a new social, political and environmental vehicle called
the Vancouver Island Alliance (VIA), and enroll memberships all over the Island.
Using the powers of the Internet, many electronic Mailing
Lists are set up, which allow people with shared interests to develop policies and
initiatives together, accessing the entire range of the World Wide Web for the world's
In 2002, VIA puts up many candidates for municipal
elections, and thanks to the excitement that has built up over the previous two years, and
extensive networking and organizing with local groups, they win control over several key
towns and cities on the Island.
By now, the scientists' message about climate change has
been reinforced by drastic weather events around the world, and people are beginning to
accept that fundamental changes will be needed if we are to stabilize our planet's
atmosphere. The VIA city councils introduce Local Green Plans, and start transferring
budget resources to cycling and public transit, and passing legislation obliging employers
to reduce their office commuting rates. At the same time, under the influence of local
watershed stewardship groups, regional districts start working closely with the provincial
government to establish integrated watershed management systems, bringing together the
best in regional planning, fisheries protection, ecoforestry and agriculture in a holistic
manner. A full network of long-distance Island hiking trails is mapped out, and landowners
are given tax-breaks if they establish conservation covenants on trail routes that pass
through their land.
In 2003, a Socially Responsible Investment group that VIA
helped launch sets a goal that by 2008, 10% of all the pension funds, RRSPs and other
investments made by islanders will be channeled into socially and ecologically restorative
businesses, so that the weight of capital starts working for a better world, instead of
against it. At the same time, a Sustainable Islands Fund is launched by a credit union to
invite investments in renewable energy, organic agriculture, telecommunications,
environmental technologies and community-based economic development.
By 2004, solar voltaic technology is putting roof tiles on
the market at competitive prices, enabling people to install the tiles and sell the
surplus energy back to BC Hydro, or plug in their new solar-electric mini-vehicles. Groups
such as VIA have been organized across the province, and persuaded the government to
create a series of ecological taxes, reducing the PST accordingly, and funds for R & D
are moving steadily from oil and gas into energy efficiency and renewable energy
Meanwhile, the province has woken up to the shock of a
widespread forestry collapse stemming from overcutting, climate-change induced forest
fires and damage to seedlings by UV radiation from the depleted ozone layer. AACs are
reduced sharply all over the province, and forest companies are given new terms of tenure
that oblige them to hand 10% of their holdings to Woodlot Tenures, and cooperate with the
new Watershed Stewardship Councils to ensure that holistic management systems are put in
In 2005, VIA launches Victoria Businesses for Social
Responsibility. A Green-Up program is developed which assists businesses make the shift to
restorative practices, and the group sets the goal that by 2010, 30% of all Greater
Victoria businesses will be operating in an ecologically sustainable manner. At the same
time, many of our consumer habits start changing drastically, and car-sharing, equipment
sharing and local currencies such as the LETSystem take off widely. Globally, third world
nations united with progressive first world nations to pass a Global Code of Social and
Environmental Conduct, and the first corporations are taken to the International Court in
The Hague, and called to justice.
Space runs out ! - and we have yet to describe how urban
communities were transformed through traffic calming and neighbourhood agriculture, how
the Island LRT system was built, how sprawl was eliminated through ecovillage legislation,
how worksharing was introduced ......
Fortunately, our ability to build a better world know no
limits - except the belief that there is such a limit. Dream on, brave warriors !
- Guy Dauncey
Published as a monthly service, nourishing
the vision of an Island blessed by the harmony of nature and community, funded by your
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Many thanks to Jenny Fraser, Todd &
Renate Wellman, Bill Rees, Dan Jason, Mallory Pred, Tom Read, Zane Murdoch, Mary June
Pettyfer, Veronica Barlee, John Jervis, Bis Whitby, Sheila Drew, Gordon Proctor, Thor
Heinrich, Andy Harrison, Don Poole and Wayne Madden. Without you all, where would we be ?
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for previous issues of EcoNews.
EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304
Available free by mail or email
Author of 'After the Crash : The
Emergence of the Rainbow Economy'
(Greenprint, London, 1988. 3rd edition 1997)
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