February 2018 Newsletter
1. Sustainability Film Fest: Each Thursday in February at 6:30 pm in the Vernon library. At this documentary film festival on sustainable living, take part in or listen in on a discussion after each film screening. Admission is free and everyone is welcome! Seating is limited, so plan to arrive a bit early. Details are here.
Feb 1 - A New Economy - Cooperation - putting humanity before the bottom line
Feb 8 - Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Thing - How might your life be better with less?
Feb 15 - Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective - A design method that uses ecology to solve issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, and more. Humans are capable of being planetary healing forces!
Feb 22 - Bag It!: Is Your Life Too Plastic? - Where do the bags/plastics end up, at what cost to our environment?
2. Winter Carnival Parade, February 3rd: SENS director Terry Dyck is organizing a large display of electric cars, bikes (if roads are safe), and other transportation alternatives for the parade, and needs volunteers to carry banners. Terry has it organized so that once all banners are in the correct spot for the parade, volunteers can wait in a warm location then be shuttled back just before the parade start. Please contact Terry if you can volunteer.
3. Seedy Saturday at Vernon’s Rec Centre, March 17th: SENS director Heather Miller seeks volunteers to help: (a) put tables up at the Rec Centre from about 8:20 am to 9 am, and then help vendors find their tables and bring in their supplies, AND/OR (b) take the tables down and put them away from 3 pm to 3:30 pm. Contact her if you are available.
4. We Need YOU! Tuesday, January 30th, 9 am, Vernon’s Prestige Inn. Show support at this public meeting for Coldstream Residents who for years have opposed the excessive noise (100 db from sprayers, cannons, and helicopters) and destructive practises of Coral Beach Farms Cherry Orchard. Another worry is that a similar orchard may be planned for the OK Avenue area…
6. Boomerang Bags: Let’s reduce plastic bag use locally! The Pink Spotted Goat in Vernon wishes to work with SENS to further this venture (Thank-you Pam!). Let us know if you’d like to volunteer to sew them.
1. Farmers’ Markets:
Vernon: Friday afternoons, inside, Kal Tire Place.
Armstrong: Saturdays, Noon– 4 pm, Odd Fellows Hall, Bridge St until March.
Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave. GMO and pesticide free produce! Information is on their website. Got a working freezer to donate/sell to them? Call 778-473-2230
SENT BY MEMBERS OR READERS
1. Coldstream Corner Farms: Did you know it was Canada’s first 100% solar powered organic farm? For even more, read this article!
2. GM Apples: Here's a study into how far pollen can travel. Check it out!
3. McDonald’s and Plastic Straws: Tell McDonald's to live up to its sustainability commitments and ban plastic straws that pollute our oceans! For more information, check out these links: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
4. Nerve Gas Pesticide, Chlorpyrifos: It is linked to reduced IQ, developmental delay, neurological damage, and cancer… but Trump's Environmental Protection Agency still allows its use on crops. Please, watch this video — and then help get this dangerous chemical out of our food and away from our children: Tell the Trump administration to ban this toxic pesticide today!
5. Invasive Goldfish: The Okanagan Similkameen (OS) Stewardship Society reports that they are showing up in some ponds and lakes. This is problematic because they multiply quickly, eat eggs and young of native fish, and carry parasites! Please return goldfish you don’t want to a pet store. Don’t free them into water! Report invasive goldfish to
1 877 952 7277 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
6. Living the Change: Check out this energizing documentary trailer!
7. Something to Celebrate: Vernon City Council unanimously voted to accept the Terms of Reference for a Climate Action Task Force. The two year Task Force will do much! The Taskforce plans to meet soon with city staff to discuss the next steps. It will also be asking to meet with the regional district to urge them to take a similar initiative. Stay tuned...
1. Support the South OS National Park: Go here! to sign a petition that supports the creation of such a park. The petition is open for signatures until the end of February and if more than 1000 people sign, it goes to the House.
2. Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area: To support expansion, please visit this link!
1. Fossil Fuel Divestment: New York City is doing it and also pursuing a lawsuit against big oil and gas corporations for the damage caused by climate change Yet, the Canadian government is considering expanding the tar sands….
1. Action on Palm Oil Ecocide: The Guatemalan palm oil supplier REPSA is responsible for a deadly spill that contaminated La Pasión River and destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. REPSA was found guilty of ecocide, causing massive fish and wildlife die-offs, and is suspected to have used violence and intimidation to silence its opponents. Call on Nestlé, their only remaining supporter, to hold REPSA to account for the social and environmental impact of its reckless palm oil production in Guatemala!
1. Concerns with Fracking: CPPA has been pushing the government to undertake a formal public inquiry into fracking in B.C. An inquiry could look at laws, regulations and their enforcement. This broader mandate is especially important given that some fossil fuel companies built dozens of unauthorized dams in BC’s northeast (to store water for use in fracking). Even worse, many of these dams have now been found to have serious structural flaws!
1. Action on Boreal Caribou: Despite being considered “threatened” under the Species at Risk Act, Alberta is still not doing enough to protect them. A federal safety net order would give this protection before it's too late! Please ask Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to take action.
1. Oil Industry to Regulate Offshore Oil: Under the Liberal government’s plan to modify the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, offshore petroleum boards would be given more power over oceans off Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Talk about having a fox guarding a hen-house scenario!
1. Embracing Environmentalism: Here's a good read about how climate change is a public health issue! It urges dramatic climate action, including a higher, and rising, price on carbon.
1. How to Beat Pollution Before It Beats Us: Pollution—of our water, soil and air—is now the biggest killer on earth. In fact, nine million people—roughly the population of New York City—die prematurely from causes related to pollution every year. Here's a quick list of four actions to get started with!
FROM NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA
1. Transforming Landscapes: More wetlands in B.C. from parking lot space… To learn more, go here.
1. Active Transportation Benefits: It: (a) reduces the health care budget by 2/3 ($200 billion/year), (b) reduces premature air pollution-caused deaths by 21,0000/year ($10 billion/year), (c) improves traffic conditions and congestion, and (d) slows climate change (transportation is responsible for 25% of GHG s in Canada. Given all this, please support active transportation!
2. Site C: “It's a decision that goes against all the futurist projections about energy needs, energy source development, and ecological parameters related to the Peace River Valley! Its economic rationale is deeply flawed, as renewable energy is already starting to make enormous inroads into traditional energy infrastructure. The idea that a large dam supplies "clean" energy has been thoroughly debunked.”
3. Most Doctors are not Normal: Normal people learn that what you eat influences your health. This article describes how a healthy diet can lead to a healthy life!
4. Coal Bail-out Nixed: Resuscitation of the U.S. coal industry has been killed. Read all about it!
5. Remembering a Whistle Bower: Dr. Shiv Chopra, who recently died, was instrumental in stopping Canada from allowing use of bovine growth hormone in the late 90s and lost his job because he put our interests before the money-making interest of large drug companies. Here's a nice memoriam.
6. Canada’s New Food Guide: Environmental sustainability is key now for the guide. This wasn't always the case... Here's an interesting article about the history and evolution of this well-known document.
7. Burning Bunker Fuel: It’s hard to fathom, but according to this, 16 of the world largest ships burning this fuel can produce as much lung-clogging pollution as all the world’s cars!?! That’s why such a ship burning in the South China Sea is such a problem… The cargo oil is not the biggest problem. The real problem is the oil that drives the ship. Its current and potential harm is mammoth!
8. Green Burials: This fascinating idea, addresses a very basic issue: what is the environmentally rational way to deal with our physical remains after death? The Good Green Death Project, which involves composting the human remains and using the resulting soil to plant a new tree, or scatter them in a forest or pollinator-friendly meadow, answers that. For further reading, check out the site above or this Seattle-based one!
9. The Vatican on Climate Change: If there ever were a clear and unadorned call to action, directed at any and all physicians and other health care professionals, this is it.
FROM EVIDENCE FOR DEMOCRACY
1. Science Oriented Initiatives:
a) Skills Training for Scientists. Interested in how you can leverage social media to communicate about science? Register for their first webinar of 2018 for FREE! Details are here.
b) Ensuring Budget 2018 Includes Science: Take the government’s survey and let them know you value science and want to see funds to support it. Be sure to hop on twitter too and let Minister Morneau your thoughts using the #YourBudget2018 hashtags. And for even more, go here.
c) Starting EfD's 2018 Outreach in Local Communities: EfD is gearing up to host the next round of March for Science events to highlight the crucial role science plays in our lives in Canada and around the world. Interested in getting involved? Email Suman!
FROM CANADIAN FRESHWATER ALLIANCE
1. Rain as a Resource: Green Communities Canada and the Canadian Freshwater Alliance are seeking participants for a Community of Practice (CoP) to advance uptake of green infrastructure in communities across Canada. Participants gain access to coaching, materials, funding opportunities, and co-learning from a network of individuals and organizations across the country. If you are interested, please fill out this form.
2. Urban Watersheds Threatened: This new report, based on input from urban watershed practitioners throughout the province, shows challenges local governments are faced with when trying to achieve urban watershed sustainability. It outlines a series of supports and interventions that could be developed under the province’s new water legislation to help address the problem.
3. Acidification of Freshwater. The scientific community has long been aware of the effects of atmospheric carbon on the acidification of oceans, but a new study, looking at pH levels in four freshwater bodies in Germany, suggests that it could also be linked to rising acidification of freshwater.
4. Pollutants in Water and Fish: A new study by researchers at McMaster University has shown that pollutants in watercourses require fish to expend more energy and oxygen to get by, meaning they require more nutrients just to stay alive. Read more about the study here.
Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck