Happy Birthday Dr.David Suzuki!

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Environment, good news, Vancouver

david suzki

Canada’s most celebrated and well known activist. scientist and multi media star turns 80 years old today!

 

Thank you for your tireless work to raise awareness about environmental stewardship; oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, and sustainability

 

World Water Day & B.C.’s Water Act

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, green living, Vancouver

Originally published March 22, 2011

Today around the world people will demonstrate, write blog posts, think and talk about the issues surrounding water.  Lack of water, the polluting of it,  bottling  it, public water ways sold  for profit.  Indeed there is a lot of interest in the water in our own backyards.

As another World Water Day  arrives the time has never been better to consider the state of water,  in our taps  and around the world.  In Canada we are flanked by two Oceans and have the most fresh water, and best drinking water in the world.   We also have a pressing need to protect this natural resource that is our heritage and human right.

The Council of Canadians, a group of citizens that supports social action, urges Canadians to protect the water that belongs to all of us. They have  issued an  action alert a call out to British Coloumbians to take notice of the governments plans to modernise the water act.

Alarming propositions like the introduction of a Water Market that  would deregulate controls over who uses the water and for what. Removing any prioritising of water  for the  people of this province.  This is our natural resource. How it will be managed, and who, if anyone, should profit from the use of it needs to be determined.  There is a world water forum being held in Brussels, and also currently under negotiation is a trade agreement, much like NAFTA,  with the EU that would  givve access to the rivers of B.C. as part of the deal as well.

Who should have access to this water? If it is a human right we can not keep it all for ourselves, but surely we realise the absolute need to protect our own access to this water. The water in British Columbia belongs to the people, animals and plants who live here. It is ours and not for sale to the highest bidder.  Protecting this resources is our responsibility. Any government or individuals who would stand to profit from this process does not act in the best interest of it’s citizens.

Fraser River 2010 Sapperton Landing

Fraser River 2010 Sapperton Landing

TAKE ACTION

*A  provincial Water Act was  introduced in 2012.  Tell the BC government that you do not want the introduction of a water market to allocate water under the new Water Act. Ask the government to support an allocation system that provides hierarchy of use prioritizing ecological and social needs.

1) Though the ability for resident’s to engage has be significantly limited in recent months you are able to engage with the process by posting to the ‘Living Water Smart’ blog: (http://blog.gov.bc.ca/livingwatersmart/) or email ian.graeme@gov.bc.ca.

2)  With the political uncertainty surrounding this process, it is extremely important to raise this issue during the leadership races of all the political parties and to demand that candidates make a commitment to preventing a water market from being introduced in any future legislation. Contact your local MLA today and make sure that all leadership candidates make their position clear.

*From the Council of Canadians Website.

Occupy Vancouver – One year later

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, Vancouver

I was back at the Vancouver Art Gallery  today on the one year anniversary of Occupy Vancouver. There were a few dozen people, it was raining as usual for an October Monday. I could see there was a tent set up, and as I got closer I saw a camera man filming someone playing a large Cello or other string instrument. I started talking to someone who had some papers to hand out. She was representing a “Working Group” that had formed from the meetings of Occupy Vancouver. It was the Environmental Justice work group. Occupy Vancouver has work groups that meet regularly!

  This video was made about the Movement, and how it started on October 15th 2011.


In the video someone is engaging the crowd and quotes the dearly departed leader of the Opposition, Jack Layton; his words are inspiring and very fitting for the Occupy Movement and a call to action for Canadians and people for change everywhere.

My friends, love is better than anger.

Hope is better than fear.

Optimism is better than despair.

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.

From Occupy Vancouver October 15th 2011

“if we do nothing it will all be gone”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, green living, Vancouver

Shallow Waters

These are the words of Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a ten year old North Vancouver First Nations girl. She, along with her singing coach, wrote this moving song in protest of the proposed Enbridge Pipelines One pipeline would carry 525,000 barrels per day of Alberta tar sands crude oil westward to a new oil tanker port at Kitimat. The other would carry condensate – a lighter petroleum product used to dilute bitumen – eastward for use in transporting the tar sands crude oil.

The Alberta Tar Sands are the world’s dirtiest industrial project. It is also the largest  single source of Greenhouse Gas on the planet. Greenpeace and the environmental activist group Wilderness Committee have spoken up against the plans of mega corporation Enbridge. Bringing hundreds of tankers to the pristine coastal shores of British Columbia has the potential to be devastating. There is no way to ensure the safety of these oil tankers and the billions of dollars of damage, not to mention the loss of animal and marine life would be insurmountable.

Exporting raw crude oil to refineries over seas will lead to a loss of national energy security, and Canadian jobs.

The Coast Salish people have already said they do not approve of this pipeline. Ta’Kaiya’s sings that “if we do nothing it will all be goneShe is referring to our natural heritage, clean water and air, she is right.

The powerful oil industry has its plans, and is responsible to its stock holders first and the environment last. It is up to each of us;  Canadians, Environmentalist around the world, People who care about clean water,air, and marine life, as well as the health of the planet. Now is the time for us to be heard.

Say “no tanks and join with others who want to help create a sustainable future.

One young girl has tried to make a difference. She will inspire others to action. We all have a voice, choose to use it and help stop the pipelines and oil tankers and protect the worlds coasts.

Save Our Earth

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, Vancouver

 Earth Day 2012 –  Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C.

Occupy Vancouver _ today’s experience.

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Environment, Vancouver

I was down at the the Occupy Vancouver movement  on the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery again today. It was a nice day, dry, and my six year old daughter Ava was with me. We made a donation to the food tent, Girl Guide cookies, of which we have an ample supply. We walked around the “tent city” and visited the healing tent and free people’s library. Then Ava had to climb the stairs all the way to the lion and sit on the outer most ledge, for the “best view”.

We made our way back down to the fountain and someone gave us some side walk chalk. We proceeded to draw stars and flowers and  a hop scotch. Other people joined us and we all decorated some of the concrete there. Lots of people mingled around. Many people were eating, dogs and  poy spinners were there, an especially good roller skater was doing some tricks,  there was music playing. People were arriving and setting up signs and posters. People in business suites where there, people in ripped, dirty camouflage were there.

The place had a feeling about it that was part carnival, part camping comradery, and part exciting platform of change.

That is what is going on at Occupy Vancouver.

What does a movement that will change history look like?  This.  If you accept we are already  living in a new paradigm.  If you have been waiting for a message to arrive there couldn’t be a clearer one. People want change. We can’t continue to marginalise people and stand by while corporate greed is rewarded.

While I was on the Occupy Vancouver grounds I was approached by a member of the media. A female reporter and her camera man came over and asked me if I would answer some questions. Always happy to give my opinion I agreed.

It turns out the “Santa Clause Parade” which is known as the “Rogers Santa Clause Parade” in Vancouver,  has decided to move the route, instead of strolling down the same street that currently is the domain of the Occupy Movement. I was asked how I personally felt about the route being moved ” being this is the biggest fundraiser for the food bank of the year” somehow implying that this movement was impeding the collection of donations? I was also told my presence there was representing the 99%, and I corrected her with the fact that I was only representing my self there.

. The reporter told me some people “would not feel comfortable bringing their children there.”   I couldn’t think fast enough of all the clever retorts I could come up with over the next few hours. I was able to say  it felt like a safe place to me, I had my child there.  It seemed to me they didn’t need to reroute in my opinion. But the implied fact was we couldn’t let the families see people and tents in the middle of a cold and damp November day.Apparently  that does not make happy shoppers!?

What is the message?  They are not going away.  All People deserve to be treated equally.  A corporation is not a person, and should not be pandered to by our “elected officials” and others who stand to profit at the expense of our environment,the rights of people, jobs , food security, biodiversity and the list goes on.

What the reporter failed to realise is that the food bank exits for the very people who are out protesting the state of world affairs. The irony that this parade and food collection can not co-exist on the same street as the Occupy Vancouver movement goes to show how narrow minded people still are. It is time to rise up and Occupy some deep thoughts about the kind of world we are creating.

 

World Food Day – October 16th

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, Food Security, Vancouver

October 16th is World Food Day.  Developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of The United Nations, the purpose is to raise awareness about food security issues, agriculture, poverty and hunger around the world.

Each year a different focus is taken in an attempt to encourage dialogue, highlight areas of concern, and as a call to action. In 2011 the theme is Food Prices -From Crisis to Stability. Food Security is on the minds of everybody these days. From shopping local at farmers markets and growing food in community gardens, to  buying sustainable and fairly traded foods.  The media is saturated with stories and images about hunger, from the horn of Africa to our local elementary schools.The story is the same, poverty leads to food insecurity and in the poorest nations, death.

Yesterday I went down town to Occupy Vancouver, to stand in solidarity, and bear witness to this important movement.

What do the Occupy Protests have to do with food security?  The movement is a voice for us all, it is students, and families and seniors. It is the unemployed, and the underemployed. It is a global call to action for every person who feels the system needs to change, starting now.Occupy Wall Street is the direct result of the dissatisfaction felt by  millions of people.

The issues are varied, but one message is clear; We can not continue to consume and exploit natural resources.

The famine that exists today is a direct result of greed. Will we allow this to continue?  Sometimes these issues seem far away and we can feel overwhelmed and helpless to make a difference. Action speaks louder then words.  Grow some of your own food, volunteer in any capacity working with food. Help people in your own neighbourhood, donate to local food banks, and organisations around the world that are helping the most vulnerable. You can make a difference.

Food or Fuel ?

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, general info, green living, Vancouver

Is there a food crisis looming?

If you read the news online you can find numerous stories warning that the yes a real food crisis does exist and may in fact be worse then has been predicted.

Climate change leading to extreme weather events like flooding and droughts, and massive soil erosion have left farmers the world over scrambling to produce a stable food supply.

A few months back the USDA fully deregulated genetically engineered (GE) corn that is grown in the United States. This is considered to be an industrial crop and not for human consumption but grown to become Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol.

It is estimated that ONE THIRD of the corn grown in America today is not for FOOD but for FUEL

As world food prices continue to rise, even where yields are at record highs,  the worlds  poorest nations continue to suffer the most. A change in the worlds climate  has created a market of uncertainty and food insecurity.

Growing  food for fuel is controversial. Growing genetically engineered crops for fuel could be considered immoral and, at the least, is a dangerous guessing game when it comes to maintaining a diverse organic seed supply. The fear is that corn grown as biofuel will contaminate food crops with irreversible consequences. Can we really afford to take these kind of risks with our food supply?

There are alternatives like recycled biodiesel, and in fact most major cities,including Vancouver has a bioDiesel co-op!

Made from recycled vegetable oils collected from restaurants, this is true recycling.

There are no modifications needed for a diesel engine to run on this fuel.

So why is there even a need to grow new crops for oil?

These are the questions that we should be asking.

The decisions we make each day when it comes to the food we eat, and the fuel we deem necessary may become an even hotter topic to debate as the prices at the grocery store continue to rise.

350.org

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Environment, general info, green living, Vancouver

A truly green Christmas tree

Posted by: admin  :  Category: B.C., Environment, good news, green gardening, green living, Vancouver

Many people are turning away from the petroleum based artificial trees that, just a generation ago, seemed like the most environmentally friendly option available.

If you are looking for an Eco Friendly option for a Christmas tree this year I recommend checking out this local company. Evergrow Christmas Tree Company.

Evergrow Christmas Tree Co was started by two UBC forestry grads, and specialise in delivering live trees to people who want a greener option for the holiday season.

I first learned about this option in May when I was volunteering at EPIC, the sustainable living expo held annually in downtown Vancouver.  I was in the “kids zone” as usual, making Christmas decorations with the kids!

Evergrow offers trees for homes, business and events. They even offer cut trees if you desire one bigger then 7 feet. The trees are grown locally and the cut one are collected and converted into biofuel. They will even lend you a tree stand and set it up if you wish. No more needles dropping, worrying about the tree dying up or  what to do with it after the 26th.

If you order online you can save 10%  So shop local, save a tree, and go really  green this Christmas!

evergrow tree at EPIC 2010

evergrow tree at EPIC 2010