CA News



Contents

  1. 1 July 2, 2020
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 1.2 Einstein would not be amused with Matt MacKay - The Eastern Graphic article by Paul MacNeill
    3. 1.3 No federal funding for exploration drilling off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador - Council of Canadians
  2. 2 July 1, 2020
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  3. 3 June 30, 2020
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 3.2 The 100-Mile Diet, 15 Years Later - The Tyee article by David Beers, founding editor
  4. 4 June 29, 2020
    1. 4.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 4.2 Just 6% of UK public 'want a return to pre-pandemic economy' - The Guardian (UK) article by Kate Proctor
    3. 4.3 Atlantic Skies for June 29th-July 5th, 2020  - by Glenn K. Roberts
  5. 5 June 28, 2020
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 5.2 How Nova Scotia naturalists forced the province to uphold its Endangered Species Act - The National Observer article by Zack Metcalfe
  6. 6 June 27, 2020
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 6.2 Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere - The New York Times article by Coral Davenport
  7. 7 June 26, 2020
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 7.2 GUEST OPINION: Council gives in to developer's wish list - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Doug MacArthur
  8. 8 June 25, 2020
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 8.2 GUEST OPINION: How little is enough? - The Guardian Guest opinion by Catherine O’Brien,
    3. 8.3 Roundup Maker to Pay $10 Billion to Settle Cancer Suits - The New York Times article by Patricia Cohen
  9. 9 June 24, 2020
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 9.2 Former planning expert says Charlottetown will regret approving eight-storey apartment on waterfront - The Guardian article by Dave Stewart
  10. 10 June 23, 2020
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  11. 11 June 22, 2020
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 11.2 Atlantic Skies for June 22- 28 - How Big Are the Planets? by Glenn K. Roberts
  12. 12 June 21, 2020
    1. 12.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  13. 13 June 20, 2020
    1. 13.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 13.2 GUEST OPINION: The time for change is now - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Adam Fenech
  14. 14 June 19, 2020
    1. 14.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 14.2 Calling for a Moratorium on Holding Ponds
  15. 15 June 18, 2020
    1. 15.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 15.2 Group demonstrates at new Shamrock holding pond while farmers say they have followed all regulations - The Guardian article by Jason Simmonds
  16. 16 June 17, 2020
    1. 16.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 16.2 Letter to the Premier about the lack of controls on pumping groundwater and holding ponds: The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water
  17. 17 June 16, 2020
    1. 17.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  18. 18 June 15, 2020
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 18.2 Proportional Representation alive in PEI one year later - The Eastern Graphic Op ED
    3. 18.3 Atlantic Skies for June 15th-June 21st, 2020 - by Glenn K. Roberts
  19. 19 June 14, 2020
    1. 19.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 19.2 LETTER: Pandemic has shown serious need to redistribute wealth - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
    3. 19.3 AquaBounty eyes international expansion - CBC News article by Kevin Yarr,
  20. 20 June 13, 2020
    1. 20.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 20.2 GUEST OPINION: Protect Royalty Oaks Natural Area - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Rosemary Curley
  21. 21 June 12, 2020
    1. 21.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 21.2 Pandemic delays midwifery plans for P.E.I. - The Guardian article
    3. 21.3 Greens raise questions about holding pond in Shamrock, P.E.I. - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby
  22. 22 June 11, 2020
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 22.2 ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
    3. 22.3 LETTER: What is a ‘vacant lot’? - The Guardian Letter to the Editor
  23. 23 June 10, 2020
    1. 23.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  24. 24 June 9, 2020
    1. 24.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 24.2 What and When is Twilight? - by Glenn K. Roberts
  25. 25 June 8, 2020
    1. 25.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 25.2 Opposition steps into COVID spotlight - The Eastern Graphic article by Paul MacNeil
  26. 26 June 7, 2020
    1. 26.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 26.2 Returning to normal after pandemic isn’t good enough - David Suzuki Foundation article by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington
    3. 26.3 Bees, berries, and business - Island Farmer article by Ian Petrie
  27. 27 June 6, 2020
    1. 27.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  28. 28 June 5, 2020
    1. 28.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 28.2 LETTER: BIG answers - The Guardian Letter to the Editor by Marie Burge
  29. 29 June 4, 2020
    1. 29.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 29.2 P.E.I.'s Public Library Service reopens with new curbside pickup model - CBC News Online
  30. 30 June 3, 2020
    1. 30.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 30.2 Covid-19 has given us the chance to build a low-carbon future - The Guardian (U.K.) article by Christiana Figueres
  31. 31 June 2, 2020
    1. 31.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  32. 32 June 1, 2020
    1. 32.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 32.2 The Sun Goes on Vacation - column by Glenn K. Roberts for Saltwire publications

July 2, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

The Provincial ban on plastic bags has been in effect for one year this week.

P.E.I. Legislature sits today, 2-5PM and 7-9PM.  The afternoon session, after Question Period and the usual orders, is left for the Opposition Parties to determine what is to be discussed.

A "Watch Live" link opens on the front page of the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

and Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

If the MLAs are going through the Provincial Operating Budget for 2020-2021, you can follow along with the link to the document at this page from Government:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/finance/provincial-budget-operating-budget

--------------------------
Culture on-line:

Stratford Festival at Home rotates their line-up Thursdays, with Hamlet leaving tonight and Antony and Cleopatra joining.   The Adventures of Pericles and King John are on demand. 
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome
-------

Metropolitan Opera
I forgot to mention yesterday, but still available until 6:30PM tonight:
Dmitri Shostakovich, The Nose: Paulo Szot stars as Kovalyov in Shostakovich’s absurdist opera. Pavel Smelkov conducts an impressive ensemble cast that also features tenor Alexander Lewis as the Nose and tenor Andrey Popov as the Police Inspector. T
More details here.

Thursday, July 2nd
Bizet’s Carmen, 
7:30PM Thursday until Friday about 6:30PM
Starring Anita Hartig, Anita Rachvelishvili, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ildar Abdrazakov, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. From November 1, 2014.

https://www.metopera.org/


Paul MacNeill's commentary: http://www.peicanada.com/eastern_graphic/einstein-would-not-be-amused-with-matt-mackay/article_f701a23e-bad4-11ea-9c09-4b7cf4532eed.html?

Einstein would not be amused with Matt MacKay - The Eastern Graphic article by Paul MacNeill

Published on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020, in The Graphic newspapers

"Insanity,” Einstein said, “is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The famed physicist wasn’t talking about PEI’s continued failure to deliver effective rural internet, but he could have been.

For 20 years governments of both Liberal and Conservative persuasion have promised the world to rural residents and delivered a spinning circle of frustration. Internet speeds in large swaths of the province remain an inadequate joke, despite throwing tens of millions of dollars at big telcos to fix it.

And like Einstein’s definition, with each failure we keep going back to the same corporations whose elevated promises enrich corporate pockets, but never match the hype.

We were at it again last week when Minister of Economic Growth and Tourism Matt MacKay announced a two year delay - there’s a big surprise - in what was supposed to be a three year $37 million federal-provincial investment guaranteed to solve all our problems. Announced in March 2019 by the former Liberal government, the agreement promised to connect 30,000 residents to high-speed internet.

Well, it turns out the sole-sourced contract with Bell and Xplornet, who promised to invest an equal amount to government, was far from a done deal. It was not until earlier this year that the King government signed on the dotted line, a decision history is unlikely to look fondly upon.

We also learned a $2 million a year, five-year fund, thrown in after outrage from the Island’s small but vibrant internet provider community, has been virtually ignored by the very Island companies intended to benefit. MacKay’s department failed to make the fund relevant to the needs of Island corporations.

And the reason is a chronic departmental bias toward Island internet providers while playing cosy with corporations that show little interest in the well-being of Islanders. Xplornet is no longer the New Brunswick founded service provider that grew exponentially over the last decade. It’s now owned by an American hedge fund. Bell consistently delivers one of the worst customer service experiences in the country. It’s a company that promises to solve rural internet issues but can’t figure out how to have its customer service representatives deal with both an internet and cellphone issue in the same call.

In May, MacKay’s department issued an RFP to manage internet services to provincial parks. The document was delivered May 19, with a deadline for questions of May 22, deadline for addenda May 26 and completed proposals by May 29. The province offered no latitude on the installation deadline of this June.

You can see why Island internet providers don’t trust MacKay’s department.

How can the PEI government let Bell and Xplornet off the hook for two years, effectively penalizing Islanders to unnecessary delay, but can’t extend a deadline (the RFP was dropped with no warning) allowing local service providers an opportunity to even submit a bid.

This type of approach is all too common within the bureaucracy charged with improving internet capacity. They would prefer to waste more money on ‘solutions’ that are invariably delayed and under-whelming. It was reported last week that Xplornet has yet to start installation work for the rural high-speed project.

It’s not been the best spring session for the Official Opposition, but Green leader Peter Bevan-Baker is bang on questioning why the King government is following the same failed strategy of multiple Liberal governments. By the time Bell gets around to delivering passable high speed internet, it will look like dial up compared to most other regions of the country and world.

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, is doing more to improve rural internet than Bell and Xplornet combined. Currently there are 538 broadband internet satellites circling the globe. Eventually there will be 30,000. Musk has applied to supply 5G internet starting within a year and rural Canada is a priority market.

This is a game changer. Peter Bevan-Baker is right. Rip up the agreement with Bell and Xplornet. It’s time to eliminate bureaucratic bias and tunnel vision and support local internet providers through partnerships built on honesty and trust before it’s too late.

Paul MacNeill is Publisher of Island Press Limited. He can be contacted at paul@peicanada.com

---------------------
Most of us totally agree with supporting local internet providers....whether to trust Elon Musk, and his "vision" which looks like it includes blotting the night sky with satellites for internet service and at what cost to the consumer...is another story


from the Council of Canadians, keeping an eye on what we must promote and protect -- long but informative!
https://canadians.org/update/no-federal-funding-exploration-drilling-coast-newfoundland-and-labrador

No federal funding for exploration drilling off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador - Council of Canadians

Open Letter

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

To: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Cc: Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister
Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Natural Resources
Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada Minister
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Re: No federal funding for exploration drilling off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador

Dear Prime Minister,

We would like to commend you and your government on your leadership during this time of unprecedented crisis and for the swift actions you have taken to support Canadians during the COVID-19 outbreak. We share a deep concern about the health and economic costs that the virus is inflicting in Canada and around the world and we express our solidarity with all Canadians at this difficult time, particularly those who are most vulnerable and most in need of assistance. Your government's economic response plan is an important first step in helping to address the pressing needs of Canadians.

We are concerned, however, by reports that the government is considering major financial incentives to boost offshore exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Subsidizing oil and gas exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador would make it virtually impossible for the province, or Canada, to meet its climate commitments.
  • There is a lack of public trust in the offshore oil and gas industry due to an absence of safety oversight and the fact that the regulatory playing field is significantly tilted in favour of industry.
  • Public investments into a volatile industry during a time of low oil prices would be highly speculative and extremely risky.
  • Canada is already falling short on its commitment to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador desperately needs investment to ensure the wellbeing of its most vulnerable people and the resiliency of its economy in a zero-carbon future.
  • There is very strong public opposition across the country to providing even more subsidies to the oil and gas sector as demonstrated by letters, petitions, and other public outcry on the topic, including this open letter to the President of Memorial University.
  • Indigenous peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador have not been dutifully consulted nor have they given their free, prior, and informed consent to the expansion of the offshore oil and gas industry on their unceded lands and waters. These two principles are a central part of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which your government has committed.

Subsidies to oil and gas exploration are incompatible with climate commitments

Subsidizing oil and gas exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time would make it virtually impossible for the province, or Canada, to meet its climate commitments. The province's stated plan to double oil and gas production by 2030 to 237 million barrels each year could create an alarming 6.1MT of annual upstream carbon emissions.1 The province's stated emissions target for 2030 is 6.9MT - a significant reduction from the 2017 real emissions of 10.5MT. Annual oil and gas production would occupy up to 88 per cent of that emissions target and require almost complete decarbonization of the rest of the economy in order to meet it. In other words, oil and gas expansion is incompatible with stated provincial emissions reduction target.

A lack of public trust and oversight due to regulatory capture

Additionally, the oil and gas industry in the Atlantic is surrounded by significant regulatory uncertainty and lack of public faith. There have been four large spills of oil and drilling muds and one life-endangering accident in the last two years, including a spill of 250,000 L of crude oil. Additionally, recommendations to create a separate safety oversight board for the offshore oil and gas industry have not been implemented. This recommendation resulted from the inquiry following the Cougar helicopter crash in 2009, and has been supported by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The regional environmental impact assessment regarding exploratory drilling in Newfoundland and Labrador has been heavily criticised as a rushed and inadequate process and is now the subject of a judicial review. The problems with this regional assessment have been further compounded with the recent release of a ministerial regulation based on that assessment.

In Nova Scotia, communities are calling for a moratorium and public inquiry into the offshore oil and gas industry because the regulatory playing field favours the oil and gas industry over communities and other existing industries. Twelve municipal governments have called for an independent public inquiry, and more than 68 500 Canadians have supported that call.

A volatile industry with boom and bust cycles is not compatible with a resilient future

In addition to this regulatory instability, the offshore oil and gas industry is surrounded with economic instability. It is not the responsibility of the federal government to finance the oil and gas industry, particularly now when the economic case for higher cost offshore Atlantic oil is weak due to historically low oil prices, which may remain depressed for the foreseeable future.

The volatility Newfoundland and Labrador is experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, while grander in scope, is not entirely new to the province.

Oil and gas royalties have fluctuated significantly in the last decade, reaching more than $2.5B in 2011 and dipping to nearly $500M since 2015. When the average annual price of a barrel of oil drops by $1, the province loses approximately $30 million in revenue. The boom and bust cycle of the industry cannot be sustained, and does not create the conditions for a resilient, fair, low-carbon future.

Canada falling short on international commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies

Canada already has substantial work to do in terms of meeting its G7 and G20 commitments to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. A report released last week shows that Canada is the second largest provider of public finance to oil and gas in the G20. The federal government has already allocated $75 million to Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore oil and gas industry to help reduce methane emissions. The response to COVID-19 requires unprecedented support for workers in industries such as the oil and gas sector, but this support should neither introduce nor entrench subsidies that hinder our urgently needed transition away from fossil fuels. The response must build a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is rooted in justice, equity, and resilience.

Invest in a resilient economy by supporting clean industries, fisheries and tourism

Leading economists around the world have been publicly calling for climate-friendly stimulus policies. Investment in a resilient economy that provides good opportunities for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is badly needed, and that resilience cannot come through subsidies to this industry. Instead of financing oil and gas exploration, we believe investments should be made in creating stable, long-term jobs in the low-carbon economy of the future.

There are real opportunities to invest in renewable industries that can provide good jobs for people across the province. For example, the province has some of the highest wind energy potential in North America and yet support for this industry pales in comparison to that of the oil and gas sector. Investments in energy efficiency would also address ballooning electricity rates and put people to work across the province. In addition to these emerging industries, the ocean's renewable resources already provide tens of thousands of jobs in Atlantic Canada and billions of dollars in economic activity through fisheries and tourism. These industries are a mainstay of most Atlantic communities and are put at direct risk by continued offshore oil and gas development.

It is important to acknowledge that we do not include megahydro project as part of the clean energy transition we are calling for. The Lower Churchill Hydro Project (phase 1 – Muskrat Falls) has been described by Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall as a "boondoggle," and has had serious negative impacts on the local predominantly Indigenous community and to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. We do not consider phase 2 of this project (Gull Island), or any other megahydro project, as part of a transition to a resilient and sustainable future.

This is a critical time for Canada and the world. How governments choose to respond to the COVID-19 crisis will either amplify or help mitigate global threats such as the climate emergency and growing inequality and will determine whether the worst impacts can be avoided. Canada is committed to a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, alongside ambitious short-term targets. You now have a crucial opportunity to champion solutions that will not only help rebuild lives and businesses; they will help accelerate Canada's urgently needed transition to a resilient, prosperous, low-carbon country. Financial stimulus is critically needed, but it must be invested wisely and fairly. Short-term solutions that serve to prop up a declining industry will only increase emissions and further degrade nature and social stability at a time when the world is rapidly trying to decarbonize. The pathway to carbon neutrality does not include subsidies or bailouts for the offshore oil industry.

Sincerely,

Coalition for a Green New Deal NL
Social Justice Co-operative NL
Nick Mercer, Decarbonize NL
John Jacobs, St. John's Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Simon Hofman, Memorial University Climate Action Coalition
Denise Cole, Labrador Land Protectors
Roberta Benefiel, Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Inc.
Marion Moore, Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia
John Davis, Clean Ocean Action Committee, Nova Scotia
Robin Tress, Council of Canadians
Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Jordy Thomson, Ecology Action Centre
Julia Levin, Environmental Defence Canada
Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada
André-Yanne Parent, The Climate Reality Project Canada
Caroline Brouillette, Equiterre
Keith Stewart, Greenpeace Canada
Adam Scott, Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health
Amelia Meister, SumOfUs
Tzeporah Berman, Stand.Earth
Bronwen Tucker, Oil Change International
Lyn Adamson, ClimateFast
Janis Alton, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

1 Sierra Club Canada Foundation comments on the draft report for the regional assessment of the offshore oil and gas exploratory drilling east of Newfoundland and Labrador, February 21 2020.

-30-


Global Chorus essay for July 2
Sandra Postel

In a world divided by race, tribe, gender, religion and so much more, it is easy to forget that water connects us all. The molecules of H2O that comprise 60 per cent of each of us have circulated across space and time throughout the ages. They move through the air, the trees, the birds and bees, and through you and me – and may have quenched a dinosaur’s thirst so very long ago.

So, yes, there is hope. It is that we will come to know that the soft rain and flowing water are undeserved but precious gifts of life – gifts to be shared among all living things. And that this knowing will unite us in humbly taking our place in the planet’s great cycles with respect for all that is, has ever been, and ever will be.

If we let it, this knowing changes everything. As I reach to buy a cotton shirt, I think of the plants and insects whose existence might have been sustained by the seven hundred gallons of water consumed to make that shirt, and I retract my arm, go home filled with gratitude, and enjoy the evening birdsong with new depths of pleasure.

     — Sandra Postel,  director of the Global Water Policy Project,  Freshwater Fellow with the National Geographic Society

http://www.globalwaterpolicy.org/

------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

July 1, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Happy Canada Day!


a cake from a previous Bonshaw Canada Day celebration

Music this morning:
World Premiere on CBC: Prayer, from Symphony Nova Scotia (details below)
7:45AM on CBC Radio One, as well as online at
CBC Music
Featuring musicians from across Canada, including Rachel Desoer and Max Kasper
--------------------------
My Local Food
Faux Pas:

There is no Heartbeet Organic ordering or pickup today, as they and their storefront (The Farmacy) are close for the holiday.

AND, just when some of us get the hang of on-line ordering Wednesday for Saturday pickup, ;-) the Charlottetown Farmers' Market is opening for real this Saturday morning, July 4th, with outdoor vendors, but there is no on-line pickup this Saturday (as they will move to another pick-up schedule): 

edited from their notice:
the Charlottetown Farmers' Market Co-operative is back for the summer with an open-air market.

Launching July 4th, the Market will be set-up in the parking area of the CFM at 100 Belvedere.
*Market-goers will be asked to park at the adjacent UPEI parking lot.
*Operating hours are 9am to 12pm. 
*Due to new health protocols, we will not be admitting any patrons before 9am (i.e. no early birds please!). 


The new market space will feature +30 vendors set up around the perimeter of the parking lot.  Physical distancing measures have been put in place and staff will be on-site to direct you. Hand sanitizer stations will also be on-site. 


and this from their website:
*** OUR ORDER PERIODS HAVE CHANGED! WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING ONLINE ORDERS FROM SATURDAY (STARTING JULY 4TH) TO MONDAY. PICK UP WILL BE ON THURSDAYS.***
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/Index

---------------

Presumably, Maple Bloom Farm is continuing to coordinate 
Eat Local PEI, with orders due by midnight tonight for pickup (or limited area delivery) on late Saturday afternoon.
https://www.localline.ca/eatlocalpei
 


There is a lot of P.E.I. and national music today, and here is some

Canada Day music, from Symphony Nova Scotia and others
from their website
https://symphonynovascotia.ca/

July 1, 2020 marks Canada's 153rd birthday, and we'd like to wish you a safe and happy celebration! There are still plenty of festivities to enjoy while we all practice social distancing, and here are two we're excited about!

World Premiere on CBC: Prayer
7:45 am on CBC Radio One, as well as online at
CBC Music
Featuring musicians from across Canada, including Rachel Desoer and Max Kasper

Join renowned Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and 36 musicians from 28 Canadian orchestras for the world premiere of JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung's Prayer.
This exciting premiere features two Symphony Nova Scotia musicians: our own Principal Cello Rachel Desoer and Principal Bass Max Kasper!
You can listen on CBC Music's Tempo with host Julie Nesrallah, and on CBC Radio One at 7:45 am local time with host Stephen Quinn as part of the Canada Day radio special Extraordinary Times: Canada Day 2020. You can also watch at cbc.ca/music

Halifax-Dartmouth Virtual Canada Day Celebration
7:00 pm on Facebook and YouTube
Halifax's 2020 Canada Day celebration is going online! Watch special guests from throughout Halifax – including our friends Jah'Mila, Ben Caplan, Reeny Smith, Joel Plaskett, and many more in this live virtual Canada Day concert!
You can tune in to watch the concert on HRM's YouTube page or HRM's Civic Events Facebook page. You can also watch on TV, courtesy of Eastlink. To learn more, visit Discover Halifax's website.
 

 More details of their online encores:
https://symphonynovascotia.ca/learn/online-encores/


Global Chorus essay for July 1 
Olivia Chow


"Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.  So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Those words from Jack Layton’s last message to Canadians inspired people across the country. It was a message of hope – and, more important, it was a call to action. Hope itself – blind hope, is not enough. We can’t just hope that somebody else will take care of our problems. Hope is not a strategy. We must work to make hope a reality. That is the major reason I was drawn to a career in politics – to help bring people together and work for change.

We know that we must change direction – in Canada and in our world – because right now, we are on a collision course with disaster. The signs are clear – from the unprecedented flooding that devastated Calgary in 2013, to the horrendous typhoon that ravaged the Philippines. But we can change course. We can take action. We can give the next generation reason to hope.

There are so many things we could achieve – a national public transit strategy would be a good start. That’s something I have been promoting for years, because public transit is a cornerstone of both social equality and sustainability. Civic leaders and municipalities and business groups are all singing the same tune now; only the federal Conservative government remains deaf on this issue.

Ultimately, the government will change course – or people will get together and work and vote to change the government. It will happen.

Will something as basic as public transit in Canada change the world? Nothing will, in isolation. But changing course will – and bringing people together with a common mission. People will join the chorus if they see reason to hope.

When enough voices join the chorus, no government can turn a deaf ear. You can’t do it solo. By joining your voice with others, the voice becomes strong. The music soars. Eventually, everyone will hear. The lone voice may be lost. The global chorus will be heard.

— Olivia Chow, (former) Member of Parliament for Trinity-Spadina (Toronto, Canada)

----------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 30, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

The P.E.I. Legislature resumes sitting today, 2-5PM and 7-9PM.  

You can watch at the Assembly website: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
(a "Watch Live" link opens on the front page)

and Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

Some more details of Question Period transcripts and other information and materials at the Assembly website:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
Budget, holding ponds, the Emergency Powers discussion are all probably happening this week.  Presumably, they will not sit tomorrow, Canada Day.  Question Period is usually the first hour of the proceedings for the day.

--------------------
Local Farmers' Food this week:

Eat Local PEI has the deadline of 11:59PM Wednesday for pick-up or delivery late afternoon Saturday.  More details at:
https://www.localline.ca/eatlocalpei

Charlottetown Farmers' Market "2GO" also takes orders until they reach their maximum number, or 11:59PM Wednesday.
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/

Heart Beet Organics will be at their storefront, Great george Street, from 3-6PM Wednesday.  Pre-orders can be made until noon tomorrow for pickup at the store.
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

---------------------------
Met Opera for Tuesday, June 30

Wagner’s Die Walküre, Tuesday 7:30PM until Wednesday about 6:30PM.
Starring Hildegard Behrens, Jessye Norman, and James Morris. From April 8, 1989.  Great "classic staging" with set design by Otto Schenk. 

So this is the second in "Wagner's Ring Cycle", and though long, it moves along with quite the story. 

More at:
https://www.metopera.org/


Review of last week in the P.E.I. Legislature, from the political reporters' and editor's perspective:

Last Friday's (June 26th) CBC Radio Island Morning Political Panel, about 20 minutes:
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-30-island-morning/clip/15784348-political-poli-panel



The title says it all:  https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/06/29/The-100-Mile-Diet-15-Years-Later/

The 100-Mile Diet, 15 Years Later - The Tyee article by David Beers, founding editor

a week long series in The Tyee,
Published on Monday, June 29th, 2020

Authors Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon on asparagus season, a more just local food system, and pandemic gardens of hope. First in a week-long series.

Fifteen years ago, The Tyee launched a series called The 100-Mile Diet written — and lived — by Alisa Smith and James (J.B.) MacKinnon. The idea was simple. Alisa and James were trying to live a year eating only locally-sourced food. The first I heard about it was standing around my barbecue on a sunny day in June 2005, Alisa and James looking on as I grilled some salmon.


Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon in the book jacket photo for The 100-Mile Diet, published in 2007 by Random House after the couple launched the concept with a 2005 series in The Tyee. All this week J.B. MacKinnon will guest edit related special coverage.
Photo: Random House.

They were attending a small backyard party I was hosting for the fledgling Tyee team. Alisa had written the Tyee’s very first cover story on how the BC Liberal government’s weakened child labour laws put kids at risk; James, her partner, was already a well-regarded freelance journalist, too. The two of them listened as I bragged about the Copper River salmon from Alaska I’d procured. I explained I’d paid a premium for those beauties, but I’d probably go to heaven for it because eating sustainably-managed wild salmon was so much better ecologically than farmed salmon. They looked at each other and laughed.

When I asked why, they pointed out that here in B.C. we have our fair share of wild salmon — and it doesn’t have to be flown 2,500 kilometres to land on our plates. They patiently explained that moving food around the globe consumes prodigious amounts of energy and serves to weaken local food security. And that was why lately they’d committed to living only on food grown close to home.

You should write about that, I said. They said they would be glad to. Why not call their experiment “The 100-Mile Diet?”

<SNIP -- rest of the article at the link:>

https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/06/29/The-100-Mile-Diet-15-Years-Later/


Global Chorus essay for June 30
Mark Plotkin


Hope motivates my work. In my 20 years working with indigenous peoples of the Amazon forests, I have watched with horror as great swathes of the jungle have been burned or converted. As we have all learned, the survival of these forests is critical to avoiding the worst effects of global climate change. What once was distressing with respect to irreversible loss of biological diversity is now alarming.

But even after so much depredation, some fourfifths of the original Amazon forest remains. There is still time, and moreover, there is new awareness: awareness of the remarkable synergy that occurs when increasingly novel technologies are integrated with traditional knowledge regarding forest management; awareness of the value of that knowledge, amassed and preserved over thousands of years; and awareness – in classic Margaret Mead terms – of the large-scale changes in conservation and consciousness that can be leveraged from relatively small grassroots groups and communities working passionately with the generous support of those with financial resources. These groups exist in multitudes, and thanks in part to those new technologies, their voice is being heard ever louder on the world stage.

I believe in a positive future that nonetheless will contain many cautionary lessons for new generations: we will be glad for the great forests and ancestral wisdom that we still have, and we will grieve that which we have lost.

   — Mark Plotkin, PhD, co-founder and president of Amazon Conservation Team

https://www.amazonteam.org/about-us/team/

  ----------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 29, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

This Petition is going to be delivered for MLAs to present to the Legislature early this week, so consider signing ASAP if you haven't:
Enact a Moratorium on Holding Ponds on P.E.I.

-------------------------------
Local food deadline today:
Organic Veggie Delivery order deadline, Monday night for Friday delivery. https://www.organicveggiedelivery.com/
Aaron Koleszar (902) 659-2575 or aaron@organicveggiedelivery.com

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Another week of Metropolitan Opera livestreams, daily:
Monday, June 29
Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment
tonight 7:30PM until Tuesday about 6:30PM
Starring Pretty Yende, Stephanie Blythe, Javier Camarena, Maurizio Muraro, and Kathleen Turner, conducted by Enrique Mazzola. From March 2, 2019.  "With one virtuosic vocal display after another, Donizetti’s charming romantic comedy has long served to showcase talented bel canto singers on the Met stage....Yende offers an exuberant portrayal as the titular “Daughter of the Regiment,” while (tenor) Camarena serves up nine effortless high Cs in the opera’s famous aria “Ah! Mes amis … Pour mon âme”—a feat which he encores by popular demand..award-winning actress Kathleen Turner in a featured cameo appearance as the Duchess of Krakenthorp."
https://www.metopera.org/


What some people are thinking "across the pond"  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/28/just-6-of-uk-public-want-a-return-to-pre-pandemic-economy

Just 6% of UK public 'want a return to pre-pandemic economy' - The Guardian (UK) article by Kate Proctor

Exclusive: Poll comes as 350 union, business and religious leaders issue call for fair and green recovery

Published on Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Only 6% of the public want to return to the same type of economy as before the coronavirus pandemic, according to new polling, as trade unions, business groups and religious and civic leaders unite in calling for a fairer financial recovery.

The former head of the civil service Bob Kerslake, the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the heads of the Trades Union Congress, Confederation of British Industry and the British Chambers of Commerce are among 350 influential figures wanting a “fairer and greener” economic rebuilding, and believe there is no going back to the past.

Their call comes as a YouGov poll shows that 31% of people want to see big changes in the way the economy is run coming out of the crisis, with a further 28% wanting to see moderate changes and only 6% of people wanting to see no changes.

It also showed 44% of people were pessimistic when they thought about the future of the economy, while only 27% were optimistic. Forty-nine percent thought the crisis had made inequality worse.

Labour peer Lord Kerslake said: “As the country begins to emerge from the crisis, it is becoming clear that people want a better future, not simply to return to where we were before. As with big crises in the past – from wars to the Great Depression – it was universally agreed that there was no going back.“And so we have to ask deep questions about what kind of society and economy we now want to build. The moment we are in is a challenge to us all: to governments, businesses, civil society and citizens. But it is a challenge to which, together, we can rise and build something better.”

The research, commissioned by the New Economics Foundation, was released at the launch of their “Build Back Better” campaign. Other signatories include David Walker, the bishop of Manchester, Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the bishop of Dover, senior rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, and the heads of Oxfam, Shelter, Save the Children, the Trussell Trust, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Frances Morris, director of the Tate Modern, has also signed up in a personal capacity.

The campaign is calling for an economic recovery that provides more funding for the NHS and social care, tackles inequality, creates good jobs, particularly for young people, and reduces the risk of future pandemics and climate emergencies.

Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, said: “The crisis has revealed a number of harsh truths – that our health and social care services had been under-resourced, and that longstanding inequalities have left too many people vulnerable. But we have seen what can be achieved when we are faced with a crisis – government can spend wisely, at speed and at scale.”

It comes as the Labour party leader, Keir Starmer, directly challenged the prime minister on his pledge to spend billions on the country’s economic recovery, considering the scale of “inaction and broken promises” in the last 10 years of Conservative power.

Starmer pointed out a raft of existing regional inequalities in spending per head for education and health in light of Johnson’s promise to “level up” the economy.

Speaking ahead of the prime minister’s planned speech on the economic recovery on Tuesday, Starmer said: “For much of the country, the Tories’ record on building and investment has been a lost decade.

“Much hyped plans such as the starter homes initiative – which built zero houses despite having £2.3bn allocated to it – barely made it beyond the press release. It’s been talk, talk, talk rather than build, build, build.

“Our recovery from the coronavirus crisis needs to match the scale of the challenge. It must be built on solid foundations. It has to work for the whole country and end the deep injustices across the country.”

The National Audit Office assessed the starter home scheme, which was to provide 200,000 houses for those aged under 40 with a 20%discount. They found legislation to take the project forward was never passed and not a single home of that type was ever built.

Using Treasury figures, Labour poured more cold water on the pledged economic bounceback by highlighting the fact that seven of England’s nine regions had experienced a reduction in public capital investment per person over the past 10 years.

In Yorkshire, the east Midlands and the south-west, investment per person is still less than half that of London. Labour also claimed that all regions had seen a decrease in both health and education investment per person.

-30-


Atlantic Skies for June 29th-July 5th, 2020  - by Glenn K. Roberts

The Swan and the Eagle

As mentioned in last week's article, the Summer Triangle is prominent in the eastern evening sky as darkness falls around 10:00 p.m. The triangle itself is composed of three bright stars from three different constellations.  Two of the three constellations are avian in nature: Cygnus - the Swan, and Aquila - the Eagle.

In Greek mythology, the constellation of Cygnus (from the Latinized Greek meaning "swan") was said to have represented either Zeus, in the form he took when he seduced the Spartan queen Leda (thus the 'Leda and the Swan' story), that union producing the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, plus Helen (the same Helen over whom the Trojan War  was said to have been fought), or the legendary Greek musician and poet, Orpheus, who was transformed into a swan by the gods after his murder at the hands of the Maenads (female worshipers of Dionysus, Greek god of wine, fertility and religious ecstacy). The gods placed Orpheus in the heavens next to his beloved musical instrument, the lyre (harp), in the night sky (Lyra - the Lyre). It is thought, too, that this constellation may have been associated with Phaeton, the son of Helios, god of the Sun, who lost control of his father's golden chariot (symbolic of the Sun) as he drove it across the sky one day, and was brought down by one of Zeus' thunderbolts, falling and drowning in the ocean below. His friend, Cycnus (another spelling of Cygnus), the son of Aries, the Greek god of war, spent countless days diving into the ocean to recover the remains of Phaeton to give him a proper burial. As a reward for such devotion, the gods reputedly placed Cycnus in the sky after his death. The 'swan" shape is formed by Deneb (a white supergiant, mag. +1.2, 3200 lys) which serves as the  swan's "tail"; Sadr (mag. 2.2, 1500 lys) as the "breast" of the swan; Epsilon Cygni (a multi-star system, mag. +2.5, 73 lys) and Delta Cygni (a triple -star system, mag. +5.1, 415 lys) as the two wing tips; and Albireo (an orange and blue-green binary star system, mag.+3.0, 415 lys) forming the  swan's "beak". Within the constellation of the swan lies the famous and easily identified "Northern Cross" asterism.

Aquila - the Eagle is said to represent the huge royal eagle that carried the thunderbolts of Zeus/Jupiter in Greek-Roman mythology. It was this eagle that, by Zeus' decree, kidnapped the young Trojan prince, Ganymede, to serve as the cup-bearer of the gods on Mount Olympus. The constellation's primary star, Altair (from the Arabic phrase al-nasr al tair - meaning "the flying eagle"), is the twelfth brightest star (mag. +0.77) in the night sky, and, at only 17 lys, the closest naked-eye star to Earth. There's some thought that this constellation was based on an ancient Babylionian constellation of an eagle, located in the same area as the Greek constellation. The Romans knew this constellation as Vultur volans (meaning "flying vulture").

Heading towards inferior solar conjunction (passing in front of the Sun) on June 30, Mercury is currently too close to the Sun to be seen. Jupiter (mag. -2.7) will be visible around 11 p.m. about 8 degrees (a little less than a hand's width at arm's length) in the south-east night sky, disappearing in the south-west, pre-dawn sky around 5 a.m.  Saturn (mag. +0.3) appears  9 degrees above the south-east horizon around 11:30 p.m., before being lost in the south-west sky in dawn twilight about 4:45 a.m. Mars (mag. -0.4) rises in the south-east night sky just before 1 a.m., fading from view high in the pre-dawn, southern sky by 5 a.m. Venus shines brilliantly at mag. -4.3 as it rises in the east around 3:40 a.m., reaching twelve degrees high in the pre-dawn sky before fading from view around 5 a.m.

The Full Moon on July 5 was often referred to by a number of names -  the "Buck Moon" (this is the time of year when the buck deer start growing their new antlers); the "Thunder Moon" (for the summer thunderstorms)' and the "Hay Moon" (farmers usually get their first crop of hay in at this time).

Until next week, clear skies.

June 29 - Moon at perigee (closest to Earth)

         30 - Mercury at inferior solar conjunction

July    5 - Full Moon

-----------------------------------------
Global Chorus essay for June 29
Wen Bo


In the Planet’s voyage through time and space, we humans are passengers who get on and off.

The defenders of the Earth, like captain and sailor, see through the mist and far into the horizon. They know we have only this Planet Ark and have to maintain it well.

When we enslave other people, we end up enslaving ourselves; when we wipe out other species, we lead to our own demise; when we exploit Nature, we will have it hitting back on us.

We all should answer the call of the Earth guardian and follow the light of the guiding star. And the sail of Planet Ark must go on.

     — Wen Bo, former editor of China Environment News,  China coordinator for Global Greengrants Fund,  founder of China Green Student Forum, Blue Dalian, Xinjiang Conservation Fund, Snow Alliance, program director of Air and Water Conservation Fund, National Geographic Society
--------------------
Here is an interview with Wen Bo (undated) with The Asia Society, but I don't have any more current bio information on him
 
https://asiasociety.org/northern-california/conversation-chinas-eco-hero-wen-bo

--------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 28, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

This morning is Michael Enright's last time hosting CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition, 9AM-12noon.  96.1FM or later on-line:
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition

Met Opera for Sunday, June 28
Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, 7:30PM Sunday until Monday about 6:30PM.
A whimsical fairy tale with themes deeply rooted in the Enlightenment and principles of Free Masonry, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) appeals.... tenor Charles Castronovo stars as Tamino, the noble prince on a quest to rescue the maiden Pamina, sung by radiant soprano Golda Schultz in her Met-debut season. Along the way, Tamino befriends the lovable bird catcher Papageno, sung by baritone Markus Werba, and goes up against the forces of light—represented by bass René Pape’s benevolent Sarastro—and darkness—embodied by soprano Kathryn Lewek’s hair-raising Queen of the Night..."  From October 14, 2017.   Three hours on the dot.
https://www.metopera.org/


Definitely setting precedents: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/06/22/features/how-nova-scotia-naturalists-forced-province-uphold-its-endangered-species-act?

How Nova Scotia naturalists forced the province to uphold its Endangered Species Act - The National Observer article by Zack Metcalfe

Published on Monday, June 22nd, 2020


The naturalists and lawyers who won a case for endangered species in Nova Scotia. Naturalist Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, lawyer Jamie Simpson, naturalist Bob Bancroft and Ecojustice lawyers James Gunvaldsen Klaassen and Sarah McDonald. Photo by Eleanor Kure

The Nova Scotia government just lost a 16-month lawsuit to a flower, moose, turtle, two birds and a tree, which, it goes without saying, has never happened before.

In January 2019, the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists, the Blomidon Naturalists Society and the Halifax Field Naturalists joined with Juniper Law to request a “judicial review” of the province’s failure to uphold its 1998 Endangered Species Act. And quite a failure it’s been.

To date, the majority of species listed under the act have yet to receive all of its guaranteed protections, such as the establishment of recovery teams, the publishing of recovery plans and the identification of core habitat. Protections for some species, such as the ram’s head lady slipper, are more than a decade overdue. 

And on May 29, Justice Christa Brothers of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia declared these failures “chronic and systemic” in her final ruling on the case. And on May 29, Justice Christa Brothers of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia declared these failures “chronic and systemic” in her final ruling on the case.

Brothers has ordered the province’s Department and Lands and Forestry to fully accommodate the six species specified in the lawsuit — the ram’s head lady slipper, the mainland moose, the wood turtle, the eastern Wood pewee, the Canada warbler and the black ash — and referenced the 65 other species languishing under the act.

“It’s a pretty strong ruling by the judge here, identifying a systemic, chronic failure,” said lawyer Jamie Simpson of Juniper Law. “No minister wants to hear that about their department.”

While Justice Brothers ultimately ordered the province, specifically Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin, to uphold the Endangered Species Act, she did not impose a deadline for the province to do so, nor did she agree that the province should be monitored by the court throughout the process, as Simpson had requested.

“I understand where she’s coming from,” said Simpson, admitting such measures are at least uncommon. Should a return to court on behalf of species at risk become necessary, he said, his case for such deadlines and monitoring would be much stronger.

“Time will tell,” he said. “(This is) a win for some of Nova Scotia’s more vulnerable wildlife. … For a number of years, people have been pointing out these shortcomings to the department, with different, well-assembled reports from (various) organizations, and still nothing happened. To finally have this decision from a judge, it’s very gratifying.”

Setting precedents

This is the first time Nova Scotia’s Endangered Species Act has been the subject of legal action, and the first time such legislation has been upheld in a Maritime court, setting several legal precedents that could have enormous consequences for regional conservation.

The first precedent is that the Endangered Species Act is non-discretionary, meaning the province absolutely must fulfill all its obligations to every listed species — recovery teams, recovery plans with regular reviews, core habitat, etc.

While unsurprising, this point is remarkably contentious in the history of species-at-risk legislation. Canada’s Species at Risk Act was the subject of an Ecojustice lawsuit in 2014, for example, which ultimately forced the federal government to catch up on several overdue provisions for various species.

Time and again, ministers across the country have decided not to apply these acts where inconvenient, largely without backlash.

The second precedent of note in the Nova Scotia lawsuit was the right of citizen organizations — in this case, a trio of naturalist clubs — to take legal action on behalf of at-risk species. It was argued in court by the province’s lawyer that naturalists should not have this right, since the act and its provisions didn’t impact them directly. Justice Brothers responded to this suggestion specifically in her decision this May.

“(These) species need people like Mr. (Bob) Bancroft (president of the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists) and organizations like the other applicants and (Ecojustice) to take such action and speak for them,” she wrote. “It would be absurd if no person or interested entity could bring such reviews under the Endangered Species Act to hold government to account. How else would the mainland moose, ram’s head lady slipper, Canada warbler, black ash, wood turtle or eastern wood pewee find protection when and if a government failed to reasonably execute its duties and responsibilities?”

Simpson said that his naturalist clients were originally very cautious in launching this lawsuit, but expects their victory has had the effect of emboldening them and others in the pursuit of justice.

“What I think this decision has done,” said Simpson, “is show to these individual citizens … and these non-advocacy groups, that (legal action) isn’t such a bad thing. It’s legitimate for (them) to request the assistance of the courts to uphold the rule of law.”

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, president of the Blomidon Naturalists Society, echoed that point earlier this June, saying he and his board are very willing to return to court if the Lands and Forestry department doesn’t do what it was instructed to do.

“We’re certainly going to keep our eye on them,” he said. “I think there’s an appetite among people to not accept the status quo anymore.”

He said that, in his estimation, the global pandemic presently upsetting the foundations of modern life has empowered people to think differently, and to be less complacent about the shortcomings of society. The Black Lives Matter march in Wolfville, N.S., which Bondrup-Nielsen and a thousand or so others attended, made this point very clear to him.

“I think there are so many social and environmental issues that are coming together, I hope, so that we will see real change,” he said. “It’s an exciting thought, but maybe I’m too optimistic. I think the Endangered Species Act is a step in the right direction. It’s not the solution (to our biodiversity crisis), but it’s certainly a step.”

What’s next?

There is a 30 day-period after Justice Brothers formally signs her decision in which the provincial government will be able to appeal, an outcome Simpson and Bondrup-Nielsen both consider unlikely.

“I would be surprised if they decided to appeal it,” said Simpson, “but you never know.”

In the meantime, Juniper Law is preparing for another lawsuit against the Department of Land and Forestry for its controversial decision to delist Owls Head Provincial Park on the province’s eastern shore, and attempt to sell it to a developer for the construction of three golf courses, thus undermining the sanctity of other protected areas across the province.

This move was done without public consultation and without public knowledge until it was revealed months after the fact by an investigative reporter with the CBC.

In this new case, filed in late January, Simpson’s clients are Bob Bancroft, president of the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists, and Eastern Shore Forest Watch, an organization dedicated to the protection of land on the province’s eastern shore. Bondrup-Nielsen and the Blomidon Naturalists Society were very nearly clients for this lawsuit as well, but the board meeting at which they voted to join was held after the suit was filed.

This lawsuit and the one concerning species at risk were afforded by way of fundraising and crowdsourcing.

If the lawsuit over Owls Head Provincial Park is given permission by the court to proceed, it will likewise set precedent in Nova Scotia law.

-30-

Jamie Simpson has been to P.E.I. to work with organizing for improving environmental rights.  Here is a link to an op-ed he wrote recently about the Nova Scotia case:
https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/jamie-simpson-up-to-citizens-to-challenge-government-when-laws-not-followed-457191/


About one small area of one small city in the States, Norfolk, Virginia, in a very long "Sunday read" article about communities dealing with climate change and rising sea levels.  Hope you find it an interesting read.
(LINK ONLY HERE):
https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2020/04/13/after-decades-waterfront-living-climate-change-is-forcing-communities-plan-their-retreat-coasts/


Global Chorus essay for June 28

Spencer West

Am I a world-problem solver? Well, if the topic is overcoming obstacles, it’s pretty safe to say I’ve got some “hands-on” experience.

Yet, when it comes to tackling the current global environmental and social crises we all face, some may feel the issues are too colossal to consider on par with personal challenges. It’s a valid point. But don’t all obstacles seem insurmountable when we face them alone? I’m certain it’s how we approach our challenges and not their scope that holds the key. And it’s my profound belief that when we come together as a community to tackle issues – no matter how daunting – and support one another, anything is possible.

I just might be living proof of this. I was born with a rare disorder that rendered my legs essentially useless. The doctors said that I would never sit up or walk, let alone become a functioning member of society. Sure, there’s no denying that I felt discouraged at times, but I was determined to get the most out of life (and, more importantly, put the most back into it!). And it has been the unwavering support of my family and friends – an ever-growing community that believes in me – that has fuelled this conviction, obliterating any doubt that my chosen path is, in turn, to instill belief in others.

Today, I travel the world as a motivational speaker, meeting thousands of young people each year. All over this planet, I see that same belief in their eyes, and I hear it in their voices. They’re saying, we can redefine what’s possible. And every last one of those voices will echo in my ears later this year when I climb Mount Kilimanjaro with my two best friends to raise funds and awareness for water projects in drought-affected communities in East Africa.

No one climbs a mountain by themselves. Because what’s incredibly difficult to face alone diminishes when me becomes we. We are a generation who evens out the odds and defines impossible as possible. There is no can’t or won’t, only how. Let’s not get discouraged. Let’s get together. And let’s get the world to where we know it can be.

     — Spencer West, author, motivational speaker, world-change warrior with Me to We

------------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 27, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events-- Local Food:

Summerside Farmers’ Market open, 9AM-noon, outside of Holman Building
Vendors are outside, with directional markers for customers.   Lots of local produce, meats and crafts.

Some Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors are outside the Farmers' Market building in Charlottetown.

Heart Beet Organics "The Farmacy", 9AM-1PM, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown. Local produce, fermented products, cheese, chocolates, and more.

Local organic producers, their products, and their contact info listed in this week's:
PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-op Newsletter for June 26th, 2020

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Events -- Opera-tunities:
Ben Heppner's Opera Gems (Saturday Afternoon at the Opera), 1PM, CBC Music Radio (104.7FM)

Ben in conversation with Baritone Thomas Hampson, who presents his recording pick:
Guiseppe Verdi's Simon Boccanegra
Claudio Abbado - conductor, Piero Cappuccilli, José Carreras, and Mirella Freni , from Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, Milan

Met Opera HD Live Broadcast recording on-line:
Massenet’s Cendrillon, 7:30PM Saturday until about 6:30PM Sunday. "... an enchanted performance of Cendrillon, Massenet’s glittering operatic adaptation of the Cinderella story. ...bursts to life with the director’s characteristic wit and whimsy, stars American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the title outcast-turned-princess. Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote offers a touching portrayal of the pants role Prince Charming,...a performance that is equal parts madcap comedy and heartfelt romance." From April 2018. 
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This is from the States and has much Public Broadcasting video, news and radio (through its various links), including two opera recordings a day:   https://weta.org/


Monday, June 29th:

On-line Provincial Public Consultation Opportunity on Sustainable Communities, 5:30PM

Facebook Event LINK

"This initiative encourages interested communities to explore opportunities for energy generation models that suits their unique needs. For the purposes of this initiative, communities are defined as any group of like-minded PEI residents willing to collectively pursue, champion and even own a renewable energy project. 
We are requesting expressions of interest from community champions and more information is available at
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/sustainable 
You can submit questions in advance by emailing
sustainable@gov.pe.ca or you can ask questions in the comments section during the live stream on Facebook."
Online consultation event details are available here: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/985056465284151/
(same link as at beginning of posting)


from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/climate/coronavirus-clean-air.html

Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere - The New York Times article by Coral Davenport

Coronavirus shutdowns have cut pollution, and that’s opened the door to a “giant, global environmental experiment” with potentially far-reaching consequences.

Published on Thursday, June 25th, 2020


WASHINGTON — In the crystalline air of the pandemic economy, climate change researchers have been flying a small plane over Route I-95, from Boston to Washington, measuring carbon dioxide levels. Scientists have mounted air quality monitors on Salt Lake City’s light rail system to create intersection-by-intersection atmospheric profiles.
And government scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have started a
Covid air quality study to gather and analyze samples of an atmosphere in which industrial soot, tailpipe emissions and greenhouse gases have plummeted to levels not seen in decades.
The data, from Manhattan to Milan to Mumbai, will inform scientists’ understanding of atmospheric chemistry, air pollution and public health for decades to come, while giving policymakers information to fine-tune air quality and climate change laws and regulations in hopes of maintaining at least some of the gains seen in the global shutdown as cars return to the roads and factories reopen.
Already, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, has assigned his top environment official to use the pollution data gathered by a University of Maryland scientist in flights over Baltimore to push new policies through the state legislature this fall, expanding telework and promoting electric vehicles.
“Our goal is not just to celebrate the silver lining but to seize upon that lining and institutionalize it,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, the head of Maryland’s environmental agency.
Policy experts say the new data could even bolster legal fights against the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back major air pollution regulations. Early studies appear to show that even as the coronavirus took more than 100,000 American lives, deaths related to more typical respiratory illnesses like asthma and lung disease fell in the clean air, boosting the case that Mr. Trump’s environmental rollbacks will contribute to thousands of deaths.
“This is a giant, global environmental experiment that has been done in a very controlled way,” said Sally Ng, an atmospheric scientist and chemical engineer at Georgia Tech, who, in the first days after the shutdown, briefly returned to her lab in downtown Atlanta to install an atmospheric monitor on the roof. “We suddenly turned the knob off, very drastically, and now we’re very slowly turning it back on.”
Three other moments in recent history have seen economies slow suddenly and the skies clear enough to create a valuable research opportunity: Sept. 11, 2001, when airplanes were grounded and the skies were briefly free of chemical airplane pollution; the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Chinese officials shut down the city and the soot-choked air cleared for about two weeks; and the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008.
But the pandemic clearing has been more dramatic, in duration and scope.
“We were able to observe these changes in real time, all around the world, for a much longer period of time than ever before,” said Shobha Kondragunta, a NOAA atmospheric chemist who studies smog-causing tailpipe pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, using images taken from satellites over the North and South Poles.


The India Gate in New Delhi, on Oct. 28, top, and in April.
The India Gate in New Delhi, on Oct. 28, top, and in April.
photo credit: Manish Swarup/Associated Press


In India, where some of the most polluted skies in the world turned clear and blue for the first time in decades, Sarath Guttikunda, director of Urban Emissions.info, a New Delhi-based research organization, spent the shutdown monitoring air quality data gathered by government-operated atmospheric monitors across 122 Indian cities. “This is a really good experiment that we hope will never be repeated again,” he said. “Every day we learned something new.”
In a country where much of the population suffers under an opaque stew of pollution, the Indian government has little information about which sources of emissions — cars, power plants, factories or cookstoves — are the worst culprits, Dr. Guttikunda said. But as the shutdown cleared cars off the roads and brought factories to a halt, coal plants and cookstoves kept emitting. That allowed Dr. Guttikunda and his colleagues to develop a more precise profile of pollution, source by source, city by city, region by region.
“If you want to clean up your air pollution problem, you have to know what to target,” he said.
Other experts agreed. “These studies, particularly in India, can make it much easier to get a good bead on emissions,” said Maureen Cropper, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan environmental research organization in Washington. “You don’t want to be controlling the wrong thing.”
Among the most surprising of Dr. Guttikunda’s observations: In some cities, as vehicle traffic and tailpipe pollution declined, levels of one major smog-causing pollutant, ozone, actually shot up.
Dr. Guttikunda said the sharp rise was a real-life validation of a theory of atmospheric chemistry that says ozone — which is linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death — will increase, at least temporarily, as emissions of the tailpipe pollutants nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide go down.
“This is a theory that atmospheric chemists learn in class, but we haven’t seen it work in real time,” said Dr. Guttikunda.
Eight thousand miles away, scientists monitoring the air over the Los Angeles basin observed the same phenomenon.
“The spike in ozone, that’s caused a lot of interest,” said Michael Benjamin, who heads the atmospheric monitoring laboratory for California’s clean air agency.
Dr. Benjamin said that could have surprising implications for California, which has led the nation in implementing tough clean air policies. As the state continues to reduce its vehicle pollution, it may go through a period where some aspects of smog actually worsen “because of the weird air chemistry.”
Still, he expressed optimism. “This is a grand, real-world experiment that is validating what our path” to cleaner air might look like, he said.
In the northeast corridor of the United States, Xinrong Ren of the University of Maryland and Colm Sweeney of NOAA used the shutdown to help validate scientific models that are crucial in understanding the human impact on climate change and air quality.
Scientists still do not have a reliable system for measuring day-to-day changes in human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide, the main driver of global warming. But for the past two years, Dr. Ren and Dr. Sweeney have been monitoring carbon dioxide levels over Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington from a device mounted on the wings of two small airplanes that they fly up and down the East Coast. As soon as the shutdown started, the pair returned to their flying laboratories.
“A lot of policy is driven by models and guesstimates of how much we think certain things contribute to emissions,” Dr. Sweeney said. “Covid is a great opportunity to do real-life testing of those models.”
Because New York City saw a 50 percent decrease in vehicle traffic, one of the major sources of carbon dioxide pollution, the scientists could calibrate real-life impacts of auto-related emissions on the climate by comparing the shutdown measurements with those taken on their earlier flights.
“Covid-19 allows us to test the models that policy depends on,” Dr. Sweeney said.
The Obama administration used such models to justify the country’s first federal regulations to counter climate change, through stricter limits vehicle and power plant emissions. As the Trump administration weakened or wiped out those regulations, officials
downplayed or disparaged climate change modeling as inaccurate or unreliable.
Now, opponents of those efforts will have new ammunition to combat them.
“This is powerful data,” said Mr. Grumbles, the Maryland environmental official. “It reinforces the policy arguments for stronger, more aggressive controls.”
Allies of the administration scoffed at the idea that three months worth of research on emissions levels could make any difference in the quality of scientific models.
“I don’t see how any of this strengthens climate models,” said Steven J. Milloy, who serves as an informal environmental policy adviser to members of the Trump administration and is author of the book “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the E.P.A.”
“I know these guys want any excuse for more money and something to do,” he added, “but I don’t think this validates anything
Administration officials struck a cautious note, but were not so dismissive.
Andrea Woods, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote in an emailed statement: “The E.P.A., along with many other federal agencies, including NOAA and NASA, are using the opportunity available during the Covid-19 outbreak to further enhance our understanding of how human activity potentially impacts air quality. Many data streams are being collected. All will require integration along with a comprehensive and systematic analyses before any models might be updated or conclusions drawn.”
Public health scientists are studying another aspect of the pandemic’s cleaner air. A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research calculated that the reduction in pollution has led to about 360 fewer deaths each month in the United States from illnesses like asthma, lung disease and heart disease — a drop of about 25 percent.
“It’s certainly not a silver lining — it in no way compares to the over 100,000 deaths from Covid in the U.S.,” said Steve Cicala, an economist at the University of Chicago and an author of the paper. “But 25 percent is a lot. This is the savings of lives that would be achieved if there were a less costly way to improve air pollution.”


-30-


Global Chorus essay for June 27
Sara Oldfield


The fascination of plants caught me early in life. Bluebell woods, ragged robins, scarlet pimpernels, brilliant red garden poppies and degraded mine sites – all exerted their influence. When I went on to become a botanist, in becoming acutely aware of the dangers faced by plant species worldwide, I became increasingly filled with concern – and have in turn committed my life’s work toward sustaining their existence on this planet. But I now I know that we can save plant species from extinction, restore damaged ecosystems and fundamentally change the future – if we choose to.

There is a plan, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, signed by governments worldwide. We need to shout about this, raise the profile of the Strategy and make sure that it is implemented. We need to raise funds to secure the basis of our oxygen and food supply. Wild plant diversity is essential for the future of the planet. Degraded habitats can be restored using our accumulated knowledge of collecting and growing wild plants. Around one-third of all plant species are cultivated in botanic gardens or stored in seed banks providing an insurance policy for the future. Botanic Gardens have formed a new Ecological Restoration Alliance to use this stored material together with the knowledge of where and why species grow in the wild. Combining this with local and indigenous knowledge provides a tremendous opportunity to restore natural habitats – the repositories of wild crop relatives, medicinal plants and other species of livelihood value for millions of people who depend directly on natural resources – and to sequester carbon, using the power of plants.

Save a plant – save the planet!

       — Sara Oldfield, (past) secretary general of Botanic Gardens Conservation International 


http://www.saraoldfield.net/

------------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca


June 26, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

CBC Radio Island Morning Political Panel, after 7:30news until 8AM, 96.1FM.

The P.E.I. Legislature sits from 10AM-1PM today. Check the Watch Live feature:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Fridays for Future (F4F), 3:30PM, by the Cenotaph at Province House, Great George and Grafton side of things, all welcome.

Local Food pre-ordering:
Heart Beet Organics, order by 4PM today for pickup between 9AM-1PM Saturday at their store, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street.
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

Met Opera Broadcast for Friday, June 26
Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, 7:30PM Friday until Saturday about 6:30PM.  From November 16, 1991.  About 2 hours long.

"John Copley’s colorful production, with designs by Beni Montresor, was created around the beloved superstar Luciano Pavarotti. As the simple, good-hearted Nemorino, he enchanted audiences with his larger-than-life personality as well as his golden voice. Enzo Dara as the quack Dr. Dulcamara provides the elixir of the title that helps Nemorino win the heart of Adina, the girl of his dreams, sung with youthful energy by Kathleen Battle."
https://www.metopera.org/


The Provincial Legislature is working through the 2020-2021 Operating Budget, among other items, and when it's not the Government's turn to choose the Order of the day, the Opposition Parties bring up their concerns.  Yesterday afternoon, the Green Party had a Motion related to deleted e-mails about the E-Gaming Scandal during Robert Ghiz' time as Premier, and about record-keeping in general:  

Actual text and details:
No. 86 Creation of a special committee of the Legislative Assembly on Government Records Retention

Synopsis by CO:
Peter Bevan-Baker, seconded by Michele Beaton, note that the Information and Privacy Commissioner Office's report "raised serious questions about the possibility of government records being improperly deleted.  As access to government records is fundamental to open and transparent government and that government has committed to an external review of this issue...BUT an external review will not provide the openness and transparency that the public expects and deserves, SO the motion calls for the creation of a Special Committee of the Legislative Assembly on Government Records Retention (with a six person membership, consisting of two members from each Party in the House) and report within six months. 
 
They debated (and this issue has been in the news on and off for years, years, when the current government was in Opposition) with some theatrics of Transportation Minister Stephen Myers, harking back to former, former Speaker Carolyn Bertram's time, and of some Official Opposition members (not having the floor, as the Speaker had granted it to Myers and wasn't budging or urging him to make his point) apparently leaving the Chamber.  This was hard to see with the cameras only on the person speaking, and no one else in there but MLAs and staff.  Anyway, good points were raised by all, really, about the perceived effectiveness of Committees, Special Committees, separate investigations, etc. and when it came to voting on it, a free vote, it was a TIE.  Speaker Colin LaVie in his humourous way said he had waited for a tie since he became Speaker, but turned serious and declared that it was too important to let one person's vote decide, and the Legislative Assembly really needed to work this out with some consensus on the decision.  So he voted against the Motion for that reason.  Opposition afternoon was over (it was well past 5PM) and recess was called until after 7PM, when Government set the order and the budget examination was resumed.  So stay tuned.


More on the lack of citizen involvement in "development" of our cityscapes: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-council-gives-in-to-developers-wish-list-465843/  

GUEST OPINION: Council gives in to developer's wish list - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Doug MacArthur

Published on Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Having played an active role in Charlottetown development since the 1970s, I am concerned by the City of Charlottetown's current development approval process, particularly as applied to the proposed 99-unit apartment building on the Haviland Street waterfront. Unless our mayor and council act, the largest apartment building in our city's history, on one of the most important sites in our city, will be formally approved shortly. This should not happen.

The city's review/approval process regarding 15 Havilland is not sufficiently factual and is totally insufficient for a project of this size and scope. I understand that a developer's primary objective is to maximize profit by obtaining the most favourable terms possible for his project. The city should have entirely different objectives which, in the case of this project, have not been pursued or achieved, and which will be with us for the next 100 years. Instead, the city seems to have acted as Santa Claus, giving the developer everything on his wish list.

The city process for reviewing and approving this project is that a design review committee, with input from a design reviewer (a Fredericton, N.B. architect in this case), assesses the project, and if the committee and the reviewer agree on the merits of the project, it is approved with no public, nor city council input. In this Haviland Street case, the committee met for 17 minutes, including the developer's presentation, and immediately approved the project. For his part, the design reviewer provided a letter in support of the project and was paid a $1,500 fee by the city. So, this multi-million-dollar project received a total of 17 minutes and $1,500 of scrutiny in order to be approved.

Here are a few of the errors and omissions which occurred in this 15 Haviland St. case. The design committee approved a project with six floors of apartments when the drawings clearly show a full seven floors of apartments. Although the developer's plans cite a 10-storey building, the design committee considers it an eight-storey building for questionable reasons. The design committee gives an additional  "two-storey height bonus" (from the normally allowable six stories) because of purported public benefits of the project, including green roof, public art gallery and licensing the waterside boardwalk for public use. There appears to be no particulars provided regarding the green roof, nor that the public art gallery is no more than a subsidized rent offer, nor that the developer simply allows to continue the public boardwalk already in place. The design committee seems to have simply accepted that these dubious benefits are a fair exchange for a two-storey increase above the allowable height of the building.

The design reviewer's letter, in its quick review of the visual impact of the building on this unique site, does not even consider the proposed building's visual impact on cruise ship passengers entering the harbour, or on waterfront views from Victoria Park or Fort Amherst. For a building so out of scale (10 stories high compared to even the five-storey adjacent former Sacred Heart Home) and clad in materials which are inconsistent with its neighbours, there should be concern about the visual impact well beyond the immediate neighbourhood. The design reviewer also does not adequately address how the proposed building meets the requirements of the Waterfront Plan, nor does he make clear how/if other issues are to be addressed. In fairness, the city probably received $1,500 value for the design reviewer's input, but a project of this size and complexity requires far more analysis than $1,500 will buy.

Unfortunately, the design committee, with input from the design reviewer, have been given authority to approve projects like 15 Haviland St. without any public or city council input. However, that authority needs to be questioned when it is obvious that there have been significant deficiencies in the approval process. This is such a case. I urge city council to transparently review the process so that if this project is ultimately approved, modified or turned down, it is done in a fashion which considers all the facts, rather than being rubber stamped in 17 minutes and for $1,500. We, as city residents, have a right to expect that much of our mayor and council. 

Doug MacArthur is an economist who played a project management role in Charlottetown redevelopment for many years and who has planned and managed major development projects around the world.

-30


Even if you don't really enjoy or have the patience for poetry, take a deep breath and read this today if you can.

Global Chorus
"essay" for June 26
Summer Rayne Oakes

Let me present
the proposition
if only for the sake
of dreaming:
What if this Earth of ours
is a thing alive?
If this is so,
then we have
a living, breathing organism
that we continue to
extract,
partition,
fragment
in order to sell
ourselves pretty promises
in perfectly produced packages,
compliments of our
unfulfilling quest to satiate
our conveyor belt consumerism.
We are part of a unique,
integrative, living organism –
and as we discover more,
we uncover that there are no
“short cut” solutions to systemic issues.
We cannot day trade our way
through short-term gains
and assume we’ll achieve
long-term sustainability.
Let us squarely face
the extent of the challenges
before us.
Not just the ones we
see on the surfaces
of our screens, tablets, newspapers, devices.
It is not the obviousness
of markets and tsunamis,
poisoned sushi and celebrity babies.
It is the acceptance
that we will lose some of
the world we love
For it is then –
and only then –
that we will gain
the insight
and the bravery to pursue
the solutions
that will remedy
some of the wrongs we have collectively –
and sometimes unknowingly
pursued in the process.

Be aware, however:
Even when these solutions
rise to the surface …
Even when the answers
lay so plainly before us –
It is the personal, political
and market support
that will be needed
to move mass culture.

If eighty years of measuring
our world’s wealth remains
locked up in the three letter
acronym of “GDP”
and we remain tied to
our financial revolver,
then let us consider:
Qualitative screening
on what we choose to invest in;
increased investment into businesses
that truly offer integrated solutions (After
all, does the world need another app?);
and integrated, systemic approaches
to sustainable development.

Realize this:
The extent of our challenges
are now far too vast
for our silver bullets …
The target has grown,
but so has our understanding
and our appetite
for changing our world
in which we live,
For as history has shown,
it is the enduring
and incredible strength
of the human spirit
and ingenuity
that will engender
to overcome, to survive,
to thrive.

 — Summer Rayne Oakes, model/activist, co-founder of Source4Style


www.summerrayne.net

------------------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 25, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Deadline to comment on changes to the Emergency Measures Act. 4PM today.  More below.

P.E.I. Legislature sits today, 2-5PM and 7-9PM.

A "Watch Live" link opens on the front page of the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

and Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

The MLAs are rapidly going through the Provincial Operating Budget for 2020-2021, and you can follow along with the link to the document at this page from Government:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/finance/provincial-budget-operating-budget

--------------------------
Culture on-line:

Stratford Festival at Home rotates their line-up this evening, with Love's Labours Lost leaving and The Adventures of Pericles coming on to join King John and Hamlet on deman. 
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome

Metropolitia Opera
Massenet’s Manon, 7:30PM Thursday until Friday about 6:30PM
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, and Canadian baritone  Brett Polegato...From October 26, 2019.The most recent version of this classic. Met Opera.org


Emergency Measures public input info:

DEADLINE: Today, Thursday, June 26th, 4PM

adapted from: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/review-of-bill-37-an-act-to-amend-the-emergency-measures-act

Review of Bill 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act

On June 16, 2020, Motion no. 75, Referring Bill 37 to Committee was introduced and debated in the legislature. The motion passed by a majority vote and the bill was sent to the Standing Committee on Health and Social Development for further study of the proposed and potential amendments.

The Standing Committee on Health and Social Development would like to hear your views on proposed changes to Bill 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act:

Deadline for public submissions is Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 4:00pm.

Please note: written submissions will be posted to the Legislative Assembly website.

Individuals may request that their name not be posted to the Legislative Assembly website

The website LINK contains the comments already submitted.


https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-how-little-is-enough-463296/ 

GUEST OPINION: How little is enough? - The Guardian Guest opinion by Catherine O’Brien,

Published on Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

How little is enough for your basic health and wellness? Would you like to have the security of knowing that, no matter what happens, you will always have enough to cover your basic needs?

A basic income guarantee (BIG) would do just that and would allow all of us to have a reasonable, dignified life.

The political support is there from several levels of government and from researchers who have examined this type of program thoroughly.  We have also seen many letters recently in support of a guaranteed income.

The time is now to seize this opportunity and make it happen here on P.E.I.

We’ve seen several emergency support funding programs rolled out recently during the pandemic, but somehow there are still gaps and people are getting left out.  More and more programs are added to fill the gaps. Wouldn’t one efficient program be the answer?

Dr. Evelyn Forget, economist from the University of Manitoba, has examined in detail the results of the 1970-79 guaranteed income pilot in Dauphin, Man., and the more recent program in Ontario.

Here are some of the key points:

  1. High school graduations jumped (more security and less disruption in the household).

  2. Some people went back to school, either to finish high school, or pursue degrees or diplomas in post-secondary institutions.

  3. There were fewer hospitalizations.

  4. Even those who did not need the assistance were relieved to know it was there; which leads to:

  5. Less stress and anxiety.

Here on P.E.I., with many people living in poverty, or just hovering above it, and with so much seasonal work, we are in a perfect position to instill a basic guaranteed income.

The labour market is also changing rapidly, with fewer full-time positions, very little job security and now with automation and artificial intelligence, jobs are disappearing.

It would be an efficient program and non-stigmatizing. It would allow people to stay in their communities. It would allow people to make healthy food choices and support local food producers, shops and restaurants.

It would help with gender and racial parity and equity.

As earned wages would not be clawed back, BIG would not be a disincentive to working, employers would be incentivised to provide better working conditions, benefits and more full-time positions, which would lead to better job retention and happier, healthier employees.

Last, to quote Forget, “Instead of using the health-care system to treat the consequences of poverty, we’re giving people money upfront to live better lives.”

I urge our government to move forward on a basic income guarantee for P.E.I. Now is the time for bold and positive change for the good of all Islanders.

Catherine O’Brien is a member of the Citizens’ Alliance of P.E.I.

-30- 


Here is an interesting interview with Chris Hedges of the "On Contact" program with John Ralston Saul "about how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire."
https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/490174-covid19-john-ralston-saul/


Global Chorus essay for June 25
John Ralston Saul


Of course, better hope than no hope. But hope without a strategy, hope without power, without using that power to act, will end up in the worst forms of romanticism.

Take a look at the environmental movement, but with a cool eye. Around the globe, tens of millions of people, filled with a mixture of hope and despair, are engaged in tens of thousands of specific campaigns to save one thing or another. And with them are hundreds of thousands of engaged specialists – the technocrats of hope – each arguing their tight corners with endless reports, campaigns and conferences. All of this represents tens of millions of hours dedicated by volunteers to hope – to environmental change.

The result? Almost no progress. Certainly no broad change in habits. There have been some breakthroughs, almost all of them very specific and narrow. But many things are worse. Why?

Because real change does require hope, just as it does outrage and determination, but it requires a great deal more. Above all, change requires ideas and plans. And only the possession of real power gives these meaning. Over the last four decades the forces of humanism have raised their voices, but from within the heavy fog of global optimism. Generation after generation has largely stayed clear of old-fashioned politics in the name of this new global lobbying.

But democracy – the power of citizens – lies within constituted structures. Governments hold the real power to make broad, long changes. Why has so little progress been made? Because governments have refused to make changes. Why? Because political parties and legislative bodies have not been invested by environmentalists.

The history of change is clear about this. Those who don’t believe in global warming have gone out and occupied as much power as they can. Power and therefore politics is the mechanism of change. That is how we got public education and public healthcare. We can lobby all we want, but if environmentalists do not seek real power, change will not come.
 
     — John Ralston Saul, author of Voltaire’s Bastards, The Unconscious Civilization,  On Equilibrium and The Collapse of Globalism, president (emeritus) of PEN Internation
al

  --------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

-----------------------------------------
New York Times article-- long but what news!  Thanks to Bradley Walters in N.B. for passing it along.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/business/roundup-settlement-lawsuits.html?referringSource=articleShare

Roundup Maker to Pay $10 Billion to Settle Cancer Suits - The New York Times article by Patricia Cohen

Published on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Bayer, the world's largest seed and pesticide maker, has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle tens of thousands of claims in the United States that its popular weedkiller Roundup causes cancer, the company said Wednesday.

The figure includes $1.25 billion to deal with potential future claims from people who used Roundup and may develop the form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the years to come.

"It's rare that we see a consensual settlement with that many zeros on it," said Nora Freeman Engstrom, a professor at Stanford University Law School.

Bayer, a German company, inherited the legal morass when it bought Roundup's manufacturer, Monsanto, for $63 billion in June 2018. It has repeatedly maintained that Roundup is safe.

The settlement, which covers an estimated 95,000 cases, was extraordinarily complex because it includes separate agreements with 25 lead law firms whose clients will receive varying amounts.

Most of the lawsuits filed early on were brought by homeowners and groundskeepers, although they account for only a tiny portion of Roundup's sales. Farmers are the biggest customers, and many agricultural associations contend glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is safe and effective.

Bayer still faces at least 25,000 claims from plaintiffs who have not agreed to be part of the settlement.

"This is nothing like the closure they're trying to imply," said Fletch Trammell, a Houston-based lawyer who said he represented 5,000 claimants not taking part in the settlement. "It's like putting out part of a house fire."

But Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Washington lawyer who oversaw the mediation process, said he expected most current plaintiffs to eventually join the settlement.

"In my experience, all those cases that have not yet been settled will quickly be resolved by settlement," said Mr. Feinberg, a veteran mediator best known for running the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. "I will be surprised if there are any future trials."

Bayer said the amount set aside to settle current litigation was $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion, including a cushion to cover claims not yet resolved. It said the settlement included no admission of liability or wrongdoing.

The coronavirus outbreak, which has closed courts across the country, may have pushed the plaintiffs and the company to come to an agreement.

"The pandemic worked to the advantage of settlement because the threat of a scheduled trial was unavailable," Mr. Feinberg said.

Talks began more than a year ago at the prompting of Judge Vince Chhabria of U.S. District Court in San Francisco, who was overseeing hundreds of federal Roundup lawsuits.

Judge Chhabria appointed Mr. Feinberg to lead negotiations for an agreement that would include all the cases, including thousands of others filed in state courts and other jurisdictions.

The $1.25 billion set aside for future plaintiffs will be applied to a class-action suit being filed in Judge Chhabria's court on behalf of those who have used Roundup and may later have health concerns.

Part of the $1.25 billion will be used to establish an independent expert panel to resolve two critical questions about glyphosate: Does it cause cancer, and if so, what is the minimum dosage or exposure level that is dangerous?

If the panel concludes that glyphosate is a carcinogen, Bayer will not be able to argue otherwise in future cases - and if the experts reach the opposite conclusion, the class action's lawyers will be similarly bound.

Pressure on Bayer for a settlement has been building over the past year after thousands of lawsuits piled up and investors grew more vocal about their discontent with the company's legal approach.

Just weeks after the deal to purchase Monsanto was completed in 2018, a jury in a California state court awarded $289 million to Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper, after concluding that glyphosate caused his cancer. Monsanto, jurors said, had failed to warn consumers of the risk.

In March 2019, a second trial, this time in federal court in California, produced a similar outcome for Edwin Hardeman, a homeowner who used Roundup on his property, and an $80 million verdict.

Two months later, a third jury delivered a staggering award of more than $2 billion to a couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, who argued that decades of using Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"Plaintiffs have gone to the plate three times and hit it out of the park," Ms. Engstrom at Stanford said. "When you see they're batting a thousand, and thousands more cases are waiting in the wings, that spells a very bleak picture for Monsanto."

All three monetary awards were later reduced by judges and Bayer appealed the verdicts, but the losses rattled investors and the stock price tumbled sharply. .

Glyphosate was introduced in 1974, but its journey to becoming the world's No. 1 weedkiller gained momentum in 1996 after Monsanto developed genetically modified seeds that could survive Roundup's concentrated attacks on weeds.

Farmers quickly latched onto the agricultural products to reduce costs and increase crop yields. In the United States, for example, 94 percent of soybean crops and roughly 90 percent of cotton and corn now come from genetically altered seeds.

Those seeds have ensured that Roundup's continued popularity even though many competitors entered the market after the glyphosate patent expired in 2000. Farmers were also able to abandon some pesticides and herbicides considered more dangerous at the time.

By contrast, consumers around the world were profoundly worried about the effects of eating genetically modified food and the chemical's environmental impact.

Long-simmering anxieties exploded in 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, announced that glyphosate could "probably" cause cancer.

Rather than ending the debate over glyphosate's safety, the report became another battlefield where opponents argued about the influence of politics on science.

Monsanto denounced the findings, arguing that years of research in laboratories and in the field had proved glyphosate's safety. Regulators in a string of countries in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America have mostly backed Monsanto's - and now Bayer's - position.

The longest and most thorough study of American agricultural workers by the National Institutes of Health, for example, found no association between glyphosate and overall cancer risk, though it did acknowledge that the evidence was more ambiguous at the highest levels of exposure.

The Environmental Protection Agency ruled last year that it was a "false claim" to say on product labels that glyphosate caused cancer. The federal government offered further support by filing a legal brief on the chemical manufacturer's behalf in its appeal of the Hardeman verdict. It said the cancer risk "does not exist" according to the E.P.A.'s assessment.

Then in January, the agency issued another interim report, which "concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen."

This week, a federal judge in California referred to the agency's pronouncement when it ruled that the state could not require a cancer warning on Roundup, writing that "that every government regulator of which the court is aware, with the exception of the I.A.R.C., has found that there was no or insufficient evidence that glyphosate causes cancer."

The National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Durum Growers Association, among other farm groups, supported Bayer's challenge.

Critics have countered that regulators based their conclusions on flawed and incomplete research provided by Monsanto. Several cities and districts around the world have banned or restricted glyphosate use, and some stores have pulled the product off its shelf.

Part of the discrepancy between the international agency's conclusions and so many other investigators' findings is related to differences in the questions that were asked and the way the data was selected and analyzed.

The international agency, in essence, was asking whether glyphosate has the potential to cause cancer. Its researchers judged the chemical "probably carcinogenic to humans," and added it to a list that already included beef, pork, mobile phone use, dry cleaning and working night shifts. Glyphosate escaped a stronger classification - "carcinogenic to humans" - that includes bacon, red wine, sun exposure, tobacco and plutonium.

Government regulators, by contrast, are looking at the risk that glyphosate will actually cause cancer given most people's levels of exposure. Sharks, for example, are potentially dangerous. But people who stay out of the water are not at much risk of being attacked.

Several scientists on both sides of the divide, though, acknowledge that there is still a lot they don't know about the longer-term effects of such a widely used chemical.

In court, lawyers argued over the available scientific evidence. Perhaps most damaging for the defendants, though, were revelations that reinforced Monsanto's image as a company that people love to hate.

Monsanto's aggressive tactics to influence scientific opinion and discredit critics undercut the company's credibility. It had taken aim at hundreds of activists, scientists, journalists, politicians, and even musicians. At one point, a team monitored Neil Young's social media postings after he released an album, "The Monsanto Years," in 2015 and a short film that attacked the company and genetically modified food.

"There's a fair amount of evidence about Monsanto being pretty crass about this issue," Judge Chhabria of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco said when he reviewed the Hardeman verdict last summer. "Monsanto didn't seem concerned at all about getting at the truth of whether glyphosate caused cancer."

A confidential report from a consulting firm that Monsanto hired in 2018 also warned that the company's scorched-earth tactics were not helping. Even among people within the E.P.A. who viewed glyphosate as safe, the report said, "there is frustration over what some see as your stubborn resistance to taking seriously evidence that challenges your thinking."

With Bayer's purchase in 2018, the Monsanto brand ceased to exist, but the shadows on its public image persisted.

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June 24, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food ordering deadlines today:

Heart Beet Organics (vegetables, eggs, fermented products), order before noon today for pickup at their Great George Street storefront, today, Wednesday 3-6PM LINK

Also, items will be available at the store during those hours today.

Tonight:

Just before midnight, is the deadline to web-order from both the Charlottetown Farmers' Market on-line and Eat Local PEI.

Charlottetown Farmers' Market 2GO On-line service (many products), for Saturday afternoon pickup by the Market) LINK

Eat Local PEI group (many farmers-market-type vendors), for Saturday late afternoon pickup, near Founders Food Court, .LINK
-------------------
PEI Legislature sits from 2-5PM today

Watch Live:
the Assembly website at
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

--------------------------

Wednesday, June 24
Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, 7:30PM until 6:30PM Thursday.
Starring Roberto Alagna (with even longer, more beautiful hair than usual) and the extremely versatile Elīna Garanča (who has been in other Met Operas as Carmen and as the young nobleman in Der Rosenkavalier - she's Dalila).  From October 20, 2018. https://www.metopera.org/


Short notice but they are trying to "get it done":

**DEADLINE: Tomorrow, Thursday, June 26th, 4PM**:

from: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/review-of-bill-37-an-act-to-amend-the-emergency-measures-act

Review of Bill 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act

On June 16, 2020, Motion no. 75, Referring Bill 37 to Committee was introduced and debated in the legislature. The motion passed by a majority vote and the bill was sent to the Standing Committee on Health and Social Development for further study of the proposed and potential amendments.

Motion No. 75 

WHEREAS Government has tabled Bill 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act, and many questions remain about the bill and its potential impacts;

AND WHEREAS the Legislative Assembly has the ability to refer bills to a Standing Committee for study;

AND WHEREAS the Standing Committee on Health and Social Development is the standing committee tasked with matters of justice and public safety;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the House refer Bill 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act, to the Standing Committee on Health and Social Development for further study;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Committee invite representatives from each department of the provincial government to present on: how the circumstances of COVID-19 have affected and are affecting the department in question; and how the proposed powers would affect the department in question or the circumstances under which the use of the powers might be requested by the department;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Committee solicit and consider input from the public on Bill 37, in the form and manner the Committee deems appropriate;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Committee consider proposed and potential amendments to Bill 37, and make any recommendation that the Committee considers appropriate;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Committee report to the House with its findings and recommendations within 14 calendar days of the passing of this motion.


How do I provide input on Bill 37?

The Standing Committee on Health and Social Development would like to hear your views on proposed changes to Bill 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act:

Deadline for public submissions is Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 4:00pm.

Please note: written submissions will be posted to the Legislative Assembly website.

Individuals may request that their name not be posted to the Legislative Assembly website. 
<snip>


The website LINK contains the comments already submitted.


Tomorrow and Friday, the Health and Social Development Legislative Committee will meet (when the House is not meeting, so they are packing these in) to discuss the Bill with Starting Date:

Thursday, June 24th,

Health and Social Development Legislative Committee meeting, 9AM, Livestreamed at the Legislative Assembly website:

https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Topic: Bill No. 37

Location: First floor, Hon. George Coles Building, 175 Richmond Street

The committee will continue its consideration of Bill No. 37, An Act to Amend the Emergency Measures Act, as mandated by Motion No. 75. Scheduled witnesses include Department of Justice and Public Safety representatives.  

The Hon. George Coles Building remains closed to the public for in-person attendance, but this meeting will be live-streamed on the Legislative Assembly’s website and Facebook page. Audio and video recordings of the first portion of the meeting and a transcript of same will later be made publicly available.
-30-

Friday's meeting will be in camera, or private and not broadcast, to work on their report, which I think would be due Wednesday, June 30th, 2020.


Guardian article -- that viewscape affects us all. https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/former-planning-expert-says-charlottetown-will-regret-approving-eight-storey-apartment-on-waterfront-465407/

Former planning expert says Charlottetown will regret approving eight-storey apartment on waterfront - The Guardian article by Dave Stewart

Published on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2020

One of the people who played a lead role in shaping the Charlottetown waterfront says the city is ruining decades of hard work.

Doug MacArthur is talking about council’s decision to approve a $30-million, eight-storey apartment building at 15 Haviland St., directly behind Renaissance Place (the former Sacred Heart Home).

“I do not like to see (all of the work) falling apart at this stage because so many things have been well done since the 1970s," MacArthur said in an interview last week, referring to the city’s waterfront.

MacArthur used to own his own planning firm, called Spatial Planning. He was also one of the federal government officials who worked on developing the waterfront over an industrial site to what it is today. To cite one example, with the help of the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, the old Texaco tank farm was transformed into Confederation Landing Park.

MacArthur said he isn’t upset with Pan American Properties and owner Tim Banks, the developer leading the project, acknowledging that the property is as-of-right and was zoned in 2012 in such a way that allows a building of this size to be built on the waterfront.

“What he’s doing is maximizing profit. My problem is the city letting him do it because they have not done the proper due diligence."

MacArthur said his big concern is that the city’s design review board signed off on the project following a 17-minute meeting.

“I still think there is an opportunity to revisit this building. I think there are so many things wrong with the way the design committee went about it and I think there are so many inaccuracies in how this building complies with everything from heritage bylaws to all sorts of things."

MacArthur said people need to realize this eight-storey structure is going to tower over the neighbourhood buildings, which include Queen Charlotte Armouries, Renaissance Place and the Culinary Institute of Canada.

“This must not be allowed to proceed. The first thing the cruise ships will see is this building. New buildings on the waterfront should cannot overwhelm other neighbourhood buildings."

Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the planning and heritage committees, said the design review board did its due diligence.

“We have a board in place that has architects on it," Rivard said.“They get reports prior to the meetings, so it is not like they are seeing (proposals) for the first time at the meetings. They’ve had these reports in their hands for a week.

“There are cases, sometimes, where they will reach out to our heritage or planning staff with questions prior to the meeting. A lot of the questions they may have had may have been answered ahead of time."

MacArthur still warns letting eight-storey buildings rise on the waterfront sets a dangerous precedent.

“I think if this proceeds it will be the worst project the waterfront has seen," MacArthur said.

-30-


Global Chorus essay for June 24

Joel R. Primack

Traditional creation stories start with “In the beginning …” But it may never be possible to discover the “beginning.” A practical alternative is to perceive time outward from the present, as science discovers it. A tiny consciousness of history is mirrored in a tiny consciousness of the future. Many people who think of the Earth as only a few thousand years old have no compunction about ending it shortly. For some messianic believers, this symmetric sort of closure gives the whole thing meaning. But our solar system will continue to exist for more than five billion years until the sun becomes a red giant star and ultimately a fading white dwarf. After our Milky Way galaxy merges with the great galaxy in Andromeda in a few billion years, the stars in the combined galaxy will continue to shine brightly for a trillion years. But Milky Andromeda may become completely isolated as galaxies not gravitationally bound to it disappear over the cosmic horizon due to the accelerating expansion of the universe. Our view of the distant future, like that of the distant past, grows increasingly fuzzy, but without doubt both must be thought of in many billions of years, not thousands.

Complex structures like the eye have evolved independently several times, but high intelligence only once on Earth thus far. Primitive life may be common, but we humans might be the first intelligence in our entire galaxy. If we can learn to value our beautiful planet and the other things we share higher than the conflicts that divide us, we can create a long-lived planetary civilization. Such longevity will be necessary for ambitious space travel that will require many human generations, but which could make humanity the source of intelligence in the ultimately visible universe.

      — Joel R. Primack, cosmologist, distinguished professor of physics and  astronomy at University of California, Santa Cruz,  co-author with Nancy Ellen Abrams of The View from the Center of the Universe  and The New Universe and the Human Future 

http://viewfromthecenter.com/

------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 23, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

The P.E.I. Legislature resumes today, 2-5PM and 7-9PM.

You can watch at the Assembly website: https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
(a "Watch Live" link opens on the front page)

and Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

Some more details of Question Period transcripts and other information and materials at the Assembly website:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

It is possible that the subject of the holding ponds will come up in Question Period, usually the first hour of the proceedings for the day.
--------------------
Local Farmers' Food this week:

Eat Local PEI has the deadline of 11:59PM Wednesday for pick-up or delivery late afternoon Saturday.  More details at:
https://www.localline.ca/eatlocalpei

Charlottetown Farmers' Market "2GO" also takes orders until they reach their maximum number, or 11:59PM Wednesday.
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/

Heart Beet Organics will be at their storefront, Great george Street, from 3-6PM Wednesday.  Pre-orders can be made until noon tomorrow for pickup at the store.
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

---------------------------
Met Opera for Tuesday, June 23
John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, 7:30PM until 6:30PM Wednesday
Starring Sasha Cooke, Thomas Glenn, Gerald Finley, and Richard Paul Fink, conducted by Alan Gilbert. From November 8, 2008. " John Adams’s mesmerizing score, in the powerful production of Penny Woolcock, tells the story of one of the pivotal moments in human history—the creation of the atomic bomb. Conducted by Alan Gilbert in his Met debut, this gripping opera presents the human face of the scientists, military men, and others who were involved in the project, as they wrestled with the implications of their work. (Canadian) Baritone Gerald Finley gives a powerful star turn in the title role as the brilliant J. Robert Oppenheimer."
https://www.metopera.org/


Here are the last two presentations made at the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water's media conference last week:

Boyd Allen is a member of both the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands and the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water

On the 9th of June current Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Natalie Jameson was questioned in the legislature about the construction of this holding pond in Shamrock. She stated that her staff had been made aware of it on the previous day. Lack of timely input notwithstanding, the Minister felt it important to assure the public that this project was NOT a high capacity well. Staff was tasked the following day to do an assessment on its impact on the surrounding area.

This response sparks several questions: Why did those responsible for a project of this scale not feel it appropriate to keep government informed? What form was this planned assessment going to take? What criteria were to be applied? What potential actions could be forthcoming from this assessment? Were there any plans to monitor this or any other holding pond? Was her department planning on informing Islanders of the progress of the assessment process?

This is the latest of many such wells that have been dug in PEI in order to circumvent the moratorium on high capacity wells. Until the water act is proclaimed there are no regulations pertaining to these holding ponds. Islanders are very concerned about these unregulated ponds, not only because of complete lack of oversight but also all the same reasons they clearly demanded maintaining the moratorium on high capacity wells. PEI is 100% dependent on underground aquifers for fresh water. The fact that we are surrounded by salt water also means that salt water could possibly enter into our fresh water aquifers, causing irreparable harm.

In the 2019 election campaign, Dennis King stated “...water is the issue that islanders all want to talk about...This might be a case that since we don’t know the impacts of what we are allowing them to do now with the holding ponds, the effects might actually be worse than the effect of the high capacity wells…A government led by me will recognize that and we will make sure the processes are in place, that the regulations are there to make sure our water is protected.”

The key statements on page 2 of the Water Act passed by the P.E.I. Legislature in December 2017 are:
-Government has a guardianship role -Access to a sufficient quantity and safe quality of water
-Water withdrawals subject to a transparent evaluation and approval process
-Everyone has a duty to protect water
-Decisions with respect to water management be made by applying consistent, science based assessment processes
-Application of the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle states: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

Given the above statements, we ask that the Minister of Environment invoke an immediate interim moratorium on holding ponds. We also request that a provincial representative of the Department of Environment be sent on site to monitor water levels in neighbouring wells.

-30-
 
Doug Campbell is the Director of the National Farmers’ Union in PEI and a member of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands

The Island potato industry’s need of holding ponds and high capacity wells is a serious side effect or symptom of the greater issue of the overtaxing of Island land, our primary resource, which is causing the continual depletion of organic matter in the soil. For those who can’t feel it when they cup a handful of soil in their hands, the scientific facts to prove what is happening are there. Several years ago, the Island Department of Agriculture released its findings of a twenty year study of soil health in PEI. The findings are stark. Organic matter necessary to make our soil productive and crop bearing, hold water, and able to withstand erosion and climate change, has declined despite laws around crop rotation. There is little doubt it has declined even further since that report. Rather ironically, some of our most depleted land that is seen blowing in the wind, is selling for high prices on the belief that water and chemical fertilizer will grow the quality and flavour of potato for which PEI has become world famous.

Successive Island governments’ enabling the circumventing of the Lands Protection Act is one of the contributing factors for where we find ourselves today. A second factor is traced to the world wide move towards monoculture industrialized farming methods that have greatly profited a minority, in particular corporations, while mining the land, and destroying identity of rural communities worldwide.

The United Nations has sounded the alarm about the urgent need to return to and develop a more sustainable, natural and organic system to produce food. The report is titled, “Wake Up Before it is Too Late”. The primary industry on Prince Edward Island is agriculture and it has greatly contributed to the building of this province. If we want farming, and independent farmers to survive, thrive, and prosper not only themselves, but the Island economy, we need to wake up fast. Construction of holding ponds is one way industry is getting around the moratorium on deep water wells. Many Islanders are now questioning if the present government’s delay in enacting the water act is to give industry time to get these ponds built and grandfathered in before ratifying the act.

It is difficult to believe that government has no regulations on the building of holding ponds. Rather they have a few suggested guidelines. One has to have a permit to build a house or even a shed on their property. But a property owner can build a holding pond with no permit and no oversight. How can that be possible when it comes to the management of the resource of water? The environment department is using the logic that two, low capacity wells, pumping 24/7 into a holding pond, will not draw as much water as a high capacity well. Is there hard-core science backing this thinking as justification for issuing holding pond permits? Even to the average person, with no knowledge on the subject matter, this seems like pretty illogical reasoning.

Are acting bureaucrats willing to be accountable for what they are doing? The time is long overdue for Island bureaucrats to be held accountable to the public. Yes, it is politicians standing in front of the podium and the news microphone, but as we are continually witnessing, few are experts on their portfolios. Rather they follow the advice of their department bureaucrats, the lobbying pressure of industry and powerful marketing boards. The greater good of the public often gets lost in the mix. Government and industry have no business pitting Islanders against each other over water. Rather they should be showing leadership in preserving our primary resource, the land, so that no Islander fears their well going dry, and that so no independent farmer is demonized in the production of food.

We know the current government, since December of 2019, has been sitting on a report on farm land banking that apparently offers some solutions towards rebuilding our organic matter in the soil and moving us away from mono-agriculture, while building a sustainable industry. Why are they not releasing that report? Water is an essential resource in the quality and prosperity of human life. The health of the land and the health of our water go hand in hand. It cannot become a commodity of the few or an accessory in the continual abuse of our land.

I am told urban Islanders don’t see the land issue as their concern. Politicians, bureaucrats, and industry are counting on that. But if Islanders, rural or urban, care about having future access to water, to good quality food, good jobs, and a healthy rural landscape which greatly builds urban wealth, then each one will learn about the land issue, and how it underlines every aspect of our Island way of life. Every resource of this earth and every human on it are interconnected. We do indeed need to “Wake Up Before it is Too Late."
-30-


Even though we don't have bigger mammals crossing our roads, we should still be mindful of all the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that do cross roads in our province.
https://www.sierraclub.ca/en/media/2020-06-01/watch-wildlife-warns-drivers-stay-safe-they-return-road

Building a Future of Safer Roads

An argument for funding wildlife vehicle collision mitigation infrastructure

sent to Sierra Club newsletter subscribers on Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Each year, the Green Budget Coalition, comprising 24 leading Canadian environmental organizations, releases recommendations on how to address pressing environmental issues in the coming year’s federal budget. For Budget 2020, Sierra Club Canada Foundation included a recommendation for a National Wildlife Collision Data Collection System. This recommendation is now being expanded to include funding for building wildlife vehicle collision mitigation infrastructure. The following is a blog by David Snider, Past President and current Board Member, who serves as our representative on the Green Budget Coalition, outlining the justification for funding wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation infrastructure.

As Canada begins to enter the relaxation phase of the pandemic, members of the Green Budget Coalition have been busy preparing recommendations for the recovery phase and Budget 2021. The recovery offers an important opportunity to accelerate efforts to address the biodiversity crisis, including building back better to protect wildlife crossing our roads.   

Wildlife-vehicle collisions are on the rise in Canada resulting in significant health, economic and environmental costs, including serious impacts on species at risk. With input from our Watch for Wildlife program, a recommendation for a national wildlife-vehicle collision data reporting system was drafted for Budget 2020.       

The proposed wildlife-vehicle collision data reporting system would not likely have a large impact from a short-term job creation stimulus perspective, since we are recommending that it be adopted and used by existing public servants, contractors and volunteers involved with collision reporting. But it would address the critical need for accurate, timely and standardized collision data to properly locate, plan and monitor wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation infrastructure.

So, we thought it would make sense to combine the wildlife-vehicle collision data reporting system with a recommendation for funding to build collision mitigation infrastructure, such as fencing and crossing structures, which could create many jobs. This could be similar to the pilot grant program of $250 million over 5 years to support construction projects that protect motorists and wildlife included in the America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.
Banff National Park is a world leader in wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation, with 38 underpasses, 6 overpasses and fencing along the Trans-Canada Highway, that has reduced collisions by more than 80%, and over 96% for elk and deer. However, it appears that resources for mitigation infrastructure are limited. 

For example, the 2019 Alberta budget allocated $20 million over 4 years for wildlife protection, including one wildlife overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Banff National Park that, with associated fencing, will likely cost around $14 million, instead of the original projected $7 million. A 2012 study identified 10 sites along the same 39 kilometre section of the highway that require wildlife underpasses. The cost of an underpass can be one-half to one-third the cost of an overpass, so it’s unlikely that there will be sufficient funds to build all 10 of these underpasses in the next three years.
There is rigorous long-term research demonstrating that crossing structures, combined with wildlife-exclusion fencing, significantly reduce these types of collisions and improve habitat connectivity for wildlife. Cost-benefit studies have shown that a strategically located wildlife crossing can pay for itself in 10 to 20 years, long before the end of the structure’s projected 75-year lifespan. 

Dedicating federal funding to infrastructure that would reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve ecological connectivity would also provide benefits in the form of job creation, infrastructure resiliency and sustainable natural resources.  With wildlife-vehicle collisions increasing across Canada, it’s time for the federal government to step up and make a major investment in mitigation infrastructure that will protect both people and wildlife.
 
David Snider, B.Sc., LL.B.
Past President, Board of Directors
Sierra Club Canada Foundation

-------------------------------------------

Watch for Wildlife (W4W) is a wildlife-vehicle collision prevention program of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s Atlantic Chapter. Initiated in 2016 in Nova Scotia, Watch for Wildlife was developed in response to a recognized need for greater awareness about wildlife-vehicle collision prevention and increasing safety on our roads for both people and wildlife. The program aims to educate drivers on ways to prevent collisions with wildlife, encourage collision reporting and data collection, and advocate for the inclusion of wildlife collision mitigation plans in road design and transportation policy. After two years in Nova Scotia, the program was successfully expanded to New Brunswick in Summer 2018.

The objective of the program is straightforward: to reduce injury and mortality of wildlife and people on our roads, and to encourage the implementation of wildlife-friendly road design and vehicle-collision mitigation measures.


Global Chorus essay for June 23

Des Ritchie

When we stop the CO2 going into the air we will stop: the Earth warming, the climate changing, the Arctic and Himalayan ice melting, the seas rising, the catastrophe for all species and the present financial crisis. In order to achieve these goals we will have to follow some of the actions carried out in 1939. It is a different war, but a greater emergency.

The actions are as follows:

1. The federal government declares a “State of Emergency.”

2. Government parties form an “All-Party Cabinet.”

3. All deniers and skeptics are given two weeks to declare their loyalty to the country or will be interned until the emergency is over.

4. A carbon tax of $50 per tonne is declared.

5. All defence forces are required to plant several million trees per year, starting with riparian corridors on rivers and highways. No Wars!!

6. No more felling forests.

7. All schools spend one day per week learning how to grow food in school gardens.

8. No more new highways until emergency is over.

9. All possible manufacturing is converted to building alternative energies, and access to the patent office is granted to the energy commission.

10. All coal and coal seam gas to be phased out over five years.

11. All men and women discouraged from increasing the population. Baby bonuses diverted to alternative energies.

12. Funds for alternative energies should flow from superannuation funds: we had the best standard of living while creating the problem.

13. All new houses must have solar panels – mandatory.

14. All lawns should be growing food or trees – not wasting fuel.

These actions may seem draconian to some, but were accepted without delay by the people of Britain, Canada and Australia in 1939. Knowledge of the present conflict was available 30 years ago and still little or nothing is happening. Will we be known as a bunch of wimps by those who may survive?

  — Des Ritchie, president of Queensland Folk Federation (Australia)

Media interview with Des from around the same time:

https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/12/20/3658469.htm

-----------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 22, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

From last week's Media Conference in Shamrock on a new holding pond for certain types of irrigation, two of the four speakers' notes:

from: https://peiwater.com/

Catherine O’Brien is a member and former Chair of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water

We, along with the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands are calling on our government to enact an interim moratorium on the development of holding ponds and underground water delivery systems.

I did not want to be here today. In fact, I stepped down as chair of the Water Coalition, for many reasons, but mainly because things were going well.

The Water Act was complete, and we were waiting on the regulations. But, here I am. The Water Act was passed in 2017, and water withdrawal regulations were developed more recently, following a process of public consultation. Yet the Act and its regulations have still not been formally proclaimed, creating a situation that allows the unregulated development of large holding ponds, with no permits required and next to no oversight on the part of the provincial government. The most recent and dramatic example of this practice is this seven million gallon holding pond being developed here (beside or behind me), that will require two wells running 24 hrs per day for up to a month to fill.

Let me be clear that this pond and others like it are not illegal. They are allowed under the current regulations, despite the current government’s recognition that they are being used to circumvent the moratorium on high capacity wells for agriculture, and despite new regulations that were created to prohibit such use. The former Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Brad Trivers said very clearly that this kind of protection is necessary. He also promised that measures would be taken to protect water prior to the Water Act and withdrawal regulations taking effect.

The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water has been deeply engaged in the process of the development of the Water Act and its regulations since the Standing Committee Hearings related to the request to lift the moratorium on high capacity wells in 2014. We were active in encouraging then Environment Minister Robert Mitchell to develop a robust, transparent and exemplary process of public consultation for the Water Act that now stands as a model of effective and respectful collaboration between community and government. We have represented more than 20 community groups and 200 individual members during this time, submitted many briefs, written many letters, and met whenever we could with the previous ministers of the Environment. Minister Mitchell recognized the important role we played in the development of the Water Act in his comments in the legislature. Along with these very productive consultative moments, there were also long periods where there seemed to be no progress, where regulations were either not being developed or sat on a shelf, perhaps awaiting a useful political moment. While Covid-19 has certainly presented obstacles in recent months, this process could have been completed long ago.

It seems that the positive and open process has stalled. No information has been coming regarding the timing of the next round of consultations for the Water Act regulations, and despite the grave concerns about the holding ponds that were brought to the government, since 2017, nothing has been done.

-30-


Don Mazer has been a member of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water since it began in 2013

The existence of these holding ponds reflects the government’s failure to protect PEI water. Even though the Water Act has been passed, and regulations have been developed through a process of consultation, the fact that the Act and its regulations have not been proclaimed has left us vulnerable to the virtually unregulated development of these ponds. These ponds clearly conflict with the spirit and purpose of the Water Act. The government itself has recognized that holding ponds can be used to circumvent the moratorium on high capacity wells for agriculture and has drafted regulations to prohibit just such a practice. Hon Brad Trivers, the previous Minister of the Environment spoke to this issue in the legislature last year and assured the public that “additional measures will be taken to protect our water while the consultation on the water withdrawal regulations take place. “

One would have hoped that the government would be outraged by such a blatant disregard for the intent of their legislation and the regulations that have been carefully developed, and for the words and commitments of their own Minister. But no. Instead of having a proclaimed law to rely on, decisions are made in the Department of Environment where bureaucrats advise a new Minister that a project such as this is acceptable, and that we have plentiful and abundant groundwater. It’s almost as if the last 6 years of hard work developing the Water Act and its regulations through such good collaboration between community and government haven’t even happened. We have written to Premier King and put the following points to him:

1. We call on the Premier and the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change to enact an interim moratorium on the development of all holding ponds and other underground water supply systems based on multiple low capacity wells until the Water Act and its regulations have been proclaimed and put into effect. It is clear that building these holding ponds violates the spirit and intention of the Water Act. A moratorium would end this practice. And once the Water Act is proclaimed, it would be very clear in the ‘letter’ of the law what was prohibited.

2. We also oppose any ‘grandfathering’ of these holding ponds for the same n; while not legally prohibited, their development violates the spirit of the moratorium on high capacity wells. Stopping any further development of such holding ponds would lead to fewer troubling discussions about grandfathering with farmers who had made such a significant capital investment and it would reduce pressure on farmers to develop these ponds..

3. We are calling on you to do what is required to proclaim the Water Act as law as soon as possible, which was your previous Minister’s stated intention, and close these legal gaps that permit the exploitation of PEI water.

4. We also call on you to see that all wells, high and low capacity alike, are licensed and registered so that everyone has access to the information about who is using this vital public resource.

What we are requesting is exactly what Minister Trivers and your Government intended: that additional measures be taken to protect our water while the consultations on water withdrawal regulations take place. An immediate interim moratorium on holding ponds is what is needed to protect PEI water.reaso

-30-


You can consider contacting three people about the four points Don rtaises:

Premier Dennis King: 
 
Phone: 902-368-4400
Fax: 902-368-4416
Email: premier@gov.pe.ca

Environment Minister
Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change Natalie Jameson:
Phone: 902-620-3646
Fax: 902-368-5542
Email: ngjamesonMinister@gov.pe.ca

Your MLA (listing on this page -- contact me if you cannot figure out who your MLA is:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/members
----------------------------
Moratorium on Holding Ponds petition:
https://www.change.org/p/the-prince-edward-island-legislative-assembly-enact-an-interim-moratorium-on-holding-ponds-in-pei-d21aab61-2bab-4dbb-af19-502eabca1bf


Met Opera for Monday, June 22nd, 7:30PM, to Tuesday about 6:30PM:
Verdi’s La Traviata
Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Michael Fabiano, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. From March 11, 2017.  Willy Decker's new staging is a modern setting of the classic, and the music and singing is still amazing.


Atlantic Skies for June 22- 28 - How Big Are the Planets? by Glenn K. Roberts

Everyone knows that the distances between the planets in our solar system are so big, they are measured in terms of astronomical units (1 AU equals approx 150, 000,000 kms. - the average distance between the Earth and the Sun). But what about the size of the planets relative to each other, and to the Sun? 

First, we'll need some base reference points. Planet Earth has an equatorial diameter of 12,756 kms, (0.009x the Sun). By contrast, our Sun, the centre of our solar system, is a whopping 1.39 million kms. in diameter (109x that of Earth). Approximately 1,300,000 Earths could fit inside the Sun.

We'll now move to our solar system's innermost planet, Mercury. Named for the winged messenger of the gods in Roman mythology, this planet is a mere 4,880 kms in diameter (0.38x Earth, 0.004x the Sun). The next planet out is Venus, named after the Roman goddess of love, with a diameter of 12,104 kms (0.95x Earth, 0.009x the Sun). Sliding past Earth (the only planet not named for a Greek or Roman deity), we come to Mars, the Roman god of war, with a diameter of 6,794 kms (0.53x Earth, 0.005x the Sun). Next is mighty Jupiter, the supreme god of Roman mythology, with a gigantic diameter of 142,984 kms (11.2x Earth, 0.1x the Sun). Beyond Jupiter lies the ringed-planet Saturn, Roman god of wealth and agriculture, with a diameter of 120,536 kms (9.4x Earth, 0.09x the Sun). Saturn is followed by Uranus, ancient Greek god of the sky, with a diameter of 51,118 kms (4.0x Earth, 0.04x the Sun). The last planet out (at least according to the 2006 ruling of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)) is Neptune, Roman god of the sea, whose diameter is 49,528 kms (3.9x Earth, 0.04x the Sun). Being old-school (like most of you, I was taught that it was our "ninth planet"), I'll include Pluto, Roman god of the underworld. This diminutive planet, demoted from planet status to that of a  "dwarf planet" by the IAU in 2006, has a diameter of only 2,300 kms (0.18x Earth, 0.002x the Sun).

To give you a sense of scale, if we shrank the Sun down to the size of a 44 cms beach ball, the planets would appear as follows - Mercury (0.15 cms in diameter, at 22 m from the beach ball); Venus (0.38 cms dia., at 34 m); Earth (0.40 cms dia., at 48 m); Mars (0.21 cms dia., at 80 m); Jupiter (4.52 cms dia., at 260 m); Saturn (3.68 cms dia., at 480 m); Uranus (1.6 cms dia., at 950 m), Neptune (1.56 cms dia., at 1.43 kms), and Pluto (0.07 cms dia., at 2.3 kms). Have a sense yet of how incredibly amazing our solar system is, and how small the planets actually are compared to the Sun?

Mercury, approaching inferior conjunction with the Sun, is not observable this coming week. On June 23, Mercury is at aphelion (farthest from the Sun).  Jupiter (mag. -2.7) rises in the south-east shortly before midnight, reaches its highest point in the southern sky around 3 a.m., then disappears from view at a height of 16 degrees in the south-west sky by 5 a.m. Saturn (mag. 0.3) rises a few minutes after midnight, reaching a height of 23 degrees above the southern horizon around 3:20 a.m., then fading from sight above the southern horizon around 4:40 a.m. Mars (mag. -0.3) makes an appearance in the eastern sky around 1:30 a.m., reaching 30 degrees above the south-east horizon as it fades from view about 4:45 a.m. Our "morning star", Venus (mag.-4.2) is visible in the pre-dawn sky, rising around 4 a.m., reaching 8 degrees above the eastern horizon before fading from view by 5 a.m.

Look for the "Summer Triangle" in the eastern evening sky just as dusk turns to darkness from now through July. This asterism (picture within a picture) consists of three stars from three different constellations - Vega (Lyra - the Harp), Deneb (Cygnus - the Swan), and Altair (Aquila - the Eagle).

Until next week, clear skies.

Events:

June 23 - Mercury at aphelion (farthest from Sun)

         28 - First Quarter Moon

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There is so much inspiring content in YES! magazine, founded by Sarah van Gelder, who writes the Global Chorus essay for today. https://www.yesmagazine.org/
------------------
Unfortunately, there was more darkness in the author of yesterday's Global Chorus essay than I realized, and I appreciate people for letting me know. Background story here:
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/feb/29/paolo-soleri-architect-abuser-arcosanti-utopian-city-steve-rose


Global Chorus essay for June 22

Sarah van Gelder

I live among Chief Seattle’s people, and one of the things I’ve learned from this experience is humility.

I say, “I’ve lived here 12 years – longer than I’ve lived anywhere!” And then I come upon an ancient petroglyph or a shell midden, and I remember that my neighbours’ ancestors have lived here for thousands of years.

I critique our society’s divide between rich and poor. Then I’m invited to a seafood feast followed by an outpouring of gift giving. Ah yes, these people figured out centuries ago that inequality upsets the delicate balances that allow societies to thrive. So instead of gaining status from accumulating stuff, they earn respect by giving it away.

One of the old stories tells of a time when people and animals were on equal footing, and they were all hungry. They made a wager. Whichever side won a game of chance could eat the other. Humans won, but not by much. There’s humility in that story, too – it could have gone the other way.

It takes humility to recognize that “progress” isn’t always for the better and that our future relies on learning Nature’s original ideas:

* Nature works in cycles. Every kind of waste nourishes something else.

* Nature is a network of relationships capable of generating yet more life and relationships, in unimaginably diverse forms.

* Nature uses current energy (mostly from the sun), and it doesn’t draw down the principal of the Earth’s largess. 

It lives off the interest. I grew up in a culture that claimed the right to conquer, use up and displace Nature. Human intelligence coupled with technology would take us to a brighter future, we were told. Today, as we reach the limits of what life on Earth can tolerate, we need a little less hubris and a little more humility. If we learn from Nature and from our indigenous brothers and sisters, I now believe we’ll have a much better shot at that bright future.7


      — Sarah van Gelder,  co-founder and editor-in-chief of
YES! Magazine 
https://www.yesmagazine.org/authors/sarah-van-gelder/

----------------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 21, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


June 20, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events -- Local Food:

Summerside Farmers’ Market open, 9AM-noon, outside of Holman Building
Vendors are outside, with directional markers for customers.   Lots of local produce, meats and crafts.

Some Farmers' Market vendors are outside the Farmers' Market buildings in Charlottetown.

Heart Beet Organics "The Farmacy", 9AM-1PM, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown. Local produce, fermented products, cheese, chocolates, etc. at their storefront. 

*Many* producers, their products, and their contact info listed in this week's:
PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-op Newletter for June 19th, 2020

Events -- Opera-tunities:
Ben Heppner's Opera Gems (Saturday Afternoon at the Opera), 1PM, CBC Music Radio.
Contralto and Conductor Nathalie Stuzmann presents Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner, with the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Chorus, Sir Georg Solti - conductor, René Kollo - Tannhäuser, and Helga Dernesch - Elisabeth.  From the 1970s.

Met Opera HD Live Broadcast recording:

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, 7:30PM Saturday until about 6:30PM Sunday.
Starring Dísella Lárusdóttir, J'Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Aaron Blake, Will Liverman, Richard Bernstein, and Zachary James, conducted by Karen Kamensek. From November 23, 2019.
About the pharaoh who tried to change things, and how that went....I heard a part of the live broadcast in November, and it was so different and so interesting.  And Glass was there -- one of those very rare, truly awesome moments of a live genius-composer on stage with the cast taking a bow.


On-line Opportunities:

Sunday, June 21st:
Green Party Leadership Hopefuls' Debate on Democracy, 8PM AT, sponsored by Fair Vote Canada.

from Fair Vote:
By showing up, you're helping to send a message that proportional representation matters!


The debate will be co-hosted by Green Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May and Jim Harris, member of Fair Vote Canada's National Advisory Board and former leader of the Green Party. Elizabeth will give a special introduction to the debate, talking about why improving our democracy is crucial right now.

Registration and more into here

------------------------

Tuesday, June 23rd:
Just Recovery Online Rally, 4PM AT.

350.org and other organizations hosting an on-line rally to show mass support for a COVID-19 economic recovery plan that takes people and the planet into account.
Registration and more info here 



And on this subject: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-the-time-for-change-is-now-463429/

GUEST OPINION: The time for change is now - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Adam Fenech

Published on Thursday, June 18th, 2020

I was invited by the premier of Prince Edward Island to be part of a team of 28 Islanders from various backgrounds and organizations to establish a plan for recovery and growth potential for the province over the next one, two, five and 10 years following our social and economic lockdown during “The COVID.”

The premier said, "COVID-19 has impacted all Islanders — our entire well-being has been threatened ... We need to chart a clear path forward, one that does not necessarily take us back to our pre-COVID normal.” The Council for Recovery and Growth is tasked with engaging Islanders and organizations in creating a plan to harness growth and build opportunity. We recently held our first meeting.

The invitation was opportune, as I am a member of a group of 50 scholars from universities across the country known as Sustainable Canada Dialogues that is calling on governments to spring Canada forward with innovation and investment to make our society inclusive, just, climate-resilient and economically strong. I invite you to visit our website and browse our good work at www.sustainablecanadadialogues.ca which is available in both English and French languages.

COVID-19 has shown Canadians are resilient, socially conscious and willing to tolerate short-term pain for long-term societal good. As a group of scholars, we propose a few key principles to guide investments that can future-proof our economies against climate catastrophe. Investments should link job creation and green infrastructure. They should include funding for both initial capital and long-term operations. COVID-19 has acutely highlighted that social inequalities threaten Canada’s resilience. Thus, investments should include principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and be consistent with Indigenous rights. Finally, to support an evidence-based approach, pilot projects, experimentation, rigorous testing and evaluation should be built into all major post-COVID investments.

Measures adopted to fight the coronavirus are opening new investment opportunities serving health and environmental goals. Moving people and goods across the landscape is one of Canada’s highest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Rethinking delivery systems could springboard off the explosion of home delivery. Small-truck delivery fleets are well-suited to electrification; consolidating deliveries, coordinating logistics, improving the filling rates of trucks and offering flexible delivery hours could help reduce car dependency.

Some cities have widened sidewalks and pedestrianized streets to facilitate social distancing. The recovery is thus a great time to fund complete streets and roads with wide sidewalks, green infrastructure and bicycle lanes. This will favour active transportation in urban, peri-urban and rural Canada where such infrastructure is largely absent. Ensuring universal access to high-speed internet is also a necessity in a world that demands working from home.

These words are not my own but the condensed distillation of 50 scholars discussing and debating these opportunities online over what seems like a lifetime of isolation. Tomorrow, we will discuss opportunities for “no regrets” investments. These are investments that are beneficial even in the absence of climate change.

Adam Fenech is associate dean with the School of Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Prince Edward Island. This is Part 1 of a two-part guest opinion on COVID-19 recovery. 
-30-

The link to the organization Adam refers to, the Sustainable Canada Dialogues, is here:
http://www.sustainablecanadadialogues.ca/en/scd


Roman Dial's essay has the heart-rending postscript of being by the author who soon after writing this in 2013, lost his adult son who was backpacking in Costa RIca.  A synopsis of that story is in this NPR article about the father's book.

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/03/811397071/a-father-recounts-his-search-for-the-son-who-vanished-in-costa-rican-wilderness

Global Chorus essay for June 20
Roman Dial


For 40 years I’ve explored the world, climbing mountains, rafting rivers, skiing glaciers, walking wilderness, even traversing forest canopies. For 20 years I’ve taught university science, researched and published on the environment. During my lifetime, the four billion of us added to the planet have clearly changed our Earth. The scale and pace of that change, exemplified in a dying glacier, the clearing of a childhood wood, the conversion of tropical rainforest to oil palm saddens, even scares me.

A friend and I once walked 600 untracked miles across Alaska’s Arctic, passing through the point farthest from roads and habitation in all of the USA. During that walk I pondered us humans as an ultimate weed, spreading even to space.

Weeds are eventually replaced by the less wasteful. The early, exponential growth of natural communities always levels out, unless a physical force wipes it clean. Our population will obey these laws of resource consumption, no matter what the economists and politicians claim. While there are too many of us to go extinct, natural selection will yet apply. The Earth for us will be worse than many claim, but better than doomsayers fear. Still, over the next century or so we will be sad, scared, nostalgic and wistful for a world of better views, fewer people, more interesting/more unusual landscapes and life. But there is hope, because our children, weedy or not, will also want to live, and the wanting to live is the best hope of all.

     —Roman Dial, professor at Alaska Pacific University

  ------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 19, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Events:

CBC Radio Island Morning Political Panel, after 7:30news until 8AM, 96.1FM.

The P.E.I. Legislature sits from 10AM-1PM today. Check the Watch Live feature:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Fridays for Future (F4F), 3:30PM, by the Cenotaph at Province House, Great George and Grafton side of things, all welcome.

Local Food pre-ordering:
Heart Beet Organics, order by 4PM today for pickup between 9AM-1PM Saturday at their store, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street. Also note, the last day for vegetable transplants sales at their farm in Darlington is this Sunday. More details on all:
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/
--------------------------
from the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water's website:https://peiwater.com/2020/06/18/calling-for-a-moratorium-on-holding-ponds/

Calling for a Moratorium on Holding Ponds

Published on Thursday, June 18th, 2020

On Wednesday June 17, members of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water held a media conference near Kinkora, in view of a newly constructed 17 million gallon holding pond. Catherine O’Brien and Don Mazer, speaking on behalf of the Coalition, were joined by Doug Campbell (National Farmers’ Union) and Boyd Allen (Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands.

The Coalition has called for a moratorium on construction of new holding ponds, at least until the water withdrawal regulations and the Water Act are put into effect. Holding ponds and underground water delivery systems are fed by multiple low capacity wells and are seen as a way of working around the current moratorium on high capacity wells for irrigation. The Coalition sees this as a clear violation of the spirit and intent of the new Water Act.

See the video of the presentations here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Egq7wh7HsDJUcdByRQMcTV85x79Jf5bu/view?usp=sharing

And find the written presentations here (See link on website and I will copy and paste them tomorrow)

-------------------------------------------------------------
from The Samara Centre, sent to their mailing list Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Democracy Monitor --
The State of Democracy in a State of Emergency


Canada could be getting closer to the widespread use of digital contact tracing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris note: It is -- as Prime Minister Trudeau announced yesterday at his daily noon our time briefing.)

Digital contact tracing apps use mobile data to alert people if they’ve come in contact with someone who is infected. The jury is still out on how effective they'll be to stop the spread of new outbreaks, but they hold some promise—and raise flags regarding privacy, security, and equity.

In this week's edition of the Democracy Monitor, the Samara Centre argues that the digital contact tracing debate should really be about democratic governance—which so far has been missing from the conversation. We offer some thoughts on how to build public control and accountability into this high-stakes, high-tech pandemic project.

Keeping up the pressure

For the last three months, Samara’s Democracy Monitor has been closely tracking the state of Parliamentary institutions as they adaptt to this time of emergency, nationally, provincially, and around the Westminster world.

Last week, our Research Director Mike Morden was invited to appear as a witness at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, to share our view on how a full-service Parliament can resume during the pandemic—and why it must.

LINK to weekly Democracy Monitor


-30-

(well worth the time to read!)

--------------------------------------------

Global Chorus essay for June
Diana Beresford-Kroeger

A mountain of my childhood in Ireland was called Dόchus, or hope. And hope alone, braids the entire human family together. In turn, we are just one ply of Nature in a common pattern of language of life.

In truth, I am the daughter of a noble line. I was inducted into the ancient wisdoms when I became an orphan at a young age. I was given a sacred trust to which I have been faithful.

Recently, while filming Ten Trees to Save the World, I was invited by Professor Akira Miyawaki to plant trees. It was in Shonan Village of Kanagawa prefecture of Japan. There were hundreds of men, women and children there. We planted broadleaved evergreens to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis.

It was misting. I wrapped my scarf around my head. I was no beauty with both knees buried in the mud. Akira saw my hands and passed me a pair of snow-white gloves. I gently tapped a laurel sapling out of its pot. The root tip meristems were healthy and ready for a millennium of growth. I oriented the baby, broad-leaved canopy to the sun and told it to grow. I tucked the soil around the roots. Sheaves of rice straw were opened and placed around the young stems. When the planting was finished, I helped to hold the rice ropes criss-cross over the rice mulch to hold the new forest in place. The roots would, now, protect the coastline.

A Japanese woman stepped up to embrace me. The young followed suit. No award can be greater than this for me. I will now hold this new forest in my heart. I am truly honoured to be asked to do this for Japan. And for you.

— Diana Beresford-Kroeger, scientist, environmental activist, author of The Sweetness of a Simple Life

about her and her life's work:
Documentary: Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees website
------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 18, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

"You belong where you give yourself."
--Zita Cobb


this quote is the banner on the website of today's
Global Chorus author, Pete Hay, and some his essays and poetry can be found here


P.E.I. Legislature:

With the release of the Provincial Budget yesterday, it appears the emergency session morphs into a regular Spring Session.
P.E.I. Legislature resumes today, 2-5PM and 7-9PM. Tune in:

A "Watch Live" link opens on the front page of the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

and Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

Provincial Budget page from Government:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/budget-2020-21-charts-path-forward-for-islanders-during-covid-19


from the Sierra Club Canada:
Urgent Action requested--
This week, until Friday, June 19th:

"please send a short submission to the (federal) Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology (INDU) and demand that Canada’s recovery from the pandemic must be a Just Recovery for All. Canada cannot go back to the way things were. We need to push this committee with overwhelming support for Just Recovery efforts to counter the mounting pressure to return to the status quo and further entrench systems that prioritize profit while harming human and planetary health. Information is here:
https://www.sierraclub.ca/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=1850

Here is 350.org's page on the same deadline to promote a Just Recovery:
https://350.org/jr-consult/
-------------------
Met Opera

Verdi’s La Forza del Destino,
Available for two nights, 7:30PM today until Saturday about 6:30PM.
Starring Leontyne Price, Giuseppe Giacomini, Leo Nucci, and Bonaldo Giaiotti.  About 3 hours.  . From March 24, 1984.
"Verdi painted an immense canvas with this dark but tuneful opera, vividly brought to life in John Dexter’s production, with sets by the great Eugene Berman. The legendary Leontyne Price is seen in one of her greatest roles, Leonora."


Holding Ponds

The media event to show an actual holding pond under construction, to be filled by several low capacity wells, drew many concerned Islanders and showed quite clearly the ease of not protecting our water (and land).   Things flowed smoothly, even as unscheduled culvert work closed the road leading to the farm the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water had been invited to, next door to the pond.

Some mainstream media coverage: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-holding-pond-regulations-environmental-concerns-2020-1.5615941
CBC Article
-----------------------
Guardian article: -- yes, indeed, they have followed all the regulations
https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/group-demonstrates-at-new-shamrock-holding-pond-while-farmers-say-they-have-followed-all-regulations-463394/  

Group demonstrates at new Shamrock holding pond while farmers say they have followed all regulations - The Guardian article by Jason Simmonds

Published on Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
SHAMROCK, P.E.I. —

A new holding pond under construction near Kinkora drew a crowd Wednesday as members of the Coalition for Protection of P.E.I. Water held a news conference to voice opposition to the project.

At issue are revisions to the P.E.I. Water Act concerning high-capacity wells that were passed in 2017 but still not formally proclaimed. In the meantime, there has been a moratorium on new high-capacity wells while existing wells are still in use.

The new Shamrock pond falls outside the moratorium as it is shallow. Farmers Austin Roberts and Andrew Lawless, who are building the pond, say they have followed all regulations.

Coalition members at the gathering Wednesday, however, say the protection of the Island's water is at stake.

“We thought it was important to alert everyone about this massive holding pond being built, that is one of many turning up on the Island as a way of getting around the moratorium on high capacity wells,” said Coalition for Protection of P.E.I. Water member Catherine O’Brien within view of the new pond.

“We have a moratorium on high capacity wells that is long-standing, the government has regulations that they developed supporting that moratorium and recognizing that these holding ponds can be used as a way of getting around the moratorium," added member Don Mazer.

Douglas Campbell, a district director of the National Farmers Union, also spoke at the media conference.

“The National Farmers Union, for 40 years, has been talking about the land issue on P.E.I., and the land protection act,” said Campbell. “You can’t talk about the land without water being connected to it because they both go hand in hand.

“People have to realize that they may not see the land as an issue for them, but everybody is impacted by water. That’s a big reason for being here.”

Issue statement

Roberts and Lawless, who are lifelong farmers and members of P.E.I.’s agriculture community, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon indicating this project is theirs alone. There are two regular low flow wells attached to this project.

“The goal of this project is to direct rain and runoff to flow over the land and run into the pond over the year so it may be used for irrigation of our cropland during a few weeks in the summer when rainfall is insufficient,” read the statement.

Roberts and Lawless employed consultants and engineers in the project’s design and the statement noted it meets or exceeds all provincial guidelines.

“All of the water captured will be naturally filtered and returned to the environment in a controlled manner,” continued the statement.

Roberts and Lawless said this project will ensure the least possible impact on the environment and will drastically reduce the need to use groundwater for irrigation. The release goes on to say that if this pond was in place during Hurricane Dorian last fall, enough water would have been captured to fill half the pond in one rainfall while also preventing erosion from the runoff.

Write premier

The Coalition for the Protection of P.E.I. Water has requested a meeting with Premier Dennis King and Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change Natalie Jameson to discuss “serious concerns about the lack of protection for P.E.I. water that stems from the unregulated development of holding ponds for agriculture.”

The Water Act was passed in 2017 but still has not been formally proclaimed.

“The government needs to take whatever time they feel they need to take to proclaim the water act, but that time cannot be used as an opportunity for the development of things that are clearly contrary to the spirit of the water act,” said Mazer, who also suggested an idea of licencing and registering all wells on P.E.I.

“So we can know who is using the water,” continued Mazer. “This is a common good, it is a public resource, it belongs to all of us and it’s related to the well-being of all of us. It deserves a transparent process, where we would have the right to know.”

Building concern

O’Brien said one concern the coalition has is to grandfather in holding ponds already constructed once the Water Act is proclaimed.

“These are not cheap to build, this is a lot of money,” said O’Brien. “If a farmer is going to do this and knows once the act is proclaimed they won’t be allowed to operate it, why would they spend that money?

“My concern is have they been given a guarantee that they will be grandfathered in and they will be able to keep operating the holding ponds. Therefore, a lot more farmers will be trying to build them quickly. That’s a very big concern for us.”

Asked if there was an alternative to building holding ponds, Campbell answered concentration on organic matter and proper rotation of the land.

“Getting away from mono agriculture and reliance on that sort of industrialized agriculture because that is hard on the soil,” said Campbell. “It impacts organic matter and then that impacts the amount of water the land can retain, therefore being able to produce a crop.”

Roberts and Lawless said they hope the public will consider that sustainable agriculture projects are needed.

“This project has been undertaken with forethought, research and great care for the environment.”

-30-



Global Chorus essay for June 18
Pete Hay

Away with breezy optimism. Therein lodges delusion. If the planet is to have a livable future we must acknowledge the enormity of problem(s), the intransigence of resolutions. We must not kid ourselves.

The planetary systems that sustain the miracle of life are stressed – and we are the stressors. There are “tipping points,” we are told, beyond which remedial action is doomed.

It may be so. We seem unable to modify the rapacity with which we devour the planet’s life-sustaining systems. Instead, we engage in history’s most disastrous manifestation of mass cognitive dissonance: “If science is out of whack with the sacred ‘truths’ of the market, it is the facts, not the ideology, that must be wrong.”

We seem unable to accommodate the interests of life going about its evolutionary business.

We seem unable to defend the public realm against technological and economic determinism, and the systematic production of democracy-denying disinformation.

We need a gentle, knowledge-rich, other-regarding way of being that is low in dynamism and throughput.

It is hopeless. Too big an ask.

Not so.

There is another tipping point. It is in the realm of culture, and it can effect change with unpredictable rapidity. It can prise political and economic rigidities open. If anyone had predicted in early 1989 that the Berlin Wall would be breached by year’s end, we’d have laughed. Yet it happened.

Hope lies in the unknowingness of change. I cannot see a path through our linked planetary crises to that gentler realm. But it is there.

— Pete Hay, social theorist, activist, poet, essayist, Tasmania, Australia

  ------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 17, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Today:
from the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water:
We want to let you know about a media conference we're holding on Wednesday (today) and to share a letter that we have sent to the Premier and Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change asking for a moratorium on holding ponds and underground water delivery systems (both are fed by multiple low capacity wells and seem to be a way to "get around" the moratorium on high capacity wells). We've also asked for the Water Act and regulations to be finally put into law.   FULL TEXT OF LETTER BELOW

MEDIA CONFERENCE: On Wednesday, June 17th, at 11 am, the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water and members of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands will hold a media conference to express their concerns about the lack of regulation of holding ponds for irrigation, and the need for enactment of the PEI Water Act.
Members of both coalitions will speak at the media conference. They will call on the Prince Edward Government to put in place a moratorium on holding ponds and underground water delivery systems while we await the proclamation of the Water Act, and enforcement of its regulations.

The media conference will take place at 274 Kelly Rd, near Kinkora. The owner of the property has given us permission to hold the media conference there, where we will have a fine view of a seven million gallon holding pond, currently under construction.

Location: 274 Kelly Road, Kinkora, C0B 1N0 (about 35 minutes west of Charlottetown, Kelly Rd is on the right just before you reach Kinkora on Route 225)

Physical Distancing and other public health measures will be in effect. 

Obviously, if everyone concerned were there, that might be a lot of people gathering, so besides various media reporting later in the day, if there is any live social media (Twitter or Facebook), we'll try to let you know on the
Citizens' Alliance Facebook page
or the
Citizens' Alliance Twitter page

------------------------------

Local Food ordering:

Heart Beet Organics (vegetables, eggs, fermented products), order before noon today for pickup at their Great George Street storefront, or shopping, today 3-6PM
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

Tonight,

Wednesday, just before midnight, is the deadline to web-order from both the Charlottetown Farmers' Market on-line and Eat Local PEI.

Charlottetown Farmers' Market 2GO On-line service (many products), for Saturday afternoon pickup by the Market)
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/

Eat Local PEI group (many farmers-market-type vendors), for Saturday late afternoon pickup, at Founders' Hall.
https://www.localline.ca/eatlocalpei
-------------------
PEI Legislature sits from 2-5PM today:

Watch Live:
the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
on Eastlink TV, or at the
Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
-------------------------
Met Opera
Wednesday, June 17th:

Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, 7:30PM tonight until later Thursday afternoon.  Under two hours running time.
Starring Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo, from February 26, 2011.
"Gluck’s gripping adaptation of the ancient Greek myth is vividly brought to life by a stellar cast in Stephen Wadsworth’s atmospheric production. Plácido Domingo is Oreste, driven by the Furies to atone for killing his mother Clytemnestre. When he and his companion Pylade (Paul Groves) are shipwrecked on the island of Tauride, the king Thoas (Gordon Hawkins) demands they be sacrificed. At the center of the drama is Iphigénie, Oreste’s long-lost sister, sung by the extraordinary Susan Graham. Forced to live among her enemies, she holds the lives of the captives in her hands—unaware that one of them is her brother."  Just a little family drama.

Stratford Festival at Home Summer Shakespeare broadcast from their archives:
Last full day to watch Timon of Athens,
about 2 hours.
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome


Letter to the Premier about the lack of controls on pumping groundwater and holding ponds: The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water

The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, 81 Prince St, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4R3
 
15 June 2020
 
Honourable Dennis King, Premier Province of Prince Edward Island Charlottetown, PEI
 
Dear Premier King:

 

We are requesting a meeting with you and Minister Jameson to discuss our serious concerns about the lack of protection for PEI water that stems from the unregulated development of holding ponds for agriculture.  
 
The Water Act was passed in 2017, and water withdrawal regulations were developed more recently, following a process of public consultation. Yet the Act and its regulations have still not been formally proclaimed, creating a situation that allows the unregulated development of large holding ponds, with no permits required and next to no oversight on the part of the provincial government.  The most recent and dramatic example of this practice is the seven million gallon holding pond being developed near Kinkora that will require two wells running 24 hours per day for more than a week to fill.   Your government has recognized that holding ponds can be used to circumvent the moratorium on the use of high capacity wells for agriculture and has drafted regulations to prohibit such use.  Honourable Brad Trivers, the Environment Minister in 2019, clearly indicated that such protection was necessary.   "Under these regulations, we are closing a loophole as well. Currently multiple low capacity wells are being used together to pump high-capacity volumes of water for irrigation. Under the new regulations when multiple low-capacity wells are used together to pump the same volume as a high-capacity well, they will be treated as a high-capacity well and all regulations for high-capacity wells will apply. This includes the moratorium on high-capacity wells for agricultural irrigation. In the meantime, we very much appreciate that very valid and very grave concerns have been raised about agricultural irrigation holding ponds that have been constructed. Rest assured, government is listening. To address this, the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change will immediately commence inspections of all existing irrigation ponds, and further, I will be working with my colleague, Minister Thompson, to ensure additional measures are taken to protect our water while the consultation on the water withdrawal regulations take place. Together, these three sets of regulations will allow the Water Act to be proclaimed this fall.”    We call on you and the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change to enact an interim moratorium on the development of all holding ponds until the Water Act and its regulations have been proclaimed and put into effect. It is clear that building these holding ponds violates the spirit and intention of the Water Act. A moratorium would end this practice. And once the Water Act is proclaimed, it would be very clear in the ‘letter’ of the law what was prohibited.   
 
We are also aware that there is discussion about ‘grandfathering’ any holding ponds that have already been built. We oppose such grandfathering for the same reason; while not legally prohibited, their development violates the spirit of the moratorium on high capacity wells.  Stopping any further development of such holding ponds would lead to fewer troubling discussions about grandfathering with farmers who had made such a significant capital investment and it would reduce pressure on farmers to develop these wells.

 We believe that all wells, high and low capacity alike, should be licensed and registered so that everyone has access to the information about who is using this vital public resource.   We are asking that you to do what is required to proclaim the Water Act as law as soon as possible, which was your previous Minister’s stated intention, and close these legal gaps that permit the exploitation of PEI water.    The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water has been deeply engaged in the process of the development of the Water Act and its regulations since the Standing Committee Hearings related to the request to lift the moratorium on high capacity wells in 2014. We were active in encouraging then Environment Minister Robert Mitchell to develop a robust, transparent and exemplary process of public consultation for the Water Act that now stands as a model of effective and respectful collaboration between community and government. We have represented more than 20 community groups and 200 individual members during this time, submitted many briefs, written many letters, and met whenever we could with the four previous ministers of the Environment. Minister Mitchell recognized the important role we played in the development of the Water Act is his comments in the legislature.  Along with these very productive consultative moments, there were also long periods where there seemed to be no progress, where regulations were not being developed or sat on a shelf, perhaps awaiting a useful political moment. While Covid-19 has certainly presented obstacles in recent months, this process could have been completed long ago.   We recognize that the consultation process for regulations has not been fully completed and value the opportunity for all individuals and groups to participate in meaningful consultation with government.  We can appreciate Minister Jameson’s desire to learn more from hearing further submissions to the Standing Committee. We want to assure you and Minister Jameson that during the process of developing the Water Act and its regulations, all groups and interests had ample opportunity to be heard, including the PEI Federation of Agriculture.  If the Minister is interested in hearing more, we would welcome the opportunity to present to the Standing Committee alongside other organizations when such hearings might resume, or to meet with her at any time.   What we are requesting is exactly what Minister Trivers and your government intended: that additional measures are taken to protect our water while the consultation on the water withdrawal regulations take place.  We need an immediate interim moratorium on holding ponds and underground water delivery systems based on multiple low capacity wells while we await the proclamation of the Water Act.  
 
We look forward to meeting with you and discussing these and other critical issues for the protection of PEI’s waters. In the meantime if you would like to discuss more, please email me, (Contact info given)
Sincerely,
 
Catherine O’Brien   Boyd Allen   Leo Broderick   Edith Ling   Don Mazer
  Chris Ortenburger   Gary Schneider   Ann Wheatley
 
on behalf of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water (https://peiwater.com/)


Global Chorus essay for June 17
Andy Lipkis

Humanity absolutely can bring about a world that is safe, healthy, equitable and sustainable. Over the last 42 years I’ve participated in making rapid changes in government agencies, programs and infrastructure systems in Los Angeles. I’ve seen this happen even when elected officials, government bureaucrats and conventional wisdom said that change was impossible or would be insufficient. But in each case a vision was launched outside the politics of division, and people came together and achieved the impossible: planting millions of trees, rescuing thousands of people in extreme weather disasters, achieving unprecedented levels of recycling of waste and conserving of water, and restoring damaged ecosystems.

I sense that the Earth’s ecosystem has adapted humans to be its healers. Consider the impact if we all deploy the capacities with which we are equipped: compassion, passion, science, creativity, perspective, intuition, global communication and interaction and love. I’ve seen millions of people experience their true joy and power when they work together and devote themselves to helping. They experience that the most selfish thing they can do is what others have said is contrary to basic human nature: they get better, stronger and happier when they co-create with other people.

Humanity has reached the point where we now extract more natural resources each year than the Earth can regenerate without our conscious and active help. The key is for each of us to behave as if we are a manager of the whole ecosystem. We can deliberately choose whether every action we take contributes to planetary health or depletes it, whether we only consume, or whether we rebuild and restore.

     — Andy Lipkis,  founder of TreePeople

https://www.treepeople.org/andy

  ------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 16, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


June 15, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Petition to consider:
a Change.org petition -- details here:

Enact a Moratorium on Holding Ponds on P.E.I.

Organic Veggie Delivery order deadline, Monday night for Friday delivery. https://www.organicveggiedelivery.com/
Aaron Koleszar (902) 659-2575 or aaron@organicveggiedelivery.com

Another week of Metropolitan Opera livestreams, daily:
Rossini’s Armida, tonight 7:30PM until Tuesday about 6:30PM
"Starring Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, John Osborn, Barry Banks, and Kobie van Rensburg, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. From May 1, 2010."  Renee Fleming as a sorcerer in the Middle Ages, with six tenors to sing with.
https://www.metopera.org/


Op-ed: http://www.peicanada.com/eastern_graphic/proportional-representation-alive-in-pei-one-year-later/article_48ea7950-aa67-11ea-870e-ff29719bb44c.html

Proportional Representation alive in PEI one year later - The Eastern Graphic Op ED

Published on Wednesday, June 13th, 2020, on-line on the Graphic publications' website:

In the cloud of COVID-19, two important anniversaries passed unnoticed: the PEI Electoral Reform Referendum of April 23, 2019 and the formation of Islanders for Proportional Representation (IPR) on May 16, 2019.

To mark these historic moments, IPR had organized an April event to celebrate the growing consensus among Islanders that PEI needs electoral democracy in the form of Proportional Representation. IPR’s proposed forum was cancelled because of pandemic restrictions. Hopefully it will be re-organized for some time in October, 2020.

The community event, via telecommunication, will feature Willie Sullivan of the Scottish branch of Electoral Reform Society. Mr Sullivan is deeply involved in establishing Proportional Representation (PR) in Scotland. He will speak about how PR is working in Scotland, how difficulties are being addressed, and how a great many of people’s prior fears about PR are proving to be unfounded. IPR organizers say that it is now a good time for us in PEI to recognize the role of fear mongering used to influence voters in the 2019 Referendum.

In the past year there have been a number of disappointments. One was that the new government’s intentions, reflected in the first speech from the throne (2019), ignored an historical referendum on PR had just happened with some very positive outcomes. Another letdown was the malaise of MLAs from the 14 districts which voted in favour of PR as well as another four MLAs who are from districts that were close to the 50 per cent threshold plus another five which were also above 45 per cent.

It was a shock that the Green Party caucus opted to disengage in PR, justifying their position based partly on what they judged to be the “fatigue with the public” relating to Proportional Representation. Even some longtime PR supporters displayed incapacity to go beyond the winner-loser threshold and appreciate that close to 50 per cent of the people, in spite of obstacles, voted to establish PR for PEI. It is surprising that promoters of cooperation and collaboration in the legislature are unable to translate that into imagining a permanent PR way of governing. Finally it is a disappointment the premier, meeting IPR in a first flash of enthusiasm, on October 23, 2019, stopped communication on PR.

On the other hand, the past year has been encouraging. In the first place, it was an achievement that just weeks after the vote, Islanders for Proportional Representation was formed as a community-based organization (May 16, 2019). IPR immediately established its goals and objectives plus a statement of principles. The first action was to do an analysis of data on the referendum vote and to share this with all MLAs. A couple of MLAs engaged in discussion about that analysis. The IPR had one productive meeting with the Premier. In the past year, IPR has enjoyed good media coverage with three op-eds printed and an extensive interview on CBC’s Island Morning. There was also an expansion of IPR social media.

The Statement of Principles of Islanders for Proportional Representation states:

- IPR believes the electoral systems are not the be-all of democracy; electoral systems are simply methods by which democracy may be practiced in the political domain.

- IPR deems that Proportional Representation has the greatest capacity to ensure the voice of the people is paramount in the political system.

- IPR holds that public policy makers are responsible for the development of a Proportional Representation system.

- IPR believes the best public policies are made when politicians cooperate across party lines and give high priority to meaningful and widespread engagement with residents.

Currently, the responses to COVID-19 are playing out in the community and in policy-maker circles, Islanders for Proportional Representation is noting the community’s capacity to adapt and also the policy makers’ ability to respond quickly. This latter, with its high level of collaboration, is another lesson that opposing political parties can come together to respond in a time of crisis. Islanders are capable of adjusting to a new electoral system. Politicians can be encouraged to adopt collaboration as a permanent way of governing. This is the promise of PR. Proportional Representation can happen here. People have the power to demand it and politicians have the power to enact it.

Donna Dingwell, represents the PEI Federation of Labour on Islanders for Proportional Representation

Leo Cheverie represents the Canadian Union of Public Employees, PEI Division (CUPE) on Islanders for Proportional Representation.

-30-


Atlantic Skies for June 15th-June 21st, 2020 - by Glenn K. Roberts

Summer Arrives

With the Summer Solstice, marking the official start to summer in the northern hemisphere, set to occur at 6:44 p.m. ADT on Saturday June 20, 2020, it's time to have a look at the night sky's summer constellations.  First though, a bit about solstices.

The term "solstice" (from the Latin solstitium - itself from sol (Sun) and stitium (to stop or stand still)) refers to the moment when the Sun appears to stop its movement (relative to the eastern horizon) in the sky. Of course, the Sun is not actually moving; what is really happening is that, on the date of the summer solstice, the Earth's north pole reaches its maximum tilt (23 degrees) towards the Sun. At this point in time, as seen from Earth, the Sun appears to reach its highest and most northern point in the NE sky for the year. Due to the maximum tilt of the northern hemisphere towards the Sun, it receives more direct sunlight, resulting in our warm, summer weather. Conversely, at the time of the winter solstice in December, the Earth's north pole is at its maximum tilt away from the Sun, and the Sun is at its lowest and most southern point in the SE sky for the year. The northern hemisphere receives less direct sunlight at this time, resulting in colder, wintery weather. The actual date of the summer solstice varies from year-to-year, some years on June 20 (as this year), other years on June 21, and upon occasion, June 22. The summer solstice results in the longest day (the longest period of sunlight) and the shortest night. After the summer solstice, the Sun begins its apparent movement back across the eastern sky, heading towards its most southern point in the SE sky at the winter solstice in December. Quick astro-fact: at the moment of the summer solstice, your shadow is at its shortest at local or solar noon (when the Sun crosses the meridian - the imaginary line between the north and south poles, and is at its highest point in the sky).

Having discussed the constellation of Hercules - the Hero in one of my February 2020 columns, I'll proceed on to another of the summer constellations. Visible as a large, scattered constellation in the SSE when the sky darkens by about 10 p.m., Ophiuchus - the Serpent Bearer was initially identified with the Greek god, Apollo, later becoming associated with the famous Roman physician, Asciepius, before finally being designated as the god of medicine. Ophiuchus was one of the first constellations catalogued by the famous Greek astronomer, Ptolemy (100-170 AD). Drawings of the constellation show a man holding a large snake coiled around his waist, with the head and tail extending outward on each side. Represented by the constellation of Serpens - the Serpent, the snake is divided into two parts - Serpens Caput (the snake's head, on the right) and Serpens Cauda (the snake's tail, on the left). Thus, the staff entwined by two snakes became the modern symbol of medicine. Interestingly, one of the daughters of Ophiuchus was named Hygieia, the goddess of cleanliness, from whom we get our modern word "hygiene" - the practice of good health through cleanliness. There are a handful of beautiful globular clusters (M9, M10, M12, M14, M19 and M62) in Ophiuchus, all visible in binoculars and small scopes with a clear sky.

Mercury is not visible during the coming week. Bright Jupiter (mag. - 2.6) is visible about 7 degrees (a little less than a hand's width at arm's length) above the south-east horizon shortly before midnight. It will reach an altitude of 22 degrees above the southern horizon before being lost from view shortly before 5:00 a.m. Saturn (mag. 0.4) appears 10 degrees (a hand's width at arm's length) above the south-east horizon shortly after midnight, reaching about 23 degrees above the southern horizon before fading around 4:40 a.m. Mars (mag. -0.2) makes its appearance around 1:30 a.m. in the south-east sky, reaching a height of 28 degrees above the south-east horizon before disappearing from view by 4:45 a.m. If you have an unobstructed view of the eastern horizon, and the weather cooperates, you might have a chance of catching a glimpse of Venus (mag. -3.9), now our "morning star", just above the eastern horizon an hour before sunrise. Look for the waning crescent Moon to the upper right of Venus on the mornings of June 17-18, and just to the lower left of Venus on June 19. The Pleiades ("The Seven Sisters") open star cluster sits directly above Venus.

Until next week, clear skies.

Events:

June 20 - Summer Solstice

         21 - New Moon

-30-  


Global Chorus essay for June 15 
Will Potter


I have been struggling to write something about hope and perseverance in this space, because today, like many days, the weight of the challenge ahead of us makes me feel quite dark.

It strikes me, though, that the greatest danger of that darkness is that we always convince ourselves that it is unique to us and we are experiencing it alone.

Far from it.

Whatever doubts and despair you may feel as you read these passages and engage with the state of our culture and our planet, know this: you are not the only one feeling it. I am here. So are millions more. I say this not so we can take solace in each other’s despair, but because I think there is an untapped power in coming together and acknowledging that we are all, to varying degrees, stumbling along in this fight against dark days.

Our path forward must involve a concrete response to unsustainable lifestyles and an economic system driven by greed – for together they have created a culture of death. In order to do that, we are going to have to remind ourselves and each other of something whenever we feel that darkness begin to creep: we are not alone.
    
   — Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege

https://willpotter.com/

--------------------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 14, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Garden Vegetable Plants Sale, 11AM-3PM, Heart Beet Organics Farm, 742 Darlington Road.
Today and next Sunday, healthy, vibrant plants ready transplanting, seeds, and such, for sale.  Off Route 2 near Brookfield area, but directions and more info at:
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/
I am told the there are lots of plants to choose from, but the herbs may not be as plentiful next week, so better selection today.

Met Opera Stream:
The At-Home Gala (Encore Streaming) from April, globetrotting into various artists' homes, is available until about 6:30PM tonight, and then:


Handel’s Rodelinda, 7:30PM until Monday evening
Starring Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Andreas Scholl, Iestyn Davies, Joseph Kaiser, and Shenyang, conducted by Harry Bicket. From December 3, 2011.
https://www.metopera.org/


In the rush to return to "normal", Edith Perry reminds us of the big picture:  https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-pandemic-has-shown-serious-need-to-redistribute-wealth-458959

LETTER: Pandemic has shown serious need to redistribute wealth - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Saturday, June 6th, 2020

What do we mean when we say, “Back to normal”?

Normal as in what we had before the pandemic? Where poverty and income inequality have people go hungry and without a decent roof over their heads, too often none at all? Where clean and non-toxic water is considered a luxury? Where corporations rule our economy? Where too many people are marginalized because of their skin colour, their gender, their place in society due to their income or lack of?

The pandemic has shown there is a serious need for redistributing wealth. We are seeing that governments can roll out social programs designed to give financial help in a reasonable time line. People have also noticed that something like basic income guarantee can be done and does address the income disparity prevalent in the “old normal”. (Please: studies show that this does NOT make people lazy!)

Suddenly COVID-19 struck and we didn’t have enough people to stock grocery shelves, clean toilets, do truck runs, work on assembly lines in food production, nurture each other (elder and child care etc.), do the basics of feeding and generally looking after each other.

We have been forced to rethink the value of “blue-collar” jobs; that these are essential and should be paid well; that these are worthy of being career choices.

Indeed, getting dirt under our fingernails is just as important as banging a gavel, applying a stethoscope or managing a corporation. This is what should be reflected in our “normal” — a “completely new normal”.

Edith Perry, Millview


Good place to visit (on-line):
There is an amazing amount of information, timely news (including statements about Black Lives Matters, and their COVID-19 responses), gorgeous photos at the "Polar Science for Planet Earth" British Anarctic Survey (BAS)organization:
https://www.bas.ac.uk/

Their Vision: To be a world-leading centre for polar science and polar operations, addressing issues of global importance and helping society adapt to a changing world


To many people, this is not local, this is not sustainable, this is not food.  Consider when making seafood choices. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-aquabounty-expansion-1.5609397

AquaBounty eyes international expansion - CBC News article by Kevin Yarr,

Posted on Friday, June 12, 2020

A company that grows genetically-modified salmon on P.E.I. is planning major expansions in North America and beyond.  Massachusetts-based AquaBounty produces eggs for its GM salmon in Bay Fortune, in eastern P.E.I. The salmon are grown out in Indiana and at a smaller operation in Rollo Bay, P.E.I.

In an investor seminar this week, President and CEO Sylvia Wulf said its first large-scale harvest, 54,000 salmon, would happen this fall from its operation in Indiana. The AquaBounty salmon are genetically engineered to grow twice as fast as regular farmed salmon. They are produced in enclosed, inland facilities.

The company is planning a communications and social media campaign to help sell the fish. 

Wulf said AquaBounty wants to build a new plant somewhere in North America that would have ten times the grow-out capacity of the plant in Indiana. It's looking at possible sites in Ontario and nine U.S. states.  The proposed plant would have ten times the production capacity of the Indiana plant, which is 1,200 tonnes a year.   The company is also exploring building another four plants in other parts of the world -- possibly in China, Israel, Brazil and Argentina.

-30-


Global Chorus essay for June 14
David Vaughan


The geological and climate record of planet Earth holds much evidence that the Earth System and the life it supports interact in ways that are unfathomably complex and sensitive, but are, at the same time, flexible and robust.

Only a few thousand years ago, tiny changes in the shape of Earth’s orbit around our sun caused the ice that covered much of the land surface to melt into the oceans. Earth’s climate changed dramatically, but most plants and animals simply moved around and found new places to survive.

Since I first visited the Antarctic Peninsula in 1985, I have seen for myself the effects of climate change in one of the most rapidly warming parts of the planet. Ice shelves the size of small countries, which existed for thousands of years, have collapsed; and hundreds of glaciers have retreated and thinned. This first-hand experience, together with the accumulated mass of scientific evidence pointing to change across the planet, has convinced me that the cumulative effect of everything we do in our day-to-day lives today, especially in the developed world, is altering our planet at a fundamental level.

Quite soon those changes will be evident to all, and eventually many parts of the planet will change in ways we can only begin to predict. But in a strange and wonderful universe, the most boundless thing we have yet observed is the scope of the human mind, the strongest is the human spirit, and the most hopeful, the sound of our children learning what we do not yet know.

I am optimistic that as a species we will eventually find ways to repair our damaged planet, and build ourselves a truly sustainable future. But building that future will take time and many brave choices: if we are not brave enough to begin, let’s raise children who are.

     — Professor (Emeritus) David Vaughan, British Antarctic Survey

British Antartic Survery profile
University of Manchester profile page


--------------------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 13, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events -- Local Food:

Summerside Farmers’ Market open, 9AM-noon, outside of Holman Building
Vendors will start by the entrance to the Farmers’ Market and proceed along the back parking lot.  Customers will use a separate entrance and exit, with directional markers.   Lots of local produce, meats and crafts.

Some Farmers' Market vendors are outside the Farmers' Market buildings in Charlottetown.

Heart Beet Organics "The Farmacy", 9AM-1PM, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown. Local produce, fermented products, cheese, chocolates, etc. at their storefront. 

Many producers, their products, and their product info listed in this week's:
PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-op Newletter for June 12th, 2020

Met Opera livestream availability
At-Home Gala (Encore Screening), now until Sunday about 6:30PM
"In a re-broadcast of our recent At-Home Gala, more than 40 leading artists and members of the Met Orchestra and Chorus perform virtually from their homes around the world, with General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as hosts. From April 25, 2020."  So delightful to travel the world and share some minutes in these talented people's homes while they just belt out a wonderful song.  Also some concert music and a very sad dedication to a Met Opera musician member who died of coronavirus.
https://www.metopera.org/


Opinion piece: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/guest-opinion-protect-royalty-oaks-natural-area-455431/

GUEST OPINION: Protect Royalty Oaks Natural Area - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Rosemary Curley

Published on Wednesday, May 29th, 2020

The old forest of Royalty Oaks Natural Area is a rare commodity in P.E.I. with several attributes of old growth forest. The plan to de-designate 2285 m2 — over half an acre — of this woodland to accommodate road expansion and a multipurpose trail is unacceptable. This is not just a matter of specific impact, but a key test of the strength of the Natural Areas Protection Act and the government’s will and responsibility to uphold it. Currently, the government hopes to wipe out legal protections and trees for its own convenience.

Royalty Oaks, a small wooded island in a developed area, loses ecological value with every cut to its boundary. Some trees were cut to accommodate the Maritime Electric high-voltage line. The property then became collateral in the development of the St. Peters Road roundabout because a private business was forced to cut its privately-owned woods (buffering the protected Natural Area) to restore appropriate access to the business. It appears that the province will now compensate the private business by conveying to it an adjacent designated grassed area, currently a development-free buffer to the oak woodland. In addition, a shared right-of way to be de-designated includes a treed area. Will a new use be made of that area, or will it be conveyed from the province? Fewer trees will now be designated, and trees could possibly be removed. This right-of-way provides public access to Royalty Oaks.

How has the government given itself legal permission to have a consultation without a public meeting? The brief online project description and small-scale maps are inadequate, without mention of why a 782 m2 area (0.2 acres) will be de-designated. At an onsite tour, some questions went unanswered. Finally, it is clear that a decision is already made; a call for tenders to do the work have closed.

The government indicates it will compensate for the loss of half an acre of wooded natural area by designating a similarly sized area of mowed grass and invasive shrubs. The shrubs will be removed by machine, possibly damaging roots of existing trees, and new fill brought in. Whatever the remediation, the compensation area is not of the same calibre and in no way equivalent to the current woodland, obviating the government’s implication of "no net loss".

Once outer trees along Riverside Drive are removed for bikers and walkers, expect more trees in the interior of Royalty Oaks to blow down due to increased exposure to westerly winds. Enabling active transportation should not involve ecological costs including reduction of carbon storage in protected natural areas.

In 1989, the province set a goal to protect seven per cent of the province. Recently, the protected area in the province reached 4.4 per cent while the rest of Canada targets 17 per cent protected area. Government must accelerate the protection of natural communities in P.E.I. and continually confirm their value. It must continue to protect (forever) Royalty Oaks Natural Area.

Rosemary Curley is president of Nature P.E.I.

-30-

Consider writing your MLA about this -- the Legislature is still sitting.
MLA contact page:

https://www.assembly.pe.ca/members


A familiar name from this week's World Oceans Day...and the Mission Blue website is filled with interesting articles and images.

Global Chorus essay for June 13 
Sylvia Earle


Consider this: for humankind this is the “sweet spot” in history, and people alive today are the luckiest ever to exist.

Never before have we had the critical level of knowledge needed to see Earth as a miraculous blue speck in a universe inhospitable to the likes of us, or to understand that our prosperity is pushing the limits of the natural systems that sustain us. In a few centuries we have burned through more natural assets than all who preceded us, and the pace is picking up.

Never again will there be a better time to take action to reverse the sharp decline in the nature of air, water and the fabric of life upon which our lives depend. Half the coral reefs are still in pretty good shape, ice still graces polar regions, there are still sharks, whales, tunas and turtles in the sea. We can still breathe. Half a century ago it was too soon to act. Not enough was known about our ability to change the nature of Nature. Half a century from now, it will be too late to seize options now open. There is time, but not a lot, to reverse the dangerous trends set in motion by our predecessors and continuing today.

Lucky us – now we know. Making peace with Nature is not a luxury, it is essential for the survival of everything we care about.

Even luckier will be those who follow, if our knowing leads to caring, and caring inspires actions to secure an enduring place for humankind within the living systems that make our lives possible.

      — Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence, founder of Mission Blue

https://mission-blue.org/
--------------------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 12, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

CBC Radio Island Morning Political Panel, after 7:30news until 8AM, 96.1FM.  A startlingly respectful, and yet still interesting, discussion of the week's events in the P.E.I. Legislature, with three current or former journalists/publishers.

The P.E.I. Legislature sits from 10AM-1PM today.  If they finish discussing the Emergency Powers Act, which is getting a very good, if not slightly redundant, airing of concerns, they may extend the hour of the session, so you may want to check the Watch Live feature when you can.
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Fridays for Future (F4F), 3:30PM, by the Cenotaph at Province House, Great George and Grafton side of things, all welcome.

Local Food pre-ordering:
Heart Beet Organics, order by 4PM today for pickup between 9AM-1PM Saturday at their store, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street. 
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

Stratford Festival At Home recorded Shakespeare plays for livestream now include Hamlet, Love's Labours Lost, and Timon of Athens, available for three weeks, two weeks and one week, respectively.  More details:
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome

Met Opera livestream availability -- an over two-day time-period for the broadcast (good thing, since it is an astounding four hours)
Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13
At-Home Gala (Encore Screening), 7:30PM Friday until Sunday about 6:30PM
"In a re-broadcast of our recent At-Home Gala, more than 40 leading artists and members of the Met Orchestra and Chorus perform virtually from their homes around the world, with General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin as hosts. From April 25, 2020."
https://www.metopera.org/


Article:  https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/pandemic-delays-midwifery-plans-for-pei-459955/

Pandemic delays midwifery plans for P.E.I. - The Guardian article

Published on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

P.E.I. found someone to lead its move to offer midwifery services, but that plan has been delayed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic, says the Island's health minister.

During Thursday’s question period, James Aylward responded to a question from earlier in the week from Tyne Valley-Sherbrooke MLA Trish Altass about midwifery services.

Aylward said the province went through the process of hiring a midwifery co-ordinator and found someone who was in Newfoundland. 

“Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been unable to move that project forward at this time,” he said.

In December, Aylward announced the government would begin funding midwifery services in 2020.

-30-

Opinion: It was ridiculously delayed before the pandemic. 


This Guardian article about the holding pond for irrigation issue shows that the new Environment Minister likely hasn't had a chance to be fully briefed on the years thie water Act has been in the making, and it's about consultation with more than just the Federation of Agriculture: https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/greens-raise-questions-about-holding-pond-in-shamrock-pei-460807/

There is currently a moratorium in place on high capacity wells used for agriculture. These are defined as wells that withdraw 350 cubic metres of water per day.

Greens raise questions about holding pond in Shamrock, P.E.I. - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby

Published on Thursday, June 11th, 2020

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A holding pond under construction in Shamrock drew questions from Green MLA Lynne Lund during question period in the P.E.I. legislature on Tuesday.

Lund said she has heard concerns from Islanders about the holding pond, which she said was a seven-million-gallon agricultural holding pond.

"Apparently two pumps will be required to run around the clock for months, with more wells expected to be added, thereby having the same effect as a high capacity well," Lund said.

Lund asked the Environment Minister Natalie Jameson for an update on the holding pond.

"Irrigation ponds and associated low capacity wells are not currently regulated. However, my department remains aware of their use on the Island," Jameson said.

"I certainly recognize that water is a shared resource. My staff have made contact with the well driller who is working on this new pond. We provide direction to ensure that there is no impact on neighbouring wells or on stream levels." 

However, low capacity wells, those that withdraw between 25 and 350 cubic metres of water per day, are not currently regulated.

Proposed regulations to the province’s Water Act, governing low capacity wells, are due to be introduced in the legislature after public consultations have finished. These regulations would require a permit for low capacity wells, such as the one in Shamrock.

Lund suggested the holding pond in Shamrock was being constructed in a way that would circumvent the existing moratorium on high capacity wells. 

“The P.E.I. Water Act will prohibit these ponds moving forward,” Lund said.

“Why are you allowing the construction of these holding ponds when it so clearly violates the proposed Water Act regulations?”

Lund also called on Jameson to establish an interim moratorium on “high capacity holding ponds".

Jameson responded that the proposed Water Act regulations will be revised based on feedback from consultations or from the standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability.

In an interview with media later, Jameson confirmed that staff members at the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change are satisfied the holding pond is not a high capacity well.

The pond is owned by Austin Roberts and Andrew Lawless, who are business partners in an agricultural enterprise.

"My staff were made aware of it yesterday, and we'll be going out today to do an assessment and certainly assess the impact on the watershed and the surrounding areas," Jameson said.

During a standing committee meeting in January, staff with Jameson’s department downplayed the role that high capacity wells would have on the Island, stating agricultural irrigation accounted for only two per cent of P.E.I.’s groundwater use.

Asked if there was a possibility that the moratorium on high capacity wells will be lifted, Jameson did not say no.

"The next step in this is to actually have the Federation of Agriculture present (to the committee)," she said.

"So, until that presentation is done, I don't think that we can be conclusive in terms of any next steps," Jameson said. 

In an interview, Lund said the reports on the issue from the Department of Environment have left her with unanswered questions as to what the impact of lifting the moratorium would be. 

“I don't think we have the conclusive evidence at this point that would give us the confidence that it would be a good idea," Lund said.

The 2019 PC platform pledged to maintain the moratorium but also to obtain independent studies to inform a permanent policy on the matter.

-30- 


Global Chorus essay for June 12 
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

I am an optimist by nature, and I have devoted my life to working for the environment and for natural resources issues, from the civil society perspective, always with an intention to improve public policies. In 2011, when I was appointed Minister of the Environment of Peru, I found myself at the other side of the table. One of the most notable challenges thus far as minister has been the creation of a national agency for environmental certification. With Peru’s growing economy, and thus growing economic activities, the efficient management of the impacts of these activities on the environment is crucial for the long-term quality and quantity of resources. On a positive note, however, the recent green economic developments, focused on an efficient use of resources with decreased carbon output, should ensure growth in a sustainable fashion. These strategies develop economic and environmental policies that incentivize green projects and green economic activities. It is my belief that countries such as Peru, with strong economic fundamentals, are in a position to use institutional and operative frameworks to build solid pathways to transformational change, introducing environmentally sound considerations to our current public policies.

Mankind assumes challenges and produces changes, especially when facing crises that generate the need to explore new grounds, to find new answers. Climate change, population growth, climatic events, ecosystems degradation, loss of species and resources, scarcity, inequality and inequity, poverty and war should make us aware of that need; but sometimes we seem unaware. Inadequate leadership is assumed on the actions necessary to take to combat climate change; bad practices that generate biodiversity loss are not confronted with courage; and we still think in terms of territorial or individual interests instead of as a community, as humanity. Should this lead us to pessimism? No. Nature will continue to demand action from us, our survival instinct will guide us to take the lead, and our sense of responsibility will cause us to think of the future generations that we must be keeping in mind, for they will inherit the consequences of our actions and omissions.

    — Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment, Peru
(2011-2016)
English translation of Wikipedia page

--------------------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 11, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Webinar Events:

NatureTalks Webinar: Why Conservation Matters, 12noon, hosted by Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Facebook event details

Open Dialogue Live: Voices of Small Business, 1-2PM, hosted by Dalhousie University.
Facebook event notice.

"A Conversation with Graham Saul and Linda Soloman Wood" about Environmental Justice, how Nature Conservation promotion fits in this, and more, 8PM our time.
Executive Director of Nature Canada, Graham Saul joins Linda Solomon Wood to talk about environmental justice, a green recovery deal and how we can build better cities. Saul leads one of the oldest national nature conservation charities in Canada, Nature Canada. For 80 years, the organization has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species.
Webinar registration here


P.E.I. Legislature:

The P.E.I. Legislature resumes today, 2-5PM and probably 7-9PM.

unless they close during one of the sessions, but that's beyond my guessing range.

Proceedings may be viewed through:
the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
(a "Watch Live" link opens on the front page)

and Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

----------------------------
Tonight's Met Opera
The Ghosts of Versailles, 7:30PM until Friday about 6:30PM
.
"...What happened to Figaro and his friends after the events told in Rossini’s and Mozart’s operas? One possible sequel is told in John Corigliano’s 'grand opera buffa' The Ghosts of Versailles—an uproariously funny and deeply moving work inspired by Beaumarchais’s third Figaro play, La Mère Coupable, and commissioned by the Met to celebrate its 100th anniversary.... Håkan Hagegård is Beaumarchais, Figaro’s creator, who is deeply in love with Empress Marie Antoinette (Teresa Stratas in a heart-searing performance) and determined to rewrite history and save her from the guillotine. A young Renée Fleming, at the beginning of her international career, sings the unfaithful Rosina. Gino Quilico is the wily Figaro who tries to take matters in his own hands and Marilyn Horne stops the show as the exotic entertainer Samira."
Met Opera website


Holding Ponds, 2020 Version:

One reason some holding ponds have been dug recently is to pump water from unregulated wells into them for summer crop (usually processing potatoes) irrigation.  The low capacity wells will be under a bit more scrutiny once The Water Act actually put into practice, but it seems to be a bit of a free-for-all now.

Here is a YouTube from Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, four minutes of Green MLA questioning Environment Minister Natalie Jameson on the holding ponds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnmgDN1LqA0&feature=youtu.be

Here is a link to a CBC article from yesterday (LINK ONLY)

And here is researcher and blogger, and organic farmer Kevin Arsenault with his take on the matter:

Kevin Arsenault
June 10th, 2020, social media

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Kudos to Sheila Traynor and others who took a minute to contact their MLA for Summerside - Wilmot, Lynne Lund, about the new Holding Pond in Shamrock...that's what makes our democracy work!

Ms. Lund rose in the house yesterday (June 9, 2020) and began her questions to the Minister of the Environment as follows: "Over the past few days, many Islanders have expressed significant concern to me over what I'm told is a 7 million gallon holding pond....."

Lynn Lund asked the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Hon. Natalie Jameson, exactly the right questions on the new Shamrock Holding Pond.

Hon. Jameson did a good job providing clear information about where things are currently at in the process to get the Water Act and Regulations proclaimed into law.. She did not, however, provide an adequate answer to the question whether the Government will impose an "interim" moratorium on Holding Ponds until the Water Act and Regulations are proclaimed.

Minister Jameson talked about wanting to hear back from groups that will sometime down the road share their opinions with the Standing Committee. We don't need to hear from whomever those people or groups are before putting the brakes on what's happening now with these holding ponds. The Premier should voluntarily answer that question today in the House and show some leadership by declaring an interim moratorium immediately.

One has only to consider the "lag and drag" strategy of the King Government on this critically-important issue [And, to be clear, a lack of action to stop more ponds from being dug does indeed make it a 'strategy'] to see how the Premier and his Government are supporting the transformation of our land-scapes into land-scrapes!

Brad Trivers made the following statement in the Legislative Assembly almost a year ago (July 4, 2019) recognizing the threat of Holding Ponds and promising swift action....like so many other promises (think "protecting Island bees") assurances of swift action have turned into "no action".

"Under these regulations, we are closing a loophole as well. Currently multiple low capacity wells are being used together to pump high-capacity volumes of water for irrigation. Under the new regulations when multiple low-capacity wells are used together to pump the same volume as a high-capacity well, they will be treated as a high-capacity well and all regulations for high-capacity wells will apply. This includes the moratorium on high-capacity wells for agricultural irrigation. In the meantime, we very much appreciate that very valid and very grave concerns have been raised about agricultural irrigation holding ponds that have been constructed. Rest assured, government is listening. To address this, the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change will immediately commence inspections of all existing irrigation ponds, and further, I will be working with my colleague, minister Thompson to ensure additional measures are taken to protect our water while the consultation on the water withdrawal regulations take place.....Together, these three sets of regulations will ALLOW THE WATER ACT TO BE PROCLAIMED THIS FALL"

The longer the delay in implementing a moratorium on more holding ponds - the more holding ponds will be built. The law and regulations may not be "proclaimed" yet, but their intent is set and clear - building new ponds before the "law in waiting" becomes the "law in force" shows a blatant disrespect for the will and intention of both the Government and Islanders to prevent further holding ponds from being used as a loop hole circumventing the moratorium on high-capacity wells.

It's the wild west out there now, and the King Government apparently sees no urgency to do anything about it. Nothing but covert support for the further expansion of industrial agriculture and french fry processing can explain the King Government not immediately putting a stop to these ponds being built.

I sure hope the King Government is not planning to REWARD these contract growers and Irvings by "grandfathering" these new Holding Ponds when the Act and Regulations do come into force. They know full-well that they are thumbing their noses at the Act and Regulations, as well as Islanders, by hastily building these ponds before the Act is proclaimed in defiance of the spirit of the Act. These renegade pond diggers should absolutely NOT be rewarded for actions against the will of both government and the people.

-30- 


On Charlottetown "development" https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-what-is-a-vacant-lot-459985/  

LETTER: What is a ‘vacant lot’? - The Guardian Letter to the Editor

Published on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

What do you think of when you see the words “vacant lot”? Do you see publicly accessible, tree-lined waterfront greenspace? Do you see students eating lunch on the grass while looking at the water? Do you see groups of families watching Canada Day fireworks? Do you see the backyard for an apartment building filled with long-term residents, many of whom are senior citizens?

Me neither. Yet that’s how the waterfront land set to be turned into an apartment building is referred to in this newspaper. I expect those who seek to make money off the land to rely upon that definition, but the community newspaper should be providing a more accurate picture to its readers. The city should have bought that land to ensure it stayed in the public’s hands. Given its dereliction of duty, it’s no wonder it kept the residents of Ward 1 in the dark about the development.

Ryan Faulds, Charlottetown


Global Chorus essay for June 11 
Ravi Ravindra


We may not be able to find a way past the current global crises, but a way may be found through us if we are willing and able to be instruments of subtler levels of energy which permeate the entire universe.

If we contemplate the universe and the extremely intricate laws which govern the appearance and disappearance of galaxies as well as the emergence of the butterfly from a cocoon, it is difficult to persuade oneself that human beings are in control and are at the top of the spectrum of consciousness or intelligence. How can we not feel the sentiment expressed by Albert Einstein when he speaks of his “rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection”?

It is the unanimous testimony of all the sages in the history of humanity that the entire universe is pervaded by subtle and conscious energies – variously labelled as the “Holy Spirit,” or the “Buddha Mind,” or “Allah” or the “Tao.” All spiritual traditions say that without the subtle and conscious energies of Brahman (or God or the Eternal) nothing can be done, but without human beings nothing will be done. We need to do our part as instruments of the all-pervasive Intelligence. In our individual or collective hubris we forget the obvious – that we do not know all there is to know, and that neither the physical nor the spiritual universe is centred on any individual or on humanity or on the Earth. We need to search for our contribution to the continuing unfolding of the Mystery, not so much from ignorance but from innocence, open to unexpected voices and solutions.

Ahimsa, usually understood as non-violence or physical non-harming, is in fact closer to non-violation, non-imposition or non-manipulation. Ahimsa is the essential principle of all true ecology. Finding our place and playing our part, making room for and caring for other human beings, for all creatures and for the planet naturally follows from this.

     — Ravi Ravindra, PhD author, spiritual lecturer 
www.ravindra.ca

--------------------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 10, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food:

Heart Beet Organics (vegetables, eggs, fermented products), order before noon today for pickup at their Great George Street storefront, today, Wednesday 3-6PM LINK

Also, items will be available at the store during those hours today.Tonight,

Wednesday, just before midnight, is the deadline to web-order from both the Charlottetown Farmers' Market on-line and Eat Local PEI.

Charlottetown Farmers' Market 2GO On-line service (many products), for Saturday afternoon pickup by the Market) LINK

Eat Local PEI group (many farmers-market-type vendors), for Saturday late afternoon pickup, near Leon's at the old Sears.LINK
-------------------
PEI Legislature sits from 2-5PM today

Watch Live:
the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.
-------------------------
Met Opera
Wednesday, June 10th:
Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, from 7:30PM tonight until about 6:30PM Thursday
"Starring Christine Schäfer, Alice Coote, Rosalind Plowright, Philip Langridge, and Alan Held, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. From January 1, 2008."

"Richard Jones’s deliciously deranged production embraces the macabre sensibility of the original Brothers Grimm story, filling the stage with comically enlarged chefs, a fish-headed table waiter, and the most epic food fight the Met stage has ever seen. This performance presents the company’s popular family-friendly version of the staging, which is abridged and sung in English but still serves up course after course of Humperdinck’s luscious music, combining lyrical, folk-inspired melody and rousing orchestral grandeur."  
Not to be missed.


The letter Trade Justice PEI sent to Premier King, pointing out what's really needed in our Recovery and Renewal.  Well-crafted and worth the read:

Trade Justice PEI 81 Prince St, Charlottetown PE C1A 4R3
June 8, 2020Premier Dennis King, Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Dear Premier King,

This ‘OPEN LETTER’ to you is in response to the recent announcement that you have created a Council for Recovery and Growth consisting of 31 Island individuals. Its task, as we understand it, is to establish a plan for recovery and growth for the province over the next one, two, five and ten years. While we can’t predict the future, we do agree that it is important to plan.  One thing is clear: the recovery cannot involve a return to ‘business as usual.’  COVID-19 has laid bare the ways in which the pre-epidemic status quo was exploiting workers, failing to provide people with adequate and safe services and jeopardizing our community’s economic resilience. Here in Prince Edward Island, the COVID-19 crisis has drawn our attention to many issues, gaps and inequalities, including:
• Essential grocery store workers are usually low paid, under-valued and non-unionized.
• Migrant workers fill essential, permanent jobs and are made vulnerable by a system that offers little hope for permanent residency in Canada.
• We rely on essential healthcare and childcare workers who are often poorly paid.
• Childcare should be publicly funded and operated.
• Many Island families and individuals experience food insecurity.
• Corporate control of food production and processing hurts farmers and workers as well as land, air and water.
• Reliance on one or two agricultural products for export is short-sighted and wasteful and doesn’t provide ‘food security’ for the people of Prince Edward Island.
• Locally produced and processed food is essential, and its availability increases our resilience when there are disruptions in the global food system.
• Widespread dependence on tourism, which brings 1.6 million visitors every year, and an environmentally unsustainable cruise ship industry increases Prince Edward Island’s economic vulnerability.
• A publicly owned and operated Island-wide public transportation system is essential.
• It is necessary to reform, improve and standardize long-term care in Canada. 
• The free market economy does not provide for or protect people, it simply contributes to the growing gap between the very rich and those who lack basic needs.
• Trade agreements such as the CETA, CPTPP and USMCA are not fair agreements.  

We can not look to return to business as usual – that model wasn’t working for the environment, for workers and for people living on small incomes. If we want to be able to deal with future pandemics and at the same time deal with climate change and social inequality, then we need to make some fundamental changes.

Upon review of the interests and backgrounds of the thirty-one people who have been chosen to come up with an economic plan for recovery, we see major gaps. The committee as a whole reflects a limited view of what makes up an economy. In Prince Edward Island, the economy is made of public services, non-profit services and activities, small and large businesses, unpaid domestic labour, resources and ecological services provided by the natural environment, and the volunteer sector. A broad range of interests must be involved in the planning process. Trade Justice PEI believes that we need to approach the future following the COVID-19 crisis with a very different economic model if we are to build a socially just and ecologically sound future.  Therefore, Trade Justice is asking you as Premier to ensure the following:
• that the recovery plan embody a vision of the future which boldly addresses the broad social and environmental issues we face, rather than a return to ‘business as usual’,
• that all government decisions in the future be made and seen through lenses of climate change and social equity,
• that the recovery plan be guided by a strong belief in public investment, the provision of public services and publicly funded community-based non-profit services, 
• that unionized and non-unionized workers be involved in the process 
• that the mandate of the Council for Recovery and Growth be broadened to include climate change and social equity, 
• that given the potential impact of this Committee on all people living in Prince Edward Island, it be reconstituted to reflect more diversity of views,
• that Indigenous rights be respected, and
• that the process be transparent and democratic, and that an accessible, open public consultation process be developed and put into place in order that all Island residents have avenues for providing input into the plan.
 
We offer our suggestions in the spirit of working together.
 
Sincerely,
 Leo Broderick,
On behalf of Trade Justice PEI


More tomorrow on the apparently new holding ponds in the Kinkora area that Lynne Lund asked out in Question Period yesterday of Environment Minister Natalie Jameson, but here is the link to the PDF of yesterday's Question Period:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/sites/www.assembly.pe.ca/files/Tuesday-Question-Period.pdf


Global Chorus essay for June 10
Jeffrey Hollender

We absolutely have the ability to solve our current global environmental, social and economic crises. For me the question is, do we have the will? The challenge is not about technology but about consciousness, values and priorities. Me vs. We. Quantity vs. Quality.

With two million NGOs working to save the world, the challenge is to co-operate rather than compete. Each one thinks that their issue is the most important issue. They compete for resources and attention. Together they could make rapid progress. Alone they will all fail.

Pension funds, foundations, not-for-profits, educational institutions, credit unions and other socially and financially responsible entities control huge financial resources. They don’t use their leverage, let alone co-operate with each other to insist on change. They could. It’s about will and commitment.

Our system is broken. We are headed at 90 miles an hour into a brick wall. So far, all we do is tap gently on the brakes and celebrate as our speed slows temporarily down to 89. The brakes work. We can stop the car and change direction.

The question is, will we? The alternative is ugly. Likely billions of casualties as we let disaster and pain force a change in consciousness.

— Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, Jeffrey Hollender Partners and CommonWise

http://www.jeffreyhollender.com/
https://www.seventhgeneration.com/home
--------------------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 9, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

The P.E.I. Legislature resumes today, 2-5PM and probably 7-9PM.

Proceedings may be viewed through:
the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
(a "Watch Live" link opens on the front page)

and Facebook live stream at 
https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

Some more details of Question Period transcripts and other information and materials at the Assembly website:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

more from the Official Opposition Party office, below
--------------------

Local Farmers' Food this week:

Eat Local PEI has the deadline of 11:59PM Wednesday for pick-up or delivery late afternoon Saturday.  More details at:
https://www.localline.ca/eatlocalpei

Charlottetown Farmers' Market "2GO" also takes orders until they reach their maximum number, or 11:59PM Wednesday.
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/

Heart Beet Organics will be at their storefront, Great george Street, from 3-6PM Wednesday.  Pre-orders can be made until noon tomorrow for pickup at the store.
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

Met Opera for Tuesday, June 9th -- Double Bill:
Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartók’s Bluebeard's Castle, 7:30PM until Wednesday about 6:30PM

Starring Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczała in Iolanta, and Nadja Michael and Mikhail Petrenko in Bluebeard's Castle, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From February 14, 2015.
Additional article:
"In his 2015 production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, starring Anna Netrebko and Nadja Michael, director Mariusz Treliński explored the darker side of a pair of fairy tales with complicated women at the center."
Excellent "User Information" notes on this week's Met Opera offerings


Stars 1

CBC Sport reporter John Hancock, a very engaging columnist, even if you don't really like the world of sports, has returned to CBC Radio's Island Morning (since not having any new sports news to discuss in the last couple of months) Tuesday and Thursday, about 6:45AM.  He also has created and adds to a series of short weekly podcasts, "Sports Talk", interviewing Maritime current or past sports greats.   https://www.cbc.ca/listen/cbc-podcasts/416-sports-talk
------------------
Stars 2  Glenn K. Roberts  Atlantic Skies

What and When is Twilight? - by Glenn K. Roberts

for the week of April 8-14th, 2020

Though most people tend to think of a day as consisting of just two parts - day and night - there are actually a few other sections to the day. All of us have, at some point or other, read of, heard about, and even used, the term "twilight". But did you know there are, in fact, three distinct types of twilight?

In general terms, for non-astronomers, twilight is when there is still light outdoors, even though the Sun is below the horizon; that time of day, either morning or evening, when the Sun's light is scattered into the Earth's upper atmosphere, illuminating its lower portion. In the pre-sunrise period, this is often referred to as "dawn", while in the post-sunset period, it is referred to as "dusk", thought these two terms refer more to a transition point than an actual interval of time.  Astronomers, however, break twilight into three distinct stages - civil twilight, nautical twilight and astronomical twilight.

Civil twilight, the brightest of the three stages, is when the Sun is less than 6 degrees below the horizon. In the morning, it begins when the geometric center of the rising Sun reaches the 6 degree point below the horizon (referred to as civil dawn), and ends at sunrise (when the Sun's upper limb appears over the horizon). During the evening, it begins at sunset (when the upper limb of the Sun disappears below the horizon), and ends when the geometric center of the setting Sun reaches the 6 degree point below the horizon (referred to as civil dusk). During civil twilight, only the brightest celestial objects are visible. It should be noted, however, that actual sunrise and sunset times are calculated by taking into consideration the effects of refraction (the bending of light), whereby, because, at these times of the day, the Sun's rays enter the Earth's atmosphere at a very shallow angle (relative to an observer looking towards the horizon), the Sun can be seen a few minutes before sunrise actually occurs in the morning, and a few minutes after sunset actually occurs in the evening.

Civil twilight is preceded by nautical twilight. A reference to when ancient mariners navigated by the stars, nautical twilight is the period when the geometric center of the Sun is between 6 - 12 degrees below the horizon. Nautical dawn is when the geometric center of the Sun reaches the 12 degree point below the horizon in the morning, with nautical dusk occurring when it is at the 12 degree point below the horizon in the evening.

Astronomical twilight, of most importance to night sky observers, is when the Sun is between 12 - 18 degrees below the horizon. Astronomical dawn (the end of nighttime) occurs when the geometric center of the Sun is at the 18 degree point below the horizon in the morning, and astronomical dusk (the beginning of nighttime) is when the geometric center of the Sun is at the 18 degree point below the horizon in the evening. During astronomical twilight, the sky is completely dark, and naked-eye celestial objects are visible.

Actual twilight times vary depending on the time of year, and the observer's latitude; areas closer to and at the equator have shorter twilight periods than those closer to the poles. It is possible to go on-line and find the actual twilight times (for all three stages) for your particular location.

Both Mercury and Venus are too close to the Sun to be seen at present. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars continue as pre-dawn sky objects. Jupiter (mag. -2.6) is visible shortly after midnight, about 7 degrees above the southeast horizon, reaching an altitude of 22 degrees above the southern horizon before fading from view around 5:00 a.m. Saturn (mag. +0.4), to the east (left) of Jupiter sits 10 degrees above the southeast horizon by about 1:00 a.m., and is highest (23 degrees) in the southern sky by 4:20 a.m., before fading from view around 4:40 a.m. Mars (mag. +0.3), rising further east (left) of Jupiter and Saturn, is visible shortly before 2:00 a.m., reaching 25 degrees above the southeast horizon, when it is lost from sight around 4:45 a.m. Watch the waning Moon slide by these three planets during the coming week.

Until next week, clear skies.

Events:

June 13 - Last Quarter Moon

         14 - Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth)

-30-


A good summary of the Legislative Sitting so far (obviously from their point of view), and links to blogs from Official Opposition MLAs, can be found here on the P.E.I. Green Party Caucus website:
From the Official Opposition on P.E.I.
https://www.greenparty.pe.ca/news


Global Chorus essay for June 9
Beth Doane

There is no doubt that the human race is now facing our greatest challenge. We have driven our planet into a state of such immense turmoil that our own survival is jeopardized.

I have witnessed the disappearance of endangered species, the mass contamination of our oceans and rivers and the severe weather patterns that have resulted in extreme loss of life on every continent on Earth. It’s heartbreaking, and the question is, is it too late to make a difference?

For me, the answer is that it’s never too late. Miraculous outcomes to seemingly impossible situations occur every day. There is nothing stronger than the human spirit and change is always possible despite the enormity of the odds we face. However, if we are going to save our home before it’s too late we will have to work together and truly understand the gravity of the situation we face in order to take the necessary action. If we can see just how connected we really are to each other and our Earth and remember all the wisdom we have forgotten through centuries of abuse of our planet and each other, we can indeed overcome the issues we have created, and do so very quickly.

The Earth can heal itself remarkably well when we stop the devastating harm we are doing, but it’s up to us to end the trauma we have caused and remind each other, as the Native Americans so wisely stated, that we don’t have to wait for the last river to be poisoned, the last fish to be caught and the last tree to be cut down to realize that we cannot eat money.

     — Beth Doane, author, founder of Rain Tees 

http://www.bethdoane.com/bio
  

--------------------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca


June 8, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

June 8th is World Oceans' Day...in fact, it's turned into a whole Oceans' Week, lasting until Friday the 12th.

The United Nations is hosting an all-day virtual event on World Oceans Day...
More info:

https://unworldoceansday.org/event/world-oceans-day-2020-global-celebration-united-nations


Mission Blue, whose mission it is to inspire action to explore and protect the oceans, has a website filled with inspiraging images, information, films, and the description of "Hope Spots".

Website link:

https://mission-blue.org/

from their communications:
Join Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, and Teresa Ribera, the Minister for the Ecological Transition of Spain, for a discussion on World Oceans Day about the future of ocean conservation policy as the world looks at emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. The live webinar will be moderated by Max Bello, Advisor, Global Ocean Policy for Mission Blue.
"
This roundtable will be held on June 8th, 2020 at 9:00am PDT.


Webinar starts at 1PM our time.
Webinar link

-----------------
Today is the deadline for public input on the provincial energy legislation.  It's crept up on me, and it a wrangly-tangly enough issue that there is no quick suggestions to pass on for people to consider.
You can write Katie MacDonald, the Department of Transportation, Instructure and Energy, today and ask for more time to put together any comments. 
katiemacdonald@gov.pe.ca

-------------------------------
Another amazing week of daily Metropolitan Opera livestreams from their recorded archives.
Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, 7:30PM tonight until about 6:30 Tuesday evening
Starring Lucy Crowe, Barbara Frittoli, Elīna Garanča, Kate Lindsey, and Giuseppe Filianoti, conducted by Harry Bicket. From December 1, 2012.     Met opera link


Published Paul MacNeill's weekly editorial: http://www.peicanada.com/eastern_graphic/opposition-steps-into-covid-spotlight/article_3369bd70-a440-11ea-bdd5-4bd24eb872c0.html 

Opposition steps into COVID spotlight - The Eastern Graphic article by Paul MacNeil

Published on Wenesday, June 3rd, 2020, in The Graphic publications

As much as the King government’s COVID response is admired by Islanders, hearing pointed, fair, questions directed toward the premier and cabinet on the floor of the provincial legislature is an important step forward, both for democracy and our return to some semblance of normal.

For the past three months opposition parties were politically neutered as both Greens and Liberals set aside partisanship to support provincial efforts to wrestle COVID to the ground. They deserve credit for it. Truth be told, even when they did try to raise issues in as non-partisan a manner as possible, no one was listening.

This changed last week with the opening of an emergency sitting of the house; its stated purpose to deal with legislative updates made necessary by the pandemic. It proved a powerful reminder to the force Green leader Peter Bevan-Baker is in Island politics.

Bevan-Baker’s political star rose during the Liberal regime, with Premier Wade MacLauchlan being the perfect foil for his softly delivered, articulate and pointed questions drilling into everything from centralization of services to our provincial focus on growing exports.

Dennis King is a more elusive adversary. The government’s newness, combined with the premier’s amiable nature and desire to include opposition parties in the governance process, takes the sting from opposition questions. This partly explains why the Greens have struggled as the Official Opposition. Another major factor is weighty, ponderous messaging that fails to resonate and often seems more akin to a sermon. The lesson being, it’s not easy to build a cohesive eight member opposition when the party’s growth is directly tied to the leader’s personality.

Last week thousands of Islanders were in a cranky mood over government’s surprise decision to allow seasonal cottage owners to return beginning June 1. It was the opening Bevan-Baker needed to remind Islanders of the importance of holding government to account, even during a pandemic. His questions were strong, direct, and contrary to the spin offered by some, not partisan. Within two days government backtracked, offering a detailed list of new conditions, including that residents of Ontario and Quebec will have their applications vetted last.

A combination of public pressure and a strong opposition forced the policy reversal. It is a sign of a robust democracy that the opposition can raise an issue and the government moves to fix it.

We should all hope this form of responsive government is a lasting legacy of COVID.

Virtually every Canadian premier has seen their popularity jump during the pandemic. Some, like Doug Ford, have surprised. Premier King has met the challenge as well, and a good chunk of the Island is now protective of the premier and any attempt to hold government to account.

Last week was about showing the vibrancy of our democracy after a long winter hibernation and moving to the next phase: How to govern after the immediate crisis is gone and we are left with a provincial budget blown to smithereens.

There was Trish Altass’s interrogation of Health Minister James Aylward’s questionable March junket to Ireland and his belief it was ok to make a couple stops after being ordered home by the Chief Health Officer to self isolate for 14 days. Or Liberal Rob Henderson repeatedly trying to get a straight answer from the Minister of Health on the number and type of surgeries delayed during the crisis.

There was Tory MLA Cory Deagle growing his reputation for making Tory cabinet ministers feel uncomfortable by not throwing lob balls to members of his own team.

There was Premier King passionately defending the work of Chief Public Health Officer Heather Morrison. And there was Bevan-Baker returning to a position of comfort by lighting a fire under the feet of a PEI premier.

Sometimes people see partisanship where none exists. Like last week. The opposition did their job. They held government to account and we are all better for it.

Paul MacNeill is Publisher of Island Press Limited. He can be contacted at paul@peicanada.com

-30-


Global Chorus essay for June 8 
Michael Dowd

Yes, we have hope, and yes, we can do it. What will it take?

1. We must be committed. Whether we speak about it in religious or secular terms, we must be committed to growing in right relationship to reality and helping our friends, family and elected officials do the same. This becomes easier when we see the Great Work of ensuring a just and healthy future as our call to greatness. When we are committed to doing whatever it takes to co-create a thriving future for humanity and the larger body of life, our priorities become clear. We are filled with passion and purpose. Our lives become meaningful beyond measure.

2. We must tax carbon. This is the most important systemic change [that] needs to be made. James [Hansen] refers to it as “fee and dividend” and “putting an honest price on carbon”
 (See, e.g., citizensclimatelobby.org/carbon-fee-and- dividend-faq).

3. We must honour Nature. We must respect the integrity, stability and beauty of the life community as our fundamental moral responsibility. If we continue to see Nature as an “it” to be exploited rather than a “thou” to be related to, we condemn future generations to hell and high water.

In the inimitable words of Thomas Berry:

The world we live in is an honorable world. To refuse this deepest instinct of our being, to deny honor where honor is due, to withdraw reverence from divine manifestation, is to place ourselves on a head-on collision course with the ultimate forces of the Universe. This question of honor must be dealt with before any other question. We miss both the intrinsic nature and the magnitude of the issue if we place our response to the present crises of our planet on any other basis. It is not ultimately a political or economic or scientific or psychological issue. It is ultimately a question of honor. Only the sense of the violated honor of Earth and the need to restore this honor can evoke the understanding as well as the energy needed to carry out the renewal of the planet in any effective  manner.

       — Michael Dowd,  evolutionary theologian, evangelist for Big History and Religious Naturalism, bestselling author of Thank God for Evolution 

Michel's website

----------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca


June 7, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Garden Vegetable Plants Sale, 11AM-3PM, Heart Beet Organics Farm, 742 Darlington Road.
Today and the next two Sundays, healthy, vibrant plants ready transplanting, seeds, and such, for sale.  Off Route 2 near Brookfield area, but directions and more info at:
https://heartbeetorganics.ca/

Met Opera Stream:
Massenet’s Thaïs, 7:30PM until Monday evening
"Starring Renée Fleming, Michael Schade, and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Jesús López-Cobos. From December 20, 2008."   Gorgeous.
https://www.metopera.org/


from the David Suzuki Foundation:

Returning to normal after pandemic isn’t good enough - David Suzuki Foundation article by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington

Published on Friday, June 5th, 2020

After months of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people just want to get back to “normal.” We will overcome this crisis. But “normal” means continued climate disruption and species extinction, growing inequalities, increasing pollution and health risks and the possibility of further new disease outbreaks.

We should aim much higher than “normal.” The COVID-19 crisis shows it’s possible.

Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have declined substantially as people fly and drive less. A Stanford University study found better air quality in China during the pandemic shutdown may have prevented 50,000 to 75,000 premature deaths, saving up to 20 times more lives than have been lost there to COVID-19.

But a pandemic isn’t a good solution to climate chaos. We can and must change our ways. Hyper-consumption, car culture and burning fossil fuels are putting our future at risk.

It’s time to rethink economic systems adopted in the mid-20th century when resources were plentiful and built infrastructure was lacking, when the human population was much smaller and the U.S. promoted consumerism as a way to keep the postwar boom going. It’s time to conserve energy and shift to cleaner sources. It’s time to help workers in sunset industries train for and find employment in industries that will shape our future. It’s time to rethink the ways and hours we work, now that technology has entered every sphere of our work lives.

Around the world, corporate supporters are convincing governments to roll back environmental regulations and protections under cover of the pandemic.

But some are eager to get back to environmental degradation and climate-altering activity. Around the world, corporate supporters are convincing governments to roll back environmental regulations and protections under cover of the pandemic. We’ve seen it in the United States, Brazil and Canadian provinces including Ontario and Alberta.

In the latter, where government and media would have you believe bitumen extraction is the only industry that matters, one minister revealed the petro-politician mindset.

“Now is a great time to be building a pipeline because you can’t have protests of more than 15 people,” Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage recently said on an oil well driller podcast.

“At least she’s being honest,” teen climate activist Greta Thunberg responded in an interview.

Why are these politicians and their corporate and media cheerleaders so determined to spend billions on pipelines for a product that costs more to produce than it fetches on the market? Why do they throw their support behind an industry that employs fewer people all the time, thanks to automation and market forces? Why, when the world is switching to renewable energy, with numerous clean tech economic opportunities, do they want to double down on a fading industry that should have begun its phase-out decades ago. Why do they want to wastefully sell and burn a finite product that has many other uses?

Why are Canadians subsidizing and bailing out what has been the most profitable industry in human history when those billions could do so much to put us on a healthier path?

Is there no foresight, no imagination, no courage?

The pandemic has created a lot of misery and havoc, especially for the most vulnerable. But it’s also given us a glimpse of the possible.

The pandemic has created a lot of misery and havoc, especially for the most vulnerable. But it’s also given us a glimpse of the possible. It’s shown that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. It’s demonstrated that working regimes can shift. It shows that co-operation and altruism will get us through.

It’s also exposed the folly of those who reject scientific evidence and common sense, something we’ve seen for years with the climate crisis but that’s heated up among those who see simple, life-saving measures like social distancing and mask-wearing as an infringement on their freedom.

So many solutions could be implemented immediately — from a four-day workweek to maintaining road closures and restricting car traffic.

When one per cent of humanity owns almost half the world’s wealth, and that one per cent is largely behind the push to get the economy rolling no matter the human cost, then we know change is necessary. That U.S. billionaires added $282 billion to their wealth in just 23 days during the pandemic while ordinary Americans were losing jobs and struggling to get by further illustrates the current system’s absurdity.

Tackling the pandemic is a start to addressing the other crises we face, including climate disruption and species extinction. We can’t afford to miss the opportunity.

Written by David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor and Writer Ian Hanington


And our local "foundation" of excellent Island big issues in agricultural writing, Ian Petrie, published in Island Farmer: http://www.peicanada.com/island_farmer/bees-berries-and-business/article_511599a6-9eb0-11ea-a76a-cf27bb28889d.html

Bees, berries, and business - Island Farmer article by Ian Petrie

Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

This isn’t the first time that Iris beekeeper Stan Sandler has argued that the PEI government isn’t doing enough to keep diseases and parasites from infesting local bee colonies.

Sandler began beekeeping decades ago when PEI was a small oasis of healthy bee hives that only allowed queens to be imported from New Zealand, also disease and pest free at the time. I’ve known Stan for 40 years and watched his business grow along with the expanding wild blueberry industry and its need for pollination every spring.

Beekeeping is rugged work, and the recent unhealthy mix of diseases, parasites, and pesticides has made it more difficult. Sandler has even used the courts to argue a succession of PEI governments ignored the Animal Health Act by allowing the importation of bee hives from provinces with the very parasites and diseases PEI was trying to avoid.

PEI governments of course are responding to the demands of the wild blueberry industry. It needs sufficient pollinators to make the business profitable, and PEI beekeepers haven’t been able to supply that. The two big companies that buy almost all the berries, Braggs (Oxford Frozen Foods) and Wymans, organize the trucking of thousands of hives every spring onto PEI to keep blueberry production up.

In the past it was varroa and tracheal mites that were introduced to PEI, the last three years small hive beetle is the concern (and yes Asian murder hornets are still to come, but not yet). Originally from Africa the small hive beetle (SHB) was identified in the southern U.S. in the mid 1990’s and has been travelling north ever since. Females lay eggs in hives, and the resulting larvae eat everything in the hive but the wood. There’s more recent evidence from Europe that SHB will also destroy hives and nests of natural pollinators too.

The last two years PEI only allowed importation of bees from areas in Ontario that were SHB free, and included inspections in Ontario by PEI Department of Agriculture and Land employees. Ontario’s new Ford government has now stopped any effort to prevent the spread of SHB there, and Covid-19 is preventing PEI inspectors from checking hives before they’re shipped (Ontario inspectors are supposed to inspect 10% of the hives). Wymans is bringing in about 3,000 hives from Ontario, while Braggs is only importing bees from Nova Scotia which is SHB free after closing its border to Ontario hives three years ago.

Despite inspections New Brunswick found SHB in hives from Ontario in the Acadien Peninsula in 2017. The province continues to import more than 20 thousand hives a year from Ontario. Nova Scotia is now self-sufficient in its pollinator needs, and Stan Sandler argued in a letter to the editor that PEI could do the same thing: “If beehives are as important to blueberries as the growers and processors say and you close the border and let everyone know that you are committed to protecting Island bees, then growers and processors will begin working with Island beekeepers to find long-term sustainable solutions. It is as simple as that.”

Closing the border to bee imports would cut blueberry production but Sandler and others argue it would get supply more in line with demand. Blueberry prices to farmers have been disastrously low since 2017 because of overproduction. This might suit the big processors but has been very hard on producers.

There are other things we can learn from this. Before Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals lost to Conservative Doug Ford, Ontario was not only trying to prevent the spread of SHB, it had also taken a leadership role in limiting the use of neonicotinoids, well-known systemic pesticides that have been very useful to farmers, but their persistence in nature can make them lethal to important non-target insects including pollinators. With their “open for business” doctrine Doug Ford’s new government watered down these regulations (federal pesticide regulators are reviewing the use of neonicotinoids too). The plan had been to slowly decrease the use of neonicotinoids by 80% and show farmers that yields and quality were not severely affected. Now neonicotinoid sales are no longer monitored, and “red tape reviews” have made the policy ineffective.

We will hear the clarion call of Premier Ford’s “open for business” once the COVID-19 shutdown ends, and many worry that environmental regulations will be weakened as countries desperately try to ensure that economic activity ramps up again quickly. I’m not in any way diminishing the economic pain individuals and countries are feeling right now, it’s dreadful, but as supply chains get reworked we can’t let countries/provinces compete for business by lowering environmental standards. There are many difficult days and decisions ahead. Let’s get right what we can.

-30-


Global Chorus essay for June 7
Holmes Rolston III


We live at a change of epochs, a hinge point of history. We have entered the first century in the 45 million centuries of life on Earth in which one species can jeopardize the planet’s future. From this point on, culture more than nature is the principal determinant of Earth’s future.

For some this is cause for congratulation, the fulfillment of our destiny as a species. We enter a new era: the Anthropocene. For others this is cause for concern. We worried throughout much of the past century that humans would destroy themselves in inter-human conflict. The worry for the next century is that if our present heading is uncorrected, humans may ruin their planet and themselves along with it.

Paradoxes and challenges confront and confound us. Although we congratulate ourselves on our powers, humans are not well equipped to manage the sorts of global-level problems we face in this new era. Yet, this wonderland Earth is a planet with promise. If we are to realize the abundant life for all time, both policy and ethics must enlarge the scope of concern. We are Earthlings. Our integrity is inseparable from Earth’s integrity. The ultimate unit of moral concern is the ultimate survival unit: this wonderland biosphere. We can and we ought to get humans put in their place. Our best hope lies in global convictions that for the richest human living we do not want a denatured life on a denatured planet.

      — Holmes Rolston III, university distinguished professor of philosophy at Colorado State University (USA), author of A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth

Colorado State University faculty entry

--------------------------------------


essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 6, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Some Farmers' Market vendors are outside the Farmers' Market buildings in Charlottetown and Summerside, very likely, during the morning hours.

Heart Beet Organics "The Farmacy", 9AM-1PM, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown. Local produce, fermented products, cheese, chocolates, etc. at their storefront.

Farm Legacy Spring Plant Fair, 9AM-12noon, 420 University Avenue, Charlottetown
"The Legacy Garden is having a socially distanced sale! All proceeds go directly towards the Farm Centre’s Legacy Garden. There will be plants and supplies for sale (also available by pre-order, see below) as well as a seed swap! Bring your seeds you would like to swap!"
More details at Facebook event link

Local goods info:
"Where and How to Access Local Organic Products" from The PEI Certified Organic Producers' Co-op newsletter. 
This week's is HERE

Discover Charlottetown's Local Goods
https://www.discovercharlottetown.com/local-goods-guide/


Saturday Afternoon Radio/On-line "Best Opera Ever" Series, 1-4PM, CBC Radio Music (104.7FM)
Canadian tenor Ben Heppner interviews an opera legend each week and and their favourite performances rebroadcast This week it is soprano Felicity Lott presenting The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart, with the 1964 Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Otto Klemperer - conductor, and
Nicolai Gedda as Tamino and Gundula Janowitz as Pamina.

Met Opera (video) HD broadcast
Verdi’s Otello, 7:30PM until Sunday late afternoon.
"Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Željko Lučić, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From October 17, 2015."   Yeah, in all its beauty and terribleness.
https://www.metopera.org/


In case you missed it, here are links for the presentations and some materials from Last week's FairVote Canada's Annual conference (on attaining proportional representation), featuring Jagmeet Singh Friday night and sessions Saturday, including one by Anna Keenan (who lives in St. Ann's, P.E.I.) and Green MP Paul Manly.

2020 Annual Conference links:

Jagmeet Singh: Building a Better Democracy
https://youtu.be/0t47EpGZd_c?list=PLE0dYpVCw9bY6rxdNUTfpBL2dttwQTX_T

Frank Graves: Voter Trust, Populism and Democracy in Canada
https://youtu.be/Ofb0FNAknO0
Powerpoint: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nf7Ldov_q6F0xPiOll8ZRGoAihyB2PT8/view?usp=sharing

Penny Ehrhardt: How PR Changed New Zealand
https://youtu.be/5X5qsK2BAKM?list=PLE0dYpVCw9bY6rxdNUTfpBL2dttwQTX_T
Powerpointhttps://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1-EwbW_LmjP7F3wDNKzHE31jNU4vsZEhIcV_grArnTIQ/edit?usp=sharing

Anna Keenan and Paul Manly: Campaigning to Win - Tools for Campaigners!
https://youtu.be/nPi-4JdmWQw?list=PLE0dYpVCw9bY6rxdNUTfpBL2dttwQTX_T
Presentationhttps://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1VpgAyywyg5bPdJSlYzGgRAQ1V2F9z78xH-4FxxFbLb4/edit?usp=sharing


Yay, yay, Bob Rae!

Confederation Centre of the Arts Announces 2020 Symons Medallist

Published in The Guardian on Friday, June 5th, 2020

Bob Rae is the recipient of the 2020 Symons Medal.

The 20th Symons medallist will be presented with the medal at the Homburg Theatre at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown on Friday, Oct. 30.

Rae is currently serving as the Prime Minister’s special envoy on humanitarian and refugee issues and is senior counsel at a law firm that focuses on Indigenous issues. He also teaches at the University of Toronto as a professor of public policy in the Munk School, the Faculty of Law and Victoria College.

The annual award honours and recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. Held each fall, the medal ceremony and its associated lecture offer a national platform for an eminent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state, shared histories and prospects using themes related to their professional pursuits.

Elected 11 times to the House of Commons and the legislature of Ontario, Rae served as Ontario’s 21st premier as well as interim keader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He is the author of five books and three government reports, most recently on the Rohingya Refugee crisis, where he has served as special envoy for the government of Canada. 

Rae, a husband to Arlene Perly Rae, father of three and grandfather to five, is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, a Privy Councillor and a Queen’s Counsel.

In the event of any continued limitations around public gatherings this fall, the Confederation Centre of the Arts will announce updates regarding the expanded use of the live-stream. 

Tickets will be available via the box office at a later date. 


Global Chorus essay for June 6
Monica Araya

Traditional wisdom has it that society will always choose growth over the environment. The scale of our dirty energy choices continues to spoil collective mood which each year seems to fall into a deeper downward spiral as unsettling images of environmental destruction and climate injustice at home and abroad fill our TV and phone screens. Climate scientists talk about our entering a turning point. So what comes next? Action, indifference or despair?

I see the dawn of loud, imaginative and committed citizen action, outrage and courage as the engine of a new politics that will bring us out of this comfort zone (because thinking that nothing can be done is a dangerous comfort zone). I observe the many enraged citizens making brave political choices that threw or will throw reckless decision-makers out of power. I also see citizens standing against powerful media for manipulating public debates – even elections. Social media amplifies our voices as citizens and lets us mobilize other citizens giving us permission to defend the vision of a cleaner society; cleaner from an environmental standpoint but also – and here is a key issue – clean from corruption. A movement of citizens are standing for each other in ways that set smarter political choices together.

The refreshing clarity and unapologetic inspiration from citizens, especially the youngest, energizes my own imagination on what to do in my own country and internationally. That is why I helped set up two organizations. Only with citizen action, discipline and determination will we see a fossil fuel phase-out in our lifetimes. Defending the public interest of the many over the vested interests of the few, that is the common agenda that will get us closer to the clean society. The divestment movement is a prime example of citizen-led actions that are making a transformative difference this decade.

I never forget the words of a Costa Rican poet, Isaac Felipe Azofeifa, who noted: “Son, while it is true that all the stars are gone, it never gets darker than before dawn.”

     — Dr. Monica Araya, adviser, thinker, advocate, founder and director of Costa Rica Limpia and Nivela 


https://www.monicaaraya.org/

-----------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 5, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Today is
United Nations World Environment Day

So much at this website:
https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/

P.E.I. Legislature sits from 10AM-1PM in the second week of its emergency session.
Details and Watch Live link here:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/

Fridays for Future (F4F), 3:30PM gathering, Cenotaph, Grafton and Great George Streets, all welcome.  
from
Tony Reddin, from the PEI branch of the Sierra Club, among others:

Hello from PEI Fridays for Future Climate Action Group; if you're on facebook but not a member please consider joining! 

This Friday is United Nations World Environment Day!
Governments are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on COVID recovery packages and they need to hear from us that #EarthComesFirst!

We'd like to get a big turnout this Friday so please bring others along and spread the word! (3:30 - 4:30 every Friday at Province House and along Grafton St. as far as needed for 'physical distancing') https://www.facebook.com/events/1377245295805006/  

Even if you can't attend, you can join the virtual campaign: 
Tag your MP, PM, MLA, Premier, Mayor and Councillor in online posts to: - #BuildBackBetter #JustRecovery #EarthComesFirst  

(e.g. We can't go back to business-as-usual after the #COVID19 pandemic. That's why we're building a movement for a #JustRecoveryforAll that puts people first. Let’s demand a #JustRecovery so we can #BuildBackBetter https://justrecoveryforall.ca/ )

Feel free to forward this... or a version of it to people who may be interested.

BLACK LIVES MATTER March is just after F4F:

From Tamara Steele, President, Black Cultural Society of PEI on BLM -PEI 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/177914853622966/

"...We march for equality. We march for justice for those whose lives were lost. We march for peace. We march together in downtown Charlottetown on Friday, June 5th at 5:00 pm. Further details and route to come. #nojusticenopeace #blacklivesmatter #justiceforregis "
Gathering outside the Coles Building, 5PM
----------------------------------
Met Opera
Friday, June 5
Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel  7:30PM until Saturday late afternoon.
"Starring Audrey Luna, Amanda Echalaz...and Sophie Bevan... conducted by Thomas Adès. From November 18, 2017. "
A modern opera conducted by the composer! In English.
A dinner party goes very badly. (Real...Synopsis and performance link)
------------------------------------------
Saturday, June 6th
Farm Legacy Spring Plant Fair, 9AM-12noon, 420 University Avenue, Charlottetown

"The Legacy Garden is having a socially distanced sale! All proceeds go directly towards the Farm Centre’s Legacy Garden. There will be plants and supplies for sale (also available by pre-order, see below) as well as a seed swap! Bring your seeds you would like to swap!"
This may be postponed due to weather.
More details:
Facebook event link


Interview:

Coronavirus: Prince Charles says we're paying the price for loss of biodiversity 

The Prince of Wales fears we could see further pandemics if we don't put our relationship with the planet at the centre of the post-COVID recovery.

Article LINK:

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-prince-charles-says-he-was-lucky-after-getting-covid-19-12000035

-----------------------------------------------
https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-big-answers-457930/

LETTER: BIG answers - The Guardian Letter to the Editor by Marie Burge

Published on Thursday, June 4th, 2020

For economy of space in the Guardian, I am answering two letters with this one. The topic is basic income guarantee (BIG). Art O’Shea asks: Is there a country anywhere that has what resembles a guaranteed income policy? The answer is Yes: Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Iran, Kenya, Namibia, India, etc. O’Shea also wonders who would pay for BIG. After a two-year intensive study, involving experts from pertinent fields, a renowned Canadian policy group, Basic Income Canada Network (BICN), published its study on how three models of BIG for Canada could be funded. https://www.basicincomecanada.org/policy_options

Peter Noakes could also access this study to answer his worry about costs. Mr. Noakes, however, allowed his thinking to deteriorate by claiming that those of us asking for BIG seem to be the same people who “oppose any activity that actually produces wealth, in particular in the energy sector. They want to shut it down”. I have been working with basic income guarantee advocates for 17 years (at least). I have never heard in these groups any conversation that would lead to this unqualified conclusion. Mr. Noakes is welcome to his view of how the world can get to abundant, affordable, reliable energy. If he thinks that anyone who thinks differently from him is deluded, that’s his choice. I can tell him though that I find it a little comical for him to classify as “deluded” any of the people I work with on basic income guarantee. Not a deluded one among us.

Thanks to Art O’Shea and Peter Noakes for bringing out the cost concerns which we all have about basic income guarantee.

Marie Burge, Mermaid


And as far as Marie and the forward-thinking members of her family go, the Island can only celebrate:


from a few years ago, perhaps telling Marie "U R GR8T"


Global Chorus essay for June 5

Jen Boulden

OF COURSE humanity can find a way past our environmental and social crises. We are incredibly clever, especially when motivated. In fact, it was our cleverness that got us into this predicament – we figured out how to live beyond our means, and push the costs out into the future. Today that future is becoming the present, and we can tap that same cleverness to redesign our systems that were created over 250 years ago – in a time when people were scarce and raw materials were plenty. Now, it’s the exact opposite, and so capitalism as we know it must adapt to these new conditions. Luckily there’s no greater motivation than money. When we focus funding on the companies that employ “cradle to cradle” methodologies and create life-sustaining products and services, the rest will follow. Imagine the historians of 2313 looking back, and reading about most companies of 2013 that produced 96 per cent waste for every 4 per cent product. They will have a good laugh at how ridiculous that was!

In order to help catalyze these new markets at the consumer level, I co-founded Ideal Bite in 2005, a “sassy” daily email with small ideas to go green. I believed then, and still do today, that people don’t want to do the wrong thing, they just lack both the knowledge and the alternatives. But when those things are provided, people are game: Ideal Bite amassed over half a million subscribers in just three and a half years, and voted with the dollars on the products we featured  – sometimes inadvertently crashing their websites with all the visitors we sent!

So now it’s time for the world’s institutional investors and legislative power brokers to step into the driver’s seat. The “buy now, pay later” game is over. We know now after these financial meltdowns that true wealth can only be created by providing solutions for true sustainability. So not only do I have hope that we can do it, I also have faith that our most clever leaders – across all sectors – will show us how to make a lot of money with “business as unusual.”

     — Jen Boulden, green business entrepreneur 

https://jenboulden.com/

-------------------------------

essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca

June 4, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

The P.E.I. Legislature sits from 2-5PM and 7-9PM, if needed, today.
Watch live or view archives here
-------------------------------

Webinar: Open Dialogue Live: Policy, politics and pandemic, 2:30PM, hosted by Dalhousie University  Facebook event link

"This week on Open Dialogue Live, the conversation will be led by #DalhousieU experts Katherine Fierlbeck, the McCulloch Professor of Political Science in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Lori Turnbull, the Director of Dalhousie’s School of Public Administration and an associate professor of Political Science, as we discuss policy, politics and the pandemic.

Dr. Fierlbeck and Dr. Turnbull will explore a variety of topics, including democratic governance in public health emergencies, how political institutions have responded to COVID, government accountability, the role of the opposition, as well as what the politics of recovery will look like."
--------------------------------

The National Observer with Linda Solomon Wood interviews, 8PM our time. 
A Conversation with Tim Bray, Maren Costa and Linda Solomon Wood

"Online shopping? Have you thought about what happens after fill your virtual shopping cart? Former Amazon employees Tim Bray and Maren Costa join host Linda Solomon Wood to talk about big tech, capitalism and their push for environmental justice.
Costa, an organizer of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, was fired after circulating a petition about health risks for Amazon warehouse workers during COVID-19. Not long after, Tim Bray resigned from his VP position in dismay at Amazon's firing leaving behind "the best job" he's ever had. The two share their experiences and answer your questions in our next Conversation series."

Webinar information and link
----------------------
Stratford Festival's Shakespeare productions on film:

There are still three free Stratford Festival filmed productions available for viewing. The Tempest is still available for one more week, then Love's Labours Lost and Timon of Athens are still available for two and three weeks, respectively.  Such a nice opportunity!
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/AtHome

---------------

Met Opera Streaming -- Viewers' choice
Puccini’s Tosca,
7:30PM until Friday late afternoon.
Starring Shirley Verrett, Luciano Pavarotti, and Cornell MacNeil, conducted by James Conlon. From December 19, 1978.
     A classic performance, I am sure!. 
https://www.metopera.org/


https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/opinion-towards-a-new-normal-456658/ 

OPINION: Towards a new normal - The Guardian Guest opinion by Gerald Gabriel

Published on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

To paraphrase Dickens “we live in the best of times and the worst of times”. Certainly, we live in challenging times, given the impact of COVID-19. Yet in these difficult times lie opportunities. The collective Island challenge is to see these opportunities and seize them.

Our provincial government has recently announced a common effort to Renew P.E.I. Together. On the surface, this is a reasonable and honorable objective. However, the question remains: what is meant by “renew” and who is meant by “together”?

I acknowledge that there is a major challenge in getting the Island economy and society back to some “new normal”. Given the dimensions of the task ahead, it warrants strong collective action. But do we want to go back simply to the way things were? Or is there an opportunity to rebuild better?

Recently Mary Jo Leddy (founder of Romero House, a refuge for refugees in Toronto) has written a new book entitled “Why Are We Here?”. It is a thought-provoking reflection on Canada and what we stand for as Canadians. It is an easy read, only about 100 pages. Yet, there is a profoundness in the questions she raises. Accordingly, it is worthy of our full consideration, particularly as we launch this communal effort to renew P.E.I.

The thesis of Ms. Leddy’s treatise is that we need to know what kind of country we want to be … and the kind of society we want to create. And then we have to muster the collective solidarity and responsibility to achieve it. Is it expedient to foster the same quality of reflection about our aspirations as a province? And then work towards them, together.

How can the Renew P.E.I. Together endeavour be utilized to build better than before? Can we grasp this opportunity to address broader, longer-term community objectives within this process? Yes, we want our economy to be up and running; yes, we want our social interactions to flourish once again; yes, we want our citizens, especially the most vulnerable, to be well cared for. Undoubtedly these objectives will be integral to the renewal process. But can we do more?

Are there values and a quality of life that we want the Island to be recognized for? Are there communal ideals that we want to aspire towards? Will we protect our land and water better than before? Can we as a province work more effectively for “the common good” of all? Will we celebrate our diversity and welcome newcomers to our shores more than before? How committed will we be in supporting our local harvesters, producers and small businesses? The Island has called forth a number of storytellers over the years, but what will our overall sustaining narrative be? It is not that we need to be a great province; rather in the words of Mary Jo Leddy it is better to strive to be a GOOD province. Then together, we could define what that goodness would look like.

Let us advocate that Renew P.E.I. Together encompasses a discerning look to the future and not to the past, as things once were. Then folks will look back at these times of Island renewal and remark enthusiastically, “they built better than they knew”.

Gerald Gabriel is a member of Community Development Associates.

-30-


News

The libraries closing so suddenly in March was hard on many of us.  Slowly reopening with new formats:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-libraries-go-curbside-to-mitigate-spread-covid-19-1.5597231  

P.E.I.'s Public Library Service reopens with new curbside pickup model - CBC News Online

'We want to ensure that we aren't helping with the spread of the virus through people picking up the material'

Published on CBC online on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

P.E.I.'s Public Library Service is reopening gradually under Phase 3 of the province's ease-back plan, with a new curbside pickup format. 

With six of its locations — Alberton, Crapaud, Kensington, Morell, Murray River and Stratford — already reopened as of June 1, the library service plans to have all of its locations operating on a curbside model by June 12.

The only exceptions will be the Summerside and Charlottetown locations, which plan to reopen to the public on June 12. A limited number of people will be permitted in at a time and will be allowed to get their materials from the front desk.

"It's very similar to what people have already experienced with retail businesses," said Grace Dawson, regional librarian with the provincial library service.

Health and safety

The new curbside model will aim to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public, Dawson said.

"They can place holds on library materials either through the library website, or they can call or email their local branch and staff will put requests on hold for them," Dawson said.  "Once those materials arrive at the library, the staff will then call the individual and together they will set up a pickup time and date." 

If people are missing the browsing experience or aren't sure what books they might be interested in, they're being encouraged to let staff know what type of reading material they like to help staff make selections on their behalf.

The new curbside service is something that a number of public libraries are doing across Canada in an effort to maintain health and safety.

"We want to ensure that we aren't helping with the spread of the virus through people picking up the material so we think that this model for now, although it's not ideal, it will be able to provide some service to Islanders during this time," she said.

So far, Dawson said there's been a lot of positive response about the locations that have reopened this week.  "People are happy to be able to visit their local library and get reading materials," she said.

-30-


Global Chorus essay for June 4
Mikhail Gorbachev

I always regarded environmental problems as of great urgency. That started when I was still working in my home country in the Caucasus and then when I started to work in Moscow. I learned of shocking facts regarding the mistreatment of the earth, water, soil and air in my home country. And like many people, I was ready to start working in order to revive our forests, land, rivers and lakes. And this was one reason why I gave such a prompt reply to the requests to become the founder of Green Cross International.

Nevertheless, we are still in the process of losing our planet. We are very close to the “red line.” Even though we have had many discussions, and many conferences and forums on water and other environmental problems, we are not even close to achieving our goal. We still see that the environment and nature are shrinking. The Earth will of course survive anyway, but it will be a very different Earth for those who live on it. It is not an exaggeration. I think that we feel almost physically the shrinking of the water, the air and living space.

Remember, after WWII, there was a strong peace movement that included prominent people who created a committee to defend peace. The most credible people in the world were in that movement. I am not calling for repeating it in the same way, but we need to do more. It is very important that we have glasnost on the environment. It is very important we have organizations that work for it. But we have not achieved enough. I believe that the problem of the environment is the number one challenge for the 21st century, as well as, of course, the problem of getting rid of nuclear weapons. That is still the number one challenge that we need to address.

When we ended the Cold War, we wanted to create conditions for a peaceful world. I am 82 years old but I still want to act. I still want to do something. This goes back to my youth when I was part of that same peace movement. It is still very much a part of me, this vigour, this motivation, this enthusiasm, that I would like to convey, that I would like to hand over to younger people who will fight for the future of our planet.6

     — Mikhail Gorbachev, (among other titles) founding chairman of Green Cross International, from a speech given in 2013

---------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014
http://globalchorus.ca


June 3, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food:

Heart Beet Organics (vegetables, eggs, fermented products), order before noon today for pickup at their Great George Street storefront, today, Wednesday 3-6PM LINK

Also, items will be available at the store during those hours today.Tonight, Wednesday, just before midnight, is the deadline to web-order from both the Charlottetown Farmers' Market on-line and Eat Local PEI.

· Charlottetown Farmers' Market 2GO On-line service (many products), for Saturday afternoon pickup by the Market) LINK
· Eat Local PEI group (many farmers-market-type vendors), for Saturday late afternoon pickup, near Leon's at the old Sears.LINK
-------------------
PEI Legislature sits from 2-5PM today

Proceedings can be viewed from:
the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.
-------------------------
Met Opera Yesterday:
from their website
"The Met stands with those raising their voices in support of justice and equality..... we join arts organizations across the country in observing Blackout Tuesday. Our Nightly Opera Streams have been paused, and will resume at 9 a.m. EDT (Wednesday) with Berg’s Lulu."
(and continue to be available until Thursday late afternoon)

So, no I Puritani, which is too bad, but Lulu is a lulu of a story. Synopsis here.
https://www.metopera.org/


The Just Recovery organization's website has principles agreed upon by many different organizations -- lots of good info to read and share.  https://justrecoveryforall.ca/
------------------------------------------

from 350.org yesterday:

Friends,

In the midst of a pandemic and climate crisis, people across North America are rising up to confront racist police violence and white supremacy. We share the grief and outrage over the murders of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. 

Today, and every day, we must fight the systemic violence towards Black and Indigenous communities, who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the climate crisis, and white supremacy. We must also acknowledge that the work of addressing white supremacy is critical to building a climate movement rooted in justice. 

As a team of predominantly white and non-black people of colour, we are asking ourselves the difficult and important questions of what it means to do anti-black racism work in the climate movement. Here are some immediate steps we have taken, and places to donate in Canada:

We also updated our Just Recovery teach-in curriculum to help you have conversations within your communities about anti-racism, white supremacy, and climate justice. Learn more about how you can join Just Recovery teach-ins to begin having this conversation in your communities.

At 350 Canada, our mission has always been to build a people-powered climate movement to address the climate crisis that is rooted in justice. We know that our planet isn't in crisis only because of rising emissions, but because of systems of extraction and exploitation that put profit ahead of people. That’s why, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, we heard from many in our communities that, right now, we have to take care of one another in line with a Just Recovery.

As we demand a Just Recovery to build back better, we must reorient our society to tackle the climate crisis, rising inequality, and systemic racism. That means defunding harm to our communities, whether it comes from the fossil fuel industries or the police. By defunding these harmful institutions, we can put much needed money and resources towards education, healthcare, housing for all, and other much needed community services.1

A Just Recovery is not possible if Black and Indigenous people continue to be targeted and murdered by state-sanctioned violence. That is why we, and the entire climate justice movement, must step up when called upon to fight racism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

In rage and solidarity,

Jennifer, Amara, Atiya, Cam, Clay, Emma, & Katie

PS -- We understand some of you on our email list may be confused about why a climate change organization is sending an email about racial justice. Every time we send these kinds of emails, we get messages asking us exactly that, so we'd ask in this moment that you join us in reflecting on these connections.
You can start by reading our blog reflecting on how opposing white supremacy and addressing anti-racism is climate justice work.


1. Sandy Hudson: Defunding The Police Will Save Black And Indigenous Lives In Canada


from the U.K. Guardian  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/01/covid-low-carbon-future-lockdown-pandemic-green-economy

Covid-19 has given us the chance to build a low-carbon future - The Guardian (U.K.) article by Christiana Figueres

Published on Monday, June 1st, 2020

The air is clean and fresh, fish have reappeared in urban waterways, birds are frequenting uncut gardens, wild mammals are meandering through cities and greenhouse gas emissions will likely drop by an unprecedented 8% this year. Nature has clearly benefited from several months of dramatically reduced economic activity. From a climate crisis perspective, this drop in emissions is astonishingly close to the 7.6% yearly reduction in emissions that scientists have advised will be necessary during the next decade. And yet none of this is cause for celebration.

The resilience of nature is temporary, and will last only as long as the lockdown is enforced. More importantly, the reduction in greenhouse gases is not the result of decarbonising the economy, but the unintended consequence of economic paralysis that has come with painful human consequences and huge costs to lives and livelihoods. This is not what addressing the climate crisis looks like. The thoughtful reduction of greenhouse gases has to be intentional not circumstantial, sustained not temporary. Above all, it must lead to improved human wellbeing, not to human or economic suffering. 

There is a second inadvertent link between climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic that is perhaps less examined. The recovery packages designed and implemented by governments to rescue the ailing global economy could rise as high as $20tn over the next 18 months. The scale of this stimulus will shape the contours of the global economy over the next decade, if not longer. This is precisely the decade when climate scientists have warned global emissions will need to be cut by half in order to reach a sustainable trajectory. In the midst of the crisis wreaked by the pandemic is an opportunity: to ensure rescue packages don’t merely recover the high carbon economy of yesterday, but help us build a healthier economy that is low on carbon, high in resilience and centred on human wellbeing.

The case for rebuilding our economies in line with environmental targets has broad public support. A recent poll from Ipsos Mori shows that 71% of the global population understands that climate change is as at least as serious a crisis as Covid-19, and 65% think the former should be prioritised in the economic recovery. This is not only in industrialised countries that can more easily afford to green their economies; 81% of the citizens in India and 80% of people from Mexico were also strongly in favour of a green and healthy economic recovery. 

One of the first institutions to call for this dual approach was the International Energy Agency, which will publish a report this month detailing policies that governments could adopt to chart the course of recovery while decarbonising their economies. Meanwhile the International Monetary Fund is not only advising that fiscal stimulus packages should be based on green measures, but going as far as recommending scrapping fossil fuel subsidies and taxing carbon.

A growing number of corporate leaders are also calling for government stimulus packages to have green strings attached. In the UK, the call from a group of major business leaders for the government to embrace a green recovery was answered by the prime minister’s statement that the UK’s commitment to delivering net zero emissions “remains undiminished”. In Europe, 180 business leaders, policymakers and researchers explicitly urged the EU to build the recovery package around the Green Deal. Meanwhile the Spanish government recently released a draft law banning all new coal, oil and gas projects, establishing the direction of the Covid-19 recovery effort. In Canada, more than 320 signatories representing more than 2,100 companies have signed on to support a resilient recovery.

Perhaps most surprising are the carbon-intensive industries that have confirmed they are continuing to decarbonise despite the pandemic, including BP, Shell, Daimler and Rio Tinto. Elsewhere, eight investment groups, including BNP Paribas Asset Management, DWS and Comgest Asset Management, have urged corporates to maintain their focus on decarbonisation while dealing with the consequences of the recession. The Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group of institutional investors representing more than $4.6tn in assets under management (AUM), remains committed to an “irreversible shift to a resilient, net-zero and inclusive economy”. And BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, with $7.4 tn AUM, has pledged to punish the directors of companies that fail to manage environmental risks in 2020.

But it’s not all good news. For every corporate actor that has shown a commitment to greening the economy, there are many that haven’t adhered to these values. Some have used the crisis as an opportunity to roll back environmental commitments or push through controversial projects and laws. Plastic companies in the US have lobbied to reverse single-use plastic laws, while three states have criminalised environmental protest. In Europe, car manufacturers are pushing to loosen emissions standards; globally, airlines are lobbying to stop using 2020 as a baseline emissions year, and China has announced it will loosen environmental legislation to boost the post-coronavirus recovery.

This is the moment to raise voices everywhere and remind leaders of their chief responsibility: protecting their citizens and putting human wellbeing at the centre of the decision-making process. Some of this is already happening. Organisations representing more than 40 million health professionals from 90 countries worldwide have just published an open letter to G20 leaders and their chief medical advisers in support of a “healthy recovery” where carbon emissions would be massively reduced.

Crises are a moment of rupture and change. In the midst of the pandemic, we face a choice between recovering the carbon-intensive global economy that has set us on the path towards environmental breakdown, or accelerating the transition towards a future that prioritises the health of people and planet. Today, that future may be closer within our reach than it was at the beginning of 2020.

Christiana Figueres was head of the UN climate change convention that achieved the Paris agreement in 2015, and is co-author of The Future We Choose

 -30-



Global Chorus essay for June 3 
Harvey Locke

I imagine a beautiful future where civilized humanity and wild nature are reconciled. All it will take is for us humans to remember that we are in a relationship that requires us to think of Nature’s needs as well as our own and to strive to meet them both.

If we were to remember Nature’s needs we would be more measured in our use of nitrogen fertilizer and carbon-based energy. We would value efficiency and avoid waste. We would let rivers run free to ensure Earth’s resilience in the wake of climate change. We would take only what we need and share the rest. We would know the liberation of self-restraint.

People who embrace reciprocal relationships are also naturally inclined to take positive steps to make things better. We would be enthusiastic about investing in alternative energy sources and food production systems that are good for both us and Nature. We would act on the conservation science that indicates we should protect at least half of the world in an interconnected network of protected areas so that all species and the natural processes on which both they and we depend for our survival can continue to flourish. We would also restore species and ecosystems that we have damaged in the past. We would know that we can do things to address the global changes we have set in motion and that we need not be victims.

We would also teach our children the enchantment of the wild world, to appreciate that much of Nature exists for its own sake in the ongoing pageant of evolution and is there to serve God, not humans. To hear the dawn chorus of songbirds, to feel the wind in our hair, to smell the sea, to see clouds drifting across a blue sky, to swim in clear water and to inhale clean air after healthful physical exertion has been an essential part of human experience throughout our species’ entire history. It is time to bring ourselves back outdoors and the outdoors back into our lives. We would feel better.

Yet for all these positive behaviours we can embrace, there is more to human life than self-restraint and positive actions; there is meaning too. Love of Nature is deeply ingrained in us. If we start meeting Nature’s needs with love and generosity then our lives will be more fulfilling and we will have a 21st century full of hope and promise.

    — Harvey Locke, conservationist, writer, photographer, co-founder of Yellowstone to Yukon and Nature Needs Half

https://harveylocke.com/

June 2, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Events:

Local Food
Eat Local PEI has the deadline of 11:59PM Wednesday for pick-up or delivery late afternoon Saturday.  More details at:
https://www.localline.ca/eatlocalpei

Charlottetown Farmers' Market "2GO" also takes orders until they reach their maximum number, or 11:59PM Wednesday.
https://cfm2go.localfoodmarketplace.com/


Free Online Paint "Party, 11AM and 6:30PM
East Coast Art Party
Facebook link

----------------------------------
Opera -- still time to watch I Puritani
I didn't find the new list yesterday morning and didn't mention the opera which became available last night and is there until about 6PM tonight.  Sorry!  And it's one that stars Anna Netrebko, and has a "mad scene" (which allows the person to do some amazing singing), and the chorus in Puritan costumes.

until about 6PM tonight
Bellini’s I Puritani

Starring Anna Netrebko, Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo, and John Relyea, conducted by Patrick Summers. From January 6, 2007.

Tuesday, June 2nd
Berg’s Lulu, 7:30PM until Wednesday afternoon

Starring Marlis Petersen, Susan Graham, Daniel Brenna, Paul Groves, Johan Reuter, and Franz Grundheber, conducted by Lothar Koenigs. From November 21, 2015.


P.E.I. Legislature Resumes Today,  2PM

Proceedings may be viewed through:
the Assembly website at https://www.assembly.pe.ca/
Facebook live stream at https://www.facebook.com/peileg/
and on Eastlink TV.

Some more details:
https://www.assembly.pe.ca/


On the Passing of Silver Donald Cameron

from Bradley Walters, and the Anti-Shale Gas folks in New Brunswick, sharing this fine tribute to a wonderful person:

"Today we sadly note the passing of storyteller/environmentalist/author/filmmaker/educator Silver Don Cameron.  A friend of NBASGA, for those of you who don't know about him, here is the announcement of his death from CBC.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/author-environmentalist-silver-donald-cameron-dies-1.5593137

Though originally from BC, Silver Don lived much of his life in the Maritimes, which became not only his home, but also the source for much of his work.  His writings and documentary films often covered local events, such as his film, "Defenders of the Dawn: Green Rights in the Maritimes", which covered, among other things, the fight against shale gas in NB from the perspectives of both indigenous people and settlers. (Including NBASGA's lawsuit.)  

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2674956490/

But Don's reputation and workspace was international, which laid the foundation for one of his most ambitious projects: "The Green Interview: Re-Inventing the World".  He conducted over 100, one hour video interviews with a virtual who's who of every well-known international and Canadian thinker on environmental rights - from all walks of life and different backgrounds.  It will also introduce you to many whom you may not know, but who are driving the global movement toward green rights.   Highly recommended - especially as we all look for stimulation during our quarantine.

https://thegreeninterview.com/

I only had the opportunity to meet Don directly on a few occasions when he was interviewing NBASGA folks for his documentary, but he stayed in touch, often inquiring with concern about how we were faring.   His crowded calendar resulted in a few cancellations when we invited him to various meetings, but his interest in us remained sincere.  I can honestly say that he was one of the most sincere, honest, insightful and sensitive people that I have ever met; qualities that made him not only a wonderful person to be around, but also a great interviewer.

In these days of an uncertain future, his questions, perspective and empathy about our relationship to the natural world will be sorely missed.  Fortunately, his written, filmed and digital works remain available to us.  Seeking out his work will be rewarding, including his last book,"Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes", which was the just released to great reviews."

https://www.cbc.ca/books/blood-in-the-water-a-true-story-of-revenge-in-the-maritimes-1.5452949

-30-

Resquiescat in pace, Argentum Donald


Global Chorus essay for June 2

Joel and Michelle Levey

Ultimately, the essential question is not whether we will survive, but rather how do we individually and collectively choose to live? In great suffering there is always the potential of awakening to great compassion based on the wisdom of the profound interdependence of all beings. If we have the courage and the discipline, this could be an ennobling and enlightening time for each of us and for humanity as a whole. To the degree that we have the courage to be fully present and discern the complex interdependencies of our lives without being overwhelmed, we free ourselves from what Einstein called, “the optical delusion of consciousness” that leads us to regard others as anything less than “another myself.” Awakening this intimate wisdom of interdependence naturally widens “the circle of our compassion to embrace all living beings and the whole of Nature in all of its beauty.” To the degree that we develop such wisdom
and compassion, the outlook for our future appears brighter. If we miss this opportunity, we are in great peril.

As we realize that we can’t solve problems from the same levels of consciousness that created them, we realize that what is required is nothing less than a global revolution in consciousness, to transform the delusional mind states at the root of so many global crises.

Studying with the Dalai Lama over the years, we’ve often heard him teach about adopting an attitude of “universal responsibility.” To take this principle to heart is to dedicate ourselves to realizing our true nature and highest human potentials in order to inspire and activate these potentials within all beings. To embody this archetype of selfless leadership in service of all life is to be a Bodhisattva, which is to us the most relevant archetype/ideal we can aspire to attune to in these perilous times. By dedicating ourselves to live for the benefit of all who share the web of life, we align
ourselves with all great sages, activists and leaders who have dedicated themselves to selfless service for the good of all.

    — Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey, social architects and compassion activistsfounders of Wisdom at Work; International Center for Resilience, Wellness and Wisdom at Work;  International Institute for Mindfulness, Meditation and MindBody Medicine, authors of Living in Balance
www.wisdomatwork.com

-------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca

June 1, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Today:

Organic Veggie Delivery order deadline, Monday night for Friday delivery.
https://www.organicveggiedelivery.com/
Aaron Koleszar (902) 659-2575 or aaron@organicveggiedelivery.com

Receiver Coffee and other products

"Orders are now open and will remain open until Monday June 1st at 9 am and orders will be filled on Wednesday, June 3rd". Their stores are open various hours -- check the website for that and for ordering. Receiver Coffee website


Someone passed on this observation earlier in April:

  "One factor enabling our desperation to get back to normal is that we don’t want to admit that normal wasn’t working."


P.E.I. Legislature  -- first week of "emergency" Spring Session

Though this was supposed to be, according to the Premier a while back, a 1-2 day session to deal with COVID-19 Emergency Powers Act and some expenditures.  There is no clear end in sight, allowing the Opposition Parties to try to hold government accountable for its actions in person and on the transcripts (or Hansard) of the proceedings..  Peter Bevan-Baker came out of the gate with questions on the "Cottagers Coming" Announcement; details from government show it's not a free-for-all, but how nimble and responsive it is to changing situations is not spelled out so well yet.

James Aylward was officially questioned on the Legislative record for his trip to Ireland (apparently to recruit, though it sounds like it could be called poaching, their health care workers-- and that seems like so long ago).  He said, that since the trip was approved, he went (and by whom, actually, and what criteria, and are they that nimble to changing situations?).

The huge pot of money offered to Irving and its subsidiaries was patiently, persistently, and perseveringly pursued by Mermaid-Stratford MLA Michele Beaton, the Opposition Agriculture critic and chair of the Public Accounts Committee.  She repeated and sincerely acknowledged her and the Opposition's support of farmers, while a rather stilted Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson returned to defending the program by equating concerns about the program to criticism of farmers and  members of his department.

The Legislature resumes tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2nd, at 2PM.
------------------------------------
Here is a measured, informative CBC PEI Radio Political Panel, with published Paul MacNeill, former CBC Radio Legislative Reporter Kathy Large, and Stu Neatby of The Guardian, on the first three days of last week.
Recorded Friday morning, May 29th, 2020, 17 minutes long:
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-30-island-morning/clip/15779182-political-poli-panel


Atlantic Skies

The Sun Goes on Vacation - column by Glenn K. Roberts for Saltwire publications

We often take the Sun for granted. Sure we gripe and grumble about the lack of sunshine on a cloudy day, but, on the whole, other than solar scientists, the vast majority of the Earth's population gives little or no thought at all to the incredibly complex and amazing physics that drives the Sun to provide us with light and warmth.

The Sun is currently in a period of reduced solar activity, referred to as a "solar minimum". The Sun operates, more or less, on a 9 - 14 year "solar cycle" (the average being 11 years), with alternating peaks of increased solar activity (called a "solar maximum", plural "maxima"), followed by quiet periods ("solar minimum", plural "minima") of low solar activity (think of oceans waves, with the 11-year period measured from crest to crest, or trough to trough). Solar scientists think our Sun may, over the next few decades, enter an extended period of reduced solar activity, called a "Grand Solar Minimum". The last time this happened was from 1650 - 1715 (referred to as the "Maunder Minimum" or  the "Little Ice Age"), when, in the northern hemisphere, the Earth's average annual surface temperature was significantly lower, due to a combination of the reduced solar activity, and increased aerosols in the atmosphere from concurrent volcanic eruptions. However, most solar scientists do not think that we will again experience such an event, due, primarily, to the impact of climate change, which is resulting in an overall, average annual increase in the Earth's surface temperature,

Solar minima and maxima can, however, directly impact space weather, which, indirectly, impacts the Earth. During a solar minimum, the Sun's magnetic field weakens somewhat, thereby providing less shielding to the Earth from cosmic rays (from distant supernovae explosions), posing a danger to astronauts in space. Solar maxima usually produce large numbers of sunspots (areas of intense magnetic activity), which appear as dark spots on the Sun's visible surface. The darkness of the spot is actually the result of these areas being up to 1500C degrees cooler than the surrounding solar photosphere.  Increased sunspot activity is associated with solar flares and coronal mass ejections, whereby the Sun sends increased amounts of charged particles hurling towards Earth, where, other than it's often negative impact on satellites, spacecraft, GPS and Earth's communications networks, often manifests as increased aurora displays in the night sky. Correspondingly, solar minima reduces both the frequency and duration of aurora displays.

Solar scientists do not fully understand the occurrence of extended solar minima, but think it may have to do with a much longer 9,000-year lull in the Sun's solar activity. The current solar minimum has lasted about 100+ days so far this year (76% with zero sunspots), and follows the 2019 low sunspot level (77%). It is expected to last until mid-2025, when solar activity should begin to increase.

Mercury (mag. -0.4) will be visible in the evening sky low above the northwest horizon around 9:40 p.m., before setting shortly before 11:00 p.m. On June 2, Mercury will be at its highest point (10 degrees) in the evening sky, and on the 4th, reaches its greatest eastern elongation (angular separation from the Sun as seen from Earth). Venus will reach inferior conjunction (passing in front of) with the Sun on June 3, and is currently too close to the Sun to be seen.  Saturn (mag. +0.5) will be visible shortly after midnight above the southeast horizon, reaching about 23 degrees above the southern horizon before fading from view before 5:00 a.m. Jupiter (mag. -2.5) is visible above the southeast horizon shortly after 1:00 a.m., reaching 22 degrees above the southern horizon before fading by 5:00 a.m. Mars (mag. 0.0) appears around 2:00 a.m. in the SE sky, reaching 23 degrees above the horizon before fading from view shortly before 5:00 a.m.

There is a partial lunar eclipse on June 6, beginning around 11:30 p.m. However, as this is what is called a penumbral eclipse, with only 57% of the Moon passing through the Earth's penumbral shadow (think two-circle bull's eye target, with the penumbral shadow being the fainter outer circle), the Moon will not darken perceptibly. It will all be over by about 11:50 p.m.

The Full Moon on June 5 is sometimes referred to as the "Strawberry Moon" or the "Rose Moon"

Until next week, clear skies.

Events:

June 3 - Moon at perigee (closest to Earth)

         5 - Full (Strawberry/Rose) Moon 


Michael Smith is creative, photogenic and nimble, managing various entertainment options both nationally (food TV shows) and locally (businesses in the eastern part of the island).  And like many of us, he's not totally consistent in his positions and actions, but obviously loves P.E.I. and the opportunities it presents.

He was one of the early champions for transitioning PEI to an organic-certified Island, and also supports P.E.I. potatoes with their definitely non-organic methods of cultivation.  He has been named the The Premier's "Growth and Recovery Committee" on coming back after COVID-19. 

-----
Global Chorus
essay for June 1
Chef Michael Smith

Food is the way forward. Our relationship to our food is our best chance to catalyze systems evolution and generate ongoing hope for humanity. Current food systems contribute mightily to our global paradigm largely because of western ignorance. The environmental atrocities perpetrated on our wasteful behalf dwarf our awareness of them. Thus any solution must begin with engagement with our food. Easily done when you’re friends with a farmer!

There are more great reasons to integrate local food into your lifestyle than there are local ants a picnic but perhaps the most compelling is the opportunity to forge a personal connection with a food producer. In fact, much of what ails the global food system is a direct result of its dehumanization. As far as most of us know food is produced far away by nameless machines and blameless factories.

Time was we all knew someone who produced food, we knew exactly how much work it took and thus we respected the cost of that work. A strawberry is not just a strawberry when you know the farmer sweated all spring waiting for rain. A cow somehow tastes better when you know your farmer feeds it to their own family. Spend a day at sea with a fisherman and you’ll never find lobster high-priced again!

As we build a new sustainable food system it can help us solve an even deeper problem: our fundamental loss of connection to the world around us. We’ve taken Mother Nature and Father Time for granted for too long. Our efficient systems have eliminated our essential need to work the land, feel the weather and be in balance with ourselves. It’s balance we seek.

As humans we gather, prepare and share food. It’s human nature to do so efficiently but not at the expense of losing our connection to each other. We’re at our best together. On the farm, in the kitchen or at the table.

   — Chef Michael Smith, television host of Chef Abroad, Chef at Home

-------------------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

http://globalchorus.ca