CaNews Archive‎ > ‎

April 2020


  1. 1 April 30, 2020
    1. 1.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 1.2 Let's come out of COVID-19 with a new relationship for nature and people - The National Observer article by Dan Kraus
  2. 2 April 29, 2020
    1. 2.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  3. 3 April 28, 2020
    1. 3.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 3.2 Opinion: This Pandemic Is an Opportunity For Radical Simplification - by Andreas Kluth, Bloomberg News
  4. 4 April 27, 2020
    1. 4.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 4.2 Atlantic Skies For April 27- May 3, 2020 - by Glenn K. Roberts
  5. 5 April 26, 2020
    1. 5.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 5.2 On climate change, archaeological paper digs into the effects of colonization and maltreatment -The Washington Post article by Erin Blakemore
  6. 6 April 25, 2020
    1. 6.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 6.2 COVID-19 is creating a food crisis and Canada needs to respond - The National Observer article by Jane Rabinowicz and Martin Settle
  7. 7 April 24, 2020
    1. 7.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  8. 8 April 23, 2020
    1. 8.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  9. 9 April 22, 2020
    1. 9.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 9.2 The ‘Profoundly Radical’ Message of Earth Day’s First Organizer - The New York Times article By John Schwartz,
  10. 10 April 21, 2020
    1. 10.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 10.2 New Zealand’s Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet - The Atlantic article by Uri Friedman
  11. 11 April 20, 2020
    1. 11.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 11.2 There’s no better time to bring back the pocket handkerchief - The Washington Post article by Scott Turow
    3. 11.3 The Little Lion Roars - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts
  12. 12 April 19, 2020
    1. 12.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  13. 13 April 18, 2020
    1. 13.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  14. 14 April 17, 2020
    1. 14.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  15. 15 April 16, 2020
    1. 15.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 15.2 Auditor General says P.E.I. still lacks climate implementation plans, risk assessments - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby
    3. 15.3 Women's Network: Coronavirus financial crisis is nothing new for many - The Guardian article by Jillian Killfoil
  16. 16 April 15, 2020
    1. 16.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 16.2 GUEST OPINION: Tell fishers to stay home - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Christian Norton
  17. 17 April 14, 2020
    1. 17.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 17.2 Tommy Douglas Speech from 1968 Debate, but timeless, and relevant, now. - The Saskatchewan Herald article
  18. 18 April 13, 2020
    1. 18.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 18.2 His Hunting Dogs Chase the Bear - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts
    3. 18.3 CINDY DAY: Watch for this mysterious 'Elon-gated' string of lights in the night sky - Saltwire News article by meteorologist Cindy Day
  19. 19 April 12, 2020
    1. 19.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 19.2 From the Schumacher Center for a New Economics
  20. 20 April 11, 2020
    1. 20.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 20.2 LETTER: Truckers need extra support during pandemic - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Angela MacLeod
  21. 21 April 10, 2020
    1. 21.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 21.2 OPINION: Now is not the time for pipelines - The Guardian Guest opinion by John Hopkins
  22. 22 April 9, 2020
    1. 22.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 22.2 LETTER: Moonlight and starlight - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Glenn Roberts
  23. 23 April 8, 2020
    1. 23.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 23.2 Do not rush new sports complex for Charlottetown - The Guardian article  by Wayne Carver
    3. 23.3 Charlottetown fourplex panacea to minor hockey ailments - The Guardian article by Ian Tex MacDonald
  24. 24 April 7, 2020
    1. 24.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 24.2 A Queen's Sacrifice for Love - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts
  25. 25 April 6, 2020
    1. 25.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 25.2 Monday briefing: Boris Johnson in hospital for 'as long as needed' - The Guardian (UK)
  26. 26 April 5, 2020
    1. 26.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 26.2 Connecting with Nature in tiny spaces suggestions from the David Suzuki Foundation, part one of three weekly newsletters:
  27. 27 April 4, 2020
    1. 27.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  28. 28 April 3, 2020
    1. 28.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
    2. 28.2 ATLANTIC SKIES: Perfect time to spot Virgo in the spring sky - The Chronicle Herald column by Glenn K. Roberts
  29. 29 April 2, 2020
    1. 29.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews
  30. 30 April 1, 2020
    1. 30.1 Chris Ortenburger's CANews

April 30, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Tiny Island Concert Series, 8PM -- Brennen Gallant, 8:30PM -- Dylan Menzie, organized by Music PEI.
Facebook event link

A new production from the Stratford Festival is available today:
Coriolanus. 7:30PM Intro, 8PM start of Live Viewing party, then available until May 21st
"Although renowned as a fearless military leader, Caius Martius is unpopular among the plebians, the common people of Rome, who resent his arrogance and equate him with the patrician elite whom they believe to be responsible for the current food shortage. Martius in turn despises the plebians as cowardly, fickle and untrustworthy. For his extraordinary (military) heroism, Martius is honoured with the name of Coriolanus; he is also prevailed upon by his friends, and by his strong-willed mother, to run for consul, Rome’s highest public office. But the warrior is no politician – and he faces unaccustomed enemies in the form of two tribunes of the people...who fan the flames of populism against him, with catastrophic results." 

Yes, definitely.

It joins King Lear, which is available for two more weeks, continuing the "Social Order and Leadership" theme.

Met Opera Simulcast Recording:
Nico Muhly’s Marnie, 7:30PM until Friday late afternoon.

"Based on Winston Graham’s gripping 1961 novel of intrigue and deception, Nico Muhly’s new opera (stars) mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard stars in the elusive title role, a young con woman who employs myriad false identities until she meets her match in the imperious Mark Rutland, sung by baritone Christopher Maltman...(the) production bursts to life in vivid color and features ravishing, 60s-inspired costumes..." In Italian with English subtitles.

Finding Local Goods and supporting local producers:
A group has started a Facebook page to encourage Islanders to seek local products:
Buy products made in PEI (Prince Edward Island)

And Discover Charlottetown's Weekly Local Goods Guide is out for April 29th, 2020, with many, many entries in various categories:
The link to the PDF is on this page:

There is a little confusion about the just-starting Charlottetown Farmer's Market on-line and Farmers Market/Eat Local on-line weekly ordering, and I will try to straighten it out for next week (as the order deadlines for both have passed for the Saturday, May 2nd pickup).


Let's come out of COVID-19 with a new relationship for nature and people - The National Observer article by Dan Kraus

Published on Monday, April 27th, 2020

COVID-19 has brought us unprecedented health and economic challenges. It will test the resolve and resiliency of each Canadian and our nation. Crises have a way of unveiling truths, flaws and misconceptions in any society. Our immediate crisis is reinforcing the importance of family, community, health care and food security.

But at the root of the current crisis, and fundamental to the solution, is our relationships with the other species that share our planet. Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on how we value all species, including our own, and our connections to the natural world. The weeks and months following Earth Day are a chance to turn that reflection into change.

The good news amidst the current crisis is that while society adapts to a new normal, nature is continuing to provide us with critical services. Wetlands are filtering drinking water and holding back floods.

The roots of willows and cottonwoods are binding soil and keeping it from eroding along rivers and streams.

Budding urban trees will soon ramp up their service of purifying air and shading our streets and homes. All point to nature’s critical role in our well-being. And that we need nature’s services now more than ever.

Many of the fruits and vegetables grown in Canada are pollinated by non-native honeybees that are shipped around the world. As these shipments are stalled, the role of local native pollinators has perhaps never been more important. While native bees, butterflies, beetles and other insects may never fully replace honeybees on our farms, their conservation and restoration in our agricultural ecosystems will help to strengthen future food security.

Perhaps the most important service that nature provides is how contact with the natural world can benefit us. There is clear evidence that spending time in nature improves our well-being. Many people are practising safe physical distancing outdoors. But even just looking at pictures of wildlife, virtually exploring nature and making plans to visit natural areas once it is safe to do so can help to nurture our mental health.

There’s little question that COVID-19 was transmitted to people in wildlife markets. Growing calls to shut down the illegal trade of wild animals, including endangered species, will support conservation and reduce the probability of future outbreaks. But the loss of nature and disease is not just limited to foreign places. In North America, the rapid spread of Lyme disease has been linked to human-caused alterations to food webs and habitats as well as climate change.

The fact is, biodiversity loss and climate change don’t just result in a loss of nature — they create uncertainty. Uncertainty that threatens our security, economy, well-being and unnecessarily pushes our society into dark and uncomfortable corners. The health and security of nature are the health and security of all of us.

If there is a silver lining in our current situation, it may be that this time of physical distancing represents an opportunity to renew our connections to the people we love, our communities and to nature. In every community across Canada, birds are still migrating, wildflowers are blooming and many animals are preparing for their next generation. This time offers an opportunity to learn about the extraordinary wildlife that shares our country and communities. If you have a backyard, it’s an opportunity to explore how nature can be welcomed back in the place you live.

Nature is the foundation of our society. Once we emerge into a post-COVID world, we will have an opportunity to rebuild this foundation. In the south, wildlife and habitats can be restored, while in our northlands, we can conserve some of the planet’s last wilderness. Caring for nature is caring for ourselves.

Discovering, knowing and sharing your relationship with nature is critical. Use this time to connect with nature. Help your children to find this connection and a love for the natural world. This relationship will change you. And you can change the world.


An artist named Stefanie Trilling has recreated covers of classic children's books to reflect the pandemic.  They are all in good fun and she is encourages donations to the medical aid charity Direct Relief

parody of Caps for Sale original by Esphyr Slobodkina, copyright 1940, spoof by Stefanie Trilling, 2020

Original source, Wikipedia

It's a little past Earth Day and just before "May Day" -- what better time t hear from Elizabeth May??

Global Chorus essay for April 30
Elizabeth May

The current global crises pose the largest danger to humanity and the planet since the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. The closest the world came to humanity exterminating ourselves occurred in the Cuban missile crisis. Since the end of the Cold War, leadership by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan has resulted in the end of the arms race. We have not eliminated nuclear weapons, however, and we must remain vigilant to do so, though the imminent threat has largely passed.

The most pressing global threat is the climate crisis. As the 1987 climate conference “Our Changing Atmosphere: Implications for Global Security” concluded: “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences are second only to global nuclear war.”

We are rapidly running out of time to avoid runaway global warming. Global emissions of GHG must stop rising and begin their decline no later than 2015.

When the world is most in need of global leadership, we have Canada’s government pulling in the wrong direction. And the U.S. under President Obama is experiencing the most dysfunctional politics in its history. Where do we find hope? How can we continue to believe a sustainable world is possible?

Choosing to be hopeful is an act of individual courage. The odds are not good, but we have a powerful source of support in the Earth itself. We simply do not know enough to give up, and it is arrogance to think we do.

Turning from the abyss and embracing a green and sustainable future is the challenge of our generation. I believe, because I must, that we will succeed.

     — Elizabeth May, environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer,  Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands (B.C.),  Leader of the Green Party of Canada

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

April 29, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local food order deadlines at various times TODAY, Wednesday, April 29th:

*until 9AM*, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, May 1st:
Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers",
*Until Noon*, for pickup (today) Wednesday 3-6PM,
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, 152 Great George Street.
The Farmacy store is also open from 3-6PM today for purchase of available vegetables and ferments.
*until tonight 11:59PM* for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)
This week adding ADL dairy products to the list of available items.

From the Council of Canadians' notices:
New webinar series:
With Everything Up For Grabs: The Green New Deal(s) the World Needs Now.
First session: 12Noon today:

The first session features Walden Bello, Thea Riofrancos and Grace Blakeley, and will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29 at 11am EST.

The second session features Mike Davis, Maude Barlow and Martin Schirdewan, and will take place on Wednesday, May 6 at 1pm EST.

This appears to be starting with Europe but with the whole planet in mind.

Webinar: Growing Your Own Microgreens, 5-6PM, organized by the Green Party of Prince Edward Island

Eddie Childs has been experimenting with growing microgreens at home and will share how you can do so, too! And, Sue Whitaker will return to provide a quick demonstration of how to easily sprout seeds inside a glass jar and have a jarful of delicious microgreens to eat within mere days!
"Microgreens have been growing in popularity as a delicious and nutritious way to add greens to our daily diet. As more and more people look to grow at least part of their own food supply and learn new skills during the COVID-19 pandemic, not everyone has access to a garden plot - but ANYONE can grow their own microgreens right in their own kitchen!

Please click here to register for this Zoom webinar:

More details at the
Facebook event link
Met Opera: The third of the Tudor Queen plays by Italian Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)  
Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, 7:30PM until Thursday late afternoon

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky stars as Elizabeth I in the "dramatic and heart-rending love story of the queen and the Earl of Essex as a play within a play unfolding before the members of the royal court. Radvanovsky’s portrayal of the aging monarch is a tour de force, laying bare the conflict between her public duties as ruler of England and her private feelings as a woman. Matthew Polenzani is the Earl of Essex, Roberto Devereux, the object of her affections who is torn between two women. Elīna Garanča as Sarah and Mariusz Kwiecien as her husband, the Duke of Nottingham, complete the quartet of principals. Maurizio Benini conducts." From April 2016.

Met Opera link

Just in case you didn't see the link from the Province with the whole list of considerations and scheduling, starting THIS FRIDAY, May 1st, 2020:

from the Government press release yesterday (edited):

Renew PEI, Together outlines the guiding principles and phased approach to the reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The first phase will begin Friday, May 1.  

The plan will be implemented in four distinct phases with a progressive lifting of public health measures on individuals, communities and organizations over three-week periods. Progression will be gradual and constantly evaluated based on the latest public health information from PEI’s Chief Public Health Office. Decisions during each phase will be based on public health evidence and continuous monitoring. If there are concerns about progressing into a next phase, progress will be slowed, halted or even reversed to continue to protect the health and safety of Islanders.

Priority non-urgent health care services will begin May 1. This includes certain elective surgeries and other priority services (e.g. cardiac supports, cancer screening) and select health service providers including, for example, physiotherapists, optometrists, opticians, chiropractors, foot care providers, occupational therapy and naturopaths. Where possible and feasible, other health care delivery will continue virtually. 

Also beginning May 1, outdoor gatherings and non-contact outdoor recreational activities of no more than five individuals from different households, while maintaining physical distancing, will be permitted. This includes recreational fishing, golf courses and current PEI residents going to their own seasonal properties. In addition, select outdoor and construction services – landscaping, road construction, indoor construction projects, watershed clean-up and outdoor photography – will be allowed with proper physical distancing practices in place. 

For the foreseeable future, border screening will continue at points of entry and all persons entering the province will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Visitor restrictions in long-term care facilities will be maintained as well as priority public services, child care for essential service workers and home-based learning options. 

Further information about the plans for the education system and student learning will be provided later this week. 

Renew PEI, Together is a general plan for Prince Edward Island. However, organizations and businesses are not required to re-open at the initiation of the relevant phase and may choose to continue operations in a manner and timeline they are comfortable with. Any organization or business that is unsure may seek direction from the Chief Public Health Office.  

Main website with links to the four phases:

Specifics on Phase 1, from:

Starting May 1, 2020

Limited outdoor gatherings and non-contact outdoor recreational activities

No more than five individuals involving people from different households, while maintaining physical distance (e.g. deck and driveway visits, walks)

  • Allow recreational activities including, for example:

    • Walking, hiking, cycling and motorcycling

    • Golf courses, driving ranges and shooting ranges

    • Current PEI residents going to their own seasonal properties on PEI

    • Recreational fishing, including inland and tidal water fisheries and all recreational shellfish

    • Marinas and yacht clubs

  • Do not share food, plates or cutlery.

  • Do not share equipment among people from different households for recreational purposes.

Re-opening of select outdoor and construction services

The following services will now be able to serve the public:

  • landscaping

  • outdoor construction (e.g. decks, roofing, fencing)

  • new construction including roads, and indoor projects as per physical distancing guidelines

  • watershed clean-up and stream maintenance

  • pool maintenance and construction

  • outdoor photography, etc.

Child care services

Child care for essential service workers is available.

Priority non-urgent health care services

It is recommended that health care delivery continue virtually where possible and feasible. Workers are encouraged to use personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by point-of-care risk assessment and/or as recommended depending on your practice/location.

  • A phased approach to reintroducing certain elective surgeries and other priority services (e.g. cardiac supports, cancer screening, immunizations) that have been identified and assessed to mitigate long term significant health impacts while maintaining capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.

  • Select health service providers, including, for example:

    • physiotherapists;

    • optometrists and opticians;

    • chiropractors;

    • foot care providers;

    • occupational therapy;

    • naturopaths

Public services

Priority public services


Home-based learning options, with some limited activities, will continue.

Long-term care

Visitor restrictions remain in place.

With the next phase starting Friday, May 22nd, 2020, potentially.

This is one of the most resonating essays ever:   "...where we knowingly overfarm and overfish our land and oceans, foreclosing our future food supply...."

Global Chorus essay for April 29
Olivier De Schutter

We have overcome previous crises by thinking progressively bigger. We have cultivated more acres of land, sought greater economies of scale, ploughed more inputs into the Earth, brought more people to cities, opened more trade routes and engaged more people in globalized exchanges.

These efforts may have sustained today’s burgeoning global populations, but only just, only unevenly and only at a huge cost for the planet, its ecosystems and the generations that will succeed ours.

The global economy is not only unsustainable, it is often irrational and perverse. It is a world where the speculative positions of a powerful trader in Chicago or London can trigger the stockpiling of commodities, global price hikes and more hungry mouths in poor countries. Where trade rules encourage developing countries to export raw materials and reimport the final product, paying for the added value. Where products travel thousands of kilometres just to be wasted by end consumers. And where we knowingly overfarm and overfish our land and oceans, foreclosing our future food supply.

We must become rational again. We must do everything we can to support smallholders to produce food for their families and for local markets, in the face of growing pressures to divert this land to intensive, large-scale, export-oriented food and fuel production. There can be hope, but only if we are duly skeptical in regard to those who promise hope in the shape of large-scale solutions. In order to think long-term, we may have to stop thinking big.

     — Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, 2008-2014
Website with his reports:


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

April 28, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Remember that tomorrow is the deadline for some local food ordering for later in the week, in case you want to attend to it today:

Local food order deadlines at various times TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 29th:

*until  9AM*, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, May 1st: Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers",
*Until Noon*, for pickup (tomorrow) Wednesday 3-6PM,
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, 152 Great George Street.
The Farmacy store is also open from 3-6PM tomorrow for purchase of available vegetables and ferments.
*until tomorrow 11:59PM* for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)

East Coast Art Parties Painting Class instruction on-line, and free,11AM and 6:30PM,

Toastmasters, 7:30PM meeting online; The public speaking with confidence organization, is offering weekly meetings on Zoom,
"Boost your confidence, laugh and make friends. Be our guest, invest in yourself and have fun growing!! All meetings are currently held via Zoom. Reply to calendar appointment or send us a message for link details"
more details here, including how to message to get a link for the meeting:
Facebook event link

Met Opera HD Simulcast:
Maria Stuarda, 7:30PM until later afternoon Wednesday.
"Joyce DiDonato gives a sensational performance as Mary, Queen of Scots, in Donizetti’s bel canto drama, opposite Elza van den Heever as Queen Elizabeth...also stars Matthew Polenzani as Leicester, the man caught between the rival queens. Maurizio Benini conducts.  From January 19, 2013."

thanks to Ian Petrie for passing this on: 

Opinion: This Pandemic Is an Opportunity For Radical Simplification - by Andreas Kluth, Bloomberg News

Published on Saturday, April 25th, 2020

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Only a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic, its disruption of our lives might still seem to be no more than a giant pause — global in scale and unprecedented, yes, but nonetheless temporary. But what if, as some experts reckon, this pause lasts years? What if there’s no return to normality even when it’s over? Maybe this pandemic isn’t an interlude, but a reset.

A reset to what? My guess is that it’ll amount to a great simplification. A simplification of our lives, priorities, schedules, memberships, finances, relationships and maybe even world views. But also a simplification of our societies. That’s because one of the side effects of Covid-19 is to expose the accumulation over decades — at least in the wealthy West — of untenable complexity in the individual, political and economic spheres of life.

In the individual context, the symptoms of complexity have been hiding in plain sight for years. One word for it is clutter. During that age of innocence that ended around January 2020, it was just too easy to buy stuff, and too hard not to. So things were piling up faster than we could organize, store or dispose of them, and certainly faster than we could enjoy them.

The proof includes the stunning success of somebody like Marie Kondo, a Japanese lifestyle guru who promises to help unclutter your home. Her approach, she says, is inspired by Shintoism, for who understands simplicity better than the people who also brought you Zen? In practice, Kondo wants you to look at all your stuff and keep asking: “Does it spark joy?” Usually, the answer is no, and out it goes.

The same clutter, until recently, extended to the rest of our middle-class lives. It was becoming hard to manage our calendars and travel, whether for trips overseas or around town. But we put up with the hassles because we were more afraid of missing out on opportunities of all kinds: professional, romantic or social. Double- and triple-booked, those of us fortunate enough to have good incomes have stressed over trade-offs between a gallery opening, a dinner party, a lecture or the gym.

Something similar was happening in the societies of rich countries. We kept adding layers of complication: new bureaucracies, legislation, divisions of labor, tax loopholes, and so forth. The European Union is one example, but the U.S. is arguably worse. According to one influential thesis proposed in 2013, America has become a “kludgeocracy.”

“Kludge” is a term from the software world for a clumsy patch that doesn’t solve the bigger issue, thereby creating even more complexity and future problems. This is easily observed in America’s contemporary governance, or in its systems of health care, education and taxation. Ask, for example, any new visitor to the U.S. what the following gibberish could be about: 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, Keogh? Nobody would guess it has something to do with retirement saving.

Such byzantine decay is in fact a recurring historical phenomenon, as described in 1988 by the American anthropologist Joseph Tainter in his book “The Collapse of Complex Societies.” By his count, complexity and an inability to simplify brought down some two dozen civilizations, from the Mycenaean and Minoan to the Hittite and Mayan, as well as several Chinese dynasties and the Western Roman Empire.

Collapse isn’t necessarily as scary as it sounds, by the way. It’s merely a society’s rapid and involuntary simplification. Yes, some collapses have segued into “dark ages,” but they needn’t have. The alternative is to embrace simplification and call it innovation, if that helps.

Thanks to Covid-19, we may now be at such a turning point. As a first sign of rapid simplification, global supply chains are dissolving, and often being reassembled in much more rudimentary ways. Simplification may also cause upheaval in our health care, tax and welfare systems, as it becomes clear that those who rely most on medical or financial help cannot even navigate the complexities of getting it. In some countries, the reforms may come through populist revolt; the better way is to do it deliberately and thoughtfully.

Closer to home, many of us have already begun to simplify. If we used to fear missing out, now there’s little to miss out on, which is the best excuse for staying home with the family. Frivolous connections are being pruned, while meaningful ones are revived and cultivated during “happy hours” on Zoom. Prodigal and exotic travel is out, so nobody feels bad about “staycations.”  In everything from diet to medicine and fashion, “simple is the new black.”

What many of us are realizing in this pandemic is that we need much less than we thought we wanted only a few months ago. Does it spark joy? If not, out. We may one day look back at Covid-19 with gratitude.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Andreas Kluth is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.


This is what I wanted to hear and now share -- Elizabeth May's careful, considerate commentary on the Michael Moore film Planet of the Humans.

from her "Good Sunday Morning" newsletter to Green Party members and friends, kindly shared by Jordan Bobar, from Sunday, April 26th, 2020"

Good Sunday Morning (excerpt)
by Elizabeth May
Sunday, April 26th, 2020

“Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.”

And her question was “Have any of you seen this?” I hadn’t and I love Michael Moore, so I wanted to see it….but oh my! What a dreadful, ill-informed, and unhelpful film it is. Worse, it could set back climate action. I am afraid that to even scratch the surface of the lies in this film will make this GSM longer than usual.

It is essentially the work of two men – somehow riding on Michael Moore’s name and reputation. Moore is listed as “executive producer” and Jeff Gibbs (no relation to BC environmental activist of the same name) is credited with “writing, directing and producing.”

In the credits, I was shocked to see the name Ozzie Zehner as “producer.” The name meant nothing to me before I started watching the film. Throughout the documentary, Zehner is portrayed as some sort of expert being interviewed by Gibbs. Then it hit me. The whole film is a vanity project of two guys with no expertise and less concern for the damage they are doing to climate science and the urgent need to switch to renewables.

I went to check out Gibbs’ background in working with Michael Moore. In searching for his role in Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911, I came across a 2012 interview in which Gibbs spoke about his new film - Planet of the Humans – as though it was complete.

No wonder the attack on renewables in this film feels so stale – and totally out of date. It is. The film assumes renewable energy has made no efficiency gains for decades.

There is zero content on actual climate science.

I am very indebted to energy specialist, Ketan Joshi, for taking the film apart and providing the charts and graphs to point out its glaring inaccuracies. For deep detail, please read his blog.

He writes, “… the outright lies about wind and solar are serious and extremely harmful. Wind and solar aren’t just technological tools with enormous potential for decarbonisation. They also have massive potential to be owned by communities, deployed at small scales with minimal environmental harm, and removed with far less impact on where they were than large power stations like coal and gas. They do incredible things to electricity bills, they decentralise power (literally and figuratively), and with more work they can be scaled up to properly replace fossil fuels.”

“Things start to get into proper, outright, anti-vax / climate denier grade misinformation when producer Ozzie Zehner comes in.

“ ‘One of the most dangerous things right now is the illusion that alternative technologies like solar and wind are somehow different from fossil fuels’, he tells Gibbs. ‘You use more fossil fuels to do this than you’re getting benefit from it. You would have been better off just burning fossil fuels in the first place, instead of playing pretend.’

“It’s important to be really clear about this: Zehner’s remarks in this film are toxic misinformation, on par with the worst climate change deniers. No matter which way you look at it, there is no chance that these projects lead to a net increase in emissions.” (emphasis mine)

The film sets up a number of strawmen. He focuses a great deal on the false notion that bio-energy from wood chips is promoted by climate activists. It is true that in earlier times, Bill McKibben thought renewable forests and bio-energy replacing coal was a solution.  The film (dishonestly) claims he changed his mind once their film was out. In fact, Bill McKibben has attacked bio-energy for years. McKibben’s statement is on the website.

Gibbs and Zehner set up the false notion that the bulk of renewable energy involves burning wood-chips and deforestation. That has occurred to an extent and is opposed by climate activists.

Their next straw man is that, if reliant on renewables, the only way to keep the lights on if it is raining or the wind isn’t blowing is from back-up fossil fuels - or from batteries with lithium and rare earth – or by keeping linked to the grid – as though that is a bad thing.

The grid is for storage - that is our premise in Mission: Possible.  Feed into the grid when renewables produce above local demand; draw from the grid when renewables drop.  That is the way excess wind from Denmark is sold to Norway. Norway stores the excess- not in large batteries, but through storage in existing reservoirs, pumping water up to the reservoir using the wind energy from Denmark to then releasing it to generate hydroelectricity when the wind is not blowing. This is a major, low-impact storage system. It is why one core proposal in Mission: Possible is for a national grid for getting green electricity from province to province.

The damage done by this film could be enormous. According to Michael Moore’s twitter feed, over three million people have seen the film already. Some Greens have contacted me in tears, so devastated by the idea – the lie – that renewable energy is a scam. As Neil Young wrote me Saturday morning (not something I can say every day):

“The amount of damage this film tries to create (succeeding in the VERY short term) will ultimately bring light to the real facts, which are turning up everywhere in response to Michael Moore’s new erroneous and headline grabbing TV publicity tour of misinformation. A very damaging film to the human struggle for a better way of living, Moore’s film completely destroys whatever reputation he has earned so far.”

So, dear Greens, please help share the facts. Be not dispirited, but take the time to reach out and educate everyone to the benefits of going 100% renewable.

And send a donation to It would be nice to see them get a fundraising bump from the slanderous attack on one of the world’s truly virtuous humans, my friend, Bill McKibben.



So you could spend the two hours you might have invested in Moore's film instead walking in nature, simplifying your home, watching an opera, or working for the New Normal....

Global Chorus essay for April 28

Trevor Greene

Note: language warning

Humanity is already triumphing over today’s crises through a combination of anger and wonder: anger at the way we’ve so fouled our beautiful world that will galvanize us to finally act decisively without dithering, and childlike wonder that sparks miracles like poor African schoolgirls discovering they can power a generator on urine. There is a spirit of activism and hope alive that is personified by a quote, “The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.”

Mankind has realized that we are not the only sentient beings on this world. We have proven that great apes, dolphins and whales are self-aware, can plan for the future and recognize themselves in mirrors. Dolphins have saved countless people from drowning. Chimpanzees have lived for years with human families using sign language. These non-human persons have shown altruism in caring for others and have complex social structures. Our new awareness will hopefully make us more compassionate and responsible for the other sentient beings we share our planet with.

Ecuador has enshrined the environment in her constitution so that lawsuits can be brought against destroyers of Nature on behalf of rivers, forests and mountains. The Maldives archipelago is slowly being reclaimed by the sea but Maldivians are committed to carbon neutrality by 2020 and every child is educated in sustainability practices. There is an urgency there that can only be engendered by watching your homeland slowly being eaten away.

We must all be Maldivians. We must all feel the seawater rising inch by inch on our ankles. We must all stand as one and rage against the soulless corporations pillaging our Earth with impunity. We must all rant at the spineless politicos slavishly doing their bidding. We must all roar with one voice at the greedy bastards gang-raping the Earth: not on our watch.

     — Captain Trevor Greene, Afghan War veteran,  author of Canadian bestseller March Forth


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

April 27, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Organic Veggie Delivery, Orders are due by Monday Night for Friday evening delivery.  
see website

Aaron Koleszar (902) 659-2575

Go!PEI hosts daily fitness programs at their Facebook page, 10AM and 7PM:
This week's schedule:

East Coast Art Parties, live-streamed, 6:30PM, at their Facebook page.

Stratford Festival recording:
King Lear
is this week's complete production performance offering from Stratford Festival, available for streaming until May 14th.  Coriolanus will be available starting Thursday, April 30. Excellent, as you can imagine.
Stratford Festival

Met Opera Simulcast recording for tonight: The first of the three Tudor Queen plays:
Gaetano Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, 7:30PM until Tuesday late afternoon
Starring Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Gubanova, Stephen Costello, and Ildar Abdrazakov, conducted by Marco Armiliato. From October 15, 2011.  You know, Anne Boleyn
., but by an Italian composer, and by all accounts, it is excellent.
Details and watch link
This week's schedule

Atlantic Skies For April 27- May 3, 2020 - by Glenn K. Roberts

Two Stars are Better than One

 Until the summer constellations make an appearance in the night sky in a couple of months, I thought we'd look at some of the other interesting celestial objects that can be readily seen in small telescopes, and even in binoculars.

Many of the stars that appear in the night sky, although we see them as single points of light, are, in fact, double stars (called "binaries"), and, in some cases, actually consist of three or more star components. It is estimated that as many as 50% of the known stars are binaries. The most interesting thing about these binary systems (and with other multi-star systems) is that many of the stars in them are different colours. There are two kinds of binary star systems - optical doubles, where, due to the line-of-sight effect, the two stars appear close to each other (as seen from Earth) though they are many millions of kilometers apart, and visual doubles (the most common sort), where the two component stars revolve around each other, sharing a common centre of gravity (referred to as being "gravitationally bound").

A star's colour depends primarily on its surface temperature - the hottest stars appear blue (or blue-white) in colour, while the coolest stars appear red in colour. Stellar temps are measured in degrees Kelvin (temp measured upward from absolute zero...about -273C). Without going into detail regarding stellar evolution (a subject for another column) and thermonuclear reactions in the core of stars (both of which contribute to a star's surface temperature), suffice it to say that it is the spectral wavelength that the light radiating from a star peaks at that determines its colour. Light peaking at long wavelengths from a cool star (low surface temp) makes the star appear red, while light radiating at shorter wavelengths from a hot star (high surface temp) makes the star appear blue/white. Stars in between the high and low temp ranges can appear a variety of colours. For example, our Sun, with an intermediate temp of about 5800K, appears as yellow, Betelgeuse (in Orion), with a surface temp of 3500K, appears red, and Bellatrix (also in Orion), with a surface temp of 21,500K, appears blue.

Viewing colourful doubles in binoculars and small telescopes is an interesting and challenging hobby. The number of doubles that can be seen in either instrument is determined by a number of factors - the light-gathering aperture (lens size) of the instrument, the magnification used, the limiting magnitude of the instrument (the faintest stars that can be seen for a given aperture size), quality of the optics, atmospheric clarity, the age of the observer (which determines the exit pupil size of the observer's eyes), and dark adaptation (letting your eyes to sufficiently adapt to the darkness).

There are countless double stars in the night sky (far too many to list here), many of them very colourful.  If you wish to explore this fascinating subject further, I suggest you start with the following two internet sites. The first,, lists numerous doubles that can be seen in binoculars and small scopes; the second,, lists some naked-eye doubles. For a host of articles about double stars, go to

Our "evening star" Venus becomes visible high in the western sky around 8:30 p.m., with the waning, crescent Moon to its upper left. On the 28th, Venus shines at its brightest (mag. -4.7) for the year, referred to as its "greatest illuminated extent", when the illuminated portion of the planet covers the greatest square area of the sky.  Jupiter (mag. -2.1) rises in the SE sky around 2 a.m., before fading from sight shortly before 6 a.m. Saturn (mag. +0.6) is visible in the SE sky around 2:30 a.m., followed by Mars (mag. +0.5) around 3:30 a.m., with both planets fading from view by about 5:30 a.m. Mercury is too close to the Sun to be seen. 

Until next week, clear skies.


Apr. 28 - Venus at brightest of the year

        30 - First Quarter Moon (second of April)


Global Chorus essay for April 27
Sarah Tawaka

Planet Earth is a treasury depository from which humanity – the most powerful group of beings on Earth – draws most of its raw and natural resource materials, which then drive powerful economies of the world. The human race depends on Earth for its survival and for the survival of other species. For centuries, humankind has been drawing from planet Earth. It is about time humanity realizes the exhaustion of its reserves due to overdrawing capital assets from planet Earth. It is time for us to invest in planet Earth to ensure the survival of humanity and all species.

The human race is innovative, creative, dynamic and above all possesses HOPE! And yet, even though we have seen triumph over adversities throughout the centuries, a new crisis is now at hand, environmental and social. In order to properly address this crisis, humanity needs to invest in planet Earth.

With a hopeful outlook, interventions at the regional, national and global level are calling for practical actions with the objective of creating a future for every living organism – which will in turn ensure the continued survival of the human species. This future will be enabled by reinventing humanity’s wheel of life and shifting from the business as usual attitude. This future includes the equitable reallocation of resources and the benefits arising from the utilization of such resources. This future is encompassing and inclusive, and recognizes the values and natural services provided by natural-based capital. This future is emphasized by collectiveness and connectedness and the realization that no being is an island.

This is the FUTURE WE WANT. Deliberations at international forums are already negotiating this future, which will be cascaded down to national, regional and local communities.

It is a future for all on planet Earth! Collectively, we have hope, and humanity will rise to the crisis at hand.

        — Sarah Tawaka,  independent environmentalist advocate,  Banaban Community, Rabi Island, Fiji

About the International Union for the Conservation of Nature
Sarah's role at IUCN

in Oceania
essay from

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

April 26, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Snow Fox online free painting class, East Coast Art Party, 11AM,
Facebook event link

Met Opera Livestream:
Giaochino Rossini’s La Cenerentola,
7:30PM until Monday afternoon.
"Rossini’s charming take on the Cinderella story features a brilliant cast, led by bel canto stars Joyce DiDonato in the title role and Juan Diego Flórez as her Prince Charming." Conducted by Fabio Luisi. From May 10, 2014.  In Italian with English subtitles.
Met Opera livestream website

Tiny Island Concert Series, with Vince the Messenger, 8PM, and The Burning Hell, 8:30PM
Facebook event link

More Met:
Met Opera At-Home Gala: Encore Stream, recorded yesterday, simulcast available until this evening

Some Good News, literally
Thanks to Ramona and others who brought these to my attention, here is the first of short weekly 15 minute charming programs with actor John Krasinski (from The Office) and special guests.  Positive, manic and yet calming.  From this first YouTube link you can find the others or go to the SomeGoodNews Channel

Episode 1  Some Good News with John Krasinski  YouTube
from Sunday, March 29th, 2020

To ponder:
Science article

On climate change, archaeological paper digs into the effects of colonization and maltreatment -The Washington Post article by Erin Blakemore

Published on Saturday, April 25th, 2020

When researchers assess communities’ vulnerabilities to climate change, they look at an area’s physical, biological and human systems. But new research suggests they might want to look at historical injustice, too.

In research published in the journal PNAS, a pair of archaeologists examined the climate in the islands of the Caribbean and southwestern Indian Ocean and found ways changes have been magnified by histories of colonization and injustice.

Caribbean islands face increasingly intense hurricanes fueled by warming oceans, and those threats are expected to grow along with human-caused global warming.

But, the researchers found, colonization forced residents of island communities to move away from resilient ways of building homes. Archaeological excavations in places throughout the Caribbean have revealed a history of round buildings with deeply embedded posts made of strong local wood and lightweight thatched roofs.

But after islands were colonized, European household architecture took over. Today’s homes are made of reinforced concrete, not locally available materials, and are easily overwhelmed during hurricanes. That makes it harder to survive and rebuild after intense tropical storms.

Similarly, Madagascar’s forests and other land resources were decimated by Europeans intent on wresting more profit out of colonies there. Today, the descendants of the indigenous people inhabit poorer land that shows the scars of soil degradation, erosion and deforestation, making them even more vulnerable to climate change.

“Historical environmental injustices have really weakened people’s ability to use knowledge they’ve accumulated over generations, sometimes millennia,” says archaeologist Kristina Douglass, an assistant professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University who co-wrote the paper. “People and nature are not separate.”

By considering historical injustices — and what adaptations ignored or lost during colonization — scientists can develop more nuanced climate assessments and unearth more effective ways to develop resilience, Douglass says.

“We should use science and combine that with indigenous knowledge to see how we can improve our strategies,” she says.

To read the paper, visit:



Now these can be reread with the lens of look at how we have responded to COVID-19....

Global Chorus essay for April 26
David Quilty

As innovative as humans have proven themselves to be over time, I do believe we can find a path through our environmental issues – but only if we accept the fact that they are actually happening.

With climate deniers prophesying from their comfortable perches and media outlets offering up their opinion as fact, it can be difficult for the average global citizen to hear the truth about what dire straits we are currently in and will be facing in the near future. Once the majority of civilization understands this, it is my opinion that we will be able to mobilize and use our vast scientific abilities to overcome anything.

Whether it means we are somehow able to geo-engineer our way around dramatic changes to the climate or we work to make life habitable on Earth while living with the coming changes, success depends on educating the population with facts and not rhetoric. As a unit, the human race responds to the truth and there is strength in numbers. Above everything else, education is key to our survival; without it, we won’t be able to make the collective, worldwide effort to find the solutions we need to adapt and survive.

We can do this, but it’s going to take a majority to make it happen. Let’s get to work.

     — David Quilty, publisher of The Good Human
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 25, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Local Foods today:
Informally, both Charlottetown and Summerside Farmers' Market may have some vendors out in the parking lots today, with customers maintaining physical distancing, and helping some farmers and other producers.

Heart Beet Organics will have some produce and fermented products at their storefront, 9AM-1PM, The Farmacy, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown,

The Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide has many options for shopping and take-out today.  The Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020, edition is found on this page:

Some music today:
Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, 2PM, CBC Music 104.7FM, a recorded audio broadcast of
Giacomo Puccini's Turnadot

World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1926. Puccini’s final opera is an epic fairy tale set in a China of legend, loosely based on a play by 18th-century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi. Featuring a most unusual score with an astounding and innovative use of chorus and orchestra, it is still recognizably Puccini, bursting with instantly appealing melody. The unenviable task of completing the opera’s final scene upon Puccini’s sudden death was left to the composer Franco Alfano. Conductor Arturo Toscanini oversaw Alfano’s contribution and led the world premiere.

"Quarantunes" Concerts, 8PM, Facebook page, here.
Island musician Brandon Howard Roy will be performing a live.  A huge thanks to Todd MacLean for organizing these.

Met At-Home Gala -- The Voice Must Be Heard
The Metropolitan Opera is having its Gala today, just in a different format to deal with COVID-19 distancing, starting livestreaming at 2PM our time, and available for viewing for 24 hours after, i think. 
A ridiculously vast array of opera singers performing from their respective homes and studios.  More details here:

Taking a step back and looking globally at all this: 

Opinion piece

COVID-19 is creating a food crisis and Canada needs to respond - The National Observer article by Jane Rabinowicz and Martin Settle

Published on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

The first wave of response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, thus far, encouraging signs of global cooperation on public health. But there is a global food crisis building on the horizon, and we have precious little time to act in order to prevent devastation.

The World Food Programme has identified 49 countries at high risk of experiencing food crises as a result of COVID-19. For the almost 307 million highly food-insecure people living in these countries, the economic and food security consequences may be worse than the impacts of the disease itself.

On April 5, Minister of International Development Karina Gould announced that Canada has allocated $159.5 million to support its international partners as they work to prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments will help save lives in Canada and around the world. It is imperative that this funding be the first phase of an ongoing response.

The spread of COVID-19 has precipitated critical shocks throughout the global food system.

Farmers — especially the small-scale farmers who are the last line of defense against food insecurity in their communities — are among the worst hit. Trade interruptions are limiting access to seeds and other inputs at a critical moment in many regions, with the planting season about to begin. Social distancing and mobility restrictions also create a high level of vulnerability for farmers in the global South, where agriculture is more labour intensive. In Pakistan, around 70 per cent of small-scale farmers rely on migratory farm labourers who have been unable to travel, according to the Anadolu Agency.

At the same time, lockdowns are creating a surge in staple food prices in many areas — as much as 20 to 33 per cent in Ghana, for example, according to the Cornell Alliance for Science.

Faced with hunger, farming families may be forced to make the impossible choice of eating their grain and pulse seeds to survive today, sacrificing tomorrow’s harvest. Local agricultural organizations have signalled this same risk is on the horizon now.

Many food systems in the global South were already under stress before this crisis, due to climate change, migration and political instability. The impacts of COVID-19 could take these already strained food systems beyond their breaking point.

Women and girls will be the hardest hit. Most rural women in the global South are farmers, focusing primarily on small-scale production for their households and communities. In many places, women are also the traditional seed-keepers, maintaining seed supplies to assure harvests for future years. Yet, they are systematically denied land rights, excluded from household and community decision-making and denied access to resources and capital.

This marginalization is exacerbated in times of crisis. Women and girls in food-insecure households eat last and least, according to the World Food Programme. At the same time, increased pressure on local food and seed production places additional demands on women’s labour. It is incumbent upon us to take action to prevent the mass suffering of food-insecure women and girls, and to support their critical work as farmers.

Fighting a food crisis is a lot like combatting a pandemic — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

We know the vulnerabilities, and the prescriptions needed to mitigate harm. Farmers who have lost access to external inputs and affordable food need support to boost local seed, crop, livestock and input production, and expand community and home gardens. If we do this in ways that make use of locally available resources, and support sustainable farming practices, we will also bolster resilience to future crises, including climate change.

As we have witnessed in Canada, demands on food systems during this time are immense. We need to come together now to prevent the COVID-19 health crisis from starting a global food crisis.

Canada has demonstrated impressive international leadership on gender equality through our Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP). This gendered approach must continue in our food security response. By taking action now, we can save the lives of people who may survive the virus, but die from lack of food.

Canada has a critical role to play in leading this global response.


Note that The National Observer, like many publications and media outlets, has made online coronavirus stories available without any payment requirements:


Global Chorus essay for April 25
Mireya Mayor

At a time when we are we are losing species at an alarming rate, destroying our incredible planet and in the midst of an economic crisis, it is difficult not to feel inundated with thoughts of hopelessness and fear. But in spite of all this, I do have hope. I have spent almost two decades working with some of the most critically endangered animals in the world. Many of these species were on the brink of extinction. And yet, we have managed to ensure their survival. I have lived in remote, impoverished villages with little to no access to water or healthcare, where the local people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And yet, they find ways to survive day to day, smiling all the while.

Human beings are one of the most adaptable species on the planet and what we need to save our planet is adaptability: adaptations in the way we use our limited resources, and in the way we must prioritize the treatment and condition of our planet.

Nature’s resilience and human determination should not be undermined. The destruction of our planet is preventable. Although humans are largely responsible for much of this destruction – pollution, deforestation and global climate change – we also are its best hope for survival.

   — Mireya Mayor, PhD, National Geographic Explorer, author of Pink Boots and a Machete

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

April 24, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Heart Beet Organics, Order before 4PM today for pickup tomorrow between 9AM-1PM, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street, Charlottetown.

Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide for this week, with many listings of food/beverages, take-out, goods, etc.
Link to page with Local Goods Guide for April 22nd, 2020

GoPEI! activity livestreamed, 10AM, More beginner Tai Chi with Craig MacKie, Facebook page link

Fridays for Future Virtual, 3:30PM. Some information here and more below:  Facebook event link

Quarantunes Concert note for tonight:
"Quarantunes will be not presenting a show (tonight) in light of the N.S. virtual vigil, as our hearts go out in sympathy and solidarity to all those suffering from this massacre.

On Saturday night, though, Quarantunes returns at 8pm to proudly present the spectacular Brandon Roy - coming to you living-room-live, to help put all the troubles and cares of the week behind you, to sit back to be immersed together in song.

Met Opera Livestream:  Viewers' Choice: Giuseppi Verdi’s La Traviata, from 7:30PM Friday to Saturday late afternoon

"Willy Decker’s stunning production of Verdi’s unforgettable drama stars the riveting singing actress Natalie Dessay as Violetta. Exhausted by her restless life as a courtesan, Violetta knows she will die soon. But then she meets the young and idealistic Alfredo (Matthew Polenzani), who offers her true love—with tragic consequences. Dmitri Hvorostovsky is Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s stern father, and Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium. From April 14, 2012. "

Met Opera website

Tony Reddin writes about FFF (Fridays for Future) on social media last night:

The just-release Michael Moore film, Planet of the Humans, has hard-hitting criticism of my favourite environmental groups, and Sierra Club, some of which appears to be justified. I was glad to see in the post-release information at the end of the film that those org's are taking that criticism seriously and acting on it.

Here is the link to the two-hour Michael Moore documentary (which I (Chris) haven't watched yet, and actually not sure when I am going to):

More from Tony on the film:

"...persuading people to limit their energy consumption will be easier if it brings tangible benefits, like saving time or money. And that is evidenced by the fact that, on average, Europeans consume less than Americans and also tend to be happier.
Americans find themselves in a work-spend cycle: that is, they consume more, so they also need to work harder to earn more money. Their vacation time, for example, has decreased by an average of 28 percent in the past two decades...."

And just to be silly, here is from the weekly The Kids Should See This video suggestions, the "Pass the Pepper" Social Distancing Rube Goldberg machine video, with the YouTube of the Pepper Passing, and some info about how the video was made.

The working link for the four documentaries suggested by journalist Stephen Leahy in the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting yesterday should be correct here:

Sorry for the broken link yesterday

Global Chorus essay for April 24
Osvald Bjelland

We need to break the link between the pursuit of human ambition and the depletion of the natural environment. To move people and goods without warming the climate. To transform waste into a resource. To redirect consumption away from the accumulation of stuff. To power ourselves – heat our homes, preserve our food and light our lamps – without making our air unbreathable.

In short, we need to reinvent growth.

It is all too easy to dismiss these aims as lofty dreams. Yet they are no loftier than the telephone was during the last days of the telegram, nor any more improbable than the internal combustion engine was when the preferred mode of transport was the horse-drawn carriage. In fact, I would argue that it is those who call change impractical who are the impractical ones.

I believe businesses can and will be at the heart of this change, and that is why I founded the GLTE partnership, which connects global businesses engaged in the pursuit of resource-efficient, low-carbon growth. The partnership has a bias for action – conceiving and conducting projects that aim to enable businesses to grow in a new way, fit for the resource, climate and demographic realities of the 21st century. Through collaboration across industries, sectors and geographies, the GLTE partnership is working to show that the “unthinkable” – stripping carbon and other forms of waste out of growth – is not only a possible alternative, but also a highly desirable imperative, leading to a safer, cleaner world, prosperous economies and competitive, dynamic business.

Now is the time to act: the companies that get into the driving seat and push for a new kind of growth will reap the rewards as their customers increasingly call for ethical and sustainable business practices. And by collaborating, working with other companies across traditional industry divisions, businesses can make the changes that are required more easily, quickly and safely. I believe in human ingenuity, and that by working together, across business sectors, industries and geographies, the balance between our natural and human resources can be restored.

        — Osvald Bjelland, chairman and CEO of Xyntéo, founder of the Global Leadership and Technology Exchange partnership

About his work with The Performance Theatre Company


essay from

Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet

edited by Todd E. MacLean

copyright 2014

April 23, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Today is the first anniversary of the 2019 provincial election which saw Progressive Conservative leader Dennis King form a minority government, Peter Bevan-Baker and six new Green MLA join Hannah Bell and him as the Official Opposition, and the Liberals had leader Wade MacLauchlan, Justice and Education Minister Jordan Brown, and longtime MLA Richard Brown among others defeated and become the Third Party.
Current MLAs from Legislative Assembly website

Today is also the First Anniversary of the provincial Referendum on Electoral Reform,

from Islanders for Proportional Representation, April 23rd, 2020

Facebook group to join: Islanders for Proportional Representation (from Vote Yes PEI):

Stratford Shakespeare Festival broadcasts begin today with:
King Lear, 7:30PM Intro, 8PM start
of Live Viewing party, then available until May 14th

Met Opera HD Simulcast
Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Thursday 7:30PM until Friday late afternoon.
"Starring Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, and Nathan Gunn, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. From January 17, 2015."  In English. The Merry Widow synopsis
Set in "Pontevedro", the scheming is to have a wealthy widow marry so her fortune says in the country.  Happy ending.

The only newly elected Liberal MLA in the 2019 election, Gordie McNeilly (D14:Charlottetown-West Royalty), who impresses with curiosity, compassion and energy in Committees and such, continues in his dynamic way by offering daily fitness classes on-line:
Fitness with Gordon McNeilly, 2:30PM (so as not to interfere with "The Dr. Heather Morrison Show" at 1:30PM)

With thanks to Ian Petrie for the reminder, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting sent this note with links to four full-length environmental documentaries, chosen by journalist Stephen Leahy:
Friends for Canadian Broadcasting message link for browser

Global Chorus essay for April 23
Van Jones

The chief problems our world faces today are radical social inequality and radical environmental destruction. But there is a solution. We can solve both problems by creating millions of green jobs to put people to work in industries that will heal both our economic suffering and the Earth.

The two big systems that most need change are in the areas of food and fuel. If we change the way we power our buildings and our machines, that will be the clean energy revolution. If we change the way we power our bodies, that will be the green food revolution. If we change both systems at the same time, we can create billions of new jobs and ensure that the 22nd century will be one worth living in.

It’s time to innovate. The next wave of jobs must push the boundaries of technology with wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal systems, hybrid and electric cars, next-generation batteries and biofuels. Let’s build energy-efficient homes, buildings and recreational spaces. Let’s build the foundations of a fuel-efficient and environmentally sustainable world to leave to our children and grandchildren.

Our other challenge is the green food revolution. Today’s big industrial farming model is based on poison and pollution. Thousands of farmers with invaluable wisdom have been displaced. There must be a space for agricultural workers in this economy. We should work for those who work the land to breathe health and life back into our communities. The organic and slow food movements offer not just a surer pathway to physical well-being but also to wealth and work for people in or around cities. If we commit to bringing local and organic food to every table, we can make innovations like vertical farms and hydroponics transform our urban landscapes.

An immense responsibility rests in our hands. It is time to assume our role as not only environmental stewards but stewards of the future – we are creating the world our children will inherit. Let’s make it a world where we respect ourselves, our communities and the spaces we inhabit.

      — Van Jones,  environmental and civil rights advocate,  founder of
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights,
Green for All
and Rebuild the Dream 

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

April 22, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Earth Day! 

Get outside when you can

Mille Clarkes' short film Solastalgia,  will be shown on the CBC Gem app today.  Not sure when the time is going to be (and neither was Mille when interviewed on Mainstreet yesterday), but here are some links, and we can report any updates on the Citizens' Alliance Facebook page.
CBC Gem Link

"...a lyrical film that explores the anguish that climate change and a global state of uncertainty can impart upon the human psyche. Ava, a mother of two young children, is bombarded throughout her day with news of global disasters. Over the airwaves, on the internet, overheard at a grocery store - cataclysmic stories of the effects of climate change steadily erode Ava’s inner peace. She acutely feels the burden of guilt for her entire species. She worries about her children's futures. Her mental health is unwinding.  

SOLASTALGIA gestures toward the vast timeline of the earth, poetically evoking the idea that life has meaning beyond human life."
Also, The Citizens' Alliance (having Mille's permission) has plans to screen the movie on the Island and have some discussions around it -- either when gatherings will be OK, or in some way before then.

Local food order deadlines at various times today, Wednesday, April 22th:

*until today, 9AM*, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, April 24th:

Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers",
*Until Noon today*, for pickup (today) Wednesday 3-6PM, (can start to order this afternoon until Friday for Saturday pickup):
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, 152 Great George Street.
The Farmacy store is also open from 3-6PM today for purchase of available vegetables and ferments.
*until tonight 11:59PM* for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)

City of Charlottetown Discover Charlottetown's Weekly Local Goods Guide should come out today, here:

Nightly Metropolitan Opera HD Simulcast:
for Wednesday, April 22nd

Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, 7:30PM until Thursday afternoon.  Met Opera Link
"Starring Anna Netrebko, Kathleen Kim, Ekaterina Gubanova, Joseph Calleja, and Alan Held, conducted by James Levine. From December 19, 2009."  All the poet Hoffman's stories, the "Tales of Hoffman" allow for a lot of great female singers to take stage.  In French with English subtitles.

Earth Day sharing:
From Sierra Club Canada

(I could not find it on their website yet, so copying and pasting LINKS, with apologies for what links do not come through):

Just a few things to watch, read, or do on this special (but different) Earth Week.

Please stay healthy and well, and this week, more than ever, find a way to honour our oldest friend - our planet.

Warmth and gratitude,

Melissa Munro

Director of Development and Communications

Sierra Club Canada Foundation

Turn off the news for a while, and enjoy the extraordinary, sweeping visual narrative of Wonderful Nature.

Learn More.

Our very own Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson was interviewed by Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director of Sierra Club Canada Foundation, about the animal-to-human spread of disease. Learn more about the connection between zoonotics and conservation.  LINK


From The Guardian, The Sound of Icebergs Melting by Jonathan Watts, is an exploration of the heartache and the hope of the Antarctic, and what its sounds and sights may reveal about the future of our planet.   LINK


Bill McKibbon (founder of  quote: Monday, April 20th, 2020:

"Since the oil industry is running out of places to store their unwanted product...perhaps we should just keep it in the ground. Forever."


 Thanks to Bradley Walters for passing this in-depth article along:

The ‘Profoundly Radical’ Message of Earth Day’s First Organizer - The New York Times article By John Schwartz,

Published April 20, 2020

SEATTLE — One day in the fall of 1969, Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard, snagged a 10-minute meeting with Gaylord Nelson, a United States senator from Wisconsin who had been talking up his idea for a national teach-in about environmentalism.
The visit stretched into a two-hour conversation, and at the end of it Mr. Hayes had a job. He ended up organizing
the original Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Mr. Hayes has participated in many other Earth Day events in the years since, so it should be no surprise that he is chairman emeritus of Earth Day 2020, which has shifted, in the time of coronavirus, to the digital realm. It has also come to focus on another threat to the planet, climate change, which 50 years ago “was not part of the national discussion,” Mr. Hayes said.

In recent days, Mr. Hayes has drawn a connection between the coronavirus and climate change, and the failure of the federal government to effectively deal with either one. In an essay in the Seattle Times, he wrote that “Covid-19 robbed us of Earth Day this year. So let’s make Election Day Earth Day.” He urged his readers to get involved in politics and set aside national division. “This November 3,” he wrote, “vote for the Earth.”

The power of activism to spark political change was at the core of the first Earth Day. In 1970 some 20 million people across the United States, from thousands of schools, colleges, universities and communities, took part in demonstrations, marches, environmental cleanups and even a mock trial of automobiles that ended in smashing a car with sledgehammers. New York City closed down parts of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street for its celebration.

The enormous turnout — one tenth of the population of the United States at the time — and the enthusiasm for change led to unprecedented action from the federal government. Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, and President Richard M. Nixon, a Republican, created the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is the major thing that turned Nixon around, scared the hell out of him,” said Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate, in a recent interview. On that first Earth Day, he spoke at the University at Buffalo.

And while Mr. Nader fully credits Senator Nelson, one of the nation’s leading environmentalists at the time, with providing the inspiration that brought Earth Day about, he said, Mr. Hayes and his young colleagues “provided the perspiration.”

Early last month, at a Mexican restaurant in Seattle, the first United States hot spot of the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Hayes worked around the no-handshaking protocol with a good-natured, mock-courtly bow. He still has the intense stare of the young man in those long-ago photos, but leavened with geniality; the once-dark hair is gray and sparse.

Over several hours of conversation he described the path that took him from small-town Washington state to a personal mission to change the world.

Born in Wisconsin, Mr. Hayes moved with his family at age 6 to Camas, a cozy town by the Columbia River where “everybody knew everybody.” His father worked at the hulking Crown Zellerbach paper mill.

Young Denis could hop on his bike and ride out to spectacular natural landscapes. But environmentally, the town “was an unconstrained disaster” because of the mill. “There was no pollution control of any kind,” he said. “When they discovered that the acid rain was pitting the roofs of automobiles, they put a carwash at the end of the parking lot.” Sore throats from the smoke were common, as were fish kills in the Columbia.

He attended a couple of colleges, reading widely in political and economic theory but without satisfaction. Over the next three years’ time, he traveled across Asia and much of Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, working when he needed money for the next leg and living on peanut butter and oatmeal, and the occasional cup of coffee loaded with all of the sugar and cream on the table. “It’s a whole lot better to look back on than to actually experience,” he said.

One night in the Namib desert, in southwestern Africa, he had what he has called an epiphany after seeing the Etosha Pan, a large hollow where water collects after rains. He marveled at the diversity of animals. “It was a truce,” he said, before “they went back and killed one another as they needed to.”
On a meditative night in the desert, in a state of mind heightened by his “terrible diet” and the desert chill, “It just came together in my mind that we’re animals and we didn’t abide by the principles that govern the natural world,” he said.

He woke up the next morning with a purpose. “I wanted to devote my life to advancing principles of ecology as they apply to human beings and to human communities, to human processes.”

Learn more about climate change, straight from New York Times reporters

He returned to the United States, attended Stanford and after graduation, gained acceptance to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. But then came the conversation with Senator Nelson, which Mr. Hayes initially hoped would lead to a class project. He soon dropped out of Harvard and persuaded several classmates to come with him.

They set up shop in ratty offices above a burger stand in Dupont Circle. Early on, the group realized that the Senator’s initial idea for a “teach-in” might not generate much enthusiasm. A progressive ad man, Julian Koenig, who had come up with the “Think Small” ads for Volkswagen and other groundbreaking campaigns, suggested a punchier name: Earth Day. It stuck.

The young Mr. Hayes burned with a fire that clearly charmed a New York Times journalist, Gladwin Hill, who described him as a man who “hops around the country like an ecological Dustin Hoffman, preaching mobilization for environmental reform with sober but evangelical militance.”
Mr. Hayes explained his principles of ecology, of rejecting unbridled growth that strips away the world’s resources, causes pollution and harms people. “The ecological freak is not questioning his share of the pie so much as he is questioning how we’re getting our flour,” he said. “The problem isn’t technological; the problem is a matter of values.”

These days, Mr. Hayes doesn’t use phrases like “ecological freak.” But the fire is still there.

“This was not an anti-litter campaign,” he recalled. “This was talking about fundamental changes in the nature of the American economy.” The cause that drew 20 million people into the streets was, he said, “in some ways much more profoundly radical” than the anti-Vietnam War movement.
Michael B. Gerrard, a Columbia University law professor and director of the school’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, said that “Earth Day was, to the environmental movement, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly and taking flight.” It changed lives, including his: He was a student at Columbia and covered the first Earth Day for the campus newspaper. He calls that day “one of the steps along the path that made me decide to make a career as an environmental lawyer.”

In the years after the first Earth Day, Mr. Hayes served as a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C., and President Jimmy Carter made him director of the Federal Solar Energy Research Institute in Colorado, where he promoted solar power from an institution with nearly 1,000 employees and a $130 million budget.

That was when he first heard about climate change, in discussions with scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. “I was asking, ‘How certain are you of all this?’ The answer was, ‘You’re never certain of anything,’ but that their level of certainty was at the 98 percent level.”
He began dovetailing concerns about climate change with his promotion of renewable energy. In January 1980, he delivered
an address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and said that the continued use of fossil fuels would lead to warming of Earth’s atmosphere. That would have “many adverse consequences for life as it now exists,” he warned, such as sea-level rise, inundated coastal farmland and communities, disrupted weather patterns and food production, among others.

Time is short, he warned: “because of the rather long lead time needed to convert from one energy source to another, a decision to reduce fossil fuel use swiftly after the year 2000 would have to be made today.”

Forty years later, the science has only grown clearer. But the effort to address the problem has barely begun.

1980 also brought the election of Ronald Reagan, whose administration slashed the institute’s budget and encouraged Mr. Hayes to seek new employment opportunities. He got a law degree from Stanford, practiced law, taught, and he and his wife, Gail Boyer Hayes, raised their daughter, Lisa.
The younger Ms. Hayes, now a lawyer for a high-tech civil liberties group in Washington, the Center for Democracy and Technology, said that “the values and the culture of the mission behind Earth Day were a part of every day of my childhood,” including their vegetarian meals. One of her childhood friends was surprised by her first meal there: chilled gazpacho and tofu.

“She was not a fan of this dinner,” Ms. Hayes recalled with a laugh. The friend even brought it up in her wedding toast.

In 1992, Mr. Hayes went to Seattle to advise the Bullitt Foundation, which had tens of millions of dollars from the estate of Seattle radio and television pioneer Dorothy S. Bullitt to spend, but no strong sense of purpose. He recommended a focus on investing in regional environmental issues; the board asked if he would like to run the foundation.

He now works on the top floor of Bullitt’s innovative headquarters. Opened on Earth Day 2013, it has been called the world’s greenest building. Costing $32.5 million, it has solar panels that produce more energy than the building uses and blinds that automatically arrange themselves to provide shade and maintain temperature. A geothermal heat pump system provides warmth that radiates from the floors and rainwater collected in a 56,000-gallon cistern is purified for drinking.

“Do you want to see the bowels of the building?” Mr. Hayes asked.The basement holds the composting units for the toilets, which he now admits were not a great idea for a downtown office building. While the composting works as advertised, getting rid of the resulting waste requires trucking it out of town. He is planning to replace the toilets, chalking that problem up to the spirit of experimentation.

Mr. Hayes has announced plans to wind the foundation down by 2024. He said he has promised his wife, Gail, who is a retired lawyer and author, that they will move “someplace sunny” in his own retirement.

Until then, the foundation is funding the next generation of environmental activism, providing money to climate-change-focused organizations like local chapters of, the Sunrise Movement and This Is Zero Hour.

Jamie Margolin, a high school student who founded Zero Hour, met Mr. Hayes at his office last summer. She found him serious about her activism and goals, and recalled him saying, “People love Tweeting about activism but they don’t like funding it.”
In that first meeting, she recalled, “I had no clue who this man was. I got home and looked his name up and said, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so stupid!’”

They would get a grant of $100,000.

The funding, she said, delivers an important message: “The torch has to keep being passed.”


Global Chorus essay for April 22
Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum)

The spirit of resistance instilled within Idle No More has spanned generations since Europeans arrived on the shores of our people’s lands. Idle No More is an indigenous-led resistance to ongoing colonization of indigenous peoples on Turtle Island (Canada), a resistance steeped in a sacred hope and dream for justice, freedom and liberation for all.

One of our most sacred and peaceful laws has been invoked as part of the resistance: nâtamâwasowin is a law carried by Nēhiyaw (Cree) people in times of great threat and crisis. Nâtamâwasowin means to defend for all human children of the world as well as future generations. Also nâtamâwasowin directs us to defend for the children of all animals, plants, water and the winged ones – every thing in creation that has a spirit. Part of defending is recognizing that we all want freedom, liberation and justice for our children. In my people’s language, children are called “awâsisak” which similarly means “glowing sacred flames”; in this we must view future generations as sacred flames that must be protected, loved and nurtured.

The vibration of the Earth is out of balance. Our human actions and activities have taken us to a situation of crisis and threat to our humanity and creation. Now is the time for the world to reach into that place of a collective profound love and peace for all awâsisak and invoke nâtamâwasowin. The highest accomplishment for any person in the spirit of warriors is achieving peace for their nation, but an even greater achievement is to create a world of peace for future generations in a manner that sustains a vibration of love that is healing. It is not enough to say “I love children”; we are now called upon to take meaningful peaceful action in times of conflict and destruction to remember that our defending be layered with collective sacred love of all children. Let our actions unfold the future. Let us be Idle No More.
     — Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum),  Ne¯hiyaw indigenous knowledge keeper,  co-founder of Idle No More,  Turtle Island, Treaty 6 lands

Article about Saysewahum


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

April 21, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Local Food Ordering Deadline: This morning
The Farmers' Market's Grandma Jaworski's Perogies, soups and such, along with Bogside Beer, can be ordered from Lori Jaworski this morning for pick-up Thursday evening, 5-6PM, at the Market parking lot.
Facebook group page  or phone (902) 218-9753

Concert online tonight:
Inner Space Concert, 7:30PM, classical concert online at:
featuring On-A-Cloud Concerts Ep.2 'The Atlantic Connection' event link

Metropolitan Opera HD Simulcast:
Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, 7:30PM until Wednesday afternoon
"Starring Sonya Yoncheva, Vittorio Grigolo, and Željko Lučić, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. From January 27, 2018."  An amazing amount of drama, high body count, and memorable pieces of music in just over two hours.  Full Synopsis
Met Opera Link

Tomorrow is Earth Day and there will be a lot of virtual ways for people to acknowledge the day.  We'll try to have a little bit of a round-up, here.

The Planet Protector Academy, a site the David Suzuki Foundation recommended this site for kids, especially around 6-11 year olds, with conservation-based activities and a daily live webcast.  (I have looked around it too much, but it might of interest to parents and grandparents and teachers, especially with Earth Day being tomorrow.)  Some stuff may be at their sign-up limit but other activities and materials look appealing.

Leadership, during and after COVID-19:

Here is a link to an article on New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, from The Atlantic, and the page has links to other articles about Germany's Angela Merkel, among other topics.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet - The Atlantic article by Uri Friedman

Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style, focused on empathy, isn’t just resonating with her people; it’s putting the country on track for success against the coronavirus.

Published on Sunday, April 19th, 2020 in

The coronavirus pandemic may be the largest test of political leadership the world has ever witnessed. Every leader on the planet is facing the same potential threat. Every leader is reacting differently, in his or her own style. And every leader will be judged by the results.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel embraces science. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejects it. U.S. President Donald Trump’s daily briefings are a circuslike spectacle, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds no regular briefings at all, even as he locks down 1.3 billion people.

Jacinda Ardern, the 39-year-old prime minister of New Zealand, is forging a path of her own. Her leadership style is one of empathy in a crisis that tempts people to fend for themselves. Her messages are clear, consistent, and somehow simultaneously sobering and soothing. And her approach isn’t just resonating with her people on an emotional level. It is also working remarkably well.

People feel that Ardern “doesn’t preach at them; she’s standing with them,” Helen Clark, New Zealand’s prime minister from 1999 to 2008, told me. (Ardern, a fellow member of the Labour Party, got her start in politics working for Clark during her premiership.) “They may even think, Well, I don’t quite understand why [the government] did that, but I know she’s got our back. There’s a high level of trust and confidence in her because of that empathy.”

<snip>  rest of the article at the link

A timeless essay

Global Chorus
essay for April 21
Lawson Drake

Do we have hope? We must have hope! Hope is the first response to the auguries of disaster that confront us daily. Not blind, uncomprehending hope, but hope that is grounded in a clear understanding of our present situation, hope that confronts reality.5

What is the current reality? Other contributors to this book have described it far better than I could do, and from a more vast perspective of knowledge and experience. My abbreviated concept of reality is that we have given “economic growth” priority over all else and that we regard our Earth and its resident species as source and servant of economic growth. We have lost the ethic of living with respect in Creation; we are no longer in awe of the intricate web relating ourselves to our fellow species and all species to the environment – the web we call “ecology.”

Hope without action is futile. By what actions may we seek to realize our hope? A starting point is a concern for our fellow humans, for the myriad species with whom we share the Earth and for the Earth itself. We must recognize and seek to alleviate poverty, inequity and want. We must show kindness and respect for our fellow species: we must not overexploit; we must replace, when possible, where we have taken away; we must seek to ameliorate and heal where we have done damage and caused hurt.

We begin at the personal level. We encourage others by our example until, together, we come to understand that what we call the “ecology” ranks higher than what we call the “economy” – indeed, that without the former, the latter is doomed. Then we must convince our governments of this simple truth so that they will be moved to create local, national and global policies that put the brotherhood of humankind, respect for creation and the assurance of our future at the heart of all their dealings.

Am I naive in my hope? Will I, in my lifetime, or you, dear readers, in yours, see any of my hopes fulfilled? Maybe not, but we shall have passed on in the knowledge that we sought the good, and that hope yet remains.

     — Lawson Drake, PhD, former dean of science at University of Prince Edward Island

2016 Guardian article on receiving the Rotary Mentor's Award


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

April 20, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Local Food Delivery ordering deadline
, by tonight:

Organic Veggie Delivery, Orders are due by Monday Night for Friday eve delivery.  Home delivery of fresh local organic veggies and more.
$25 / $40 / $50 Veggie Boxes (substitutions and additions are available) and many other items -- see website
Custom orders and standing orders also available.Charlottetown and Stratford veggie deliveries take place Friday evenings. Also delivering to Cornwall and some other areas for a small fee.

Aaron Koleszar (902) 659-2575

East Coast Art Parties, live-streamed, 11AM and 6:30PM, at their Facebook page.

Go!PEI hosts daily fitness programs at their Facebook page, 10AM and 7PM:
This week's schedule:

Metropolitan Opera for April 20th:
Richard Strauss’s Elektra, from 7:30PM to Tuesday afternoon
"The great singing actress Nina Stemme gives a heart-wrenching performance in the title role of Strauss’s blazing one-act drama, adapted from the ancient Greek myth."  From April 30, 2016. In German with English subtitles. 

"blazing one-act drama" and "Greek myth" are the clues to the context, but the singing....!

Later this week, Starting Thursday, April 23rd: Stratford Festival recorded performances of Shakespeare:

A Monday morning smile, from author Scott Turow.  And I totally agree with him.


There’s no better time to bring back the pocket handkerchief - The Washington Post article by Scott Turow

Published on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

The text from my son said it all: “Dad, there’s an article you were born to write that the world is finally ready for: Bring Back the Handkerchief!”

As my son knows, there’s no “bring back” for me. For me, the handkerchief never left.

My mother raised me with several fixed rules. One was that a gentleman always has a clean handkerchief in his right rear pocket, a piece of simple cotton, roughly 15 inches square and less than four inches when folded. I was a dutiful son, but I can recall being a 10-year-old on the school playground, feeling the padding directly over my butt and wondering what it was there for. Time would tell.

The text from my son said it all: “Dad, there’s an article you were born to write that the world is finally ready for: Bring Back the Handkerchief!”

As my son knows, there’s no “bring back” for me. For me, the handkerchief never left.

My mother raised me with several fixed rules. One was that a gentleman always has a clean handkerchief in his right rear pocket, a piece of simple cotton, roughly 15 inches square and less than four inches when folded. I was a dutiful son, but I can recall being a 10-year-old on the school playground, feeling the padding directly over my butt and wondering what it was there for. Time would tell.

Every night for most of my life, I have removed from my trousers the items I’m going to need the next day — keys, wallet and hankie, if it’s still unused. After 60 years, I am like the “Princess and the Pea.” My body weight feels wrong if I’m heading out of the house with an empty back pocket.

I am sure this habit has sometimes struck friends and colleagues who’ve noticed it as a little quaint, but in polite company nobody comments on somebody else’s trivial eccentricities. That rule of behavior, of course, did not apply to one’s children in the late 20th century. When my three kids were growing up, they all let me know whenever they could that my hankie was as ridiculously old-fashioned as a top-hat and a walking stick. They had their arguments. If you have to be prepared every day for allergies or a cold, why not tote a little packet of tissues, which at least saves you from that disgusting business of blowing your nose in the thing and then stuffing it back in your pants?

Point taken — especially in the time of covid-19 — but a cotton handkerchief is a lot more durable than tissue, creates no waste and has a far wider variety of uses. One reason my kids saw that handkerchief so often is because of the epic number of chocolate mouths, skinned knees and drippy noses that hankie wiped through their younger days. Can you grab the handle of a pot that’s boiling over with a Kleenex?

Now that I am a grandfather of five, my hankie again has been getting a workout. When friends become grandfathers for the first time, I often send them a dozen handkerchiefs as a small gift. “Hold on to these,” I say, “you’re going to need them.” In fact, for Father’s Day last year my wife gave me several new handkerchiefs, embroidered with my grandpa name, “Pops.”

Her gift was a tacit admission. From her subsequent comments, I take it that the first time that handkerchief came out, right after we started dating, she thought to herself something like, “Holy smokes, what a geezer!” But by now, neither of us can count the number of times her eyes have welled up at a movie, a tickle won’t leave her throat in the theater, or, as happens, she’s needed to blow her nose and timidly whispered, “Can I borrow your handkerchief?”

Yet no matter how well my mother’s advice has served me or my family, not even Mom could have anticipated the hankie’s new role as an Essential Public Health Appliance. All of us have learned how hard it is to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice in this coronavirus-plagued era about not touching your face. Here is an answer. Got an itch in your eye or your nose that you just have to scratch? Facing those frequently touched places such as elevator buttons and door handles that seem full of peril? Use your hankie, dude!

Here let me add a sober note on best practices: Touching your face with a coronavirus-infested hankie is not much better than a dirty hand. The solution is to carry multiple hankies in different pockets. And of course, if you used a handkerchief for virus protection, wash it thoroughly with soap and hot water as soon as you can.

That said, your handkerchief can be even more useful in protecting others from you, especially if you are one of those asymptomatic coronavirus carriers. Last weekend, the CDC recommended wearing masks when we’re out of the house. Guess what can be turned into a DIY mask by folding several times and applying two rubber bands six inches apart? In a pinch, and if you have no rubber bands, your handkerchief can become a makeshift bandanna that can be pulled over your lower face like a robber entering a bank.

So my son has it right: Bring back the pocket handkerchief. It may actually save a few lives. And it will certainly give me the chance to channel my mother, to lift my chin and look at my adult children through one eye, asking in her good-hearted way, “What do you have to say now, smarty-pants?”

Scott Turow is a lawyer and author. His latest novel, The Last Trial, is scheduled for publication in May.


The quick handkerchief facemask YouTube is here:

April 20th-26th, 2020
Atlantic Skies

The Little Lion Roars - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts

Wrapping up the list of Spring constellations visible in the late evening, northern sky is Leo Minor (Latin for "the smaller lion"), sitting between Leo Major - the Great Lion and Ursa Major - the Great Bear constellaations. Not recognized as a constellation by ancient Greek and Roman astronomers, it wasn't deemed a true constellation until the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius designated it as such in 1687. It was, however, shown on ancient Arabic celestial globes as "the gazelle with her young", and appears in ancient Chinese astronomical texts as, along with Leo Major, representing part of a large celestial dragon. In the 1870s, the constellation was briefly referred to as the Leaena  (Latin for "lioness") constellation, though that name quickly fell out of favour. Myself, I would have preferred that label; the picture of a lion and lioness roaming the night sky together has a much more colourful and romantic ring to it, don't you think?

Leo Minor is visible (under a dark site) to the naked-eye as a faint, diamond-shaped object of four stars, with a fifth star extending outward (think of a kite lying on its side). The brightest star, Praecipua (Latin for "chief (of Leo Minor) star"), designated 46 Leonis Minoris on star charts, shines at mag. +3.8. It is an orange giant star, 85x the size of our Sun, 1.5x as massive, and 32x as luminous. The remaining three stars in the "diamond-shape" are Beta Leonis Minoris (mag. +4.4); 21 Leonis Minoris (mag. +4.5); and 30 Leonis Minoris (mag.+4.7). The fifth star, the "tail " of the kite asterism mentioned above, is 10 Leonis Minoris (mag.+4.6).

Though there are numerous distant galaxies in the constellation visible to amateur telescopes, Leo Minor stands out in the astronomy world as having, within its celestial boundaries, an extremely rare celestial object. "Hanny's Voorwerp"  is an extremely rare quasar ionization echo. In short, it is the remnants of a small galaxy exhibiting the impact of radiation from a bright quasar event in the nearby galaxy of IC 2497, thought to have occurred about 100,000 years prior to its discovery in 2007.  A quasar is an extremely bright galactic nucleus caused by an extremely massive blackhole at the centre of the galaxy. It was discovered by female Dutch schoolteacher/amateur astronomer Hanny van Arkel, who, in 2007, was participating in the on-line Galaxy Zoo's citizen science project Zooniverse. To honour her discovery, the object was named after her ("voorwerp" is Dutch for "object"). Unfortunately, this object can only be seen in photos taken by extremely high-powered telescopes. It does, however, highlight the contribution even amateur astronomers can make to the field of astronomy.

Watch for Venus (mag. -4.4) high in the western sky about 1 hr. after sunset, with the Zodiacal Light  between it and the horizon.  Look for the waning, crescent Moon to move upward in the evening sky, and slip between Venus (upper right) and Aldebaran, brightest star in Taurus - the Bull, (lower left) Apr. 24 - 26. Jupiter (mag. -2.3), Saturn (mag. +0.6) and Mars (mag. +0.5) appear in the pre-dawn SE sky before fading from view as the eastern sky brightens with the rising Sun around 6 a.m. 

The Lyrid meteors shower (radiant in Lyra - the Harp) peaks in the pre-dawn hours of Apr. 22. Expect 10-15+ meteors per hour from a dark site.

Until next week, clear skies.


Apr. 20 - Moon at perihelion (closest to Sun) 

             - Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth)

        22 - Lyrid meteors shower peak

             - New Moon


Global Chorus essay for April 20
Liz Hosken

Creating the conditions for a future in which the entire Earth Community is able to thrive demands nothing less than a total U-turn in our thinking. It requires us, the architects of our global crises, to emphatically restore a respectful relationship with the Earth, our source of life.

To paraphrase the great Albert Einstein, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them in the first place.

Ecological and social crises will not be ameliorated by the detached, objective logic born of industrial governance and the reductive sciences. It is imperative that we change the way we see our world and our behaviour. But how do we rekindle a mutually enhancing relationship with our Earth?

Earth Jurisprudence, the philosophy of law, recognizes that Nature is our primary source of law and learning, and encourages us to align our actions with the awe-inspiring order of the universe. It nurtures in us a more expansive and generous human consciousness in which the Earth is experienced as a community of subjects who enrich our lives, rather than as a collection of objects to be exploited.

Such a transformation of our psyche will bring us back into alignment with our inner moral imperative which yearns to protect, respect and cherish Gaia, the Mother of all life, thereby ensuring the health and well-being of future generations of all species.

The great work of our time is thus the widening our circle of compassion to embrace the totality of life on Earth. Everything we require to thrive in communion once more already exists within ourselves if we are willing to be open to it.

     — Liz Hosken, director of The Gaia Foundation

So much to explore at the website

essay from

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

Computer working again, thanks to talented and patience oldest son.

April 19, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

April 18, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

April 17, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Heart Beet Organics, Order before 4PM today for pickup tomorrow between 9AM-1PM, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street, Charlottetown.

Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide for this week, with many listings of food/beverages, take-out, goods, etc.
Page with link to April 15th, 2020, Guide

GoPEI! activity livestreamed, 10AM, Tai Chi with Craig MacKie, Facebook page link

Fridays for Future Virtual, 3:30PM.  Usually some new information here:  Facebook event link

Quarantunes Concert, with Michael T. O'Connor, 8PM, Facebook page link

Met Opera Livestream: 
Viewers’ Choice: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, from 7:30PM tonight to Saturday afternoon

Starring Patricia Racette, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, conducted by Patrick Summers. From March 7, 2009.

Met Opera website


Dates to keep in mind next week, that might get shifted aside due to COVID-concerns:

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day

Thursday, April 23rd: First Anniversary of PEI Election that saw the Progressive Conservatives' Dennis King become minority government Premier, Peter Bevan-Baker and the Green Party form the Official Opposition, and

First Anniversary of the Referendum on Electoral Reform, which saw quite an interest in adopting proportional representation.


From Boyd Allen, Pownal resident and vice-chair of the Citizens' Alliance of P.E.I., adapted from the presentation to the Special Legislative Committee on Climate Change, March 12th, 2020.

Posted on Social media Thursday, April 16th, 2020:

As our eyes begin to peer at the horizon beyond the pandemic, we must take the initiative and look at fundamental rebuilding our society through the lens of climate change. As the Auditor General indicated in her 2020 report, the P.E.I. government is lagging behind in its planning process. This has, perhaps understandably, been further derailed by the global crises we find ourselves immersed in.

Nonetheless, developing meaningful public climate change policy in a timely manner is the responsibility of every jurisdiction on the Globe.

In 2014 I was at a meeting with the then Environment Minister and some of her senior advisors to discuss, amongst other things, government’s recently updated water extraction policy. When asked about the absence of any reference to climate change in this document, a lengthy silence followed until one of the officials piped in - with potential longer growing season, the Russet Burbank potato will finally get better yields . . .

In the six years since then Climate Change has certainly become more of a focal point. Government has responded in many ways – some of merit, some probably not. Heavily subsidizing heat pump installations was a sensible step but doing this Before negotiating a necessary upgrade in capacity with Maritime Electric doesn’t indicate sound planning protocol. Coupling this strategy with the elimination of fees for driver’s licenses defies logic.

An electric car from Efficiency PEI was made available for photo ops tip to tip. There was no mention made of any incentives forthcoming to make it more affordable to buy one of these regardless of what a great idea it was. Several million dollars were spent on the Cornwall Bypass. It wasn’t until the process was nearing completion that a study was commissioned to determine the impact of this bypass on the community it was bypassing.
Unfortunately, as strategies were rolled out and rhetoric ramped up about lessening the impact of climate change, a lot of government’s emphasis remained on maintaining the status quo - economic growth at any cost, environmental mitigation if absolutely unavoidable. Extraordinarily generous subsidies are still going to industries that compound the problem. Public consultations rolled in and out of focus. “Announce and defend” style public meetings maintained their default position whereas the early stages of the Water Act provided a glimpse of how public consultations Should be modelled. Government to government, department to department, minister to minister there was no consistency in either the template used or the weight given to these consultations.

The process of establishing effective public policy is stymied by inertia inherent to the status quo. The realities of the 4 year election cycle eliminates most coherent long term planning. The traditional networks offer many too many opportunities for decisions to be influenced by political expediency and pandering to the business plans of a small list of corporations.

Europe is much further advanced in dealing with Climate Change by most indices than we are . This is not due to the crises there being any more acute than here I wouldn’t think. I doubt if that Europeans are significantly more educated or have more resources to access. They can’t simply be Smarter than we are . . . What they do have is a process, entrenched by legislation, which has allowed them to make progress much more efficiently than we have. The United Nations Economic Commission For Europe’s Protocol On Strategic Environmental Assessment has been an integral part of European public policy since being enacted in 2010. It was painstakingly constructed over 20 years of international discussions. SEA is defined as a step by step procedure to analyze and communicate environmental and health considerations related to development strategies, plans and programs prepared by government. These considerations are collected in consultation with relevant authorities and the public so that decision makers can compare all the pros and cons of each planning option. SEA thus improves transparency and public trust in decision making. Ultimately, SEA is a tool for governments to ensure sound economic development choices that benefit human health and the environment both.
SEA is obligatory for plans and programs in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Energy, Industry, Transport, Regional development, Waste management, Water management, Telecommunications, tourism, Town and country planning, Land use.

SEA enables planners to take environmental and health issues into account BEFORE decisions are made - when multiple alternatives are still open for consideration. SEA also allows further incorporation of issues of concern at different stages and levels of decision-making. Better and more consistent decision making leads to fewer appeals and less discussion at the operational level. Such decision-making processes save time and are therefore cost effective.

What a SEA provides for The Island is a policy-making template that crosses jurisdictional boundaries. It is not bound by election cycles or party affiliations. It does reflect long term planning outcomes. Transparency and public consultation are an essential component to this protocol. Industry influence cannot be directly applied.

In order for climate change to be effectively dealt with, the people themselves have to become the agent for change. Introducing a SEA protocol on P.E.I. ensures the public’s ongoing engagement and fosters a critical culture of responsibility. It also acts as a sober non-partisan adult at the table as meaningful decisions are being made. This is an element that has been missing for too long.
---Boyd Allen



Global Chorus essay for April 17
Vivienne Westwood

If we don’t stop climate change now, we will have runaway climate change which will accelerate beyond our control. It will eventually stop at a temperature so hot that if you were to draw a line level with Paris, the land below that line will be too hot to live in. There will be mass extinction of all life, including us.

The first thing we need to know is what’s going on, how it all fits together and how we fit in. Then we will know what to do. Climate change is caused by our rotten financial system. This system is designed to create mass poverty and to siphon off any profits for a few, namely big business.

This system is backed up by politics and by war. Everything is connected  – the power structure needs its victims to prove its power and maintain it. Culture is especially important. We live in a global consumer society – no matter how poor you are, this is the ethic. Consumers just suck things up, whereas true culture is acquired by investing in the world, by learning all the best that has ever been shown, thought and said. From this you review and criticize all the received opinions and stock notions (propaganda) of the present age. Armed with knowledge, you think. You get out what you put in. Go to art galleries, find out the names of trees, read, etc. You will get off the consumer treadmill and change your values and aspirations.

Two things that are practical to do: support Greenpeace in its campaign to save the Arctic, and support Cool Earth in its campaign to save the rainforest.

We need to get out on the streets and campaign, therefore, because it’s all connected – demonstrate whenever you can with specific NGOs in the hope that we can all group together in global demonstrations where everything is connected.

Climate Revolution! “Get a Life.”

     — Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer, human and environmental rights activist


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

April 16, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Zoom Conversation: COVID-19 and Climate Change, with David Suzuki and Linda Solomon Wood of the National Observer, 11:30PM our time.

register by email to be sent the Zoom link by emailing, by typing "RSVP to Janal" in subject line to

Tiny Island Concert Series, Joshua Arran at 8PM, Vishten at 8:30PM
, at the link:
Facebook event link

Met Opera Simulcast
Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, 7:30PM
until Friday afternoon.
Edited: "Rossini’s rarely heard comedy ...with a trio of ...bel canto stars in the leading roles: Juan Diego Flórez is Count Ory, a handsome rogue who finds all women ..irresistible. Diana Damrau sings the virtuous Countess Adèle, and Joyce DiDonato is Isolier, the count’s page, who is also in love with the countess. Jokes, misunderstandings, and gender-bending disguises—including knights dressed as nuns— abound in this hilarious tale of deception and seduction. In French with English subtitles."
Met Opera link

East Coast Art Parties today, free events broadcast at 11AM and 6:30PM.
Local Goods Guide:
I could not get this link to open the PDF this morning, but the weekly Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide should be available any time soon at:

 news article, with bold by me; glad Stu Neatby is reporting on this: 

Auditor General says P.E.I. still lacks climate implementation plans, risk assessments - The Guardian article by Stu Neatby

Published on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

The province of P.E.I. still has not finalized plans for climate change mitigation or adaptation and lacks a detailed risk assessment of how global warming will affect the Island, according to the most recent report from the auditor general.

Scientists have been warning for years about a lack of preparedness from governments about both mitigation and adaptation to growing greenhouse gas emissions. The economic and social impacts could dwarf the impacts of the current coronavirus public health crisis.

In her 2020 report, Jane MacAdam, auditor general of P.E.I., reviewed the progress made by the province on recommendations related to climate change from her 2017 report. The 2020 report found that five of the eight recommendations had been implemented, but three remained outstanding.

The remaining recommendations related to:

·         implementation plans for climate mitigation actions,

·         a provincewide risk assessment for climate change adaptation

·         and implementation plans for climate change adaptation actions.

MacAdam wrote that the implementation plans should include assignment of responsibility for actions, detailed budgets related to these requirements and performance indicators.  "That was a focus of that report, was for government to plan,” MacAdam said in an interview. “The fact that there's three outstanding, I think that is concerning,”

In the 2020 report, MacAdam noted some plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have not yet been assigned a timeline, a cost or a method of measuring results.  “This could impact the likelihood of action being taken on a timely basis,” MacAdam wrote in the report.

A provincewide assessment of the risks that climate change could pose to P.E.I. has also not been completed.  “Without a comprehensive provincewide risk assessment, resources may not be directed to the most significant climate change risks. This could leave Islanders vulnerable and subject to higher financial costs to address the negative effects of climate change,” the report states.

Sources of GHG emissions on P.E.I.
Transportation: 47 per cent
Agriculture: 23 per cent
Buildings: 20 per cent
Industry: 7 per cent
Waste: 4 per cent

The five completed recommendations relate to developing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, providing annual reports on progress of the strategy and setting clear targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

P.E.I. has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Currently, P.E.I.’s emissions are 10 per cent below 2005 levels. A Climate Change Action Plan has been developed, and a progress report was released by the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change last fall.

A response by provincial government staff, included in the report, indicated that actions have been taken relating to the three outstanding recmmendations. Provincial representatives said 28 implementation and adaptation plans “have been developed or drafted,” but not completed, as part of the Province’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Provincial representatives also said the province plans to hire a consultant to conduct a provincewide risk assessment of climate change threats, but a request for proposals has not yet been issued. This assessment is expected to be completed by December 2021, more than four years after the initial auditor general’s report.

MacAdam said she could not provide assurance on the responses to the three outstanding recommendations.  "It's important that those are completed on a timely basis,” MacAdam said.




Women's Network: Coronavirus financial crisis is nothing new for many - The Guardian article by Jillian Killfoil

Published on Monday, April 13th, 2020

The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income highlights the fact that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is making visible the gaps in our current systems. 

There is across-the-board anxiety about how people will survive the economic crisis. For some groups and individuals, this means feeling this fear and risk for the first time. For many others, however, there is nothing “novel” about the vulnerability associated with the current pandemic. Fear and insecurity are part of daily life for some, regardless of whether a global pandemic is occurring.

Too many people experience a lack of income as a result of structural and systemic barriers related to race, gender, sex, ability, age, geography, nationality, immigration status and trauma.

Many people from marginalized communities experience poverty and face daily struggles. Sadly, that does not elicit the level of empathy which is currently being leveraged in P.E.I., Canada and across the world. Too many Island residents lack safe housing to be able to self-isolate, too many Island residents lack enough income to "stockpile" necessary supplies and groceries. Having empathy and reaching out during difficult times are both positive actions. It’s something we should examine and extend beyond this current crisis. We must ask ourselves why don’t we offer the same understanding during our “regular” lives?

With the recent emergence of COVID-19 many of our entrenched “ways of being” or “knowing” are crumbling. This dissolution of the norm creates an opportunity for change. To create meaningful change, we must first accept that the status quo is unjust. We must also accept that specific people and groups of people are not afforded the same dignity, opportunity and livelihoods. Our systems are broken and COVID-19 is an opportunity for us to accept and re-examine the way we value and include all members of our community.

COVID-19 has made clear that the essential workers are often the ones earning the lowest wages with a lack of benefits and favourable job conditions. This reality should have been glaring already but given the current measures related to physical distancing and self-isolation, it’s irrefutable. Now is the time to transform our economy by providing a basic income guarantee, living wages and increased workers’ benefits through Employment Standards.

We must take seriously, measures to address poverty while also curbing rising income inequality in Canada and across the world. Income inequality continues to rise, 26 billionaires own the equivalent of half the world’s wealth and in Canada 43 billionaires own the equivalent of half the country’s wealth. Where are these billionaire job creators now? Jeff Bezos was asking for the public to donate to his relief fund for workers even though he is the richest man in the world and worth an estimated $114 billion. The hypocrisy must end.

Let the legacy of COVID-19 be the transformational changes it creates among our communities, society and economy. Let’s stop pretending that people experience poverty because of individual flaws. Let’s make the necessary policy leaps needed to include everyone: basic income guarantee is offered to everyone who earns below a certain (livable) income. It will require tax reform to curb income inequality. These are the necessary policy shifts needed to respond to this crisis and prevent financial insecurity in the future.

The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income is a voice in P.E.I. for basic income guarantee (BIG). Our campaign, called C-BIG P.E.I., has a great deal of support from the community and from many politicians. We are urging provincial and federal governments to begin immediately the process of establishing basic income guarantee. This means adhering to the principle that having basic needs met is a right of all people, regardless of attachment to the workforce. It means policies and practices to ensure the re-distribution of wealth. It means careful planning and collaboration among federal-provincial-territorial governments. Two lessons from the emergency responses are that such co-operation is possible, and that money can be found. Yes, BIG can happen here in P.E.I. and in all of Canada.

Jillian Kilfoil is the executive director of Women’s Network P.E.I., which is a member of the P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income.



Global Chorus essay for April 16

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez

Definitely humanity can overcome the current global socio-environmental challenges. We need to recognize that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, and protecting and managing our global natural capital as the resource base of economic and social development are the overarching objectives of – and essential requirements for – sustainable development. To achieve the above we need to:

1. promote sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities and raising basic standards of living;

2. foster equitable social development and inclusion; and

3. promote integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that supports, inter alia, economic, social and human development while facilitating ecosystem conservation, regeneration and restoration and resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges.

My country, Costa Rica, is a good example of a nation that has committed to a new development path where all development policies must rely on a healthy natural capital. In the last 25 years, Costa Rica has tripled its income per capita and doubled its population while halting deforestation and doubling the forested area – proving that growth and social development can go hand in hand with ambitious conservation and restoration targets. This effort in protecting our natural capital has generated economic and business opportunities based on our condition as a global biodiversity hotspot. In Costa Rica, ecotourism and nature-based tourism are the main drivers of economic growth, generating $2.2-billion annually to the local economy. Locally, farmers and indigenous communities are being paid for the various environmental services provided by their forest in terms of carbon, water and biodiversity. This innovative financial mechanism known as payments for environmental services addresses market failures where environmental contributions are overlooked, and recognizes the value and contribution of Nature to human well-being and economic growth. Lessons coming from Costa Rica in terms of innovative sustainable development policies and tools can indeed contribute to abate global challenges related to climate change and loss of biodiversity and freshwater stocks.

The shift towards a new development model must rely on respect for all human rights – including the right to development, the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to food – and must also hinge upon the importance of freedom, peace and security, the rule of law, gender equality and women’s empowerment and the overall commitment to just and democratic societies for development.

— Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, vice-president of Conservation International, former Minister of Environment and Energy for Costa Rica

Conservation International Link


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

April 15, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local food order deadlines at various times today, Wednesday, April 15th:

*until today, 9AM*, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, April 17th:
Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers",
*Until Noon today*, for pickup (today) Wednesday 3-6PM, (can start to order this afternoon until Friday for Saturday pickup):
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, 152 Great George Street.
*until tonight 11:59PM* for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)
City of Charlottetown Discover Charlottetown's Weekly Local Goods Guide should come out today, here:
Met Opera HD Simulcast
Wednesday, April 15th

Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine
"From January 10, 2009. Real-life couple and operatic stars Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna portray Puccini’s star-crossed lovers. Ezio Frigerio’s elegant and sophisticated art deco sets add a dazzling touch..." From 2009. In Italian with English subtitles.
a note that Boris Godenov is available until later this afternoon, and the there is an app you can get (Met Opera on Demand) from your device's app store

East Coast Art Parties, 11AM and 6:30PM, entertainment for all
A very well-written opinion piece:

GUEST OPINION: Tell fishers to stay home - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Christian Norton

Published Monday, April 13th, 2020

I had a phone call earlier this week with Jamie Fox, the P.E.I. minister for fisheries. I expressed my concerns about opening the spring fishery. Unfortunately, Mr. Fox began making analogies among pork, beef, and dairy industries instead of speaking to the serious issues affecting P.E.I.'s spring lobster fishery.

I do not understand how an informed person could think that a spring fishery is viable under current circumstances. Please, tell fishers to stay home! Tell them their loan payments are deferred and that they have immediate access to emergency income programs. There is far too much at risk to put traps in the water.

Mr. Fox believed that the spring fishery should go on because (1) fish processors are taking measures to ensure worker safety and (2) processors have assured the government that the markets are healthy.

Concerning the first point, I do not understand how social distancing measures can work in a fish plant. And I only need point to the recent coronavirus transmission at a fish plant in Gaspésie and subsequent shut down as a case in point. P.E.I. processes most of its catch which means that any sort of transmission and shut down within processing plants would be devastating. Moreover, how are hundreds upon hundreds of fishers going about their work, all over P.E.I., compatible with essential social distancing measures? These measures are a matter of life and death.

Mr. Fox made a point of describing the high degree of personal protective equipment that workers will wear in fish plants — full suits, masks, and the like. Health-care workers need those same types of equipment on the front line of a pandemic. Are we OK diverting these resources to processing lobster? The income from the lobster industry is what's essential, but the lobster itself is a luxury food item and not essential.

I find Mr. Fox's second point (that processors have assured him markets are good) to be most confusing. I asked Mr. Fox to support that position with data provided by the processors. He said that data was not made available to the government and that government is in no position to ask for it. I'm confused why Mr. Fox didn't know this data is readily accessible from other sources.

You would need glasses of the deepest rose tint to believe markets look promising for P.E.I. lobster. The cancellation of Chinese New Year celebrations in mainland China flooded the U.S. and Canadian market with masses of unsold lobster and drove down prices to four-year lows. The U.S. still takes 70 per cent of Canadian lobster export, and older data shows that almost all of P.E.I. lobster goes to U.S. markets. There is a domestic market for lobster, but export is the primary goal. Most lobster in the U.S. is consumed in restaurants, which is an industry in crisis due to widespread shutdown and economic uncertainty. How could anyone, with this information available, ever attempt to believe there will be a market for P.E.I. lobster that provides a viable price for fishers?

Unfortunately, P.E.I. is in no position to store its lobster. P.E.I. lands about 40 million pounds of lobster a year but has only 24 millions pounds of cold storage capacity. For live lobster, we have about 1.6 million pounds storage capacity, assuming numbers from 2013 haven't changed much. But I ask: do we want to be in a situation with vast amounts of stored lobster, potentially driving down prices for years to come?

I fear that caught lobster will be processed, stored, and eventually dumped when it can't be sold. What processors don't dump will remain in storage, driving down prices in the future. I told Mr. Fox, you can't leave the milk in the cow, but you can leave the lobster in the ocean. Mr. Fox countered that biologists have said that not fishing lobster could mean losing that stock to predation, but I would like to see that data, too.

We are in a global pandemic and must act as such. We are only having this discussion because P.E.I. has, thus far, been spared.

Christian Norton is a resident of Annandale, P.E.I., whose parents fish lobster out of Naufrage Harbour.

Global Chorus essay for April 15
Svein Tveitdal

Whenever danger threatens, we tend to quickly pull down the blinds and settle for comfortable, shortterm “business as usual” solutions. This represents a dire risk of failure. Serious climate changes are no doubt the greatest threat that humanity faces.

Global warming will most likely exceed 2°C above pre-industrial times. This represents the very threshold world leaders have decided that we should not cross. Regrettably, they have not proved able to produce a climate policy that makes 2°C a likely limit. And yet, even at this level of global warming, as much as 30 per cent of the world’s species may disappear. Judging from today’s rate of emissions, a 4°C increase during this century is not inconceivable. This scenario is truly a formula for a climate disaster that no doubt will threaten the very existence of humankind.

If we want to protect future generations from catastrophic climate changes, 80 per cent of all known resources of coal, oil and gas must remain in the ground. Today’s societies have at their disposal five times the amount of fossil energy that is safe to burn. Although these reserves, technically speaking, still remain in the ground, they are, economically speaking, already in use. They are embedded in stock prices, and companies borrow money on their value. We can have companies in healthy balance, or we can have a comparatively healthy planet. But we cannot have both.

Of course there is hope, and we are able! But we must ensure that renewable energy gets cheaper than fossil energy, thereby making the market the very engine of the green shift. Today, fossil energy receives subsidies of more than 500 billion dollars annually, or more than six times the allocations to renewable energy. World leaders should agree on cutting subsidies from fossil energy and increase the support of renewable energy accordingly, thus truly boosting a rapid green shift. When we succeed in establishing a truly global grassroots movement, we will have the necessary power to combat the fossil industries’ pollution before it is too late. But time is running out fast. With today’s rapid rate of emissions, we – humanity – will have spent within the next 25–30 years the carbon budget that limits global warming to 2°C.

— Svein Tveitdal, director of Klima2020, founder of GRID-Arendal, former UN director

A recent INKL interview with him, from February 2020
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 14, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Green Virtual Gathering, 7-8:30PM, via web Zoom meeting.  Register to be sent the Zoom link, password and such from the
Facebook event link

"An open virtual gathering and discussion through Zoom for Island community members.
Meeting over video chat can be a great way to stay in touch, and feel like you aren't alone in your isolation. We all want to find a way to stay connected during this period of uncertainty, and are trying to find a good means to keep in touch with our communities.
Drop in anytime you like, stay for as long or as little as you'd like...." 
This is the fifth week the Metropolitan Opera has offered a daily free HD simulcast of a recorded opera from their collection.

I forgot to note yesterday's -- which has the amazing "Song to the Moon" aria by Renee Fleming, and since the one broadcast starting last night is also available until mid-afternoon today, you can still catch it.

Monday, April 13th

Dvořák’s Rusalka, available until this afternoon

Starring Renée Fleming and Piotr Beczała, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From February 8, 2014.
This has been called the Czech version of The Little Mermaid story, and the famous aria is about 15 minutes in, in Act 1.  Background

Today, Tuesday, April 14th

Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, 7:30PM until Wednesday afternoon.

Starring René Pape, conducted by Valery Gergiev. From October 23, 2010.
This production...."brilliantly captures the suffering and ambition of the Russian people at a critical time in their nation’s history. René Pape is riveting as the Tsar of the title, giving a commanding and charismatic performance of one of the greatest bass roles in the repertoire—his Boris is dominating, tortured, flawed and utterly unforgettable."   In Russian with English subtitles.
And it took me to get very old before I realized that the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show villain "Boris Badenov" was a pun on Boris Godunov. 

Yesterday, Island Chef Ilona Daniel talked about her potato chip-chocolate chip cookie recipe that apparently tastes better than it sounds to some of us :-)  The recipe is here on her website, in the BLOG section:

And there is a lot to search around and read about in the website, too.


Tommy Douglas Speech from 1968 Debate, but timeless, and relevant, now. - The Saskatchewan Herald article

from the article:

The late Tommy Douglas, first leader of Canada’s NDP, Saskatchewan’s most-beloved Premier, and the man voted the greatest Canadian, always had a way with words.

caption from the photo in the link:  Saskatchewan Premier, NDP leader, father of Medicare, and the man voted the Greatest Canadian, Tommy Douglas, led North America's first socialist government.

Video obtained by the Saskatchewan Herald of Premier Douglas’ opening statement from the 1968 debate, representing the New Democratic Party against Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield and incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is one of Douglas’ most exceptional speeches.  Perhaps more interesting, it sounds almost as though Premier Douglas is speaking to Canada and to Saskatchewan in our current time of crisis and trouble – and offering us his calm, kind guidance from a better place on how to find our way out of crisis, and rebuild a more cooperative, more caring society on the other side.

The link has the speech -- about three minutes long:

Global Chorus for April 14
Pam Cooley

Humanity is dependent on the Earth and its resources. On this planet “we grow it, mine it, fish it, drink it and breathe it” – that’s all we have to work with! How we do those things are indicators of humanity’s collective intelligence and our values. I believe we can do better.

I think the survival of humanity depends directly on humans learning “collaboration” instead of the old paradigm of “power over” Nature or other humans. My friend Maggie, who grew up on a farm, has the best definition of collaboration. It is “people coming together to achieve for the benefit of themselves and others.” I believe collaboration is the new “survival of the fittest.”

True collaboration requires us to recognize “interdependence,” meaning we are part of this massive system of interconnectedness where everything that exists is dependent on something or someone else. Collaboration requires us to recognize that our existence is an intricately woven tapestry of everything in our lives. Interdependence means that everything we do affects others and they affect us. Our understanding and scope of interdependence has grown with the evolution of technologies. We now live in a global interdependence because of technology.

All of us have our legitimate experiences, knowledge, perspectives, desires and fears. If this is true, then no person, group or country has the whole picture of anything. No person, group or country has the answer. We all have a piece of the answer. That’s why we need to collaborate!

Our existence has always depended on collaboration and innovation; the difference now is that the effects we have are now global. We have a choice. We can collaborate with the resources the Earth provides or we can fight each other for them. If we fight, it will be our demise.

What do we need to become “collaboration ready”? I think it always comes down to personal daily choices.

Whether humanity survives is not the question for me. We don’t know the future. What matters is, how am I “being with” myself, with others and with the Earth? Am I being kind? How am I making decisions? Am I ready to collaborate or am I ready to fight? Do I work well with others?

Hope implies that one has a combination of information and faith that leads to a positive outcome. Every day, I witness these human qualities. I am sure you do too.

     — Pam Cooley, social entrepreneur, practical visionary, founder of the Continuum of Collaboration and CarShare Atlantic

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

April 13, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews


Local Food Delivery weekly deadline, by tonight:
Organic Veggie Delivery, Orders are due by Monday Night for Friday eve delivery.

Home delivery of fresh local organic veggies and more.
$25 / $40 / $50 Veggie Boxes (substitutions and additions are available) and many other items -- see website
Custom orders and standing orders also available.Charlottetown and Stratford veggie deliveries take place Friday evenings. Also delivering to Cornwall and some other areas for a small fee.
Aaron Koleszar (902) 659-2575

Other options listed below from the COPC newsletter
i am double checking the time on this, but sign up if you are interested,

Thursday, April 16th, probably 3:30PM our time: Zoom Conversation with David Suzuki and National Observer's Linda Solomon Wood, Topic: COVID-19 AND CLIMATE CHANGE
RSVP in subject line to Janel at
Spaces limited."You'll have a chance to text questions to David  before and during the event."


for any clear nights we get, and some astronomy myths....

Atlantic Skies for April 13th-19th, 2020

His Hunting Dogs Chase the Bear - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts

Prominent in the northeast spring night sky after sunset, the constellation of Bootes is easily located, due mainly to its brightest star, Arcturus. Bootes (ancient Greek for "ox-driver" or "herdsman") is said to represent a herdsman out guarding his herd of cattle. It was also sometimes referred to as representing a ploughman, due to its proximity to the plough (plow) asterism (alternatively seen as the "Big Dipper") in Ursa Major - the Great Bear constellation. Some Greek myths viewed Bootes as a "bear-keeper" or "bear-driver", again likely due to its proximity to the Great Bear. Accompanying Bootes in his nightly safeguarding of his herd are his faithful hunting dogs Asterion and Chara, represented by the constellation of Canes Venatici (Latin for "hunting dogs"). This small constellation lies between Bootes and the Great Bear, perhaps chasing the bear away from their master's herd.

Interestingly, the Mi'kmaq tribes of Canada's east coast viewed Bootes as representing a group of hunters (in the form of a flock of birds, each star representing a native species of bird) chasing the Great Bear around the northern sky.

Arcturus (Greek for "Guardian of the Bear") is easily located by following the arc of the Big Dipper's handle around until you come to the first really bright star. It is a red giant star in its final days of stellar evolution (it will eventually end as a "white dwarf" star). Roughly 350 trillions kms away, Arcturus shines at mag. -0.04, making it the fourth brightest star in the night sky. Although it only has 1.08x our Sun's mass, it shines 113x brighter than Sol. Arcturus has a distinguished association with the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. At that time, it was thought that the light from Arcturus took 40 light years  (lys) to cross the void between it and Earth. To commemorate the last Chicago World's Fair held in 1893 (40 years prior), and as part of a new exhibit touting modern technology, the 1933 fair organizers used the starlight from Arcturus (focused on several photoelectric cells) to generate an electrical current which tripped a switch to turn on the lights of the fairgrounds. It wasn't until years later that it was discovered that Arcturus is actually 36.7 lys away, not 40 lys.

The constellation of Bootes contains one of the emptiest parts of the night sky. This vacant region is known as "The Bootes Void", a vast area approximately 250 - 300 million lys across, devoid of all but a handful of visible galaxies. The Quadrantid meteor shower of early January has its radiant in Bootes. This shower's numbers can rival those of the Perseids (August) and the Leonids (November), but due to its very sharp peak period (lasting only a couple of hours), it is rarely seen. Its original parent constellation, Quadrans Muralis (thus the shower's name), is now part of Bootes.

Venus continues as the only bright planet visible in the evening sky, appearing high in the western sky about 1 hr. after sunset. From a dark site away from city lights, look for the Zodiacal Light between Venus and the western horizon. Let the waning Moon help you locate Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in the pre-dawn SE sky this coming week. The waning, gibbous Moon will sit to the right of bright Jupiter (mag. -2.1) on the morning of Apr. 14; the Last Quarter Moon directly below Saturn (mag. +0.6) on the 15th; and the waning, crescent Moon to the lower left of Mars (mag. +0.6) on the 16th. All three planets will have faded from sight by about 6 a.m.

Until next week, clear skies. Stay safe.


Apr. 15 - Last Quarter Moon


More astronomy -- the satellite array is Very visible from here (check the
link for times
we need to all have a say in what goes on in space....

CINDY DAY: Watch for this mysterious 'Elon-gated' string of lights in the night sky - Saltwire News article by meteorologist Cindy Day

Published online on Sunday, April 7th, 2020

I get all sorts of interesting questions and while most pertain to the weather, not all of them do.

Early last week I got an email from Allan Penny that gave me goosebumps.

It read: “Hi Cindy, I live in the Ardoise area of Hants County. On Sunday morning around 5:45 I went outside to start my wife’s vehicle before she went to work. I looked up to the sky to check the weather as I always do. Over our house from westerly to easterly were a lot of moving lights, 30 or more at least. I called my wife out to take a look. The lights were all moving in the same direction, mostly in a single file with a couple of side by side, all about the same speed except for a slower one. As the last two passed, the back one passed the slow one. I watched through my binoculars to see there were no flashing lights, which could indicate a plane. They were travelling about the same speed as you would see a plane going over. They were all the same size as the stars in the sky. There was no sound and whatever it was seemed to be very high up. I would very much appreciate if you could shed some light on what this may have been. Thank you.”

Hmm, what would I do with that? I didn’t get around to replying that afternoon, but before the day was out, this message appeared on my Facebook page:

“Hi, Cindy. Can you tell, by your radar, what was going overhead at 5:55 Sunday morning? Or do you know anyone that could help? - Lyndon Mylin Frank

Right away, Michael Boschat came to mind. He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and spends more time looking up at the sky than anyone I know, so naturally, I reached out to him. Within minutes, I saw his reply in my inbox:

Cindy, as soon as I saw “travelling in a line”, I knew what they were - the Elon Musk Starlink Satellites.

Earlier this year, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, launched 60 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit, clinching a new title: the most satellites operated by a single company. The company’s goal is to put 12,000 satellites in orbit to offer better internet worldwide.

Not everyone is happy about this, including astronomers who claim this will destroy their astrophotography and radio astronomy.

Depending on the orbit, we occasionally get a glimpse at the starling satellites. Check out this link for more information:



Where and How to Source Local Organic Products
compiled in the Certified Organic Producers' Coop newsletter from Friday, April 10th, 2020, and most links refreshed but apologies if not

Every Saturday, you will find them at the Summerside Farmer’s Market from 9-11AM and then from 12- 1 PM at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market parking lots for their weekly veggie box pick-up. They will have a range of products for sale during these times as well. Check out their website at:  or contact Brian (902-314-3846) or Kathy (902-314-3823) directly if you are looking for a specific volume or product or are interested in subscribing to their veggie box program.

Arthur and Tina are set up to provide for your grocery needs at the farm gate where they will have available all that they normally offer at the Summerside Farmer’s Market. Call or email your order ahead at 902-436-5180 or . Check out their farm Facebook page at: for an update on their weekly offerings.  More information can be found on their website:  This week, Tina is putting in a bulk order from Speerville Mills a certified organic mill in New Brunswick which offers a broad range of  organic products.

Sarah is offering a pre-order, pick-up service at the store in Albany. Orders can be placed from the website here:   Sarah takes pride in sourcing local ingredients and all savoury flavours are made with a flour mix that contains 40% of Crystal Green Farms organic heritage Red Fife wheat flour. You can also contact the gang at the Handpie Company on their Facebook page:

Amy & Verena are offering a pre-order, pick-up service from their Farmacy & Fermentary storefront at 152A Great George Street in Charlottetown. Pick-up is on Saturday from 9 AM - 1PM and Wednesdays 3 -6 PM. New items are added every week and feature products from their own farm as well as Craig Potatoes, Emmerdale Eden Farm, Red Soil Organics, Receiver Breadworks, Nature’s Route and Strawberry Hill Farm (in NB). Following is the link to their order form:

Several vendors from the Charlottetown Farmer's Market have launched an online farmers' market with more vendors and products added every week. Sign up to start receiving the up-to-date weekly offerings, here:
i  Order by Wednesday at midnight for Saturday pick-up, from 4-7pm or $5 delivery fee in Charlottetown & Stratford.

Look for certified organic products from: Crystal Green Farms, Maple Bloom Farm, Schurman Family Farm and Springwillow Family Farm.   Other PEI COPC members participating in the online market are Lucky Bee Homestead and Seaspray Farm Cooperative. Did you know that both True Loaf and Receiver Bakery use certified organic flours in their breads and pastries and both source ingredients from local certified organic farms!
Receiver Local is offering a pre-order, curbside pick-up service from their Brass Shop on Friday’s from 12-3PM. Delivery options also available. Visit their online ordering site here:  Orders placed on Wednesdays for Friday fulfillment.

Pre-order for pick-up at the store in Charlottetown from their online store here:  Trish and Rose and the gang have put together an amazing assortment of locally sourced organic products and more are added weekly. Look for Atlantic Grown Organics, Barnyard Organics, Crystal Green Farms, Heart Beet Organics, Maple Bloom Farm, Red Soil Organics, Soleil’s Farm products in season.

In addition to their regular veggie boxes, Marc & Krista are now offering an online service to order produce. Whether you are a current veggie box member who just wants to buy more or you are a farmer’s market shopper who is missing their greens or a brand new shopper looking for a healthy local option, they have you covered. All orders will be available for pickup at regular veggie box days in Summerside, Kensington and Charlottetown. Check out their website for more info: . Order by Wednesday for Thursday pick-up.

Sign up today for Soleil’s Summer Food Basket:…/1FAIpQLSfzPANqapblZbrtvQ…/viewform
Or visit her website for more information:

Angel is offering a pre-order pick-up service, with pick-up at Gallant’s Seafood (Superior Crescent) in Charlottetown on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Contact Angel to place an order through her Facebook page at:

Global Chorus essay for April 13

Dedan Gills

They say there ain’t no hope for the youth but the truth is there ain’t no hope for the future.
Tupac Shakur, Urban Poet and  Purveyor of Inconvenient Truths

The late Tupac Shakur could not have been more prophetic. There is no hope for the future unless humanity wakes up to its great calling. Never before in the history of our planet has the future of all life been imperilled as it is today. Scientists and various other experts all agree that the way we ravage the environment and each other is the reason we find ourselves in such dire straits. Ironically, therein lies both the opportunity and the challenge. The challenge is clear. The opportunity is that we will wake up in time to reverse our violent and bloody history of war, hatred and environmental degradation.

I see humanity entering into a period of conscious and intentional withdrawal from the hypnotic influence of modern, consumer-based culture. I see this new awakening led and inspired by the marginalized and disenfranchised people of the Earth. Many of them are already teaching us how to live like the forest that recycles itself and lives forever.

I see humanity declaring peace and ending our ancient war with ourselves, our beloved biosphere, and each other. I see us planting millions of trees across the Earth and having ceremonies and rituals that honour the spirit and memory of the dead and vanquished we have left in our bloody and tragic wake. I see us building new and qualitative relationships with each other and the planet as we lower the level of deadly carbon and raise the levels of love, compassion and community.

As we stand in silence amongst the trees in these tree-planting ceremonies, I see our tears of sadness and joy moistening the soil of our common humanity and germinating seeds of compassion, mercy and forgiveness that will blossom in a way that heals our collective suffering.

We are children of the stars and the Earth is our home! Yes, there is hope and it has already been born.

     — Dedan Gills (1945-2015), “soulutionary” and co-founder of Growing a Global Heart, poet

More about Dedan Gills' work poetry and other work here:


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

April 12, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Happy Easter! Hopefully you can find a service virtually, enjoy some time outside with nature, have a meal with those you are at home with, etc.

Tiny Island Music Series Concert:
Fraser McCallum at 8PM,
Cory Gallant at 8:30PM
Facebook event link

HD Opera Simulcast, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, from 7:30PM Sunday night until Monday afternoon, Met Opera
From March 31, 2018. In Italian with English subtitles.
"In this new production of Mozart’s effervescent comedy of young love and infidelity, director Phelim McDermott and his team of designers have updated the opera’s setting to a boardwalk amusement park inspired by Coney Island in the 1950s. The result is a twisted playground in which the two pairs of lovers at the heart of the tale find themselves on one emotional, and sometimes literal, thrill ride after another."

There are also free East Coast Art Parties, 11AM and 6:30PM
Facebook page link
Some local and global writings to ponder today.

From Louise Burley, a letter she wrote to Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of the Official Opposition, that she shares with us:
Her blog:

April 9th, 2020

Dear Peter Bevan-Baker,

Each day since the pandemic of Covid 19 was declared a pandemic, our Prime Minister (modelling his "Stay Home" policy) has come out in front of his house and spoken to the Canadian people about the current situation and answered questions from the press about everything from EI to N95 masks.

In my view and the view of many others, he has been prime-ministerial in the best sense--calm and concerned, addressing his remarks one day to the children of the nation, the next day to the Jewish community who are celebrating Passover etc.etc. I have been proud to be a Canadian in all this. Trudeau has addressed primarily our concerns about the economy, and most of us have plenty of concerns, myself included! My tiny nest egg in mutual funds has vanished. We have a leaky toilet that is rotting the bathroom floor and no money to fix it, and I recognize that we are luckier than many. So yes, money is front and center on my mind and perhaps on yours too.

But we will have missed an extraordinary opportunity here if, in our rush to get things back to "normal", to get our cars back on the road, our jets back in the sky, our cruise ships back in the water, our machines back in the forests, if in our blind desire to get back to the good old days of a human based economy, we ignore the fact that this pandemic has given the earth a chance to breathe!

This is a huge moment to do things differently, to recognize that when we humans cease to put such enormous pressure on the natural world, a thing we have been doing so blindly for the sake of the economy all these years, we give the natural world a chance to revive.

There are more shore birds by our river than there have been other years, and, if I'm not mistaken, the water is clearer. Several times I've seen seals playing and diving in the river. I've only seen one jet stream across the sky in three weeks! The skies are temporarily at least unpolluted.

This is a time for policy change, for a change in the way we do things-- at the SYSTEMS level, everything from the way we teach school, to the way we create jobs to the way we create and use Energy. If Covid 19 teaches us anything (and presumably it has taught us a lot!), let it be that we humans are NOT the only game in town.

You Peter, and other Greens, anybody really, that has some political clout, are in a position to use this time to think about policy that protects the natural world. I implore you to see this pandemic for the gift it is to the earth and to act accordingly.

Covid 19 has given us a window.

respectfully yours,

Louise Burley

from the Schumacher Centre's posting, Valhalla (home of the Norse Gods) by Max Bruckner (1896)

From the Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Sent Friday, April 10th, 2020

(To readers):

Hunter Hannum was in the audience on October 19, 1991 for the Eleventh Annual E. F. Schumacher Lecture, delivered by Thomas Berry. Berry named his talk “The Ecozoic Era.” Hannum was so moved by the talk that he wrote a response “Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring,” finding themes in the German opera that mirrored those articulated by Berry, a Passionist priest.

From "The Ecozoic Era"

The changes presently taking place in human and earthly affairs are beyond any parallel with historical change or cultural modification as these have occurred in the past. This is not like the transition from the classical period to the medieval period or from the medieval to the modern period. These changes reach far beyond the civilizational process, beyond even the human process, into the biosystems and even the geological structures of the Earth itself.

. . . The natural world is more sensitive than we have realized. Unaware of what we have done or its order of magnitude, we have thought our achievements to be of enormous benefit for the human process, but we now find that by disturbing the biosystems of the planet at the most basic level of their functioning we have endangered all that makes the planet Earth a suitable place for the integral development of human life itself. . . .

The biggest single question before us in the 1990s is the extent to which this technological-industrial-commercial context of human functioning can be made compatible with the integral functioning of the other life systems of the planet. . . . . Our efforts will be in vain if our purpose is to make the present industrial system acceptable. These steps must be taken, but according to my definition of the Ecozoic Era there must be more: there must also be a new era in human-Earth relations.

Hannum comments that “What Berry emphasizes is the urgent need for a new vision, a new story, to guide us into the ecological or what he prefers to call the ‘Ecozoic’ age, a period in which humankind must learn once again to live in harmony with the Earth.”

The Ring, Richard Wagner’s operatic depiction of the ancient tale of the Norse gods, Hannum argues, makes the connection between the violation of Nature and universal destruction. The Rheingold, watched over by the Rheinmaidens, is a symbol of Nature’s purity. It is violently wrested from them and forged into a ring of power. That violation places a curse on the ring.

Each of its successive male keepers meets with tragedy. Not till Brünnhilde takes the ring from the hand of the dying Siegfried, joins him on the funeral pyre in an act of love and self-immolation, and pledges the ring’s return to the Rheinmaidens out of the ashes, not till then is the curse lifted.

Hannum remarks, “To speak solely of a primal crime against Nature in The Ring is imprecise, for it is the Feminine as well that is the victim of violation throughout the work, and the villain is what we have come to recognize as the patriarchy, with all that this concept connotes for the contemporary mind. Wagner’s work anticipates the new story Berry finds necessary for our time: 'The Ecozoic can come into existence only through an appreciation of the feminine dimension of the Earth, through a liberation of women from the oppressions and the constraints of the past.'”

Hannum goes on, “The return of the gold to its natural setting strikes us now as an anticipation of today’s movement toward ‘ecological restoration,’ the desire to make amends to a violated natural order. It is in this direction—and in this direction only—that many believe humankind’s ‘redemption’ lies, and it is this which gives meaning in contemporary terms to Brünnhilde’s ‘redemptive’ act.”

Hunter Hannum chose literature and music as a vehicle to muse on our current condition, the role of humans in shaping that condition, and the responsibility to address it. Thomas Berry, a Passionist priest, called for the collective forging of a New Story that details the healing of the rift through the influence of the Feminine.

It is Easter week and Passover, and soon Ramadan. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucism, and Taoism all celebrate sacred days during this same period. It is a time of introspection. Each of these traditions offer their own stories of the relationship of individuals to Nature, of the tragedies that ensue when this relationship is out of balance, and of how to begin the healing of that relationship. The poets of these traditions speak through their sacred texts – The Torah, The New Testament, The Quran, The Vedas, The Suttas, the teachings of Confucius, and the Tao Te Ching.

Perhaps it is time that we listen to the poets.

Hunter Hannum died this week following a stroke earlier in the winter. Our heart-felt good wishes to his family. And our heart-felt good wishes to all those coming to terms with their own private and public grief at this time.

With warm regards,

Staff of the Schumacher Center
Global Chorus essay for April 12
B.K.S. Iyengar

I am a yoga student and a teacher, and as such it is my duty to guide those who come to me to learn how to keep this God-given body and consciousness in a state of sanctity. This understanding and the method to progress is hidden in the yogika discipline, in which students must keep their external environments clean in order to keep their internal sheaths – namely the physical, physiological and moral – healthily surrounded.

I am also an optimist, and as such I believe that the present fear of global environmental and social crises must evaporate sooner or later.

No doubt the present-day attitudes of money-making people is to amass, and amass with no respect to their fellow beings. But like the spokes of the wheel that go down and come up, so is the life of the universe: that which goes down has to raise up. I believe in this, and that wisdom will dawn on those who exploit Mother Earth – as this exploitation will only come back to affect their own survival – and our collective survival.

— B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2014), yogi, author, teacher, founder of Iyengar Yoga
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 11, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

A few vendors are outside the area of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market today, sometime during 9AM-1PM, with customers maintaining physical distancing, and obviously helping some Farmers during these tough weeks.

Heart Beet Organics will have some produce and fermented products at their storefront, 9AM-1PM, the Farmacy, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown,

The Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide has many options for shopping and take-out today. 

The Wednesday, April 8th, 2020, edition is found on this page:

Care Packages of ADL milk products and Island potatoes, for families in need, 10AM-3PM, at Summerside Credit Union Place parking lot and Charlottetown Government Complex lot (by Terry Fox Drive). While supplies last, according to the press release.
Some music today:
Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, 2PM, CBC Music 104.7FM, a recorded audio broadcast of
Puccini's Tosca, runs three hours.
Recorded on April 30, 2018. 
Soprano Anna Netrebko is Tosca.
"Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century." More details on the opera
But what more do you need to know? 

Recorded Video HD Broadcast for April 11th:
Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, available from 7:30PM to Sunday afternoon. 
This one is a comedy.
From November 13, 2010, starring Anna Netrebko (!!), as "Norina, the young widow beloved by Ernesto (a suave Matthew Polenzani), who is about to be disinherited by his miserly uncle, Don Pasquale (John Del Carlo). It takes the clever scheming of Dr. Malatesta (Mariusz Kwiecien) to set things right and to teach the old curmudgeon a lesson—fits of temper, mistaken identities, and all kinds of comic confusion included."

Quarantunes, 8PM, Facebook page, here.
Brielle Ansems will be performing a live.  Thanks to Todd MacLean for organizing these.

Also, today, free Art Craft Parties from East Coast Art Party, 11AM and 6:30PM


Even with the provincial government announcement Thursday of subsidized rooms for truckers at the Rodd Royalty Inn in Charlottetown, Angela still makes many excellent points in her letter.

LETTER: Truckers need extra support during pandemic - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Angela MacLeod

Published on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

I would like to share my concerns with the public about our truckers both here on the Island and the rest of Canada.

Before leaving for the USA, money must be exchanged for expenses. It costs the individual drivers approximately $1.40-$1.50 Canadian for each American dollar and this comes out of the driver's own pocket. Before leaving home, they have already lost money.

Most of the drivers take meals and other food from home but are unable to take fresh fruit or vegetables as it is illegal to take them into the USA. So after crossing the border, they used to make a quick stop at Walmart to purchase these items. However, because of the coronavirus, they are unable to do this (no place to thoroughly wash items).

After arriving at their destination, they pick up their loads and return home. However, when they are back on the Island they are unable to go to their homes because they must self-isolate.

They are expected to pay for their own accommodations should they stay in a motel/hotel for the two or three days before they hit the road again. They have already lost money on the monetary exchange and they do not want to live in their trucks (they have already done this for the length of their trip). They need a place with laundry facilities and a place to relax. They have families to support both financially and healthwise.

The question now is what can we do to alleviate some of these difficulties? Remember, our medical supplies, our medications, our grocery supplies, our drygoods, our plumbing supplies, etc., etc., all come to this Island by truck. This is not an easy job and fewer folks are getting into it — too much time away from family, special occasions, friends.

I have a few suggestions and perhaps others do as well.

1. The cost of fuel has decreased substantially. Perhaps some of the trucking companies could subsidize a portion of the exchange and/or provide accommodations for their employees.

2. Perhaps our banks could exchange the Cdn to U.S. funds at their cost. This would help the truckers and not cost the banks anything. It could be a "complimentary service" and would certainly be a goodwill gesture.

3. The tourism industry could supply accommodations to the truckers at no cost with the shared assistance from companies like Loblaws/Sobeys etc.

Remember these truckers are not receiving any extra funds while away from home. They get paid by the mile — if that truck is sitting the driver is not earning.

Recently, an article in the Guardian commented about American dairy farmers who had to dump thousands of gallons of milk because of manufacturing difficulties and the lack of truck drivers. Our systems thus far are working well but we need our truckers and all of the essential services they supply.

Angela MacLeod has family members and friends working in the trucking industry. She lives in Bonshaw.


Global Chorus essay for April 11
Carolyn Kraft

Today we spend more time looking at our phones than at the natural world around us. Yet the natural world is the very reason we can wake up every day and look at those tiny, glowing screens. Earth provides us with everything we need to live … fresh water, food and shelter, spiritual and emotional sustenance. Just think of the last time you watched the ocean’s waves roll in, witnessed a breathtaking sunset or hiked through the woods and felt at peace.

Despite the fact that our planet provides us with all the necessary ingredients to support life, we go about our daily lives with an air of indifference. We’ve lost sight of the fact that Earth is a living, breathing system that we fully rely on to survive. Not a day goes by that we don’t use Earth’s resources to sustain us. The question is, what are we doing to help sustain Earth?

Moving forward, we all must embrace a caretaker mentality. It’s the little things we do on a consistent basis that have a positive ripple effect on our planet. Picking up trash in our communities prevents it from being washed into local waterways and the ocean where it harms wildlife. Eating sustainable seafood keeps ocean ecosystems healthy and marine life populations thriving for future generations. Using reusable totes for shopping reduces waste and prevents plastic bags from ending up in the environment.

So let’s spend more time being caretakers and less time on our phones! As we take action we’ll inspire others to join us leading to bigger changes.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the current global environmental and social crises we face, but as caretakers we can never lose hope. Where there’s hope, there’s fire and a burning desire for circumstances to improve and things to change. Our hope fuels visions of a different and better way of living, which in turn sustains possibilities for a brighter future that wouldn’t be achievable otherwise. You hold your vision and I’ll hold mine and together we’ll create something beautiful.

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

April 10, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local Food: 
Heart Beet Organics, Order before 4PM today for pickup tomorrow between 9AM-1PM (and some extras available), The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street, Charlottetown.

Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide for this week, with many listings of food/beverages, take-out, goods, etc.
Page with link to April 8th, 2020, Guide

Fridays for Future, Virtual, 3:30PM
from Tony Reddin:
"Unfortunately today Good Friday Fridays for Future is another 'stay-at-home strike' day - hope everyone is finding time to send messages to our leaders & the media that the climate crisis hasn't stopped and we can make changes now for transforming to a clean energy economy"
Here is one such opportunity for action from

East Coast Art Parties, 11AM and 6:30PM, on Facebook at their page
and purchase supplies, if you are running low

Quarantunes Isolation Online Concert Series:
"There will be no show for the holiday of this Good Friday night. Amanda Jackson was originally booked for April 10, but we are looking at possibilities for hopefully an alternative date down the road for her.
- Saturday night, April 11th, Quarantunes will feature Brielle Ansems 

Metropolitan Opera HD Simulcast:
Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, available 7:30PM
until Saturday afternoon.
Starring Diana Damrau, Vittorio Grigolo, Elliot Madore, and Mikhail Petrenko, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 21, 2017.
Pretty certain you know the story. (Opera Synopsis link) In French with English subtitles.


OPINION: Now is not the time for pipelines - The Guardian Guest opinion by John Hopkins

Published on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

As if the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) has not reaped enough havoc already, in addition to the damage caused by carbon emissions causing floods, fires, hurricanes, drought, heavy downpours, scary ocean acidification (killing vital plankton) and lung-damaging smog. Climate change is far more threatening to the human race than this temporary pandemic and time is running out rapidly. Incredulously and dangerously, our government still chirps that we can have climate destruction and oil sands pollution at the same time?

Recently, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan applauded the Keystone XL news: “The project increases our market access — safely, responsibly, and sustainably — and fits within Canada’s climate plan,” he said in a statement.

This is a really dangerous and delusional view for Canada’s future, economy, and the security of Canadians. O’Regan, and Liberal Minister Catherine MacKenna before him, keep pushing that we must burn billions of barrels of bitumen first to pay for the climate change technologies, which will save us later. We are not fools, and their flawed logic insults our intelligence.

It is clear to see that other sectors of our economy are already suffering tremendously from its climate impacts and this flawed policy such as farming, forestry, and fishing. Health-care costs are skyrocketing from pollution. More pipelines to vastly increase Canada’s carbon missions is robbing Peter in our economy to pay Paul.

Albertans lost roughly $700 million-worth of crops in the 2019 alone season due to climate change. Yet Alberta Premier Jason Kenney persists in spending billions in a middle of a pandemic on big oil, instead of strongly supporting hard-hit Albertans — and while prices per barrel remain less than a six-pack of beer. It is a massive risk in so many ways.

If the Democrats win the U.S. election, they will abide by Obama’s previous decision that the environmental risks are too great and will again cancel Keystone XL. And Premier Kenney will have wasted the last of Alberta’s treasury reserves on useless and rusting pipes to the U.S. border and beyond.

At the moment, Premier Kenney is simply offering Albertans a one-time payment of $1,142.00, and a few hundred million in support in agriculture and small business. That $8 billion that Kenney just spent on Keystone XL (in cash and guarantees) is coming at the cost of desperately needed respirators, vastly more beds, testing, first-responders, hospital costs and support services; and also to keep ordinary people and businesses in Alberta from going bankrupt. For Donald Trump and Premier Kenney — both climate change deniers — the economy is the priority, not people.

Only several days ago did Kenney finally shut the oil sands down, which risked 5,000 very stressed workers and their families to coronavirus exposure, due to unsafe working, living and dining conditions in these camps, let alone hand-sanitizer. That doesn't seem to matter much to Kenney in self-isolation.

Now is not the time to invest in pipelines, even if you support the oil sands. It is easy to see Premier Kenney’s game: ask for billions in COVID-19 relief from Ottawa on one hand, and then, subsidize his one-per-cent friends with the other. PM Justin Trudeau will lose more votes and seats if his government continues to ignore what the vast majority of what Canadians want — action, real and far more substantial action on climate change. Time to get a leash on Premier Kenney and ween Canada off oil sands, which is clearly on life-support.

When we come out of this temporary pandemic it is time to get finally serious about investing a green-energy economy. We can outlast COVID-19. Further aggravating climate change past the rapidly approaching tipping point, as our best scientists around the globe are persistently warning, will destroy the planet and us completely.

Time to leave the oil-sands in the sands. This is a matter of survival.

John Hopkins is a filmmaker from Breadalbane, who, prior to making documentaries about the environment and the need for more robust ocean conservation to protect its wildlife and fishing industries, worked in the Alberta’s oil industry.

Global Chorus essay for April 10
Peter Croal

We have all witnessed at some time in our lives the incredible sight of thousands of birds or fish suddenly changing direction and flying or swimming in a new direction. How do they do this so quickly and why? The answer to this question is central to our own planetary destiny.

We are all too aware of the environmental challenges that face humanity today. The Earth has started to tweet messages that we are now paying attention to. These tweets come in the form of increased weather events, health issues and overall quality of life indicators. We are listening and responding.

The Stockholm Resilience Centre has identified nine planetary boundaries that sustain life on Earth. Three of these boundaries have been exceeded, including carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, phosphorus in our soils and water, and loss of biodiversity. Ocean acidification and access to drinking water are two boundaries that will be exceeded next. We know that our species will not survive into the next millennium if we continue on this path.

However, similar to the fish and birds that change direction in response to a threat, people the world over are starting to alter their behaviour. There are over 150,000 organizations in the world devoted to environmental protection; companies are discovering that respecting environmental boundaries is good for community relations and profits; and governments in many countries are shifting to green economy practices.

This incredible blue planet, third from our particular sun, is a perfect crucible to create life, and it has done so for over three billion years. People, in all their wonderful varieties of cultures, lifestyles and practices, are central to the kinds of life that will exist on Earth in the future.

The shift to a more sustainable future is happening. But, to make a more rapid shift in resp0nse to the threats we face – similar to the birds and fish we have watched – we need to take to heart an ancient saying from the Hopi tribe of the United States of America: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

        — Peter Croal, PGeol, international environment and development educator

More about Peter Croal

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

April 9, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local Goods Opportunity:
Heart Beet Organics, taking orders until 4PM Friday for Saturday pickup, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, and chocolate; some extras available at their storefront, The Farmacy, 152 Great George Street.

The week's edition (April 8th, 2020) of the Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide (pdf link) or page to click link here:
is out online, expanding to 13 pages of listings of getting local food, takeout, beer, fitness opportunities from local outfits now online, and businesses trying new ways of meeting customer needs, such as this listing from The Root Cellar:

The Root Cellar - Delivery & Curbside Pick-Up

Groceries, supplements, personal care products, and more. Open with a limit to 5 people at a time. Filling orders for pickup or delivery ($5 delivery fee). Order by e-mail or phone 902.892.6227,  34 Queen Street


New Skills for New Times:
Making Your Own Cloth Face Masks with Sue Whitacker, Webinar, 5-6PM, hosted by PEI Greens. 

"...Sue will demonstrate different models of masks that she is sewing using primarily up-cycled materials found in most homes, tell us how we can make them ourselves, and answer our questions.
This live webinar will take place using the Zoom videoconferencing platform. To register, please click here:

Face masks are now being recommended by Canadian public health officials as a way to help reduce the risk of spread of the SARS-Cov2 virus - particularly when worn by those who have or may have the virus.
This is the first in a series of "COVIDIY" skill-sharing webinars that we plan to bring you in the weeks to come, with Islanders sharing useful skills that are in high demand as we learn to cope with the health, social and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic...."

Facebook event link


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Daily Briefings are just after 12noon our time, on local CBC and CTV TV stations, and here is a bit of gentle fun at his expense about his comment regarding the public wearing fabric masks and physical distancing and "speaking moistly", from the Huffington Post Tuesday.

Tonight's Simulcast Metropolitan Opera:

Richard Wagner's Parsifal,
7:30PM until Friday afternoon,
"Starring Katarina Dalayman, Jonas Kaufmann, Peter Mattei, Evgeny Nikitin, and René Pape, conducted by Daniele Gatti. From March 2, 2013."   A Holy Grail tail, with the title character as the "fool made wise by compassion"...what could be Wagner's greatest score (that's saying a lot), haunting singing, and a really cool set design,  Long, naturally, and in German with English subtitles.

A poetic and astronomical benediction to keep in mind; thank you, Glenn.

LETTER: Moonlight and starlight - The Guardian Guest Opinion by Glenn Roberts

Published in The Guardian on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

These are anxious and fearful times we live in, with an uncertain future ahead of us. A great many people have already suffered terribly, and, unfortunately, many more will also suffer. The world we have all grown up in is rapidly changing, and people are, understandably, frightened and apprehensive about what will happen when the pandemic passes, and we attempt to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives.

We are all in this together, all of mankind, and the only way we are going to get through it is by working together, not only for ourselves and our families, but also for our friends and neighbours, and for all the other people we share this planet with. I ask that you be respectful, kind, generous and patient with one another, and with the people around you, whether you know them or not. Observe social distancing, stay home (especially if you are sick) unless you absolutely have to be out, and practise good hygiene.

But most of all, I would have you remember that, though there is darkness all around us, there is still moonlight and starlight above us. So, until the sun shines for all of us again (and it will), let the moonlight and starlight brighten your hearts with hope for a better future for all the world.

Glenn K. Roberts,
Atlantic Skies

Today's Global Chorus essayist William Ruddiman, when he wrote the piece in 2013, was making the case for elbowing aside the last of the climate change naysayers and getting on with planning the low-carbon emitting future.  But he is also known as a paleoanthropologist who has the hypothesis that pre-Industrial humans were responsible for methane emissions from agriculuture, enough to change the climate.  Here is the beginning of an article reviewing that as part of the scientific method, with a link to more, for some leisurely reading today between internet surfing and spring cleaning ;-)

William Ruddiman and the Ruddiman Hypothesis

by Richard Blaustein
Published in Minding Nature: Winter 2015, Volume 8, Number 1

Trained as a marine geologist, University of Virginia emeritus professor William Ruddiman for the past fifteen years has worked on a hypothesis that posits that pre-industrial age humans raised greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. Looking back seven thousand years into the Holocene—the current 11,500-year-old geological epoch—Ruddiman has proposed that early agriculture emitted enough methane and carbon dioxide to offset what would have been a global cold cycle. Ruddiman says that in contrast to the familiar view that human-caused greenhouse gases began with the industrial revolution, “the baseline of human effects on climate started earlier and that the total effect is larger.” Ruddiman’s work and “the Ruddiman hypothesis” provide a classic illustration of the working out of a scientific theory, with detractors, new allies, and new technologies and facts that bear on the original idea. <snip>


The Centre for Humans and Nature: Expanding our Natural and Civic Imagination
has many, many essays and areas for conversation on such topics as "What Does it Mean to be a Farmer in the Twenty-First Century


Global Chorus essay for April 9th
William Ruddiman

Nearly all climate scientists (more than 95 per cent) who study modern trends agree that our planet is warming, largely because of greenhouse gases we have been putting in the atmosphere. Even conservative future projections indicate that staying on our current path will cause very large climate changes, harmful both to much of humankind and to many other life forms.

Scientists who deny this prevailing view are far fewer in number, have lesser reputations and are mostly supported by “think tank” money funded by some (not all) energy extraction industries. Unfortunately, this tiny minority view has misled many people. Historically, most people in the U.S. have trusted scientific opinion. But talk radio and many blogs are now filled with angry voices denying any human role in this warming. Astonishingly, many Republican politicians question or reject overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are responsible.

By now, the U.S. should be having an open national debate about ways to act: by reducing our carbon emissions, encouraging new technologies and planning for adaptation. But the flood of dirty money from a few entrenched energy conglomerates has muted this discussion.

Most climate scientists see this deadlock as a national disgrace. The only way to avoid a much warmer and potentially dangerous future is for more of our elected politicians to rediscover their ethical centers and act out of concern for the future of this country and all of humankind.

     — William Ruddiman, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at University of Virginia ---------------------
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 8, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Thanks to Terry Pratt for passing this on:

A handful of local food order deadlines at various times today, Wednesday, April 8th:
until today, 9AM, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, April 10th:
Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers",

Until Noon today, for pickup (today) Wednesday 3-6PM, (order this afternoon until Friday for Saturday pickup):
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, and EASTER CHOCOLATES, 152 Great George Street.

until tonight 11:59PM for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)

Met Opera simulcast:
Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff, available from tonight 7:30PM until Thursday afternoon
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Angela Meade, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Paolo Fanale, Ambrogio Maestri, and Franco Vassallo, conducted by James Levine. From December 14, 2013.
In Italian with English subtitles, comic opera based on bits from three Shakespeare plays about the old reprobate.
Lots of good articles here at the Global Chorus essay writer Harriet Shugarman's Climate Mama's website:
Also, Jordan Bobar has compiled a frequently updated (and gigantic but readable!) list of resources during the Covid-19 time for Islanders:
COVID-19 times compilation of resources
Even though we are caught up in the new routine and many, many things seem like there are in suspended animation, there are some issues we shouldn't entirely forget about. I am grateful for people like Wayne Carver to remind us about some of them, and to cut through a lot of haze:

Do not rush new sports complex for Charlottetown - The Guardian article  by Wayne Carver

Published on Monday, April 6th, 2020

You may have read the third and final article written by Ian (Tex) MacDonald , a stalwart of the Island community, regarding the development and placement of the Charlottetown multi-purpose sports, culture and entertainment complex at the APM Power Centre.

That such a centre would be good for the Charlottetown area is not in question. Sports, entertainment and cultural events are vital to the well -being of any community. But there are other factors that should be seriously considered before we venture into this $100-million project, the major one being funding.

Experience has shown that, when governments borrow private money or institutional money, the private partners have managed to extract excessive profits from infrastructure agreements by making sweetheart deals. It appears government negotiators fail to deliver reasonable agreements on behalf of the taxpayer and allow private sector partners to dictate the terms and conditions of the agreement. Recently, the terms of arrangements in other jurisdictions leave the citizen to ponder if our government negotiators are incompetent, misinformed or subject to the heavy hand of partisan politics.

Islanders ask our elected officials to be careful about what they agree to in the name of the taxpayer and don’t sign any clauses that allow the contractors or financiers to tie the taxpayer up in knots. It would be beneficial to have the winning contracts brought before city council in order that everyone is fully informed on the expenses being incurred.

Poorly written contracts written to accommodate and protect the vendor and prevent the taxpayer from changing, cancelling or shutting down a project, (should circumstance dictate) are not in the public interest. In other words, we do not want any SNC-Lavalin Ottawa LRT contracts wherein the entire city is held hostage by the irresponsible mismanagement of a project by both the city, the municipality or the feds.

What Charlottetown doesn’t need is a heavily indebted, multi-million-dollar project built with borrowed infrastructure money to satisfy political egos and the partisan distribution of large amounts of borrowed money. Nor do we need a deficit that will be the burden of many generations of taxpayers to come.

Strangely, everyone watching this game of charades unfold knows the interests of the community in this instance will be secondary to the wishes of the power brokers. This is Liberal infrastructure money, plain and simple, and the possibility of it going anywhere other than the APM Power Centre is nil to none. The power brokers had this project in the bag long before it was seen as a remote possibility. The trial balloon was not necessary.

Realistically, it would be prudent at this time to put a hold on the sports complex, given the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inevitable chaos that shall follow. The federal government has announced the federal deficit will be close to $107 billion as we go into the new fiscal year. Neither the city nor the province have shown any interest in selling bonds to the general public to support this initiative in order that it might be considered a public asset. Not much promise of anything other than a huge debt. Not a good base to launch ambitious spending programs.

Wayne Carver lives in Longcreek.


And (forgive me if I reprinted this already), the op-ed piece which instigated Carver's letter:

Charlottetown fourplex panacea to minor hockey ailments - The Guardian article by Ian Tex MacDonald

Published on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

The future for minor hockey facilities today is trending toward the construction of multiplex facilities, which are multiple sheets of ice under the same roof. They would tap into most of the same infrastructure and utilize the common amenities.

Moncton, the fastest-growing city in New Brunswick, has just completed a multiplex arena with all the ice hockey amenities. The complex has greatly alleviated the minor hockey congestion in that city and obviously, it was the way to go.

Over the last few years, Prince Edward Island has experienced substantial growth in minor hockey registrations, especially at the female level. To accommodate the increase, some twinning of ice sheets has occurred and it seems that we are trending in the right direction.

The Charlottetown Minor Hockey Association, of which I was once president, relies heavily on two older buildings that are both over 50 years old and facing likely demolition. After the demise of the Simmons Sports Arena and Cody Banks Arena, the solution to Charlottetown's minor hockey ice time shortage could rest with the construction of a multi-purpose arena preferable for sheets under one roof: The Charlottetown Fourplex. This would be as futuristic as the rest of Canada and would indeed be the panacea for Charlottetown's minor hockey ailments.

Let's consider a hypothetical situation, for the construction of a Charlottetown fourplex. Let's go to the Power Centre, that is the intersection of the Charlottetown bypass and Malpeque Road.

The Power Centre is anchored by Leon's and Kent Building Supplies on opposite corners and Andrews' senior establishment and the cottages opposite the vacant lot where the Charlottetown Four-Plex could be located. The realization of a fourplex would, no doubt, alleviate most of minor hockey's problems. Recreational hockey, minor hockey, figure skating, ringette and public skating could all be accommodated in conjunction with the two ice surfaces on the UPEI campus. Six state-of-the-art rinks in a little over a kilometre is not a bad solution to a minor hockey dilemma.

The location of the fourplex would not be an intrusion into residential areas because of the topography of the land. Accessibility to the venue would not be an issue because of easy access and egress to the main highways. Town planning and purchase of the land for the facility would be city issues that could no doubt be fast-tracked pending demolition of the two older arenas.

The one-kilometre stretch from UPEI to the Power Centre corner contains not only the university amenities but a wide range of restaurants, a nice mixture of accommodations, the largest shopping mall in P.E.I. and the facilities to host any size tournament in Atlantic Canada.

The three scenarios that I have presented are merely options for the rink builders and are fully intended to get tongues wagging.

Ian (Tex) MacDonald is a former mayor of Charlottetown. This is Part 3 of a three-part series on arenas. Part 1 ran Feb. 26 and Part 2 ran March 9 in print.


In addition to the concerns raised by Wayne Carver, I strongly oppose a giant multiplex replacing aging local community rinks, and forcing us into more of a driving culture for recreation for people of all ages.
Global Chorus essay for April 8
Harriet Shugarman

Each morning for a moment as I gaze intently at my sleeping children resting in blissful peace, I am refilled with resolve and hope. I remind myself that it’s my job to secure a safe and livable future for them and to ensure that they have the opportunity to grow into adults, to fight for their future as I now fight for my own and for theirs.

Yet a game of chance is underway, with my children’s future the ultimate prize. The stakes have never been higher, yet humanity is trying to “rig the game” against itself. “The emperor is wearing no clothes,” but by not seeing this, we risk losing the game.

To win, we must teach our children and remind ourselves of three simple life lessons:

Tell the truth. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t be afraid.

1. There is no longer any room for denial around the climate crisis. We humans are causing our climate to change. The science is clear, the evidence is overwhelming. End of story.

2. We must acknowledge and recognize that there is no bridge to a carbon-free future. We need to step bravely into the abyss, trust in science and the evidence and make the leap to a renewable-energy future, through our actions now – individual and collective. This will put people to work, grow the economy and begin to heal our planet.

3. We must look “truth” squarely in the eye and NOT be afraid. Scientists are telling us and our planet is showing us that we need to act. Together with our children, friends, family and all humanity, we need to move quickly and boldly forward to reclaim a livable future.

I am hopeful that the odds are changing, ever so slightly, in humanity’s favour. More and more caring and thoughtful people are seeing the emperor in the full light of day, standing up to him and demanding that others open their eyes and see him clearly too. Together we CAN and must change the collision course we are on; there is no other option.

— Harriet Shugarman, mom, activist, writer, climate reality leader, mentor executive director of ClimateMama
essay from
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. MacLean
copyright 2014

April 7, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Local Food Opportunities Deadlines:
until Wednesday, April 8th, 9AM, for pickup or limited delivery Friday, April 10th:

Receiver Coffee, Baked Goods and "Seany's Suppers", from their posting:
Receiver Local is now open for orders! All orders placed before Wednesday April 8th will be filled on Friday April 10th!

Thanks again for the love and support shown so far. These days are challenging and sometimes hard to navigate but we are so proud of our Island community! We’re doing what we need to do to be collectively well and that’s pretty awesome.

Until Noon Wednesday, for pickup Wednesday 3-6PM), (Wednesday until Friday for Saturday pickup):
Heart Beet Organics, vegetables, eggs and cheese, ferments, and EASTER CHOCOLATES, 152 Great George Street.

until Wednesday 11:59PM for Pickup or Delivery Saturday, 4-7PM,
Eat Local PEI (some of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market vendors, organized by Jordan and Maple Bloom Farm)
and a reminder to the procrastinators like me that there are limited amounts of some items like the suppers, the chocolates, some greens, etc., so consider placing your order sooner than later.

Other activities (besides procuring food):
East Coast Art Parties live instruction, twice today (11AM, 6:30PM), free but you can purchase supplies from them,

Met Opera, available from 7:30PM until Wednesday afternoon:
Giacomo Puccini's La Fanciulla del West
(The Girl of the West)
Written in 1910, this production was filmed January 8th, 2011. "Puccini’s musical vision of the American West is vividly brought to life... Deborah Voigt is Minnie...the owner of a bar in a Californian mining camp. Marcello Giordani sings Dick Johnson, the bandit-turned-lover hunted by the cynical sheriff Jack Rance (Lucio Gallo)... Complete with whiskey-drinking cowboys, gunplay, a poker game, and a snowstorm, La Fanciulla del West is Puccini at his most colorful." In Italian with English subtitles.


Related to the Global Chorus essay author today, Martin Rutte, who compiled Project Heaven on Earth (the book is available here and if you call The Bookmark, I bet)

There are so many wonderful connections on his website:
...videos, a short course, ways to share in the conversation, etc. 

Project Heaven on Earth –
The New Story of What It Means to Be a Human and What It Means to Be Humanity

by Martin Rutte
About page link

Atlantic Skies

A Queen's Sacrifice for Love - The Guardian column by Glenn K. Roberts

by Glenn K. Roberts
published on Friday, April 3rd, 2020

Coma Berenices (Latin for "Berenice's Hair") is a small, unobtrusive collection of stars north of Virgo, west of Bootes, and east of Leo. In classical Greek and Roman astronomy, it was considered an asterism (a picture), only being designated a constellation in 1602 by the famous Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe.

It was named for Queen Berenice I (246 - 222 BC), wife and co-regent of Ptolemy III, ruler of Egypt. It is the only modern constellation named after a historic person. At the time of the asterism's naming, King Ptolemy III was engaged in a series of long-running wars (the Syrian Wars, fought between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC) with the Seleucid Empire. When Ptolemy left for the third of these wars, Queen Berenice cut off her long, dark tresses, and placed them in the Temple of Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love) as a votive offering (an item, not intended to be used or retrieved, placed in a sacred location) to the goddess for the safe return of her husband from the war. The day after his return, it was discovered that Berenice's shorn locks were missing from the temple. To explain their disappearance (and, more likely, to cover their butts for losing the Queen's hair), the local priests said that Aphrodite, to honour the queen's sacrifice for love, had taken her hair, and placed it in the heavens, pointing to the collection of stars in the night sky that would, thereafter, be referred to as Coma Berenice. Obviously, neither the queen, the priests or anyone else had noticed this particular star grouping in the night sky prior to this.

Coma Berenice is primarily identified by its L-shape, with its three brightest stars, Alpha, Beta and Gamma Comae Berenices, delineating the shape.  The Coma Star Cluster ("Berenice's Hair") is the bright scattering of stars visible diagonally between the two end stars. It also contains one of the night sky's richest galaxy clusters, with over 1,000 nearby galaxies visible to Earth-bound telescopes. Along with the Leo Cluster, the Coma Star Cluster is one of the two major galaxy clusters that make up the Super Cluster. Due to its high position in the northern sky, Coma Berenice sits far from the dust of our galaxy's plane, thus permitting the star cluster ("Berenice's Hair") to be readily seen in binoculars, and just visible to the naked eye, from a dark site on a clear night.

The only bright evening planet this month, Venus, sits just to the upper left of the Pleiades ("the Seven Sisters") star cluster high in the western sky as darkness falls, not setting until around midnight. Look for the Zodiacal Light between Venus and the western horizon as the sky darkens.  Use bright Jupiter (mag. -2.0) high in the pre-dawn SE sky and Saturn (mag. +0.7), sitting to its far, lower left,  to possibly find Mercury. Draw a line from Jupiter thru Saturn, passing by Mars (mag.+0.7), down towards the sunrise point; using binoculars, you may catch a quick glimpse of Mercury (mag. 0.0) just above the SE horizon before it is lost in the glow of the rising Sun.

Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS is rapidly brightening. Currently at mag. +7.6, it is predicted to brighten to naked-eye visibility in April or May, possibly brightening to mag. -1.0. as it nears perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) at the end of May. Consult a good, on-line star-chart to find its current position between the constellations of Lynx and Camelopardalis in the northern night sky.

April's Full Moon on the night of the 7th is the second of a series of three "supermoons" in 2020. The first Full Moon of Spring, it is also at perigee (closest to Earth) on this night, appearing about 7% bigger, and roughly 15% brighter. It is sometimes referred to as the "Full Pink Moon" (after the pink wildflower Phlox that appears throughout eastern North America in April), and also the "Paschal Full Moon", for its role in determining the date of Easter.

Until next week, clear skies.

Events (ADT):

Apr. 7  - Moon at perigee; approx. 8:00 p.m.

           - Full ("Pink") Moon; 11:35 p.m.



finding the balance between social distancing and mental health care in nature; thanks to Maria Pochylski

LETTER: Thank you Dr. Morrison

Dear Dr. Morrison,

Please accept heaps of gratitude and congratulations from myself and my friends. Keeping provincial parks open and providing space for social distancing in Victoria Park will greatly benefit the health of all Islanders.

For your information: in the last two weeks, out of 13 visits to Wrights Creek, Brookvale demo woodlot, Macphail Woods, Brackley Beach and Bubbling Springs, I witnessed only one derogation to social distancing. And I blame the dog.

Islanders can, and will, work with you to keep everyone safe.

Thank you again and best regards,
Maria Pochylski, Charlottetown

Island Nature Trust has produced a reassuring, cheery and helpful guide on "Trail and Protected Area Access During the COVID-19 Outbreak" for viewing, here:

Remember that our hardworking, land and wildlife protecting groups on the Island are facing loss of revenue from cancelled events and such, and consider any donation:

Island Nature Trust



and you can still vote for the Lichen Emblem for P.E.I. on the NaturePEI site!  (here is a related CBC online article)


Here's the best, a local visionary:

Global Chorus essay for April 7

Martin Rutte

We all long to live in a world that works – a world in which we successfully solve our worst problems and move in a direction that nourishes and satisfies the deepest part of our soul.

By re-envisioning and restructuring our collective intention, what we hunger for is now within our reach. We can create a new story that encompasses, inspires and enlivens us.

This new story is the co-creation of Heaven on Earth and it starts, simply, by asking the question, what is Heaven on Earth for you?

Our answers are the basis of our collective and uniquely individual new story. Heaven on Earth already exists within each of us. Recognizing this, acting on it and asking others what it means to them, is how we’re co-creating humanity’s new story.

Some of us believe that Heaven exists after death. Here’s another point of view: co-creating Heaven is something we can act on right here on Earth, today.

As surely as the seasons change and the calendar turns a new page, we are ready for our next chapter. The winds of a new era are being felt in every corner of our world. It is an age in which we discover what it means to be human and what it means to share our humanity.

What is Heaven on Earth for you?

 Martin Rutte, international speaker and consultant, co-author of the New York Times business bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, founder of Project Heaven on Earth


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

April 6, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Best wishes to kids and parents starting the official on-line schooling from the Public Schools Branch.

Some free and on-line events today:
East Coast Art Party hosts free Painting Parties, 11AM and 6:30PM, and you can order and have supplies delivered if needed.  Details at East Coast Art Party Facebook page.

Monday, April 6th:
Metropolitan Opera free daily simulcast:
Verdi’s Aida, available from 7:30PM until midafternoon Tuesday
, at this link:   "Starring Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Quinn Kelsey, Dmitry Belosselskiy, and Ryan Speedo Green, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. From October 6, 2018."  In Italian with English subtitles. 

Background information on the week's operas:
Aida is set in Egypt "during the reign of the Pharoahs", featuring a love triangle between a captured-princess, a priestess and an Army commander.  It ends badly, but such powerhouse singing!  The big Triumphal March is in Act II, Scene 2.

Met Opera is also hosting weekly Student Guides, This week it is Mozart's The Magic Flute with livestream interviews Monday and Tuesday, and access to a kid-friendly opera Wednesday through Friday; geared to students and educators but definitely accessible to all.
Details at:


News from Europe yesterday, thanks to The (Other) Guardian (U.K.):

Monday briefing: Boris Johnson in hospital for 'as long as needed' - The Guardian (UK)

Monday, April 6th, 2020
Top story: Raab to chair government meeting in PM’s place

Morning everyone. This is Martin Farrer bringing you the top stories this Monday morning.

Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital and will stay for treatment “as long as needed” after failing to shake off the coronavirus. The prime minister was diagnosed with the disease 10 days ago and had been continuing to coordinate the government’s response to the crisis while self-isolating in Downing Street. But No 10 said on Sunday night that Johnson had been taken to an NHS hospital in London after days of persistent symptoms, including a fever. Stressing that he was undergoing tests as a “precautionary” measure, No 10 said he would remain in charge of the government. However, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is expected to stand in for the prime minister while he is in hospital and will chair the government’s coronavirus meeting this morning. Our health editor writes that the hospitalisation suggests the PM’s case may have progressed to the risky second stage where the immune system can overreact to the virus and attack the body’s own organs.

The Queen urged Britons to “remain strong” in her address to the nation last night. Speaking from Windsor Castle, she invoked Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime hit “We’ll Meet Again” and urged people to take comfort in the fact that “we will meet again”. Scientists in the UK have warned that the testing kits ordered by the government and described by Johnson as a “game-changer” could be unreliable and might only detect 50-60% of milder cases. Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, has stood down from her role after it emerged that she had twice broken her own lockdown rules to visit her second home in Fife.

In a sign of hope in the struggle against the virus, the European nations most badly affected – Italy, France and Spain – all reported a fall in deaths from the disease. In the US, the surgeon general warned that the country faces its “Pearl Harbor” moment as the coming week shapes up to be the worst yet for fatalities. Donald Trump also admitted it would be difficult and announced he had ordered 29m hydroxychloroquine pills to help treat the disease.

The global death toll from Covid-19 has risen to almost 70,000 and there are now close to 1,275,000 cases. Here is our latest at-a-glance summary and we will have all the developments throughout the day on our coronavirus live blog.



Even though revisiting the Global Chorus essays and seeing what the authors are up to can bring the rare disturbing update (as yesterday with Jean Vanier),
Patrick Holden has done so much, *and so much recent content*, on the Sustainable Food Trust website:

Including this 28-minute podcast with Holden and British environmentalist and columnist George Monbiot, which is at times fiery and fierce, even more interesting considering they are talking about growing food:

Worth listening to, and the site worth poking around.
Global Chorus essay for April 6
Patrick Holden

At this precise moment of our planetary evolution, many millions of mindful citizens are standing in front of a question: what actions, individually and collectively, could bring about the necessary conditions for a fundamental transformation – away from our present resource consuming, exploitative, globalized and materialistic lifestyles, towards a more resilient, sustainable and fulfilling alternative?

In front of a challenge of this magnitude, it is easy for an individual person to doubt their capacity to contribute in any meaningful way to bringing about such a change, especially on the vast scale that will be necessary. In this connection, I have found it hugely strengthening to come to the realization that in life, as in the universe, everything is connected, and the same laws that inform our present state and future possibilities are also operating in the wider world.

This is the philosophy of the microcosm and the macrocosm, with the individual representing the “cell” of the larger organism. Since both are united by the same organizing principle, it follows that their possibilities for future development are connected and informed by exactly the same laws. This idea has enormous potency, because it lawfully follows that if I change, the intelligence and knowledge that is contained within this action not only becomes an external influence on the system as a whole, but also, and as a direct consequence, will enable it to change as well.

We can apply this approach to our food systems. For example, if I make a deep personal commitment to build greater energy self-sufficiency and systems resilience in my hilltop farm in west Wales, or as a consumer I decide to purchase as much sustainable and locally produced food as is practically possible, these simple actions, amplified at community, regional, national and even international levels, can and will bring about the transformation we seek.

This is a message of hope, of empowerment which is always available and has the possibility of enabling positive change. These conditions can often seem hidden from me, but they will always arise when I bring my attention, both metaphorically and literally, into my own body, my own life, and I start from where I am.

       — Patrick Holden, chief executive of Sustainable Food Trust


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

April 5, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Tiny Island Concert Series,
Emerging Artist: Josh Carter, 8PM
Established Artist: Tara MacLean Music , 8:30 PM

"The concerts are free to watch, while donations are now being accepted to the Music PEI Crisis Relief Fund for PEI music industry professionals and artists.  Those funds will be distributed to PEI artists not performing and industry professionals in need."
Link to donate:

Tiny Island Concerts Facebook page  for concerts Thursdays and Sundays

Metropolitan Opera HD Simulcast, 7:30PM until Monday afternoon, 

Bellini’s Norma "Starring Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Calleja, and Matthew Rose, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. From October 7, 2017."
In Italian with English subtitles.  A very confusing story set in Gaul in 50BCE, with amazing over-the-top "bel canto" singing and dagger-waving by the titular character.

Met Opera On Demand Series

Essential vs. Non-Essential

The P.E.I. Government has their list here:

but to it I would add one thing that is truly, truly essential:
Access to Nature

And if Access to Nature is essential, than providing it is an Essential Service, and I think the Government -- all levels -- must provide this Essential Service.

Of course, there is the difficulty of keeping people from disregarding the physical distancing guidelines, and enforcing the guidelines, but I think figuring out creative enforcement is better than closing off more and more spaces people have to find some sort of opportunity to connect with nature on some level.

The Municipal government in Charlottetown is trying very hard to find the balance in this, the Province needs to continue to understand the importance of this; but the federal Parks decision to shut down any access now even to roads in the National Park felt oppressive.

Connecting with Nature in tiny spaces suggestions from the David Suzuki Foundation, part one of three weekly newsletters:

from Thursday, April 2nd, 2020:

Connecting with Nature in tiny spaces suggestions from the David Suzuki Foundation, part one of three weekly newsletters:

from Thursday, April 2nd, 2020:



Plant a pollinator patch and bring bees and butterflies back to your neighbourhood! Check out our Pollinators page to learn about planting native plants and other ways you can help attract pollinators unique to your area.








Bring nature inside. Write a love letter to nature and create a gratitude tree! Use sticky notes or construction paper and showcase them in a window for everyone to enjoy. Have your family or friends send you answers to the question, “What do you love most about nature?” For more inspiration, visit The Love Lettering Project.








Calling all young artists! Paint rocks with positive messages or images of love. Place the rocks around a favourite tree or park. Please make sure to use low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint if you are putting your rocks in nature so you don’t harm the environment.



Please share to inspire others!


Inspire others by documenting your activities and sending them to Pictures, drawings, videos and written work will encourage others in Canada to take action.

(signed) Izzy Czerveniak
Organizing and Public Engagement
David Suzuki Foundation
P.S. Not a parent or guardian? Forward this to a family you know. Now more than ever we can build resilient networks and foster a greater sense of community!



Lots of ideas here:


Global Chorus essay for April 5
Jean Vanier

note -- this is tough, as this essay was written in 2013 or so, Vanier died about a year ago, and in late February 2020, revelations about his abuse of female assistants came out.

Here is a sad Globe and Mail opinion piece from Madeline Burghardt written in Februay 2020

Since the discovery of nuclear weapons, the growing greed which can cause serious ecological disequilibrium and a possible breakage of global economy, the question of the future of humanity is put in question. Yet the history of humanity shows the capacity for our societies to rise up from horrible catastrophes. Each new generation seems to have new energies to face and confront – with creativity and lucidity – difficult and seemingly impossible situations. Nature seems to possess an amazing power of resilience. The human heart yearns to live: to live in wisdom and in peace.

Over the years, great men and women philosophers, scientists, artists, psychologists, politicians, people of wisdom, of prayer, of a deep spirituality have risen up as prophets of life and peace to show a road to hope. Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kfar Khan, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, John Paul II, Mother Theresa, Etty Hillesum, Martin Luther King – the list is long and impressive. Millions of people are capable of following and discerning real leaders from dangerous dictators, mafia groups and incompetent politicians. Human hearts can be cowed and paralyzed by fear; but the desire for light, trust and freedom, and the need to live humanely, can break through these fears. I cannot foresee the global future. I do have trust in human wisdom and goodness.

Certainly we shall continue to live through times of pain and destruction. Half the world’s population today live in pain, need and oppression. But our hearts will grow in new energies of love. There is a hidden power of love in the hearts of so many weak, crushed and impoverished people. A time will come when they will rise up to confront those who have power and money and possessions. They will show a new way. Humanity can change from the need of rivalry to the beauty of togetherness: the “I” transformed into the “we.”
     — Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche International


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

April 4, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

A few vendors are outside the area of the Charlottetown Farmers' Market today, around 9AM-12noon. Or thereabouts. 
Folks are able to find them and maintain physical distancing between customers, and it obviously helps some Farmers, and some people who maybe didn't order ahead of time.

Heart Beet Organics will have some produce and fermented products at their storefront, 9AM-1PM, the Farmacy, 152A Great George Street, Charlottetown,

The Discover Charlottetown Local Goods Guide was updated and many more vendors (including more places offering take-out food) added their information.  The Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, edition is found on this page:

screenshot of April 1st, 2020, Local Goods Guide
Buy local and consume seasonally as best you can (which is more effort in the past month than before), and minimize "consumption" of sensationalized news about food systems collapse (which is easier to find than in past months).  :-) 

Some great entertainment options today:
"Quarantunes" Concert, 8PM, Facebook Live, with Becca Griffin at her Becca The Witch Facebook page.

Metropolitan Opera
(besides Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, 2PM, CBC Music 104.7FM, which is of course now a recording, not a live opera, and is Gluck's Orfeo et Eudrice)

Verdi’s MacbethFree HD video simulcast recording available from 7:30PM tonight to Sunday afternoon.
"Star soprano Anna Netrebko created a sensation with her riveting performance as the malevolent Lady Macbeth, the central character in Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy. She is joined by Željko Lučić, who brings dramatic intensity and vocal authority to the title role of the honest general driven to murder and deceit by his ambitious wife. The great René Pape is Banquo and Joseph Calleja gives a moving performance as Macduff. Adrian Noble’s powerful production provides an ideal setting for this dark drama, which is masterfully presided over by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi."  In Italian with English subtitles.

City Cinema has two films available for live-streaming, now until Wednesday, April 8th, full details here:

From the organization described below in the Global Chorus section, the Nobel Women's Initiative, here is their website:

and it has an array of articles related to women's rights/human rights.

Here is a resource about Climate Change, published in February of this year:
"Announcing the launch of our brand new report, co-authored by the Equality Fund, “Supporting Women’s Organizations and Movements: A Strategic Approach to Climate Action”

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by climate crisis, yet they are systematically underrepresented in formal talks. This has to change. Canada can play a leadership role in closing this gap. And it starts with funding, listening, building the capacity, and expanding the influence of grassroots women’s organizations and movements.

Read the report to find out how a more integrated, feminist approach to the climate crisis could actually save the planet."



Global Chorus essay for April 4th
Jody Williams

In his masterwork, Don Quixote, Cervantes wrote, “Maybe the greatest madness is to see life as it is rather than what it could be.” Moving beyond the environmental and socio-economic crossroads where humanity stands today requires shaking this madness and giving birth to a common vision of a world of sustainable peace with justice and equality.

But creating sustainable peace, including environmental protection and sustainability, is not attained by contemplating doves flying over rainbows while singing peace ballads. Some of the most basic elements of creating a common vision rest on new conceptions of security built on a strong foundation of human security, not national security. Human security is based on meeting the needs of people and the planet, not one that focuses primarily on the often aggressive framework of the defence of the apparatus of the state – at huge costs to humanity and the environment.

Tackling that outmoded worldview must be the collective action of civil society and governments. No one changes the world alone. Alone, thinking about all of the challenges in today’s world, can be completely overwhelming and, worse, disempowering. But when we choose to work together in coordinated action toward achieving the common goal of sustainable peace on a sustainable planet, there is little we cannot accomplish. Each and every one of us has the power to contribute to lasting change, and when we choose to use that power together in collective action we can make the seemingly impossible possible.

Creating change is hard work; it is not impossible work. It takes all elements of the global community working together in strategic, coordinated action to make a vision reality. Change does not happen simply because we wish it would. It is the result of the hard work of millions of people around the world – every single day.

Building sustainable peace on a sustainable planet is not a utopian dream. It is possible. It is a wondrous adventure that we must all be part of to turn our vision into sustainable reality.

      — Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate,  chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative


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

April 3, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Fridays for Future is digital, 3:30PM.

"Quarantunes" Friday Concert online, 8PM,
With Logan Richard. 
Facebook link

Tonight's Metropolitan Opera
Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, available from 7:30PM
tonight until tomorrow afternoon
"Starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 16, 2016." In French with English subtitles.
The Pearl Fishers is not the most memorable of stories, but the end of Act 1 duet "The Friendship Duet" between the tenor and baritone is sublime.
Met Opera on Demand


from an open letter from regarding how we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis:

The Open Letter

The COVID-19 pandemic demands swift and unprecedented action from national governments and the international community.

Choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come.

As decision-makers take steps to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, it is imperative that they consider the interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline – notably the climate crisis, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified.

This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a Just Recovery.

We, the undersigned organisations, call for a global response to COVID-19 to contribute to a just recovery.

Responses at every level must uphold these five principles:

1.   Put people’s health first, no exceptions.

Resource health services everywhere; ensure access for all.

2.   Provide economic relief directly to the people.

Focus on people and workers – particularly those marginalised in existing systems – our short-term needs and long-term conditions.

3.   Help workers and communities, not corporate executives.

Assistance directed at specific industries must be channeled to communities and workers, not shareholders or corporate executives, and never to corporations that don’t commit to tackling the climate crisis.

4.   Create resilience for future crises.

We must create millions of decent jobs that will help power a just recovery and transition for workers and communities to the zero-carbon future we need.

5.   Build solidarity and community across borders – don’t empower authoritarians.

Transfer technology and finance to lower-income countries and communities to allow them to respond using these principles and share solutions across borders and communities. Do not use the crisis as an excuse to trample on human rights, civil liberties, and democracy. 

You can see the list of organizations that have signed this letter, and add your name, here:
Compare that idea of effectively offering immediate assistance and keeping the Climate Crisis in mind, with the fairly scattershot -- but still trying to meet needs in a trying situation, we understand that -- responses from government.

Government info on COVID-19 can be found on the:
P.E.I.'s Government's Facebook page here, with the updates at 1:30 and 4PM

The 1:30PM one tends to be medical with Dr. Heather Morrison, and the later afternoon one with government representatives.
once we have a clear night, anyway....

ATLANTIC SKIES: Perfect time to spot Virgo in the spring sky - The Chronicle Herald column by Glenn K. Roberts

Published on Friday, March 27th, 2020, in  Saltwire publications

Continuing our look at the spring constellations, we move to the southeast (lower left) of Leo - the Lion to locate the constellation of Virgo.

Latin for "virgin", Virgo is visible all night long in March and April, and is the second-largest constellation in the night sky, after Hydra - the Sea Serpent.

To the ancient Babylonians, this constellation represented Shala, their goddess of fertility, and her ear of corn. The ancient Greeks saw it as Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and the harvest. To the Romans, it was Ceres, the virgin goddess of grain, agriculture, fertility, and motherly relationships. Some Romans associated her with Persephone, goddess of spring.

Interestingly, Virgo was, at one point, a much larger constellation, associated with Astraea, the Roman goddess of justice. This constellation depicted Astraea holding a set of scales (of justice) in her hands. Eventually, though, this constellation was divided in two, with Virgo becoming a separate constellation, and the scales forming another - Libra the Scales.

The brightest star in Virgo is Spica (Latin for "ear of grain"), a bright, binary star system about 250 light-years from Earth. Locating Spica is quite easy if you first locate the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) with its long, arcing handle, then "follow the arc to Arcturus (the brightest star in Bootes - the Herdsman) and speed on to Spica."

Spica is thought to have been the star that Hipparchus (a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician) used to determine the precession of the equinoxes.

Spica is one of the three corner stars of the "Spring Triangle" asterism, completing the triangle with Denebola (the bright star in the tail of Leo) and Arcturus in Bootes. With the addition of a fourth star, Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici (the hunting dogs accompanying Bootes), Spica helps form the asterism of the "Great Diamond' or the "Virgin Diamond".

The latter asterism is significant in that, within its pictoral boundaries, one can find many nearby galaxies, the largest cluster of which is named the Virgo Cluster, containing over 1,300 galaxies. The Virgo Cluster forms the heart of a much larger Super Cluster of galaxies, which contains the Local Group of galaxies, of which our Milky Way Galaxy is a member.

Bright Venus (magnitude -4.3) sits a little more than one-third the way up the western sky as darkness falls this coming week. Having just completed its greatest elongation from the sun on March 24 and reaching its highest point in the western evening sky, Venus now begins to drop closer to the western horizon each evening.

Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn remain pre-dawn objects in the southeastern sky. Jupiter (magnitude -2.0) becomes visible around 4 a.m. (by 3:30 a.m. on April 5), remaining so until the eastern sky brightens around 6:30 a.m. Likewise, Saturn (mag. +0.7), visible after 4 a.m. to the lower left of Jupiter, and Mars (mag. +0.8), visible between Jupiter and Saturn around 4:30 a.m., also remain visible until shortly after 6 a.m.

Look for the waxing, crescent moon (nearing first-quarter) on March 30 and 31, sitting inside the "Winter Circle" - a hexagon-shaped asterism of six first magnitude stars composed of Pollux (in Gemini), Capella (in Auriga), Aldebaran (in Tauris), Rigel (in Orion), Sirius (in Canis Major), and Procyon (in Canis Minor).

Next week, I'll talk about the exciting, rapidly brightening Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS (discovered Dec. 28, 2019), which could possibly brighten to naked-eye visibility by the end of April.

Until next week, clear skies.


April 1 - First-quarter moon



Global Chorus essay for April 3
Bob McDonald

It took more than two thousand years to see our planet. How much longer will it take to understand how it works?

An Ancient Greek mathematician made the first measurement of the Earth 2,200 years ago using shadows from the sun and simple geometry. It was the first realization that the whole planet was much larger than the “Known World.” In other words, our ignorance of the Earth was far greater than our knowledge at the time. Today, even though we have seen the planet from afar as a single blue orb floating in the infinite blackness of space, our ignorance of how it behaves is as great as our lack of understanding about geography was 22 centuries ago.

The complexity and interconnectedness of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as well as how they respond to human activity, is a new terra incognita. Despite all our sophisticated instruments and satellites, we cannot predict the weather beyond a week. No one knows where or when the next earthquake or volcano will erupt or tsunami will strike. We know that human activity is changing this dynamic of the planet, often in surprising and usually harmful ways, but exactly how this will play out in the future is still a somewhat inexact science.

To seal our survival in that future, we face three challenges: to more fully understand the dynamics of the Earth, to develop alternative technology and to control our population. The first requires science; the second, engineering. The third and probably most difficult challenge involves making intelligent political and social decisions.

For decades the environmental movement has adopted a warlike strategy against big industry, a white hat–black hat approach that pointed fingers at pollution, demanding new laws to keep the planet clean. But now that we have identified the problems it’s time to get on with a new, co-operative approach, one that produces immediate tangible results. The business community has discovered that going green makes money. Consumers want clean, efficient technology, so it’s a win for the economy and a win for the environment. Now is the time to innovate, to develop more efficient ways to turn wheels, cleaner ways to produce electricity and keep ourselves warm. The challenge is huge but far from impossible, and the economy need not suffer along the way.

Humans are most innovative when faced with a crisis. We have the ability to make tailpipes and smokestacks obsolete. We can control our numbers and reduce our environmental footprint. Ultimately, if we choose correctly, we can turn ourselves into a smoothly turning cog in the superbly complex and ever-changing machinery of our dynamic planet Earth.

      — Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio (Canada), science correspondent on CBC Television, author


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

April 2, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Island musicians' "Tiny Concerts", 8PM, on Facebook, all welcome.
Facebook link

Emerging Artist: Brielle Ansems, 8PM
Established Artist: The Royal North, 8:30PM

Also tonight: Metropolitan Opera:
Verdi’s Don Carlo simulcast, available 7:30PM tonight until mid-afternoon Friday:
"Starring Marina Poplavskaya, Roberto Alagna, Simon Keenlyside, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. From December 11, 2010." 
Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Set in the 1500s, Spanish Inquisition, a bit of a soap opera with a King and son who love the same woman, then there is the cry for Flemish independence, and oh, gorgeous singing.

Friday, April 3rd:
Webinar 1 – #WetsuwetenStrong and the Ethics of LNG, 8PM our time, sponsored by the Council of Canadians.
"In partnership with RAVEN-Trust, we’re happy to bring you this myth-busting webinar series focusing on the fact that Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is not ethical, economical, or ecological." All welcome, more details and to register for webinar link, here:


La voix acadienne, votre journal Francophone de I'lle-du-Prince-Edouard is now publishing ONLY on-line and free for all.
Here is the Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 edition.

If you are like Dr. Morrison and can switch into French pretty easily, great!  If not, then picking through the paper to see what's important to the Acadian community might be good.

Another French language resource:
Duolingo is cute and fun and free

Talking to Islanders and hearing it in the media, it sounds like there is a shortage of baking yeast. 

Yeast geneticist Sudeep Agarwala, who like a Far Side scientist has suddenly realized his previously pooh-poohed life's work is very useful to many now, writes out in this Twitter thread how to grow yeast for bread doughs at home:

The yeast recipe link came as part of the note from creator Rion Nakaya with The Kids Should See This, the weekly roundup of excellent videos and articles with a science bent.  For kids of all ages!

This week's is particularly poignant with the yeast Twitter thread,  and a New York Times article on making cloth facemasks at home, and one of the videos is the exuberant spring-like "Lonely Goatherd" puppet show from 1965's The Sound of Music.
This week's The Kids Should See This page for April 1, 2020

And, tucked in one of the pages but SO gorgeous it bears highlighting, a real suite of musicians and animated animals/letters and symbols remake the telling of Sergey Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.  An amazing 30 minutes.


Global Chorus essay for April 2nd 
Alan Weisman

There’s only one indisputable answer as to whether we can escape today’s global environmental crisis: nobody really knows.

Think of it this way: every day, some people somewhere decide to do something reckless. They have one more drink. Or try some new pill. Or freeclimb mountainsides, or race in cars, or have unprotected sex with someone they can’t be absolutely sure isn’t lethally infected. Or they simply go somewhere or do something they suspect they shouldn’t.

Nevertheless, they do it. Why?

Two reasons: first, there’s an instant payoff. Immediately, you’re drunker, higher, prouder, moving thrillingly faster, or you’re more deliciously aroused, gratified and satisfied. It feels great.

Second, the odds seem on your side. Sure you could get killed, but people do these things all the time and survive. In fact, you’ve done them before, and you’re still here.

So far, anyway.

And so are we. We humans spring from an ongoing process entailing an unfathomably intricate, natural infrastructure – one we’ve spent the past 250 years disrupting or dismantling by trashing countless of its components. So far, we’re still around to relish whatever payoffs we’ve gained. But it’s pretty reckless behaviour.

At some point our luck may run out. Me, I’d prefer we stop taking dumb chances. But I can’t stop us alone. Together, we might.

I just looked: it’s still beautiful out there. I can hear a thrush. Our damage may not be terminal, and much of it may be reparable.

Seems worth trying. Please spread the word.

       — Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World

Background on The World Without Us but maybe not the most reassuring thing to read right now.

Author's website

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

April 1, 2020

Chris Ortenburger's CANews

Happy April and Happy April Fool's Day!


Local Food store open today:
Heart Beet Organics Farmacy, Great George Street (next to Timothy's), 3-6PM
Order deadline: Midnight, tonight, for pickup Saturday, April 4th, 4-7PM
Eat Local Food: Online Farmers' Market

This is the reincarnation of some vendors from the Charlottetown Farmers' Market, coordinated by Jordan MacPhee from Maple Bloom Farm, and this week (due to construction at the Farmers' Market), the delivery will be at Van Kampen's Greenhouses on Allen Street.
Met Opera free broadcast today:
John Adams’s Nixon in China, 7:30PM, and available until Thursday afternoon.
"Starring Janis Kelly and James Maddalena, conducted by John Adams. From February 12, 2011."
This one is so cool (and what a strange topic). A modern opera about a couple of days of U.S. President's Richard Nixon's 1972 trip, and the composer is still alive!
More local food!! Aaron has been a stalwart of promoting and providing local food to families on P.E.I.

Organic Veggie Delivery is Delivering Weekly
Charlottetown and Stratford veggie deliveries take place Friday evenings.
Orders are due by Monday Night for Friday eve delivery.
Also delivering to Cornwall and some other areas for a small fee.
Get in touch for more info or to place an order.

Home delivery of fresh local organic veggies and more.
$25 / $40 / $50 Veggie Boxes (substitutions and additions are available)
Custom orders and standing orders also available.

Aaron Koleszar 902-659-2575
A kind word or two from Joe Byrne, leader of the Island New Democrat Party:

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
Dear Friends,

I hope you are well. These are trying times for all Islanders. Terms like self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing are now regular parts of our vocabulary. COVID-19 has dramatically altered so much of our daily routines and we are uncertain what the future holds over the coming weeks. Few of us could have imagined that a virus that we never had heard of a few months ago, could have brought us so quickly to this point. As we move through this pandemic I want to share a few thoughts.

First, let us add our voice of thanks to health care professionals and workers who have risen to the occasion to care for us. We appreciate all that you are doing. Our hope is that you can continue to find the strength and courage required in these trying times. Dr. Heather Morrison’s care, concern and professionalism is a steady voice, and thanks go to those who are working with her as well. The challenge of keeping transmission limited is tough and we encourage everyone to follow their advice.

We are extremely grateful to the many others who are serving us: ie, truckers, grocery store workers, shelter workers, and business owners who are delivering their goods. Additionally, it is heartening to see the numerous acts of kindness and generosity shown by Islanders reaching out to their neighbours.

Our sense of community is changing. A virus that has brought about so much uncertainty is also bringing out strength and resiliency in many. These are the qualities that will be required over the coming months as the depth of the impact of coronavirus becomes clearer.

I encourage everyone to continue to follow the guidelines even as they change from day to day. We will get through this and will be stronger as we rely on each other across the social distances.

As we emerge from this pandemic there will be a greater need than ever to include everyone in the discussion on what was done well, where improvements can be made, and what measures/steps can be adopted so as to be better prepared for a future emergency. Those ideas emerge from our experiences today; and sharing them with each other is the first step in designing alternatives.

I am very interested in hearing your ideas emerging from your experience through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please email your suggestions as to how we may continue to help each other during this stressful time. This is an important first step in designing alternatives for a brighter future for Islanders.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Joe Byrne, Leader
Island New Democrats.

Global Chorus essay for April 1
Ian Wright

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a depressing doom and gloom merchant, and I do believe that humans are the most extraordinary animals that have ever lived – especially when I think about all the unbelievable things we have achieved, all the amazing and inspirational people I have been lucky enough to meet. But when I look at what we have done to this Earth within such a minuscule amount time of being here … we are screwed …

Apart from breeding like rabbits, the world’s population is run by the 1 per cent that mainly seek financial and personal gain and don’t give a monkey’s about any long-term global effect: “as long as the money’s rolling in NOW, why care about the future?” And these evil creatures are never going to give up that kind of power to the likes of you and me …

I feel a fight behind the bike sheds is brewing!

Or come away with me on my homemade space rocket in the backyard …

— Ian Wright, travel television host of Lonely Planet’s Pilot Guides (aka Globe Trekker)

Wikipedia article

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