Author: The Activist

The Activist Thursday Reader

 The Activist Thursday Reader is a place to talk with other social and environmental activists about the reading materials that inform and excite you/ them about the possibilities for a better-more just, sustaining and sustainable world/community. Send submissions to ngreynoldsng at gmail dot com. The Activist Thursday Reader Thursday, December 9, 2015: The Tragedy of the Commons, the Pope, and the System If you read one article a year, MAKE IT THIS ONE! This under pins and develops the ideas Naomi Klein raises in the documentary This Changes Everything. This article-based on Pope Francis’s recent Encyclical Laudati Si, “On Care for our Common Home,” goes to the heart of democracy where the well being of all people was supposed to be the goal of a country/economy instead of our “free trade” economies that see people as simply the means(fodder) of trade for no goal other than more trade at an ever increasing rate. “The message of ‘On Care for our Common Home’ is simple: the earth is our commons, it is limited, and we are not managing our commons in a way that is consistent with its sustainability and justice. Indeed, the Encyclical is unequivocal in describing the despoiling of our common home: the pollution, toxic waste, global warming, rising ocean levels, acidification of oceans, deforestation, natural resource depletion, drought, and food and water shortages, et cetera. How is...

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Playing Softball with Sustainability

If you are going to read my posts, you need to know this really important truth about what I have to say: I sometimes get it wrong. For instance, when I had a regular column in the Boundary News, I once quipped that if a certain candidate got elected mayor, I’d eat my hat (my Country Commentary column featured a cowboy hat). Well, in that election a certain candidate came within three votes of being elected mayor of Grand Forks! Fortunately, it was a straw hat—but… This week I, regrettably, got it wrong again by suggesting that “Monday, December 7, 4:30 pm Courtenay Council Chambers –you will want to be there to hear ,firsthand, how our new Courtenay councillors can/will make a real difference in planning for a sustaining and sustainable valley.” Well, unexpectedly to me, Will Cole-Hamilton lobbed such a soft, mushy, insubstantial ball over the plate that even Babe Ruth, himself-swinging with all his might-couldn’t have driven the ball past the pitcher’s mound! None of our current councillors chose to even take a swing at a soft ball that barely cleared home plate. I believed/hoped the Cole-Hamilton presentation would be an appeal to Courtenay council to recognize the Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy(CVSS) as a visionary document, created by comprehensive community consultation, that challenges us to redefine our community priorities to ensure we are providing a great quality...

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December 7 –Will Courtenay Council respond to citizen’s call for local action on sustainability?

Monday, December 7, 4:30 pm Courtenay Council Chambers –you will want to be there to hear firsthand how our new Courtenay councillors can/will make a real difference in planning for a sustaining and sustainable valley. In making a carefully considered presentation,  local resident Will Cole-Hamilton will test the willingness of Courtenay Council to respond to residents’ November 29 call for action on climate change by committing to finally take the visionary Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy(CVSS) off the dusty shelf and begin to put it into action. While Comox Valley residents wait with bated breath for our national leaders at the Paris Climate Summit to come up with a meaningful/actionable response to the imminent threat of global warming, Cole-Hamilton is delivering a citizens’ letter to council demanding that CVSS come down from the dusty back room shelves of local government. Cole-Hamilton’s letter points to the community consultations with citizens, businesses, community groups; the collaboration of all local governments, the outstanding professional guidance that went into making CVSS into a visionary and practical guide to creating a sustainable Comox Valley. How could such good will, such vision about creating a healthy, vibrant valley for us and generations to come, such a unique coming together of so much of our community get—largely–left on a shelf to gather dust for five years? The interesting thing about Cole-Hamilton’s presentation to Courtenay Council is that...

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The Activist Thursday Reader

Actually what I wanted to do was join a book club for activists. I wanted to talk with other social and environmental activists about the reading materials that inform and excite them about the possibilities for a better-more just, sustaining and sustainable world/community. But the problem with Activists is—despite being wonderful and fascinating people—they are busy—probably too busy. So rounding up a book club/reading/discussion group for activists would be (I didn’t even try it!)like one crazy guy herding six stray cats to anywhere smaller than nowhere in general. But I haven’t given up—I’ve just modified the agenda slightly. Instead of Activists gathering in one place at a given time, couldn’t we share our reading lists and in doing so create some exchange of ideas, some broader perspectives on issues, some nuance to an idea we, individually hadn’t thought of? And thus: The Activist Thursday Reader Every Thursday I will post a list of a couple of the articles I’ve read during the week. Articles that seem convincing/informing/challenging/entertaining; articles I would dearly like to hear someone else’s opinion on; articles I think activists would like to share and compare. To the articles/posts that I have gleaned for a week I will occasionally add a particularly moving book I am reading or just finished. The book could be analytical/factual like Shock Doctrine; or it might be a moving and informative fiction...

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When a Carbon Tax Just Isn’t Enough

Despite a chilling wind, Comox Valley residents enthusiastically joined with the more than 2500 other November 29 climate action rallies being held around the world to mark the opening of the Paris Summit dedicated to negotiating the next global climate deal. If I could have had my way, we would have met in the Sid and—together—viewed the film–This Changes Everything— the Comox Valley Council of Canadians and World Community screened at North Island College last week. Actually it just might have spurred meaningful change if the film had been shown on streets throughout Paris and wherever world leaders met to talk about how all this talk of saving our world from climate change can be debauched into yet another reason to extol the power and worth of the very market forces that got us into–and ensure we don’t get out of– this climate change mess. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am not saying that markets are always bad or inexorably destructive of existential human values like survival of our species and planet, markets can work wonders –I will explore some of these wonders in a future post– and I invite readers to share their own views on the good and bad of market forces—but I’ve just seen This Changes Everything, I know that slapping a token tax on carbon will not transform our oily, Earth destroying frenzy into effective...

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Upcoming Events

Dec
16
Sat
9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Dec 16 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]
Dec
23
Sat
9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Dec 23 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]
2:00 pm CLT’s Anne of Green Gables: the ...
CLT’s Anne of Green Gables: the ...
Dec 23 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Book by Donald Harron Music by Norman Campbell Adapted from the novel by L.M. Montgomery “Anne of Green Gables (Harron)” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. Follow Anne Shirley as she warms[...]

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