Archive for ◊ February, 2009 ◊

• Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

This I have known in my gut.

A professor argues that in order to get sustainability, we will have to submit to a “new world order”. I agree that at the heart of sustainability is awareness for the health of the global ecosystem and everyone in it. That could be considered a “new world order”. However, the grandiose idea of one world government dictating the actions of everyone on the planet is a dream I call “green fascism”.

If we can live sustainably (and that’s a big “if”), local communities will trump global governments every day of the week. This is because unique local environments that have unique local challenges require unique local solutions that a world government can’t provide for.

Via: The Green Market

The current economic hardships serve as a catalyst for change. According to William E. Halal, professor emeritus of science, technology and innovation at George Washington University, “the normal level of social resistance and political stalemate is likely to oppose change. Thus, it may take an occasional environmental collapse, global wars and terrorism, or yet unknown calamities to force the move to global consciousness…Even with the turmoil that is sure to follow, this will mark the serious beginning of a unified global intelligence – a fine web of conscious thought directing life on the planet.” [1]…

We need a unified one world order to replace the collectivity of nation states at the international level. The Euro-American model which now dominates the world systematically disables people, destroys the earth and creates dependency on wage labour.” [8]

“In this model, politics loses its left-versus-right conflict and moves instead towards a fundamental concern for the health of the ecosystem…Democracy remains a need within this model, at both local and global levels, but as one part of the whole system. “Participation” becomes more than people’s physical presence and deepens to contain a cultural and spiritual dimension…To implement these concepts, we start with bringing the community together and look at the land resources available. We decide how we want the community to evolve and decide who has control of the resources.” [9]

Likewise, the following statement from the Canadian federal government to the United Nations contains a similar thread — a sustainable world order based on complete world management. “Canada believes the establishment of an international financial and economic system that is conducive to sustainable development must be a cornerstone of efforts to implement Agenda 21. Canada strongly supports efforts to reform international organizations to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the promotion of global sustainable development.” [10]

• Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I think this would be a fabulous entrepreneurial opportunity in Quebec:

Source: PitchEngine

In the face of the added challenges brought on by the current recession, Vermont business now have another innovative resource available to them, the Vermont Sustainable Exchange. Vermont Sustainable Exchange (VSE) is a business-to-business barter-style marketplace that allows Vermont businesses to measure, grow, and coordinate their trade with fellow Vermont businesses. Founder Amy Kirschner explains that, “My objective was to create a bartering network that would be pragmatically, hard-headedly, business oriented. Vermont Sustainable Exchange is here to solve practical problems that any business can relate to: increasing sales, decreasing business costs, having access to loan capital to fuel growth, and retaining commerce dollars within our state.”

Category: Economics | Tags:  | One Comment
• Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Westmount and Montreal will recognize Earth hour where electricity is symbolically turned off for one hour. This event, which started in Syndney in 2007, is spreading around the world.

That’s nice, but how about us putting our heads together to design a street light that doesn’t need to burn 1,000 watts all hours of the night? Earth hour is just a small salve on the wound of living a life that is painfully unsustainable to those who have a “Green” awareness.

I suppose awareness is the first step towards making a change. However, the economic realities coming will force people to become “Green” and “sustainable” simply becuase it’s a much less expensive way to live. Awareness won’t be a part of most people’s motivations for this change. And so the band plays on…

For the record and if you interested in contributing to this symbol, the time to turn off your lights and TVs is: 8:30 p.m. on March 2.

• Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Dot & Lil is a small company making homemade bath & body products in Montréal. We try to use locally produced organic ingredients whenever we can, both to reduce our carbon footprint and bring you the best quality in our finished product.

Category: Economics | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
• Sunday, February 15th, 2009

This looks like a very exciting project. I have been discussing a home like this with my sister, who is an architect in New York.


Imagine living in a house that produces as much energy as it consumes; a house unaffected by power failures or ice storms?

That house is now a reality. The Alstonvale Net Zero Energy House, under construction in Hudson, Que. will demonstrate the attainability of a net-zero energy lifestyle without the use of fossil fuels or production of greenhouse gases.

The ANZEH was one of 12 winners chosen in 2007 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s nationwide EQuilibrium initiative, a sustainable housing program launched in 2006 and geared to net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide.

The merits of the proposals were measured on the basis of how well they achieve: Net-zero energy consumption, a healthy indoor environment, a reduction in resource consumption, a low impact on the environment, affordability and the potential to build a similar house elsewhere in Canada.

Six of the houses have already been built and the rest are under construction.

When completed in June, the ANZEH house, some 60 kilometres west of Montreal, will be the “poster boy” of environmentally sustainable housing.

“The ANZEH kills two birds with one stone. It converts sunlight to electricity, and usable thermal heat,” explained architect Sevag Pogharian, the head of the ANZEH project. more…

• Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Via: Globe and Mail

From sleek, Brazilian-designed ottomans made out of old flip-flops to gorgeous bags and totes crafted from sailcloth, woven paper, tent fabric and seatbelts, the wares at Galerie CO in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood may be among the most carefully selected in North America.

Among other criteria, they must benefit the environment, support the people who create them and – no small added task – reflect the latest design trends.

“I want to promote good design and create economic opportunities for the people who do it,” says founder Sarah Richardson, an Ottawa-born lawyer who spent 15 years as a policy expert advising governments and international organizations on sustainable trade. She opened Galerie CO less than a year ago, having come up with the idea after discovering dozens of talented designers, artists and craftspeople while travelling the world for her work.

“It’s a natural extension of my professional life. I’ve been working in trade policy for years and have seen some incredible stuff,” she says. “They inspired me. I wanted to do something practical and help these people market their products.”

CO takes its name from the three pillars of sustainable development: ecology, community and economy, three values that Richardson takes very seriously. She picks her wares with criteria she developed helping clients create sustainable economic projects. “I know where each item comes from and the story behind it,” she says.

Although many of her products come from style capitals such as London and Milan, a good number of their designers hail from Southern Africa, where Richardson spent much of 2007 crafting trade agreements to promote sustainable trade. more…

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• Friday, February 06th, 2009

When will the car driving madmen be stopped? All I want to do is heat my home! Shakes head and mutters under breath…

The #1 cause of smog in Montreal is cars and trucks – not wood stoves. And, this measure grandfathers in existing wood stoves while doing nothing to update older, more polluting stoves. If the city were serious, they would offer financial incentives for old wood stove owners to upgrade to less polluting stoves. This policy, by the way, was effectively used in the U.S. to replace older, polluting cars in the 1980′s and 90′s with less polluting ones.


MONTREAL – Montreal’s city government is considering a law to ban wood stoves in a bid to fight smog.

The law, which is being touted as one of the strictest in Canada, would prevent people from installing wood stoves in new or existing residential homes.

Stoves that burn wood pellets will still be allowed as will wood stoves in such businesses as restaurants.

Alan DeSousa, the city’s executive committee member responsible for sustainable development, says smog has been a particular problem in Montreal this winter.

Environment Canada has issued 25 smog alerts for Montreal so far this winter.

Montreal has about 50,000 wood stoves on its territory and DeSousa says banning them will contribute to preventing premature deaths caused by bad air quality.

Category: Air | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
• Wednesday, February 04th, 2009

Now, there is a way to tell the true green or free-trade or sustainable companies from the Green-washed, exploitative, corporate phony companies and products.

A Montreal company has launched to allow anyone to report on the sustainable authenticity of the products they buy and the companies they do business with.

All entries are vetted by a web site admin so that Wikepedia style disinformation can’t be generated. In the end, someone has to be a judge, an editor of content which seems reasonable and a valuable service to boot.

Research Credit: