This Saturday, November 28th, I will be voting for Ben Maartman to be our new Regional Director in Area H of the CVRD. I have known him for five years, and I thought I’d share the reasons why I’m voting for him.Continue reading Ten Reasons Why I am Voting for Ben Maartman
For a printable PDF of this paper, click Download
“We are facing a disaster of unspoken suffering for enormous amounts of people, so please, treat the climate crisis like the acute crisis it is, and give us a future.” – Greta Thunberg
For years, Guy Dauncey has tirelessly warned of the urgency of tackling the climate crisis and provided practical ways to achieve reductions in our emissions. While the crisis has only worsened, the window of opportunity to shift direction has shortened. Here is a blueprint for concrete action. Read it and act! – David SuzukiContinue reading Fifty Ways to Bring More Urgency to BC’s Climate Action Plans
by Guy Dauncey
Have you ever been invited to write a blog, and felt intimidated? Well don’t. Here’s some advice to get you going. I wrote this for the Yellow Point Ecological Society, which is why it is full of nature references, but the advice applies to all good blogging.Continue reading Twelve Tips to Write a Great Blog
by Guy Dauncey
First published in The Green Gazette, June 2020
Who are we? And where are we going on this tiny planet of ours, this bright sparkle of life in a Universe so ridiculously vast? It’s a question worth exploring, if you have five minutes in your busy COVID day.
Almost all scientists assume that the Universe is a solidly material realm, consisting of packages of atoms that have, by the happenstance of chance, turned themselves into polar bears and poets. We may have come from stardust, but we have no inherent direction or purpose. Where are we going? You might as well ask what a stone wants for breakfast.Continue reading Who are We? Where are we Going? Some Reflections in this COVID-19 Time
My 37′ presentation to FarmFolk CityFolk’s AGM:
300 years ago, the Enlightenment generated an inspiring vision of scientific, technological and economic progress. What was once global ‘progress’, however, has become a climate, ecological, economic and now pandemic disaster.
We need new inspiration.
When we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic we can’t afford
to go back to business-as-usual.
We need to build ourselves a new ecological civilization
in which we live, work and play in harmony with Nature,
with respect for all beings,
in an economy based on the economics of kindness.
Here is Guy Dauncey’s presentation during EarthFest April 2020.
By Guy Dauncey
We face not one but three simultaneous inter-connected crises: the COVID-19 Emergency, the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, and the Crisis of Capitalism. We urgently need connected constructive responses.
When you recall the movie When Harry Met Sally, your horny mind probably goes straight the scene in the delicatessen, and “I’ll have what she’s having”. Setting that aside, it took Harry and Sally a long time before they realized that they were natural partners. In my version of the story, Harry is the climate and biodiversity action movement and Sally is the COVID-19 community response movement. For each, the movement includes a wide mix of people, organizations, scientists, health workers, artists, businesses, banks and governments who have realized the urgency of their respective crises. Ideally I need a third character to represent the new economics movement, but since there was no suggestion of polyamory in the movie, I’ll settle for tradition. It would make for a great sequel, however.Continue reading When Climate Met COVID
The Mint Magazine despatches Guy Dauncey to Switzerland, a decade into the future, to report on the global summit.
It was pouring when we arrived in Davos. The local news channels were full of complaints about how useless the artificial snow-machines were in the rain. Everyone knew the continuing climate crisis was to blame. Their glum expressions said it all.
When the invitation arrived for The Mint to send a journalist I volunteered because I wanted to see how my Tesla Raven Model 5 would manage the 1,000 km, 12-hour journey on just one recharge, ride-sharing with three others. Success. We arrived with 154 km still in the battery.
How can I describe the mood among the delegates? The world had entered the final year of the 2020s, and the steady reduction in global emissions along with the full-on engagement by China and India made many people feel optimistic. But the ongoing litany of disasters, including the massive flooding in Holland and the forest fires in the Amazon, made most still feel fearful.Continue reading Report from Davos, 2030
by Guy Dauncey, March 27th 2020 Updated March 30th.
Our food chain in BC is hugely dependent on imports, making it extremely vulnerable. On Vancouver Island, 95% of our food arrives on the ferry.
BC has tens of thousands of acres of farmland that are lying fallow, or growing hay for horses that serve no agricultural purpose. In the Cowichan Valley Regional District there are 17,700 hectares of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve, of which in 2010 only 10,840 hectares were in agricultural production, and only 2,120 hectares were set up for irrigation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is growing in its reach every day. Now is the time to be planning for worst-case scenarios, including:Continue reading 15 Questions on Emergency Food and Farming Planning for British Columbia
Strong, Active, Neighbourly and Energetic (SANE)
By Guy Dauncey
How can we stay strong during this crisis? With love, careful planning, and care for others – and total lockdown.
The end of the tunnel may be a long way off, but if we treat it with the utmost seriousness, keep our social distance, wash our hands regularly, and look out for each other, we can stop the spread of the virus and reach the light at the end. When we emerge, huge numbers of people will hopefully want a more caring, cooperative approach to life, and a new kind of economy, based less on greed, selfishness and the destruction of Nature, and more on the economics of kindness.Continue reading 50 Ways to Stay SANE During the Coronavirus Pandemic
by Guy Dauncey
The pandemic has seized our attention, and so it should – but the climate and ecological emergencies haven’t paused out of sympathy, thinking “Let’s give the humans a break.” That’s not the way Nature works.
We can’t afford to relax our climate and environmental concerns just because we’ve got other concerns. We have to do both. And being stuck at home gives us an opportunity to do some serious planning. Serious, as in “Let’s make our family 100% climate and ecologically friendly within five years.”Continue reading 100% Climate and Nature Friendly by 2025
This is a work of imagination.
But the urgency of the crisis is real,
the need for the suggested programs is real,
and the data included in these proposals is real.
3rd Edition. March 2020
A printable 40-page PDF of this paper is available here:
A video of Guy Dauncey presenting a brief summary of this paper is here.
“This is a practical, down to earth concrete step by step transition strategy for the Canadian government to get real about the climate emergency. A must read for all Canadians to make a difference and communicate to their elected officials new policies and programs that will make a difference now.” – Professor Ann Dale, Trudeau Fellow Alumna, Canada Research Chair, Royal Roads University
“This is vital reading. It maps out an evidence-based route ahead; to open real conversations around what we actually need to do in these testing times. It should be read by politicians and policymakers, local and regional councillors, business front-runners, university and health service delivery managers, indeed everyone who wants to explore how we can collectively build the new zero carbon world we so urgently need.” – Paul Allen, Project Coordinator, Zero Carbon Britain project at the Centre for Alternative Technology
“Visionary and thorough, Dauncey’s 26 week Transition Program deserves close scrutiny in Canada and beyond. His passion for a clean economy shines.” – Raffi Cavoukian, C.M., O.B.C., singer, founder of Raffi Foundation For Child HonouringContinue reading Climate Emergency: A 26-Week Transition Program for Canada
A new ecological civilization, it whispers ever so softly
By Guy Dauncey
There comes a time in the evolution of every civilization when the Universe sends us a new message. Slowly, it works its way through the multiple layers of a long-established culture. It is buffeted by resistance and repulsed by rulers, but in spite of this it finds its voice in the songs of poets, the impulses of teenagers, and the dreams of millions.Continue reading Message from The Universe: Do it NOW, with Urgency
This is most of the final Chapter 34 of my novel Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible. The book is set in Vancouver in the year 2032, by when it has become the world’s greenest city, alongside Portland and Copenhagen. Patrick Wu, a 24-year-old Chinese Canadian, is visiting a future world brimming with innovation and hope, where the climate crisis is being tackled, the solar revolution is underway and a new cooperative economy is taking shape. But enormous danger still lurks. The final chapter consists of this Dinner Party. All of the philosophers and scientists mentioned in the text are real, except Satyanendra Mukherjee, who wrote the First and Second Laws of Syntropy.
This is a long read. It’s about syntropy, entropy, religion, the question of whether the Universe has purpose, the omnipresence of consciousness, its relationship to quantum theory, the relationship between the inner and the outer realms, the nature of free will, the shortcomings of the standard model of physics, deep history, and why this is relevant to the multiple crises we face today.
Guy Dauncey is an author, speaker and ecotopian futurist who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future, and to translate that vision into action. He lives on Vancouver Island.
By Guy Dauncey, Revised September 29th 2019
Guy Dauncey is founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of ten books, including The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming and Journey to the Future: A Better World Is Possible. He is currently completing The Economics of Kindness: A Ten-Year Transition to a Green Cooperative Economy. He lives in Yellow Point, on Vancouver Island, Canada. His website is www.thepracticalutopian.ca.
I premise my analysis on five statements:
- The climate emergency is real.
- The ecological emergency is real.
- The inequality, household debt and affordable housing crises are real.
- A new global financial crisis is lurking, caused by excessive corporate and private debt and banking deregulation.
- We need a ten-year mobilization to achieve a rapid transition to a green cooperative economy that is human-friendly, community-friendly, climate-friendly and nature-friendly, leaving self-interested capitalism behind us.
By Guy Dauncey
There are massive forest fires in Siberia. Greenland’s melting is accelerating. Record heatwaves are roasting Europe. The world’s insects are dying off. The scary news keeps accumulating.
We are living on the edge of an emergency that is just getting started, and climate is only the half of it. There’s also an ecological emergency. How are we to respond? It’s easy to slip into complacency, or to be overcome by fear, followed by a sense of impotence. You know the crises are real, but the children are coming to visit, there’s a holiday to plan, and don’t get me started on the problems we’re having at work.
The first step to end complacency and neutralize fear is to put the crisis on your weekly to-do list:
- Weed the garden
- Visit your friend in hospital
- Sign the kids up for karate/soccer/piano/dancing lessons
- Do something to tackle the climate and ecological crises
by Guy Dauncey
In September 2018, the Paris-based Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) published a report on An agro-ecological Europe by 2050: Multifunctional Agriculture for Healthy Eating, in which the authors found that a fully agro-ecological Europe could sustainably feed 530 million Europeans by 2050.
In his fascinating new book Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food, Timothy Wise, who is senior research at the Small Planet Institute, comes to very similar conclusions for countries like Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
I have captured the possibility of an agro-ecological future and compared it to the current reality in these two diagrams. They are too big to display, so click on each phrase below to see the full diagrams:
by Guy Dauncey
First published in The Mint – Fresh Thinking in Economics, June 2019
How can we turn around the world’s financial institutions so that their creation of money serves to construct a new ecological civilization, rather than destroy our current civilization through the financing of ecological and climate catastrophe? It’s a massive problem that needs multiple solutions.
Before we turn our attention to some possible solutions, we need some context. Global GDP in 2018 was $87.5 trillion. Global debt, created by the world’s financial institutions, was $247 trillion, growing by $14 trillion a year. Between 2005 and 2016 the debt increased by 73%, split between governments ($63 trillion), non-financial corporations ($68 trillion) and private households ($44 trillion).
by Guy Dauncey
June 2019. The summer days bring exquisite shades of green. The bees are out, the ants rush around, and the wind rustles quietly in the tops of the trees. A fresh-baked rhubarb sponge cake sits on the kitchen counter. Life is sensuous, beautiful, and quite frankly, exquisite. Tiny mauve butterflies flit in and out of the flowers.
And then Cassandra arrives, she of the noble Greek ancestry, admired by the god Apollo, she with the golden locks and the long white flowing dress, reading from her list of warnings:
“Do you need more?” she asks, then continues. Her eyes carry sorrow. Continue reading The Tears of Cassandra
For 200 years, students have been urged to learn the 3 R’s of reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. In recent years, thinkers of various political persuasions have proposed adding a fourth R including running, relationships, religion, race, rithms (for algorithms), respect, road safety, ritalin, rifle-shooting, revolvers and (appropriately) resuscitation.
There is another 4th R that is even more essential if we are to survive the 21st century. It is the knowledge of ecology, of how our planet works, and how to regenerate healthy ecosystems from the atmosphere and the rainforests to the microbiomes in our own guts.
Profound ecological ignorance
Will you join me? I need lots of people to join the November Offensive, so that together, we can make a difference.
This summer’s forest fires and smoke-filled skies have left many of us asking, “What will it take to end the climate dithering and start DOING something to tackle the growing emergency?”
The IPCC has just reminded us of the urgency of the crisis, and the need to reduce emissions globally by 45% by 2030 if we are to limit the warming to 1.5C.
The BC NDP government is getting ready to launch its climate plan at the end of November, somehow combining climate action sufficient to meet its stated goal of a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 with its recent climate-disastrous decision to approve the big LNG Canada project.
The timing is critical to impress our New Democrat and Green MLAs of the need for urgent action to speed the transition to 100% renewable energy and protect the forests.
When the government floated its ‘Intention Papers’ in August, my response was that they were really timid, far from what was needed. Our government must, must do better. Continue reading Climate Action in BC: The November Offensive
by Guy Dauncey
Saturday October 20th was Election Day, and we had such great results! Of the 55 candidates who I recommended for your support, 38 were elected and 17 were not. In Courtenay and Comox progressive candidates were also elected, pushing out old-school conservatives.
This was my pitch for these candidates: I want Vancouver Island to become a place where people are really committed to living in harmony with nature.
I want our towns and cities to be full of safe bike lanes, wonderful green spaces, urban farms, affordable housing for all, great public transit, wonderful pedestrian environments, and to have permanently ended homelessness. Continue reading Our 2018 Local Elections on Southern Vancouver Island: The Winners
by Guy Dauncey
Which Phase Are You In?
Phase 1: Complete Unawareness.
It’s simply not on your radar. You know more about Taylor Swift or Beyoncé than you do about climate change, or whatever it’s called.
Phase 2: What is This – is it Real?
I keep hearing about it, but it’s all so confusing. One person says one thing, someone else says another. So I’m reading blogs, articles, and even some books. trying to fathom it all out.
Phase 3: OMG, this is Awful. It looks like a Real Catastrophe.
Massive sea level rise? Huge droughts, storms and downpours? Freshwater running out? This is terrible. I read that the word most scientists use to describe the future if we don’t tackle the climate crisis is ‘catastrophic‘. Continue reading The Seven Phases of Climate Awareness
by Guy Dauncey
What does it mean to be so worried, because you really can’t afford the rent? To have to surrender your hope of ever owning a home? To face the end of a rental lease and know that there is NOTHING out there that you can afford? To stare homelessness in the face?
Many of us are comfortably housed, but many are not. The autumn rains have arrived, and the harvest crops are being gathered in. Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives. And yet for many people, the smiles and kindnesses that make life worth living mask a level of stress and worry that should have no place in our community.
How can there be such a housing crisis?
How can it be that in this Cowichan Valley that we love so much, there is such a housing crisis? How can democracy, the housing market, and local government have failed us so completely?
Like so many, I watched the Senate hearing on Brett Kavanaugh, transfixed. A lot of us do things in our teenage years that we later cringe at and regret. It’s how we handle our regrets later that matters, once the stupidities are done. What struck me first was how belligerent and defensive he was, and, how whiney.
What struck me next is how he could if he had wished have adopted a much easier approach, and won the hearts of all Americans, of whatever political stripe. Since he seems unwilling to do that, I am willing to do it for him: Continue reading Brett Kavanaugh’s Better Angels
by Guy Dauncey
Democracy is a very recent social invention. Most people don’t like it when the societies they live in are blatantly unfair, with privileges and glory for the rich and hard labour and exploitation for the poor. In consequence, starting a thousand years ago, people in nations all over the world have gradually prised power out of the hands of their ruling elites and established democracies.
It has been incredible hard work. In 1794, Thomas Hardy, a London shoemaker, was charged with high treason for proposing one person, one vote. His sentence, had he been found guilty, would have been to be hanged by the neck, cut down while still conscious, disemboweled, beheaded, and his body to have been cut up into quarters. Fortunately, a Grand Jury of nine respectable citizens, after debating the matter for nine days, found him ‘Not Guilty’. The London crowd went crazy, dragging him through the streets in triumph.
Trudeau: ‘No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there’
Trump: “We’ve got underneath us more oil than anybody … and I want to use it.”
I have very little to add to this. Emotionally, culturally, empathetically, educationally and behaviourally, Trump and Trudeau are as different as different can be. Trump is a bully, a braggard and a boor. Trudeau is a refined classical decoration on the carpet of civilization. Trump is a dirty stain.
Yet when it comes to energy and oil, their brains and their political instincts think alike. Trump is a proud climate denier. His “Grab them by the oil-wells” thoughts are at least consistent with his larger outlook, which is nationalist and mercantilist, as if the eighteenth century had never ended.
It cools us in the summer, it warms our hearts all year,
It provides a home for owls and flowers, for herons, cedars, fir.
It shapes the landscape, painting peace, away from the urban rush,
It protects our water all year round, surrendering it clear and fresh.
In Japanese, the word shinrin means forest and yoku means bath, so shinrin-yoku means ‘forest bath’: being immersed in the forest with all our senses. Listening to its quietness, seeing the variety of trees, mosses, lichens and rocks, tasting the air as you breathe in deeply, touching the rough Douglas fir and the smooth red arbutus, going barefoot across the earth, dipping your feet in a forest stream, lying down to gaze up at its beauty. Such bathing brings healing to the body, heart, mind and soul. Continue reading Protecting the Coastal Douglas Fir Forest: Seven Practical Solutions
August 20, 2018
I wish I didn’t have to write this. I count myself a friend of the NDP/Green Alliance, and I had high hopes for the government’s new climate action plans. 
BC’s Ministry of Environment has published a series of Clean Growth Intentions Papers, with a deadline for public feedback of August 24th, in the heart of this fire and smoke-filled summer. In my head, I can see that they have been framed in a very positive way, emphasizing the multiple economic benefits of engaging in climate action, reframed as clean growth.
But the policies floated contain little that is new. They are really timid. And by downplaying the climate crisis almost to a state of mental non-existence, they have written the urgency out of the picture. In my heart, I feel as if they have been written by a holiday season policy-drone operating on auto-pilot. Hard words, but that’s what I feel.
Once upon a time, there was a revolution. I have never read about it in any history book, yet it was the ancestor of all revolutions, from the earliest slave revolts to the French and Russian revolutions, the gay rights movement and the #Metoo movement.
By not knowing about it, and not understanding its consequences, our interpretation of history is missing a critical dimension as we struggle to free ourselves from the tentacles of neoliberalism and build a new economy that is friendly to humans and nature, not just to bankers and greed. In the light of this revolution, our understanding of thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Owen, Kropotkin, Nietzsche, Polanyi, Keynes, Hayek, Rand and Ostrom is changed.
We may never know when it happened, but a quarter million years ago is a good possibility. To understand its origins, however, we have to go back six million years, to when we shared a common ancestor with the chimpanzees and bonobos. Even today, we share 99% of our genes, and the same impulses to mother, to play, to help each other, to use social skills, to hunt together, to form tribes, to fight, to bully and to dominate.
Through it all, the non-alphas resented being dominated
Artwork by Richard Sheppard, www.theartistontheroad.com
All I want is a village somewhere,
far away from the housing scare,
With friends and family,
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Little homes where we all can live,
A lovely garden so we all can eat,
Shared hearts, shared love, shared hopes,
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly.
In May 2018 the average price of a home in BC was $750,000. In Victoria, the average price of a condo was $500,000.Continue reading Tiny Homes Villages
by Guy Dauncey
$4.5 Billion Dollars to Subsidize Fossil Fuels? Here’s a Much Better Idea
$4.5 billion of Canada’s money, to buy a bitumen pipeline? Some suggest that it could rise as high as $12 billion, including future construction and legal costs.
So what if the money was invested in solutions to the climate crisis, instead making things worse by being invested in the primary cause, which is our use of fossil fuels? When Canada signed the Paris Climate Agreement most people presumed that it was being signed honestly, not as an act of laugh-behind-your-hand hypocrisy.
Thirty to Fifty Times More Jobs
That much money could leverage enough electricity to replace most of Alberta’s coal and gas-fired electricity, and generate between 30 and 50 times as many jobs. It could also power 18 million electric vehicles for 25 years. Continue reading Canada’s Choice
Submission to the Agricultural Land Reserve Minister’s Advisory Committee by Guy Dauncey and Rob Buchan. Deadline for letters and submissions Monday April 30th 2018.
For an illustrated slideshow on this proposal, see https://www.slideshare.net/GuyDauncey/farm-villages
Throughout the world, in every culture, farmers have lived and raised their children in small farm villages.
Here on Vancouver Island, 95% of our food is imported every day on the ferries. At the same time, good farmland sits empty or grows hay, while younger people who want to get onto the land to grow food are unable to do so because of the incredibly high price of land.
By Guy Dauncey, March 2018
If we are to live in a fair, just, ecologically sustainable world, many things in our economy will need to change, from the way banks create money to the way environmental losses and gains are accounted for and measured.
Let’s start with the businesses that grow the food, manufacture the products and provide the services we all depend on and enjoy.
It’s almost impossible to imagine a successful economy without its businesses. The Soviet Union tried, and Cuba is still trying, but neither has had much success. It’s hard to have success when the spirit of enterprise is not allowed to flourish. Continue reading Let’s Make Every Business a Social Purpose Business
They say we are self-interested, we’re always out to win.
Always individualistic, though it used to be a sin.
They say we need free markets, the better to compete,
and the economy will flourish if we only think of greed.
This is Economics 101, the way it’s taught today. Not a word about nature, community, caring, sharing, or cooperation.
During the mid 19th century, advances in science, democracy, education, literacy, public healthcare, labour unions, technological breakthroughs, banking, and the power of fossil fuels to generate rapid economic growth certainly made it seem that after ten thousand years of economic stagnation the competitive pursuit of profit was improving life for all. In the 1760s it took eighteen hours of human labour to transform a pound of cotton into cloth. By the 1860s it took one and a half hours. Today, it probably takes five seconds.
by Guy Dauncey, February 2nd, 2018
If you want to see what this EcoRenaissance looks like on the ground, click HERE.
Until a thing has a name, it doesn’t really exist
I can feel this future. I have written a novel about it. I love its colour and vibrancy, its harmony with Nature. But what is its name?
One of the realities of the spoken language is that until a thing has a name, it doesn’t really exist. When we want to create something, we name it.
The feeling that comes to mind is one of Renaissance – the birth of a new vision, the promise of a new future. The Renaissance that was seeded in the 13th century and blossomed into glory in the 15th and sixteenth centuries filled people’s hearts, souls and minds with art, imagination and ideas. It took inspiration from the rediscovered science, art and philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome. It made souls take flight, washing away the dull dogmatism and cruel muddy feudalism of a world where nothing much changed except by disease, disorder and death.
To dam, or not to dam: that is the question,
whether tis nobler to suffer
the loss of farmland and First Nations rights by powerful flooding,
or, by solar, wind and conservation, geothermal too,
to craft another path to the energy we’ll need
and save the land for growing food and flowing water,
under the peaceful sky.
– Guy Dauncey, January 2018
Mammoths on Hastings Street, by Hae Jin An, Emily Carr School of Art
This is an extract from Chapter 12 ‘The Heart of Poverty’ in Guy Dauncey’s ecotopian novel Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible, set in Vancouver in June 2032.
‘The Land that Ugly Forgot’
Back on the trail, I passed a sign that told me that Fourth Avenue was closed to cars every Sunday, and open only to cyclists, rollerbladers, runners and strollers. I rode north over the Cambie Street Bridge, crossing the waters of Vancouver’s False Creek. To see the banners of colored silk fluttering from the streetlights and the central median ablaze with rhododendrons and flowers set my soul ablaze. A banner at the end of the bridge proclaimed ‘The Land that Ugly Forgot’ and welcomed me to the downtown.
I cycled to Wei-Ping’s office on Water Street in Gastown and found a space to park Carl’s bike in a bike-rack designed like a red dragon. I had a while before my meeting, so I walked to the Waterfront station and turned up Seymour, enjoying the wide sidewalks, ample bike-lanes and colorful food carts. Several buildings were covered with ferns and flowering plants tumbled down their walls, as if a rainforest had taken up residence in the city.  At a crosswalk, instead of saying WALK it said DANCE, and there was music that made it impossible not to—not just me but others too, laughing and smiling at each other. 
Guy Dauncey is the author of Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible and nine other books. He is an Honorary Member of the Planning Institute of BC and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
June 2017. This is an updated and expanded version of Canada’s Housing Crisis: 22 Solutions, originally published on The Practical Utopian in December 2016.
A PDF Version of this essay can be downloaded here: Canada’s Housing Crisis – Guy Dauncey.
Canada’s housing crisis is far more severe than most people realize. The fundamental problem is an excess of money pouring into the housing market from various sources, combined with an abdication of responsibility by all levels of government for the past 30 years.
There are many on-the-ground solutions, demonstrating positive ways to build affordable housing. And there are seven new housing-related taxes that could raise the funds needed for a massive expansion of affordable housing.
The fundamental cause of the problem is the excess of funds flowing into the market, and until this is solved house prices will continue to rise, and most other solutions will seem like never-ending sandbagging.
The money supply problem can be solved. The money can be obtained to restore safe, sustainable, socially designed affordable housing as a fundamental human right.
And by establishing an Affordable Housing Social Justice Connector, a permanent, hundred-year solution can be put in place that will guarantee that Canada need never confront a housing crisis again. Continue reading Canada’s Housing Crisis: A Permanent, 100-Year Solution
This is an expanded Appendix 1 to my essay A New Cooperative Economy.
Until something has a name, it hardly exists. So what shall we call the new economy that we need so much? These are all proposed names that I have harvested from my reading. If you know of another, let me know, and I will add it. Updated to 81 names on February 5th 2020.
So which do you prefer? I apologize that this website is not sophisticated enough to allow for scoring. Click MORE to see the list… Continue reading Eighty-One Names: The New Economy We Need So Much
by Joel Solomon with Tyee Bridge
New Society Publishers, April 2017. Review by Guy Dauncey.
This is a great book. It’s personal, committed, passionate, informative, and full of great stories. For an addicted change-the-worlder, what more can you ask?
And the stories, from Joel’s personal life and those of his colleagues, are about one of the most important challenges we need to embrace on our planet – changing the way we invest our money.
by Guy Dauncey, inspired by Matthias Kroll
PDF download available here: The Boldest Climate Solution
A globally agreed carbon cap? Carbon rationing? Holland’s proposed ban on the sale of non-electric cars by 2025? Oslo’s goal to reduce the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2030?
No, none of the above.
So what is it? In a nutshell, it’s the proposal that the world’s central banks create $300 billion a year, and use it to leverage investments of up to $2 trillion a year in the urgently needed transition to renewable energy, and other climate solutions.
Guy Dauncey, April 2017
This essay was submitted to The Next Systems Project Essay Contest, in which it won second place. “We received hundreds of submissions from 30 different states and 26 countries, proving that many around the world not only believe system change is necessary, but have thought long and hard about what a new system should look like and how we might get there.” http://thenextsystem.org/announcing-the-winners-in-our-essay-competition/
You can download the essay as a PDF here. A New Cooperative Economy
Our task is to fashion a political vision and a political narrative that is a compelling answer to neo-liberalism and the ideology of competition, free markets, and the primacy of capital. We need a political economy of cooperation, solidarity, of mutual benefit. – John Restakis, Civil Power and the Partner State, 2016
Our modern economy is in crisis. Can we build an alternative economy as our ancestors did in the transition from feudalism to capitalism? It’s a question that takes us deep into our values, culture, history, politics—and visions of the future.
Sometimes it seems as if those who care about Nature stand on guard around the edge of a huge circular Blob known as ‘The Economy’, which keeps growing and encroaching onto Nature. We organize to prevent its advance against creeks, rivers, forests and wetlands. We try to stop it from shooting out new pipelines, digging new coalmines, pouring more carbon into the atmosphere and introducing new chemicals into our food.
Sometimes we are successful and The Blob backs off, which happened with the proposed Raven coalmine near Courtenay. But just as often we are not, as the ecological wreckage of the private forest lands on the Island shows, and when The Blob assaults Nature in a distant country such as Indonesia, destroying native hardwood forests, home for millions of years to families of orangutans and other creatures, replacing them with palm oil trees for the global biofuel market.
by Guy Dauncey
When the future teenager walks down the future Main Street in future Smalltown BC, be it Williams Lake, Smithers, Houston, Creston or Kimberley, which of these thoughts might she or he be thinking?
“I can’t wait to get out of this place—it’s so, like, basic.”
“This place is so cool. I wish there was work, so that I could stay.”
“This place is so über-cool. My friends in the city are so jealous that I get to live, work and play here.”
British Columbia has many communities that built their economies around traditional resources that are now either collapsing or going into decline. Unless there’s a strong impulse for community economic renewal, there’s a risk that working people will leave and young people will follow, never to return.
F is for Future, a world without fossil fuels,
new solar symphony changing the gyre,
clean up our garbage, restore Nature’s harmony,
offer our children the hopes they desire.
To download the PDF version of this paper, click Climate Action Together
So how do we do it?
How do we tackle the climate crisis with the speed and resolution that the climate scientists say is so urgently needed?
How do we make a rapid transition to a 100% renewable energy economy in a positive, nation-building manner, without causing economic mayhem, unemployment and chaos?
It’s complicated. There’s no doubt about it. Our economy is completely enmeshed in fossil fuels. We use fossil fuels to travel, to heat our homes and buildings, to generate electricity, to power our industry, to make plastics and to pave the roads. If fossil fuels were to magically stop working due to a zombie-ray from outer space or an unexpected change in the laws of physics, our economy would grind to an immediate halt. Continue reading Let’s Get Going – Climate Action Together
It was a week before Christmas, and Santa was busy polishing his boots in the big Winter House, up at the North Pole. It was a pleasant evening, and he was feeling good about life.
“My, don’t these boots look good!” he said to himself as he sat in front of the big log fire, admiring his reflection in the polish. “That should make a show when I’m ready to do my rounds!”
Most of the presents were neatly stacked in the Store House ready for delivery, and the reindeer were asleep in the barn, resting up before the big journey.
All except one, that is – Binky.
A is for Albatross
A is for Albatross,
far-winging freely across oceans of wonder,
mating for life till they die,
but their chicks have a diet of grim plastic plunder,
filling their bellies with lies.
By Guy Dauncey
New Scientist magazine reported in June that five meters of future sea-level rise is already locked in, due to the steady collapse of the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet. If we don’t act rapidly, their staff reported, it will be twenty metres.
The full extent of the flooding will not happen for several thousand years, but “locked-in” is the phrase they used. Venice, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Mumbai, Kolkata; large parts of Holland; a large part of Bangladesh and many cities in China—all will be under water.
by Guy Dauncey
The 48-Page Report is here.
Is It Really True?
Is it really true that if we don’t build more pipelines and allow more exports of coal, oil and gas, that Canada’s economy will be in danger and unemployment will rise?
That’s certainly what we are frequently told, both by the Conservative federal government and by several provincial governments, either directly or by implied assumption.
There is alternative, however. The climate crisis is inescapably real. It threatens everyone’s future, and it is being caused by carbon emissions from the same fossil fuels that our governments want to expand.
So what would it look like if there were an organized plan to phase out fossil fuels and embrace 100% renewable energy in Canada? That’s certainly what the climate crisis calls for. Continue reading Almost Twice as Many Green Jobs if Canada Phases out Fossil Fuels