To Dam, or Not to Dam? A Soliloquy for the Site C Dam

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To dam, or not to dam: that is the question,

whether tis nobler to suffer

the loss of farmland by powerful flooding,

or by solar, wind and conservation, geothermal too,

to craft another path to the energy we’ll need

to stave off the climate-monster,

and save the farmland for growing food

under the peaceful sky.

 – Guy Dauncey, October 2017

Mammoths on East Hastings Street: A Vision from the Future

Mammoths Sculpture

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.

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‘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.[1] 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. [2] 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. [3]

Continue reading Mammoths on East Hastings Street: A Vision from the Future

Canada’s Housing Crisis: A Permanent, 100-Year Solution

100-Years

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.

Executive Summary

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

What Shall We Call The New Economy We Need So Much?

Seventy Names

Names-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 from 66 to 70 on June 5th, thanks to Nicole Chaland.

And 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 What Shall We Call The New Economy We Need So Much?

Book Review: The Clean Money Revolution – Reinventing Power, Purpose and Capitalism

by Joel Solomon with Tyee Bridge

New Society Publishers, April 2017.  Review by Guy Dauncey.

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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.

Continue reading Book Review: The Clean Money Revolution – Reinventing Power, Purpose and Capitalism

The World’s Central Banks to the Rescue

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.

Continue reading The World’s Central Banks to the Rescue

A New Cooperative Economy

Guy Dauncey, April 2017

essay-3

This essay was submitted to The Next Systems Project Essay Contest, in which is was awarded 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/ 

http://thenextsystem.org/…/2017/04/Dauncey_AtLargeSecond.pdf

You can download the essay as a PDF here. A New Cooperative Economy

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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.

Continue reading A New Cooperative Economy

The Blob: Can We Change its Heart, Before it Destroys Us All?

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.

Continue reading The Blob: Can We Change its Heart, Before it Destroys Us All?

A New Economy for Small Communities

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.”

or

“This place is so cool. I wish there was work, so that I could stay.”

or

“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.

Continue reading A New Economy for Small Communities

Let’s Get Going – Climate Action Together

 

Lets-Get-Going

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?[1]

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

When Santa Lost His Reindeer

Santa

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.

Continue reading When Santa Lost His Reindeer

A Modern Alphabet

Alphabet

 Thanks to Terry Sohl for the photo image, and to William Morris for the letters.

Opportunities to perform this are welcome. I hope to get it on YouTube soon. 

william-morris-letter-a

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.

Continue reading A Modern Alphabet

A Bold New Climate Vision: If I was Prime Minister of Canada, How Would I Tackle The Climate Crisis?

Bold

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.[1] 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.[2]

Continue reading A Bold New Climate Vision: If I was Prime Minister of Canada, How Would I Tackle The Climate Crisis?

Almost Twice as Many Green Jobs if Canada Phases out Fossil Fuels

Almost

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

Canada’s Housing Crisis: Twenty-Two Solutions

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This essay was updated in June 2017. The new version is here: https://thepracticalutopian.ca/2017/06/14/canadas-housing-crisis-a-permanent-100-year-solution/