All posts by guydauncey

About guydauncey

I am a speaker, author, activist and futurist who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future and to translate that vision into action. I am founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of nine books, including the award-winning books Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic and The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming. My latest book is 'Journey to the Future: A Better World Is Possible' (December 2015). www.journeytothefuture.ca For my sins, I am also an Honorary Member of the Planning Institute of BC, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, and a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. My main website is www.earthfuture.com. I live at Yellow Point, near Ladysmith, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

Agro-Business vs. Agro-Ecology

Choice

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:

AGRO-BUSINESS                            AGRO-ECOLOGY

Agro-Choice

Five Ways to Achieve Ecologically Sustainable Finance

Sustainable Finance

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).

Continue reading Five Ways to Achieve Ecologically Sustainable Finance

The Tears of Cassandra

Cassandra 2

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:

“One million species facing extinction, UN Report finds.”

“Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature.”

“By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s the oceans.”

“Do you need more?” she asks, then continues. Her eyes carry sorrow. Continue reading The Tears of Cassandra

Reading, Riting, Rithmetic – and Regeneration

Reading

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

Continue reading Reading, Riting, Rithmetic – and Regeneration

A Practical Plan for Affordable Housing in the Cowichan Valley Regional District

 

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 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?

Continue reading A Practical Plan for Affordable Housing in the Cowichan Valley Regional District

What’s Your Story? Mine is Very Old

story

by Guy Dauncey

A persuasive story is an essential piece of equipment for a determined journey. Here’s the story I use to keep me rolling along.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, before what we call the Universe existed, there was something, let us call it ‘being’ with a small ‘b’. Being expressed itself first as space-time and then as matter, becoming being-matter. It’s as good an explanation as any. Paul Sutter, a well-known astrophysicist, says “In the beginning there was a question mark.”[i] Stephen Hawking said in the beginning there was a singularity without time or space, but he couldn’t explain how it got there.

Continue reading What’s Your Story? Mine is Very Old

Climate Action in BC: The November Offensive

Climate Action

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

Our 2018 Local Elections on Southern Vancouver Island: The Winners

 

Winnersby 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

The Seven Phases of Climate Awareness

Climate Awareness

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

A Practical Plan for Affordable Housing in the Cowichan Valley

Home Everyone

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?

Continue reading A Practical Plan for Affordable Housing in the Cowichan Valley