By Rewriting our Past, We can Rewrite our Future

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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

Continue reading By Rewriting our Past, We can Rewrite our Future

Tiny Homes Villages

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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

Canada’s Choice

CanaDAS CHOICE 2

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

Farm Villages – The Way of the Future

 

Farm-VillagesSubmission to the Agricultural Land Reserve Minister’s Advisory Committee by Guy Dauncey and Rob Buchan. Deadline for letters and submissions Monday April 30th 2018.

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/agriculturallandreserve/

For an illustrated slideshow on this proposal, see https://www.slideshare.net/GuyDauncey/farm-villages

Introduction

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.

Continue reading Farm Villages – The Way of the Future

Let’s Make Every Business a Social Purpose Business

 

Social-PurposeBy 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

The Birth of a New Cooperative Economy

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.

Continue reading The Birth of a New Cooperative Economy

Let Us Create An EcoRenaissance

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.

Continue reading Let Us Create An EcoRenaissance

To Dam, or Not to Dam? An Ode to the Peace River

Peace

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 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