In less than a week Team Birds Not Bitumen has become one of the
TOP TEN fundraising teams! of the Baille Birdathon. Thank you heart-lifting friends. And outward like ripples, several people have forwarded the resource section from my last BLOG post. A friend sent this new song.
It is not too late to give. Please do!
Generosity is a life-affirming practice,
and it will make you feel GREAT.
Birds Not Bitumen Big Day Report
On May 21 (fueled by delicious food) Team Birds Not Bitumen raced by bicycle and public transit to spot as many bird species as they could in a 24 hour period.
75 bird species seen,
Approx 85 km
by bike and public transit.
first bird of the day:
American Robin at 4:20 am
WHY? Because we love birds, and they don’t have a voice at the fossil fuel development table. AND we don’t have to accept the status quo, even tho we all participate in it to some degree. AND because doing something and taking action feels great, and as I said in my last post, taking action beyond the self fulfills our deep need for meaning and purpose.
HEY! i'm an oystercatcher. i live near the Ferry Terminal and also around the Stanley Park seawall. learn more get involved give money even 5 bucks
The Team in action & sleeping
Bird highlights include
- 6 species of swallows: Aerial Insectivores!
- Townsend’s Solitaire: elusive and rare for us
- Ethereal song of the Swainson’s Thrush
- Caspian Terns Colony diving head first into ocean
- Heron rookery sounding like 800 type-writers
- Funny-looking oyster catchers (see pic above)
- And a glowing red-throated hummingbird.
Carbon Export mega-projects we saw
Χ proposed 700% increase in tar sands tanker traffic in pristine BC waters.
Χ increases to Thermal Coal shipments through Surrey and Texada Island.
Χ building any more infrastructure for carbon-export. ISSUES OVERVIEW
and Χ I don’t even know what to say about so-called-natural gas… isn’t methane (main component of LNG) 21 times more harmful as a greenhouse gas than CO2?
Actions I recommend:
1. Subscribe to the Clean Energy Review, a weekly email newsletter of the 10 most interesting climate and clean energy updates from across Canada and around the world. Short, snappy, cutting edge.
2. Look at this art project and get inspired about myriad ways for action. Making the right choices about our energy future begins with the right conversation.
4. My friend DJ is working against the proposed increase in tanker traffic in our harbour. Would you be willing to work with her as part of a team that collects signatures and recruits more volunteers? Meeting this Thursday night, May 29 at 7:30pm in east Vancouver. (Email me for the address.) The regional Coordinator for this volunteer initiative will be explaining how to get involved. In this case, the biggest thing is to make personal contacts and ask people to sign a pledge form against the increase in tanker traffic. This can be done among your friends, neighbours, colleagues.
5. Super geekfest: learn more about the port of Metro Vancouver, the different exports and capacities of many of the terminals.
6. and if you are still reading, please recognize this opportunity to practice your generosity in this moment:
give to Team Birds Not Bitumen
and help keep us in the top 10!
It holds love, hope and our fierce belief in a better way.
The fossil-fuel-industrial-complex is a hungry and relentless bully, and
it currently wants more and more and more of the river valley I live in.
So the Fraser Valley has become central on the global warming stage
as a site of resistance.
And… this spring my heart is on fire for the unfurling mystery of leaves
and insects, birds and blossoms. I have a fluttering crush on this world!
I believe that taking action beyond the self fulfills
our deep need for meaning and purpose. To caretake
of people or place is to belong, and love directly.
TEAM Birds Not Bitumen!
Plan of Action to go beyond the self.A glimpse of my thinking and the steps behind this project:
1. Have eyes opened to the insanity of current fossil fuel development paradigm and associated propaganda. Believe there is a better way. Feel inspired by the action of others.
2. Learn about Bird-a-thon. Create Team Birds Not Bitumen. Recruit inspiring friends to join! Plan epic day of birding adventure!
3. Stack purposes… raise funds for bird habitat conservation AND draw attention to the relationship between bird habitat, human habitat, and the fossil-fuel-industrial-complex.
4. Pull together resources. Describe current context of threats. Highlight the many many bright lights of inspiration… all the people and visionary organizations working together for a better way.
5. Design promo (this blog, an email, maybe a press release?). Demonstrate passion. Ask for money for birds AND/OR/UPICK for Land Defenders. Press SEND!
! R ! E ! S ! U ! L ! T ! S !
6. Friends and contacts learn more, feel inspired by our passion, get involved. Thus the circle of the way expands. Money is raised to support these visions of a better future.
Thank you. See this NOTE on Generosity.
About the project:
On May 21, Team Birds Not Bitumen will race against the clock, by bicycle and public transit, to spot as many bird species as they can in a 24 hour period. They’ll travel from high up a mountain tributary to the mouth of the majestic Fraser in search of moving migrants and elusive local species.
The majestic Fraser River Delta is one of a handful of crucial stops on the Pacific Flyway, used by literally millions of migrants as they make their incredible journeys north to breeding grounds. Controversial and widely opposed projects like the ongoing expansion of Deltaport (the biggest exporter of coal on the west coast), recent derailments of coal-trains, and not to mention all the scandalous pipeline pressure (Kinder Morgan, Enbridge)… mean bird habitat is at risk! Time is of the essence in these fights to protect habitat and health for birds and humans alike.
Says Team BNB, “We believe that bird and other communities -including human- are currently under threat from continued extreme development pressure from the fossil fuel industrial complex.”
Please support us. We’re doing one small thing because we believe in a better way, and we’re asking for your support. Thank you for learning about our project, why we are doing it, and all the many ways that you can educate yourself and take (small or large) action alongside us.
P.S. The wee spark of this idea was nurtured by the System Stinks, a group of friends and mindfulness practitioners from Mountain Rain Zen Community engaged in learning more about the systemic manifestations of greed, hate and delusion. Sitting on the cushion is not enough…
RedSara: Activist, Artist, Community Organizer, Nature Mentor. Red for our heart of survival beating strong. Sara wields a very precise pair of binoculars.
Nature Name: Red-Winged Black Bird -Support-
Jenna: Co-Founder and Director of Soaring Eagle Nature School, 6 years strong building a community of Nature Connected people. Herbalist and Traditional Skills Instructor, Jenna is a speeding blur on a bicycle.
Nature Name: Western Tanager -Support-
Allison: Curious, a teacher with a passion for Nature Connection, social justice, and speaking the truth when most would stay silent. Allison walks the true path of love spreading inspiration far and wide.
Nature Name: Pacific Slope Flycatcher -Support-
Jay Wade: Takes Nature Connection to the deepest of levels, currently supporting young men to look closely and transform inner and outer worlds towards integrity and understanding. Reflexes like a Coopers Hawk, Jay can spot any flash of wing by sight or sound. -Support-
Nature Name: White-Crowned Sparrow
ElTraviso: Solid, dependable, and an inspiration to all around him. Travis is a bike and environmental stewardship Teacher and Mentor to many many young people. Watch out for those rocks you didn’t put in your backpack… you know they came from this trickster!
Nature name: Stellar’s Jay -Support-
Support our Bird Big Day
Donating money is easy.
Learn more! Educate yourself,
and share what you learn
Support a Land Defender
or other Visionary Organization
YOU pick which one to donate to from the list below.
(these groups DO need your actual money resources)
Video Resource: Vancouver & Salish Sea as strategic site for stopping Climate Change: 5mins
Supertankers: Brief OVERVIEW of the three proposals to bring more and bigger oil supertankers to B.C.’s coast, so that Alberta’s oilsands crude can be shipped to China and Asia. (from notankers.ca)
Oil Sands Reality Check INFOgrafic: fast awesome resource.
FAQs about Coal in BC, particularly shipping through the Fraser Valley.
Tar Sands INFOgrafic: proposed 700% increase in tar sands tanker traffic in pristine BC waters
Decolonization, fracking, targets, action ideas: Links and Resources from Rising Tide.
Oil Tankers in the Straight of Georgia: expect a spill every 7 years, from Georgia Straight Alliance, June 2013
Join my friend Donna Jean’s team to collect signatures against Increased Tanker Traffic through Burrard Inlet. Email me for contact info redsara -at- gmail -dot- com
Artist Leads People’s Procession Against Pipeline in Burnaby, March 13, 2014
Kitimat, BC votes ‘no’ to Northern Gateway in plebiscite, Apr 12, 2014
Big increase in shipping Oil by Rail, Jan 26, 2014
Hold the Wall, sign the document: Representatives of over 130 First Nations throughout BC and Canada are signatories to this powerful legal document that protects the lands and waters we all rely on from devastating oil spills for all people and all generations. “We, the First Nations of the Yinka Dene Alliance, continue to steward the lands and waters in our territories according to our ancestral laws. We have used those laws, expressed in the Save the Fraser Declaration, to ban Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and similar tar sands projects from our territories.” -SIGN NOW-
Dogwood Initiative brings together everyday British Columbians to reclaim decision-making power over their air, land and water. Right now, 96 per cent of British Columbia’s land is owned by the people, but 88 per cent of that land is controlled by large timber, mining and oil companies. That stinks. Dogwood works with more than 170,000 supporters, as well as First Nations, businesses and communities, to leverage political victories and find common sense solutions to some of B.C.’s most pressing problems, particularly coal and no tankers. -SEND A MESSAGE-
Rising Tide: Vancouver Coast Salish Territories is a grassroots environmental justice group committed to fighting the root causes of climate change and the interconnected destruction of land, water and air.
“Everywhere in the world, low-income, politically marginalized communities—historically those least responsible for environmental destruction and greenhouse gas emissions—are those hardest hit by climate change and every aspect of industrial expansion, from toxic pollution to resource wars. We are committed to confronting this injustice and shifting power back into the hands of people and communities most impacted by global warming and environmentally destructive industries, and away from the current state, corporate, and imperial powers who promote these industries.
We ground our work in decolonizing principles, recognizing that environmental injustice stems from discrimination, domination, and violence through colonial occupation and expansion with the help of capitalist and imperialist institutions. We recognize our work as part of a broader global justice movement and seek to align our work with those who oppose all forms of oppression. Our organizing is committed to working in solidarity with impacted peoples.” -UPCOMING ACTION MAY 23-
The Sacred Trust is an initiative of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. The Sacred Trust is mandated to oppose and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. “Our laws establish a sacred trust, a responsibility to care for our lands, air and waters. The federal government has forced us to go to court to defend ourselves and our territory. We will fight this unilateral and one-sided review process, and this project with all legal means,” says Rueben George, Sacred Trust Initiative, Project Manager Public Engagement, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. -DONATE-
North Shore NO Pipeline Expansion (North Shore NOPE) is a North Vancouver residents’ group, opposing the proposed new Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby. They believe that Canada should not be expanding its pipeline infrastructure, but rather adopting a vision for responsible economic development. -SIGN-
Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)‘s mission is to: 1) provide education and a forum for discussion of the credible risks associated with transporting and storing crude oil, particularly diluted bitumen, through Burnaby and Burrard Inlet, 2) provide education about climate change and sustainable and clean energy, and 3) support the conversion from unsustainable fossil fuel energy system to sustainable and clean energy. -PIPELINES & SCHOOL SAFETY-
The Wilderness Committee is united in their mission to protect Canada’s life-giving biological diversity through strategic research and grassroots public education. They believe that the right, the duty and the ability to act for the public good are integral to citizenship. They value wilderness, with all its natural biodiversity, as absolutely vital to the health of people, communities and the planet. They act with integrity and courage to mobilize citizens to take lawful, democratic action to defend Canada’s wilderness and wildlife. Current campaigns include Pacific Coast and Climate Change, among others. -LEARN MORE-
Unis’tot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern BC, Canada. The camp’s log cabin, traditional pit house, and forest permaculture garden sit squarely in the path of the pipeline route to the North Coast port of Kitimat, blocking two proposed gas pipelines and the Enbridge Northern Gateway tarsands pipeline. By supporting the camp, you are not only helping grassroots Wet’suwet’en assert their sovereign right to live on their unceded traditional territories, you are also helping to put a stop to the eco-cidal expansion of tar sands and shale gas projects through the creation of a so-called “energy corridor.” -DONATE- or -SUPPORT US- or -JOIN THE CAMP-
Streams of Justice is a social justice group rooted in the radical prophetic traditions of the Judeo-Christian faith. They actively pursue a more just, equitable, inclusive, and compassionate society through analysis, action and reflection that exposes and opposes unjust social structures, and opens up space for imagining and advocating alternative possibilities of human solidarity, communal flourishing and care for the earth that sustains all life. As settlers on the path of justice, we stand against the ongoing colonization of indigenous lives, communities, lands, and traditional life-ways, and support the indigenous struggle for sovereignty and self-determination. -SOLIDARITY-
Forest Ethics protects forests and opposes dirty energy through advocacy and market initiatives. Their strategy is to work with corporations and, when necessary, campaign against them. They work in Canada and the United States. -DO SOMETHING-
Georgia Strait Alliance is a citizen’s group focused on protecting the marine environment in and around the whole Strait of Georgia — the place where most British Columbians live, work and play. They work to: protect marine life and its habitat, restore our region’s water and air quality, promote sustainable communities, and foster stewardship of the marine environment. They are active against the Fraser Surrey Docks coal port expansion, Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, as well as open fish farms. -COORDINATE-
Vancouver Council of Canadians, Vancouver & Burnaby Chapter is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. They work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians. -UPCOMING EVENT: WED MAY 21-
EcoJustice is Canada’s leading charity using the law to protect and restore the environment. Their lawyers and scientists set legal precedents and strengthen environmental laws that protect and restore the environment, both today and for the future. Current campaigns include Standing Strong against risky Pipelines. -NEW CASE LAUNCH-
Against Port Expansion (APE) in the Fraser Estuary BC is a group of concerned citizens who recognize that plans for container terminal expansion on Roberts Bank will see the degradation of the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents; the industrialization of prime agricultural land; and the loss of globally-significant habitat for salmon, migrating birds and orca whales.
We are a broad-based community group consisting of people from various backgrounds including homemakers, business owners, members of the work force, scientists, and environmental groups. We share the view that “Enough is Enough”. -NO TERMINAL 2 EXPANSION-
Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network (VIC FAN) is a registered non-profit society based in Victoria, Coast Salish Territory, BC. They are all volunteers, and don’t have government grants, corporate sponsors, big offices or high-paid staff – all of their funding comes from the community and goes directly to their projects. They regret that Revenue Canada does not allow environmental justice groups to issue tax receipts. They are autonomous, anti-racist, feminist, and fierce in their defense of the land. They currently work in solidarity and support of the Unist’ot’en Camp, among other projects. -ECO WARRIORS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND-
Voters Taking Action on Climate Change: “We create opportunities for people to demand that governments take action on climate change. We are completely volunteer driven and not affiliated with any political group. All the money we raise goes straight into our campaigns. No overhead! The single most powerful tool for change we have in this country is citizen engagement. When the public works together to demand action, the politicians listen. We urge you to organize your community and start taking collective action to fight climate change.” -ORGANIZE-
Living Oceans works for healthy oceans and healthy communities, and this includes many things related to Ocean Ecosystems including working to raise awareness and stop expansion of oil tankers on the Pacific Coast. Ways to get involved include: Send a message, stay informed, donate, volunteer, report debris. -INTERACTIVE OIL SPILL MAP-
The Vancouver Ecosocialist Group has been formed by political and social justice activists of varying backgrounds in metropolitan Vancouver. We have come together because we believe the struggle to avert the deepening climate emergency is a fight for the survival of humanity and the Earth as we know it. We join in common struggle with all who seek to bring human economic pursuit into harmony with the other species with which we share the planet. We are committed to support social and environmental initiatives that confront entrenched interests and build towards real and comprehensive social transformation. We must create a cooperative society, if we are to overcome the destructive, downward spiral of capitalism. -QUESTION CAPITALISM-
Communities and Coal, and Coal Free White Rock were created for residents, by residents. We are a grassroots movement of citizens, from White Rock to Texada Island, concerned about the exporting of millions of tonnes of US Thermal Coal through BC Communities. -LEARN MORE-
if you’ve made it all the way down here I’m guessing you might want to comment, or let me know any reactions, or get in touch. You can comment on the blog itself, OR you can fill in this form and send me a personal note directly. Your choice. I would love to hear from you.
←→invitation to participate←→
Bicycle Buddha Adventure 2014
Sunday May 11 to Sunday May 18, 2014
or smaller portions thereof…
A 3 to 5 to 8 day Community Bike Ride that combines:
• mindfulness practice,
• nature connection,
• easy-level bicycle touring,
• community practice, and
Travel by bicycle in gorgeous unfolding spring.
Meet yourself on two wheels and ride free. This 3 or 5 or 8 day ride welcomes peope who are new to bicycle touring with manageable distances and lots of snack and stretch breaks. Regular city riders, as well as those with experience touring are all welcome. Likely we’ll be a group of 8 to 12 riders, rolling as a group.
Immerse yourself in natural beauty as we ride the shores of the Salish Sea and Sooke.
Living outside is a treat, especially at this fresh new time of year. We’ll practice meditation outside daily, deepening our nature connection.
Mindfully connect. Authentically meet the world as it is, as YOU are.
Traveling by bicycle helps us connect directly with both the outside world, and the world within us. We’ll practice riding in noble silence. Connection and mindfulness can come easily, especially on Vancouver Islands’ famous Galloping Goose and Lochside rail-to-trail routes which are mostly car-free.
Embrace your journey and challenges within a supportive community.
Our aim is that we wholeheartedly bring ourselves and offer our gifts, each contributing according to our abilities. Together we roll in mutual support, sharing meals, skills, laughter, stories, mindfulness practice, and of course… fun!
Contact us with questions and excitements!!!
Use this form or send an email to redsara -at- gmail.com
More details below.
Everything you wanted to know about the
Bicycle Buddha Adventure, May 2014
BICYCLE BUDDHA 2012
Building on the successful experience of the Bicycle Buddha Adventure of July 2012, where folks jumped in to participate fully in a 5-day bike trip, and it was so great that we kept touring together even after our planned portion was finished… we are THRILLED TO OFFER:
BICYCLE BUDDHA ADVENTURE 2014.
• mindfulness practice,
• nature connection,
• easy-level bicycle touring,
• community practice, and
We’ll be camping, and will have access to yummy local food along the way. We’ll become a rolling community, feeding ourselves collectively and sharing roles amongst us, all contributing our strengths within a planned framework. Guessing we’ll be 8 – 10 people total. We will ride approx 250 to 300km over the 5 to 8 days (don’t be intimidated; with lots of stops to stretch and snack, it is not a gruelling schedule). Some folks who are already committed to the tour are looking forward to riding mindfully in noble silence.
TIMING & LOCATION
Sunday May 11 to Thursday May 15: Vancouver to Sooke and return
Thursday,May 15 to Sunday May 18: Salt Spring Island weekend
OR Sunday May 11 to Sunday May 18: Vancouver to Sooke plus Salt Spring Island.
WHERE WE’LL GO
Departing Vancouver early on the morning of Sunday, May 11, we’ll ride to Tsawwassen then hop the ferry to Vancouver Island. We’ll ride as far as Sooke along the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails, which are fabulous rail-to-trail conversions so lots of the trip is completely car-free! In Sooke we’ll be hosted at the Victoria Zen Centre by the inspiring Zen Abbot and Osho named Kosen Eshu Martin, and his family… and they literally live up a mountain at the edge of the Sooke Basin. After a few days to relax, practice meditation or exploration, and enjoy the ocean we’ll roll out again towards Metchosin, and weather permitting we’ll do a full moon hike. Next day we’ll turn North and bike together towards Salt Spring Island.
Depending on who we are, there is a possibility the ride will split into two sections. This happened on our first trip, and was good. One portion would ride directly to Salt Spring, retracing our tracks on the Lochside bike path. The other portion would enjoy a new route to Salt Spring via Cowichan, a longer ride that would involve another night of camping on the road before arriving on Salt Spring Island. This is just a guess, and what we do depends on who is present and what our wishes are at the time.
What about joining us for the Salt Spring Island portion of the trip? This could look like getting yourself and your bike to the Tsawwassen ferry, riding to Schwartz Bay and meeting up with the Tour at the Ferry Terminal. Together we would travel by ferry over to Salt Spring Island. The ride from the Ferry to Ruckle Park is only 9km, but it is a hilly 9km on roads that are quite narrow. Car traffic is present on this section of the Tour.
The plans continue to unfold for the Salt Spring half of the trip… with enough interest we could find ourselves camping together and immersing in the natural world at Ruckle Park, and connecting with existing Sangha on the island, as well as with our own rolling sangha for the weekend.
The skills of participants, whoever you are, will shape what we do. We each offer our gifts and skills to the group, and together we learn.
EVEN MORE DETAILS
- We’ll be tenting.
- Mostly we will ride in noble silence.
- Dharma/mindfulness discussions amongst peers (informal, but intentional).
- Daily morning stretching / outdoor sit in forest.
- Schedule that we develop and modify as needed, striving for a container for practice.
- Shared meals co-created on a rotating schedule.
- Riding 40 – 60km per day, this is an accessible distance if you ride fairly regularly in the city
- Meeting up with local dharma groups for a sit now and then, or they meet up with us where we are.
- Possibility of story-sharing in the evenings.
- Opportunity to be free from technological distraction for the trip duration.
- 2012 Bicycle Buddha was awesome, and happened in July. May is earlier, fresher, maybe we’ll experience some rain?
$40 to $70 ferry costs, depending on route.
$90 (estimate) for 6 nights camping.
$80 for food for the trip.
optional dana (donation) for coordination, logistics, etc
a bicycle in good working order, equipped for touring, including a minimum of 2 panniers
a tent (although there may be a possibility to share), plus other sleeping gear
stiff-soled shoes for riding
commitment to participating in our co-created community
We will be carrying all of our camping gear, no ‘sag wagon’ – so you should be of sound health and prepared to carry 20-30 lbs on your bike.
Organizers have done lots of bike camping and can offer plenty of guidance and support for novice bike tourers, and this is designed to be an intro-level tour. If you ride regularly this should be a manageable experience for you.
Please get in touch soon!
Sara (redsara @ gmail.com) is available to chat and discuss any details, questions, doubts, etc! Roshin Carmen will also be available intermittently (carmen @ emeraldcity.bc.ca)
About the Organizers
RedSara is deeply into nature connection, bikes and meditation. She is excited to share her fire for the natural world and our connection to it, and especially loves birds. She brings her experience with collectives and collective living to help our community connect and thrive in the time we are together. She is also an artist, educator and community organizer.
Roshin (aka Carmen) has recently returned from six months of residential practice and service at Upaya Zen Centre, where she was given her new name: Roshin, by Roshi Joan Halifax in a Jukai ceremony. Carmen is a writer, buddhist practitioner, biker, designer, events producer, and instigator of amazing projects. Read her latest on her blog http://bicyclebuddha.org
Together Roshin (aka Carmen) and RedSara have worked on various Bicycle Buddha related projects, including the original Bicycle Buddha Adventure in 2012. They helped found ZenYU: Young Urban Zen which is a weekly meditation practice group for young-identified folks in the Vancouver area.
The organizers are committed to ensuring:
• a clear route,
• organized details such as ferry times and ride distances,
• camping locations and logistics,
• fresh water,
• food sourcing,
• connections with other mindfulness practice groups,
• support for a mindful practice container,
• meditation support,
• nature connection support,
• other logistics as needed.