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.
creativity is like a muscle
when you work it it gets stronger
T r a n s f o r m is a new course starting mid-February being offered as part of Gallery Gachet’s Art School. Its purpose is to support individuals in their daily creative practice.
for self-identified artists of all abilities, including aspiring.
Note that you can attend the first session with zero obligations to complete the course.
We believe that:
By creating art every day we’ll improve in leaps and bounds (both technique and creative prowess).
By committing to your practice (and to this course) you’ll find increased confidence in your creativity, and
By flexing your creative muscles you’ll gain personal power to shape the world around you, from the mundane to the monumental.
To learn more about this art course please,
CLICK HERE to download Info Sheet.
Course begins Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I’ve been finishing up a proposal for a Course that I hope to offer next term at the Gallery Gachet Art School, co-facilitated with my rad friend Caleb.
Transform: Active Creativity for Personal & Social Change
The backbone of this course is that we agree to make art, or to do something creative every day (or every other day). Creativity takes bravery, and a willingness to be vulnerable as we learn to see and experience reality directly, and then to act to transform this reality in some way through our actions.
Using a combination of discipline and gentleness, as well as by locating our creative practice within a supportive community context, we vastly increase our odds of success and of realizing our intentions.
I’ll probably do more promo here, but for now I include the drawing I did this morning, as I contemplated re-engaging with this daily creative practice thing… that if you follow this blog you’ll know I’ve not been doing recently. I prefer my mindfullness practice on my meditation cushion these days.
I do believe approaching daily creative practice within a group context will be super cool, and I am genuinely excited to support others in this work that has been so transformative for me. And i guess jumping back in too!
More about Gallery Gachet, from their current show catalog:
Collective Habitat 1997 – 2012 | ART-i-FACT: 88 East Cordova
For 15 years, this building/Gallery Gachet site has been home to diverse and unusual artists; it bears witness to creative engagement with art against oppression, paradigms of self-taught vs. school taught, politically motivated art, art borne of abuse and marginalization, inclusive art, and art revealing the power dynamics within contemporary art practice and institutions. Gachet’s contributions are unusual, subversive and underrepresented. In the development of the knowledge exchange concerning art, Gachet engages mental diversity, inclusivity issues and intersections of oppression. Vision, reality and artistic output have an intimate relationship with perspective and socially-defined definitions of sanity and competence. As we move into a more expansive and accepting climate in the contemporary art world in Canada – one that is warming to Outsider art, ability-iconoclasm and political art – Collective Habitat creates an artistic and theoretical record of Gallery Gachet’s participation in this zeitgeist.