About ingrid

Ingrid has been the owner and editor of The East Shore Mainstreet newspaper since 2002. She lives and works out of her home in Gray Creek alongside her husband Juergen and children Zoe and Luka.

ESTBA Membership Drive

The East Shore Trail and Bike Association has begun it’s 2019 online membership drive. It’s our hope that we can keep our membership strong and continue to expand our support network and partnerships.

Maintaining a healthy membership assists us with grant and sponsorship funding as well as ensure adequate liability coverage on the trails.

As ESTBA begins it’s fifth operational year we have reflected on the amazing journey it’s been. We are so grateful for the support we have received and are excited for the opportunities that await us this year.

This year we have added a new membership option. If you have a business or organization please consider supporting us in this capacity. See you on the trails

ESTBA Team! www.estba.ca

Farm & Food Directory – Get Listed, East Shore!

Don’t miss your chance to be listed for free in the 2019 Farm & Food Directory!

Don’t miss your chance to be listed for free in the 2019 Farm & Food Directory! Listings are free and must be completed by March 31st to be included the fabulous print version that will be distributed throughout the Central Kootenay throughout 2019. More information can be found here. Help residents in and visitors to the Central Kootenay to find your food. 

  • For a business to be listed, you need to be located within the political boundaries of the RDCK;
  • Each business needs to set up an account on the website, which gives you the ability to go back in and edit it, as needed, over time. We have created a guide to creating the account and completing the necessary information. It can be found here.
  • All new and updated entries must be completed by March 31st in order to meet the print version deadline.
  • Questions? Contact Abra Brynne, Executive Director, Central Kootenay Food Policy Council at: info@ckfoodpolicy.ca ckfoodpolicy.ca t: 250.352.5342 / c: 250.777.2480

Join CBESS 8/9 Students for a Chili/Cornbread Dinner – Proceeds Going Towards ADST Class

Join us on Wednesday, March 6th

ADST (Applied Design Skills Technology) 8/9 Class invites all students, parents and guardians, teachers, and community members to our fundraiser dinner and Trades Programs presentation next Wednesday night in the Performance Space!

Tickets at the door are $10 or free for children 5 and under. Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm – delicious vegetarian chili and cornbread. Dessert will be scrumptious lemon squares and brownies.

We are fundraising for our Gr. 8-9 ADST (Applied Design Skills Technology) class, with an eye to supporting the construction of an outdoor classroom. We are currently in the planning phase, with the support of a recently received grant from Growing Innovation in Rural Sites of Learning.

Educational entertainment will be Brent Firkser about the Trades Programs at Selkirk College, information on secondary school course selection, and a Raffle!

If you can let us know that you are coming, that would help for planning. If not, come anyway! We look forward to treating you like royalty!

See you on Wednesday March 6th.

Can We Get Wheels Under These Meals?

submitted by Fran O’Rourke for Riondel Seniors

We know there are people on the East Shore – seniors and those with medical issues – experiencing difficulty preparing meals. Others have trouble cooking for one or are just tired of their own cooking. Riondel Seniors Association is trying to initiate a meal delivery program that responds to some of these needs. Kootenay Gourmet in Balfour is willing to package and deliver meals as far as the ferry. There will be a meeting on Monday, March 11 at 4:30 pm in the Seniors room of Riondel Community Centre. We are inviting people from all over the East Shore to join us in discussing how to create a workable meal delivery program. We have volunteers to deliver meals in Riondel, but to serve the East Shore, we need volunteers from other communities.

Daniel from Kootenay Gourmet will attend the meeting with examples of his menu. Sampling plates will cost $10 each. You don’t have to pay to join the discussion, but if you are interested in the tasting, please register with Fran O’Rourke (250.225.3268). Daniel needs to know how much food to bring. And join us on March 11; this is a program the East Shore needs.

Laugh Your Belly Fat Away

Tina Fey’s Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat*

Come and play with the local contingent of belly-fat burners and howling laughers… Every Monday at Community Corner at 7pm. (For those who saw our original poster and were planning for Sundays, please note the new day – MONDAYS at 7pm at Community Corner in Crawford Bay. Don’t miss it – you won’t regret coming and you might lose a tonne of weight. *Results not guaranteed.

The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES. When you’re improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we’re improvising and I say, “Freeze, I have a gun,” and you say, “That’s not a gun. It’s your finger. You’re pointing your finger at me,” our improvised scene has ground to a halt. But if I say, “Freeze, I have a gun!” and you say, “The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!” then we have started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun. Now, obviously in real life you’re not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.

As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in real life whose first answer is no. “No, we can’t do that.” “No, that’s not in the budget.” “No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar.” What kind of way is that to live? The second rule of improvisation is not only to say yes, but YES, AND. You are supposed to agree and then add something of your own. If I start a scene with “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you just say, “Yeah…” we’re kind of at a standstill. But if I say, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you say, “What did you expect? We’re in hell.” Or if I say, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you say, “Yes, this can’t be good for the wax figures.” Or if I say, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you say, “I told you we shouldn’t have crawled into this dog’s mouth,” now we’re getting somewhere. To me YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.

The next rule is MAKE STATEMENTS. This is a positive way of saying “Don’t ask questions all the time.” If we’re in a scene and I say, “Who are you? Where are we? What are we doing here? What’s in that box?” I’m putting pressure on you to come up with all the answers. In other words: Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles. We’ve all worked with that person. That person is a drag. It’s usually the same person around the office who says things like “There’s no calories in it if you eat it standing up!” and “I felt menaced when Terry raised her voice.” MAKE STATEMENTS also applies to us women: Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, “I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?” Make statements, with your actions and your voice. Instead of saying “Where are we?” make a statement like “Here we are in Spain, Dracula.” Okay, “Here we are in Spain, Dracula” may seem like a terrible start to a scene, but this leads us to the best rule: THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities.

If I start a scene as what I think is very clearly a cop riding a bicycle, but you think I am a hamster in a hamster wheel, guess what? Now I’m a hamster in a hamster wheel. I’m not going to stop everything to explain that it was really supposed to be a bike. Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up being a police hamster who’s been put on “hamster wheel” duty because I’m “too much of a loose cannon” in the field. In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox.

*Improv will not reduce belly fat

–From Bossypants by Tina Fey (Reagan Arthur Books; 2011)

TRUST, COLUMBIA POWER PURCHASE WANETA EXPANSION – $991M Deal

Long-term financial benefits to the Columbia Basin and the Province

Waneta Expansion Project

(Castlegar, B.C.) – Columbia Basin Trust and Columbia Power Corporation announced today they have entered into an agreement with Fortis Inc. to purchase its 51 per cent interest in the Waneta Expansion hydroelectric generating facility located near Trail, B.C. for $991 million.

“We are extremely pleased to be restoring ownership to the originally mandated 50/50 partnership,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust and Acting President and CEO, Columbia Power Corporation. “Columbia Basin residents value the local ownership of all of our facilities and will enjoy even greater benefits now, and in the future, as more of the revenues are injected back into this region and to the Province.”

The Trust and Columbia Power, which currently own 49 per cent of Waneta Expansion, worked closely with the BC Government to make this purchase possible.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the government to work in collaboration with Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust to return this valued asset to the people of the Columbia Basin,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, Columbia Basin Trust and Columbia Power Corporation. “The return on this investment will benefit the province and residents of the Columbia Basin for generations to come.”

The 335-MW facility was constructed with Fortis ahead of schedule and on budget, adding a second powerhouse immediately downstream of the Waneta Dam on the Pend d’Orieille River. It shares the existing hydraulic head and generates clean, renewable, cost effective power from water that would otherwise be spilled, and provides enough energy to power 60,000 homes.

“Congratulations to Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and Fortis for reaching this milestone,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Thanks to your work the Waneta Expansion will provide real, lasting benefits for both the people of British Columbia and residents of the Columbia Basin.”

There will be no change to operations or to any key agreements. Long-term agreements are in place with BC Hydro to purchase the energy and with FortisBC to operate the facility and purchase surplus capacity.

“This facility is an extraordinary asset that wouldn’t have been possible without Fortis coming on board as a partner in 2010 to help with its development,” added Strilaeff. “I want to thank Fortis for our strong and collaborative relationship and we look forward to continuing to work with FortisBC as the operator of the facility and the purchaser of the surplus capacity.”

Financial close is expected in April 2019. See the announcement from Fortis here.

TD Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP acted as legal counsel, and DCF Consulting acted as strategic transaction advisor to the Trust and Columbia Power.

The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route Is No Secret

Successful 2018  tourism campaign set to continue in 2019-2020

The hidden gem of the Kootenays, that scenic route weaving along forests, rivers and lakes, between orchards and artisans’ shops, connecting people and communities from Yahk to Riondel is a secret no more. Whether it’s popping into Northern Woven Broom to purchase one of Luke Lewis’ one-of-a-kind creations, enjoying a vino and vista of the Creston Valley from Skimmerhorn Winery’s deck, or hiking along Kootenay Lake or into the Purcell range, the route has caught the attention of an increasing number of visitors.

Locals look on curiously as RV’s pass by with out-of-province license plates or offer “out-of-towners” friendly directions to farmers’ markets, golf courses, or our favourite beach spots. Meanwhile new eateries like Red’s Bakery or the Yahk Mountain Café have popped up to provide food and snacks to famished kids and grateful parents. Some visitors have never been before, some come back annually to see friends and family, and some return to make this place home.

Tammy Bessant at work in her shop at the Yahk Soap Company

In 2018, The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route tourism campaign launched to provide an opportunity for almost 100 local businesses, organizations, and attractions along the route like the Yahk Soap Company to collaboratively showcase their wares to visitors.  “We felt being a part of the CVKL Route Tourism Campaign was essential for us as business owners in the Creston Valley,” Says co-owner and operator Tammy Bessant, going on to note “working together with other businesses to promote the area and each other makes us all successful.”

Most importantly the campaign gave visitors new resources to discover all that the area has to offer.  By navigating through the website’s “to do section”, following our social media pages for news and photos shared by locals, or just grabbing a print guide to explore artisan’s shops, cafes, markets, beaches and trails, visitors were encouraged to prolong stays or make an unexpected visits.

Since June over 7,000 print guides have been distributed to local businesses and Visitors’ Centres across the Kootenays, 3,000 + users have explored the CVKL Route website, and over 200 pictures and posts on the CVKL Route pages have been viewed by 1000 + social media followers on Facebook and Instagram.

With a  successful year of the campaign behind us, the Creston Valley Kootenay Lake Tourism Advisory Committee (CVKL TAC) would like gratefully acknowledge the countless businesses, organizations, and community members who supported this campaign by stocking the guides, sticking the CVKL Route decal in the front window, or sharing your pictures and videos with us on social media!

We are also pleased to announce that the campaign will continue in 2019-2020 thanks to the generous financial support of Destination BC, Columbia Basin Trust, RDCK Electoral Areas A, B, C, and the Town of Creston. While enhancing our existing CVKL Route website, social media, and guide, expect to also see new resources to help your customers, visiting family members, or friends fall in love with our beautiful backyard in 2019.

Interested in learning more about the CVKL Route? Check out the website at www.crestonvalleykootenaylakeroute.com, follow the CVKL Route on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest or leave a comment or picture! Have an idea, suggestion, question, or just want to say hello?  Email us at info@crestonvalleykootenaylakeroute.com. Otherwise, best wishes to everyone along the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route in 2019!

99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2018

from Future Crunch at medium.com

For the last 12 months, the global media has been focused on a lot of bad news. But there were other things happening out there too. Good news stories that didn’t make it onto the evening broadcasts, or your social media feeds. We spent the year collecting them, in our ongoing mission to stop the fear virus in its tracks.

Another year of big wins for conservation

Image credit: Carine06/Flickr

1. The Kofan people of Sinangoe, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, won a landmark legal battle to protect the headwaters of the Aguarico River, nullifying 52 mining concessions and freeing up more than 32, 000 hectares of primary rainforest. Amazon Frontlines

2. Following China’s ban on ivory last year, 90% of Chinese support it, ivory demand has dropped by almost half, and poaching rates are falling in places like Kenya. WWF

3. The population of wild tigers in Nepal was found to have nearly doubled in the last nine years, thanks to efforts by conservationists and increased funding for protected areas. Independent

4. Deforestation in Indonesia fell by 60%, as a result of a ban on clearing peatlands, new educational campaigns and better law enforcement. Ecowatch

5. The United Nations said that the ozone hole would be fully healed over the Arctic and the northern hemisphere by the 2030s, and in the rest of the world by 2060. Gizmodo

6. $10 billion (the largest amount ever for ocean conservation) was committed in Bali this year for the protection of 14 million square kilometres of the world’s oceans. MongaBay

Image credit: Our Ocean 2018

7. In California, the world’s smallest fox was removed from the Endangered Species List, the fastest recovery of any mammal under the Endangered Species Act. Conservaca

8. In 2018, after more than ten years of debate, 140 nations agreed to begin negotiations on a historic “Paris Agreement for the Ocean,” the first-ever international treaty to stop overfishing and protect life in the high seas. National Geographic

9. Niger revealed that it has planted 200 million new trees in three decades, the largest positive transformation of the environment in African history. Guardian

10. Spain said it would create a new marine wildlife reserve for the migrations of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and will prohibit all future fossil fuels exploration in the area. Associated Press

11. Following ‘visionary’ steps by Belize, UNESCO removed the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, from its list of endangered World Heritage Sites. BBC

12. Colombia officially expanded the Serranía de Chiribiquete (also known as The Cosmic Village of the Jaguars)to 4.3 million hectares, making it the largest protected tropical rainforest national park in the world. WWF

13. Mexico said its population of wild jaguars, the largest feline in the Americas, grew by 20% in the past eight years, and 14 Latin American countries signed an agreement to implement a regional conservation program for the big cats through 2030. Phys.org

14. In the forests of central Africa, the population of mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species, was reported to have increased by 25% since 2010, to over 1,000 individuals. Reuters

15. Canada signed another conservation deal with its First Nations people, creating the largest protected boreal forest (an area twice the size of Belgium) on the planet. BBC

16. Chile passed a new law protecting the waters along its coastline, creating nine marine reserves and increasing the area of ocean under state protection from 4.3% to 42.4% BBC

17. The Seychelles created a new 130,000 square kilometre marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, protecting their waters from illegal fishing for generations to come. National Geographic

18. New Caledonia agreed to place 28,000 square kilometres of its ocean waters under protection, including some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. Forbes

Some extraordinary new milestones for global health

Image credit: Paul Joseph Brown

19. 25 million doses of a new cholera vaccine were administered globally, and preparations began for the largest vaccination drive in history. UNICEF

20. France revealed a sharp fall in daily smokers, with one million fewer lighting up in the past year, and cigarette useamong Americans dropped to its lowest level since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started collecting data in 1965.

21. Rwanda became the first low income country to provide universal eye care to all of its citizens, by training 3,000 nurses in over 500 health clinics. Telesur

Dr Ciku (Wanjiku) Mathenge performing a standard checkup on a young Rwandan boy. Image credit: Fred Hollows Foundation

22. India registered a 22% decline in maternal deaths since 2013. That means on average, 30 more new mothers are now being saved every day compared to five years ago. The Wire

23. Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma. In 2000, it threatened 2.8 million people (15% of the population) with blindness. Devex

24. The WHO revealed that teenage drinking has declined across Europe, the continent with the highest rates of drinking in the world. The country with the largest decline? Britain. CNN

25. Since 2010, global HIV/AIDS infection rates have fallen by 16% in adults and by 35% for children. Most countries are now on track to eliminate infections by 2030. Undark

26. In 2018, New York and Virginia became the first two US states to enact laws requiring mental health education in schools. CNN

27. Malaysia became the first country in the Western Pacific to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Malaymail

28. South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of people living with HIV, shocked health officials by revealing a 44% decline in new infections since 2012. Telegraph

The late Prudence Mabele, founder and executive director of Positive Women’s Network, who broke ground in 1992 in South Africa by publicly revealing her HIV-positive status. Image credit: PRI

29. After five successful, annual rounds of large-scale, school-based deworming across Kenya, worm-related diseases have fallen from 33.4% in 2012 to 3% today. KEMRI

30. Russians are drinking and smoking less than at any point since the fall of the Soviet Union, with tobacco use down by 20% since 2009, and alcohol consumption down by 20% since 2012. Straits Times

31. Tanzania revealed that in the last ten years, it has reduced the malaria death rate by 50% in adults and 53% in children. Borgen

32. The WHO certified Paraguay as having eliminated malaria, the first country in the Americas to be granted this status since Cuba in 1973.

A kinder, more tolerant planet

Image credit: Daniel Barclay

33. Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, and gave the government 18 months to change it. BBC

34. New research revealed that in the last two decades, female genital mutilation has fallen from 57.7% to 14.1% in north Africa, from 73.6% to 25.4% in west Africa, and from 71.4% to 8% in east Africa. Guardian

35. India’s highest court struck down a century-old prohibition on homosexual sex, calling the Victorian-era law “irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary.” Al Jazeera

36. Morocco passed a landmark law that criminalises violence against women, and imposes harsh penalties on perpetrators. Albawaba

37. Germany released new figures showing that more than 300,000 refugees have now found jobs, and the share of MPs with migrant backgrounds has risen from 3% to 9% in the last two elections. Economist

A Syrian refugee at a German Railway training workshop. Image credit: Quartz

38. New Zealand became the second country in the world (after the Philippines) to pass legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave. Guardian

39. Scotland became the first nation in the world to guarantee free sanitary products to all students, and India’s finance ministry announced it would scrap the 12% GST on all sanitary products.

40. Canada became the second country in the world to legalise marijuana. A major crack in the grass ceiling, and a wonderful moment for fans of evidence-based decision making everywhere. BBC

41. In a major milestone for human rights in the Middle East, a Lebanese court issued a new judgement holding that homosexuality is not a crime. Beirut

42. Trinidad and Tobago’s high court ruled that the Caribbean nation’s colonial-era law banning gay sex was unconstitutional. NBC

43. Tunisia became the first Arab nation to pass a law giving women and men equal inheritance, overturning an old provision of Sharia Islamic law. Dhaka Tribune

The moral arc of history bends a little further. Image credit: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters

44. Pakistan’s parliament passed a landmark law guaranteeing basic rights for transgender citizens and outlawing all forms of discrimination by employers.Al Jazeera

45. Scotland became the first country in the world to include teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights into its state schools curriculum. The Scotsman

46. Nepal became the 54th country in the world, and the first country in South Asia, to pass a law banning corporal punishment for children. End Corporal Punishment99 Reasons 2017 Was A Great Year
If you’re feeling despair about the fate of humanity in the 21st century, you might want to reconsider.medium.com

Living standards improved for most people in the world

Image credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP

47. Quietly and unannounced, humanity crossed a truly amazing threshold this year. For the first time since agriculture-based civilisation began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind is no longer poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty. Brookings

48. A little perspective. The Economist revealed that global suicide rates have dropped by 38% since 1994, saving four million lives, four times the number killed in combat during the same time.

49. According to the UNDP, 271 million people in India moved out of poverty since 2015, and the country’s poverty rate has been cut nearly in half. Times of India

50. India also continued the largest sanitation building spree of all time. More than 80 million toilets are estimated to have been built since 2014. Arkansas Democrat Gazette

That’s a lot of toilets. Credit: World Bank

51. The International Energy Agency said that in the last year, 120 million people gained access to electricity. That means that for the first time since electrical service was started (1882), less than a billion of the world’s population are left in darkness.

52. A new report showed that the global fertility rate (average number of children a woman gives birth to) has halved since 1950. Half the world’s countries are now below replacement levels. BBC

53. Bangladesh revealed that it had reduced its child mortality rate by 78% since 1990, the largest reduction by any country in the world. Kinder-World

54. Remember how the global media worked itself into a frenzy over Cape Town’s water shortages and Day Zero in 2017? Strangely, nobody reported this year how the Mother City successfully averted the crisis. apolitical

Thanks to an unprecedented collective effort, this warning is now a thing of the past. Image credit: Harold McNiell

55. Respiratory disease death rates in China have fallen by 70% since 1990, thanks to rising incomes, cleaner cooking fuels and better healthcare. Twitter

56. The share of black men in poverty in the United States fell from 41% in 1960 to 18% today, and their share in the middle class rose from 38% to 57% in the same time. CNN

57. A new report showed that democracy is more widespread than ever. Six in ten of the world’s countries are now democratic — a post war record. Pew Research

58. A new global youth survey showed that young people in all countries are more optimistic than adults. Nine in 10 teenagers in Kenya, Mexico, China, Nigeria and India reported feeling positive about their future. Guardian99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year for Humanity
”If it bleeds its leads” isn’t just a saying, it’s a business modelmedium.com

The clean energy transition in action

Image credit: Getty

59. The world passed 1,000 GW of cumulative installed wind and solar power this year. 10 years ago, there was less than 8 GW of solar. Future Crunch

60. Solar and wind continued their precipitous cost declines. In the second half of 2018 alone, the levelized cost for solar fell by 14% and the wind benchmark by 6%. In many parts of the world it’s now cheaper to build new clean energy than it is to keep dirty energy running. BNEF

61. Allianz, the world’s biggest insurance company by assets, said it would cease insuring coal-fired power plants and coal mines, and Maersk, the world’s largest maritime shipping company, said it would begin ditching fossil fuels, and will eliminate all carbon emissions by the year 2050.

62. Repsol became the first major fossil fuels producer to say it would no longer be seeking new growth for oil and gas. Bloomberg

63. California unveiled the most ambitious climate target of all time, with a commitment to making the world’s fifth biggest economy carbon neutral by 2045. NBC

Lentil-eating, latte-sipping, sackcloth-wearing greenies in action. Image NBC

64. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, revised its renewable energy target upwards, committing to 35% clean energy by 2030. Engadget

65. Chile said it had managed to quadruple its clean energy sources since 2013, resulting in a 75% drop in the average cost of electricity. IPS News

66. The United States set a new record for coal plant closures this year, with 22 plants in 14 states totalling 15.4GW of dirty energy going dark. #MAGA. Clean Technica

67. 11 European nations either closed their coal fleets or announced they will close them by a specific date, including France by 2023, Italy and the UK by 2025, and Denmark and the Netherlands by 2030.

Image credit: CarbonBrief
Image credit: CarbonBrief

68. Some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, representing more than $3 trillion in assets, and Black Rock, the world’s biggest fund manager, with assets worth $5.1 trillion, said they would only invest in companies that factor climate risks into their strategies. UNFCCC

69. India increased its already massive 2022 clean energy target by 28%. It plans to add 150 GW of wind and solar in the next four years. Clean Technica

70. Ireland became the world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels, after a bill was passed with all-party support in the lower house of parliament. Guardian

71. Spain committed to shutting down most of its coalmines by the end of the year, after the government agreed to early retirement for miners, re-skilling and environmental restoration. Guardian

These stories all come from our free, fortnightly email newsletter. If you’re interested in getting more news like this in 2019, you can subscribe here.

War, crime and violence continued their inexorable, long term decline

Image credit: Wykop

72. The Journal of Peace Research said that global deaths from state based conflicts have declined for the third year in a row, and are now 32% lower than their peak in 2014.

73. After a decade long effort, Herat, Afghanistan’s deadliest province for landmines, was declared free of explosive devices. Nearly 80% of the country is now mine free. Reuters

74. Following the collapse of ISIS, civilian deaths in Iraq decreased dramatically. 80% fewer Iraqis were killed in the first five months of 2018 compared to last year. Anti-War

75. Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace treaty, signalling the end of a 20 year war, and reuniting thousands of families. BBC

76. Malaysia abolished the death penalty for all crimes and halted all pending executions, a move hailed by human rights groups in Asia as a major victory. SMH

77. Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2012. Murders have decreased by half since then, more than any other nation. Ozy

78. Crime and murder rates declined in the United States’ 30 largest cities, with the murder rate for 2018 projected to be 7.6 percent lower than 2017. Vox

79. Crime falls when you take in millions of refugees too. The number of reported crimes in Germany has fallen by 10%, to the lowest level in 30 years. Washington Post

Really, really, really good looking police (and protestors). Image credit: Reddit

80. Worried about the kids? Youth crime in the Australian state of New South Wales has plummeted in the last 20 years. Vehicle theft is down by 59%, property theft by 59%, and drunk-driving by 49%. ANU

81. Still worried about the kids? In the last generation, arrests of Californian teenagers have fallen by 80%, murder arrests by 85%, gun killings by 75%, imprisonments by 88%, teen births by 75%, school dropouts by half, and college enrolments are up by 45%. Sacbee

82. According to new data from the Department of Justice, the proportion of people being sent to prison in the United States has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years. Pew Research

An economy that doesn’t cost the earth…

Image credit: Plug’n’Drive Ontario/Flickr

83. Damn those pesky millenials. A new report revealed that, thanks to shifting tastes amongst those born after 1980, 70% of the world’s population is reducing meat consumption or leaving meat off the table altogether. Forbes

84. Germany announced one of the most ambitious waste management schemes in history. The government plans to recycle 63% of its total waste within the next four years, up from 36% today. DW

85. The Malaysian government announced it would not allow any further expansion of oil palm plantations, and that it intends to maintain forest cover at 50%. Malaymail

86. Denmark became the latest country to announce a ban on internal combustion engines. There are now 16 countries with bans that come into effect before 2040 — including China and India, the two biggest car markets in the world. Bloomberg

87. In 2018, the world surpassed the 4 million mark for electric vehicles. In the world’s biggest car market, China, electric cars reached 5% of sales; China’s internal combustion car market is flat, with all growth now being absorbed by EVs. Bloomberg

88. Adidas expects to sell 5 million pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic this year, and committed to using only recycled plastic in its products by 2024. CNN

89. Four years ago, China declared a war on pollution. It’s working. Cities have, on average, cut concentrations of fine particulates in the air by 32%. New York Times

90. Thanks to tightening restrictions, the United Kingdom reported a 12% drop in vehicle emissions since 2012, as well as significant overall drop in air pollutants. BBC

…and a turning point in the global effort to reduce plastic waste

Beating the bag, in Holland. Image credit: voor de wereld van morgen

91. 250 of the world’s major brands, including Coca Cola, Kellogs and Nestle, agreed to make sure that 100% of their plastic packaging will be reused, recycled or composted by 2025. BBC

92. The European Parliament passed a full ban on single-use plastics, estimated to make up over 70% of marine litter. It will come into effect in 2021. Independent

93. As of the end of 2018, at least 32 countries around the world now have plastic bag bans in place — and nearly half are in Africa. Quartz

94. China said it had seen a 66% reduction in plastic bag usage since the rollout of its 2008 ban, and that it has avoided the use of an estimated 40 billion bags. Earth Day

95. India’s second most populous state, Maharashtra, home to 116 million people, banned all single use plastic (including packaging) on the 23rd June this year. Indian Express

96. India’s environment minister also announced the country would eliminateall single-use plastic by 2022. Oh, and three years after India made it compulsory to use plastic waste in road construction, there are now 100,000 kilometres of plastic roads in the country.

Image credit: BulldozAIR.com

97. Four years after imposing a 5p levy, the United Kingdom said it had used 9 billion fewer plastic bags, and the number being found on the seabed has plummeted. Independent

98. Following a ban by two of its biggest retailers, Australia cut its plastic bag usage by 80% in three months, saving 1.5 billions bags from entering the waste stream. NY Post

99. After enacting the world’s toughest plastic bag ban, Kenya reported that its waterways were clearer, the food chain is less contaminated — and there are fewer ‘flying toilets.’ Guardian

… and one last one, just for luck (our favourite story of the year, and the subject of this article’s cover photo)

100. There is now a giant 600 metre long boom in the Pacific that uses oceanic forces to clean up plastic, and you can track its progress here. Despite a few early setbacks, the team behind it thinks they can clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the next seven years. Ocean Cleanup


If we want to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we need to change the stories we tell ourselves.

Christmas Bells are Ringing!

On Sunday, December 16 at 4pm and 7pm, the Many Bays Band & Many Bays Choir will be performing a selection of Christmas songs from traditional to contemporary at the Harrison Memorial Church. 🎵🎶  This year, a story will be narrated and woven through the entire concert!

Admission by donation at the door with proceeds going to the Harrison Church Maintenance Fund.