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Climate change debate seen from a different angle > ELANA DUBLANKO Living in an eco-conscious region, we take environmental knowledge for granted — especially the principles that global warming is real, that humans play a part in its causes, and that the effects are devastating our planet. For some, however, the issue is still up for debate. Dr. Naomi Oreskes’ two recent lectures on the history of climate-change doubt shed light on this prevalent issue. The lectures, organized by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), took place in Victoria on June 27 and Vancouver on June 28, and gave an in-depth look at the history of political reasons for doubting climate change. PICS is hosted and led by UVic and collaborates with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia. These four universities are committed to communicating with the public about climate change, including providing education and solutions. And it’s clear that PICS is doing a good job: the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, where the Vancouver version of Dr. Oreskes’ lecture was held, was full. Moreover, high-profile environmentalists such as David Suzuki attended the lecture, reflecting the importance of Oreskes’ contribution to the field of climate change. Oreskes’ lecture summarized her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Co-authored with fellow science historian Erik Conway, the book exposes reasons behind disbelief
in human-caused global warming. Although climate change is a scientifically proven fact, Oreskes claims that Republican strategists exaggerated scientific uncertainty to prevent government intervention in the American economy. In other words, sowing doubt about scientific findings maintains the American neoliberal ideal of the free market. Disbelief in scientific findings did not begin with climate change: it was the harmful effects of tobacco that set the precedent. In fact, Oreskes calls the persuasion of public and government regulators to doubt scientific evidence “the tobacco strategy,” after the infamous strategic campaign started by four tobacco companies in the 1950s. The campaign was wildly successful in convincing the public and the government that there was no scientific link between smoking cigarettes and cancer. According to Oreskes, this strategy was not only used for tobacco, but also for acid rain, the ozone hole, DDT and global warming. Reviewing the history of the scientific study of global warming, Oreskes stresses that there was never any doubt among scientists
about the matter. Efforts to invoke government action to combat global warming were present in the U.S. during the Johnson administration in the mid-1960s. By 1979, there was a general consensus among scientists about anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming. However, political and economic sentiments clouded environmentalists’ efforts. In 1984, three scientists, Frederick Seitz, Robert Jastrow and William Nierenberg created the Marshall Institute primarily for advocating Cold War defence tactics. But when the Cold War ended, the institute switched to advocating environmental scepticism. With an anti-Communist sentiment left over from the Cold War, the Marshall Institute sought to destroy all forms of socialism. Environmentalism was seen as the slippery slope to a socialist regime and thus was thought to require stopping in any way possible. When describing the assumption that every environmentalist has a hidden agenda, Oreskes quoted, “Environmentalists are like watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.” The fear of anything “Red” prompted a
Disbelief in scientific
findings did not begin
with climate change: it
was the harmful effects of tobacco that set the precedent.
return to “the tobacco strategy.” Since the model had proved successful for deregulation advocates before, the institute fostered doubt about humans’ impact on global warming. Oreskes clearly stated that the reason for spreading doubt was never about science; it was about politics. The Marshall Institute, anti-environmentalists and neoliberals simply wanted to prevent government intervention. In other words, all government regulation was negative, even if it was precautionary. Oreskes pointed out the irony that the deregulatory lobbyists and doubt-spreaders were Republican while the Republican Party was historically connected with protecting the environment. For example, the Nixon administration created the Environmental Protection Agency. Nevertheless, according to Oreskes, free-market fundamentalism triumphed, and continues to triumph, over environmental regulation. During the question and answer period at the end of the lecture, Oreskes’ background as a science historian shone through. With the thorough research of a historian and the precision of a scientist, Oreskes eloquently answered audience questions. She then concluded her presentation by explaining that doubt-mongering was not the only reason for climate change inaction. Other reasons, such as the power of the fossil fuel industry, the lack of a central figure, misinformation in the media, and society’s cowardice in admitting we created this problem all play major roles in the lack of action concerning climate change.
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Or what? You’ll release the dogs? Or the bees? Or the dogs with bees in their mouth and when they bark they shoot bees at you?
UVic registration stresses out students
Isn’t registering for classes supposed to be the easy part of getting a higher education? It’s definitely not supposed to be a stressful, harrowing experience that results in premature greying. And yet, many new and returning UVic undergrads are experiencing chest pains or night sweats (or both) while navigating their way through the online registration system. Think about it: while students were planning out the next eight months of their life during the past few weeks, their greatest concern was most likely making sure the required classes would fit together like a game of Tetris (allowing at least ONE day a week for sleeping in, of course). Don’t forget the fact that all these classes will require notes, papers, lab time, midterms, excessive amounts of reading (not to mention excessive pricing on those reading materials) and ultimately a final exam. All of the work put into doing well in a given course should be the stressful part. The only stress associated with the summer registration period should be whether there is a wait list or not. Yet, there is an excess number of complaints that registration this summer ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. According to many, it wasn’t easy. In fact, at moments it was very stressful. Seeing the word “error” during the so-called easy part of university life doesn’t calm an undergrad’s rising blood pressure. Part of the problem is that registration entails obscene amount of jumping through hoops. Every time the words “pre-requisite error” or “major conflict error” come up on the screen, every UVic students’ teeth may almost be heard grinding in frustration, which bodes well for the Campus Dental Center in the SUB, but not for students trying to get into their preferred classes. The fun part really comes when the “pre-requisite error” proves false and in fact, all prerequisites are met. It’s enough to send a student straight to the pub instead of sorting out the problem. The message, “major conflict error,” is also is a treat to receive for the students who are registering for classes of subjects that they are, in fact, majoring in. Yet despite all of this, kudos should go out to UVic staff members for helping students when they can. A quick email to the appropriate staffer can resolve almost any registration woes a student may encounter. Of course, finding out who the appropriate staffer is may take some time, but the support system is there. Sure, registration for fall semester only happens once a year over a span of a few weeks, but it happens to 18 000 students. Maybe we can give those students a much-needed break and make simplifying the process a priority.
Honestly, we might as well win > COLIN OSAKA
Editorial topics are decided on by staff at our editorial meetings each Wednesday before the production date in the Martlet office (SUB B011). Editorials are written by one or more staff members and are not necessarily the opinion of all staff members. 4
MARTLET July 14, 2011
The 2011 Tour de France is mid-competition and it remains unclear as to who will triumph in this year’s edition of the grueling 22-day race. We can only hope that this year’s race will offer equal opportunity for all of its competitors. In the last few years, a number of professional cycling’s top competitors have been disqualified for using blood doping techniques and for using performance enhancing drugs — both, in many cases. However, cheating is age-old in the Tour; before stateof-the-art drugs, the first defending champion was disqualified in 1904 for hitching a mid-race train ride to win a vital stage. In the 1920s, riders used alcohol, ethanol and cocaine as painkillers, nitroglycerin capsules as airway-expanding respiratory enhancers, and strychnine — rat poison — as a short-term performance-enhancing stimulant. Furthermore, team-cars towed riders by small wires and also stashed forks and nails in hope of puncturing the tires of their competition. Johan Bruyneel is the former manager of U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, which later became Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. Bruyneel managed seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and twotime winner Alberto Contador, each of who is currently under suspicion of drug use. He also managed 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis who was stripped of his title
after admitting to doping, some say under Bruyneel’s direction. Interestingly, Bruyneel titled his 2008 book chronicling his Tour de France successes We Might as Well Win. Further suggesting that cheating is embedded in the sport’s culture, the governing body of the Tour itself, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), has been accused of bribery on multiple accounts including allegedly accepting a cash bribe to cover up a failed drug test by Lance Armstrong in 2001. Only in recent years has professional sports begun to crack down on illegal performance enhancement. Major League Baseball’s Alex Rodriguez admitted last year to using steroids in 2003, yet he suffered no consequences since the drugs he used were legal at the time; professional cycling is in the same position with its athletes today. On the bright side, Leif Baradoy, a professional triathlete and Victoria local who was the fastest Canadian at the International Triathlete Union World Championships in Hungary last year confirmed that professional cycling is working hard to change its culture. We are already beginning to see banned drug use as a serious offence, particularly in the United States where grand juries are creating strong repercussions for professional athletes. Perhaps this year’s Tour de France winner will not only reinforce the push for clean competition, but also set a new standard within the culture of professional cycling.
Cultural appropriation is not OK > ADAM GAUDRY & ELAINE ALEXIE
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specific purposes. Despite this, there are non-Native people, unbound to such responsibilities and relationships, who use these ceremonial items for personal benefit, ignoring their sacred nature, in this case, to sell more dishware. It is one thing for a Native person to wear regalia and something different for a non-Native person to dress a robot in made-in-China feathers. While it is true that Pride is all about transgression and challenging mainstream society’s uptightness, the self-empowerment of one community should never be at the expense of another. Victoria Pride Society’s mandate, to “create a better public understanding of our community’s history, courage, diversity and future,” seems remarkably similar to the goal of many Indigenous community events. By endorsing a stereotypical display of Native “pride,” if it can be called that, the Pride Society runs counter to a festival that seeks to overcome discrimination, oppression and stereotypes of a different type. The reality is that this is now less of an issue of appropriation, and more an issue of silencing — a refusal to listen to the many Native people who have voiced their concerns over the appropriation of our sacred cultures. Rather than working with the many dissenting Indigenous voices, the Pride Society has reproduced the same kind of colonial atmosphere that we all seek to overcome.
If we could talk one more time
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Dealing with issues of cultural appropriation, as any activist can probably tell you, is a pretty exhausting affair. It involves telling people something they don’t want to hear, and trying to get people who aren’t used to listening to listen to what you have to say. It is frustrating to engage in this kind of work, so much so that a lot of Native folks avoid it for reasons of their own mental and emotional health (there are exceptions of course, and the blogs Native appropriations and My culture is not a trend fight the good fight regularly.) In many ways the dominant society, by which we mean mainstream Canada, really has no incentive to look critically at how they appropriate and use Native imagery, art and culture. In fact, the way this dominant society is constructed means that they benefit both symbolically and materially from controlling how Indigenous peoples are perceived in the mainstream. A slew of sports teams, mascots, brands and corporations claim to own Indigenous images (like the Chicago Blackhawks). More often than not, these images are stereotypes that the dominant culture uses to assure itself of its own civilization through the contrast of another’s presumed savagery.
By using the “savagery” and “otherness” of Indigenous people to bolster its own self-image, the mainstream inevitably misrepresents Indigenous nations while ignoring thousands of years of local history, five hundred years of genocide, and a whole lot of anti-colonial resistance. Issues of appropriation are even more complex when another group who has been marginalized by the mainstream — such as the gay, lesbian, bi, trans and queer communities — engages in the appropriation of Indigenous cultures. Last week, the Victoria Pride Society, as part of their “Open Your Doors. With Pride” competition endorsed a Village People robot display at the furniture accessory store PABOOM. The display includes a robot wearing a cheap-looking plains feather headdress made with (we have been told by staff) items purchased from the dollar store. Not only does this mock the sacred nature of regalia and the value Native cultures put into this kind of ceremonial attire, but it cheapens and distorts the power that it holds. Indigenous communities work hard to safeguard the sacred nature of regalia for use by Native people. Regalia is usually made with the supervision of elders specifically for the wearer. Knowledgeable elders ensure proper protocol is observed — our teachings, for example — and prohibit the use of regalia for anything but
> CODY WILLETT A friend of mine died the other day. Something went wrong and his plane crashed. This news came in an early morning text from an even closer friend who lives in the town where we all grew up. It was mortality closer than it’s ever been, and before breakfast no less. I lay in bed thinking about how long it’d been since I’d seen him. We hadn’t been in touch since high school, but being teenagers can be intense and he was important to me in more ways than he or I realized. After all, we’re young and not usually thinking about the significance of each person’s presence in our lives. After high school, my friend moved away to sunnier climes for a mill job that financed his way into the skies. He learned how to fly planes and was living the dream, so to speak. I would’ve loved to reconnect with him, but I was off learning lessons that took me far from where we were when we knew each other.
Back when we did, I lacked confidence in social settings and he was one of those cool kids who didn’t trade off of it. He treated me with respect and welcomed me into a group of friends I still hold dear, which was of critical significance to the confidence I’ve built since. He didn’t know that. He was the cute blonde guy who was funny and seemed to have it together. We’d chase the same girls (I, less effectually). We’d skip classes and fill our cars with friends who wanted to let lunch at the park roll right through a sunny afternoon. We rode in the same limo to prom. We felt immortal. We were just lucky. I don’t really remember what he told me during the intoxicated heart-to-heart I remember we had once. What I do recall is how I watched my all-time favourite cartoon and played my favourite video game for the first time at his place. I wouldn’t have a soft spot for Swollen Members and Nappy Roots if his musical taste (at the time) hadn’t been what it was. He didn’t know that either.
Do these small details and influences really mean anything? Of course they do. His passing doesn’t change the past we shared, but it does make me aware of its significance. These parts of my past help me feel like growing up isn’t really as hard as it feels. Would he have benefitted from knowing how I feel about his influences, for better or worse? Maybe he never needed that boost, though it seems we all could use one now and again. In a sad twist, I just found out he lived much closer to me than I’d thought. I could have easily seen him so many times since moving to the Island three years ago. Talking to a close mutual friend, she suggested that I’d looked up to him back in the day. I probably wouldn’t have thought so then, but she’s right. I find myself doing so again in a terribly more literal way. This time he’s teaching me something about appreciation. I wish I could let him know that. It’s not all tragic though — my friend died the other day doing what he loved.
Canada avoids war crimes questions > GRAHAM BRIGGS The matter of Canada’s criminal complicity in the torture of Afghan prisoners seems to have been successfully buried by the Conservatives, at least for now. Canada almost certainly committed war crimes in Afghanistan by transferring prisoners to Afghan jails where they were tortured, while it was widely known that torture was routine in such jails. But we may never know the exact details of the crimes if the Conservative government gets its way. The torture issue erupted when Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin testified on Nov. 18, 2010, before Parliament’s Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan. Colvin, who worked in Afghanistan for 17 months in 2006 and 2007, told the committee that all Afghan prisoners transferred by Canada were tortured, and that most were innocent. “For interrogators in Kandahar, [torture] was standard operating procedure,” Colvin told the committee. “The most common forms of torture were beating, whipping with power cables, and the use of electricity. Also common was sleep deprivation, use of temperature extremes, use of knives and open flames, and sexual abuse — that is, rape.” Colvin repeatedly sent emails to cabinet
ministers, generals and officials warning that transferred prisoners were being tortured. And Colvin was far from alone in sounding the alarm. Even in 2006, public warnings of torture in Afghan jails were made by many agencies, including the United Nations. Given the widespread knowledge that torture was common in Afghan jails, it is inconceivable that Canadian military and political leaders were ignorant of the likelihood that transferred prisoners would be tortured. Thus, Canada almost certainly committed war crimes. Canada has signed and ratified the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war, and the UN Convention Against Torture, which bans signatories from transferring a prisoner to a state “where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” After Colvin testified, a majority of MPs voted for a full public inquiry. The Conservatives ignored them, and refused to release any documents related to prisoners. This prompted the April 2010 ruling by the Speaker of the House that Parliament has the power to compel the executive branch to provide such documents, and that the Conservatives would be in contempt of Parliament if they refused. The task of reviewing which documents
could be released was then given to a panel of retired judges, with input from a small committee of MPs. However, the government denied the panel access to many key documents, claiming cabinet confidence. The panel had planned to review Harper’s claim of cabinet confidence. But after the Conservatives won a majority in the May election, the judges were told that the committee of MPs to whom they reported would not be renewed. Of roughly 40 000 pages of documents related to Afghan prisoners, only 4 000 were released last month and many remain unexamined. Canada’s Military Police Complaints Commission is still trying to investigate and report on what and when the Canadian military knew about torture. The Conservatives are doing everything they can to hinder the Commission, which is currently bogged down in federal court. As Colvin has rightly said, government and military leaders, not soldiers on the ground, should be held responsible for Canada’s war crimes. But war crimes charges against powerful Canadians aren’t likely. Only African despots and people whose countries we bomb face war crimes charges. Politicians and generals in countries like the United States, Britain and Canada always get away with their war crimes. July 14, 2011 MARTLET
Not only have humans extracted honey from them since early civilization, but they also play an integral role in human food growth through pollination. Bees are certainly important to human civilization, but now they are disappearing, and dying, in mass numbers.
here are all the bees going?
In recent years honeybee colonies have been in rapid decline, with some North American beekeepers losing 50 to 100 per cent of their honeybees each year. This phenomenon has been dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in North America. But beekeepers around the world are also experiencing serious losses in their hives, and while the causes are speculated on, a clearcut answer is still unknown. What is known: bees are very important to human food pollination. According to the documentary Vanishing of the Bees, one out of three mouthfuls of food North Americans eat is grown thanks to honeybee pollination. Bob Liptrot, a Sooke beekeeper with almost 50 years of experience and a master’s degree in entomology, is worried about future food production. “We are on a rock covered with water in a large vacuum called outer space, and we’re going nowhere off that rock in the short term to go set up a farm somewhere else,” says Liptrot. “If we don’t get it together we’re going to join the rest of the extinct species.” According to Liptrot, one of the largest reasons for CCD is migratory beekeeping on monocultural farms. These industrial farms, which grow just one kind of plant across vast expanses of land, aren’t places that bees naturally like to live. Besides the fact these farms produce pollen for bees only at one time of the year, bees prefer a diversity of pollen sources. Beekeepers are paid to truck their colonies to these crops, where the honeybees pollinate the plants, and are then are packed up and trucked off across the country to another pollination contract. Liptrot says this form of beekeeping is hard on honeybee immune systems because it is nutritionally insufficient. “That’s like you depending on one potato crop,” says Liptrot. “If you do manage to harvest a good crop you’re only living off of potatoes, nothing else. Nutritionally that’s a big driving force behind colony collapse disorder.” Dan Del Villano, a hobbyist beekeeper in Victoria, agrees migratory beekeeping plays a large role in CCD because the bees are moved around so much, and thus, so are viruses and diseases. “If there’s a new disease in the California almond crop in February, it is along the Canadian border, on the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and along the Mexican border that same season,” says Del Villano. Monocultural crops are also very susceptible to plant pests that can destroy an entire crop, so industrial farms use large quantities of pesticides and herbicides, which Liptrot says are bad for bees. Studies on the effects that pesticides have on bees are done by the companies that manufacture them. Then the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) decides whether or not to approve the chemicals. He says Canada generally follows suit with what the USDA approves. Liptrot says these studies need to be more complete, and that they don’t take into consideration the effects of the chemicals when they are mixed together — like when a bee brings various different pesticide-laden pollens back to its hive because it’s collecting from different crops. He says industrial farming practices, including monocultural farming and migratory beekeeping focus on the short term, but in the long term these methods of food production will fail. “We are producing our food the wrong way,” says Liptrot, “It’s one of the worst agriculture practices that we have come up with, ever, in the history of agriculture.”
The local buzz On Vancouver Island industrial farming and large-scale beekeeping operations are less common, but beekeepers here are not immune to mass losses of honeybees. According to B.C. apiculture (beekeeping) statistics, Vancouver Island’s overall losses were 30 per cent in 2007, 54 per cent in 2008, and 26 per cent in 2009, with some beekeepers experiencing 80 to 100 per cent losses in a year. According to Brenda Jager, the Vancouver Island apiary inspector for the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, yearly losses of 10 per cent are considered acceptable historically. Both Liptrot and Del Villano say the Varroa mite is the main killer of honeybees on Vancouver Island. The mite is a parasite that attaches itself to the honeybee, and sucks fluid from its circulatory system leaving the honeybee weakened and prone to diseases and viruses. Del Villano has kept honeybees as a hobby for seven years. The number of hives, or colonies, he keeps varies, but last year he had six on the go until five of them died during the fall and winter from Varroa mites. Although he estimates he lost at least $500 worth of honeybees, he says the financial loss hurts less than the physical loss of his bees. “We have a relationship that we don’t really have with any other insects, and not really that many animals,” says Del Villano. “People say dogs are humankind’s best friend, but really it’s honeybees that are our best friend.” Liptrot has about 100 production colonies he uses for honey extraction to make mead, and around 250 to 300 colonies he uses to breed queen bees. He says his losses haven’t been too bad; besides one “shaky year” two years ago when he lost 40 per cent of his colonies, he has been able to keep control over the Varroa mites. According to Liptrot, many beekeepers place pesticide strips, called miticide, into their beehives to fight the Varroa mite, but the mites become resistant to the strips, and this technique just adds yet another chemical into the mix. Instead, Liptrot uses a combination of acids and thyme oil to combat the mites, and although it’s very labour intensive, Varroa mites don’t develop a resistance, and the bees aren’t bothered.
MARTLET July 14, 2011
However, industrial beekeepers in other parts of Canada and the U.S. sometimes have 20 000 colonies of honeybees, and Liptrot admits with that many hives, his technique would add to their workload considerably. He says this kind of industrial beekeeping and the use of pesticides needs to be assessed more critically. “We need to start looking at better animal husbandry processes because we can’t continue to be dumping pesticides on our beehives any more than we can continue to dump pesticides on the food that we eat,” says Liptrot.
Honeybees versus native bees European honeybees were introduced to North America in the 17th century. While these honeybees are the ones used for crop pollination commercially, native bees also pollinate crops. Gordon Hutchings, an entomologist in Victoria who studies native bee species, is not worried about human food production were the honeybee to be wiped out, in spite of the doomsday predictions. Although he says it’s hard to pin down what percentage of crop pollination is done by native bees, the amount would be higher than people think, and native bees deserve more attention than they get. “To say the honeybees are doing it all is wrong,” says Hutchings. “Just because you have invested everything into one species doesn’t mean you have to stick to it; you have to start thinking outside the box.” Hutchings uses an analogy to help explain his point. He says to imagine all the cows in the world are dying, and think about what humans would do without beef. “People would say ‘oh gee I can’t have my steak and hamburgers’ because all the cows are dying,” says Hutchings, “and while you’re saying that you’ve got a deer eating your tulips in your front yard.” He says people need to focus more on using native bees to pollinate. According to Hutchings, the viruses honeybees get do not transfer to the native bees; they deal with their own pathogens, diseases, and parasites, but fight them off naturally. However, native bees are in decline due to habitat loss from human population. Over 450 known native species of bees live in B.C., with more being discovered each year. Most of these bees are solitary — rather than living in colonies like the honeybee — and they need to be attracted to an area to pollinate it. About 70 per cent of them nest in the ground, many preferring hardpan soil that hasn’t been tilled, and are attracted to native plants. Hutchings says native bees are “terrible” at pollinating monocultural crops because it’s a completely unnatural environment for them. And where honeybee colonies can be plunked in the middle of a large monocultural area to pollinate it (whether they prefer that area or not), native bees can’t since they generally don’t live in colonies. But because monoculture farming generates so much of the food North Americans eat and honeybees are the ones that pollinate it, the food industry relies heavily on honeybees. Hutchings says the situation may have turned out differently if humans had not focussed so heavily on honeybees for pollination. “The reason honeybees get a lot of credit is because they have received so much of our attention,” says Hutchings. “We have focussed collectively as an industry on that introduced species of bee.” With humans continually populating more and more land, areas for native bees to nest are disappearing. And with their habitat disappearing, so are the bees. Liptrot agrees that native bees are disappearing, and that that monocultural farming is a large factor. “We’re basing this whole pollination effort on massive industrial monocultural plantings which have wiped out natural pollinators because of the loss of habitat that those pollinators require,” says Liptrot.
Action and education Jager says farmers need to have tracts of natural land surrounding their fields to attract native bees, and she says it’s up to the individual farmer to change the way their farms are laid out. “I believe in action and I believe in education,” says Jager. “It’s important that individuals make choices . . . I think people are working towards [natural land areas] again.” Jager also says grass has no value for bees and encourages people to leave some native plants on their property. “We should be encouraging dandelion as a trendy thing in lawns,” says Jager. “It’s the number one flower for all kinds of bees.” Liptrot says bees like clover, and suggests sprinkling a handful of seeds here and there to attract them. Hutchings holds seminars teaching people about native bees, including which plants attract them and how to create areas that they like to nest in. He builds what he calls bee ‘condos’ for solitary bees to live in. The condos are boxes filled with wooden trays which have separate sections so the bees can live side-by-side, yet still have their own space, hence the name condo. He also builds bee boxes for bumblebees to nest in. The boxes and condos can both come with a transparent top, dubbed the ‘Hutchings Peek-a-Boo System,’ so that people can see how the bees nest inside. As for the decline in honeybees, Liptrot says that more research is vital. He is involved in a five-year study with Jager, and various other beekeepers and scientists to determine which strains of honeybees are the best for virus, disease and pest resistance, as well as optimum honey production. Del Villano suggests more people take up beekeeping as a hobby; not only to try to keep up the populations, but also because it helps connect humans to nature. “You realize how important the natural world is, and how dependent upon it we are,” says Del Villano. “We’ve always just kind of taken [bees] for granted.”
STORY BY RENﾃ右 ANDOR PHOTOS & DESIGN BY SOL KAUFFMAN
July 14, 2011 MARTLET
The origin of the Bee Gees band name has absolutely nothing to do with bees. It is actually just an acronym for Brothers Gibb.
Coombs to host grassroots festival > KAROLINA KARAS It’s that time of year again. Vancouver Island has already enjoyed the return of music festival favourites like Victoria’s International Jazz Festival and Port Renfrew’s Tall Tree Festival. This July 16 and 17, a new festival is taking the stage in Coombs, B.C. While the Kulth Festival is new, the people behind it are Island music festival veterans. Event manager David Fisher and his team were the brains behind Soundwave electronic music festival. The shift from an electronic music festival to Kulth’s “folk festival with an edge” had much to do with time. “We just decided that [Soundwave] went through a ten-year cycle and we wanted to do something different,” says Fisher. Another part of the process was planning a family-friendly festival, as Fisher and both his team and friends are young parents with children. Kulth does have entertainment planned for the kids with donation-based face painting, a ventriloquist and a clown ready to entertain. DJ Trevor will also be in the Main Hall on Sunday with Disney remixes. But Kulth is very much for adults as well, according to Fisher. “At night, it gets a little funky. There’s a little disco with Neighbour and Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party. We also have the Boom Booms, that both the kids and adults can dance to,” says Fisher. Headlining the festival is the Sunday night closing act, Ron Sexsmith, as well as Montreal-based band Stars on Saturday night. Local favourites Current Swell and Aidan Knight are also headliners. The name of the festival comes from KulthKa-Choolth, which means, “jagged faced” in Coast Salish. Shortened to just “Kulth,” Fisher says the name comes from the environment and the view. “When you’re driving towards the event grounds, you basically look at this beautiful,
The Boom Booms will be bringing their high-energy performance to the Kulth Music Festival.
jagged face,” says Fisher, referring to the view of Mount Arrowsmith. Fisher and his team are already in the works for the second Kulth in 2012 with a film festival featuring documentaries, including one with a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Kulth Festival. “It’s about local cultural connection, not just music,” says Fisher. This year, local businesses will be fea-
tured in the market ranging from handmade clothing and an on-site cobbler to a concession provided by Lefty’s Fresh Food Restaurant. Kulth is also partnering with Tour de Rock, the local fire department and the Keep a Breast Foundation in raising funds for cancer. The festival officially opens to the public on Saturday, July 16, at 9:30 a.m. with an
opening ceremony featuring a bagpiper and a presentation of the community’s history. Kulth Music Festival July 16 and 17 Coombs Rodeo Grounds, Coombs B.C. 35 weekend pass ($100 for students) thekulth.ca
New Island brewery turning heads > TYLER LAING Beer and beaches — two things B.C.’s west coast does right. As far as the area’s best beach goes, Tofino’s Long Beach is tough to beat. A stretch of sand coveted by surfers and tourists from all over the world. But if that weren’t enough, Tofino recently began its bid for the best beer as well. The Tofino Brewing Company (TBC) officially flipped its taps on April 16. From a warehouse-turned-brewery within Tofino’s industrial section, four guys — Bryan O’Malley, Chris Neufeld, Dave McConnell and Dave Woodward — are putting Tofino on the map for more than just its geography. “It’s a pretty amazing part of the world here,” says O’Malley, the man responsible for making TBC happen. “Adding a brewery to it is just adding to the already long list of things that make Tofino great.” O’Malley moved from Vancouver to the Island’s west coast after graduating from high school seven years ago. After a few years of tending bars, he needed a change. “I switched to working on tug boats,” he says, and that’s where the TBC revelation struck him. “Me and a couple of co-workers were doing a really shitty job one day and talking about what would be way better than [tugging], and one of the guys said, ‘Man, a brewery would work pretty good out here,’ and I was just like, ‘Awesome, all right.’ ” Enter Neufeld and McConnell, the other
MARTLET July 14th, 2011
two partners in the business. O’Malley and ing beers. We were like, ‘We’d be crazy not to Neufeld grew up together; Neufeld met Mctake him.’” Connell at university. They had all emigrated And just like that, the dream team was to Tofino from Vancouver. None of them had formed. Says O’Malley of the group’s dynamever owned a business before. ic, “We all have our strengths and the really “I had to convince them a bit,” O’Malley nice thing about it is all of our strengths fill says, “but after some in the other persons’ time they definitely weaknesses. It really got on board.” works out well for the He did some rebusiness aspect.” search, quit his tug job Since opening, and a mere year-andO’Malley and the gang a-half after developing have been blown away the business plan, by the support they’ve the boys opened their received from the brewery’s doors. community. It’s helped But while these make their first foray three might have into entrepreneurship formalized the TBC, a smooth one. it’s Woodward’s role “We’ve got to that’s arguably most definitely attest that important. He’s the to the fact the local brew master. After community has been five years as the head behind us through the brew master at the whole project,” says renowned Whistler O’Malley. “The reBrewhouse, Woodsponse has been pretty ward too had needed much unreal.” –Bryan O’Malley a change. It’s no surprise that a “He heard about our community like Tofino startup and gave us a call,” says O’Malley. would approve of such an enterprise. “We went over to Whistler, tried his beer, saw “We really try to focus on making sure his operation and were super stoked on it. we’re as sustainable as possible and being as He’s a really good guy and also brews amazmuch of a positive addition to the town,” says
“We really try to focus on making sure we’re as sustainable as possible and being as much of a positive addition to the town.”
O’Malley. Instead of propane or natural gas, they power the brewery solely with electricity — no carbon emissions. A water recovery system recaptures roughly 1 200 litres of water per batch, which is used in a subsequent brew. The spent grain goes to a farm in Port Alberni and they give their trub, a coagulated malted barley protein and hop byproduct, to a soap company on Stubbs Island. Aside from the local establishments they supply to serve the beer on tap, the crew only sells their beer in growlers — 1.89-litre glass bottles that people can refill at the brewery — to help cut down on waste and recycling. The Tuff Session Pale Ale is available year round, along with a seasonal beer. The Fogust Wheat Ale, a summertime German-style hefeweizen, just replaced the Hoppin’ Cretin IPA. “We’re actually looking for the fall to kind of speed up the transitions a bit. We’d definitely like to get a few out before Christmas time,” says O’Malley. But although they plan to constantly rotate their seasonal beers, the guys aren’t too keen on expanding their market . . . yet. “For right now, we definitely want to grow roots here and become the local brewery,” says O’Malley. “That’s very important to us, not to be exploitive of the [Tofino] name, but just be true to being out here and supporting the community. But in time, we’d definitely like to grow, as any business should.”
One hell of a good album City and Colour’s new album Little Hell is anything but a hellish listening experience. Dallas Green’s third full-length album under the moniker should be a welcome addition for Green’s fans. Little Hell features Green’s trademark guitar, his unmistakably haunting voice, and soulful lyrics. Those familiar with City and Colour’s previous two albums, 2005’s Sometimes and 2008’s Bring Me Your Love, will not be disappointed with this newest venture, which fits in well with the earlier discography. “Fragile Bird”, the first single off the album, is a heartbreaking story of a girl suffering; she cries out for help while all the singer can do is hope she makes it through the night. Despite the subject matter, it has an upbeat tempo that gives the song a feeling of forward movement — an almost soundtrack-like quality — building the desperation and tugging at the listener’s emotions. Little Hell is not for those looking for a dance album. It has the contemplative quality of a man looking back on his life filled
City and Colour Little Hell
with tragic characters and difficult loves. “Natural Disaster” seems likely to be the next single. It’s a faster-paced song that has Green contemplating the effects of disasters on family and home. City and Colour’s more upbeat songs garner radio play but the majority of songs on Little Hell are melancholy laments for past or future heartbreaks. The album has an easy flow to it; it’s the type you can leave on as background music at work, or listen to the lyrics and feel his pain along with him. There are really no low points on this album, the songs are all well written and executed. Green is the epitome of a great storyteller, painting a picture whether tragic, romantic or cautionary and bringing the listener right along the journey with him. City and Colour’s Little Hell is a glimpse into Green’s subconscious. –Janine Crockett
Is this album worth your Curren$y?
Curren$y Weekend At Burnie’s
New Orleans–based rapper Curren$y is a man with a singular vision. That vision is something he calls “Jet Life,” a way of life consisting of such traditional hip-hop values as girls, cars, money and especially, in Spitta’s case, marijuana. It may seem like this mine has been excavated long ago, but Curren$y is clearly rapping about his real life in his new album Weekend at Burnie’s, giving his comparatively moderate tales of hip-hop excess a really grounded feeling. As he points out in the opening track “#jetsgo”: “These detailed lyrics is far too intricate to be made up.” Producer Monsta Beatz has traded in the murky Southern beats of Curren$y’s fantastic Pilot Talk albums for a more g-funk-inspired sound. The change makes for a sunnier overall tone, rather than the late-night pot-smoke haze of earlier records. Luckily, Curren$y’s incredibly agile flow hasn’t changed. Though, his ultra-stoned, laid-back delivery does tend to bury and blend some of his lyrics. Which is too bad; his
rhymes continue to be laced with incredibly clever punch lines. “She Don’t Want A Man” seemingly starts as another unnecessarily graphic sex rap but quickly turns into a pretty serious musing on the obvious relationship struggles between a married woman and her lover. In “JLC” (which stands for Jet Life Commandments) Curren$y has crafted a real mission statement as to what he and his crew are all about, including, but not limited to, text messaging, waking up to mimosas and having large stacks of $100 bills. Weekend at Burnie’s may not be anything groundbreaking, and it may lack the monster hooks that lend themselves to massive sales, but it’s definitely another strong, if not spectacular entry into the already stellar catalogue of one of hip-hop’s best young voices. –Blake Morneau
A score without a movie Daniel Luppi and Danger Mouse Rome An audio-tastic spaghetti western hitting all the right notes, the album Rome has been crafted to hit a very specific niche. Producer Daniel Luppi has brought together for the album many of the musicians who helped create the sounds of famous Italian film score composer Ennio Morricone, including vocalist Edda Dell’Orso. This lends it a very authentic sound, which he then blends with vocal performances from Jack White and Norah Jones. Add super-producer Danger Mouse, and Luppi’s five-year pet project has come out with a sound true to the film soundtracks he references, while keeping it in the 21st century. The effort Luppi and Danger Mouse put into following Morricone’s footsteps is impressive, even recording in a studio Morricone founded. Funding came direct from Danger Mouse, so control was always in their hands. The majority of the album is instrumental, seeming to be right out of a ’60s flick starring Clint Eastwood. Luppi, famous in Italy as a screen composer, has created songs that seem to match scenes never filmed. Some tracks create scenes; for instance “The Gamblin’ Priest” builds a character equal parts swagger and remorse with the orchestra. However, the single, “Two Against One,” with White moaning about uneven odds, doesn’t give a fair idea of the album, having a more minimalist style compared to other tracks. For a better representation, closing track “The World” (also with White) provides a little more bombast and fuller sound. Jones’s pieces are a little more consistent, with smoky vocals overtop a smooth and dapper beat, and rolling melodies. As there are only three of these well placed throughout the album it doesn’t get boring and breaks up the instrumentals well. An interesting album, it’s great for a niche audience, but most won’t appreciate it without a solid knowledge of film history. Hopefully one day it’ll end up on the silver screen. –Brendan Kergin
This Summer Kick Back with a Cold One at Felicita's MONDAY Rickard's White Sleeve: $3.50 Pitcher: $14.25 Growers Ciders $4.25
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July 14, 2011 MARTLET
SCIENCE & TECH
Tooling along the main drag on a Saturday night in Vegas. Two good old boys in a fire-apple red convertible.
Can “magic” mushrooms have therapeutic value? > TYLER LAING For many people, eating “magic” mushrooms can mean an eye-dilated night out in the wild. Sometimes the wild they roam is outdoors — Mystic Vale, perhaps, or Mount Doug. Often that wild is internal, a psychological journey of uncertain destinations. But of the numerous reasons why people ingest “magic” mushrooms, improved psychological health isn’t usually high on the list. Until now, perhaps. Researchers at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, lead by Dr. Roland Griffiths, recently conducted a five-month study in which 18 participants ingested carefully calculated doses of psilocybin, the psychoactive constituent in hallucinogenic mushrooms. The results, published online on June 15 in the journal Psychopharmacology, suggest that an ideal dosage of psilocybin can positively affect an individual’s attitude, mood and behaviour. “In my life [psilocybin] has had a very positive effect,” says Ted Smith, president of the International Hempology 101 Society and founder of the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada. Smith has been enjoying the effects of psilocybin for more than two decades and agrees with the study’s finding about persisting positive effects. “You can have an incredibly enjoyable experience and bonding experience with other people and with nature and with yourself,” says Smith. However, Dr. Stan Bardal, a pharmacologist
and faculty member with the Island Medical Program in UVic’s Division of Medical Sciences, holds some reservations about the study’s weight. “They only have 18 participants in the study, so that’s tiny,” he says. “That’s what we call a hypothesis-generating study.” “That merely generates a hypothesis that might possibly be useful, but they need to do a much larger study,” says Bardal. The 18 participants, averaging 46 years of age, were divided into two even groups. One group took descending dosages of the drug; the other, ascending. Scientists administered the psilocybin extract in quantities of 0, 5, 10, 20 or 30 milligrams per 70 kilograms of body weight. Although the study’s measurements were specific, just how much psilocybin is in a mushroom is much harder to gauge. “People generally measure [mushrooms] by the gram,” says Smith, but he doesn’t know of any way to determine how many milligrams of psilocybin one mushroom would yield.
Bardal agrees. “There’s no way you would be able to titrate the dose of six versus seven mushrooms or something like that. It’s just not going to happen. It’s a hallucinogen . . . you wouldn’t want to take too much of it.” And because the psilocybin content is difficult to determine in mushrooms, says Bardal, “buying it from somebody on the corner” could be a dangerous proposition. “It can induce psychosis, and that’s not something anyone wants.” But while 39 per cent of the study subjects were alleged to have felt extreme anxiety or fear at some stage of the experiment, these feelings were not long lasting. Indeed, at the 14-month follow-up, 94 per cent of participants claimed the highest doses of psilocybin induced either the single most or among the five most spiritually significant moments of their lives. “One of the benefits that drugs can have is that while we have the capacity for spiritual enlightenment and mystical experiences and communion with God ourselves, the use
“Mushrooms help you tap into this energy that is beyond what you see and hear.”
–Ted Smith International Hempology
EDUCATION THROUGH RECREATION
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MARTLET July 14, 2011
of drugs can speed that along,” says Smith. “Mushrooms help you tap into this energy that is beyond what you see and hear.” During their ‘trips,’ which were conducted in a comfortable living-room-like setting, participants were encouraged to lie on a couch, while wearing eye masks, and listen to music through headphones. Two monitors accompanied each participant during the session. The whole monitor aspect of the study doesn’t sit too well with Smith. “It’s probably better to [be with] someone trustworthy, if not even someone in the same state of mind,” says Smith. He also believed researchers could have improved the results of their study if they had changed the structure around a bit. “You can’t really do a study of people on the beach playing the bongo drum,” he says; but at the same time, “they might have even had more positive results if they’d had everyone together and hanging out in the same room listening to music.” One of the questions behind this research is whether psilocybin use could potentially alleviate the anxiety and depression experienced by terminally ill cancer patients. However, the subjects of this study were all deemed physically and psychologically healthy. While Smith believes psilocybin could be used to help people deal with trauma, Bardal is less sure. “You have to keep your mind open,” he says. However, “they’re trying to find a dose that would be therapeutic, and that’s obviously fairly controversial.”
DIVERSIONS SEEING STARS BY Ginger Peele - HOROSCOPES FOR THE MONTH OF JULY
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19): You may have been sitting indoors bored lately but it’s time to get out and get some fresh air and grab life by the horns, Capricorn! Romance and creativity are set to grow. Now is the time to pursue your goals. Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18): Balance is the name of the game for you this month, Aquarius. Take up yoga or head down to the beach to practise walking (or jumping) on logs. Wax on, wax off . . . and don’t forget to breathe. Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20): This will be a funny month for you, Pisces. I’m talking funny–ha ha, not funny-weird. Make sure to reach out to your social network to enjoy the benefits of new possibilities and ideas. You’re a social butterfly. Aries (Mar. 21 - April 19): You might feel like lashing out in opposition, but you’re better off embracing optimism this month, Aries. You’ll be busy, but focus on your family and friends and you’ll enjoy a peaceful month. Taurus (Apr. 20 - May 20): Your efforts will come to fruition soon, Taurus, and this month is excellent for money management. Take steps to broaden your spiritual and philosophical horizons and the world will be your oyster. Gemini (May. 21 - June 20): You’ll be very popular this month, Gemini, but make sure to schedule some alone time in your busy social calendar. You’ll feel motivated to get on top of all those little projects that have been building up, so use that energy to get stuff done!
Cancer (June 21 - July 22): Bending the rules might be rewarding for you this month, Cancer. You’ll have good luck strengthening your relationships, and a friendship may turn romantic. Now is also a good time to start a fitness routine. Hot yoga? Pole dancing? Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22): It’s time to get up and get off the couch, Leo! You may have been feeling a little down, but this month your natural talents and abilities will be rewarded. You just have to get out there and show people how awesome you really are. Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): You are large and in charge this month, Virgo, especially in your home life and in your relationships. Exercise a little compassion and tolerance with family members, and communication will come easier. Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22): You will enjoy influence and charm this month, Libra, even more than usual. Work on improving your skills — maybe even take a class or two — and you’ll reap the benefits in the future. Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21): Focus on two things this month Scorpio: creative endeavours and close relationships. You might find a new friend to bounce ideas around with. Work on communication as a tool to strengthen your close relationships. Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21): This month you’ll feel productive and valued, both at work and at home — if you concentrate on practical matters. But make sure you take time to notice the world around you, or opportunities may pass you by.
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EVENTS Fundraiser for Japan’s Relief Fund
CMHA G.R.O.W. program
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Thursday July 21, 7pm Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St Traditional music, sumo competition & more! Tickets $20, 19+ event Facebook: Banzai Japan!”
The CMHA G.R.O.W. program is seeking volunteers to assist with recreation and outdoor activities (floor hockey, basketball, golf, ecological restoration, etc.). For more info about the G.R.O.W. program please visit the Capital Mental Health Association Website. To volunteer please contact Sabine @ 250-389-1211 ext. 126.”
Oak Bay Reserve Constable/UVic Security Officer Jarrod Christison is raising funds for his ride in this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, starting Sept 24. To donate, go to Canadian Cancer Society’s website and follow the Cops for Cancer link for Van Isl.
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BEARDS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER BY GLEN O’NEILL
PASSIONATE HEART BY ELIZABETH CHAN
MARTLET July 14, 2011
OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY’RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH!