Organizations

Good Organizations Worth Your Support

On this page we give links to some NGOs or non-profit groups that we think are worth your support. Many have on-line newsletters and good web sites explaining their activities. Most 
of these groups spend a high percentage of the money they raise on actual field work, rather than administrative or overhead. One (or both) of us contribute to these NGOs.

We feel that the future of the world depends on these organizations far more than on any government. All need your support, as do many other organizations; if you know of a particularly worthy group, let us know and we’ll check it out and add it to the list. 

We have listed some books and articles that reflect the values and goals of the NGSs that are listed on this page.

Humanitarian & Advocacy NGOs

Kiva This NGO is a very effective organization that supplies micro-business loans to individuals and small groups in third-world countries. You can choose who and where you lend money. $25 will get you started. (We contribute to them.)

Avaaz An advocacy group that has periodic on-line petitions relating to issues ranging from cluster bombs, Amazon deforestation, middle-east humanitarian problems, and other political and environmental issues. We each sign most, but not all, of the petitions. Avaaz now lets you create your own petition for issues that matter to you. It can be in your neighbourhood, city, country or beyond: no idea is too big or small. We think that the organization vets these petitions before they go live, mainly to ensure their validity. Go to 
www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition

Stephen Lewis Foundation This group supports and funds grassroots organizations working to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) Doctors and nurses are always among the first to help after disaster strikes in places like Haiti, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. They accept some non-medical volunteers too, and donations are always accepted. (We contribute to them.)  

Environmental & Sustainability Groups

World Wildlife Fund Canada WWF is a large, influential and effective group that has had good success internationally protecting species and habitat, both on land and in the ocean. Highly recommended! Check out climate-friendly living in your own city and home.

Unitarian Service Committee The USC is a large, non-religious organization that has been active for years and deals with seed security and diversity, climate change and mitigation, and community-based economic development. They are very engaged in disenfranchised people in third-world countries. It successfully addresses both the problems of rural poverty and environmental degradation.

CPAWS (& the Big Wild) These two societies cooperatively work together on active campaigns to save Canada’s public land and water. MEC played a significant part in founding both groups.

Ecojustice A Canadian coalition of scientists and lawyers who through the courts are working towards a sustainable future. Formerly called the Sierra Legal Defense Fund. They have recently lunched a couple of counter-actions against the Harper government’s anti-environmental legislation.

Alexandra Morton is a fisheries biologist who works tirelessly on the issue of fish farming and other fisheries issues on the B.C. Coast. Read her frequently updated blog, and support her with a donation.

Western Canada Wilderness Committee is a long-established B.C. organization that concentrates on environmental issues related to the province. They can be controversial, but their hearts are in the right place.

Nature Canada is a national conservation organization, focused on protection of wildlife & habitat in Canada.

David Suzuki Foundation is a non-profit, science based environmental organization based in Vancouver, B.C. Its mission is “to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life” and to find practical ways of achieving that balance.

Stand (formerly ForestEthics) is an environmental non-profit group working in the U.S. and Canada to protect endangered forests and the wildlife that depends on them.

Pembina Institute is a Canadian non-profit think tank focused on developing innovative, sustainable energy solutions through research, education, consulting, and advocacy. It envisions a world in which mankind’s immediate and future energy needs are met in a manner that protects the Earth’s living systems and that prevents dangerous climate change.

Publications, Paper & Otherwise

We don’t think much of the National Post, the Globe & Mail, and the Vancouver Sun, although all three occasionally have some fine commentary. If you want investigative journalism and content on environmental and political issues, check out these on-line publications (one of us gives financial support to them)

The National Observer  

The Tyee. 

We highly recommend the following three books by Andrew Nikiforuk, a Canadian journalist who has won multiple National Magazine Awards and the Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction.

Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent (Greystone Books, revised edition, 2010). A critical examination of the world’s largest energy project - the Alberta tar sands -that has made Canada one of the worst environmental offenders on the planet. He reveals the true costs of our oil addition with wit and candor.

The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude (Greystone Books, 2012). A radical analysis of our master-and-slave relationships throughout history, from human slaves to today’s energy slaves based on fossil fuels.

Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug are Killing North America’s Great Forests (Greystone Books, 2011). The author relates how misguided science, out-of-control logging, bad public policy and a hundred years of fire suppression released the oldest forest manger (the beetle) from all natural constraints. 

The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming by Guy Dauncey (New Society Publishers, 2009). This book is a concise and easy to understand summary of global warming and its causes. His step-by-step narrative outlines solutions ranging from easy to implement changes to our own lifestyles to advice on how governments and industry might tackle climate change.

The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery (Harper Collins Publishers, 2006). A powerful and succinct book on the earth’s “colossal” carbon dioxide problem. He shows how we can shift from our current global reliance on fossil fuels to a sustainable and green hydrogen-based economy. Flannery’s main message is that all of us are the weather makers - we are the cause of the current rapid