Alt Energy will save us all.

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"And from what, or whom, have we been taking so much?"

I thought and thought about how to answer this without being flip or sarcastic. But, I'm coming up short. If you don't know the answer, you really have no business putting forth an opinion about resource use and the future. I think it's pretty clear and I don't intend to waste my time trying to educate anyone who's willfullly ignorant -- as my energies are better spent helping those who want it.



A month to come up with no posed a very open ended question - Dugly merely asked for a framework for that question to allow the discussion to continue. Note that since you never did come back with an answer on this the discussion died. Your question has so many layers of assumptions and points of view involved in it that there was no way to discuss it rationally without reframing the question - unless of course rational discussion isn't what you actually want.

I have an answer. It's just that I think it's pretty obvious what that answer is and am tired of having to hit the willfully obtuse over the head with it. OK, if you like: We're conserving our non-renewable natural resources (which we consume in a quantity out of proportion to our 'entitlement'... if all are equally entitled) for people who as yet have no vote or power to cede their permission for us to do so.

Feel free to continue the discussion. I won't be involved I promise. My mind is already closed!

"My mind is already closed!"


Can't we let this thing die? Let's talk about something happier like ummmmm Iran.

It was a joke Kermy.

You can't stop fighting just because you get tired. Some things are bigger than whingeing First Worlders.

Stump, you say in one sentence that you come up short answering a question, and then in your next sentence you state that if someone doesn't know the answer to that question, they have no business putting forth an opinion.

I suggest, that since you don't understand what anyone else here says, that you attempt to follow your own advice, and not venture any opinions about resource use. obviously you don't even meet your own requirements.

I think I know the crux of the reason you can't come up with something to stick to. (nice edit on your second post there too by the way) I think it's because you've got no idea. You realize that you ahve some idea about the future, and you think that your idea is right, and you think that everyone else should conform to your idea. However you don't have the ability to explain what your idea is. Sure you know it involves biking. Sure you think that vehicles are bad, and drivers are evil and so on and so forth, but when challenged about what the _FUNDAMENTAL_ assertion of your idea is, you falter. You have no keystone.

It's not a simple question, I have my own idea what our responsibilities are to our planet, our society(ies) and future societies. Fortunately I meet your criteria for this discussion, but for someone that attempts to stand so high and assume that others worth is so little, you sure fail when challenged even a little on your most basic stance.

And even should we take your current answer, that it's conserving our non-renewable natural resource for other future people, you don't quite practice what you preach (while I admit that you're trying).

Oh well, maybe I'm just getting tired trying to get the willfully obtuse to try and think about and explaining thier own position.

"you say in one sentence that you come up short answering a question"

Actually, I said I couldn't answer it without being flip or sarcastic. And then I did. Guess I was

smarter than I give myself credit for.

"you don't quite practice what you preach"

Very true. But I'm trying like hell my friend.

"for someone that attempts to stand so high and assume that others worth is so little"

How high should I attempt to stand? Should I settle for a second rate effort from myself? Been

there done that.

Others' worth? I assume all are equal. Not sure I understand how those two statements go together

btw. Feel free to explain your position.

"maybe I'm just getting tired trying to get the willfully obtuse to try and think about and explaining

thier own position."

I feel your pain. Do you still think it's sustainable for every family to have a car across the globe?

What ratio do you think will work and how do you see the system functioning?


Depending on variable definitions of car, yes, or no.

A wheeled vehicle to convey 2 people to and from a destination, powered by some means other than applied human exertion? Yes.

A fossil fuel powered 8 person conveyance? No. However I've never suggested, nor even implied this. Nobody has. It's only your talking point to have something that you feel comfortable refuting. Seriously Stump, you'd think even you would realize after being told 50 times in the same thread that this wasn't anyone's vision of the future. Do you need this in pictograms or some such?

Do you still think it's sustainable for every family to have 2 babies put into pickle jars?

Just try not to stand so high that you can no longer think due to lack of oxygen making it to your brain.

From the Arbutus corridor thread:

"for the future I envision lighter cars powered by electric engines.

I suspect every family will have at least 1, maybe more. In fact, I believe that we'll have about the

same ratio of these as we currently have of cars/population, except that they will be everywhere."

Do you see this holding true (and being sustainable) as globalization brings higher wages and

more purchasing power to developing nations and populations in general keep increasing? Again,

what ratio do you believe is feasible in the future? I guarantee you one per family isn't.

Try to keep it civil ok? Put your 'tude in a pickle jar and save it for another day.

Pot, meet Kettle. As in, if you don't want to have "'tude"[sic] in a thread, I suggest you don't do it yourself.

Perhaps you mis-read my previous post... allow me to point out the part you obviously missed.


Depending on variable definitions of car, yes, or no.

A wheeled vehicle to convey 2 people to and from a destination, powered by some means other than applied human exertion? Yes.


I read it just fine. One car per family huh? When there's 10 million people living in the Lower

Mainland one day? When 75% of Indian and Chinese families can afford a vehicle. Yeah right. Glad

I won't be around. Sounds like an overcrowded Hell that puts people in thrall to their transportation.

No one with more than an armchair expert's knowledge on the subject is suggesting such a thing is

possible. In fact, many are advocating ways to avoid it. Let us in on the secret. For the gazillionth

time, how is it going to work w/r/t space, resources, etc? You have no answer. Because the answer

is... it can't.

I don't have 'tude towards you. If I did I'd call you names too. You're just touchy because I keep

pointing out the fallacy inherent in your position.

Stump, just because you don't agree with the tens of thousands of experts who predict that vehicles will be a HUGE part of the future doesn't mean that they aren't out there. Perhaps what you qualify as an "expert" is someone who has published some dissenting view about the future. However there are literally tens of thousands of city planners, light vehicle designers, electrical motor engineers, hyrdrogen fuel-cell engineers and various other experts that DO believe that there will be vehicles in the future. It seems to me that your qualification of an "expert" is that they agree with you.

Not only that, but there are tens of thousands of investors, who are willing to put huge amounts of money on the line that agree with this.

Where's your expertise? You're as much an "arm-chair expert" as I am. You have an opinion, and a very very very few number of futurists are suggesting that the only personal transportation in the future will be bicycles. So unless you can find one of your experts that can actually see the future, you once again find yourself without a leg to stand on (or peddle with).

Fortunately, the money, the technology and the vast majority of the population appear (as evidenced by our behavior) to agree with me.

Dugly and Stump,

You can only be purposefully obtuse before it gets tiring.

To Dugly - Stump has said on innumerable occasions that light autos will exist in the future - the issue he has is the prevalance of the auto versus other 'better' alternatives.

To Stump - noone is saying one car per house - well maybe dugly but see my first line above. Auto rates are in the 30-50% rate in developed countries (my sample is CAN/GER/USA from the links I posted way up) World wide its in the 10% range(if memory serves) - ie in the third world it's at 1% second world its say 8 or 9% ....

That said - no matter what we'll have cars - that means we need infrastructure built for them, roads etc...- that means we will have X capacity on those roads that will get used cars (and by bikes too) - the question really is what level of X should we build - and when considering this you have to include growth estimates, city planning and zoning issues and transit projects. Encouraging biking lets X be smaller than it otherwise would be but it will never eliminate X or likely even reduce X from the present state. So assuming that X is already a bad number from a sustainability and environmental impact point of view it behooves us to minimize the impact of the X cars out there - this is the Alt Energy argument. It has to save us all because it's one of the most likely solutions to the problem.

Now if we have some magic Alt Energy solution that saves us all we will still have a land use and planning issue one of Stumps other points - bikes won't fix that either - but good planning and beating councils and mayors about the head whenever they allow variances from civic design principles should be everyones job - doing it from a bike would just look funnier.

A minor quibble. More bikes on the road can affect positive change to land use and planning, simply because they don't require the same amounts of land and infrastructure to operate. Other than that, yeah, I agree this pointless nay-saying is getting old.

You'll notice I have put forward timelines and ratios that I believe are realistic for the reduction of cars, if not in this thread, then in the Arbutus corridor decision (in an answer to questions from Temple). I'd love to debate those. Without being catty, I can't say the same for Dugly -- and for me, that's where his assumptions fall apart and it gets hard to have a productive discussion with him.

RE: the auto numbers, it's closer to one to one (person/car) in North America according to all the figures I've seen, which is almost double your 50% number. I will have to look at your links.

Well, thanks for some level-headed-ness Mr. C.

Stump and I actually agree on many many points and suppositions in this thread. And in fact in many threads.

For instance, if I may put forward some common ground (and Stump, feel free to point out where my assumptions of your position are false):

Stumps points I agree with:

1) Large Vehicles that take a lot of energy to move around are unsustainable by virtually any measure.

2) Fossil Fuels are on the decline. IE. we may very well have hit peak oil already, which actually as more to do with the rate of change of consumption, rather than amount of consumption.

3) Bike are an extremely effective part of the solution. They have many benefits for society other than simply being a mechanism for moving people from point A to point B.

4) Massive societal changes need to, and will by some mechanism, come about for the continued survival of our societies and our future societies.

Stump an I disagree on the eventual form of that change. It's not like our opinions are going to be the tipping factor in the whole play anyhow, but obviously we both feel somewhat strongly about our personal positions.

Stump assumes that my vision of cars is more akin to the current vision of cars. I don't see why this is necessary. If someone believes that bikes are sustainable, I don't see what the big leave of faith to believing that those bikes could be powered by electricity. This meets my criteria for new personal vehicles, particularly as technology advances. There are already electric vehicles that meet my criteria. Anyone at the 24 hour relay last week would have seen the electro-bike, throw a rain-shield on that, and you could easily commute to and from work without breaking a sweat.

Oh well, I bet we're still all alive to send or recieve our collective "I told you so's" when the time comes... it won't be that far away.

I hope you're the one saying I told you so, because my realistic vision of the future is one of global

upheaval on a scale we've never seen. My idealistic vision has us all picking daisies along the bike

path on the way to environmentally sustainable jobs, but even a dreamer like me fears it's

impossible to put Pandora all the way back in the box.

Respectfully, the difference in opinion might be in the 'sweat' factor. The sweat equity involved in

getting from A to B is what sets bikes above other modes, esp. private vehicles, IMO. To use a

poor analogy, it's the difference between working for a wage or collecting U.I. (is it still called U.I?).

My learned friend and sometime-mentor has put it better than anyone I know, to paraphrase: fresh

fuel (calories) is better than fossil fuel. It's our gift back to the Earth that sustains us. (yeah, break

out the patchouli... you try growing up on Van Isle in the Seventies without some part of the hippie

ethos sticking with you!)


Stump the links on my stats were from message 7 and 8 .....

Also I finally got a response to my letter to Minister Falcon....I can't remember which thread it started in and I don't want to dredge up a dead thread (god forbid) so I'll just post it here.


Re: Gateway Program

Thank you for your e-mail of March 7, 2006, expressing your support for

the Gateway Program and views on the importance of proper land-use and

transportation planning. I appreciate the support you've shown.

You might be interested to know our plans incorporate many elements

fromlocal and regional planning documents, including the Livable Region

Strategic Plan. It's important to remember, however, that a number of

those documents are based on studies and projections compiled as much

as 10 years ago. The Lower Mainland's traffic congestion has grown much

more and much faster than some of these plans anticipated.

Rather than rely on outdated data, we have based our plans on updated information and projections for the next 25 years. I should also point

out that my ministry's Gateway team has been consulting with

municipalities, TransLink and Greater Vancouver Regional District staff

for over two years to develop our plans. Gateway staff are also

continuing to work with these stakeholders to examine how our projects

can support local transportation and environmental initiatives.

As you likely know, we are considering a toll for the Port Mann Bridge

once it's twinned. We are looking at that not only as a way to pay for

the improvements but also a means to moderate the growth of vehicle

traffic and extend the useful life of the infrastructure. While we

aren't pursuing broader regional congestion changes, as you've

suggested, I appreciate your input on that subject.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Best regards,

Kevin Falcon


I can't believe that after all that, no one has advocated the Jetson's car. Very little infrastructure needed, all you need is a landing pad at your home garage and a landing pad at work (or the mall or wherever).

(I know, if you have nothing constructive to say, you shouldn't say anything at all, but it's Friday, it's gorgeous outside, and I'm stuck looking out my window at work)

A ha! The difference in stats is passenger vehicles (your numbers) vs total vehicles per capita (my stats courtesy of wikipedia -- although I seen similar numbers elsewhere). Certainly your figures are more applicable to our discussion.

Don't get me started on Kevin Falcon. A real estate broker in charge of transportation, when suburban sprawl is one of our biggest problems. Talk about putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. Plus, he's demonstrated zero expertise on the subject beyond the talking points he spews constantly. #1 candidate on my 'needs a cockpunch' list.

His bio:

Kevin Falcon was re-appointed Minister of Transportation on June 16, 2005.

He previously served as Minister of State for Deregulation.

Mr. Falcon was first elected in 2001 to represent the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale and re-elected in 2005.

Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Falcon was president of the Access Group, a corporate communications firm he formed in 1998. He has also worked in the real estate development industry and was vice-president of Northwest Investment Properties. Prior to attending university, Mr. Falcon spent five years working in the general insurance industry.

He received his bachelor of arts from Simon Fraser University and his real estate sales and mortgage brokers diploma from the University of British Columbia.

Mr. Falcon has been vice-president of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Surrey Museum and Archives advisory board, as well as belonging to the Cloverdale Rotary and Elks clubs. He was also a director of the Vancouver Sea Festival, president of the Vancouver Junior Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer with the Cloverdale RCMP Bike Patrol.

Kevin Falcon lives in Cloverdale.


I'd be hard-pressed to think of another Liberal more poorly suited to understanding the long-term transportation needs of the Lower Mainland. Falcon... more like Turkey.

"The Lower Mainland's traffic congestion has grown much more and much faster than some of these plans anticipated. "

Mostly because we wasted money on mega-projects when we need better downtown bus service and a huge increase in highway-coach style buses to service the 'burbs (much more utile, as you can fine-tune the service by altering routes and schedules to cope with unforseen developments (half a pun, half-intended).

By some magical coincidence of timing (or the way this has dragged on for decades), Popular Mechanics has evaluated the current round of alternative fuels for existing vehicles. An interesting read, even if you believe that this is only the very first, and very smallest step towards a more sustainable solution.

One of my friends uses biodiesel to offset his diesel consumption, and it works extremely well. I wonder how hard it would be to make a biodiesel hybrid!

If you want just a quick snapshot, have a look at the comparison chart: