Environmental awareness

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There is a documentary coming out addressing the global warming issue.

June 9th opening at Tinseltown.


Also learn about the effects of global dimming by Googling it. Global dimming has been attributed to droughts, including Ethiopia.

I urge people to really look at the site. And see the movie. And look up global dimming. Now I really don't like owning a car. Now I want to drive it less.

Please tell your SUV driving friends to come. And your mother. And anyone else for that matter. This is important for us all to be educated more as more information comes out. We are growing as a society here.

Mr Yak


Yeah, I know. But this goes beyond his politics. Goes beyond my politics. Vancouver will be a puddle if we don't get informed and take action.

When you look at the world's ability to respond to disasters right under its nose, such as Sudan and Rwanda, I believe there is no hope for coordinated action on global warming. I believe in the "tragedy of the commons," especially regarding this issue.

It is time to take a page from Lex Luthor's book, the first Superman movie with Chris Reeves, and start buying future waterfront lots in Langley.

The process will take too long to make an investment in property inland anywhere seem very bright, unless you're going to convince your kids and your grandkids to hold on to it.

Here's a wacky idea. Invest in the technologies that can help the problem. Since you're talking long-term, it's pretty much a no-brainer, as we are likely to attempt to address the problem.

My other piece of advice would be to NOT base your investments on the actions of super-villians from comic books that defy the laws of physics. ;-)

If superman was real he could cool the earth off with his breath like a humungous bowl of minestrone.

Unfortunately there are no such short-cuts and the US has dropped the ball; dissing Kyoto and in-bickering over who's left and right wing. Nope, we have to rely on Europe and a new relationship with emerging players India and China to steward our planet's health. It's pretty much our only hope.

I thought Obi-Wan Kenobi was our only hope?

I hear Tatooine was a green planet until they used up all the water turning the oil sands into fuel for SUV landspeeders.

When have India and China led on anything for the greater good? We're talking about two countries that still prop up Burma. I think we have a better chance of seeing something come out of the U.S. than anything from these two.

McCain, 2008!

Well, countries, like people can change. For instance, the USA used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. They had this cool thing called a Constitution.

Now they live in a gilded cage, fearful of threats imagined or otherwise, while their tin-pot dictator in training rigs elections, wipes his backside with two of the best documents ever written (Bill of Rights, American Constitution) and sends boys to war for his corporate masters.

Beijing takes a step that I haven't seen done in the USA yet. Happy to be contradicted Michael! :-)

Beijing institutes "no car day" to clean up air pollution

May 16 9:24 AM US/Eastern

Environmental officials in Beijing have asked residents to stop driving their cars to work one day a month in an effort to clean up the capital's stifling air pollution and ease traffic jams.

More than 200,000 drivers in up to 100 Beijing auto clubs have agreed to comply with the voluntary request, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said in a report posted on its website.

"As soon as people leave their homes they are faced with the depressing sights and sounds of noisy, congested roads, while the black exhaust leaves their minds muddled," the report said.

Beijing has more than 2.6 million motor vehicles on its roads with the number of new vehicles increasing by more than 1,000 a day, the bureau said.

Motor vehicle emissions are the leading cause of air pollution in the city, with 3,600 tonnes of pollutants spewed out of cars every day, deputy bureau head Du Shaozhong said.

China's cities have long been rated as having some of the world's most polluted air, with Beijing's air quality consistently ranking among the worst in the country.

The campaign to restrict car driving is modeled on a similar program initiated by 34 cities in France, the report said.

The effort in Beijing is being made in coordination with a "blue sky day" campaign launched in 1998 in an effort to increase the number of days with good or fair air quality in the years running up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Between the beginning of the year and mid-April, the city reported 56 "blue sky days," 16 fewer than the same period in 2005.

While this may appear to be a good thing, looking beneath this 'marketing hype' shows me the following...

200,000 people have agreed to leave their cars at home one day a month. 1 day in 30 is under 7,000 cars off the road each of those days, or if we're talking work days, then 10,000 cars off the road each day. Now comparing that to 1,000 new cars on the road each day, they've what... turned back the clock a mere week to a week-and-a-half. Excuse my skepticism; I don't see a significant benefit to that.

Even if they got a million people to agree -- which from seeing the way the city is laid out, and the amount of traffic (at least 18 months ago) is very unlikely in itself -- they wouldn't even be going back two months.

And about their "blue sky days"... that only happens when the wind picks up and shifts the cloud a bit from hanging directly over the city. The pollution on a "brown sky day" is incredible, you can see nothing above about 10 stories, and the sun in as shrowded as it is here an an overcast day. They need to do way more than this to make any kind of significant impact.

When Vancouver has a similar initiative I'll start being critical of Beijing. At least they're doing something. You can't build anything overnight.

similar initiatives?

how about:

CoV Community and Corporate Climate Change Action plans; GVRD Livable Region Strategic Plan; GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative; Mandating sustainable urban developments across the city (East Fraser Lands; SE False Creek...); More recent CoV Eco-Density initiative

wow a day where no one drives cars. that's splendid. except that millions of people drive them every other day of the month. lets think strategically people - plan those cities so people dont need their cars. price transit appropriately. make the incentives work so the decisions are made for us (reducing the percieved opportunity costs).

dude, you are living in one of the most progressive Cities on the planet when it comes to strategic policy and planning for climate change and densification. do some research before you start to think Beijing is anywhere near us.

sorry - but i'm damn proud!

You'll have to point out to me where I implied Beijing WAS anywhere near Vancouver before I'll

take that bait. My point was they're doing something. Is it enough? Probably not. But then again

neither is Vancouver (doing enough).

BTW, the Livable Region Strategy is rapidly becoming neutered by Kevin the Evil Twinner Falcon and

the rest of his corporate boot-licks. SE False Creek gets less green everytime the NPA gets near the

blueprints, and IIRC the ethical purchasing initiative is also dying on the vine. We have lots to be

proud of for sure, but considering the options, advantages (easy to plan a relatively new city) and

resources we have at our disposal we should be the leader in ecological sustainability... and we're


Well Stump, maybe I can help you out here: "You'll have to point out to me where I implied Beijing WAS anywhere near Vancouver before I'll take that bait."

Stump said: "When Vancouver has a similar initiative I'll start being critical of Beijing. At least they're doing something."

And, having been through SE False Creek many times I'm interested about what exactly is becoming less green. Can you point me in the direction of a "green space" around there I might be able to enjoy, that's slated for destruction? (However briefly)



Your post that Beijing's No Car Initiative is "doing something" does seem to imply that Vancouver is doing less in comparison. You might be saddened to learn that Beijing's something is closer to nothing. No Car Day appears to be No Car in name only:


Beijing's inaugural "no-car day" fails to get out of first gear 12 June 2006

Beijing launched its inaugural "no-car day" Monday to combat the city's worsening pollution woes, but traffic was as grid-locked as ever and the grey air remained dense with exhaust fumes.

More than 250,000 drivers have committed to leaving their cars at home one day each month, organizers said as the voluntary campaign that is based on a similar French program got underway on World Environment Day.

However there were few signs of any significant decrease in traffic on Monday, with drivers either saying they were not aware of the campaign or simply could not do without their vehicles.

"I heard about no-car day on the radio but I had to drive because I need to run some errands later today," said a manager with a foreign company surnamed Lu, who drives a Volkswagen Jetta, in Beijing's central business district.

A parking lot attendant surnamed Lin who has worked at the same car park for seven years said she had seen just three or four fewer private vehicles than normal arrive on Monday.

The 250,000 drivers who had committed to not driving represent just under 10 percent of the 2.6 million cars that are on Beijing's roads. But even if all of those drivers actually did not drive to work once a month, that benefit would be quickly be eliminated, with government figures showing an additional 1,000 cars are taking to Beijing's roads each week.

By the time of the Olympics in 2008, the government estimates there will be 3.5 million cars in Beijing.

The Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, which is organizing the "no-car day" campaign along with private motoring clubs and non-government groups, emphasized Monday the consequences of the city's growing car population.

"The pollution caused by motorized vehicles makes up 30 percent of the air pollution in Beijing," Du Shaozhong, vice head of the bureau said in an interview on China Central Television. "If every driver agrees not to drive their vehicle one day a month then we could reduce air pollutants by 44,000 tons a year."

Du said cars were one of the capital's three biggest causes of the city's pollution, alongside dust and coal burning. Du reiterated the government's concerns that the city was not meeting clean air targets that were set as part of a "blue sky" campaign launched in 1998.

Du said this year's target of 238 "fairly good" air quality days would be difficult to reach. From January through April, Beijing enjoyed only 51 "blue sky days," 16 less than the same period last year, according to figures released last week. But while Monday's no-car campaign appeared to fail to get out of first gear, the congested roads appeared enough for some to give up the dream of car ownership.

"I don't know how to drive and looking at Beijing's traffic situation, I don't want to learn how to drive either," Liu Lu, 25, an administrative assistant who takes the subway to work, told AFP.




Some highlights:

No Car Day in Beijing!

Beijing's latest efforts to portray a green city in the run up to the Olympics were choked by heavy smog and traffic fumes on Monday - World Environment Day.

As familiar queues of traffic clogged up the ring-roads, the city's long-suffering commuters poured scorn on the campaign.

"No car day - you're joking," said taxi driver 123100. "It's as bad as ever. Look at it; it'll take us 15 minutes to get through this red light. I drive 100km less a day than I did three years ago as there are so many traffic jams."

Melinda Turner, a teacher at an international school, said: "I drive to work everyday and today was no different. It took me 20 minutes to cover about two miles - the traffic was as bad as ever. And the pollution was the worst I've seen for weeks."

Zhang Jingchun, a spokesman for Beijing's Traffic Bureau, confirmed: "We have not seen any changes to the amount of traffic on the city's roads today."

As far as faulting the City of Vancouver and GVRD for not doing enough to be leaders in ecological sustainability, I would argue that Vancouver is a leader internationally. YourMom's list is nothing to scoff at. Obviously more sustainability initiatives should be implemented and existing measures protected (i.e. LRS, ALR), but "relative" to other cities, Vancouver is doing well in its sustainability initiatives. We should keep in mind it's difficult to make pro-sustainability decisions when the public is uneducated on the topic and not onside. It's even more difficult when, as you point out, the province is going out of its way to hamstring decisions already made.