Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Feeling guilty about taking a airplane flight to Calgary last week, I decided to calculate my total green house gas emissions for the past year. There is a good calculator at: http://www.climcalc.net/.

I came up with total emissions of 3.3 tonnes per year. Well below the Canadian personal average of around 6 tonnes but I probably could do better.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I have been thinking more about TransLink's decision last week to approve the RAV line.

Environmental concerns are often cited as one of the main reasons to support the new rapid transit project. And certainly any project that reduces low occupancy vehicular traffic does have some environmental benefits.

But if one is to judge the true environmental impacts of a mega-project we must look at more than just the changes people will make in their transportation choices. What about the recourses that will be consumed constructing the tunnels and the elevated track?

A surface LRT line would have consumed fewer resources during construction, and better utilized existing infrastructure.

This type of narrow thinking sometimes occurs when we look at solutions to environmental problems. Often technological options are seen as the best or only solution. We often neglect choices which would mean reducing consumption. Usually it seems that the best solution is combination of technology and reduced consumption.

For example, hydrogen is often toted as the solution to pollution and our petroleum dependency. Yet, the current methods used for the production of hydrogen can create just as much pollution. Hydrogen could be part of the solution but it must be combined with an overall reduction in energy consumption.

When it comes to making choices about protecting the environment we need to take a more holistic approach.



Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Last week TransLink approved the plan to build the RAV rapid transit line with SNC-Lavalin as a primary contractor. At the public hearing two people spoke of SNC-Lavalin’s complicity in war crimes but the Translink board ignored those comments (as well as other environmental, financial and technical concerns) and approved the project.

Activists are vowing to continue their campaign against SNC-Lavalin.

Friday, November 19, 2004

TransLink, the Vancouver, BC transit company, has decided to award a construction contract to SNC-Lavalin, the war profiteer supplying bullets to U.S. occupation forces in Iraq. Peace activists are vowing to continue their campaign against the contract.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Chris Spannos has a new article in Seven Oaks magazine about SNC-Lavalin's RAV contract and their war profiteering (see the 29 of October entry below).

Friday, November 12, 2004

I recently got into another online debate with someone about anthropogenic climate change. It is frustrating to have a discussion with someone who hasn’t reviewed any scientific literature on the subject, but makes assumptions based a couple of contrarian articles found in the popular press or some fringe website.

So it was refreshing to come across an article in the Columbia Journalism Review that talks about how fringe science can hijack the scientific debate under the guise of “balanced” coverage. It specifically deals with the disproportionate weight and credibility given to so-called climate change “sceptics.”

Friday, October 29, 2004

A recent article by Vancouver writer Chris Spanos revealed that a Canadian company, SNC-Lavalin Group , is supplying bullets to U.S. Occupation forces in Iraq.

SNC-Lavalin has offices in Vancouver and is one of the contractors bidding on the RAV rapid transit line being built by translink.

A recent report in the Lancet medical journal concludes that there has been an excess of 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq since the U.S. invasion. The report's author stated that "Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children." It appears that SNC - Lavalin's bullets will be used to continue these blatant violations of international law.

Should TransLink be doing business with a company that is complicit in International War Crimes?

To become involved in the Vancouver campaign against SNC-Lavalin contact me


You can contact SNC-Lavalin at info@snclavalin.com

Saturday, October 02, 2004

In a recent article on the Point Grey Road bike lane, a resident of the neighbourhood referred to the "selfish action by... cyclists."

I have heard this phrase more than a few times. Many of these "selfish cyclists" sacrifice the comfort of an automobile to commute many kilometers every day. Some days they face cold, wet, miserable weather. Often they risk life and limb avoiding careless motorists.

All this so we can all breath cleaner air, our children won't face a future planet drastically altered by global climate change, and there are fewer carcinogens going into our lungs.

Meanwhile, motorists hop into their cars to visit the corner store just a few blocks away. They add to air pollution that is estimated to shorten the life of 6,000 Canadians every year. And their nasty habit is subsidized by all of us taxpayers (Pollution Probe estimates that the subsidy is $4.77 billion in Ontario alone).

So who is being selfish?