Showing posts from June, 2005
Well there is hope here along the Salish Coast that we may in fact be moving towards a more sustainable future. Vancouver has been the seen some very successful street parties over the last couple of weeks. First huge crowds turned out for the Car Free Commercial Drive festival . And last weekend at least three streets were shut down for pedestrian oriented events - 4 th Ave for the soapbox derby, Broadway for Greek Days and Water Street for the Jazz Fest. And last weekend began with a Critical Mass bike ride that saw over 1,000 riders show up. And tonight City Council rejected the car-oriented developments (Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire) on Marine Drive. On a totally unrealted note, I've been thinking about critical realism .
Hearings began tonight on the Vancouver Wal-Mart store (see previous post). The architect involved tried to claim that the wind turbines would generate power. One of the experts they consulted has told me: “...and my reports keep telling them there isn't enough wind. But Wal-Mart seems to feel their power extends to the weather. The rest of us realize we can't change the weather. I have insisted that it will be a very poor choice to install turbines at a site where they will be standing still most of the time. They remain firm in their belief that they do want the turbines. It's certainly a greenwash on their part.”

Wal-Mart Hearings in Vancouver

My response to an editorial in the Vancouver Sun: It is unfortunate that the Vancouver Sun did not do a more critical analysis of Wal-Mart's proposal for "green" store on Southeast Marine Drive (editorial June 13 th ). For example, the windmill that Wal-Mart is proposing is unlikely to work in an urban environment (which is why the City rejected proposals for a windmill at southeast False Creek). While Wal-Mart was attempting to "green-wash" it's image in Vancouver, it proposed a development on a sensitive salmon river estuary in Campbell River. I also don't think we should ignore the fact that Wal-Mart is consistently ranked as the worst North American retailer for selling products produced in sweatshops. Wal-Mart is involved in the notorious factories of Saipan . While the Sun's editorial references Wal-Mart's own study on the impact for local businesses it ignores the case studies across North America that show the devastating i
Photo by Arthur Cayanan The Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op installed a solar photovoltaic (electric) system on the SPEC building this past weekend. It is one of the first grid-tie systems in Vancouver. The project still needs inspections before the grid connection can be completed.
One of the campaigns I was working on through over the past year was the " One Less Plastic Bag " at MEC campaign. At the MEC Annual General Meeting a resolution was passed , that will take some steps to reduce the use of plastic bags at MEC. I think they could have gone further but this is a move in the right direction.