Feminist Rock Camp 2011! Save the dates JULY 15, 16, 17. For more information, contact Soumya at 250-483-5454 or Feminists.Rock.Camp@gmail.com.
The Victoria Regional Transit Commission has set a one-year deadline to have rush-hour, bus-only lanes up and down Douglas Street.
B.C. Transit’s long-range plans call for a $1-billion Light Rapid Transit line between downtown Victoria and Langford in the West Shore. Fortin said bus-only corridors might help forestall the need for that work.
“If it solves our problem by putting some paint on the ground in this dedicated lane, then perfect,” Fortin said. “If it delays our need to invest in Light Rapid Transit for another 10 or 15 years, that’s good, too.”
Interesting and promising. Let’s hope the provincial government in its election year avoidance of all things important can come through with the right of ways required. Also interesting that Dean Fortin explicitly mentions that the success of these bus lanes, a Bus Rapid Transit Lite, could postpone, or even forestall the Light Rail Transit plans. Given the reluctance of North American governments to invest in any infrastructure other than defence (or roofs for football stadiums), finding $1.1B for LRT in addition to building a sewage treatment plant was going to be difficult.
Let’s see how this develops.
PS: I am tired of posting stuff to facebook where I can’t find it 6 months later. So, quick hits to the blog it is for the foreseeable future (1 day-6 months).
For more than a year, Duke Energy has tried to sell the idea that building a large coal-fired power plant near Charlotte would somehow be “good for the environment.” Following the January 29th state approval for construction to begin, the deception increased. By masking the new unit’s pollution behind upgrades already required by state law at an existing Cliffside furnace – and the retirement of four very small units that sit idle most of the time – Duke has misled the public, media and elected leaders into thinking that building a new unit will reduce a range of harmful emissions.
To summarize, CO2 emissions are set to increase significantly (factor of 12) if this plant is approved. So, in my book, this is a loser project that does not deserve even consideration. The facts are simple. This country is less than two years away from putting a price on carbon through some kind of carbon cap-trade scheme. All three major candidates for president support some kind of scheme, though McCain does not seem to know if the legislation he supports has an emissions cap or not (typical of him, he does not have any policy expertise or attention to detail whatsoever). So, the ground rules on what constitutes a cost effective option and what represents a major money making boondoggle are going to change very soon. Our state officials, thanks to the miracle of the internets, have all the knowledge to make a decision based on a reality that is coming soon. So, their reluctance to consider CO2 is puzzlingly short sighted. Duke Energy has some vague promises to sequester the carbon. But the fact of the matter is that the technology does not exist, and there’s no guarantee that it will exist any time soon in any cost effective fashion.
Even if you’re a big believer in the technology advances that will no doubt occur into the future, you have to admit that carbon emissions cannot be free any more. So, unless the federal government puts a price on the carbon, you cannot objectively support a project that will give these emissions away for free. Don’t tell me that Duke Energy will have to pay for the carbon it emits from Cliffside. It may have to, but it will pas all costs along to consumers and win anyway. So the tax payers of North Carolina are stuck with an expensive, dinosaur technology power generating option that is incredibly polluting for years to come. All because the state officials did not have the foresight to wait a year or two.
You can make the same argument for mercury. The current EPA “plan” for mercury is in tatters as it violates the clean air act. A change in administration (no McCain this time, only Clinton or Obama) is no doubt going to cause a tightening of mercury rules, a long overdue prospect. Why would the state approve a plan that would result in an increase in mercury emissions knowing fully well that federal regulation in this matter is unsettled? What ever happened to the conservative wait and watch approach?
Blogged with Flock
Oak Bay has found the vehicles that fit its green policy and low speed limits — electric cars that top out at a maximum speed of 50 km/h.The municipality is drafting a bylaw that would allow electric cars on its public streets, making it possibly the first municipality in B.C. to take advantage of new provincial legislation that expands where the innovative vehicles can be driven.”I don’t think we’ll see any speed differences in Oak Bay just because we have slower-moving vehicles like electric cars,” Coun. Nils Jensen said yesterday of the impact on traffic movement in the notoriously slower-moving community.
For those not in the know, Oak Bay is a municipality that is part of the Greater Victoria area. We have 11 separate municipalities, which makes for some serious inefficiencies and redundancy in administration, but does tend to preserve local character. Oak Bay, in my humble opinion, is insufferably British and proper, very wealthy and quite beautiful. And yes, it is a slow moving town, perfect for 50 kmph vehicles.
But Oak Bay is not an island, it is flanked by Victoria and Saanich, and the boundaries are not always clearly demarcated. What’s going to happen when someone randomly wanders into Saanich?
Except for the stretch of 17 going up to Sidney and the stretch of 1 going West and North out of the area, 50kmph ought to cover most of the area. I suspect Victoria will follow suit soon.
A 48-year-old Victoria man was hit in the leg while walking on Vancouver Street near Fort Street around 12:45 p.m., said Sgt. Grant Hamilton, police spokesman
Right around the block from where I live, jeez!
James Hansen gave an interesting talk on the physics of climate change, the magnitude of current anthropogenic emissions versus historical CO2 regimes, and the need for immediate action at the NCWarn forum on the Cliffside power plant issue.
In a CBS 60 Minutes profile in March 2006, Hansen said, “The speed of the natural changes is now dwarfed by the changes humans are making to the atmosphere and the surface.” Carolinas Clean Air and NC WARN are part of a statewide effort by public interest groups to block the new Cliffside plant and help the state reduce greenhouse gases by aggressively ramping up energy efficiency, cogeneration and renewables. That effort has already stopped one of two plants Duke sought to build at Cliffside – by proving it wasn’t needed. The second unit has suffered multiple delays and cost overruns and is the subject of ongoing legal battles over air pollution and water permits.
Some background: Duke Energy, the North Carolina utility wants to spend a heap of public money building a new coal fired power plant in Cliffside, NC. The problem? They will not sequester or otherwise capture the massive CO2 emissions out of the plant, which is inexcusable given what we know about climate change now.
Following an excellent talk by Mike Nicklas of Innovative Design, a Raleigh based green architectural firm which focused on reducing demand by increasing efficiency, James Hansen’s talk was an excellent primer on climate change, its history, its easy and basic correlation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations, our current state of affairs, and what we need to do in the next 10 years.
Their presentations can be found here (Nicklas), and here (Hansen). Go see it. Hansen talked a lot about the interaction of scientists, policy makers and the media in framing the “debate” and contrasted the quick march to consensus on the ozone hole with the the sometimes deliberate fact muddying of the climate debate.