I haven’t blogged about anything environmental in a while, so prepare to be inundated with links, facts, and some good old fashioned ranting.
Yesterday, the BC Government tabled its budget for the next year. Coming only a few days after its announcement that it was going green, everyone was waiting to see what (if any) financial commitments would be made toward green projects. The answer: $4 million dollars in new projects to tackle climate change. Chump change considering $432 million went toward tax cuts and $922 million for highway construction. (I’m only considering spending in the next year and borrowing some analysis from the Tyee).
The worst part is the Gateway project is still on. Interestingly, the government claims it will “reduce” greenhouse gas emissions because there will be less idling cars. I don’t buy it. Maybe initially, but any increase in highway capacity will be accompanied by increased use of said capacity. So more cars = more pollution. If they want a sure fire way to reduce car emissions, they should invest in public transit and leave highway capacity where it is. If you can convince a thousand people to leave there cars at home and take the bus, that would reduce congestion and C02 commissions a hell of a lot more than an extra lane on a bridge will.
I’m disappointed that the budget didn’t offer more plans for the environment. The BC government was set to become the political darlings of the environmental movement in Canada. Instead all we have is long term goals (which will come to pass long after all the current politicians are gone) without any meaningful new spending.
Other recent environmental news:
Australia to Ban Incandescent Light Bulbs
Ontario Might Be Next
Global Warming Demands Local Fixes
April 14 – Distributed Climate Change Protests (U.S. only)
Burning Man Goes Green
Greenest Building in United States(too bad it has a giant parking lot in it)
Map of the freeway system that Vancouver avoided in the 1960s