Showing posts from November, 2007

renewable dinosaur energy

Picture from How stuff works.

Although we aren't really noticing in Canada, because our soaring dollar is protecting us from high gasoline prices, the price of oil is rebounding towards $100.00/barrel - closing today at $98.03. It hasn't affected gas prices here much, but in the states (from what I can tell using google news), gas has gone up around .25cents in the last month.

And still none of the major news outlets, or political figures, are really talking about peak oil. Maybe this will change with a report released in October from the Energy Watch Group - the executive summary is here.

As coverage in the Guardian Newspaper explains, the report states the following:

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.
"The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This i…

Some people even seen the bear in me

I'm going to impose a strict "no more polar bears for several months" policy for my blog after this, because this could get silly, but here are some pictures from another email that was forwarded to me.

These are things we can learn from our great white friends up north:

A) Always get your beauty sleep.

B) No half-hearted hugs - bear hugs all the time.

C) Get exercise, and don't neglect your core.

D) Always look your best.

E) Beware of penguins.

F) Because they're annoying little bastards (click on picture to animate).

Sustainable Communities

I've mentioned before how much I hate sprawlurbia and how I secretly (or not so secretly) am waiting for peak oil to hit and get all the cars off the road, and force urban planners to prioritize active transportation in their planning.

As many of us already knew, sprawlurbia is killing us in various ways. The obesity and diabetes rates are way up partly due to our culture of sitting in the car for an hour to get to work. As well, as the previously mentioned (see below) Toronto Public Health report states, the pollution caused by automobiles is doing quite a number on us.

To the rescue is the Ontario Provincial Planners Institute. They've just released a report titled Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities.
The report calls for many things near and dear to a cyclists' heart: they call for an expansion of transportation legislation to include walking and cycling, and not just automobile use, in establishing transportation master plans.

They advocate for arterial roads to c…

Public Health in the City of Toronto

Toronto Public Health has just released a report titled Air Pollution Burden of Illness from Traffic in Toronto. My friend Kate from my university donning days worked on this and sent me the link - thanks Kate!

It's a follow up to the 2006 report that I mentioned in this post, and when you add in what the City of Toronto Transportation department knows about The Bicycle and Urban Sustainability, you wonder why things aren't fixed already. Think about it - city research shows that motorized traffic is killing us and that active transportation is the answer. What's the hold up in getting the bike lanes in and taxing car use downtown? Oh yeah, guys like this and this.

This chart comes from the public health report - it shows how the City of York in England prioritizes modes of transportation

Figure 8 illustrates the hierarchy of transportation users implemented by the City of York. In this hierarchy, cities are designed around people, not cars. A sustainable transportation netwo…