Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Happens after Bali?

Bali Global Climate Protection Compact lays down challenge for rich and poor nations to join battle against global warming (Nusa Dua, Bali, December 14, 2007).

"If we place a price on carbon, that will spur development of technologies and dissemination of technologies by which we might be able to save different parts of the world from some of the more serious effects of climate change that otherwise we would encounter."

May Jeong, Canadian Youth Delegation member to Bali and co-author of Option 13, believes it's now or never."I am 20 years old and would like to come back to Bali with my children someday and not find it underneath a rising sea. The time to act is long overdue. Use this plan, or come up with something better, and do it fast."

To download the full report: http://www.option13.org/Option13.pdf

For further information: In Bali: Toby Heaps, 62 859 3532 5134 May Jeong, 62 819 360 85562 Toronto Headquarters: (416) 203-4674, toby@corporateknights.ca www.corporateknights.ca

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Consumerism explained

North Americans are working harder than ever before to buy stuff they don't need, and have less leisure time to enjoy life. Plus this materialism is destroying our planet.

Check out an interesting 20 minute video here:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quote from Thomas Edison...

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

Thomas Edison, 1847 - 1931

Bali: Canada voted worst in world!?

Right now, a major UN summit in Bali has just a few days left to hammer out an agreement on stopping catastrophic climate change. But instead of helping out, Canada is actually sabotaging the talks! On Saturday, experts gave us the global "fossil" award for being the worst country in the world on climate change. There's still a few days left to save Canada's reputation -- and the climate -- but we need a massive democratic roar to remind our Prime Minister what Canada is all about, and stop him from blocking the world at Bali. Click below to sign the petition, which will be advertized with the number of signatures in an ad campaign across Canada this week. The goal is to get 25,000 people to sign in the next 3 days -- before the ads run. After you sign, forward this email to all your friends and family right away:


Prime Minister Harper's short-sighted, big oil-driven policy on climate change is damaging the world and destroying our image as a good country. We're supposed to be the nice guys, who try to do the right thing in the world. The vast majority of Canadians are hopping mad on this issue -- we can win this. We just need to show Harper how serious we are that he change course. Sign up now and forward this email to everyone you know - we've got just 3 days to hit 25,000 signatures!

Here are links to some more info on this:

David Suzuki (the Nature of Things) calls the government's spin on climate change "humiliating" and "ludicrous" http://www.thestar.com/News/article/283829

The former editor-in-chief of CBC news discusses the damage done by Canada's climate policy to our international reputation: http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_burman/2007/12/canada_flounders_on_issue_of_c.html

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Congestion Pricing Deal Struck in NYC

For immediate release: Thursday July 19, 2007

For more information: Neysa Pranger at (917) 532-0567


Hallelujah! Transit Riders Rejoice!

Straphangers Campaign Applauds Legislature on Congestion Pricing Agreement

Cleaner Air, Gridlock Relief Among Benefits

The Straphangers Campaign congratulates the state Legislature for authorizing New York City to design and implement a congestion pricing system for New York City.

This is truly an historic moment for New York. Mayor Bloomberg deserves praise for envisioning a bold initiative and State Senate Majority Leader Bruno, Speaker Silver and Governor Spitzer deserve praise for doing what’s right for the future of New York.

Congestion pricing is a forward-thinking solution to local and global problems whose time has come. From soaring asthma rates, to snarled traffic, to global warming, congestion pricing will help New York lead in addressing all these issues.

There are many compelling reasons to act now. Manhattan is drowning in traffic, New York City suffers from twice the national rate of asthma and we are desperate for new funds to repair and expand our vital subway, bus and commuter rail network. Gridlock is bad for the region's economy, whether measured in lost jobs, reduced business income or unreliable shipping.

We hope New York City is still eligible to receive up to $500 million in federal funds. These funds are desperately needed for immediate transit enhancements to 22 outlying city neighborhoods with inadequate transit options, as well as for technology to set up a congestion pricing pilot program.

There will be many winners with congestion pricing – kids suffering from asthma, drivers stuck in traffic – and transit riders and commuters should rejoice outright. Congestion pricing revenues will help keep fares down and fund $30 billion in vital long-term transit repairs and expansion—which will mean faster, safer commutes, repaired stations and new bus routes. Perhaps at long last, the Second Avenue Subway will shed its moniker as “the greatest project New York could never build.”

In reviewing congestion pricing options, we hope the Commission the Legislature will establish to make congestion pricing implementation recommendations considers the thoughtful concerns we have heard from legislators, including: the wisdom of creating a new SMART authority; safeguards to ensure that the funds generated would all be spent on transit; ways the MTA could pay for quickly added service; and the potential for neighborhoods bordering the congestion zone to become parking lots.

We believe these issues can be fairly resolved.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Mobility Model

What's the difference between the old mobility model and the one that is quietly taking its place? Well, the one that is winding down, often with considerable pain, is the hugely costly "all car/no choice" system which has dominated public policy and private practice for more than half a century in most cities around the world. The big problem with the old system is similar to that of any kind of dominant monoculture: it simply lacks the variety and flexibility, and hence the resilience and adaptability, needed to ensure long-term survival in a changing world.

What is striking about this is that the main driver for this new mobility model lies not in fears of environmental catastrophe or oil shut-down, and not even in our collective good sense or ethics --but rather in the fact that enough successful new practices and models are starting to show results that we now, finally, start to have real choices. The climate issues give us a global frame and strong sense of urgency; the New Mobility Agenda tell us how to get the job done.

[Reinventing Transport in Cities]

Old Mobility model in Los Angeles:

Metrolinx (formerly GTTA) releases Discussion paper #1

Yesterday, Metrolinx, formerly the GTTA, released its first of six discussion papers, Towards Sustainable Transportation. It can be found at http://www.metrolinx.com/, along with details about registering for updates, providing feedback, etc.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Main streets

"Americans love traditional American small towns, main streets, and historic districts. But largely because of minimum parking requirements it's completely illegal to build anything like that again in most American cities. It's really hard to build anything where anyone would want to walk from one building to the next."

"Single-use zoning, low-density development, and space-hogging automobile infrastructure make life without driving seem a fanciful notion."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cliclovia - Car Free Sundays

Imagine 1.8 million people using 70+ miles of car-free streets to run, bike, walk EVERY Sunday? Well, in BOGOTA, Colombia they do exactly that during CICLOVIA!

Ciclovia – Car Free Sundays
NEW Video. Clarence Eckerson, November 30, 2007

Do you want to get hundreds of thousands physically active, walking and bicycling? Using the infrastructure that you already have? No need of capital investment, just operational budget, political will (guts), and community engagement is needed. It works just as well in a city of 50,000 people than in one of 10 million, anywhere in the world. It is CAR FREE SUNDAYS. It's a weekly event in which over 70 miles of city streets are closed to traffic where residents come out to walk, bike, run, skate, recreate, picnic, and talk with family, neighbors & strangers.