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FEATURED COMMENT – We need to think outside box on climate change

Getting charged up at Kamloops Visitor Centre. (plugshare.com)

Getting charged up at Kamloops Visitor Centre. (plugshare.com)

Re: Letter, “Budget treats environment, climate change as an afterthought”:

Please don’t let my comments steer you into thinking I am anti-environment but whenever I read something like this from the sierra club the tone of the authors and the misinformation provided always irritates me to the point that it completely takes away from the intent of the article. And the recent stories about carbon tax haven’t read much better either.

While I have no idea whether the job statistics quoted above are correct, the fact is that they have nothing to do with one another. The BC gov’t isn’t spending the million dollars, Kinder Morgan is and Kinder Morgan isn’t in the business of creating alternative energy jobs. If the author chose to make an argument about using the tax revenue from this project to create alternative energy funding, he might have been on to something.

As another contributer correctly stated the other day, unfortunately the only way to move our society towards improved environmental consciousness is by hitting us in the pocket books. Penalizing fossil fuel usage to the point that alternatives make good financial sense to businesses and the average consumer will be what it takes. We need to think further out of the box and tackle this from a consumer perspective not an idealized one.

While current incentives like 1 time rebates on the purchase of electric vehicles, or allowing them in the HOV lane are steps in the right direction. The reality is for many Canadians the technology hasn’t reached a point that it makes sense to have an electric vehicle as their only form of transport or a heat pump as the only heat source in their house.

If we can create incentives for complimentary uses (insurance rebates for having a a second car that’s electric, reduced rates for energy efficient homes based on total consumption (gas and electric)…the dreaded stepped pricing, I know) we ease the change management process for the average consumer while at the same time making the technology work for us.

And while companies like Tesla are helping to evolve the technology, creating expensive electric cars to replace small cheap fuel efficient ones is not the best way to make an impact, Using something like the x platform to create a fleet of electric trucks for the postal service, that will trickle down to other delivery companies, then local tradesman, would be a much larger step towards solving the problem, then creating sports cars for the few. Has anybody even heard of what happened to Vancouver’s ill fated attempt of this from 5 years ago?

Then again if we all went out and bought electric cars tomorrow what site (c?) would be generating the power for them, but that’s a topic for another day.

TURNER

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About Mel Rothenburger (4995 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on FEATURED COMMENT – We need to think outside box on climate change

  1. Turner… I share many of your thoughts on this, however must clarify the Tesla mission. And ‘mission’ is really the operative word! The ‘expensive electric cars’ comment is fair, but not complete or fully accurate.

    Tesla planned to produce the line of vehicles they have, right from the start. The Roadster (first Tesla) was tiny and very expensive. It demonstrated that an electric vehicle was both possible and desirable.

    The Model S (second offering) is cheaper (but still expensive) and demonstrates an electric vehicle can also be practical, safe, and desirable.

    The Model X was a bit of a diversion from the plan… expensive SUV that essentially echoed what the Model S had previously stated.

    July of this year is supposed to see the start of Model 3 production. This is the car that most people will be able to afford, starting at $35k US. And if fuel and maintenance costs are factored in, more will be able to afford it that would a comparably-priced fuel-powered car.

    The Tesla plan was always to start at the top and work down. They needed to make a name for themselves and generate revenue for the next design. Tesla is the only ‘new’ car manufacturer to (so far) stand the test of time and remain solvent in an industry dominated by giants, so the plan has apparently worked to date.

    A pick-up is in the works, as is a semi of some sort. Impossible to do everything at once, and only now are other companies testing the waters in the EV market. It took Tesla to embarrass the competition.

    As for Site C and EV’s, yes, that is a conversation for a different day. But you should know that plenty of research has been done on this exact concern and the consensus is, “it’s entirely manageable, likely without significant investment in new generating infrastructure.” I don’t believe Site C would be needed to support an EV fleet in BC.

  2. Comments like yours, Turner, always irritate me because they, purposely or not, miss the point.
    Environmental destruction, I prefer to call it “destabilization”, has consequences well beyond the divisiveness over climate change. I dislike writing long, winded comments therefore I will be brief and hopefully you and the ilk will “catch the essence”.
    Take traffic for example…absurdly large and often loud vehicles causing bad air, noise and costing a tonne in road maintenance. How much public money goes into this scenario?
    Take building construction as another example…where sloppy contractors and questionable building codes miss the chances at creating long lasting energy efficiencies…is Site-C built with private money?

  3. I share your view on pollution, but like many seek proof that humans are causing climate change. It is not a question of belief. It is a question of science…and the actual science is anything but settled.

    I think it fair to compare climate science and second hand smoke science. Everyone “knew” second hand smoke was a problem and the “science” was used to fundamentally transform public policy and traditional property rights…has anyone seen this ? Bastion of the progressive left “Slate” has just published a feature on the utter non-sense behind the second hand smoke science. I would include the link but it forces you to register prior to reading so here is a summary…

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/02/167457.php

    • That’s ridiculous reasoning…
      I have had the unfortunate experience to be in a smoky room or in the vicinity of smokers…it takes no deep scientific knowledge to realize how much better fresh, uncontaminated air is.

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