Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
It is happening. Our global climatological norms, upon which everything from agriculture to the security of shelter is based, are changing rapidly. Arctic and antarctic sea ice and the world's glaciers are melting faster than at any time in the past several thousand years. Global surface temperatures are rising.
Human-driven emissions of carbon dioxide are accelerating dramatically, almost every year. While down or flat in 2009, due to the global recession, CO2 emissions rose by 512 million metric tons from 2009 to 2010, a 6% increase! (Note: A sustained 6% annual increase would double mankind's output of this dangerous greenhouse gas in just 12 years.) But it gets worse; this single year increase is higher than the "most extreme range of the assumptions" made at Kyoto and subsequently, assumptions that would force global temperatures to rise "as much as 6.4 degrees" by century's end. Replace "as much as" with "more than." That's very hot.
Is the human race at fault for this? Do we want or need to find out by taking no action at all? Can we do something about it? If we did something, what would happen? How would our lives change? Are there other benefits from reducing our carbon footprint that go beyond "merely" saving the earth?
Welcome to a debate that has captured the attention of the globe, and that will change the future of humanity like no other discussion in human history.
We in Village Vancouver are at the epicentre of this debate, because we are working on solutions, not excuses. We are making changes, every day, to change the course of human history, for the better.
At the governmental level, there are many policy choices that could augment the work we are doing at the critical, grassroots level. Both policy and behaviour must change together. Read about some innovative policy proposals tailored to the BC economy here.
Read more at The Big Think.
And if you think Vancouver, the city or metro area, is in any way "better than the rest," which might make sense given our mild climate and low-carbon (in operation) hydro power, think again. Per capita, Vancouver is building more new road space, pouring more concrete, and importing more consumer goods than any other region of Canada. The average insulation value of Vancouver homes is falling quickly due to the construction of concrete and glass high-rises with R-values just over 2--in comparison with R15-20 in new low-rise construction. Flight miles per capita are also on the rise, with Vancouver and area airports showing dramatic growth in the past 20 years.
If you want to look at some more of the inconvenient truths, check out this carbon map of BC created by the Tyee Solutions Society and UBC.