Canada’s Car Culture Criticized

Glad to see some Danes standing up for Canada.

A Canadian stands up for the Danes.

The Danes stand up for themselves.

A few points have arisen as a result of this discussion, largely in defence of “car culture.” I’d like to address them if I may:

We love our cars!

That’s great. What is important, though, is having choices, and safe, affordable and convenient choices. Cars should not be the only option. In a sustainable, livable city, a citizen should have a choice to walk, cycle, run, take the bus, ride the train, get a lift with a friend or drive. These choices must be open to everybody old, young, able bodied and disabled. It is possible to have it all, and the option of driving a car should be alongside, rather than at the expense of healthier, quicker and often more affordable options.

Country X is too big for sustainable transport

Density and sprawl are more relevant to the discussion than size. Many people live within 5 to 15 km of where they work, shop and play but infrastructure designed exclusively for private cars makes sustainable and healthy travel options difficult. In regards to inter-city travel, driving for lengthy periods is unsafe and time consuming. Large countries in particular should demand superb transport systems between cities to make travel safer, cheaper and more relaxing.

What about winter?

Agreed. Winter in Scandinavia is pretty dismal, especially for vulnerable groups in society. I’m sure parts of Canada are even worse. Again, it is about providing choices for safe travel, not just cars. Gridlock is gridlock in sun and snow. Car-free bus lanes, trains, cleared bicycle and pedestrian lanes alongside traffic-calmed roads can make winter transport safer and more convenient for everybody. The same is true of choices for the remaining three seasons.

Amid the responses to this discussion I genuinely hope that energies are directed towards those who can actually change policy. Hopefully less gridlock, safe and sustainable choices, green spaces and livable, vibrant, healthy communities are what people want all over the world. Sustainable transport is about giving people safe choices to travel, not banning cars.

Solar Tour 2014

Cowessess Wind Developments Ltd. turbine.
800kW at 32mi/h
tailless, computer controlled.
Has Li-ion batteries.
Solar Tour Regina

Solar Tour Regina
Solar farm and home system of 10kW
Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down.
Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and then lowers it below the frost line after the cattle have left.

Solar panels have passed the $1/Watt holy grail.
$500/Watt at the beginning.

250W panels on Toronto St. install.
Pool inside.

Solar Tour Regina
Namerind put a system on a rest home. The Resting Place south of The Serbian Club.
Namerind has a power generation update on their website.
Check out 1100 block Winnipeg in a few weeks.

Battery Depot which we drove by, has no apparent interest in marketing their products to solar users. Why aren’t they making money by putting solar panels on their south facing roof?

Tour’s poster designed by anti-nuke artist Richard Vicarious [sp?].

Picked up a few more people at Candy Cane park, then at Mac the Moose in Moose Jaw.

Mitchell’s thermal hot air system. Pop can design.
Solar Tour Moose Jaw

2.7kW grid tied system next on the south west corner of Moose Jaw. There are two arrays mounted on the ground, and their angles can be changed.

Next was a hybrid system to heat a stable. GAIT equestrian centre.
$1500 for the excavation of a geothermal cooling/heating system seen in photo.

Radiant heat presentation.

Saw a real moose behind Mac the Moose.
IMG_2642

5.7kW building integrated solar on a car port in Belle Plaine.

More detail and photos to come soon.

Interchange a Highway

Atlanta isn’t known for being a walkable city. Florence, Italy has a better reputation.

This is kind of mind blowing, and should have people thinking about overpasses and cloverleaf highways in a different way. Auto-sprawl has many costs.

All By Myself – In An Airport

Here’s a very clever music video made by a Dion fan, in Vegas airport. There is some smart use of the moving sidewalk, and escalator, along with some nice video editing.

Looks like the most fun you can have in an airport, without drawing unwanted attention from overzealous security.

Air and Space

image

Walked around Balboa Park. Gave a 50 cent coin to a magician, maybe he’ll use it in his act in the future. Got lost, found my wag son after crossing a bridge. Saw another Apollo command module, this was 9 Gumdrop.

Woke at 5am to some man yelling help a few blocks away. Police were on scene, hopefully he wanted their help.

Ate supper at Guadalajara restaurant in Old Town, before returning to Mission Beach.