When David Suzuki made his statement about pipelines getting blown up, he had long since destroyed his credibility. However, we now have yet another reason to be skeptical of anyone who demands that we “trust the science” about the so-called “climate emergency” and the ridiculous, expensive solutions to these supposed problems.
When I believed in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC), I stopped driving my VW Fox (80hp, 4cyl, 1000KG) and I became an avid cyclist year-round. I biked through the bitter, freezing cold and under the hot, blazing sun. Even now that I think CACC is fraud, I still bike over a thousand kilometers per year. If David Suzuki and his ilk really believe that we need to reduce our carbon footprint, why hasn’t he been promoting cycling since he was convinced that there was a problem? Bicycles are, by far, the most efficient form of transportation. They were readily available and affordable long before the first TESLA rolled off the production line. They were a viable option when Suzuki was a child. They improved a lot by the time he began claiming that fossil fuels were killing the planet and they have just gotten better and better. There is no excuse for the economically idiotic and unsustainable solutions that they propose to their fake crisis.
Deaths from weather-related events have declined dramatically in the past century. Storms have always happened and the data shows now alarming trends that I can see. Judging by the Prime Minister’s willingness to lye about his schedule on The Day for Truth and Reconciliation so that he could go surfing before and after the consumption of a large amount of jet fuel, Justin Trudeau is much less worried about CACC than I ever was. No major politician reduced his or her carbon footprint the way I did. No science/entertainment superstar like David Suzuki or Neil Degras Tyson seems willing to show the world how much fun it can be to ride a bicycle. What am I supposed to think when I see how slimy high-profile climate alarmists often are? David Suzuki’s foundation had a webpage to scare children with a cartoon of Santa’s workshop sinking into the Arctic. He even stated on Australian television that elected representatives who disagree with him should be prosecuted. That’s almost mafioso.
If the drought of 1540 happened today, climate alarmists would certainly blame human prosperity. I demand that the government stop towing the line on this issue. I don’t even want to hear about the need to make a “clean energy transition” when proponents of such policies are such hypocrites. The City of Calgary claims to have the most extensive network of bicycle paths and second busiest LRT network in North America. Calgary has been recognized as the cleanest city in the world. There is room for improvement but we are doing an excellent job here. I was recycling before Greta Thunberg’s parents even met.
Thank-you for speaking out against Suzuki’s comments. Please, don’t stop there.
In pleasant contrast to the hostility and intolerance that many people express towards opinions that are contrary to their own, I was pleasantly surprised when someone asked me what I think and what I would do if I was in a position of power and influence. I was a little hard pressed to summarize the ideas that I have at this point in my life about how the world works and how I believe it could be better. I will try here. I will also include a few other ideas that have been shared with me.
But first, I will explain what little logic I managed to articulate in response to the interesting question of what I would like my governments to do. Its fairly simple: I am a Libertarian. I won’t say exactly what governments should or should do, but they should do less. The so-called “climate emergency” is a dangerous temptation for the them to do much, much more at disastrous expense. If it were up to me, the majority of Canadians who claim to be concerned about carbon dioxide emissions can hope on a bicycle from time to time and prove that they believe in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC). When I was a CACC-sucker I stopped driving my small car and biked year-round. Soccer moms, electricians and other people who want to virtue signal their concern for the environment can rack up a thousand kimmies a year without much difficulty. Many people can easily bike much more without compromising quality of life. They might actually benefit from the fresh air, exercise and perspective that bicycles provide (not to mention the inexpensive operation).
The City of Calgary boasts the most extensive urban bicycle path network in North America. Therefore, upgrading to a system that is practical and safe for most people would be a relatively inexpensive investment. Electric bicycles reduce the excuses that CACC-suckers produce when whining for subsidized cars with cup holders and acceleration that isn’t going to save the world. Investments in such infrastructure also has the advantage of fewer unionized employees than public transit. Drivers and mechanics cost taxpayers a lot.
What will cost taxpayers more? Replacing every automobile and piece of power generation equipment in the world, or ending street parking along good cycling routes?
I imagine a project: there is currently a bicycle path that runs along a pleasant and picturesque route from downtown to the city’s North East. However, once riders fly over Deerfoot Trail, they quickly find themselves on roads with cars. The available routes into the residential areas are indirect and tedious compared to the pathway of the Nose Creek Valley. I propose a viaduct over the warehouses and the mall that lies between Alberta’s busiest highway and the neighborhoods. It would save cyclists time, encounters with automobiles. It would also provide Calgary’s North East with some much-needed awesomeness. The quadrant has pathways, but few of them are interesting or beautiful. A fast route with a view of the city centre with the mountains in the background might encourage people to leave their private automobiles at home more often. Even the mall might receive more visits if people can park their bikes on the roof and wander down to its corridors.
Another project that I would like to see would be a passenger train between Calgary and Edmonton. There have proposals for a highspeed service but since there is no regular speed passenger trains at this point, perhaps we should start there. The highspeed proposals only stop and the airports of the province’s two biggest cities and in Red Deer. If it were up to me, exciting destinations like Airdrie, Olds and Penoka could have stops. These towns and small cities might benefit from people being able to commute conveniently to a business centre. Many passengers could also bring bicycles on the trains or leave them at the stations.
Geeze…that might be the extent of what I would do if I were the despot. How about some of my brother’s ideas? He suggested making public transit free! I am skeptical, but it might just be crazy enough to work. I’ve heard about it being successful on some level in at least one place. It would, in theory, reduce the need for expensive infrastructure projects and improve traffic flow. He also suggested the city buy or rent a tunneling machine to make routes for bicycles or public transit. When a major road was dug up, he said it would have been a good opportunity to put a subway line down. What else?
Ah yeah. I had another idea of my own: a petition fair. People can hang out and sign all the non-binding statements that they agree with and acquire snacks from food trucks and ignore live entertainment from musicians and clowns. It might be a good event to also host debates and forums.
This is something that I will continue to think about, but there are very few things that I would rush to change. Despite identifying as a libertarian and being suspicious of bureaucracies, I must admit to receiving reasonably good service from government employees most of the time and excellent service many times. I have received several responses to letters that I have written to public officials, including Ralph Klein when he was Premier. I am open to the idea of private education and healthcare, but I let other people argue things like that.
Oh! Yet another idea! Perhaps there should be a few government positions that are offered by way of a lottery. That would give people who lack the connections and money that help with leadership roles an opportunity to influence some of the decisions that get made on our behalf. The prime minister should not be put in place this way, but some lucky person gets to have his or her voice lifted above the din.
Hey! There’s more! Calgary also claims to have the world’s largest collection of interconnected elevated walkways in it’s downtown core. Why aren’t these promoted during the cold months as a place of walking/jogging. I see a city centre with a new train station and waterpark along the 9th Ave corridor where lots of land waits for interesting additions.
Here’s one for you: Let’s replace “pride” celebrations with honoring the love between consenting human adults (CHAL). Not only is this intended to protect CHAL rights, but it also seems worth sparing innocent, impressionable young minds the highly sexualized aspects of pride parades. Where is the parade to honor healthy families?
“Pride” parades are also due to be replaced because I think many people are very tired of the LGBTQRSTUV2F+ BS. I am. This ever-changing initialism has become extremely convoluted and its still not enough sometimes. Some people feel the need to add a “plus” to the end. Plus, what? Hmm? PLUS, WHAT?! What is the perversion that is missing from the lengthening series of letters? What is up with that goddamn “plus”? What are they beating around the bush about? Hmmm? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, 2 Spirited. What else is there?
Do we need rights for people who are attracted to inanimate objects? Sure. Why not? As long as they don’t hump any of my inanimate objects, or anything out in public, its none of my business. How about people that are sexually attracted to animate objects that aren’t consenting adults? Do they deserve to engage in their fantasies? In my opinion, all good people must oppose perverts trying to get off on animals or children.
What?! LGBTQRSTUV2F+ BS is not meant to hurt children? I’m a bigot for only supporting CHAL? Who am I oppressing? I just want freedom for people to engage in healthy relationships and that excludes all forms of pedophilia and bestiality. That exclusion is meant to prevent civilization from collapsing.
Next, I will quit drinking as a demonstration of my displeasure with the vaxx pass. I’ll show you healthy. Close the gyms down but keep the liquor stores open? Consider making your family eat outside in the bitter freezing cold for Christmas? How can we trust these bureaucrats?
Some climate alarmists compare carbon dioxide to a blanket placed over the Earth which will cause it to heat out of control and produce death, discomfort and disappointing ski seasons. They claim that only fundamental changes in economics, industry and lifestyle can prevent the suffering that is supposedly threatening every nation in the world. This belief bothers them so much that they become angry and insulting to anyone who doubts the doomsday predictions that are ruining their lives. Their devotion to this belief is unshakable and they expect everyone else to experience the same dread that the wake and sleep with every day.
Instead of a blanket, I like to think of the Earth as a building and its atmosphere as a the insulation that keeps it warm. Imagine, if you will, 10,000 batts of fiberglass insulation within its exterior walls. Imagine further that there are different kinds of insultation with different thermodynamic properties. The most common type makes up includes 7,800 batts. The second most common type includes 2100 batts. A third type includes about 900 batts.
There are a few other pieces of material preventing heat from leaving the building, but just four special units of 10,000 are going to make this building significantly warmer. Environmentalists expect us to be as upset as they are over a similar tiny fraction of the Earth’s atmosphere. They believe that carbon dioxide has such intense heat retention properties that it will destroy the balance of nature after increasing from 0.03% of the air that our planet holds, to 0.04%…a difference of one in ten thousand.
Alarmists scold and warn us about a terrible calamity that is upon us because our use of the fuels that are found far below our feet. They fret and worry that extremely weather will result from the incredible prosperity that abundant energy has brought. They say these dreadful changes have already started to kill people and reduce the quality of life.
One of the many problems with these dire predictions is the fact that deaths from weather-related events has declined dramatically over the past century. Better building materials and techniques are mitigating the disasters but it also seems increasingly possible that the climate of the next century will be less adverse than alarmists claim it will be. Crops yields continue to rise and people continue to live longer, healthier lives than they did before gasoline, diesel, natural gas and coal became widely available. Certainly, our industrial society produces pollution, but carbon dioxide is essential for all plant life and plant life is essential for everything else.
The solutions that alarmists propose are just as questionable as the intensity of the scowls that they have for anyone who questions the integrity of their claims. Bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation. If someone really wants to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and still move around a city, nothing compares to cycling. However, alarmists demand the replacement of every automobile and every piece of electricity generation equipment. I understand that people still want comfortable, fast cars and trucks with cup holders and Bluetooth sound systems, but if the planet really depends on significant reduction in so called “green house gas” emissions, Greta Thunberg would set a much better example to the world if she went on a bicycle tour around North America instead of the incredibly impractical example that she set with her Atlantic crossing. Few will ever traverse an ocean in a sail boat. Daily commutes in vehicles like the one that brought the United Nations poster child to New York Harbour are even rarer.
Greta could have shown the world a determined young woman using technology that everyone has access to. She could have said, “If I can bike across the United States, you can bike to work.” This would have ended the excuses for millions of people who want to save the planet, but just can’t see themselves getting around without a private automobile. It would have given her adoring fans an opportunity to peddle with her and form a PELOTON FOR THE PLANET. I predict that it would be wildly popular and effective and it would produce many excellent TV moments.
Instead, we have a carbon tax that funnels financial wealth from productive enterprises to strange new sectors of the economy that would not be economically viable without subsidies and some convoluted claim to producing goods or services that are favorable in light of the alarmist narrative. To me, it shows how little most people believe in the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change.
Perhaps the level of direct interaction with people would have been too much for Greta. An autistic person like her might shrivel at the intense attention that might result. What about some other champion of the Paris Accord? Peeonardo DiCraprio could have pushed for action on Climate Change and looked like less of a multi-millionaire hypocrite. What about David Suzuki? He seems like he is still fit enough, in his golden years, to peddle at a modest pace across Canada. I wouldn’t fault him for sleeping in a luxurious motor coach along the way and I think most people would also understand the message of such a campaign and he too would attract a following. He old age would only add to the message the way Greta’s diminutive stature would. If he can bike so many thousands of kilometres, most able-bodied people could ride to some of their destinations on a regular basis.
None of these people make such demonstrations. I suspect their goal is a carbon tax because the big money (I mean really big money) is in the wealth transfer; the replacement of every automobile and piece of electricity generation equipment in the world. Giving people the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are will result in a small number of people enjoying a safe, comfortable bicycle path system. Avid cyclists will delight at the favorable conditions in their cities, towns and country-side, while motorists will continue to have their incredible mobility. In theory, if enough of the Canadians who claim to want “action on climate change” took the most effective action possible, there would be significantly fewer private automobiles on the road and levels of physical fitness would improve. We would save money on roads and have cleaner air and better health, but Gretta, Suzuki or DiCraprio will never tell you that. Their path to perceived salvation is through taxation and massive government interference in the economy.
Transportation was an interesting topic before climate hysteria and the corona bacteria from Japan on the economy reduced my enthusiasm for the addition of the “Green Line” to the CTrain’s routes. Transportation continues to be an important part of the civic conversation with the final aproval being given to the undertaking. It is a super-mega project by the standards of land and will command mountains of money. There have also been rumblings on talk radio about passenger rail again linking our city to Banff. Talk of a high-speed link to Edmonton continues to bubble up from time to time, and The City of Calgary has been claiming that it has North America’s most extensive bicycle path network.
Maybe Black Sabbath was singing about our humble LRT system when they unleashed their hit single “Crazy Train” upon the world. Before the pandemic, it was the second busiest LRT network in North America. However, a significant fraction of the nation wants the industry that our economy depends on to be strangled to death. Electric cars are stepping out from the world of science fiction and onto the road. They will also be limited by resources, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the growth of companies like Tesla. Will bitumen be able to buy the interesting amenity on the table? I would have put that wealth elsewhere.
While writing an article about the proposed High-Speed Rail (HSR) link between Calgary and Edmonton, I had the pleasure of speaking Peter Wallis of the Van Horn Institute for Transportation studies. He might have sensed my skepticism, and as he tried to explain the viability of a bullet train in Alberta, he used a rhetorical question; “What would you do?” I responded that I was looking for the opinion of a transportation think-tank professional like him, but I later wrote him an email to describe what would happen if it were up to me.
Because there hasn’t been conventional passenger rail transportation between the province’s two largest cities for decades, I have come to believe that we should probably start with a something less zippy than the systems that were proposed. The plan that the Van Horne Institute described included only five stations; downtown Calgary, Calgary International Airport, Red Deer, Edmonton International Airport and Downtown Edmonton. What about exciting destinations like Airdrie, Olds, Lacombe and Wetaskiwin where people are compelled to move to different places within the corridor on a daily basis? I dare to dream of tunnelling under Red Deer and having a subway station in the centre of the middle city.
While we’re on the topic of what I would do if it were up to me…I would significantly improve Calgary’s bicycle infrastructure before committed the city to the financial burden of the Green Line. Calgary is already fairly bike-friendly and it wouldn’t take much to go from a scenic recreational network to a fast, and practical transportation option for many people. I would start with in the North East. Near 32 Ave, there is a pedestrian bridge that allows riders to comfortably go from the Nose Creek pathway, over Deerfoot Trail and towards communities like Rundle, Marlboro and Sunridge. However, moving from the meadows of the creek to the higher ground beyond the big highway quickly becomes much less pleasant. The routes are winding and well endowed with traffic lights. The only specific part of my vision at this point is a 2km viaduct over the roads and warehouses of the area that allow cyclists faster travel from 21rd street, where the pathway first becomes convoluted, to Sunridge Mall, where cyclists have the option of visiting the shopping centre or continue conveniently over the LRT tracks at 36th Street. From that end of the viaduct, the heart of the quadrant will be easily accessible by existing bike paths and quiet streets.
The rest of my vision includes nothing else specific besides more humble upgrades to cycletracks and the promotion of the most efficient form of transportation. Most of the North East is far from the picturesque pathways that the rest of the Calgary enjoys. Perhaps that is why I see so few people peddle around over there. My theory is that a 2km viaduct with a view of downtown in front of the mountains will change that. It won’t be a beautiful natural area like Nose Hill or the River Valleys, but it will improve the peaceful passage of people to so many of their destinations and it will bring cyclists to areas that they might not have considered otherwise. It would be an excellent pandering gimmick for the woke folks. Not only is it sustainable, but it makes it easier for the diverse communities of the area to participate in low-carbon transportation. Perhaps the only danger here is the woke folks claiming that we are trying to destroy their pristine cultures by assimilation. Whatever. I think it’s a good idea because all lives matter and bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation and piss on any one what thinks otherwise because they are stupid.
Calgary to Banff by Train? Maybe that’s where it’s really at. Where else would an avid cyclist want to be after a comfortable ride west?