A couple iffy days — then straight sun! — And oh ya trains.

We still have a couple days (Tuesday/Wednesday) where we will be seeing some morning fog followed by breaks in the clouds and even a chance of a raindrop tomorrow. But through it all it will stay pleasantly warm.

On Thursday things will kick back into full-summer gear and we will be headed for 5 days of what could be our hottest stretch of the year! Right in time for Centennial Weekend! We couldn’t ask for better timing!

That said, I want to interrupt this weather blog with this:

Five reasons why the railway must be our first priority and why you should honk for the Coal Protesters today:

#1: Vancouver Island is literally an island of temperate weather in a world that is heating up. The United States continues to experience its hottest 12 month period since 1895. The World is getting undeniably warmer, our own Canadian Arctic is warming twice as fast of any place on Earth and the only logical explanation for all of it is us.

World Climate Update June 2012
World Climate Update June 2012

#2: Building more Highways only leads to more greenhouse gas emissions from the cars and trucks that will rush to fill them. Plus more cost to our economy down the road as fuel and maintenance costs rise. The most efficient method of medium and long range land transportation are railways (sea transport is actually the ‘greenest’) . And *only* railways could be fully electrified right now.

#3: If either a new Horne Lake Connector is put in or raven coal is shipped by truck, the railway will likely die. With the huge amount of asphalt there simply will be no reason to upgrade the railway. This is what happened after the Inland Island Highway was built along the East coast line and it will happen again.

#4: Fossil Fuels in general are the #1 source of CO2 from the world at 26%. Coal is the #1 Fossil Fuel in the world though in the US in June Coal use plummeted and tied with Natural Gas for the first time in that country. It doesn’t matter if it is for thermal or steel (Compliance Energy financial statements have shown their coal will be used for both, and will even be used for only thermal if market conditions warrant it, contrary to their publicity). It is not needed. Germany is showing that renewables can make a big difference. They are generating over 25% of their power from renewable, mostly solar (in cloudy Germany!?). You can even watch them do it live!(2 hr delay).

This graph from just now shows German solar power producing up to 27% of its power from solar and wind! They are proving that Renewable Energy *can* make a huge dent in power generation!

German Renewable Energy Production July 31, 2012

#5: The final reason is that sometimes we must put aside what it is that we want or feel we need and look at the facts. History has shown, especially in government, that those that follow factual, science and mathematics based reasoning over emotional or populist rhetoric are most likely to produce services that are the most beneficial to the widest cross section of citizens.

After four studies showing the Horne Lake Connector to not be supported by the real-world data, I hope our political leaders and indeed some folks in town will accept the facts and move on to seriously consider our only serious alternative that would take the 40% increase in truck traffic from the Coal Mine off of Highway 4 and give Port Alberni the ability to grow in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. And that is the rail line.

Unfortunately it’s not enough anymore to nod your head in agreement.

We need more people to speak up and out about shifting our economy to one that is sustainable and can create jobs that are not contributing to the overall destruction (and I don’t use that word lightly) of our future generations ability to feed themselves, or live like we have.

Please write to the papers:

Write to the Mayor, Port Authority, Premier and Politicians:

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3 thoughts on “A couple iffy days — then straight sun! — And oh ya trains.

  1. We seem to have little will to shift from our present course, and increasingly, people who address this problem are dismissed as “the usual suspects”, luddites, or the lunatic fringe. And yet, there is a whole culture in the political realm that shuns facts, refuses to reason, withholds pertinent information, and insists that it has the greater public good as its guiding principle when it serves a narrow, self-centred, greedy and destructive minority. The quality of political discourse of late makes the schoolyard taunts of youth seem like a truly parnassian level of debate, and, while there have always been rafts of dishonesty, diversion and skulduggery in the governance of most nations, the current childish toxicity leaves the jaw fully dropped. Keep at it!

  2. Is it just me but the idea of debating the most sustainable way to ship coal to some thermal plant is just a little schizophrenic.
    Chris, while I agree with you on rail it is just sad that the the possible rail build out comes at the expense of continued fossil fuel burning.

  3. It is not ideal, that’s for darn sure! The railway could certainly still be built and provide many benefits without relying on coal. It’s just the reality of the situation that we face that We have that coal mine staring us in the face. All anyone who is concerned and demands action on climate change can do is advocate clearly for rail and against coal.

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