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Andrew Scheer unveils climate plan promising green technology

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3 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

Why do you assume I support driving big gas guzzlers long distances when my post explains how important decent public transportation is to both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving quality of life?

As he pointed out, our cities are poorly designed for mass transit. They're very spread out, and the most mass-transit can really accomplish efficiently is moving people from Point A to point B. That's great if you live at Point A and work at Point B. When you live at Point D and work at Point L things get more complicated and you have to start transferring between buses and between trains, lengthening and complicating your journey. I used to work swing shifts in a business park in the east end. It was a 10-15 minute drive.When I got a ride. Usually I had to take public transit. Because of the off hours and the off centre location that meant taking three buses, then walking. I wound up actually taking one bus and walking quite a bit further, which meant it 'only' took me about an hour to get there. Many years later I worked in a big government office building. When I started I took the bus. Again, it meant taking three crowded, often late rush hour buses, and an hour of my time. When I got a car that dropped to 15-20 easy, relaxing minutes. And I wasn't living in suburbia then, as you can tell from the distance I needed to drive.

It's not realistic for a lot of people to take public transit even when they live in the city, because public transit can only do an efficient job for so many people in so many locations.

Edited by Argus

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3 hours ago, cannuck said:

Then, of course, there is the heard of elephants in the corner of the room. We simply can not continue the rate of population growth we have over the last century.  Very few people in the "environmental movement" have the brains or the balls to address this - which is the REAL problem.

The population growth isn't coming from Western countries which are trying to cut CO2 emissions. It's coming from third world countries which are pouring on the coal to build more coal-fired power generators. Nothing we do is going to have any real impact as long as developing countries are electrifying to serve their expanding middle classes and expanding populations, and as long as they're doing it with coal.

Edited by Argus

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Argus you have that right.  That is why Technology and the impact Canada can have and has had to help these Coal producers and users is so valuable.  Trudeau is basically stopping all that.  This is one reason he needs to go.  

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2 hours ago, cannuck said:

You just demonstrated my point about virtue signaling.  You are willing to give up your Escalade or your Prius for a communter train (which even if the power it uses comes from a generator that runs on unicorn farts still puts out CO2), but there is no way in hell you are willing to change anything substantial in your life - which IMHO at the top of the list means commuting at all.

I live close to my work, but not everyone can, as Argus rightly points out.  We need better transit but also better urban planning to support it.  In some cases vehicles will remain the better option.  I don’t think a political position that simply takes these options away would get public support.  It’s a big assumption that people should always be able to find housing within a walk or bike ride of their work place.  Many people are struggling to find affordable housing period and often have to move to more remote areas where housing is more affordable, necessitating long commutes, obviously.  

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14 hours ago, taxme said:

Those people who are so against greenhouse emissions and are against global warming are the last ones that will ever want to give up their greenhouse emissions lifestyle. This country is so full of hypocrites who believe that you should do as they say and not as they do. If they have a vehicle well sell it and take the bus, otherwise quit with your double standards.

To take your line one step further: when Mr. and Mrs. Yuppie sell off the Escalade or F350, they think they have "done their part".    The damage started the day they BOUGHT it, but will continue until the vehicle is crushed.  All they ever accomplish is passing the buck along to someone else while signalling their virtuous liberalism.

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13 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

I live close to my work, but not everyone can, as Argus rightly points out.  We need better transit but also better urban planning to support it.  In some cases vehicles will remain the better option.  I don’t think a political position that simply takes these options away would get public support.  It’s a big assumption that people should always be able to find housing within a walk or bike ride of their work place.  Many people are struggling to find affordable housing period and often have to move to more remote areas where housing is more affordable, necessitating long commutes, obviously.  

I realize that you are speaking from a close time, close minded frame of reference.   What I am getting at is is not bandaid solutions that will make any substantial difference, it is more a matter of gross amputations.  Any less is, as I have stated, nothing more than virtue signalling.

The whole environmental/resource management thing has to reach a LOT deeper than the carbon emissions of transport and utilities (and I won't go into the discussion of how valid the carbon boogeyman witch hunt is), we need to look at how we run our entire societies and economies.  For instance: why should housing ever be unaffordable?????   The answer lies mostly in taxation and how we give a free ride to speculative gain.   As I said, amputations, not bandaids.

Edited by cannuck

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21 hours ago, Argus said:

The population growth isn't coming from Western countries which are trying to cut CO2 emissions. It's coming from third world countries which are pouring on the coal to build more coal-fired power generators. Nothing we do is going to have any real impact as long as developing countries are electrifying to serve their expanding middle classes and expanding populations, and as long as they're doing it with coal.

Ah...but you haven't learned the language of the virtue signalling world: to criticize the South Americans, Africans and Central Asians for breeding like rats is racist, and geez, avoiding racist buzzwords and topics is SO much more important than the survival of our species.

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47 minutes ago, cannuck said:

Ah...but you haven't learned the language of the virtue signalling world: to criticize the South Americans, Africans and Central Asians for breeding like rats is racist, and geez, avoiding racist buzzwords and topics is SO much more important than the survival of our species.

I’m not sure what you know about sustainable urban planning.  When I wrote the proposal and produced the preliminary maps for the Greenbelt around the GTA and Greater Golden Horseshoe, it was primarily with the intent of concentrating development to make transit viable, make communities more vibrant and self-sustaining, as well as ensure that our most fertile land is protected as a local sustainable food supply, source of clean water and air through natural aquifer filtration, and to provide a natural oasis that millions of residents can enjoy.  It’s been very successful on the whole,  The success of the region, however, is drawing the majority of Canada’s immigrants and putting pressure on infrastructure and home prices.  

In a Greenbelt 2.0 I’d allow light footprint non-permanent affordable housing on parts of the Greenbelt that aren’t used for recreation or farming and that are not environmentally sensitive.  I’d also allow such housing on moribund brownfield sites in urban areas.  I’d also add greenbelt in developed areas, for example on rail corridors and by adding trees to boulevards, medians, and green roofs on government buildings.  I’ve talked in other posts about integrating solar into the building code and incentivizing geothermal heating and deep water cooling systems.  Much can be achieved to lower greenhouse gas emissions through zoning, building codes, and regulation.  Just make sure that whatever you do doesn’t have the unintended consequence of hurting people who have little choice but to commute long distances in private vehicles or create draconian tax and regulatory schemes that drive away investment and talent.  

One more thing: The region has lurched from horizontal sprawl, which is now getting under control, to vertical sprawl.  80 skyscrapers are in the planning stages in the City of Toronto.  Many urban planners would argue going forward than we need to focus on building the “missing middle” in Toronto.  We need more 3-8 storey buildings that cast less shadow and are at a more human scale.  Basically we need more of the scale of Paris.  That’s a more sustainable density on our resources, infrastructure, air, and water.  With the right amount of greenbelt and farmland, we could build many more such towns and cities sustainably.  

Edited by Zeitgeist

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Zeit:  Once again, you are focused on making small changes in infrastructure to simply do more of exactly the same thing.  30 years down the road, we will simply be in the same pickle, except whole mess will be even larger and more energy wasteful at a time when the 10 Bn population is using resources at an even greater rate.

To shift your view from how to be ever greater consumers:  When encountering this whole "urban planning" (now THERE's an oxymoron!!!) thing I am reminded of what one of my Vietnamese friends had to say about his Father's greatest embarrassment.  When he was married, it was in the compound where the family and all of their employees lived (river boat manufacturers...significant to me as at the time I was a boat manufacturer, and he and one brother worked for me).  All of the (hundred or so) employees and their families plus MANY guests sat at tables in the central building for dinner and there was no room left for the orchestra - that had to play outside.  Yes, they all lived within the factory grounds.  THAT is how you stop commuting and get a lot more flexibility out of production facilities.

We need to switch as far away from a consumer based society to one who's focus is on how to stop wasting resources at an ever increasing rate.   All of the structures and infrastructure of a city is a perfect example.  For the most part, we replace EVERYTHING in less than a century because we build things that fall apart.  Ever been to Rome?  There are structures standing for two millenia that are still sound.  Reason?  No idiot dirt digger (i.e. CE) put steel in the concrete.  We built early homes from a material that WAS readily available (i.e. wood) but it rots, feeds bugs and burns with alacrity (take a tour of the 19th century mansions along the Hudson South of Albany, and save for the Suckly home - ALL of the wooden ones are gone while the stone and concrete edifices are doing just fine, thank you.  Yet we continue to build single family and even multiple family homes that puke energy out of wooden structures that are all busy feeding the bugs, rotting and burning just as they have since we first got here.  As far as office and other buildings go:  I once ran a consortium that had a UK engineering partner.  On my first visit to their head offices, my host was explaining on the way up the M1 how I might be dissappointed in their offices as they were about 250 years old.  I replied as to how I really like older buildings and he should not be ashamed of using them.  He looked back at me dumbfounded and said: "in Cambridge, anybody who is ANYBODY has an office that is at least 400 years old!".  We then reflected on our Moroccan partner's home (600 years old) and the infrastructure (we had just walked there on pre-Roman stone walkways).  That was many years ago, and it reset my thinking radically as to sustainability in buildings and cities.  We have the technology today to build energy and resource efficient homes (especially from concrete), but instead of paying for better and more sustainable structures, we give out as much as an extra million bux for "location, location, location".

Another note:  even 70 years ago, the average American (no idea for Canada) family home was something like 700 sq. ft.

I could go on product and category for ever about this subject, but it IS one of the keys to genuine sustainability.

The other is, of course, the link I posted earlier of the population growth curve of this planet.  We could probably go on fine until the next big asteroid hit if we kept population between one and two billion, but we are heading for a really nasty end by thinking we can just go over 10Bn and laugh about it.

Edited by cannuck

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1 hour ago, cannuck said:

Zeit:  Once again, you are focused on making small changes in infrastructure to simply do more of exactly the same thing.  30 years down the road, we will simply be in the same pickle, except whole mess will be even larger and more energy wasteful at a time when the 10 Bn population is using resources at an even greater rate.

To shift your view from how to be ever greater consumers:  When encountering this whole "urban planning" (now THERE's an oxymoron!!!) thing I am reminded of what one of my Vietnamese friends had to say about his Father's greatest embarrassment.  When he was married, it was in the compound where the family and all of their employees lived (river boat manufacturers...significant to me as at the time I was a boat manufacturer, and he and one brother worked for me).  All of the (hundred or so) employees and their families plus MANY guests sat at tables in the central building for dinner and there was no room left for the orchestra - that had to play outside.  Yes, they all lived within the factory grounds.  THAT is how you stop commuting and get a lot more flexibility out of production facilities.

We need to switch as far away from a consumer based society to one who's focus is on how to stop wasting resources at an ever increasing rate.   All of the structures and infrastructure of a city is a perfect example.  For the most part, we replace EVERYTHING in less than a century because we build things that fall apart.  Ever been to Rome?  There are structures standing for two millenia that are still sound.  Reason?  No idiot dirt digger (i.e. CE) put steel in the concrete.  We built early homes from a material that WAS readily available (i.e. wood) but it rots, feeds bugs and burns with alacrity (take a tour of the 19th century mansions along the Hudson South of Albany, and save for the Suckly home - ALL of the wooden ones are gone while the stone and concrete edifices are doing just fine, thank you.  Yet we continue to build single family and even multiple family homes that puke energy out of wooden structures that are all busy feeding the bugs, rotting and burning just as they have since we first got here.  As far as office and other buildings go:  I once ran a consortium that had a UK engineering partner.  On my first visit to their head offices, my host was explaining on the way up the M1 how I might be dissappointed in their offices as they were about 250 years old.  I replied as to how I really like older buildings and he should not be ashamed of using them.  He looked back at me dumbfounded and said: "in Cambridge, anybody who is ANYBODY has an office that is at least 400 years old!".  We then reflected on our Moroccan partner's home (600 years old) and the infrastructure (we had just walked there on pre-Roman stone walkways).  That was many years ago, and it reset my thinking radically as to sustainability in buildings and cities.  We have the technology today to build energy and resource efficient homes (especially from concrete), but instead of paying for better and more sustainable structures, we give out as much as an extra million bux for "location, location, location".

Another note:  even 70 years ago, the average American (no idea for Canada) family home was something like 700 sq. ft.

I could go on product and category for ever about this subject, but it IS one of the keys to genuine sustainability.

The other is, of course, the link I posted earlier of the population growth curve of this planet.  We could probably go on fine until the next big asteroid hit if we kept population between one and two billion, but we are heading for a really nasty end by thinking we can just go over 10Bn and laugh about it.

You’re saying many things with regard to materials and population growth.  Generally well-educated people in cities have few children.  About 80% of Canada’s population are in cities.  If not for immigration our cities’ populations would eventually plateau.  I’m currently in France and on my way to Rome.  I was just in London and York, which are largely stone cities. Tomorrow I’m visiting the most ancient human-created art work discovered, in Lascaux’s stone caves.  One only need to look as far as limestone  Kingston, Ontario or the citadel in Halifax, both of which were never attacked in the War of 1812 and stand intact today to appreciate the lasting and sustainable value of building in stone. 

I would say that to have everything that a Rome or Paris has requires a certain size and critical mass that makes certain infrastructure and economy of scale possible, unless a smaller metropolitan area is what is desired.  I personally like the diversity of multiple city/town sizes, architectural styles and densities across regions.  

Edited by Zeitgeist

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Zeit:   Hey...wave to my kids.  We have the 4 YO and 5 MO with us for a a few weeks (or more to the point my wife does, but I am home for a rare week).  Our baby and #2 Son-in-law are celebrating anniversary with an Italian vaca, but came in through Paris with a side trip to visit one of my friends in Nice.  They are in Venezia today and on way to Roma so your paths must have/might cross.

I of course love every minute of drinking in Euro stone, but in reality, high mass structures need separate insulation within, taking away some of the advantage of the thermal mass.  I have been working with PFCCs for a while (pre-formed foam cellular concrete) trying to achieve sufficient insulating value from the actual structural members.  My fallback will be to go with aerogel core and inner plus outer high denisty panels, all in pre-fab, tilt-up, post tensioned (unbonded tendons), but the bottom line is the next home I build will be with the intention of being a thousand year structure.  I am working with one of my business partners to incorporate some of my innovations into low cost housing that he builds in developing world.

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I've noticed how long the buildings in Europe last myself. I myself am sitting in a new home in a new subdivision. I probably wouldn't have bought it if I'd seen it built. I did, however, watch new houses going up around me. Basically you dig a hole, pour in a concrete foundation, lay some wood across it to make a floor, put up some two by four framing, slap some cheap pressboard across it, a plastic cover and then vinyl siding. Presto, you've got a $600-$800k house. And let's not forget the shingles, mostly made of oil, which will have to be replaced every now and then (they don't use such shingles in Europe that I've seen).

The Green's came out with an idiotic plan not long ago whereby they plan to change all buildings in Canada to electrical heating in ten years. Every single building. In ten years.  No estimate for the cost because the cost is unaffordable and it's not doable anyway. Not in that time frame.

I have no idea what an all-stone house would cost. I suspect, however, that it would cost considerably more than what they're charging for new homes now. In the long run it would be worth it but who could afford to buy one?

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Argus:  concrete (vs. stone that is not logical in this environment) can be built cost competitively with traditional kindling homes.

Electric heating would only work for MB and parts of Quebec.  Even so: it is the lack of thermal insulation that makes it really stupid - well, that and the fact we just don't have that much energy available that isn't coming from burning the same natural gas in a generator, so why not burn it with far higher efficiency in the house>?>???

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46 minutes ago, cannuck said:

Zeit:   Hey...wave to my kids.  We have the 4 YO and 5 MO with us for a a few weeks (or more to the point my wife does, but I am home for a rare week).  Our baby and #2 Son-in-law are celebrating anniversary with an Italian vaca, but came in through Paris with a side trip to visit one of my friends in Nice.  They are in Venezia today and on way to Roma so your paths must have/might cross.

I of course love every minute of drinking in Euro stone, but in reality, high mass structures need separate insulation within, taking away some of the advantage of the thermal mass.  I have been working with PFCCs for a while (pre-formed foam cellular concrete) trying to achieve sufficient insulating value from the actual structural members.  My fallback will be to go with aerogel core and inner plus outer high denisty panels, all in pre-fab, tilt-up, post tensioned (unbonded tendons), but the bottom line is the next home I build will be with the intention of being a thousand year structure.  I am working with one of my business partners to incorporate some of my innovations into low cost housing that he builds in developing world.

Nice.  The heat has abated here somewhat and I’m enjoying all the bakeries and patisseries.  The French know how to live for sure.  

My home in Ontario is steel framed, so there isn’t a lot of wood in it.  I actually like modern materials if used for their function: concrete in compression and steel in tension beams, steel brush polished floors, that kind of thing.  There’s no substitute for natural stone and thick wood post and beam, but the kinds of trees needed for such framing are becoming more scarce and expensive.  My uncle reassembled an 1830’s cabin full of massive old growth logs that hold the heat like a clay home in the New Mexican dessert.  We can’t get those trees today.  I do love big open concept modern homes of concrete, steel and glass.  I’m seeing more of a market for that kind of housing now.  They can be made quite cozy with the right rugs and furnishings.  

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There are many more things our government could be doing.  We could be providing incentives and jobs to recover and re-purpose plastics instead of going back to use paper products for grocery bagging, etc.  We could be hiring many people and providing employment.  We could be organising and employing more people to replenish more trees and help re-forest areas that have been burnt down due to drought and disease, instead of complaining about carbon producing industries so much.  Trees and plants are great carbon sinks.  This is using Mother Nature to help and that is a powerful force.  It provides livelihood and is a positive way to help the environment.  

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