It’s not often that a political columnist will delve into the details of urban and regional planning.  Those are weeds too thick for most readers.  

But Sun Victoria correspondent Vaughn Palmer did so today, perhaps because he got fed a report on what could be, in fact, a pretty big deal: a direction for the urban and economic planning of British Columbia. 

If taken seriously, backed up with action and able to survive changes in governments, it could be for the province what the first regional planning was the GVRD (now Metro Vancouver) in the 1970s.  That is from whence came the Livable Region Plan, or ‘Cities in a Sea of Green.’   We adopted it, stuck to it, and a half century later can the results.  It worked out pretty well.

This ‘economic framework’ is more the structure on which such a plan could be built.  It seems to be a result of departmental thinking aligned with the priorities and strategies of the government – in other words, not just an NDP political exercise to justify what they wanted to do anyway. 

Following are excepts from Palmer’s column, found here in its entirety.


An economic framework recently distributed by the provincial government outlines strategies to accommodate future population, trade and business growth. Key elements of the plan include developing Surrey as a “second downtown” for Metro.


The John Horgan government has adopted an economic plan to shift growth and investment away from Vancouver and toward less congested parts of the province.   … Key elements will promote the development of Surrey as a “second downtown” for Metro Vancouver, anchoring a “growth corridor” extending into the Fraser Valley.

Part and parcel of that push will see development of an updated transportation and regional land-use plan in co-operation with local governments.

While the plan mentions few specifics, it does quote favourably from a recent B.C. Business Council paper, which called for “a new Fraser Valley innovation corridor anchored by a commuter rail system running from Chilliwack to the city of Vancouver.”

“Squamish, the Tri-Cities, Delta, Tsawwassen, Langford” (yes, Horgan’s hometown) “and others offer significant advantages for technology startups or satellite office locations …  “Kamloops, Rossland, Nelson, Canal Flats, Campbell River and many others are seeing transformational growth in the technology sector from businesses and workers purposefully seeking out the cost and lifestyle advantages of a smaller community, while staying connected to their B.C. and global customers through high-speed internet.” …

To help persuade investors to locate operations in the north, the province cites access to “B.C.’s clean affordable hydroelectric grid that can power industrial development.”  The latter pitch depends in part on successful completion of the hydroelectric dam at Site C on the Peace River. The New Democrats discounted the project as unnecessary during their opposition days, but it now dovetails conveniently with their new economic strategy. …

Also in the works is “a regional inventory of investment-ready opportunities, including transportation, energy, educational, internet connectivity, community and other infrastructure needed to support quality economic growth.”

But the inventory is no more public than the plan itself, which, as noted here Tuesday, was crafted mainly for the eyes of the public service and selected stakeholders. …

As to the rationale for all this, the plan notes that the province is scheduled to add a million people over the next 30 years. …

“B.C.’s population grew by close to a million people, with much of the population increase concentrated in the Lower Mainland.”

The region was unprepared for growth of that scale.

“Demand for housing, public services and infrastructure exceeded supply, with particularly acute impacts for housing affordability. Higher demand led to sharp increases in the cost of rental and market housing, and those with lower incomes were squeezed out — or sometimes forced out through ‘renoviction’ — of housing they could no longer afford. Families moved farther away from their work in order to find housing within their means, resulting in longer commute times and growing congestion problems.” …

The fallout from runaway and unplanned growth is one reason why the New Democrats picked up 10 seats in Metro Vancouver in the last election and the B.C. Liberals lost their legislative majority.

By moving now to better manage growth in Metro Vancouver, the New Democrats will be steering some investment away from their newest power base and toward some places that stuck with the B.C. Liberals.

Love that last comment.  And I’d love to think the BC Liberals lost Metro and the election for the sheer contempt they showed the region with their cynical referendum requirement to fund TransLink.  They need to apologize, or at least acknowledge that they screwed up.  



  1. Liberals screwed up? Maybe. Is NDP plus Green any better? Maybe.

    Many issues are systemic and tough to change given geography, high immigration, physical beauty, weak corruption laws in Canada, the rise of Asia the last 30 or so years, international tension as we see with Iran the last few weeks, the only sizeable harbour region for all of Canada to/from Asia, the only decent weather region in Canada, location of universities and airport, beaches etc

    Yes many folks decided, and will continue to bypass Vancouver due to sky high rents and real estate prices.

    Higher PST to fund Translink was the wrong approach. The region should have charged far more for car use, in both its states, driven and parked, as argued here almost 4 years ago plus taken a public sector salary & spending restraint as MetroVan’s cities’ spending and spending growth, thus taxes, for most city budgets (and certainly Vancouver’s) completely out of control.

    As we see with the current bus chaos once we get 15-20 cm of snow to move people we need fewer cars, less bus reliance and more rail based rapid transit. UBC line still not funded and barely started to Arbutus nor a north shore rail loop nor a train to Chilliwack. At least Surrey voters (not the disconnected MetroVan mayor council) ditched the ill conceived & traffic clogging at-grade LRT plan and voted to move to faster SkyTrain to Langley, which in time could go to Abbotsford airport and Chilliwack. Where’s that plan? Massey Tunnel .. still congested. Hwy 1 to Abbotsford .. still congested. Bridges over Fraser .. still not enough and congested. Retailers being decimated as property taxes too high and delivery charges for trucks too low as road use is free. Indeed a major infrastructure backlog as car use still far too cheap. With more and more EVs gasoline taxes alone won’t suffice. Needs per km or congestion fee.

    To buy important Surrey swing ridings Horgan cancelled the PM Bridge toll and delayed Uber. This is progressive?

    Where’s the bridge to Vancouver Island or Sunshine Coast?

    Where’s the focus on attracting businesses by Vancouver city council asks Kirk LaPointe

    Happy New Year !!

  2. “More money and attention to the Coast, Interior, North, and Kootenays.” With any luck, the first capital outlays will fill the CINK in time for the next election. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will also be pleased.

  3. Good.
    We need to stop the growth of big cities while at the same time making them more efficient, we then need to encourage growth in the countryside and in small towns of the Province with new enterprises, the most important of these being the new enterprises that are required to meet carbon reduction commitments. The Green Economy, electrification of the transportation sector, new electric travel modes, new clean energy supplies and storage capacity, all of these ideas take engineering and manufacturing before they become real. What better place than the green fields and forests of B.C. to dream up solutions to our climate crisis and get paid to do it just fresh out of university, starting a career, raising a family, what better place to be inspired.
    Thankyou BC.

  4. In her book “Cities and the Wealth of Nations”, Jane Jacobs described how the capital that successful cities produce is sometimes thrown into depressed regions by senior governments for “development”, which she described as a futile policy in the absence of an import-replacing nexus.

    Jane often argued that major import replacing cites are economic growth engines and that their potential is sapped by transfer payments to hinterland regions, leading to national economic decline.

    ” Not having been earned right there, by city work, these benefits can play no part in economic life other than temporarily alleviating poverty. It is the same with all transfer payments from rich to poor regions. They alleviate poverty but inherently can do nothing to overcome the causes of poverty.”

    This new BC government policy sounds eerily familiar.

    1. Ayn Rand and Jane Jacobs have little in common. Rand’s novels suggest that she is anti-city, believing that individualism can only be achieved by living in remote areas.

      In Anthem, for example, her protagonist lives in a type of dorm where people are never allowed to be alone. He achieves the freedom that he couldn’t realize in this totalitarian society by escaping to an isolated home in the woods. Likewise, her description of Galt’s Gulch, the mountain utopia in Atlas Shrugged for productive capitalists, is based on Ouray, Colorado. Ouray is a beautiful town in a beautiful part of the country, but its built landscape notably shares little in common with the urban areas where her villains live.

      1. ‘Charity is parasitism and wealth redistribution will kill us all.’ Sounds like Ms. Jacobs and Ms. Rand had more in common than is often assumed. They only differ by where they saw the wealth being generated.

        1. a) Is that quote from Jane Jacobs? I could not find it online. I hope you are not being dishonest.

          b) They also differ on how it should be spent. Jacob’s had no issue with a cities wealth being taxed to pay for that city’s benefits.

          Jane argued economic geography, not ideology. She described herself as an iconoclast, not an ideologue. She differed greatly from people on both the right and the left who’s ideas are informed by an ideology.

          1. Use of single quotes denotes a paraphrase, not a direct quote. If she’s advocating against wealth distribution because it’s somehow unfair to those with wealth and ultimately harmful to society, it’s pure Randian pablum. Doesn’t matter whether it’s bound by geography. It’s ideology. And it certainly doesn’t matter what she thought of herself.

          2. She’s never advocated against wealth distribution because it’s somehow unfair to those with wealth and ultimately harmful to society.

            I fact in her 2003 book Dark Age Ahead she laments that people are increasingly choosing fiscal advantage to oneself at the expense of community welfare.


  5. When developing a strategic plan, we must remember that our standard of living will fall drastically if we fail to cut carbon emissions. We can use this knowledge to advantage with a Provincial Electrification Plan for industry and transportation, an initiative for driving energy conversion forward over the next decade. Timely conversion to electrical systems requires government investments in new engineering and manufacturing enterprises, for example: a giga-watt factory, a windmill factory, a turbine factory, an electric motor factory, an electric car factory, a car conversion industry, a battery factory, car charging infrastructure, short haul truck conversion, and so forth, thousands of businesses employing an expected one million more folks in the coming years. We cannot continue to rebuild the city in the wasteful way that we now do, we must disperse for both affordability and environmental accountability. Economic opportunities need to be spread out across the province so that new affordable communities can thrive. A Provincial Electrification Plan is the strategic plan that is needed.

    1. This assertion is just plain WRONG. A modest temp increase will cause some MINOR impact. Better to stay wealthy & prosperous by the billions of people and be able to afford these minor costs than wallow in misery & poverty as proposed by many socialists. Here’s what Bjorn Lomborg has to say “By the end of the century, average person in world likely 5-10x richer, with African up to 34x, UN scenarios (SSPs) (Inconveniently, richest world is fossil-fuel world SSP5)

      2-4% warming costs of incomes 500-1000% higher is NOT existential crisis” with some research to back it up

    2. More facts to dispel your doomsaying “Which is why the Nobel laureate in actual climate economics finds that, yes, we should do something, but not too much:
      Cost of nothing: 3%
      Smart policy, reduce temp a bit: 2.3%
      Go towards Stiglitz, Greta Thunberg etc: 4% and upwards” plus some research to back it up

      btw: the richest nations, those with the most energy use, have the cleanest air, the healthiest food, the best education and the highest immigration as everyone wants to come here. Who wants to live in poverty ?

      1. There is absolutely no good reason to ever listen to a charlatan who poses as somebody other than his/herself. If Beyer had anything useful to say he/she could post it under his/her own name.

        Similarly Lomborg has been called out for his cherry-picking and distortions used to backstop his fossil propaganda.

        Rich nations have exported their pollution and carbon footprint to developing nations so that the rich can breathe clean air while profiting unethically on the poor working conditions, poor human rights and abysmal environmental regulations of their slaves. It does not, in any way contribute to reduced emissions. If this is what Beyer wants he/she should be willing to accept that anybody, rich or poor, should be subject to the whims of those who are richer yet and more powerful than he/she is.

        1. Ever wondered why so many folks wish to immigrate to EU, Canada, Australia, NZ or US, vs dirty polluting India, China or Africa?

          Because the air is clean, because of freedom of religion (under attack now like freedom of speech on this blog or for academic posts), democracy, decent capital markets, safe streets, modern medicine and decent healthcare or schooling, ie people have a chance at a decent life. All this costs a lot of money, needs a viable economy AND low energy costs. Only the spoiled rich kids aspire to a socialist impoverished life style with even higher taxes and even higher energy costs as they haven’t been taught the evils of socialism nor experienced it.

          Who doesn’t like a cheap EV, an electric airplane, emission free trucks that deliver food from afar cheaply, quiet non-bird killing windmills or cheap battery storage that allow 24×7 solar. Work on that, please. KEEP COSTS IN MIND and a FUNCTIONING ECONOMY. Tell Greta, too, please. She thinks it all happens automagically. The clean nirvana is far far away. it doesn’t mean we should not strive for it but we need to keep reality in mind to feed, clothe and transport 8B people on a daily basis efficiently. Even Green Czar Barack Obama said as much about the US Democrats New Green Deal and their socialist economy destroying vision. Even John Horgan gets that. Do you ?

          1. You mean like Scandinavia? Where spoiled rich kids drive around in cheap EVs but pay high taxes and high energy prices but have such a high standard of living they’ve become overly protective and try to keep everybody else out?

            People want to immigrate away from the slave labour, poor human rights and foul environments toward the place where the people live people who make them slave labour with the poor human rights and a foul environment.

            It’s not a good thing that Scandinavia and other much more socialist societies have become fearful of immigration, but don’t cherry pick where people want to move to based on your ideologies.

      2. From Beyer’s link:

        The results confirm and even strengthen earlier
        results, indicating the high likelihood of rapid warming and major damages if
        policies continue along the unrestrained path.

        The ranges of uncertainty for future emissions, concentrations, temperature, and
        damages are extremely large. However, this does not reduce the urgency of taking
        strong climate change policies today. When taking uncertainties into account, the
        desirable strength of policy (as measured by the social cost of carbon or the optimal
        carbon tax) would increase, not decrease.

      3. Thomas Susan Exxon Suncor Finbar Beyer would have you believe that advancements in green energy is a one way street toward high expenses and a drive toward poverty for the masses. (He/She/It never talks about the real reason for the stagnation of the middle class while the richest of rich get ever richer. But I digress.)

        New grid energy sourced from solar systems… at night.

        Thankfully there are smart people working on the climate problem. Pay no heed to he/she/it.

      4. He’s unfortunately not wrong, Susan, but neither are you. The ultimate cost of doing nothing will be higher than the short term hit our material standards of living will take for switching to renewables, but without maintaining our current power output, transitioning from fossil fuels will render us poorer, at least for a while. It won’t happen just because we want it to.

        The problem is simply too big for many people to believe it can be done while still keeping their childish worldview. They do not look upon Scandanavia and Germany as models to emulate because those countries pay too much for electricity, stifle personal freedoms, and are “socialistic”.

        1. Indeed Sweden or Germany are often heralded by many Greens (and other socialists) here as role models to emulate. WHY IS ASK ?

          The German “Energiewende” cost a lot with few benefits, with prices per kwh quintuple to septuple BC’s prices of 6-10 cents per kwh ie 30-35 Euro cents or 45 to 58 Canadian cents per kwh. France laughs all the way to the bank selling their nuclear power to Germany and other nations as they shutter their cheap coal & nuclear power plants. Energy poverty is upon many already in Germany, and soon in BC:

          Wind energy failed too after subsidies were cut

          In Sweden over 50% of all kids are born to unmarried mothers.

          Not exactly models to emulate for Canada in my (very humble) opinion.

          1. I’m not sure what the price of electricity in Sweden has to do with percentages of children born out of traditional Christian wedlock (TCW), but the fact that you, who seem to support renewable energy, also reflexively turn to this statistic is telling. If this type of alarmism and fear-of-ridicule comes from a supporter, what threatened feelings and apocalyptic fantasies are being harboured by opponents in a world without fossil fuels? This is why I am not optimistic.

          2. Far few people die of cold and hunger today than say 20 years ago. Massive economic & wealth progress, which requires more and more energy.

            The ENTIRE food chain today relies on oil to power tractors, combines, ships and trucks – ie the ENTIRE backbone of the food system. Some of that, of course, in time can be electrified but ships, long haul trucks, combines and tractos likely uneconomical electrically for decades.

            Much of Canada unlivable from fall to spring without heated homes, and most of these homes use gas today as it is far more economical than electricity. Only fair weather parts of the country, such as Lower Mainland or V Island, use electric heat. Can we switch to electricity at 3x the cost to heat homes or water: I guess we can but why would we? Even EVs in cold -20 weather not as long range as +20, and as such EVs not exactly flying off the shelves. AB, N-BC, SK, MB, NO-ON etc not exactly AZ or CA ! Different energy forms make sense for different weather !

          3. Science, innovation and a much more equitable distribution of wealth are going to do more to keep people fed, warm and safe than the energy sources that would fry the planet before they run out anyway.

            Heat pumps are 3X more energy efficient than fossil fuel fired furnaces overcoming the higher cost of electricity. Solar panels cost next to nothing to produce energy. Fossil fuels demand that you keep throwing your cash at somebody else. They’ll look back at us like we were blood-letting as a cure for disease.

            ICE vehicle sales are stagnating – perhaps already in terminal decline. EV sales growth is 60% per year. It doesn’t matter if the hillbillies in the parries are the last to make the switch. What matters is how quickly ICE vehicles lose favour globally. The switch is going to happen faster than they can possibly stall.

            Your claim that the global energy transition will take too long is the reason to get more serious – not an excuse for inaction. I’d love to see how the likes of you would fare in a more immediately visible emergency. Cowering in the corner and weeping like an infant – just as you are doing now?

          4. If heat pumps are all that great then why don’t we see them in all new homes?

            Stats please re usefulness in colder weather provinces not just balmy Vancouver region.

            A brief web search shows me it is still controversial, esp in cold climates where gas is prevalent today. BC’s Lower Mainland weather is NOT the typical Canada winter weather !

            Online summarizes heat pump vs gas furnace like so” Heat pumps, for instance, will typically only work in places with mild winters and are designed primarily for coastal regions, whereas furnaces can brave even the harshest winter climates. ”

            Solar decent too where the sun shines, ie AZ or CA better than BC or AB !

          5. Thankfully there are smart people who don’t listen to people like Beyer:

            Blatchford will be home to up to 30,000 Edmontonians living, working and learning in a sustainable community that uses 100% renewable energy, is carbon neutral, significantly reduces its ecological footprint, and empowers residents to pursue a range of sustainable lifestyle choices.


  6. In the most recent snowfall the only ones getting around were vehicles with snow tires and/or all-wheel drive. There were horrendous line-ups on two of our rail transit lines and the busses were a fiasco.

  7. Let’s begin with the commuter vehicle of choice, the car.
    Estimated worldwide, there are 1.42 billion cars, 363 million commercial vehicles, 5.61 million plug-ins as of 2019, and 70 million new vehicles manufactured and sold per year with new plug-ins comprising 1.3% of market share. 99.9% of these vehicles burn either gasoline or diesel fuel.
    In 2019 EU transport generated 30% of all emissions and 72% of these emissions come from road transport. Let’s assume 22% worldwide.
    In 2017, 54 per cent of vehicles in Canada lasted at least 15 years, so we can expect to see vehicles on the road lasting twice that long or longer with regular maintenance.

    So we can logically say something like this: in orders of magnitude, world wide there are 1.42 billion combustion engines and growing by 70 million units per year, that these engines can last up to 30 years and that they produce per year 22% of all carbon emissions world wide.

    Combustion engines burning petroleum products are a big problem. The rate of new electric car production is far too low to offer any hope of reducing carbon emissions in the near future.

    So here is a definition of the design challenge to be solved:
    Propose a strategy to convert all combustion engine driven road transport to electric motors and batteries worldwide by 2030.

    The challenge consists of several parts;
    1*technical team knowledge requirements_ how to get the job done
    2*universal electric motor design & engineering
    3*transmission system designs & engineering
    4*battery technology design & engineering
    secure ion-lithium supplies
    5*accessory systems components
    all the bits and pieces supplied by thousands of small jobbers in the supply chain
    6*renewable energy based manufacturing design
    [BC Hydro is 87% hydro generated power. Site C is a hydro generation expansion option. BC Hydro has the ability to power the aluminum mining and smelting industry, to power the tool and die machinery required for e-conversions, to power the component production and assembly factories. The people of BC could supply Canada, Commonwealth countries, and any other country with clean industry production focused on rapid worldwide conversion in the e-road transport sector.]
    7*production clustering to achieve reduced carbon emissions
    [This is the idea of new electrified towns across the interior of BC and on Vancouver Island, towns with economies producing the physical elements necessary for e-car conversions, towns built on best design practices for those priced out of the met-van housing market and for those arriving from near and far. Low cost of living places. Carbon neutral or even carbon positive: small houses on small lots with small e-cars for transport on small roads and attractive for those priced out of Vancouver. This economic development strategy fits with the draft Provincial Strategic Development Plan, a dispersed development solution for the issues of commuter congestion and housing affordability for low income persons and families in the lower mainland zone.]
    8*market implementation strategies:
    provincial_ federal_ commonwealth_ global
    [The people of BC have the opportunity to build a stable economic future for themselves while building the products and services needed all across the globe. We can do this thanks to abundant falling water supplying hydro turbine power generation in British Columbia, Canada. ‘This is a gift of nature that should be used in ways to benefit nature by building the tools that eliminate carbon emissions world wide.’]
    9*conversion training modules
    This is an educational component.
    10*BC conversion stations
    These are physical elements that will need garage space.
    11*BC renewable energy charging networks
    The installation of these physical elements will need to proceed ahead of demand and will vary significantly by location. Establishing renewable energy charging networks will be a significant challenge all across the globe.

    Let’s begin with the commuter vehicle of choice, the car and start a revolution.

    1. The Revolution you aim for, while in principle in the right direction, is more like an Evolution, as it will take a long LONG time to convert this type of infrastructure, that today, as of 2020, reliably and fairly inexpensively distributes people and goods AND FOOD all over the globe for ~8B people, soon ~9B at peak huma population estimated to be around 2070 now.

      It took ~200 years to get here, from sail boats, horse drawn plows, horse drawn canal boats, horse drawn carriages and coal based steam engines to freighters, container ship, trucks, combines, tractors and cars. As such, assume it’ll take at least 100 years to convert them all to electric vehicles, with enormous cost as the business case of an electric car or truck or e-ship is NOT a lot better than a diesel/oil propelled one.

      In addition HEATING of both water and homes is done worldwide by gas today in all cold climates. Again, converting those to electricity has an even worse business case, as there is none in installed homes with existing gas lines … and homes last 100+ years.

      So yes, we may get there, by 2121 perhaps .. or at least a large percentage of those billions of vehicles and homes !

      1. We don’t have 100 years Beyer. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

        “In an effort to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets to reduce global warming, the U.K. has proposed banning fossil fuel-based heating in new homes by 2025. Cities in the states of California, Washington and Massachusetts are also trying to phase out natural gas.”

        “The city’s (Vancouver) climate emergency response report proposes that by 2025, all new and replacement heating and hot water systems should be zero emissions.”

        1. We got LOADS of time as there is no “climate crisis”. The hype is utterly misleading. A tiny modest temp increase, much of it natural anyway, a small price to pay for progress of 8-9B humans. UK too will see the light of day. Or Canada once they see their electricity, natural gas, grocery or gasoline bill which allegedly helps the planet !

          1. For the 100th time! 3 to 4 degrees is not a tiny modest increase and we’re possibly headed even higher without massive changes to the way we create energy. The earth was just 5 degrees cooler when much of North America was under ice 2km thick.

            Your opinion on the matter is not backed by the science. You can repeat yourself over and over and continue looking like a fool. It does not change reality.

            A car would have been many times the cost of a horse. How many people are opting for a horse today? How many in the 1930s? The world changes. Thomas Beyer does not.

          2. 3 to 4 degrees is not a proven projection. It is also not correlated to CO2 all that much. Read the science.

            Better to be wealthier by the billions of people and resilient and then deal with issues such as different crops, more irrigation or more A/C. Cost of mitigation smaller BY FAR then spending all this money on an unknown hugely costly problem. The benefits of warming also grossly discounted or not even mentioned.

            People can live in all sorts of weather. Ever been to Africa or SE Asia ? Even if 3-4 degrees is true – and many MANY scientists disagree here – it ain’t a big deal.

          3. I’m going to remind you, Beyer, that the last time you posted a link to actual science (and not some charlatan like Lomborg) it corroborated the fact that we need to take serious action. I’ll post comments from *your* link again because I quite enjoy helping you look like a fool. Not that you need any help.

            The results confirm and even strengthen earlier
            results, indicating the high likelihood of rapid warming and major damages if
            policies continue along the unrestrained path.

            The ranges of uncertainty for future emissions, concentrations, temperature, and
            damages are extremely large. However, this does not reduce the urgency of taking
            strong climate change policies today. When taking uncertainties into account, the
            desirable strength of policy (as measured by the social cost of carbon or the optimal
            carbon tax) would increase, not decrease.

          4. Thomas, you are once again using actual temperature as a proxy for average temperature. A two-degree rise in actual temp during a day isn’t a big deal. A two-degree average rise in a temp trend over years results in more weather extremes — extensive drought, deep freezes, torrential floods, etc.

            This temp vs average temp confusion (among several other unfounded utterances) is a basic and rather adolescent mistake and negates everything you have to say about the topic of climate change, in my view.

          5. This makes sense to me, namely far FAR more energy sources with less emissions without cutting lifestyles or aspirations of an ever growing middle class, esp in the developing world (Africa, SE Asia, S-America) where most CO2 growth is currently happening, not in NA or EU. A growing world with ~9B humans by 2070 will require far FAR more energy than today, not less.

            “Significantly cutting CO2 emissions without reducing economic growth will require far more than individual actions. It is absurd for middle-class citizens in advanced economies to tell themselves that eating less steak or commuting in a Toyota Prius will rein in rising temperatures.

            To tackle global warming, we must make collective changes on an unprecedented scale.

            By all means, anyone who wants to go vegetarian or buy an electric car should do so, for sound reasons such as killing fewer animals or reducing household energy bills. But such decisions will not solve the problem of global warming.

            The one individual action that citizens could take that would make a difference would be to demand a vast increase in spending on green-energy research and development, so that these energy sources eventually become cheap enough to outcompete fossil fuels. That is the real way to help fight climate change.”

            More here

          6. So humans are capable of changing the climate but incapable of not changing the climate? It is our unchangeable fate that demands we fry ourselves and everything around us?

            No wonder nobody listens to you.

            Or Lomborg.

          7. Greta and folks thinking like her (perhaps even here on this blog) are UNrealistic of what is achievable and what is SCALABLE ie what is NECESSARY to drive the food & production engine for (hu)mankind ie ~8-9B folks. She certainly, and perhaps others here on this blog are too young (or too naive) to appreciate life’s complexities.

            Energy = Life !

            Her unrealistic demand of “stop fossil fuel use now” essential means death of millions, likely billions due to starvation and freezing !!

            Listen / read this instead for some uplifting and inspiring message from Trump in Davos, linked in full below

            Having grown up in the shadows of the Iron Curtain and seen the destruction of socialism first hand in E-Germany, Hungary and Romania I especially like this “But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune-tellers — and I have them and you have them, and we all have them, and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let that happen. They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the ’70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform, and control every aspect of our lives.

            We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country, or eradicate our liberty. America will always be the proud, strong, and unyielding bastion of freedom.”

            He continues ..

            “ … blue-collar boom. Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage earners has increased by plus-47 percent — three times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. Real median household income is at the highest level ever recorded.

            The American Dream is back — bigger, better, and stronger than ever before. No one is benefitting more than America’s middle class.

            … Every decision we make — on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education, and more — is focused on improving the lives of everyday Americans. We are determined to create the highest standard of living that anyone can imagine, and right now, that’s what we’re doing for our workers. The highest in the world. And we’re determined to ensure that the working and middle class reap the largest gains.”

            Powerful ending too .. wow .. Greta’s whining & doom’n gloom notwithstanding ..


          8. If you have to lie – I mean lie like nobody is watching – then you must have nothing to say.

            Her unrealistic demand of “stop fossil fuel use now” .

            I don’t understand – how can any sane person understand? But I see the clear connection between you and Trump. Two clowns in a pod

        2. On second thought. Are you feeling okay?


          “Significantly cutting CO2 emissions without reducing economic growth will require far more than individual actions.”

          “To tackle global warming, we must make collective changes on an unprecedented scale.”

          ” But such decisions will not solve the *problem of global warming*.”

          “The one individual action that citizens could take that would make a difference would be to demand a vast increase in spending on green-energy research and development, so that these energy sources eventually become cheap enough to outcompete fossil fuels.”

          All correct! So why are you fighting against all of these things?

          Now remove the subsidies for fossil fuels and put it towards green energy and it can start competing today. And let go of growth as a requirement for prosperity – it’s been too much of a good thing. Growth is only good to the point that it doesn’t become cancer. Everything stops growing. The economy is no different.

          1. What subsidies?

            For some realism on the bunk on fossil fuel subsidies some good read is here:

            Of course I and millions of other would love the emission free & inexpensive pixie dust that drives tractors, combines, trucks, ships, planes and car by the millions .. but where is it ? Why aren’t all buses in oh so green Vancouver electric yet? Or all food & Amazon parcel delivery trucks? Or all cruiseships or BC Ferries ? Or those pesky flights to Asia, US and Europe?

          2. Sorry Charlie. I’ll listen to the IMF, WTO and World Back on the subject before I’ll listen to a chemist in Langley.

            Wouldn’t you?

            Apparently not.

            The reason we aren’t more electrified in the transportation sector, among other areas, is answerable in one word that should make you very very happy:


  8. I’m on side with the sentiment here. But I think there’s some pretty suspect numbers. First, total car sales have plateaued in recent years while EV sales are growing at about 60% per year. Although still small in total sales it doesn’t take long at 60% growth to be a major player against a backdrop of declining ICE sales. Furthermore, total VKT is falling in the developed world.

    The Average car lasts 11.4 years in the US. It doesn’t really matter how long some people eke out the life of an ICE car if the average will see turn over of a dozen years. There may be many people holding off on a new car purchase until they can justify the switch to an EV. I predict EV sales will maintain their high growth rates for many years and especially surge around the time that the trend of falling prices and better performance levels off. There is currently a disincentive to buy something that will only get better and cheaper with time – and yet growth remains robust.

    Add to this that EVs are no longer a manufacturing niche with only a few (and expensive) models and a dearth of fast charging infrastructure. Now they are, in many ways, the best performing cars on the road with very low low fuel and maintenance costs. I’m no longer concerned about the long phase out of ICE vehicles. It’s going to happen way faster than most people predict.

    So it’s time now to focus on other areas of the economy where we can make fast headway. For me that’s massive reductions in the energy demand for heating and cooling buildings.

    1. Indeed demand reduction and efficiency is the low hanging fruit as is coal use. Plus EVs, small appliances, e-buses and e-trucks in an urban context ie all those lawnmowers, hedge clippers, leaf blowers, diesel buses, UPS/Amazon/Fedex/DHL trucks and commuter cars can all be electric in 2-3 decades, for cleaner city air.

      Thus, as a BCer, I suggest we promote Canadian gas exports to save the planet (from coal burning) !! Think globally and act locally !!

    2. Don’t forget reducing the massive energy demand and GHG from concrete used in every densifier’s favourite housing type: the highrise.

      1. Nobody is forgetting, but you’re not paying attention.

        The benefits of living in dense, mixed-use neighbourhoods offsets much (and maybe all) of the embodied carbon compared to sprawly car-dependent living.

        There are all sorts of new techniques to reduce the amount of carbon that goes into cement production.

        Concrete buildings can last many times longer than wood – reducing embodied carbon per year of service.

        The development/construction industries are getting on board with more mass-timber and less concrete and steel.

        A hopeful replacement for concrete?

  9. “Only a revolution in the way the global economy and financial markets work can save the planet from the climate crisis and secure future prosperity,” Prince Charles warned on Wednesday.

    In a dramatic call to action, the heir to the British throne and lifelong environmentalist challenged the global business and finance elites gathered at the World Economic Forum to lead a “paradigm shift, one that inspires action at revolutionary levels and pace” to avert the approaching catastrophe. Davos, Switzerland (CNN Business) — Mark Thompson and Max Foster, CNN Business

    Let’s begin with the commuter vehicle of choice: the car, and let’s start the electrical conversion revolution as I have outlined here on PriceTags.

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