Highway 1 to Hope, Highway 3 to Osoyoos. First impression: it hasn’t changed. Still the same fields of summer crops, still the same backdrop of narrowing mountain ranges, still the same congestion where the industrial parks and shopping malls hug the highway, still some of the same roadside attractions. Then a rising highway into the coast ranges and a subtle shift from fir to spruce to pine. But no billboards, strip malls, or spiring signs to mark the next gas station and McDonald’s. So not I-5. Notably, there’s still only the same small town halfway along – #Princeton. Which, except for an attempt to spiffy up the two main streets, pretty much matches up with my memory. How extraordinary that so much has stayed the same for so long.

Comments

  1. Did you notice in Princeton the big wooden sculpture that formerly sat on the Granville Square plaza?

  2. “How extraordinary that so much has stayed the same for so long.”

    It is extraordinary compared to the rapid growth, demolition and constant reconstruction that characterizes Vancouver and particularly as observed in the downtown peninsula and surrounding inner city neighbourhoods. Vancouver is a port city, a global city, a destination and departure city located on the western edge of the continent. A place of exchange for goods, materials, services and travel world wide. It is a city like many other cities around the world that have become economic engines for the countries in which they are located.

    The outback towns and villages of the interior are a different class of places in which the pace of life is slow, economies are lean and change is wrought most often by time itself. Nature looms large in the outback where as in the global city nature is difficult to grasp as a system of life that sustains all of us. We are far too enamoured with what we are doing without regard for the consequences such as climate change.

  3. I was right with you until that last bit, Jolson.

    I’m aware I am over-simplifying, but rural people may well be more connected to nature… before they plow it in, cut it down, dig it up or frack it out. Farmers are certainly aware of climate change, but many continue practices that are among the worst contributors. (Kudos to those who are changing their soil management strategies and reducing fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Bravo to those who are getting out of meat and dairy – a major contributor to global warming and over-use of water and food resources too.)

    While the Okanagan lolls around at a slower pace most of us know that what are now shopping malls and parking lots were once orchards and farms.

    WRT climate change, I’d venture that while rural people may be more inclined to directly experience it, they are in a higher state of denial about what is causing it. Their jobs are more likely at risk from climate action and that makes them an easy mark for disinformation. The real action is being led by cities, in large part because it’s important to the urban electorate. It’s also where more people are more educated in the sciences. It’s also where the latest and most important ideas are more easily exchanged. It is where people are not fearful of change – of the change necessary to advance as a civilization.

    This isn’t just in BC. All around the globe climate action is driven by cities first, state and provincial governments next and federal governments last. That’s because in many parts of the world it is common for rural votes to count significantly more than urban votes at the federal level. And rural people are more likely to vote against climate action and for conservative governments that abhor change. That is undeniable – even if it is over-simplified.

  4. “Farmers are certainly aware of climate change, but many continue practices that are among the worst contributors. ”

    True of urban dwellers as well.

    “WRT climate change, I’d venture that while rural people may be more inclined to directly experience it, they are in a higher state of denial about what is causing it”

    As a recent emigrant to a rural area I would say this appraisal is inaccurate.

    1. Hey Chris, I’m going by election results. Urban voters are more progressive and more in favour of climate action. Rural voters are more conservative and more against climate action. As those trends are well established and consistent, that’s a better measure, I think, than anecdotal observation. You would, quite naturally, find yourself in more like-minded company than the average. Maybe even among those recently moved out of the city? And I’m assuming you didn’t choose a heavy mining or fossil fuel community.

      And while suburbanites generally have the highest carbon footprints, true urban dwellers generally have lower than average. I can’t really say what rural footprints are but I’d guess they generally drive bigger vehicles and farther and have bigger houses that get filled with more stuff. At the same income level they probably have more toys as well. I realize I’m generalizing but it’s a generalization that broadly stands up.

  5. One suspects the generalizations I read and hear up here in the Cariboo-Chilcotin about ‘citidiots’ would elicit howls of mischaracterization by urbanites. They too are based on generalities.

    The (healthy) future (50 years hence and beyond) will belong to self-sufficient exurban/rural enclaves trading with their counterparts globally. Especially those that locate at northern latitudes. Urbanites are going to wonder which Judge Dredd comic book nightmare they are living.

    Birth, growth, decay, death. All organisms go through this process. Cities behave like organisms. We approach the end stages of this urban/fossil fuel experiment in living. It was a mixed result.

    You can live in the country without fossil fuels. People have done so forever.

    We have yet to see if a modern city can survive without the offloaded inputs required to make it habitable.

    One man’s opinion.

    1. I once dabbled with the idea of running away too. I actually do relate to much of what Jolson posts. But then I decided my efforts were better spent helping make cities work better. Cities have been around for thousands of years. They learn, adapt and reinvent themselves.

      I wouldn’t compare a city to a single organism – that would be defeatist. I’d compare it to a species. Species evolve. When they evolve well they thrive. Only poorly adapted species die off (ignoring a cataclysm that would take out rural areas too). Many species are required to create healthy ecosystems.

      1. Cities at the current scale haven’t been around for thousands of years.

        I think the organism metaphor remains apt.

        1. There are a lot more small towns that have lost their relevance, withered and died.

          1. That is true and reinforces my position that human settlements come and go. (regardless of size)

  6. I smell censorship here. One could question if a road trip is OT but, of course, Gord can post whatever he wants. What brings it back on topic is a debate about the differences between big cities and small towns. And debate requires disagreement.

    I disagreed with Jolson on most of his points, but he should have every right to post them. My disagreement isn’t on the substance, which Jolson has right, but on the scale, which I believe he doesn’t. To delete, without a trace, his entire post and then my response is not conducive to a better understanding of these issues.

    Editor’s Note~Deleted as per Policy. Please review policy.

  7. That is true and reinforces my position that human settlements come and go. (regardless of size)

Comments are closed.