Tag Archives: Vancouver

America’s First 100% Electric Municipal Bus System

By Roy L Hales

Porterville, California, is about to make transportation history. The little Californian city only receives an average of 13 inches of rain a year, which makes it particularly vulnerable to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from vehicles, agriculture, and other sources. Thanks to a determined city hall, the number of Stage 1 smog alerts declined from over 100 per year, in the 1970s, to almost zero. On December 7, the California Air Resources Board awarded $9.5-million to replace its entire bus fleet. By January, 2018, Porterville should have America’s first 100% electric municipal bus system.

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Canada Approved Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1Alberta Premier Rachel Notley applauded the Prime Minister’s “extraordinary leadership.” Peter McCartney of the Wilderness Committee calls it “a betrayal of promises made in the last election to act on science, gain public approval and respect Indigenous rights.” There are already 7 legal challenges of this project underway, and more will follow. The government of Canada approved Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion, “subject to 157 binding conditions.”

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Portable Electric Can Power Almost Anything

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMPortable Electric came out of Vancouver’s 2015 Great Climate Race. This is a “walk and run race,” with 2 kilometre and 10 kilometre events, through the city’s iconic Stanley Park. The event raises funds and awareness for local community solar-energy projects. In similar  outdoor events through-out North America, the associated venues are powered by portable gas and diesel generators. Generators can be extremely helpful to have in any work place, or event at home for some situations. We do recommend checking out some reviews first from sites like https://generatorgrid.com/ before you do go ahead and purchase one though.

Having previously installed solar plus battery systems in Africa, the Great Climate Race’s power co-ordinator knew how to resolve this apparent contradiction. After the race, Mark Rabin founded a new company to continue providing solar plus battery power to outdoor events throughout Western Canada. Portable Electric can power almost anything from music festivals, to emergency situations or film sets.

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Taxing Vancouver’s Empty Homes

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMVancouver’s real estate values have skyrocketed 280% since 1986, while wages have only increased 7%. A new report shows the affordability crises impacts both renters and homeowners. The average westside home was selling for $1.4 million last May. Though 10,800 housing units have been empty for more than a year, [1. Policy & Regulatory Steps for Reducing Empty Housing, City of Vancouver Administrative Report, June 16, 2016, p 2] only about 337 available as rentals. [2. ibid, p 3] This suggests that speculators own many of the vacant units. City staff recommend taxing Vancouver’s empty homes.

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Do The Pacific Coast’s Climate Leaders Mean Business?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1On June 1, 2016, the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California joined British Columbia’s Environment Minister and representatives from six West Coast cities, in the Borgia Room of San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel, to sign what history may show was a key milestone in the struggle to mount a concerted defence against the ravages of global temperature rise. The 2016 Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan has a strong emphasis on issues like ocean acidification; the integration of clean energy into the power grid; “support for efforts by the insurance industry and regulatory system to highlight the economic costs of climate change; and so-called “super pollutants” (also known as short-lived climate pollutants).” This sounds good, but do the Pacific Coast’s “Climate Leaders” mean business?

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