Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category
The Gazette Op-Ed pages today are filled with comments about the concept of there being tolls on the bridges to Montreal Island. An editorial says, “Bridge Tolls? Why Not? Road Tolls? No Way!” And Henry Aubin suggests that tolls are not the way to go but instead there should just be a raise in gasoline taxes. I have talked generally about the idea of Congestion Pricing in the past as an option gaining credibility around the world. And all these talks of raising money are about how to pay for the massive road infrastructure replacements and repairs that are desperately needed in Quebec.
So there are three choices.
1) Putting tolls on bridges (and possibly all highways).
2) Raising gasoline taxes.
3) Congestion Pricing ( pay as you go in Montreal).
And if you answered all of the above you win the prize. The rest of you will just have to get used to the idea that while it will not happen overnight, it is very difficult for me to imagine a form of all three not happening 10 years from now. The city and the province need money and repairing and building highway infrastructure is not going to suddenly start getting cheaper. Gasoline may be out of reach for 25% or more of the drivers on the road today in 10 years. Something has to give, and it’s going to be the price ya pay!
And that, folks, is today’s doomsday report! (smile).
And perhaps the biggest concern for the future of our roads is who will be administering the tolls, etc? There are already companies who administer road tolls throughout Europe and it is starting to happen in US states such as Indiana and Colorado. The privatization of roads will make driving on them a privilege, not the God given right that we have come to take for granted. That could all be long term good news for cities as people and businesses may be much more likely to look at the urban core as the most practical place to be.
Most Canadians probably figure we will easily survive global warming because, for one, we have an unlimited supply of water. Wrong! The Gazette has been running a series on Water in Canada this week and here is an exceprt from William Marsden’s new book, Stupid To The Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armaggedon To Canada (And Doesn’t Seem To Care). It’s an eye opener and yet more strong evidence that your grandchildren will have a not great shot at survival.
This is going across the wire today.
Canada’s infrastructure deficit hits $123 billion, report says
OTTAWA – Canada’s water treatment facilities, roads and public infrastructure is on the verge of collapse because of a $123-billion building deficit, a new report warned Tuesday.
The report, released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, suggests that the cost of fixing crumbling infrastructure has more than doubled over the past four years, and will continue to rise if no new investments are made.
“Across Canada, municipal infrastructure has reached the breaking point,” reads the study written by Dr. Saeed Mirza, a McGill University civil engineering professor in Montreal. “Most was built between the 1950s and 1970s, and much of it is due for replacement. We can see the consequences in every community: potholes and crumbling bridges, water-treatment and transit systems that cannot keep up with demand, traffic gridlock, poor air quality and a lack of affordable housing.”
the deficit into five categories. He estimated that $31 billion would be needed for water and waste water systems, $21.7 billion for transportation, $22.8 billion for transit, $7.7 billion for waste management, and $40.2 billion for community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure.
“It points to a looming crisis that if unchecked, will reduce our standard of living, our safety and our quality of life as Canadians,” said Gord Steeves, president of the federation, at a news conference. “The report says that Canada’s public infrastructure is at 79 per cent of its service life and that municipal infrastructure has reached its breaking point. It shows that the physical foundation of Canada’s cities and communities are near collapse.”
The federation estimated that municipalities would need to raise property taxes by 40 per cent to cover the estimated infrastructure deficit, so it is calling on the federal government to replace its existing patchwork of ad hoc program’s with a new national program to address all of their concerns.
“It is a wakeup call to everyone who thinks we can ignore our decaying municipal infrastructure or tackle it with half measures,” said Steeves. “We’re not saying that our bridges will begin falling down tomorrow, but we are saying that if serious action is not taken now, our infrastructure is headed for collapse. The problem will simply overtake us.”
I wonder what it was like in Europe around 1935? Hitler was in power and all that but did the other countries do anything about it? Was there just some kind of hopeful feeling that it all might go away? Global warming makes me think about that because despite all the warnings we seem to actually be doing hardly anything about it. Are we going to wait until the invasion to get off our greedy and pampered arses?