Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Vancouver climate

Situated as we are at the mouth of the Fraser Valley, right next to the Georgia Strait, Vancouver has its own little climate system.  Mornings and during the day, there is usually a wind blowing off the water, not too hard, but steady.  This wind continues eastward up the valley, bringing with it all the pollution this car-clogged city produces during the day.

This situation means that it is in fact the towns up the valley, Chilliwack, Matsqui, Mission, and all the others, who breathe the worst of Vancouver’s pollution from morning to late afternoon.  Of course, with nightfall the wind reverses, bringing much of that pollution back to us.

The situation with climate change is a little like that.  We may not feel it right away.  In fact it’s people up the valley, people over there, people who aren’t born yet who will bear the brunt of what we do.  But that doesn’t mean none of it will come back to us too.  That doesn’t mean it won’t affect us, or that it hasn’t already started affecting us whether we taste it in the air or not.

But we don’t really need to breathe our own stink, or inflict it on others up the valley.  We can find a way of climbing out of our cars, and eating fewer fast food burgers.  A little exercise will make us happier anyway, and the burgers aren’t good for our waistlines. 

We can find a way of creating sustainable cities and of living sustainable lifestyles with dignity.  We’re capable of being very creative and resourceful when there’s a big job to do which affects us all.

First we imagine it.  Then we get it done.  (Maybe a little effort in between.)

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