Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tsk Tsk Calgary

I was reading about Calgary's ranking in the top GHG emissions in the world, in my local paper. HERE is a CTV link.... Upon reading the article, I discovered several mentions of how more densely populated cities emit lower levels of CO2. MORE DENSELY POPULATED.

Shame on you, Calgary, for having such beautiful park systems, large yards, buildings spread out to give people space and a view, a zoo in the middle, large roadways with greenery on either side and between. SHAME on you! How could you do that? It makes people have to drive further to get to work, go shopping, take the kids to school, etc, and now you've ranked yourselves within the TOP 5 worst emitters on the planet. That is just disgusting. Just look at yourselves:

(photos courtesy calgary travel and calgaryarea.com)

You should have squashed yourselves together like,,,, I dunno,,,, Dehli. That would be more fair to the planet, less emissions per capita, a dream come true!

 (photos courtesy http://www.romanvirdi.com/delhi/)

Or perhaps Mexico City would have been a better example to follow:

 (photo: http://www.bugbog.com)

From CTV: ""Of the 50 cities looked at in the U.N. report, only Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Denver and Rotterdam produced more greenhouse gases than Calgary.
Vancouver and Toronto were the other two Canadian cities included in the report. Vancouver produces 4.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita; Calgary produces 17.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita.""

From CBC: ""Calgary produces more carbon dioxide per person in an urban setting than smog-filled Mexico City or New York City, according to a report by the United Nations.

Toronto and Vancouver, the only other Canadian cities surveyed, had emissions of 9.5 tonnes and 4.9 tonnes, respectively. That brings them near the middle of the pack, along with Tokyo and Mexico City.

The electrical grids in those cities run on hydro or nuclear power, whereas Calgary relies on coal-fired electrical plants that create more emissions.

"Calgarians get their power from burning coal. They live in a fairly sprawling city and because we have large homes and we really have no climate regulations in Canada, it's not surprising at all," said Chris Severson-Baker of the Pembina Institute on Tuesday.

"Every time they turn on the lights, turn on their TV, they're essentially burning coal, and that is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and something we could do a lot of work on to reduce."

Higher density, fewer emissions

The UN findings suggest cities with higher densities such as New York City generate fewer emissions per person.
Calgary Ald. Brian Pincott, who sits on the city's environment committee, said higher density — in general, where residences, amenities, and public transit are built close together — can help, but only if it's done correctly.
"What does that density look like? What does the transportation look like? Where do you actually buy your groceries? Where are your schools? Do you walk to those things? Where are your jobs?" said Pincott.
"How do you live in relation to public transit? It's those kinds of things that have to go into making a sustainable, viable, livable city.""
So after reading the simple words 'higher density" in my local paper, I immediately thought of the Calgary Parks my brother (a Calgary resident since 1998) loves so much.  He lives in the far south of the city and commutes to work. Little did he know, his choice of lifestyle and home are contributing daily to the demise of Calgary in the eyes of the UN and the rest of the world. I should demand that he move back to his old apartment in the middle of downtown so he can watch, yet again, the drunken man crawling under his balcony, the beautiful view of the tightly packed C-Train (100% windpower driven) going by every 15 minutes 3 floors below. How selfish is he to move to an area with more greenery and beauty, more space, and a more open view. He really should be ashamed of himself!


  1. Good post Karrie!

    If it makes you feel better I do want, and hope to move back downtown within the next year and a half. But thats because life in these sprawling suburbs is far too easy. Superstore and Wal Mart a 5 minute drive are you kidding? I can't wait to get back downtown so that I can drive 25 minutes to save 50 cents on laundry detergent!

  2. Shame on Calgary and Alberta for producing over half of the athletes at the Vancouver Olympics.

    Better to have all night raves like the ones they have in Montreal.

  3. UGH! I am having trouble with blogger comments today. I delted a double post but it deleted ALL the comments!



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