Wednesday, December 12, 2007

People, we need to stop the Tar Sands.

I've long been follwing with an ear about the Tar Sands in Alberta. Basically, for the past while there have been alot of stats showing that the Tar Sands are an environmental disaster. CO2 emissions are rampant and land reclamation has been questionable.

The CBC is currently showing a peice on the news (Catch it again on newsworld at 11:30!) The land cannot be reclaimed, the water is heavily poisoned. Basically it will leave these massive dead lakes full of poisoned water. That water has already been seeping into the water system, poisoning fish, plants and people. Local fishermen have been finding mutated fish, fish with sores and fish with moss growing on them. Scientists have confirmed these finds and say the cases are rampant in some non-oilsands areas. A nearby reserve has a highly disproportionate rate of cancer, and cancer deaths, linked to a certain type of cancer.

THIS IS BULLSHIT PEOPLE! Holy crap, let's talk about the poor getting the shaft while the rich get rich! What are we the fucking 3rd world?! Why are we not civilized enough yet to stop this behaviour?

Take action. Take it now.

Walk - Bike - Take Public Transportation

The City of Regina has made a very wise and hopefully, just beginner move to change some attitudes about alternative transportation.

The first great example is the creation of bike lanes in some of the downtown areas. People have complained about the inconvenience and confusion associated with the lanes. I applaud this. The City has made it harder to drive and made it a far more bicycle friendly downtown. More people will use their bikes instead of cars. Traffic lowers, bikes become more easy, it can just spiral. I encourage everyone to use this as much as possible. Even if you live some distance from the downtown, try the area north of Victoria on your bike at least once this coming summer. No matter where in REgina you live.

Public Transportation. AHHH! I LOVE IT. SIck isn't it? But Regina has a REALLY good bus system from where I live. And I'm learning that it was far more flexible than I thought. And now they have an online trip-maker... you'd be RETARDED not to take the bus at least once a week, but preferrably 5 days a week. Start by going to the mall a couple times, have a nice day, eat a nice meal, take the bus home... and I swear you will feel better about yourself. It's like having a chauffeur, you can just relax and wait for your stop. If you live in another city... give it a try! It's wonderful and you're doing a HUGE amount to cut your footprint on the world and effect on the Tar-Sands.

Small centers, CARPOOL. You will be more prepared for work and will enjoy a better day.

I realize some of your experiences won't be good, and I apologize for that. One of my inspirations for exploring alternative transport came from watching my friend Mark and some of his experiences in Europe. I invite Mark to ride the bus with me when he comes back to Canada, so I can brag about something that's done really well in this province.

And since most of the tar sands oil goes south of the border, please visit and participate as much as you can or will.


Soulfood said...

Ahhh, being a pedestrian. Let me tell you ROCKS! Whoooooo pedestrians!!

You don't have to get into a cold car, scrape off your car, dig out your car from snow, get into a HOT car, burn yourself on the hot paying insurance, plates, repair bills.

You get in shape as you walk and everything slows down and you can appreciate the beauty around you. And some of the grossness, like the dog poop on the sidewalk. But it's real pretty after a fresh snowfall.

All you need as a pedestrian is TWO things...and take my word for it, you want these two things. SKIPANTS and an UMBRELLA. Then you're set. Invest in these and you can go anywhere in comfort walking.

As a biker...I personally don't bike. But you can bike in the winter. We have a LOT of winter bikers in Saskatoon. Just research it, it's quite easy to do really.

But bikers, for the LOVE OF GOD, stay OFF the sidewalks!! GAH!

The bus. OK, waiting in the cold for the bus can suck, but hey, whatever! The longest I ever wait is 15 minutes. The U of S has a mandatory bus pass for all undergrads, so if you have that...USE it! It's not even a profit maker for city transit. It's a zero profit venture to increase ridership and help the environment.

The provincial bus, STC for going on longer rocks. It'll get you through any weather. And here's a tip...on the wheelchair accessible buses, go for the...I think it's the 4th or 5th seat behind the driver. That's the seats they take out if there's someone in a wheelchair on the bus. So you get EXTRA leg room!! It's great!

I'll shut up now and let someone else comment :)

Pilot said...

thaks shan, good input.

domestikus said...

Wow. Two mentions in as many posts. Aren't I special. And I do like the ego-stroking quality of having my name in the same sentence as inspiration.

I'd have to agree with Shanna here on the walking thing. I walk to and from work everyday. I have done with this and two of the last three jobs I've had. Sometimes I wonder if my car dying on me on that lonely Saskatchewan highway might have been the best thing to ever happen to me.

Over here in England, my friends are taxi hounds. I don't really understand it. One of my friends, who is physically capable (moreso than I) of walking the twenty minutes to and from work takes a taxi every time, spending about £6 a day on fares. Silly. He thinks I'm crazy for walking. I just don't get it.

Unfortunately for me, the city I live in has a terrible transit system, which you may be able to read about on my blog once I have a few more bad experiences and get pushed to the edge. When I travel to a new city, I like to ride the public transit to assess it on various undefined criteria. So far, of the places I've lived, Nottingham seems to have the best system.

Pay the fare, take the ride, and see for yourself how it works for you. If the system is bollocks (keeping my lexicon current to my residence) then bitch about it. Write to city council. I have every intention of doing that here in Bristol.

Wow, this comment is like a blog entry. Next.

binns said...

I'm sorry Pilot, I'm going to have to disagree. The City transit sucks in Regina. Unless your destination is on the same route as where you left, I hope you like waiting for a transfer. I've taken the bus since I moved here in 2001, and I've never enjoyed it. I still take the bus to school, but only because it is cheaper than paying for gas and the rediculous price of parking at the U of R. I walk in the summer so I don't have to take the bus (and I like walking). I'm not saying that taking the bus isn't a good thing to do (environment, gas, blah blah) but I wouldn't say we have a good system. Oh, and more often than not the drivers are grumpy dicks who'd rather run over your foot than help you get off at the right stop.
If I had another option, I wouldn't be taking this city's transit system. But I make do with what we got.

Pilot said...

Wow, I've had nothing but good experiences with the drivers.. and I live in the hood. As for transfers, they're an unavoidable part of nearly any transit system. Compared to what tells me about Bristols system, ours is a peach.

That said, I own a car because to replace all my transport needs with transit would be prohibiting.

Soulfood said...

In Saskatoon, the female drivers are bitches, but the male drivers are awesome.

And the male drivers who work the night shift...they go about 70-80 over the bridges...wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. It's so much fun. It's like seeing your own impending death. "One wrong turn and we are FLYING over this bridge and dying in that river!"

Pilot said...

The drivers in Medicine Hat used to do that on this downhill I could just Feel my flesh burn as we flew into the chasm below.

Mark Bauche said...

It's funny. Everywhere you go, people will complain about their transit system. It's something that we in this age have become naturally critical of, because there should be no excuse for a city to have bad transit. It's not rocket science to design a proper transit system.

I would like to find the city with the worst transit system in the world and experience it for one day, so I can realise that depsite their downfalls, our transit systems aren't all that bad. (But still... they should be better.)

Jeffery B. said...

I've taken it on in one of my Senior practical applied arts classes. We've talked about the Tar sands and then end of oil, and we're building some renewable energy projects at the school starting with a bio-gas (methane) generator, then moving onto a wind, then hydro generator.

Saskboy said...

Regina Car Share Cooperative. Maybe you can make it to a meeting sometime?