From Donna Passmore:
The late Dr. David Bates’ appearance before our Task Force was a significant moment quite beyond the work we were doing, because it was the first time (thanks to the Shaw cable broadcast of the full proceedings) that the people of the region became aware of the research that David and his colleagues had been doing, and the concrete connections they had drawn between smog episodes and spikes in hospital visits.
Great post Donna and wonderful letter Tom.
Only 20 years, and have things changed that much?
I know your work responded primarily to Atmospheric Change in 1994. But it begs an even more interesting question about not only how industry can/has effected our climate, but also how we could/can make significant changes in our lives to effect change as well. I believe the greedy 80’s were both a litmus for change and in many cases contradictions toward the need for change.
I remember the early 80’s as the fight between those of us who preferred (for both health reasons and a care for the unnecessary pollution of our shared environment) biking versus driving. I think we can say we have seen positive movement towards adopting alternatives to private gas powered vehicles, but not enough.
I remember the big fights between those of us wanting to save large swaths of public forest from large cooperate and government greed. I think the jury is still out on that one.
I remember debates about making Vancouver City affordable for those who worked in the core, avoiding the long polluting commutes toward the valley. Definitely haven’t reached any where near that goal.
The Cambie Street Bridge $50 million, six-lane replacement was open December 9, 1985, with expanded side walks for people and cyclsts. O.K. was needed and not just for Expo.
Construction began on the Broadway SkyTrain finished in 1985. Ready for operation for EXPO 86, January 3, 1986.
As much as I use and appreciate the speed of getting from downtown to Metrotown, this was a politically expensive white elephant. Today difficult and much to costly to justify expansion.
The above are just a few examples of how little has really changed to effect better habits and allow for choice of alternatives in transportation and hence make the air we breath safer and provide for a little peace of mind in diminishing or environmental footprint in Greater Vancouver.
“I remember debates about making Vancouver City affordable for those who worked in the core, avoiding the long polluting commutes toward the valley. Definitely haven’t reached any where near that goal.”
But Ian, surely the goal of much policy making in Vancouver is to increase real estate values. So really, I am not surprised that this goal is now further from achievement than ever. The reason is that the real goal, more expensive real estate, is being achieved.