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PICS Lecture – Climate Change and Health Impacts

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions hosts free monthly lectures from many academic disciplines that focus on climate change. This lecture by Michael Bower from UBC and Tim Takaro from SFU focuses on the intersection of climate change and health impacts.

The World Health Organization estimates that climate change causes 150,000 deaths a year (2000). The health impacts of climate change are direct and indirect. Direct impacts include temperatures, and indirect ones include asthma, infectious diseases, malnutrition, mental health, etc.

Climate change impacts in Canada include extreme weather, air quality, the spread of infectious diseases, and increased population from migration, drought, and sea level rise. Canada will also see an uneven distribution of impacts, with some areas being less able to adapt, like rural areas ability to adapt. Luckily we have good infrastructure and public health systems so we will see … Continue Reading

San Luis Obispo County’s Local Adaptation Outcomes

Planning Pool authors, Daniella F. and Dylan M. are at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC, for the next few days. We’re going to be liveblogging the more interesting conference proceedings. You can follow us on twitter @planningpool or with the hashtag #np4sg2011

Supervisor Jim Patterson answers audience questions

San Luis Obispo County in California is a politically conservative area that was challenged in drafting and implementing a climate change adaptation plan. Faced with resource cuts and shortages and climate change disbelievers, the County struggled to create an effective adaptation plan.
The speakers, Kate Meis and Supervisor Jim Patterson outlined a number of factors that contributed to the strategy’s success:

  • Utilizing current opportunities- general plan updates and community plan, state and … Continue Reading

Greening Small Home Renovations – The City of Vancouver may require Green Improvements to the Renovation of One and Two Family Homes

A small but important part of the ‘Greenest City Action Plan’, The City of Vancouver hopes to tackle the resource efficiency of existing buildings through a proposed amendment to our building by-law (VBBL) that would require green improvements along with the renovation of one and two family homes. Arguably, it might seem like this will have a small impact on the massive GHG goals taken on by the Province and City, however it is an essential step in any Green Building plan. Read more…

Climate Change Mitigation in BC: Audio Recording

Climate change policies in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia (BC) have attracted a fair amount of international interest and even envy, especially from its neighbours to the south.

The New Urbanist community of East Clayton in Surrey, British Columbia, is one of the neighbourhoods whose GHG emissions were studied by Dr. Maged Senbel. Photo by author.

The New Urbanist community of East Clayton in Surrey, British Columbia, is one of the neighbourhoods whose GHG emissions were studied by Dr. Maged Senbel. Photo by author.

In 2008, BC became North America’s first major jurisdiction to institute a consumer-based carbon tax. Of course, no progressive policy is without its contradictions. Since instituting the carbon tax, intended to reduce public reliance on fossil fuels, the province has continued to sink scarce … Continue Reading

Green is gold… nominally

The New York Times ran an article this week highlighting the “controversy” over the investments of eco-champion Al Gore.  Apparently, some perceive a conflict of interest between the Nobel Laureate’s environmental fervor and his wide-ranging financial stakes in green industry.  Conservative lawmakers have questioned Gore’s true intentions, citing his ties to Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, as well as his chairmanship of Generation Investment Management, both of which maintain significant holdings in green technology/clean energy (here’s a list of KPCB’s green investments).  Here’s a little video of an exchange between Gore and a Representative from his home state of Tennessee:

Gore’s strategy to transform markets by displaying the economic … Continue Reading

Liveblogging from CIP Building a Better World Conference in Niagara Falls

Over the next few days, Vanessa and I will be liveblogging from the CIP/OPPI Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. With currenty 900 delegates registered and over 1000 expected from the private sector, the public sector and academia throughout Canada and abroad, the 3-day conference should be very interesting!

The theme of the conference is “Building a Better World,” which is appropriate for the current economic situation and for the location of the conference. As the Mayor of Niagara Falls noted in opening remarks, the recession offers an opportunity for changes. Also, Niagara Falls is a model of change. A former manufacturing center, Niagara Falls transformed itself into a tourism destination focusing on the falls, casinos, golf courses and vinyards, a place that offers attractions year-round.

Today, the conference is opening with keynote speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier. A Nobel Prize nominee, Watts-Cloutier helped launch … Continue Reading

Cash for Clunkers: Is the policy the real clunker?

Prius and Capitol - Thanks izik!

The U.S. Congress just put another US$2 billion into the popular Cash for Clunkers program.

The Cars Allowance Rebate System (CARS), which has been dubbed “Cash for Clunkers,” has been so popular in the US that the $1 billion allocated for the program ran out in just a week, three months ahead of schedule. The $2 billion extension will let car owners trade in old fuel-inefficient cars for $3,500 to $4,500 until September 1.

This week, the Transportation Department released data showing that more than 184,000 cars had been traded in, with the Toyota Corolla as the best-selling new car under the clunker program.

Cash for Clunkers requires car dealerships to shred the old, gas-guzzling auto … Continue Reading

Urban living lowers carbon emissions

Here’s an interesting article by Edward Glaeser and Matthew Kahn, economists well-known in the urban economics and environmental economics fields. They have found that Manhattan residents emit almost 4,500 pounds less of transportation-related carbon dioxide than suburban New York residents, making Manhattan one of the greenest places in America.
The data suggest a strong general pattern: households in dense urban areas have significantly lower carbon emissions than households in the suburbs.
Counter-intuitive, or does this really make sense?

Matthew Kahn also has an informative and interesting blog here. He also just posted a reader’s response to his and Glaeser’s article. The reader pointed out that cities rely heavily on imported goods, especially water, which is unsustainable. If you’re interested in water issues, you might like to check out the post here.

via www.dcexaminer.com >> Opinion.