Saturday, 20 February 2016

Do Canada's Gigantic Problems Need More Revolutionary Solutions? Does We Need to "Think Bigger?"

by Larry Powell

As governments everywhere, including Canada's, sleep walk through the gathering storm - another epic tropical typhoon (hurricane) is poised to slam into Fiji. Those we depend upon as "dot-connectors," who should be viewing everything through the prism of our climate crisis, continue to act like negligent criminals, believing that our survival depends, not on whether we steer our economy away from one that's addicted to fossil fuels, but how big the deficit should be, whether we should bomb a distant enemy overseas in yet another useless war, or bail out some deadbeat corporation which may or may not need it. 

No deep-thinkers here. 

How about this? 
Build another trans-Canada railway - one that's dedicated to passengers only. After all, isn't Bombardier the specialist in rail passenger cars and transit? Just maybe this would be a higher and better use of their expertise than "business-class" jets for the wealthy. This alone would alleviate the need for thousands, perhaps millions of motorcars on the roads. As a frequent rail traveller, take it from me: "The Canadian," Via Rail's trans-continental passenger train, now has to yield frequently and for excruciatingly long periods, to CN freight trains on a line which CN owns (& is, in turn owned by many wealthy, foreign investors). And the freights which whizz by, often carrying that highly-volatile Bakken crude, do so within metres of the hapless Via passengers and crew who are forced to wait patiently on the sidings. 

Or, how about this? 

Offer workers, laid off in the Oil Patch, jobs installing geothermal systems for residential subdivisions and businesses? Or how about greenhouses heated with geo-thermal? This concept, even if it requires federal subsidies, would equalize Canadian produce with that produced in warmer climes - making us more competitive in food production - an industry key to our overall economic success. 

Sinking oil wells involves digging holes. So does Geo-thermal. Seems to me there is a fortuitous overlap here. Can't we take advantage? Of course we could, if the will or common sense were there. 

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