Polar bears taking it easy as they await the impact of global warming
I have a problem with the epithet “climate change denier”. Aren’t people who don’t think that climate change is the result of anthropogenic activity the same as people who think the Earth is flat? Is this really denial or profound ignorance? What about calling them “Dupes for Oil Companies” or “Climate Change Ignoramuses”?
Yet, we continue to wrestle with this knuckle-dragging Pliocene crowd who usually have no grasp of basic science, shout from their Big Oil-funded soap boxes and decry any green initiative that would stem or halt their voracious avarice.
Fortunately, many cities, provinces and states are doing some great things. There are those cities in the US who resolved to ban tar sand oil for use in municipal vehicles , environmental pacts signed by subnational governments, carbon taxes, emphases on public transit, attempting to halt the hell that is sprawl, and the planning of more green space.
In this month’s National Geographic (the same magazine the about-to-be crowned Michael Ignatieff said wasn’t going to stop him from defending the moonscaping of northern Alberta) there’s a fascinating pictorial essay on green roofs.
Cities like Vancouver are finding the myriad benefits of green roofs – better insulation for buildings with green roofs, less rain run-off, reducing the urban heat-island effect where temperatures on asphalt roofs can exceed 150°F. And the Fairmont Waterfront estimates that it produces about $16,000 a year worth of fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey on its rooftop garden.
Chicago, Toronto’s sister city, leads North America in green roofs. This could be good news for Torontonians – it seems that whenever Daley ups the environmental ante, Miller tries to follow.
And then there are the Europeans. They lead us in green, renewable energy, consume less energy and water, typically drive smaller cars, have reduced garbage, and have made green roofs mandatory in some countries. In Switzerland, new flat roofs must have foliage.
If those who refuse to recognize that we need to make our cities sustainable and green are going to stand in the way and rant, we should treat them as deluded, wild-eyed loons in sandwich boards and push past them. In the marketplace of ideas, climate change denial is the Albanian Lek.