Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Little Brochure

Came in the mail. Summerland's Climate Action Project, Progress Report July 2010.

So I am readying myself to go the Open House, to see what they have in mind. Their goals are modest, a 33% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020, and an 80% reduction by 2050. I'll be pushing up daisies by then but with any luck I'll still be around in 10 years to see if they make their goal of 30%. Of course we need much more drastic cuts, but a start is a start.

Summerland has a problem, and I'm part of it. Walk down the street and the majority of the people you pass are 60, 70, 80. Walkers, wheelchairs and scooters are everywhere. It looks like a scooter parking lot in front of the most popular hang-out, the pharmacy! This town desperately needs to attract the young and the educated, and not just as to fill service industry jobs for the old and dying.

Second problem. Population density here is average 3.1 per hectare. A hectare has 2.39 acres in it for the Yanks among us. Even the BC municipal average is 7.1. Now some of this is because Summerland has the cone of an extinct volcano poking right up in the middle of town, taking up a lot of acreage, and part of it is because the municipality also includes a lot of agricultural property, orchards and vineyards, landscapers and tree nurseries etc. But less than half?

The point of this is that one end of "town" is miles from the other end. There's not enough population to make a bus system viable, and biking on most of the narrow, twisting roads leading into the town centre is suicidal, since they are constantly traversed by heavily-loaded logging trucks, which are the clear winner in any bike-truck confrontation.

Third problem: Water water everywhere - there's a 100 mile long lake out there - but n'er a drop to drink. We're on a boil water notice and will be until October.

The town's potable water comes from snow melt in the mountain valleys above us. Warmer winters, less snow, and the Okanagan already has 30% less rain and snow fall than fell in the 1950s. And the population booms, and everyone wants a great big green lawn and a great big water feature and a great big sprinkler going night and day all summer long.

What to do? Does the Municipal district have a clue? That's what I am going to find out this afternoon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope your time was well spent. I applaud the community for even recognizing there are things that need to be done.

When Sweetie reads the water meters (every three months) he says the greatest usage of water is by folks who live right at the ocean's edge and those folks who leave for the winter and use three to four times over the summer what the average folk use over the course of an entire year. Just absolute nonsense.

Of course we have the other end of the spectrum of people who use 1 cubic metre in 3 months and you can smell them coming.