Magazine cover: It’s global warming, STUPID. Are we listening?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 6, 2012   — The environment, global warming – yeah, yeah, I know.  Those icebergs that are falling apart way up north.  And the hot summer – it all means something – at least that’s what they tell us…but then there are those who tell us it is just a phase the earth is going through.

I know there is something different about the weather – it was certainly hotter last spring and that false signal all the tender fruit trees got put a big dent in the fresh fruit market.  But was that global warming or was it just a weird stretch of weather?

Sometime we need a big bold signal. And that was what Bloomberg’s Newsweek magazine said with its cover this week.

It was also a part of what Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig said recently about GO transit capacity and the crucn we are facing as the Region grows by 100,000 people each year.  Then he made a statement that stunned me.  He said “A full 70% of residents in the GHTA never use transit.”

GHTA means the Greater Hamilton Toronto Area.  I checked with the GO press relations people to be sure that number was right.  It was.

GO ridership has increased 21% over the past five years and at peak times is operating at 110% of capacity.  McCuaig adds that “without at least doubling transit mode share, the average daily commute will jump from 82 to 109 minutes in 25 years.  In rush hour, using the QEW to get to downtown Toronto the commute is easily 90 minutes.  Being able to use the HOV lane cuts that quite a bit – but that lane is certainly not anywhere near its capacity.

After reading the McCuaig comments my mind went back to that Newsweek cover and suddenly the dots were connected.  It is the environment – and we are stupid.

Bloomerberg Newsweek magazine cover – has the point been made yet?

The article in the magazine set out the point and the problem.

When mainline media take on an issue and use their ability to put up stunning graphics you know something is amiss.

New York magazine had a very strong visual showing New York city with part of it in close to total darkness while other parts of the city had power.

Parts of Burlington were without power for a period of time – not short to those who had no light and a fridge that would only keep its temperature for so long.

What does a single person do.  If you’re one of the 70% in the GHTA who hasn’t taken transit – there is a simple step you can take.

New York city. This is what it looks like when the lights go out in a major city. Global warming?

If you live in Burlington and you don’t drive and you are attending a city council meting and want to take part in the debate as a delegation you want to hope that you are up early if the list is long.  I have seen situations where d delegation has had to leave because if they did not they would miss their bus.

Last budget the city took thousands of dollars out of the transit side of the budget and used it to “shave and pave roads that were said to be in serious need of repair.

We close down bus routes and limit the schedule.  And we continue to build communities where a car is essential.

It is global warming and we really can be stupid – this time our stupidity has the potential to make it impossible to live on this planet.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.