Posts Tagged ‘pollution’

Commercial Pollution

October 18, 2008

photo

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Plastic signage stapled to telephone poles along the Commissioners Road E. arterial. Should business be allowed to pollute our visual environment by using telephone poles as free billboards?

Dion and Suzuki Have it Right

May 19, 2008

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It doesn’t come as any great surprise to me that “famed environmentalist David Suzuki has strongly backed Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s emerging carbon tax plan.” 01

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Vehicle Exhaust May Damage Your Brain

April 13, 2008

“Ambient particulate matter and nanoparticles have been shown to translocate to the brain…” 01

“It is conceivable that the long-term effects of exposure to traffic nanoparticles may interfere with normal brain function and information processing.” 02

Sources:
01. Exposure to…exhaust induces changes…
02. Exhaust Hurts Your Brain

Catching Up on Carbon Tax

March 30, 2008

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There’s never enough time, is there? I’m trying to play catch-up on the ‘carbon tax’ issue. Here’s what I’ve got so far…

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Pollution From Traffic Harms Children

February 23, 2008
( posted with permission )

According to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, “children who live in neighbourhoods with heavy traffic pollution have lower IQs and score worse on other tests of intelligence and memory than children who breathe cleaner air.” 01

The study’s lead author is Dr. Shakira Franco Suglia (Boston’s Harvard School of Public Health). She says that traffic pollution has been associated with a number of other harmful effects as well, and that there’s not much people can do other than moving away from heavy traffic areas. 02

“All children’s outdoor activities should be as far as possible from busy roadways.” 03

Be sure to check out my list of the highest-volume stretches of road in London 04 (and then keep your kids away from them)!

Sources:
01. 2008/02/19 – National Post: Effects Of Heavy Traffic Pollution
02. 2008/02/15 – MSNBC: …tied to low memory and intellegence scores
03. 2004/04/30 – ENS: Particle Pollution…
04. CityLondon: Traffic Volume Data

The Risk of Mobile Advertising

February 18, 2008

In my recent written submission to Planning Committee, I asked that “the appropriatness of allowing large video displays, mobile advertising, etc. anywhere in the city, be referred to staff for a comprehensive study (including consultation with London Police Service), followed by a report back to the appropriate standing committee and the opportunity for public engagement.” 01

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Smog Alert

February 18, 2008


A nataliedee.com sketch.
natalie dee

Rising Car Use

January 23, 2008

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Statistics Canada has just released a report called ‘Dependence on cars in urban neighbourhoods.’ It’s based on data from the 2005 General Social Survey and is part of the Agency’s Canadian Social Trends series, and it should serve as a call to arms for anyone who’s intelligent enough to be concerned about urban sprawl and our reliance on automobile travel.

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Public Art Inspiration #5

January 1, 2008

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photoIs there any rule that says public art can’t also be functional as well? If not, then London might want to reconsider the garish metal trees that it’s deployed throughout the core area.

Over in Vienna, Austria they’re field-testing designer trees that are actually solar-powered lights that should slash utility costs and cut down on carbon emissions.

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The Human Race is Doomed; Happy New Year!

December 31, 2007


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Global warming is irreversible. Kind of takes the air out of your noisemaker, doesn’t it?

So far as predictions go, this one doesn’t exactly fill me with happy feelings. But it’s hard to simply dismiss it, given the source.

If you didn’t take notice when the article was published in October, you can still read it HERE.

Reducing CO2 Emissions

December 19, 2007

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“Coal is, and will continue to be, a major source of the world’s energy and emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2)” (report: “Preparing to Capture Carbon”; Science Friday journal).  1

‘Clean’ Coal Technology

An industry group, known as FutureGen Alliance, has committed $400 million to a futuristic power plant project over 10 years.  2

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Skewed Priorities?

December 3, 2007

$265,000?

That’s how much some senior members of City Hall staff and some members of Council appear to be willing to pay to “beautify” the pollution plant/ waste depot that’s on Oxford Street West.

I’m not opposed to visually enhancing our community. In fact, I’ve advocated for graffitti removal, public art, regulation re abandoned grocery shopping carts, etc. But is this a good deal for the money? Could it be done as well for less? Should it be done as long as other more important things are being underfunded or ignored altogether?

What ticks me off is the way that the City appears to decide upon the propriety of spending tax dollars, sometimes large amounts of it, without attempting to weigh the comparative importance of one initiative against another.

This “beautification” project is a perfect example, because the amount of money being proposed is almost as much as the City spends over the course of an entire year on Walkway Lighting. And let’s not forget to inadequate way that City Hall attends to landscaping along sidewalks and pathways. And let’s certainly not forget the pedestrian safety concerns that I’ve raised with respect to Commissioners Road East, particularly the design of the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection (which a police report confirms is dangerous to pedestrians and which City Hall has ignored for this entire year).

But there’s little cause for City Hall to worry about such trivial concerns as pedestrian safety, having secretly “swept” my proposal for a Pedestrian Committee “under the rug” instead of dealing with it in public. Until pedestrians have a seat at the table, we’ll continue to be attacked and injured and killed needlessly.

Links:
2005/05/17 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/07/22 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/08/10 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/08/29 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/11/15 – FMBS: Walkway Lighting Budget
2005/12/10 – FMBS: Public Letter to City Council
2005/12/14 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2005/12/21 – FMBS: City Refuses to Reveal…Salary
2006/02/13 – FMBS: Unlit Walkways
2007/04/20 – FMBS: Eagle Crescent Walkway
2007/05/14 – FMBS: Walkway Fences
2007/05/14 – FMBS: Waiting Patiently
2007/07/14 – FMBS: Still Waiting Patiently
2007/08/18 – FMBS: Anybody Seen This Missing Councillor?
2007/11/14 – FMBS: Letter to ETC re Obstructive Landscaping

Breathing Earth

November 13, 2007

Check out this real-time simulation. It displays each country’s birth/death rates, as well as carbon dioxide emission levels. Make sure that you observe the cumulative totals in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Did you come to any conclusions?

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Deadly Auto Emissions

November 6, 2007

Toronto’s public health unit has just released a report (Air Pollution Burden of Illness from Traffic in Toronto) which identifies automobile-generated pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide) as being responsible for premature human mortality. The report very clearly draws a corelation between a reduction in the number of automobiles on the road and saving human life.

Links:
http://www.toronto.ca/health/…
http://autos.canada.com/…

Discarded Shopping Carts

November 4, 2007

On a subconscious level at least, the visual blight caused by litter, graffitti, and abandoned shopping carts negatively impacts upon the way that we feel about our community. The following from Jay Stanford (Division Manager, Environmental Services), in response to a recent inquiry:

Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2007 19:54:37 -0500
From: Jay Stanford
To: Gregory Fowler
Subject: RE: Discarded Shopping Carts

As far as shopping carts , I do like what the Superstore has done. Cart wheels become locked when the cart crosses an invisible fence. We hope more stores follow this approach.

In 2008 , we plan on looking more closely at a new by-law dealing with shopping carts modeled after the one that exists in the City of Mississauga . It is not clear on what fees can be charged back to a business for recovering a cart off property as the business was not the one responsible for removing the cart in the first place. There is probably a very good argument that the shopping carts are being stolen as generally the store has a sign that indicates that the carts can not be taken from the property. These will be the kind of details we will have to sort through in 2008.

Links:
Mississauga Shopping Cart By-law
Picasa Photo Album: Discarded Shopping Carts