Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Acting locally, freaking out globally

For Toronto folks, tomorrow night (Wed. Sep 21) there will be a meeting at MEC about the Toronto Bike Plan. It's at 7:30 pm. You probably know where the MEC store is. I'm hoping to make it down there. Maybe it's because there's no real news about it, but it seems like there hasn't been much information about the Bike Plan for a few months, so I'm hoping to hear about what's going on and what's planned. Also, I'm sure the more bodies that are there, the better.

If you aren't familiar with the Bike Plan, the basic idea is to have a grid of bike lanes and bike paths all over the city so that anyone on a bike has to travel no further than 2 km to get to the "bikeway network".

And for everyone's interest, gasoline prices will be going up again, so put that brochure for the Toyota Sequoia back on the shelf. 99 cents/litre might look like a steal of a deal, but it won't last long as oil went up this morning to US$67/barrel, and refining facilities will be hit again by hurricane Rita.

If you don't use gas pumps, you might heat your house with natural gas. To get you really freaking out, Kunstler has gotten pretty specific that this winter will be a bad one for everyone. I tend to think that we're more likely to see a major economic slow down, and slowly a shift in energy consumption (for transportation, heating, shipping of food and other products) rather than a disasterous decline in everything we know. Here's a graph of the Canadian prices for natural gas. I'm sure the increases are similar to the US. Looking at the consumer price index from Statistics Canada, it shows a 9% increase in energy spending since July last year. In Canada, I can only imagine that we use more energy for heating in the winter, than cooling in the summer, so it'll be interesting to see this number in January.

UPDATE: I corrected the date for the Toronto Bike Plan meeting. It is tomorrow night.

Darren J 9/20/2005 12:20:00 PM

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