Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

City says no to jet fuel plan

with one comment

Richmond News

I covered this during the election campaign when the Green Party held a media conference at Garry Point. I am pleased to see that the City of Richmond is also determined to fight this daft idea.

The problem is that “the pipeline through Richmond is subject to a provincial environmental review.” Which means that no matter how bad the idea it cannot actually be stopped by this process – though some applicants have been sufficiently shamed to withdraw. All a provincial EA gets to do is require “mitigation” or change some details – like alignments. The worth of the proposal itself is never tested or questioned.

The proposal is also based on the untenable idea that demand for aviation fuel at YVR will continue to grow. That simply cannot happen. Firstly, peak oil means that in future there will simply be less fuel available for aircraft. Currently there is no viable alternative to kerosene for jets – though Virgin is hoping it can get some biofuel into the mix, that in itself is problematic, and not necessarily carbon neutral. Air travel is in decline around the world, for when times get tough a lot of travel turns out be unnecessary. We are going to have to get used to the idea that importing fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh cut flowers, by air was always an extravagance – and now one that we cannot afford. 

But secondly the Fraser River still has some salmon runs. They may be pale shadows of what they once were, and more open pen fish farms are going to be an even greater challenge to young fry trying to migrate. But an oil spill would cause incredible damage to an irreplaceable habitat – and many species would be put at risk. And for what? So we can save a dollar or two on a trip to Cancun?

Written by Stephen Rees

June 3, 2009 at 9:36 pm

One Response

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  1. The airlines, with the exception of lighter-than-air craft such as Zeppelin NT, will be the first casualty of the next Peak Oil price spike; which will happen as soon as consumption returns to previous norms or, more likely, hyperinflation destroys North Americans’ ability to import oil. The Chinese won’t buy a US$ bond maturing more than 3 years from now; so that gives a timeline ceiling.
    We are in a Depression; the factories are making the wrong stuff. Who is going to need a car when the price of fuel increases by factors of ten? How can we make any provision for cars in the future when it looks like we are going to have to muddle along on 25% of current energy levels? Food and home heating trump incessant driving by any measure.


    June 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

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