Climate Change

Doing the right thing

Boston University’s Climate Action Plan aims to reduce the institution’s carbon emissions to zero by 2040, and the Center for Computing & Data Sciences will be the first building on any BU campus to be 100 percent fossil free. Geothermal wells provide the majority of its heating and cooling. In the envelope, transparent triple glazing is integrated with spandrel panel glass and insulated metal panels. Two exterior shade systems control solar heat gain…

This unique BU building is scheduled to open in 2022. It has no rooftop wind turbines and no solar panels, but does have 31 geothermal boreholes. Geothermal heat exchange will provide 90 percent of heating and cooling in a city where the average low temperature is below freezing for months and summer’s daytime temperatures average above 25°C.

Boston University’s plan for sustainability is phasing out gas-fueled heating systems, improving energy efficiency, and adding on-campus renewable energy sources.

The institution’s plan would have comparables in British Columbia if the PowerBC program announced by John Horgan in November 2015 had not been immediately discarded when NDP took office in 2017. That policy had been applauded by environmental groups like the Sierra Club, which said:

We commend the opposition for recognizing that clean energy can provide jobs for BC families while protecting our environment. In fact clean energy can support many more jobs than those in the oil and gas sector. A future with 100% renewable energy is 100% possible.

Sierra Club

It is worth noting that Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman was Executive Director of the Sierra Club until he gave himself to the Dark Side and began promoting and subsidizing fossil fuels.

British Columbia could be in the sixth year of the PowerBC program had John Horgan been sincere when he announced it in 2015. Instead, the NDP government and public institutions are issuing press releases promising bold action… someday.

Someday is too late.

3 replies »

  1. We know what Falcon’s BCLiberals (or whatever pseudonym BC right- wingers will be hiding under next election) will do to the environment. They’ve long shown us who they are. Believe them.

    It would be nice to see BC Green Party have a shot at governing, and while many more may (and probably should) vote that way, a realist would not bet the wind farm on it.

    It was a surprise to most that Horgan ditched the PowerBC program with such speed upon attaining power. The rapid reversal revealed he couldn’t possibly have intended to keep the promise from the get go. What was more surprising (even to an old cynic like me) was the perfect murmuration of the entire BCNDP flock on the betrayal. It would have made starlings jealous. It was also the harbinger of further betrayals regarding things environmental.

    But what about the BCNDP sans Horgan? All signs so far indicate David Eby is planning a straight and level flight, consistent with the current BCNDP flight plan. That would be bad news for the environment. But he has shown he can handle the big files, so what if he somehow gets religion on climate change? Say for no other reason than to blunt a Green ascension and separate himself from Falcon. Is there a murmuration or two left in the flock if the lead starling is top gun Eby on a mission? We can only hope.

    Although to make that omelette he’ll have to break a few Meggs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, was excited about the Power BC plans… then shocked when it was shelved.

    Lew’s comment about murmurations reflects the problem with party politics: when the party you ‘mostly’ support takes a wrong turn… what do you do?

    Continuing with the starling theme, I’d say the flock starts to lose its tightness, with some holding back and others giving up or joining other flocks.

    For one, I give the head ‘birds’ my honest feedback, whenever I get their emailed surveys. Site C is a constant thumbs down for me.

    I used to be a door knocker and sign planter. Not any more. But who deserves my vote?


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