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Thursday, February 16, 2006


Phil Reilly

Brodie, when I leave the office in downtown Vancouver I'm pleasantly suprised with how few lights are on in the office towers. Thankfully we work in an environmentally friendly building (Bentall Towers)- I believe our lights automatically turn off at a certain hour but can be over-ridden should you still be sad enough to be in the office during the wee small hours. Vancouver seems to be a city really in tune with what's going on with the environment. It's difficult not to - logging, fish farms controversey, birthplace of greenpeace. The average Vancouverite is really thoughtful with recycling. Louise and I have turned into recycle freaks - its brilliant. It frightens me though how fickle folks are in North America (I'm speaking about our friends south of the border)with energy.

Trust all is well at QP.

dougie lochhead

I can really see where your coming from.

Sitting in uni where the heat is on, the windoes open and the where the pcs are never switched off, it really makes you think...

As for recylcing, where I was in Princeton, BC we recycled everything using huge dumpsters and it's a very small town! Over here in the Westend, we recycle nothing! Not sure if it is just Glasgow Council or because of where I live but surely, because every little bit counts some effort could be made to get us sorting out our rubbish. I even live across the street from a council depot but there's no recycling points there!

Maybe one day we'll all be as forward thinking as Canada!

Also, just remembered that RockRidge Canyon buildings (and their pool and hot tubs) are heated and cooled by geothermal power so it's pretty green energy too! it's expensive to start with but it's so much more enviro friendly.


Dougie & Phil, thanks for the comments. Things in Canada certainly appear to be ahead of us here in Scotland, but things are improving slowly. Glasgow City Council are doing a lot more towards recycling. We have a blue wheely bin which gets collected once a month. It takes paper, plastic and cans, but not glass.

We can't however be reliant on the State or big business making it easy for us. The major change still needs to take place on a personal level where people actually think about the resources they are using and organise their life so they are less wastful and use less in the first place.

Mike Kurtyka

I am also sitting in Glasgow under the slowly fading sunlight coming through a Velux window! As an American, I think Phil's observation is too broad a generalization and furthers unhelpful stereotypes. America is a big country and it's 300 million people are not homogenous; there are wasteful people but I know many are trying to do their part. The same could be said for any country as each has it's struggles. I think Brodie's point is the approach we need to take - each of us should do our own part - and then we can lovingly encourage others by deed & word to do the same. It shows our love for what God has created and we demonstrate stewardship toward creation.


Hi Mike

I appreciate that perhaps my observation is a little broad and probably an unhelpful stereotype of the US. I also agree with Brodie, and yourself that we are to tend creation and do our own part, however small, in good stewardship of our resources and that which God has entrusted with.

That aside, it is also true that the US is the largest consumer of energy in the world. I'd recommend looking at www.worldwatch.org. Here's a snippet:

"Most surprising is the dramatic surge in energy use in many industrial countries. Compared with just 10 years ago, for example, Americans are driving larger and less efficient cars and buying bigger homes and more appliances. As a result, U.S. oil use has increased over the decade by nearly 2.7 million barrels a day—more oil than is used daily in total in India and Pakistan, which together contain more than four times as many people as the United States does. In total, the average American consumes five times more energy than the average global citizen, 10 times more than the average Chinese, and nearly 20 times more than the average Indian."

However, lets not shed all the blame in the US. Canada are even indicted in one of their reports: "Worldwide, people use about a third of all energy in buildings—for heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, and running appliances. Building-related energy demand is rising rapidly, particularly within our homes. But there are large differences in household energy use from one country to the next: for example, people in the United States and Canada consume 2.4 times as much energy at home as those in Western Europe."

When we are talking about such mass energy consumption (not just in North America but any industrial country) melting of ice caps and quickening of global warming, I think we do have to rely on our Governments to lead us the way (at some level), otherwise how else is the message going to get across? Word of mouth? Possibly, but we need to have loud voices and I'm not sure people are willing to listen - they certainly won't lisetn if it gets in the way of making a dollar or two. No that people are of course more willing to listen to Government.

I'm not sure, but is the US still not adherent to the Kyoto agreement?

I know the US government recently intimated their intention to start using more sustainable energy resources and investing in wind and hyrdo power research. This is great news.

Also check out www.unep.org (UN Environment Programme)

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