Saturday, October 3, 2009


Margaret Wente has written a very funny and provocative column today in the Globe.

Here's her basic argument: Never mind recycling or solar panels – if you want to cut your carbon footprint, move downtown and throw your garbage down the chute.

She focuses on two of my favorite places and two places from which I have just returned: Toronto and Salt Spring Island.

She posits Toronto as the greener choice! Ha!

This may or may not be the best science, but it sure makes for a good read and a good discussion.


Anonymous said...

"The best way to control sardines is to pack them tightly into the can."

This comment, at the bottom of Margaret's column, pretty much sums up my reaction.


Jeff Taylor said...

Having recently (1.5 years ago) moved to Toronto from vancouver, I was struck by how little Toronto and the communities outside of Toronto recycle. Many businesses do not recycle. It's very common to see cans, bottles, and newspapers in garbage containers and garbage bags. Having said all that, it is changing. From what I've seen, people and businesses are 1 or 2 years behind a city like Vancouver. The youth (as in many parts of the world) seem to be moving faster to a greener city than the older population is. I often see middle aged people doing things that aren't very green in and around the city. It can be hard to teach old dogs new tricks to be sure. For the most part I agree with much of what her column had to say. However, I'd be very careful if I was Margaret Wente about blowing Toronto's horn (especially when compared to a city like Vancouver) when it comes to being a green city. At least for the time being.

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of Margaret's column.
I would like to point out the life expectancy of a male New Yorker is 75 years, fully 5 years less than a Vancouver male, so the case about New Yorkers being more healthy because they walk everywhere does not wash.
As for recycling, time will show it to be an increasingly more expensive failure.
Waste disposal will eventually go to a Waste to Energy system that vapourizes garbage into gas for heating or producing electricity. Waste hazards such as mercury and lead are fully recovered.
When people move from the country to the big cities, their lives improve with each generation becoming better educated and more wealthy than the previous.