Aug 8, 2019 - Boats and Carbon

I took a few good photos the other day, on a run along the south shore of Burrard Inlet to Canada Place. I'm afraid I must dip into politics, as the first photo neatly shows my big beef with pipeline opposition.

It's not that I don't want to see carbon out of the air ASAP, it's that I believe it's a complete waste of time to oppose oil production, rather than consumption. If we oppose production while letting consumption continue, people won't magically find a new way to farm, transport, light, and heat themselves; we have to find those alternatives first, then the production will die away naturally as people switch over.

So, I'm listening to a (very good) podcast, CanadaLand, about the horrors of a new tar sands mine and all the damage the mine will do to the environment. About the local environment, no question; but about the atmosphere - the damage doesn't happen until somebody buys and burns their product. So I'm just hitting the point, jogging and listening, where they say the amount of carbon the mine will somehow put into the air, as I come up the ramp to Canada Place and see this:

At far left, a thirty-metre superyacht, that transports one family a few weeks a year, guzzles up a thousand gallons or so of gasoline at the floating Chevron station in the harbour. At far right, three...count 'em, THREE ... ninety-thousand tonne cruise ships are stacked up in port, with one refuelling from the giant tanks of thick black bunker fuel that these monsters burn in thousand-tonne lots.

The problem is not the pipeline, or the mine; it's the customers that drive them. If these things ran on hydrogen or biofuels, the mine would never open. But: nobody will switch over these engines to alternatives because a mine never opens and oil goes up a buck a barrel. It didn't happen when oil went up a hundred a barrel. It will never happen because of production shutdowns. It has to be a strategic decision we just do.

Nobody likes to point the finger in the mirror; it's easier to pick out somebody you don't know and scapegoat them. (The original meaning was a tradition where all the sins of the village were heaped upon one goat; it's a pretty perfect analogy.) But they aren't holding a gun to our heads to buy tickets on those cruise ships so that they can go on digging tar sands mines.

But, moving along from politics...

There's a very prominent boat in the marina beside the Vancouver Rowing Club; it may be the most-visible boat in the harbour, because the bike and walking paths there are so packed, and it's the first boat along the dock:

For years now, that boat has been triggering a feeling of familiarity every time I went past, and I finally figured it out last summer:

It's remnisicent of "The Busted Flush", the fictional but beloved houseboat of John D. McDonald's great detective, Travis McGee. I was able to find an artist's rendition of it online, and one of the book covers that filled my brother's bookshelves when I was growing up. It's that stripe of wood along the side that made me think of it, I guess.

Older posts

2019 August 7: Dealing with Summer

2019 August 6: Crowds and Forests

2019 August 5: Pride Parade Whales

2019 August 4: Bye-bye Barretts

2019 August 3: Once Around The Park

2019 August 2: Fireworks and Butterflies

2019 August 1: Charlie's Birthday!

2019 July 31: A Day at the Aquarium

2019 July 30: The Barretts Arrive!

2019 July 29: Random Things in Stanley Park

2019 July 28: Fireworks Last Night

2019 July 27: Monitoring Progress

2019 July 26: Being glad it's not winter

2019 July 25: We Return to Vancouver; Street is Torn Up

2019 July 2: Cat Pictures as we Drive to Calgary

2019 July 1: Canada Day in Stanley Park

2019 Jun 30: Madrid and Victoria - nice cities.

2019 Jun 29: Seattle boat shelves, Cat-vs-Beer

2019 Jun 28: Back from Seattle

2019 Jun 21: Volunteer Gardeners

2019 Jun 20: Stanley Colour

2019 Jun 19: At the beaches

2019 Jun 18: Tiny Roses and the Outside Cat

2019 Jun 17: Heron Nesting Season

2019 Jun 16: What a Difference a Month Makes (to goslings)

2019 Jun 15: Kittens Who Look At Phones, plus, Spain

2019 Jun 14: Lake Blossoms Everywhere

2019 Jun 13: Last Blossoms?

2019 Jun 12: Grandiose Things

2019 Jun 11: Scenes from a flight to Denver

2019 Jun 8: Beaver Lake Developments

2019 Jun 7: The Rose Garden Returns!

2019 Jun 6: D-Day commemorated with poppies!

2019 Jun 5: Geese families and Heron at Lost Lagoon

2019 Jun 4: More Cat Badness

2019 Jun 3: Roses and Bridges

2019 Jun 2: The Gosling Fleet

2019 Jun 1: From the archives: Cuba 2017

2019 May 31: Cats vs Bees

2019 May 30: Ravine Trail to Beaver Lake

2019 May 28-29: Our Garden and Stanley Forests

2019 May 27: The Umbrella Tree

2019 May 26: Animals of Stanley Park

2019 May 25: Green and Water

2019 May 24: Last of the Rose Garden South

2019 May 23: The Tudor House

2019 May 22: Rose Garden, South End #2

2019 May 21: Retiro and Kitten-Warmers

2019 May 20: Goslings and our Chilco Neighbours

2019 May 19: Finishing up the "back walk" all-floral garden.

2019 May 18: First trip to the Rose Garden South

2019 May 17: More "backwalk" south of Lost Lagoon and Lagoon Drive

2019 May 16: The "backwalk" south of Lost Lagoon 1

2019 May 15: blooms on the 4th floor