Saturday, February 16, 2008

Something Positive for a Winter Day

I was going to write something on Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller’s annual environmental report - Reconciling Our Priorities – but it is so depressing.

Basically, he says that our planning processes and mechanisms are outdated and loaded with conflicting priorities. We have no effective mechanisms in place to reconcile conflicting priorities.

Who needs such excessive negativity in the middle of February? We’ll come back to Gord’s report at a later day.

Happy Days

How about some good news?

I just read that RWDI Consultants in Guelph have proven that restaurants with a drive-through window are more environmentally friendly than those without.

This is indeed good news particularly as there seems to be one of these things at every corner.

Apparently RWDI found that a drive-through serving 150 vehicles in an hour is roughly equivalent to the emissions from one motorcycle operating at 50 km/h for an hour, or two home woodstoves operating for an hour, or about three six-horsepower lawnmowers operating for an hour.

Last March your blogger sent crack gonzo journalist Hunter R. Wilson to a New Street phone booth to research drive through activity (see Drive Throughs Need Restrictions(03/12/07). How could we have been so wrong as to not take into account all the pollution being caused by non drive through patrons driving their cars around parking lots looking for empty spaces like RWDI did?

Well, I wasn’t very good in science and these consultants are. Four hundred employees with doctorates and engineering and science degrees can't be wrong.

And they get paid for this stuff. Whereas, I with my an undergraduate arts degree, am just blowing smoke.

Proposed Change

So based on this research here is an idea.

Let’s close down these places that sell food but have been unable to adapt to our car culture. Every restaurant without a drive through should be illegal. That will just be a start.

Next step will be a requirement that all retail operations will be required to have a drive through.

It will be good for the environment. And it cheers me up just thinking about it. How about you?