Last week Kitsilano-based architect Richard Balfour challenged Non-Partisan Association mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton on the issue of peak oil. Balfour’s comments in the Georgia Straight followed Anton’s news conference on June 14, when she went after the Mayor and Vision Vancouver for a $5,000 grant for urban grain production. Anton also attacked a permit for back-yard chicken coups. At the conference, Anton said that these initiatives failed to “show respect for taxpayers’ money.”
Balfour, however, thinks Anton understands the issue of peak oil but refuses to take it seriously in public. As a Vancouver Peak Oil Executive, the author of the book Strategic Sustainable Planning: A Civil Defense Manual for Cultural Survival and the a strategic planner for the Farmland Defence League of BC, Balfour has no patience for political inertia when it comes to sustainability.
According to Balfour, when global oil production tops out, we’ll have to grow more food locally. But Anton’s support of back-yard gardening doesn’t take into account that you can’t feed a city with garden plots. He says it’s not enough.
Balfour also criticizes Mayor Robertson’s Regional Growth Strategy—a legal document set to replace the Livable Region Strategic Plan and plan the region’s growth out to 2040
Balfour has built his career on planning for the future. He told the Straight “There are huge vested interests in doing what we do, keeping going as long as possible. Even if it means killing the planet, they’ll keep on doing it. They’ve got such a short view of the future of the world.”
Are our elected officials doing enough now to plan for a sustainable future? Some say yes, other want more green initiatives. Read the full article with comments here.
Last modified: June 20, 2011