I was greatly amused to read that Kelowna city council has declared the city's greenhouse gas emissions targets of a 33 per cent reduction by 2020 from the 2007 level, matching the provincial targets, as unrealistic, and is considering adopting something easier to achieve.
It would be just like them to blame the city's failure to move toward these goals on something other than their own
incompetence and stupidity.
When I ran for city council in 2005 and again in 2008, I said that there was no way that greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced without first stabilizing the city's population and that the city's encouragement of other transportation options would have negligible results.
Why then is anyone on council or in the city administration surprised that these emissions increased by 5.5 per cent between 2007 and 2010 when the city's population increased by an almost identical amount during that time?
However, the response of city council is not to acknowledge their own naivete and shortsightedness, but rather to blame residents for not co-operating and leaving their cars at home and taking public transit or a bicycle to get to work on those cold, January mornings.
And not being satisfied at making the public the fall guy for making rational transportation choices, they are now considering punishing residents by increasing parking fees in the downtown.
I predict this will only result in people making fewer trips there and opting instead to go to the mall.
Then, the only ones that will be punished are downtown businessmen.
Furthermore, council's plan to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions by creating high-density town centres to encourage more walking is likewise doomed to failure as their residents will still have cars and will use them.
Every new person who takes up residence in Kelowna will only add to the city's emissions.
Kelowna has been on an unsustainable course for the past 10 years having the second highest greenhouse gas emissions of the province's mid-size cities, and re-arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic will not change the outcome.
John Zeger, Kelowna