My 2-cents on Climate Change, ‘Smart’ Cities and Global Warming

Show Me the Money (‘stupid’)


2 pennies

US PENNY (1943)

It’s a Bizarro World… It is the third week in May and it’s raining in Santa Barbara—VERY Vancouver. The day before at the Mount Shasta Tesla Superchargers I met a Tesla owner reporting he’s paying 1.8 cents per mile in fuel costs. The one-cent coin is no longer legal tender in Canada, distance is measured in kilometres and volume in litres… But the penny still dropped for me—driving a gas car in California costs 10¢ a mile. Driving a Tesla costs 5-times less than that!

The Tesla owner bought his Model 3 three months ago. He proudly boasts having driven 7,000 miles in that time and paying all of $126 in charging costs (I’m just reporting his numbers… I have no way to confirm them). 

  • He paid for electricity the equivalent of two tanks of gas at U$60 each. 
  • 7,000 miles/30 mi per gallon x U$3.00 per gallon = U$700 
  • He paid 18% the price of gasoline. About 1 : 5
  • It amounts to U$ 0.018 or 2 red cents per mile

Electricity in British Columbia, Canada, is about 2-times cheaper according to Tesla. Gas is more expensive (the US dollar today trades at $1.345 CAD):

  • CAD $1.55 per litre
  • CAD $5.87 per gallon = U$4.50 per gallon

My friend’s savings if he were burning Vancouver gas would be even greater:

  • 7,000 miles/30 mi per gallon x U$4.50 per gallon = U$1,050
  • He would have paid 12% the price of gasoline. About 1 : 8.

Charging at home, paying BC Hydro rates of CAD $0.08 per kWh, we figure the savings are in the order of 10x to 12x. That is an order magnitude difference, or more.

  • Emissions = 0 for the vehicle.
  • Savings to the planet, to the health costs and improvements to livability, etc… incalculable.

Vancouver just lost a Federal government contest awarding $50 million to Canada’s ‘smartest’ city.

Wiping egg from its face, maybe my civic government—regional, provincial and federal too—can finally face the facts and plum the depths of just how ‘smart’ is it to have housing costing 12x average household incomes.

Really, folks, how smart is that?

Why aren’t our governments

(1) Building roads and

(2) Releasing crown lands by the bucket-full bringing the cost of housing back on par with median household incomes the way they were back in the Salad Days of Expo 1986? 

Its time we got off the pot with all this weather change (It Never Rains in California) and environmental damage bullish*t and started doing something about it. We can build towns approaching zero-carbon footprint as a limit, and we can make richer, healthier and more vibrant communities building human scale urbanism instead of these ‘smart’ cities full of ‘towers-and-skytrain’ which we can’t afford. 

That’s my question to the candidates at the next Fed election.

‘Smart’ Cities…

‘LEED’ buildings… 

All froth and no substance. That’s my two-cents worth for today.

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