City Development Continued…

You know I saw our new Mayor (Larry O’Brien) talking a couple of weeks ago about our future growth. As with most politicians his discussion of the topic of growth implies that growth is good and necessary. This was an interview on TV and the question where not about growth per say. But this sort of talk is so indicative of a mind set so common. We in Canada live is big country and we take for granted that we have room to grow forever, that water and trees are forever. But really are they? We must start today to think of city growth much more carefully. Ottawa is a special case I think and the residents of this city are too complacent and take for granted just how lucky there are to be in a city that has parks, and paved paths, water (rivers, lakes etc..) just every where. Where we don’t have those parks and wild areas we have farmland, and this is another thing that makes Ottawa unique.

How many cities do you know that have so much farmland included in there city boundaries? Just like wild places, trees and water farmland is a precious resource. If you took a census of all the best arable land in the country how much of that is located near to cities that where found at the beginning of a countries founding or before even that. Why, because markets needed to be close the the products that needed be be sold. That was also connected to you closes source of water.

So how does this connect to city growth. Canada and other nations must look to protect there best arable land as a national resource. When good arable lands falls in or near cities we need to be protecting that resource from development. Nothing pains me more than seeing top qualities top soil being strip off the land to be put down around homes just so they can have pretty lawns or building homes where we should be growing potatoes etc. Why care, well as we put more concrete and asphalt down on our best farm land it requires more input into the poor land just to get the same amount of crops with no inputs on our good to best land. Inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and aside from there harmful effects on the land, the farmer and his/her family and adjacent surroundings, there is the cost to the farmer. As it becomes hard to grow crops in your own country either due to poor land management or climate change we will be force to buy our produce abroad. That is just not smart management or economics.

Presently we are blindly going on just like every other city in the world pretty much… business as usual. But time is on not on the side of big sprawling cites. Just how must oil do we know is in the ground? How many years of oil is left. According to a story I read on the BBC web site some months back many of the Middle Eastern Oil countries are lying about how much oil they still in the ground. And even measuring oil reserves is a tricky business. Do any of us see any new technology that will replace the combustion engine? I don’t. So why are cities, why is Ottawa going about the business of city planning as if nothing will changed? It is not like the next 50 years is going to be just like the past 50 years. So do we go about the business of planning city growth the old school way or do will look for a new path?

Ottawa is the capital of this country and is in the best position to demonstrate what can be achieved by true management of city growth that benefits both the urban, rural and non-human inhabitants.

City development

I’ve been thinking lately on city development. We recently went through a city election here and through there where may topics, one has got my attention. Earlier this year in Vancouver there was a conference. These two events along with some course work in did in university in the 80’s. Part of this work was studying the Brundtland Commission report with I believe made popular the idea of sustainable development.

So I’m thinking… Why are cities always promoting growth and growing. We all realize that even without constant push by city officials, councilors, Mayors to grow their regions, that cities will continue to grow… to be con’t.

Alpha Cam: Runaway Star

So I was reading this site APOD, to quote for the page; “Astronomers have long thought that Alpha Cam was flung out of a nearby cluster of young hot stars due to gravitational interactions with other cluster members or perhaps by the supernova explosion of a massive companion star.” Now I have no problem with celestial mechanics which would see a star flung out of its birth place. But think of the kind of force required to push a star via an exploding star (supernova) and hurl it through space at 60 kilometres per second. This is a star about 25-30 times as massive as the Sun. I find this sort of force stunning. Though the universe hold many for powerful phenomena this sort of thing never cease to amaze me.

movin’ on…

Well one more step in my wordpress/gallery experiment. I’ve got a redirect to gallery to the integrated wordpress gallery. I’ve been testing out my ability to make some pretty pictures for the header and various themes. Yup, boning up on Gimp.

progress on wordpress & wp-gallery plugin

This is slow going. Trying to learn new stuff while doing a million other things. Right now I need to find out how to change the widths of the SlidersV2 theme. Had serious problems with gallery folders and Kenburnslizer plugin. It swamps system take all memory and swap space until the sys. comes to a complete standstill. I figure it will take me several weeks to sort this out.