Friday, February 5, 2010

Two Lists

29 examples of negative environmental mistakes and impacts of the 2010 games:

  1. major highway expansion instead of using rail connections to Whistler
  2. rare ecosystems lost from Sea to Sky highway upgrade
  3. endangered species habitat destroyed in Sea to Sky highway upgrade
  4. encroachment on Grizzly habitat in Callaghan Valley
  5. over 80,000 trees cut down in Callaghan Valley
  6. huge sewage treatment plant built in Callaghan Valley (previously wilderness) to facilitate future development instead of a more sustainable composting system
  7. ski trail cut without proper buffers next to riparian habitat in Callaghan Valley
  8. paving over the red-listed (endangered) wet land in Whistler for bus parking (even though the huge parking lots regularly used by the public will be available for the Olympics)
  9. over 800 old-growth trees were cut in the heart of Whistler village for an unnecessary celebration plaza.
  10. construction that degraded creek at Downhill Course (work went beyond what Biologists indicated was “safe”) despite the fact the existing course has been used for FIS World Cup downhills for years
  11. use of over 4,000 SUV vehicles (often with a single occupant) for Olympic business instead of more fuel efficient transportation options
  12. use of Hydrogen buses with fuel shipped in from Quebec instead of using more electrically efficient options like trolley buses or electric trains
  13. closing cycling routes in Vancouver and failing to implement safe, efficient detours despite promises to do so
  14. poor management of LEED buildings used for venues (unnecessary lights left on 24 hours a day)
  15. hundreds of generators generating excess C02 and dangerous particulate matter (the generators are being used beyond VANOC claims they are needed for and beyond what BC Hydro says they are needed for)
  16. back-tracking on promises to implement renewable energy at venues
  17. refusing offer to use trains for Olympics and using SUVs / buses instead
  18. blacking out energy efficient daylight features at Richmond Oval
  19. using bio-accumulative chemicals at Cypress bowl venue
  20. claiming that the Games are carbon neutral but only offsetting 1/3 of the emissions
  21. failing to account for all the ghg emissions from the games
  22. failing to meet 90% ghg reduction target for energy use at venues
  23. large pollution impact from trucking (and flying?) snow to Cypress Bowl venue
  24. allowing RBC the largest commercial bank financier of the Tar Sands to be a major Olympic sponsor.
  25. allowing PetroCanada the retail arm of the first and one of the largest Tar Sands extractors to be a major Olympic sponsor
  26. allowing TransCanada pipelines which brings products from the Tar Sands to be an Olympic supplier.
  27. allowing General Motors, one of the leading corporate opponents of effective action on climate change to be an Olympic sponsor (Only two years ago, a vice-chairman of GM called global warming a "total crock of shit.")
  28. ammonia leaks from Whistler sliding centre
  29. Sliding Centre that use more energy than all the lifts, restaurants and lodges Whistler and Blackcomb mountains combined but is used by only a small groups of specialized athletes
3 positive environmental projects at the Games

  1. the Olympic Line Street car (a City of Vancouver project)
  2. the Austria House (passivhaus) in Whistler (thanks to the Austrian team)
  3. free biking sharing in Richmond (donated by the Dutch)


  1. 30. They plan to keep that cauldron burning *perpually*, as promo for Terasen. Argh.

  2. I tried to ride one of those Dutch bicycles and they told me I had to have a Dutch passport.