Talk Gregor to Us

See invoices relating to Vancouver "Talk Green to Us" advertisement

Getting citizens of all stripes to understand and embrace their part in making cities healthier, and reducing our impact upon the planet is not only a laudable goal, it’s hard work. It certainly is not a marketing plan with feel-good phrases that suggest that we’re the greenest anything. FOI’d some of the costs related to a Vision Vancouver ‘greenest city’ marketing scheme in order to let our readers know what money is being spent. There is also an interesting connection to Gregor Robertson’s key financial and political supporter Joel Solomon. The City of Vancouver ran ads on the webzine of Solomon’s sister Linda, for which she was paid just under $2000.

A glossy video campaign posted to YouTube for the so-called Talk Green to Us (TGTU) campaign cost $15,000. To date the video has been viewed about 2600 times, meaning on average taxpayers paid twenty-five cents per view.

The advertising campaign concept and website in support of TGTU cost another $50,000. We know that ads have run in a variety of papers and online, but do not have a total cost for these at this time. Vision will be quick to point out that Sam Sullivan’s 2-year EcoDensity policy development process cost more, but in the end council unanimously supported the City’s plan to use built form as a way to create livable cities and reduce our carbon footprint.

During his mysterious visit to New York last April Gregor Robertson was invited to a panel on cities and the environment. The Mayor representing Vancouver in front of a group of students and academics argued that people don’t "get" carbon because they can’t see it. Therefore, he argued, that symbols were important.

With this admission we begin to see why Robertson has led the charge on making saving the planet into a marketing campaign. And you can "see" city hall garden plots, chicken coups and beehives.

It could be argued that Sam Sullivan, who carried around a sheet that compared Vancouver’s carbon footprint to other world cities, paid the ultimate political price for making the reduction of greenhouse gases (and EcoDensity) a political priority. By comparison Robertson spends most of his time preaching to the converted.

Tonight Hizzoner will lead a panel of green advocates at a green party paid for out of Vancouver’s sustainability fund, and everyone is invited. It starts at Woodward’s tonight at 7pm. This "slam" is aimed at young and environmentally-conscious folks who will "pitch" their ideas for reducing Vancouver’s carbon footprint. It’s all a part of an advertising blitz to promote TGTU, which you may or may not have seen.

TGTU is not something aimed at people who might benefit from some environmental knowledge. It’s really aimed at people who already cycle, use transit or eat local. To that end the taxpayer dosh poured into this marketing scheme seems wasteful.

Ultimately, the biggest beneficiary of this costly green marketing blitz is one person – Gregor Robertson.

You could argue that Vision Vancouver should be paying for this worshiping at the altar of Gregor the Green. However, compared to Robertson’s office renovations ($260,000), his personal marketing campaign by FD Element ($114,500), the Hornby Bike Lane ($3,200,000), the study to tear down the Georgia Viaduct ($300,000) and dozens of other pet projects done during tough economic times – well, it’s chicken feed.

– post by Mike

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  • Glissando Remmy

    As I was in the middle of reading your comment I checked that link re. the visit to New York and surprise, I’ve stumbled over a post of mine. I made a few changes to it and after some consideration I’ve decided to re-post it as it seem appropriate. So, with your permission, again…
    The Thought of The Day
    “What’s new Pussycat?”
    Nothing. Same Ol’ Same Ol’.
    I perplexedly continue to watch this Vision performance the same way one watches a surrealist theater performance in a real theater… it’s real but it’s fiction, it’s fiction but it’s real as well, huh!? We are in act Two, scene One. What happens in act Three, scene Two? Or at the end of the play? That’s what bugs me.
    Which brings me to the game of Chess. Any of you playing? Let me explain. A Bad player,usually a beginner, doesn’t know how the ‘Knight’ moves. An Average player loses in 5-7 moves to a Good player who plots 4-5 moves ahead. An Excellent player, thinks of at least 7-8 moves ahead, similar to having a mental Apple Martini while seated in a ‘bumping into someone of significance’ meeting. Dirty. A Chess Master player however, plays ‘blind chess’ with you from Saint Petersburg, and already beat you half an hour ago. You just don’t know it yet.
    Are you still with me? Good then, what do you think happened at City Hall recently, let’s say in the last almost two years? Was it the new dramatization of the ‘Barefoot in the Crap Park’, or a Chess tournament that they put on? Nope!
    Tell you what happened.
    MONEY FOR NOTHING. Yes, too many people getting on the ‘Money For Nothing’ trough. That’s what happened, all right.
    And you don’t need to be some government spook, or a CSIS hotshot to realize that some foreign ‘elements’ are busy at work in our City of Total Apathy. Browse through Vision’s election ‘innocent’ contributors list and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Smoke and mirrors.
    Ballem. This lady was resurrected from her little Medicare racket and then shown the money. Lots of money.
    Aufocks, a rather mediocre bureaucrat from…Chicago, who’s profile was pumped up handsomely by the same nice fellows who hired Penny, jumps soon after her as No. 2 in Vancouver.
    Only the No1 and No2 that low flush to mind in an environmentally friendly way.
    Now, look at the Juice Boy. The classic Cinderella Man, Peon, Prince and Pauper, ‘Successful Businessman’ and wearer of many hats. Oh, really?
    Because what I see, it’s completely different from what Vision’s PR machine wants you to see. I did not tasted their food, drink their refreshments and wear their free give away merchandise. I rather did my own cooking, made my own lemonade and wore my own clothes so I preferred to look at Robertson from a ‘glass half empty’ point of view.
    Success in my opinion doesn’t come through a PR media release, it should be something that you are recognized for, something that you build and build and build, during a lifetime long adventure. Robertson? Well, not so much. Think about it for a moment.
    Sailor and wanderer. Retired on shore after a while.
    Farmer. Suntanned for a while, Sold to other… farmers.
    Juice maker. Rescued, by other people’s money.
    Politics. Provincial. Abandoned.
    If he did not win the Mayoral race in 2008, he would have been ‘terminated’. IMO. Unfortunately for all of us, he won.
    I said it before and I’ll say it again:
    “Congratulation my dear Agent of Change, you are now …’activated’!” said the Controller after the results from that November 2008 election came through.
    “Hmmm. So Many Things to Do and Change, and People to Replace, …..So Little Time!” came the reply.
    But there is always hope. One way to make them show their true colors is to pull a “King Solomon trick” on them. And then watch them do what they’ll always do, splitting the Baby Vancouver in half! You think? Trust me on this one!
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.
    For whomever has the time, and wants to read more about the World’s New Racket, the newest type of intellectual terrorism, the Eco-Terrorism, I recommend as a must read, from the last ‘The Economist’ the article ‘Asset leasing in Chicago – The Big Sell’ or how I would have named it ‘The Big Con from the Windy City – privatization of the public assets for the price of a Klondike bar’ , but that’s me. Read it here:
    or from EENews an older article ‘FINANCE: Sale of Chicago Climate Exchange to ICE reinforces weak carbon market’ (ClimateWire, 05/03/2010) here:
    And of course, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt,read between the lines, and ask yourselves the question, ‘Why are all this Eco- Leeches trying so hard to convince you it’s good for? you. I know you’ll do it!

  • Add to that the costs of firing and retiring senior staff. But it’s still all a drop in the bucket compared to the eventual cost of the Olympic Village.

  • Frank N

    @Glissy This distaste and concern about Gregor may never transcend his dashing appearance. In fact, it’s money in the bank for Vision and they know it.
    Take note of this Tweet.
    “Gregor Robertson has to be the warmest, most down to earth mayor ever.”
    Who is Maggie Langrick? She’s an editor at the Vancouver Sun. Arts and Entertainment, yes, but a person of influence within the news operation of BC’s biggest newspaper.
    All the things you raise as concerns about the Vision Vancouver council are trumped by a man’s smile and the cut of his suit. Sorry, but that’s just life.

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Thought of The Day
    “Twitter, twitter on the Net,
    Who’s the newest Vision Pet?”
    (dedicated to Maggie)
    Frank N,
    Thanks for your comment.
    What can I say? I registered an account with them more than a year ago. The moment I clicked on the Send/ Register button my heart sinked in. Why should I be part of one of the most idiotic forms of communication? Since, I left one message, and forgot about it. Couldn’t care less, in fact I did not tell anyone until now. Twitter is a cheap form of self-entertaining. Reassuring yourself that someone out there likes you, or at least wants to stalk (they call it ‘following you’ in there) you. So, people ‘contribute’ now and then, really important thoughts in the same way my kitty ‘contributes’ to his little litter box.
    Maggie Langrick.
    OK. She’s an editor at the Vancouver Sun. Never heard of her before. Not a biggie. And I’ll leave it to that.
    Vancouver Sun BTW, it’s the best paper in town, big enough to make a paper coif hat!(there, right there,a good honest twit) Anyway, I read her twit. Sure, now that I single handedly contributed at doubling her Twitter traffic, I feel guilty. That twit is a cry for help…and attention.
    Regarding Van Sun, a paper that in many respects is an affront to anyone trying to save the Planet (hint, hint). The bankrupted , corrupt owners could save ‘a forest a day’ – simply by stopping printing out these Frankenstein Editions. Oh, Maggie. Her influencing powers go as far as a cinema audience during a showing of a Mel Brooks comedy. IMHO. It’s all so…mundane.
    I’ll leave you with a ‘twitter’ of mine in order to try to level the playing field a bit…
    “You really have to get to know The Gregor to dislike him.”
    Me? I’m not worried. His bags are packed. Already, by the door. The City hall’s main entrance. One never knows, I may be of ‘influence’ too! 🙂
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • NoHST

    I don’t believe in the way Vancouverites are letting their guard down. What a gullible bunch they have become. How on Earth it is possible for an obviously educated, very insightful and literate person like Glissando, to write from the cover of a pseudonym, when all he’s doing, is telling it as it is!?
    All, while the Vision Sellebrities are basically appropriating this City? They are all over, in front of the cameras, on the airwaves, on the net, lying to us, ridiculing us, laughing at us. Backed by big ‘curious’ money, from people with real vested interests, with everything planned in advance behind closed doors. God only knows when, where and for how long they were doing this.
    Alex GT, Mike K, Daniel F, Mike H, and others I can’t remember, from that Hit List, all classy reporters, columnists and profound investigative journalists, are attacked in the deep shit media, called MSM, by the very ones that call themselves…journalists, reporters, editors…
    Hurray to all of you that stood up for all of us. This is a city under siege, is a city divided by the very treason of some of our so called leaders. ‘Vision de Vichy’ would be more appropriate for their political Party name. As for the ‘Mayoral ass kissing into a red pulp’ words coming from the twit of Maggie Langrick,…why did I have to have clam chowder for lunch? Despicable.

  • boohoo

    Conspiracy theory much?
    You guys are good times.

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Thought of The Midnight
    “I think that the majority of dogs do not conspire to pee on the fire hydrants. But for some reason, they all do.“
    Keeping that in mind, you don’t need a clear conspiracy for a conspiracy to exist. As long as the ‘conspirators’ act upon a common goal there is no need to meet in dark basements, draft minutes in invisible ink, you know, conspire in the traditional ways.
    All you need is a retreat, a training campus on a remote island, a bottomless sack of money and bodies to fill the seats for your initiation seminars – preferred topics, ‘Eco-terrorism for Personal Gain’ and ‘Ridiculing the Deniers’ Techniques’. Oh, wait they already have that, plus a 500 years plan!
    You may need to refresh your memory, boohoo. Here:
    My dog’s favourite meeting place is the red Fire Hydrant No. 5, half a block West of my house. That’s where he and his furry buddies are planning their next move on the Critical Mass biking issue. It is rumoured that next month’s route will include our quiet street.
    They think I don’t understand what they are barking about, but I do, they’ve just finished assigning the duties. Who is chasing rubber, who is biting butt, who creates the diversion, who barks… you know logistics. I hope you’ll not be one of them bikers, bitten by one of these dogs, boohoo. I’d hate to think of you having to get tetanus shots for no good reason.
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • boohoo

    So no invisible ink, just a training campus on a remote island. Interesting that a political party and the members of that party, one elected in an overwhelming majority are now considered ‘conspirators’ because they get together and make plans to implement policies they were elected to implement.
    As to the 500 year plan, heaven forbid a politician look beyond his/her term. What a grotesque idea!
    But hey, I know all about it. Gregor and I regularly sip happy planet while dreaming up ways to screw over business and cater to our elite brethren of cyclists and community gardeners.

  • “As to the 500 year plan, heaven forbid a politician look beyond his/her term. What a grotesque idea!”
    I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s talk at SFU by Long Now Foundation president Stewart Brand. Long-term thinking is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of our era, ie ‘our only hope.’

  • Mary

    Thanks, Chris. Don’t confuse Brand’s open conversation with Solomon’s confab at Hollyhock with Newell & other ‘social change’ disciples though.

  • DJ Vancouver

    Boohoo, man, oh, man you have no argument here buddy. Obviously you did not revisit that citycaucus post for which glissando provided a link. Do it. And you’ll find your own precious comment too:
    thousand year reich?
    submissive puppets?
    secret agendas?
    Come on people–is that the best fear mongering you can come up with?
    boohoo replied to comment from Treeman Capooty | June 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Reply”
    You haven’t changed a bit Gregor. Keep changing the subject Magee and spin, spin… How is that mustache of yours going Quinlan, still no luck?

  • DJ Vancouver

    You scare me Chris Keam.
    You probably missed the fact that we are here on this Planet on a temporary basis only. This kind of ‘longnow’ organizations with phantasmagorical goals like theirs, makes me wonder on the sanity of the people involved and/or most likely the level of their arrogance.
    Which reminds me of a joke:
    “After listening in silence for almost an hour, one of the students in the audience raised his hand and asked the Professor:’Excuse me Sir, did you say that the Sun is going to extinguish itself in about 1 million years?’ ‘No, that was 1 Billion years, young man.’ came the reply. ‘Oh, for a second there, Sir, you’ve got me real worried!’
    Let the Planet Earth take care of itself the way it did for Billion of years ahead of us, and if it turns out we are the next Dinosaurs so be it, and guess what, you and your non-profit phony groups can’t do anything about it. But you can fake it, that’s for sure.

  • RealityCheck

    No now DJ…don’t be so harsh. As Chris’ VACC organization has shown, there’s good money to be made in running a “Green” non-profit. In fact, you can even get paid by various governments for your activism. Beats the heck out of working.
    Most reasonable people believe that there’s things we can do to help the environment and cut down on GHGs. In fact, many of us are taking rational steps without blowing up society as we know it. Compared to the rest of North America, Vancouver is already one of the most environmentally aware and friendly cities on the continent (if not the world). So, whenever radicals like the mayor, Chris & others of his ilk go about chastising people who are doing something for not doing enough, it turns moderate people off the cause altogether.
    Take England’s 10:10 campaign. It started out as a reasonable, government/media backed campaign to encourage people to take ten steps to reduce their emissions by 10%. Perfectly sensible.
    Then some radicals at the top end of the campaign approved a distasteful, frightening mini-movie called “No Pressure”.
    They’ve withdrawn it and apologized since, but it doesn’t explain how any rational person could have signed off on it.
    Think about the attitude this film portrays the next time you hear Gregor making one of his “China is much better on the environment than us” flubs.

  • May

    That was gross man! I LOVE IT! I want to show it to all my friends. No wonder how a former hooligan/ turned tree hugger/ turned activist/ and now turned ‘the queen of green’ aka Tze-Tzeporah Berman of Hollyhock fame. Go figure.

  • Gliese for VV

    I heard it on the news. Scientists have discovered a new planet named Gliese 581G, similar with our Earth. Some twenty light-years from us, a three generations span -time travel. My question is , can’t we build those Hollyhockers bums & followers, a mother rocket-ship big enough for all of them, and send them there instead?. By the time they reach Gliese , they will have a fully operational 500 years plan. But wait. Tough. If the Planet is not inhabited by little humans that could be fooled by the newcomers into working for them, they might have to ‘work’ for themselves which is a contradiction in itself as that’s not something that’s imprinted in their genetic code.
    Or, God forbid, even worse, they might be taken as home-ins, and PUT to work! That would be unbearable. Just terrible.
    As Reality Check put it ‘…activism. Beats the heck out of working.’

  • “So, whenever radicals like the mayor, Chris & others of his ilk go about chastising people who are doing something for not doing enough, it turns moderate people off the cause altogether.”
    This is of course nonsense. It’s what people who want to entrench the status quo say when they are afraid that people who are supporting change are making progress.

  • @Mary
    “Thanks, Chris. Don’t confuse Brand’s open conversation with Solomon’s confab at Hollyhock with Newell & other ‘social change’ disciples though.”
    Don’t confuse my support for long-range thinking as a tacit approval of a particular group or party.
    Despite DJ Vancouver’s ill-thought-out comments, one need only take a look at human history to see how many of our institutions are thousands of years old.
    This observation by Danny Hillis (a Long Now board member) is a beautiful encapsulation of the benefits of planning ahead:
    “I think of the oak beams in the ceiling of College Hall at New College, Oxford. Last century, when the beams needed replacing, carpenters used oak trees that had been planted in 1386 when the dining hall was first built. The 14th-century builder had planted the trees in anticipation of the time, hundreds of years in the future, when the beams would need replacing. Did the carpenters plant new trees to replace the beams again a few hundred years from now? ”

  • I should point out the Oxford story is more fable than fact, but I think the lesson it holds is very relevant.

  • RealityCheck

    Chris wrote:
    “So, whenever radicals like the mayor, Chris & others of his ilk go about chastising people who are doing something for not doing enough, it turns moderate people off the cause altogether.”
    This is of course nonsense. It’s what people who want to entrench the status quo say when they are afraid that people who are supporting change are making progress.
    No…It’s actually about people who believe in evolution over Gregor’s version of creationism.
    Environmental change can’t come about without alternative energy. All of the bike lanes and chicken coops in the world can’t change that. Alternative energy has to be the focus. Creating artificial gridlock (which is what bike lanes and VACC member supported Critical Mass rides does) just ticks off those who are ALREADY taking steps towards saving the environment.
    U.S. cities like Chicago and New York are light years behind us in even simple recycling. Vancouver has been a beacon of environmentalism for at least the last 20 years. But the zealotry of “creationists” here are turning people away. Vision wants a 500 year plan on the environment? They’re creating an atmosphere where the citizens of this city will dismantle and dismiss environmental “creationism” for decades to come.

  • Definition of GRIDLOCK
    : a traffic jam in which a grid of intersecting streets is so completely congested that no vehicular movement is possible.
    The bike lanes aren’t creating gridlock. If that were the case it would be happening regularly. It would be the lead item in traffic reports. But the fact remains. You can listen to every single radio station’s minute by minute traffic updates and never hear Burrard, or Dunsmuir, or any bike route ever get mentioned in relation to traffic congestion.
    The idea that one lane of a bridge and two lanes from the downtown road network could have any significant negative impact on traffic patterns simply doesn’t stand up to closer scrutiny. We regularly see lanes taken away from through traffic and given over to parking. It happens on a daily basis on Broadway and Cambie and countless downtown streets. But, because we have built the road network with enough capacity to handle rush hour, traffic flows, albeit more slowly. But, it’s not gridlock. Not even close.
    Blaming cyclists for pollution is like blaming a dieter for your own overeating… because they left too much food on the buffet table.

  • “VACC member supported Critical Mass rides ”
    That is an outright lie and a deliberate smear. The VACC has no connection to Critical Mass. What a gutless remark, esp. from someone who won’t even put their real name to their lies.

  • david hadaway

    The Oxford story is not so much “more fable than fact” as entirely imaginary! A large variety of such tales are recounted by tourist guides throughout the country.
    Other things they didn’t have in the Middle Ages were focus groups, stakeholder panels, PR companies and marketing campaigns. They did have rulers who squeezed gold out of the citizenry, however, and then spent it on favourites and schemes of personal aggrandizement.

  • @David
    Lots of fables have an important lesson couched within them. I think it’s prudent to think about what our planet might look like a millenia from now, or even ten thousand years. There are plenty of examples of human inventions that are thousands of years old. We still write on paper. We still carve wood and stone with tools essentially unchanged since their inception.
    What lasts? It’s an important question.

  • RealityCheck

    And yet many members of VACC participate in Critical Mass and it has not been condemned by VACC’s executive.
    And as for my name…well, we’ve seen how vindictive Vision and their supporters have been to their opponents.

  • boohoo

    A member of group X takes part in event Y therefore group X supports event Y?
    Tenious at best my friend.

  • “And yet many members of VACC participate in Critical Mass and it has not been condemned by VACC’s executive.”
    Many BCAA members drink and drive, or fail to observe traffic laws such as speeding, running red lights, using handheld mobile phones, and failing to yield to pedestrians at intersections. No one suggests that it’s their job to purge their membership of all those lawbreakers, who present far more danger to the general public. The VACC regularly states that cyclists should obey all traffic rules and regulations, so once again RC, another lie, perpetrated in anonymity, as befits a liar.
    “And as for my name…well, we’ve seen how vindictive Vision and their supporters have been to their opponents.”
    I wouldn’t want to put my name to a deliberate falsehood either. No worries. You’ve got a job to do, and it’s the kind of work best done from the shadows.

  • Birdy

    Would riding in the critical mass be considered “supporting” it?
    Have any past or present members of VACC ever taken part in the ride?
    If the answer to the first two questions is “yes”, how is saying that CM rides are supported by VACC members a “gutless lie”? Support doesn’t have to mean official organizational or monetary support.
    Didn’t you guys already have this exact argument?
    Was that 103-comment exchange simply not pedantic enough?
    What I really don’t “get” is your continued animosity towards anonymous posters. To me, an idea is easier to analyze fairly when there are no predetermined prejudices based on the occupation or history of the person who introduced it. As the Vancouver “blogosphere” becomes more ad hominem-centric, it’s quite understandable why many people choose to remain anonymous.

  • Max

    Many BCAA members drink and drive, or fail to observe traffic laws such as speeding, running red lights, using handheld mobile phones, and failing to yield to pedestrians at intersections.
    Well, at least you’ve found common denominators between cyclists and drivers.
    Didn’t Meggs blow a stop sign resulting in his injuries and didn’t our good Mayor blow a red light and cut off a bus????
    As well, I believe he defrauded the public with his 2008 Sky Train fare evasion.
    I am a firm believer that ‘management’ should lead by example.
    So far – not a great example.

  • Bill

    Dreaming about 500 year plans may be a stimulating intellectual exercise but it bears no relation to the real world. China and India are probably going to determine what our planet looks like over the next 100 years and, I may be wrong, but I don’t thing your green, granola theories of Gaia will play well there which is probably why you are all here. Anyways, please keep promoting the idea as it helps to discredit your other opinions.

  • @Birdy
    “Support doesn’t have to mean official organizational or monetary support.”
    Then there’s no point in attaching an organization’s name to the participation of individuals, unless it’s an attempt to create guilt by association.
    Membership in an organization, even at the executive level doesn’t imply support for an individual’s actions. The current gov’t has a number of MLAs and employees who have faced charges for various infractions and crimes. Am I to presume the government supports fraud, DUI, and similar offences?

  • “Dreaming about 500 year plans may be a stimulating intellectual exercise but it bears no relation to the real world.”
    Oh really?
    The American Constitution.
    The Magna Carta
    The Bible
    The Torah
    The Koran
    The Pyramids
    The Sphinx
    The Great Wall of China
    The Roman bathhouses in Bath
    The Democratic system
    The Royal Family
    Macchu Picchu
    Countless European cathedrals
    The Nazca Lines
    Cave Paintings from France to Uluru
    Angkor Wat
    More dang paintings, tapestries and sculptures than one can shake a stick at.
    and on and on and on. All very real. All built to last. All incredibly important and valuable expressions of human imagination and endeavour. In the long run, we’re all dead, but if carefully considered and constructed, our ideals and institutions can survive and offer guidance and knowledge. Passing along wisdom is about the most important job we have as humans. Thinking about how we might do that is a part of the process. That’s the real world.

  • “What I really don’t “get” is your continued animosity towards anonymous posters. ”
    I have no problem with people posting anonymously, unless they use that cloak to spread misinformation. The only time I mention it is when someone uses the privilege of anonymity as a means to make false statements about real organizations or individuals.

  • david hadaway

    @ Chris
    ‘What lasts?’
    An important question. What I would suggest is that it is rarely the top down, big ideas of the elites, for whom ‘Ozymandias’ should be compulsory reading.
    As an example, the long established community driven gardens and scraps of land tended by enthusiastic individuals are likely to continue to thrive. The politically funded, corporate supported, tax subsidized gardens will for the most part disappear into the graveyard of so many other long forgotten initiatives.

  • @David:
    What lasts? Ideas mostly. And Ozymandias is a good reminder of that. The poem will probably outlast all the stone edifices I mentioned. But we get big ideas that last by having conversations about the far-fetched, the enduring, and the seemingly outlandish. Everything worth doing requires tossing aside a lot of slag to find the veins of precious material. We can’t do that unless we are willing to think about the far-away future, and to imagine where we want to be as a people long after we are dead as individuals. The sneering disregard for a five hundred year plan, let alone a 10,000 year frame of reference is, to my mind, an admission of defeat, and acknowledgement that we can’t match the successes of our ancestors whose work and thought managed to get us to this point. I can’t share that pessimism and fully intend to challenge anyone who thinks we can’t at least exhibit the same vision and reverence for the human spirit as the people who have preceded us.

  • George

    Never and Forever
    don’t really exist,
    Not yet and So far…..

  • Oh fergawdsakes. Who’s talking about never or forever? 500 years is a blink of the eye even by the relatively short human time scale. 10,000 years is but a heartbeat geologically speaking. The surest path to extinction is to NOT think in those time frames.

  • George

    How characteristic of you to slam my comment…. actually I think you are on full blown diversion mode….
    Lets talk about the topic of the day…
    I found the most recent article posted today, showing the MLA Gregor Robertson”s letter to the last NPA council is a great place to start…

  • david hadaway

    Appropriately enough I’m doing some work on the foundations of my house today, they’re a hundred years old and with any luck, once I’m finished, it’ll be another hundred before they need to touched again. However, it’s raining so a perfect excuse for a break!
    Of course there’s nothing ridiculous about considering the consequences of our actions for the long term future and aspiring to leave a permanent legacy. However you can hardly deny that long term plans for social engineering have earned themselves a very bad reputation so it’s hardly surprising that they are greeted with a mixture of suspicion and ridicule. And a good thing too!
    Having had the pleasure of admiring Durham Cathedral, the Coliseum and Milan’s central station among other monuments recently I can equally thank God for not having to live under the feudal invaders, the slave empire or Fascist tyranny that respectively built them. As to the effects of the ‘holy’ books you mention, well isn’t the rough estimate that about 800,000,000 have suffered violent deaths thanks to varying interpretations of their meaning?
    OK, so back to Vancouver. Obviously I’m not comparing Mr Robertson to William I, Domitian or Mussolini. But illusions of power do seem to have taken hold in the city government. And let’s remember that’s all it is. The government of part of a medium size urban area whose first duty is to ensure the efficient functioning of the mundane tasks of governance to the benefit of all citizens.
    It the perceived failure to achieve even this, while flirting with cultish obsessions – I know you may well disagree with those opinions – that drives so many people to distraction. In ordinary life I like to think I’m a calm, tolerant person. But seeing the waste, the ineptness, the greed, the unreflective arrogance…
    Time’s up, back to the concrete mixer!

  • Higgins

    ‘U.S. cities like Chicago and New York are light years behind us in even simple recycling.’
    True, Reality Check.
    Now let’s see, where did Robertson go for a short while…to ‘visit’, and from what other corrupt American city did Vancouver Vision got Sadhu Johnston as Deputy CM?
    Why? My point exactly.

  • Bill

    Chris, there is a big difference between a 500 year plan that charts the course for what is going to occur and building something that can last for 500 years if it survives the twists and turns of history. Your list consists of the survivors of history and not the result of our ancestor’s 2,000 year plan.
    We have many serious issues affecting us at the local, national and international level. Musing about the next 500 years is an indulgence most people living today cannot relate to and will not have any impact on how we deal with these issues.

  • Higgins

    ‘But seeing the waste, the ineptness, the greed, the unreflective arrogance…’
    Loved that last line, David.
    And the rest.
    Chris lives in his own Cortes ‘Fantasy’ Island. We already lost him to the Hollyhockers. So it’s a dead issue here. But the fact that he’s serious about the 500 years plan, oh, that’s scary. Religion and now the Eco-Bullshit are two of the biggest ‘faith based’ rackets in the history of humanity. And we are under continuous attack.
    Let’s look at his list:
    ‘The American Constitution,The Magna Carta,The Bible,The Torah,The Koran
    The Pyramids,The Sphinx,The Great Wall of China,The Roman bathhouses in Bath,The Democratic system, The Royal Family,Macchu Picchu,Countless European cathedrals,Stonehenge,Avebury
    The Nazca Lines,Cave Paintings from France to Uluru,Angkor Wat…’
    Books written by wicked men, and not by their imaginary friend; odes to ego maniacal warlords, and ideas claiming that there is such a thing as ‘Aristocracy’ and the rest of us… I wonder when did the first king know he ‘was’ the King? He walk one morning and he said to his lads ‘ You know what? I’m the King so you go suck a sock!”
    But that’s for Chris to tell us.

  • I wasn’t aware we had ever met Higgins.
    Of course the American constitution and Magna Carta were precisely the kind of documents written to reel in the power of Kings and stand the test of time, but hey, that’s a minor quibble I guess.

  • George:
    Your comment got slammed because it was stupid. Bring something constructive to the conversation and it will be treated as such. As for diversion, note that it was the patron saint of City Caucus (Glissando Remy) that originally brought it up. Take it up with him/her.

  • “As to the effects of the ‘holy’ books you mention, well isn’t the rough estimate that about 800,000,000 have suffered violent deaths thanks to varying interpretations of their meaning?”
    Mentioning them isn’t the same as recommending them. I don’t think the Pharoahs were smart to kill thousands to memorialize their own vanity, but they clearly built for the long haul.
    The point, and I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear enough on this account, is that there are plenty of examples of human works that have lasted for hundreds or thousands of years. Your examples are good ones. We can learn from them and build on those experiences. But not if we don’t choose our course wisely. We all know how a small error at the start of a long journey can mean missing the destination by a vast distance. There are core principles that have stood the test of time. It’s not silly to revisit them and try to see how they might manifest themselves in 10,000 years. That’s the kind of leadership we need… not lurching from crisis to crisis, which seems to be a common theme of criticism for the current council. What a curious paradox.

  • George

    Constructive works both ways Chris, and when you deny me my freedom of speech..because I don’t follow your agenda….
    well I guess that is the old Democracy cubed again isn’t it.
    Your holier than thou crap is exactly that….IMHO or are you going to deny me that as well….funny thing is Chris, you know me:-)

  • Max

    And we have the Hornby St. businesses crying ‘Listen to us Gregor!’
    Mayor shrugs off another bike lane survey
    Janet Brown | Email news tips to Janet
    Vancouver’s mayor isn’t putting much weight in a survey showing 92-per cent of Hornby Street business owners fear a negative impact on their business if a separate bike lane goes in.
    The survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business also estimates sales losses will average 23-per cent.
    Mayor Gregor Robertson doesn’t believe fewer parking spaces will mean less business on Hornby.
    He says people are accustomed to going around the corner and parking on a side street.
    He also says there’s an enormous amount of underground parking that’s not being utilized.
    Council votes on the bike lane tomorrow morning.
    Robertson was speaking on the Bill Good Show on CKNW.

  • “Constructive works both ways Chris, and when you deny me my freedom of speech..because I don’t follow your agenda….”
    Citation needed as they say. Where have I suggested you shouldn’t speak?

  • “funny thing is Chris, you know me:-)”
    I know a lot of people. I’m a popular guy. :-). Must be my charm.

  • Glissando Remmy

    Sententia Dies
    “Pater noster, qui es in cælis: sanctificetur nomen tuum; adveniat regnum tuum; fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra. Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie; et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris; et ne nos inducas in tentationem; sed libera nos a malo.”
    Dedicated to Chris, only the other Saxophone Player on France’s Band, on board the Vision’s Train Wreck, lead by conductor Gregor First Tuba, under the direct supervision of Joel, Kapellmeister of the Second Coming.
    In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.
    Sancte Glissando, ora pro eo
    Nos ago Vancouverus quod servus nos districtus.