We recently watched a video in-class which was shot in documentary style, and was about the city in Denmark, Copenhagen. In this city they were able to reduce their carbon emissions significantly. They did this through several methods, although the two I want to discuss are making the restrictions of no-car areas, and windmill energy, and how we can incorporate them in a North American setting.
They started no-car areas in Copenhagen. Basically, big areas of the city are prohibited to have any vehicles on them, with the exception of bikes which are emission-free. Banning the use of cars in a busy area can seem unreasonable, but it has worked very well for people in Copenhagen. They all ride their bikes around, and there is always something happening on the streets covered with people now that there are no cars.No cars in a certain area means that you’re cutting carbon emissions, but that’s not the only benefit. People are getting the chance to socialize with each other again and interviews from people on the street show that they are quite happy with the changes. Now imagine if Montreal did this. The amount of cars we have on the streets is outrageous, and by cutting cars’ access to certain areas downtown for example, we could cut our emissions and become more social while doing so. Not to mention, obesity is one of the biggest health issues in North America right now, and the extra calorie burn from walking to that art museum you want to see downtown can help fight obesity and let you shed the pounds. Lower emissions, a better social life, and a better body, all brought to you by no-car zones.
Second, a step Copenhagen has taken is to make farms that run purely on windmill energy. This saves a lot of energy, and it works just as well as oil powered mechanisms. We could easily do the same with the farms around Montreal as they almost all have ridiculous amounts of land, and surely have enough room for a few windmills. Farms use a ton of energy, and if we could get them to run on windmill energy, it wouldn’t solve our problem, but it would be a firm step forward. Even though I don’t believe a city as large as Montreal could run purely on windmill energy, i think we can make a significant reduction in our emissions by incorporating it in our city. It doesn’t pollute, it doesn’t make much noise and it gives free energy. There is no reason for the Canadian government not to push the windmill idea forward. Besides the millions of dollars oil companies are paying them to keep their mouths quiet that is.
In conclusion, the benefits we could reap from no-car areas and windmills are great and many. They can both be easily incorporated into North American society, and can help us lower our carbon footprint. The problem is that the big oil companies don’t want this to happen, and will pay off all the right people to make sure it doesn’t. Also, the difficult part of doing something like this is the first steps. Using windmills and getting no-car areas would be difficult for people at first, but can be adapted to quite easily, and can make a healthier and happier population if incorporated.