We all have a role to play
CREATING PORTRAITS AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Sometimes human beings need a real shock to our sensibilities to realize that something needs to be done. The weather nightmares that have hit British Columbia during this past year – with the dreadful heat, the subsequent fires and now the flooding – has focused the mind on the climate crisis. With all the discussions and not very satisfactory words coming out of that COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in the past weeks, we decided to do our part and look at buying an EV – electric vehicle. The discussion in our household is probably much the same as it is in other homes. It usually starts with – how much will it cost? And then, which manufacturer has the best reviews? This means a trip to the drug store to get a copy of Consumer Reports. After poring over the magazine for a week or so – not me, mind you – a couple of likely vehicles are discussed. Then there’s the vehicle we have now – a pretty good one that hasn’t given us much grief over the seven years we’ve had it. It is a fourwheel drive, which we need in the winter to get up the driveway. So the questions are: Should we trade it in? Should we sell it privately? What will we get for it? Should we get an SUV or a hatchback? This discussion goes on for quite a few weeks before actually talking to a dealership. The call is made. And we then hear from the dealership employee every day for a week. We ask questions: Q: Do you have a charging station? A: Well, no, not yet, but soon. Q: Do you have a mechanic who knows how to fix an EV? A: Well, no, not yet, but soon. And then the final time, we take a deep breath and actually drive into a dealership and ask the question, Do you have any EVs we can look at? No, they won’t be here for at least two years, we don’t have a charging station and we don’t have an EV mechanic. Now, I’m not griping about all this. And I’m certainly not whining about the dealerships. I’m sure if we went further afield, we could find an EV and get the federal and provincial rebates which the car companies will have taken into account when they quote you the price – which you will have to do some haggling over. It is the way one buys vehicles. It’s all very well to have the EVs for sale in the urban centres with the changing stations and the qualified mechanics but think of all those commuters driving into those urban centres after, hopefully charging their vehicles overnight out in the rural areas. Seems to me like we have that backwards. Speaking of charging stations, an outfit called Electrify America has now “reached a milestone of 200 ultra-fast EV charging stations and over 830 individual charging stations” in California. Fourteen of the ultra-fast chargers are solar-powered. Although it’s terrific that we do the blue bag recyclable thing, it’s just not enough to change things in a way that will avert the climate crisis. Changing the way we live is going to be hard, and we all need to pick something concrete that we can afford to do. But it has to start somewhere. Anne Crossman is a former journalist and media manager. She now does volunteer work in her community of Centrelea, Annapolis County.