Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller "Silent Spring" came out in 1962 and is widely heralded as the book that ignited the environmental movement.
On April 22nd 1970, the first earth week event ever held was logged on a date nestled between two of the most tumultuous bookends in human history - World War II and the end of Cold War era. During this happiest of times for North Americans, personal income taxes were in the 80-90% range for top earners, yet both the economic and V8 muscle car engines of the day were firing on all cylinders.
My how times have changed.
Today, books like Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate" and Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" are aiming to rebalance the environmental and economic equation for a generation that has been apathetic towards policymaking that might might slow GDP. At the forefront of the economic slowdown has been the auto manufacturing sector, at least in terms of job creation. But are we about to turn the corner and head to what author Jeremy Rifkin calls the 3rd Industrial Revolution - the sustainability revolution?
Sometime in 2017, a few very exciting EVs, new energy storage technologies for renewables and hopefully some new and courageous environmental policies from major GHG emitters could really be a tipping point. The convergence of these above-mentioned technology sectors will cause, I think, an explosion of interest in electric vehicles and maybe lead to an ecofiscal rebalancing.
At a regional level and as a clean tech consultant, I am seeing greater interest than ever from environmental groups in transportation electrification. Our local EV club, the Golden Horseshoe Electric Vehicle Association (GHEVA) (pronounced gee-vah) is getting triple the requests from eco-community groups compared to last year to have electric vehicle displays, EV show and shines and EV demonstration events. It seems the broader sector enviro folks are starting to understand the merits of electric vehicle technology and everyone knows a sexy Tesla electric car draws a crowd and puts smile on everyone's face.
No longer is April 22nd the one and only day to celebrate living sustainably. Earth Day has expanded to Earth Week and even the weekends before and after April 22nd. It's a lot of fun for EV owners to get out in the community after a nasty winter and talk with the public about EV technology. Prospective EV buyer beware, some passionate EV owners have been known to talk your ear off.
Here is a list of events that I will be attending over the next couple of weeks on behalf of GHEVA, Sun Country Highway and EV Life Magazine. Hope to see you soon.
- Hamilton/ Burlington Earth Day - Apr 18th 10 am - 4pm
- Burlington EarthWeek @ Central Library - Apr 18th 10 am - 3:30 pm
- Cogeco Cable - Apr 22nd 11am - 2pm
- Raptorfest Grimsby Peach King Centre - Apr 25th 10am - 3:30 pm