Re: City council meeting on the proposed Environment Lethbridge (EL) council held on Jan. 14.
The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (July 19, 2012) also tells us that "energy pervades all aspects of our lives and is a key element of our social fabric." Energy impacts our environment; energy is our economy; they cannot be distinguished.
The issue of correct environmental conduct by citizens or industry was not the question at the council meeting. Our level of consumption, solid waste management, transportation demands and utility energy uses are impacting our life daily. There is ample science-based information that our present level of consumption is not sustainable. More and more energy is required. All life processes are energy based. Production and the wise use of energy is the issue.
To manage our energy-driven society needs information on energy acquisition, energy uses and their impact on the economy, climate, health and food supply. This information has to be integrated into city planning projects such as location of schools, industry, food outlets and bridges. City hall does not have the benefit of such information.
Acquiring project-relevant, science-based information, understanding it and explaining it to the citizens and city council requires high level of expertise. This expertise would have to be acquired for EL. Good information costs money. Planning for the long-term is city hall business. This requires that EL is an integral part of city hall business. EL would also provide input to provincial energy and environmental regulations. Collaboration from our local academic and research institutes and industry is expected.
Informed planning is urgent as our problems are pilling up daily, as we grow and consume. "The future is fraught with peril if we do not get it right." (Senate committee)
Energy Collegium and Southern Alberta Group for the Environment