31 October 2013
“Hi, Chuck, how are you today?”
“I’m mad at this god damned city. You heard about that pedestrian that was run down deliberately at Bank and Laurier. I blame it on the bike lanes and the walk lights with the twelve second warning. Toronto has done away with those and the bike lanes. Our City Hall is planning to spend, I don’t know how many, thousand of dollars adding more of them. They don’t work. I see it at this corner all the time. There, that cab sneaking into the intersection. Watch him. See, he just buzzed between those two pedestrians who had the walk light. The whole world is being taken over by a new divinity, the rich and powerful. They’re squeezing out the middle and lower class, the people like you and me who depend on public services.”
I asked, “So, how do you get here in the mornings? Do you travel the entire way on your electric wheel chair?”
“No, I have a bus pass. Taffy has one too, because she’s a medical rescue dog. She comes with me everywhere, restaurants, appointments. We’re never apart. Where I live, on Robinson, near Lees and Hurdman Station, I’ve got good bus connections in summer. When it snows, I have a problem. They never plow the one block from my place to the top of the hill. I’ve got this whole rigmarole that I have to go through. I go out the back door, come back in the front, use the pay phone and phone City Hall to get someone down to plow that one block. They could do it with the big plows that come around, They start their route nearby. They could do it with sidewalk plow, but they won’t do it on a regular basis, only after I complain to them.”
“How about Paratranspo?”
“That’s a no go. I’ve tried them before. When they picked me up I just wanted to go downtown, ten minutes away. They got two other people in the van, one who wants to go to the east end of the city, one to the far west. It takes about an hour before they finally take me to where I want to go. The only time I take it is when I’ve got tickets to a hockey game. They pick me up, drop me off and wait at a special place when the game is over. I’ve been about seven times this past year. I picked the wrong games to go to. Last time I saw New York whip the asses of the Senators. They paid a fortune for a bunch of seventeen-year-olds who can really play hockey. The time before, our team was beaten by the Leafs. I don’t really care. My favorite is when we play Montreal. The crowd really goes wild. It’s fun to get out. I don’t care how long it takes to get back.
“Do you know what’s wrong with this city? The answer is right beneath our feet — geothermal energy. It’s being used all over the world. With all these new buildings going up, this could be done fairly inexpensively. All they’d have to do is drill down a couple hundred feet where the earth starts getting warmer.
Geothermal energy relies on the near-constant heat source running underneath the earth’s crust, which can be converted into different forms of power. By tapping into the crusts natural fissures, heat from deep underground — in the form of hot water and steam — can be channeled as a low-cost and renewable energy source. While geothermal sites theoretically can transmit energy to far away places, current technology benefits cities along continental plate boundaries or where hot springs are present. http://mashable.com/2011/11/23/geothermal-technology/
It cuts down on fuel consumption. The electric cars of the future will be able to travel five hundred miles on one charge. Recharging will take about an hour. We’d save on gas and oil, but, they’ll drop that idea, it’d start a war. Can you imagine how countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and Iran would take to that. They’re already equipped for war. If they were to join forces we wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Unfortunately, it was time for me to go to work. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Chuck’s ideas.