Mark Hird-Rutter during a presentation on solar panels earlier this year at the Chemainus United Church.  (Photo by Don Bodger)

Mark Hird-Rutter during a presentation on solar panels earlier this year at the Chemainus United Church. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Climate Solutions group tests the public on greenhouse gas emissions

Carbon tax and solar panels also hot topics during informational session

Chemainus Climate Solutions had a successful day during the Giant Street Market in Chemainus, with 112 people participating in a game created by the group.

The game asked what produces the most greenhouse gases in Canada. The categories were: moving us around, moving our stuff around, our food and food waste, generating electricity, heating our buildings, and oil and gas extraction and refining.

People voted with a rock in a series of flowerpots. Conversations about climate change and the role of humans in accelerating it ensued.

And the answer: the highest producer of greenhouse gases in Canada is oil and gas extraction and refining.

One Chemainiac woman who stopped by has a very low carbon footprint, pointed out Climate Solutions member Mark Hird-Rutter. She has no TV, washer, dryer or fridge.

“She looked bright and healthy and enjoyed life,” noted Hird-Rutter.

Solar panels was another topic that’s his specialty. He enthused about the ones on his roof in Chemainus and how great an investment they are.

Carbon tax was also a hot topic with most people clearly not understanding how it works or what it is supposed to do. All they see is the word ‘tax.’

Carbon tax defined, according to Hird-Rutter: “A tax on carbon could help cut greenhouse gas emissions. It levies a fee on the production, distribution or use of fossil fuels based on how much carbon their combustion emits. The government sets a price per ton on carbon, then translates it into a tax on electricity, natural gas or oil. Perhaps calling it Carbon Pricing would work better. CBC reports that Canadians are mostly worried, but not prepared to spend any money fixing the problem.”

Anyone who’d like to join Chemainus Climate Solutions can contact Diana Hardacker at 250-246-4463. The next meeting is Friday, Sept. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at the Chemainus United Church on Willow Street. Entrance is via the back door.