In the federal Throne speech, Canada again claims to be leading the world on climate change, when in fact we are an international embarrassment. My recent trip to London, England, drove home again how far we are behind. Climate change is a matter of frequent public and private discourse in the United Kingdom, and it is matched by action on many fronts. For example, the already impressive London underground system is undergoing a multi-billion pound upgrade.
But we were particularly pleased to learn that bicycle commuting has doubled in the last five years through a carrot and stick approach. The sticks are congestion and the high costs of driving and parking in the city core. The carrots include a wide network of cycle lanes and ubiquitous cycle parking. Folding bikes, still unusual in Canada, are everywhere in London, and can be taken on buses, trains and tubes as well as shopping. We enjoyed riding a folding bike, and always found the bike/bus/tube combination to be faster than taking a cab.