EDITORIAL: Electric transit is taking off, but are we taking a big enough leap?

Things are buzzing in the electric transportation world these days. On Tuesday, a gaggle of reporters gathered in Richmond to watch the first test flight of Harbour Air’s new all-electric passenger plane.

It’s still more proof of concept than it is a scalable solution, but all technological revolutions have to start somewhere.

According to stats released in late November, 10 per cent of all new vehicle purchases in B.C. are for EVs compared to just 3.5 per cent elsewhere in Canada.

And today, we bring you a story about TransLink beginning a study on the feasibility of a new low- or zero-emission SeaBus to replace the 1977 Burrard Beaver. While we’d love to see some progress on a rapid transit line to Vancouver, that’s not realistic in the short term.

We are excited to see these important steps. There is no question we have to transition away from oil to fuel our toing and froing. Transportation accounts for 37 per cent of B.C.’s carbon emissions today.

But we fear greatly that we are taking small steps at a time when we need to be taking giant leaps, here and around the world.

A new federal report released this week has found the arctic permafrost is melting faster than anticipated, bringing hundreds of billions more tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, further stoking the fires of global warming.

As noted climate activist Bill McKibben has said: Winning too slow on climate change is the same as losing.

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