Get the car off welfare. Gasoline and diesel fuel taxes should be increased to more accurately account for their true social costs. One study, called “The Real Price of Gasoline,” concludes that if you included the full costs of burning gasoline, such as increased health care costs, damage to the environment, buildings and agricultural crops, time wasted due to congestion and so on, then gasoline would actually cost between $1.88 and $5.09 a litre. Most of these costs are hidden, borne by everyone in society, even those that don’t drive.
As levels of driving go down so too will asthma rates and, as people get more exercise from walking and cycling, levels of obesity will also be reduced. This will bring substantial savings in health care costs, not to mention increased quality of life.
Twenty years ago, smoking in public was commonplace. Let’s hope that in 20 years cheap gas and thoughtless driving will be artefacts of the past.
Tooker Gomberg www.greenspiration.org walks, bikes and rides the ferry around Halifax.
Find the calculations that went into determining the “real price of gas” at the International Center for Technology Assessment: www.icta.org/projects/trans/
More research on the costs of car culture can be found at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute: www.vtpi.org
The above article can also be found here: www.alternativesjournal.ca/special/tooker.htm
Also see Tooker & Angela's website: www.greenspiration.org
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 11:25 pm Post subject: Goodbye Tooker – and thanks (From Alternatives Journal) Reply with quote
Goodbye Tooker – and thanks (From Alternatives Journal)
Alternatives remembers our long-time friend and columnist, Tooker Gomberg, who died March 3, 2004, in Halifax. He had been suffering from depression.
By Greg Michalenko
No one could match Tooker Gomberg’s uncanny ability to instantly invent a memorable political protest, whether goofy or sublime.
A few weeks ago I noticed that someone had put a love seat in an enclosed bus shelter on the main street of Waterloo. The next time I came past, an older bus patron was leaning back on the love seat, boots neatly laid to the side, feet up and arms crossed behind his head. I immediately thought of one of Tooker’s most famous spontaneous actions -- the time when he and his partner Angela Bischoff spotted a love seat put out in the garbage on Rue St. Denis in Montreal. Within minutes the sofa was on the street and Tooker and Angela were hard at work relaxing on it, having a pleasurable afternoon conversing with passersby about the need to reclaim streets for people rather than automobiles. Finally Tooker was given a citation for “couch in street” and was treated to another of his numerous -- but productive -- short stays in jail. Tooker himself labelled it, “probably the most subversive thing I’ve ever done.”
Of course I told the Waterloo bus patron all about this wonderful man called Tooker Gomberg and the now famous incident of couch in street. I remember him chuckling in appreciation and asking me to send along his greetings when I next saw Tooker.
Tooker once said of his current activities, “we’re cross-pollinating like bees.” Certainly many of his projects have gone to flowers, and often abundantly.
From 1992 to1995 Tooker was a city councillor in Edmonton. His presence there was demanding, and often unappreciated or even resented by the more conventional councillors. But when his death was announced in Edmonton, the tributes came pouring in, as they have from all over Canada. The present mayor admitted “there were a lot of things I was not in agreement with Tooker on but I admired him for his grit.”
“He was a visionary in every sense of the word. He provoked people to thought — what a dangerous radical,” said Grey Jones, who shared an office with Gomberg when Tooker was with EcoCity, “the passing of Tooker Gomberg is a passing of innocence in this province. If people could get over his small size and sometimes abrasive nature, they would have seen a sparkling intellect.” Brian Mason, an Alberta NDP member of the legislature, said, “Nobody walked the talk like he did. He really tried to be an example of what he thought we had to be.”
Municipal politicians in Edmonton now admit that this unconventional councillor, who fed pieces of neckties to his office vermicomposter rather than wear them to council, can be credited for saving the city “hundreds of millions of dollars” when he tenaciously fought for water conservation over the expansion of a water treatment plant. They concede that the now operational BusLink 24-hour computerized information line he proposed was not impossible after all.
Gomberg and Bischoff left Edmonton for a two-year bike journey around the world, their wonderful “Greenspiration Odyssey” that sparked their popular Web site www.greenspiration.org/. After that the pair of “velorutionaries” spent time in Montreal, Edmonton, rural Alberta, Toronto, rural Ontario and Halifax starting or assisting in a fabulous variety of environmental and social justice causes, often with an international focus.
In January 2000, Tooker and Angela were joint environmentalists-in-residence at the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. Tooker was a great hit with the students and, despite wearing only a rather dumpy suit and light shoes in very cold weather, happily crawled into a quinzee or igloo constructed for a protest against tuition fees and curled up for the night. Had the students checked out the Greenspiration Web site they would have learned that this curious man was an old hand at applied political snow architecture. It was at this time that Tooker began his association with Alternatives Journal. His last column, “Every Breath You Take,” appeared posthumously in the Spring 2004 issue.
Tooker has left a legacy of accomplishments, challenges and happy memories. A look (or a browse and a read) through the Greenspiration Web site reveals a life that became a work of political art.
A tear for you, Tooker — we loved you dearly. And to Angela, from all of us at Alternatives, our sympathy and love at this time of loss. Our thoughts are with you.
Tooker’s death should awaken us to the need for vigilance and compassion in the environmental community. Is anyone suffering from burnout, discouragement, loneliness or disappointment? Who has been working behind the scenes, out of the limelight, without recognition? Do we listen as much as we need to, and remember to give thanks and hugs? For Tooker’s sake, let’s keep the warmth flowing. One of Tooker’s favourite sayings was “when spiders unite they can tie down a lion.” Get busy, start spinning, all us little creatures.
Greg Michalenko teaches in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and is a member of the editorial board of Alternatives.
Donations in Tooker’s memory can be made to the Tooker Gomberg Greenspiration Fund (charitable) or the Tooker Gomberg Activist Fund at P.O. Box 1242, Station Place du Parc, Montreal, QC, H2X 4A7.
Tooker Gomberg online discussion, announcements, links -- a public online community to learn about and discuss the life and ideas of Tooker Gomberg: www.planetfriendly.net/gomberg/
Article found here: http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/special/tooker_tribute.htm
Also see Tooker & Angela's website: http://www.greenspiration.org
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:20 pm Post subject: RIDE BOARD people going to Tooker's MEMORIALS crossCountry Reply with quote
RIDE BOARD people going to Tooker's MEMORIALS crossCountry
Arrow Need a ride to a Tooker memorial or event?
Arrow Can offer a ride?
Post a brief message as a reply to this one (i.e. click on "post reply" at top left). Don't forget your contact information, but be aware it will be publicly viewable.
Please don't create separate, new topics for ride requests/offers -- just reply to this one.
Other places where you can find ride-sharing, public transit and green transportation alternatives: www.planetfriendly.net/living.html#transport
- Peter Blanchard
P.S. Thanks to Jean/Velorution for this idea.
Last edited by Peter Blanchard on Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:26 pm Post subject: seeking a ride to edmonton a.s.a.p. Reply with quote
LOOKING for RIDE to Edmonton(a.s.a.p.)
by Jean • Tuesday March 09, 2004 at 10:22 PM
I am going to Tooker Gomberg's MEMORIAL in Edmonton Monday 15 March in the evening.
I need a ride leaving Vancouver by Saturday or Sunday morning...
The ride can also be a partial one like: to the Okanagan, to the Shuswap, to Revelstoke, to Quesnel, to Nelson or to Calgary, any fair distance at least 1/3 or 1/2 of the way on a main road..
please contact me
Jean (voice mail)604 682 3269 ext: 9521
I can sometimes be reached directly at
Pumpkin Patch(Peter's): 604 215 7478
or Merlin's: 604 738 2860
Back to top
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:07 pm Post subject: seeking ride to Halifax memorial Reply with quote
seeking ride to Halifax
Jean is looking for a ride to the Halifax memorial,
from Montreal or Quebec City.
Please contact him as soon as possible at
this Montreal number: 514-387-1704
Jiivan Jean Blais Mathieu
velo_rution no spam riseup.net
[Note: "Jean" is pronounced like "John"
but with a soft J, as in French.
Posted on his behalf by the moderator]
Editor's note: other places where you can find ride-sharing,
public transit and green transportation alternatives:
Yes I in agony heard via the net about Tooker passing away. While searching for Angela's number I found out about Mirella Zapone a treasured advocate of Tookers and Angela, having a fatal accident while coming to Edmonton to mourn with others over Tooker's passing . I am still in shock and grief. It was a
double edged sword to find out that way.
It has inspired these words
My heart is heavy for the girl
and will beat weaker without her presence.
We must learn more of the living
The waters of living knowledge can not quench our thirst when the master