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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 walks, bikes and rides the ferry around Halifax.
Follow up

Find the calculations that went into determining the “real price of gas” at the International Center for Technology Assessment:

More research on the costs of car culture can be found at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute:
The above article can also be found here:
Also see Tooker & Angela's website:

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Peter Blanchard

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Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:23 am Post subject: green, healthy, alternative transportation, true cost of car Reply with quote

The True Costs of Owning a Car

I want to highlight that right now – even from a purely

selfish, individual point of view – it often does not make

sense to own a car. We need to reconsider the many

personal costs and compromises.

Did you know that the true "effective speed" of a car

– when you take into account all the time you spend

paying for it, maintaining it, etc. – ranges from five

to fifteen m.p.h. (highway)?

This is from "Auto Costs Versus Bike Costs", an excellent

article on the real, personal costs of car ownership. Whether

or not cycling is an option for you, this is an important and

useful article. Don't miss the table of "Net Effective

Automobile Speed", about two thirds of the way down.

To some degree many of us are trapped by poor urban design,

limited public transport, and lifestyle choices we already

have made.
Yet a creative combination of other available options can

often be healthier, less expensive, and overall faster than

owning a car. These include: public transit; cycling; walking;

telecommuting; car sharing; ride sharing; carpooling; renting;

trying to live near where you work or near a major public transit

route; and/or self-employment. Other choices include progressive

career, social and lifestyle decisions that don't force you into

car dependency and a rat-race lifestyle.

For more information, car-free resources, and links to others

who are working on this issue:

Car-Free Living

Green, Healthy & Sustainable Transportation

Sustainable Living Links

Progressive Urban Planning

Groups and Organizations in Ontario (and Canada-wide)

Air Pollution & Climate Change Groups & Organizations

Transportation Groups & Organizations
I currently live in suburbia, own a small car, and am trying to

decide whether to sell it. Of course each of us has a unique

personal situation. But it strikes me that the most difficult part

is that I've become used to the *feeling* of having a car. To

some degree, I've forgotten how to live without one. And I

block out the costs, which for me are mostly in the form

of depreciation, VISA and auto-debit. My car *feels* like

a security blanket, even though in balance, it's anything but.

Keeping it could tip the balance and force me to accept

mainstream, corporate work, rather than continuing to

pursue the social and environmental work I love.
Add to the above the health, safety, social, energy and

environmental aspects of automobile use and the scale

tips even more in favour of the alternatives.
Maybe some of us will take the leap this spring?
– Peter Blanchard

Kingston and Toronto, Ontario

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Joined: 07 Mar 2004

Posts: 39

Location: Montreal, Qc.

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 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:
Article found here:
Also see Tooker & Angela's website:

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Joined: 29 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:02 pm Post subject: Tooker Toronto memorial photos Reply with quote

These are a few of photographs from Tooker's Toronto memorial.


Joined: 07 Mar 2004

Posts: 39

Location: Montreal, Qc.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:11 pm Post subject: SONG: *Tooker (Le Monde à Bicyclette)* Reply with quote

Tooker (Le Monde à Bicyclette)

words and music by Mike Ford
I took a bike ride yesterday and saw a funny world at play

I saw new bike lanes on a street, saw people and slowed down to greet

Green boxes next to blue and grey, posters for a car-free-day

Saw families without a trace of fear enjoying public space

Pedal power in full sway - I saw things in a different way
Le Monde à bicyclette Le monde à bicyclette
Tooker Gomberg never shied away from what had not been tried

With faithful friends there at his side he showed us we could turn the tide

On Adam's Mine and Kyoto, and not go the way of the Dodo

Burnin' passport declarations, buried car commemorations

Robin Hood through town he'd glide, inviting us along to ride
Le Monde à bicyclette Le monde à bicyclette
When the King of Furniture decreed his actions immature

Tooker took aim at his crown and threw the peple's gauntlet down

Which some folks called buffoonery - how accurate they proved to be

For like the clowns of vielle Paris his stock in trade was honesty

Sparking fires mirthfully to melt the ice of apathy
Le Monde à bicyclette Le monde à bicyclette
Sometimes statistics only bore 'em, so he perforated dull decorum

Energized the public forum - what else can one do but adore him

Ask yourself and a make a list and for a spell unclench your fist

For laughter is an activist, look up now see through the mist

Conviction like a lightning flash, dispensed with humour and panache
Le Monde à bicyclette Le monde à bicyclette
I only saw him a couple a' times in person where the tower chimes

Raging at the climate crimes with horns a honkin', words in rhyme

Or juggling by a tent for peace in frozen winter without cease

We wish for him eternal laughter, peace of mind in the hereafter

Inspirin' him as he does we and may we all forever see
Le Monde à bicyclette Le monde à bicyclette
Tooker (Le Monde à Bicyclette) is a song written and

performed by Mike Ford (ananda at

(MP3 format, ~5 minutes, ~5 Megs; AU format, 4 Megs)
Links to Audio in two formats on Angela & Tooker`s Website: Greenspiration! Home [/url]

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Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

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:
- 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

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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


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Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

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

Cellphone: 514-812-9907

Alt.: 514-995-4677

Jiivan Jean Blais Mathieu

velo_rution no spam

[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:

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Joined: 07 Mar 2004

Posts: 39

Location: Montreal, Qc.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:13 pm Post subject: LookingForRIDE, TORONTO toMONTREAL MEMORIAL Thursd.March25th Reply with quote

Looking for RIDE from TORONTO to MONTREAL MEMORIAL Thursd. March 25th

You can call me through these phone #s :

416 516 8961 leave message to Shannon for JEAN

416 516 8961 leave message to Ayla for JEAN

416 591 5455 ext: 241 leave message to Mez for JEAN

ideally looking for ride tonight(Wednesday) otherwise Tomorrow : Thursday MORNING...
Jean Shocked

velo (no spam)[/b]

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Joined: 07 Mar 2004

Posts: 39

Location: Montreal, Qc.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:35 pm Post subject: HALIFAX to Montreal, Toronto or VANCOUVER Reply with quote

Surprised Looking for ride FROM HALIFAX to Montreal, Toronto or VANCOUVER

After (tuesday30th or )WEDNESDAY March 31st
JEAN Smile
to contact me...

CELLphone: 514 812 9907

for messages in Halifax: 902 464 7447
velo_rution( no spam )


Site Admin

Joined: 19 Apr 2003

Posts: 8

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:09 pm Post subject: love, respect and memories from Christina Lake, BC Reply with quote

love, respect and memories from Christina Lake, BC

[posted on behalf of Jody & Jay - ed ]
I am writing to express our love and respect for Tooker Gomberg.
Like many writing to the message board, my partner, Jay,

and I have deeper lives for the brief time we spent with

Tooker and Angela. We met in the mid nineties at a logging

protest in Ontario, and have kept correspondence with both

Tooker and Angela off and on throughout the years.
Tooker's willingness to put himself in harm's way, to take

direct action when he felt it called for, and to draw attention

where it is least comfortable to look have inspired us in many

Angela – our hearts go out to you. We are setting time aside

to say a Blessing for Tooker and for you. March 3rd is the

birth anniversary for our son Rowan (who turned 7 this year).

We will teach him to honour Tooker's memory alongside the

celebration of his birth, that Tooker can continue to mentor

and inspire as he did in life.
With All our Love and respect,

Jodi and Jay in Christina Lake, BC

first part of e-mail address iam ; last part

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Joined: 25 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:13 am Post subject: The Pedalers Reply with quote

For Angela and Tooker

The Pedalers
Pedal and power and glory to the air

The people hear him coming

But wait there is a pair

Two bobbing dashing helmets

two saddles on each side

Four ever pumping pistons

and two smiling faced by pride
Onward in the clearing and scrubbing of the breeze

Ticketing the nations bringing pollution to it's knees

Wheeling out the message with a gasmask in the ink

Composting for the planet making every child think

Now we all can take a lesson from the motion of the pair

Tookers tieless statement and Angela of the Air

Two caught up in the motion of the living life it seems

Two passing out the beauty of the vision of their dreams

So now that one of them has Cycled beyond the borderline

into crystal and to timelessness and recycling of divine

we will recall the echoed bells and the laughter of his charm

and the feeling of his love as it lifted up your arm

The feeling of his energy so concentrated pure

enough to last three lifetimes and the knowledge to endure

We all may follow pathways traveled by this powerhouse of try

Or we can sit by and do nothing till the day that we pass by.

We can complain and we can grovel over milk that long been spilled

Or we can continue on past holes and further nurture will

Like the man of motion greened and proud partner at his pace

will be an eternal flame in history to help to win the race.

That all of us are running and need to see the lead

as it is them who set the pace and set the fertile seed

So remember bells and wheels and the ever smiling face

and the passion for the masses that helped him keep the pace

Yes duplicate the effort and and triplicate the love

that was put out by this man who instilled the will to shove

To push a little harder than the others in his class

To end the day with more of an effort so to pass

So we end this day with memories and keep them evermore

As we say Goodbye to Tooker but never close the door

Yes we can remember Ecocity and the tie that was never worn

And the rolling of his wheels his bell that was a horn

The handcuffs and the Greenpeace and the Circus when in town

were all a part of Tooker as his wheels were spinning round

Yes they were all a part of Tooker the ups along with downs

yes we will never lose the passion as we pass his memories round

Blessings and tears

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

Plummer turns off the tap.

Missing Mirella

To late we hear and see tis said

and tooth is grown long

whilst defending land and passion

and singing prides own song

We seldom know the difference

lest her sounds are no more heard

twixt the welcoming of friends

and her passing with no words

Yes our hair may fall and gray

but the passing of a friend

was missing in our knowledge

till we heard of her sudden end

No class for preparation

No pix to store our tears

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