Putting the fossil fuel energy era in perspective. Four generations beginning to end?

This past weekend I attended a Vancouver Heritage Foundation event to place a plaque on the site of the first gasoline station in Canada, at the corner of Smythe and Cambie in downtown Vancouver. Established by my grandfather’s cousin, and manned by his Uncle, the Imperial Oil station opened in June 1907.

Just over 100 years later, my company, and my family’s, mission is now to reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels in buildings. Hopefully, within my lifetime, and certainly within the lifetime of my children, we will see the effective end of fossil fuels. Will that be 20 years? 40 years? 60 years? I don’t know, but it will happen.

This really puts the fossil fuel era in perspective…four generations to a family but little more than a few milliseconds in time when compared to the human experience. In this ridiculously short time, what damage have we done?