Ontario is well ontrack to be one of the first industrialized jurisdictions in the world to eliminate coal-fired electrical generation. The original plan was for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to transition to a lower carbon future by phasing out the use of coal at its four remaining coal-fuelled stations by the end of 2014, but things are proceeding ahead of schedule already! This possibility is due to wide a variety of contributing factors, with one of the most compelling ones being a clear option to convert these plants to burning BioWaste – if indeed the cost of natural gas proves to be too volatile or costly by comparison.
Of course, there’s a whole range of other considerations to factor into this decision, and alot of due-diligence still to be performed. But the considerable economic and ecological benefits to converting bio mass and waste into usable fuel has everyone at OPG considering the very real possibilities of a BioWaste fueled future.
So…After having to endure so much more global ennui this past month, EnviroNauts are going to try and take a more local approach to plotting-out sustainable Futures for ourselves…
- Earth Hour 2011
March 26th saw Earth Hour come and go here in Toronto, and astoundingly for a city so bent on demonstrating its political correctness, the initial visibility enjoyed by this annual event is showing signs of flickering right out.
What started as an easy way to for armchair environmentalists and idealists of all types to make a token, yet satisfyingly visible gesture about kicking their energy habits (even just for an hour) has now seemingly fallen right off the radar for most people…at least for this year anyhow. See pics below;
Recent pronouncements by such self-imagined luminaries as George Lucas have certainly stolen abit of Mayan thunder from the ancient Gods with their psuedo-prophetic pronouncements that the Winter Solstice of 2012 would be the last one that we’d ever get to enjoy…Before the world (as we know it) begins it’s inexorable slide back non-human nothingness. Yet despite the scoffs and jeers of many jaded media consumers, who easily brush off such well-promoted mania as just so much movie-making pre-publicity, it’s alot harder to ignore the reality of things when notable scholars and men of social convictions such as Noam Chomsky start to mark out the signs of an early exit from this great big theater that we all know and love as our Modern Human Condition.
Unfortunately Chomsky doesn’t have anywhere near the same reach that Lucas does – at least not where it comes to promoting himself via the publicity machines that propel so much of the entertainment world to greater heights and lows. So everyone is left to collectively seek out such wisdom independently, and share the results from a more grassroots level for observing and reacting to any sudden sea-changes.
Someday people will look back and wonder what could have possibly been the causes for such unprecedented increases in electrical costs on the average Ontarian – all without there being any truly impressive expansions in infrastructure or generating capacity to show for it all. The groundswell of grumblings from ratepayers has already become loud and clear as people are starting to demand reasons for our seemingly hyper-inflationary energy market. At the very least, are expecting some clarified views of any long-term benefits that might come from this short term pain. Otherwise, this information vacuum could really start to seriously damage our social structure and erode our trust in elected officials to not simply hoodwink an entire energy market with shallow short-term promises, and gouging new long-term rates.
Astoundingly, the Government continues falling well short of the mark in their communications efforts, seemingly without any thought for the political consequences.
Unfortunately this superficial approach leaves the electorate to slowly succumb to all sorts of nagging doubts. The most obvious one being that these mounting energy costs could have somehow been better managed by indentured public servants who remain immune to the negative and corrective effects of a truly free-market system. Or that bloated bureaucratic and political posturing has likely also created added costs that have simply been passed down onto the backs of ratepayers.
You can share your own thoughts, and add some new answers in in a quick survey below…Or just consider what others have been thinking and saying to date.
It’s no secret that an enormous amount of energy has been getting wasted for decades on grossly inefficient building designs, and their heating cooling systems in residential homes, but most especially so in commercial buildings. Yet both politicians and the mainstream media have been eager to promote the many new standards and initiatives that have sprung up to change this historical trend in these times of energy austerity, and ecological awareness. So it’s been unsettling to many of the professionals within the many related fields that seek to build more efficient structures to hear growing rumors that LEED building registrations were down this year. yet today those rumors have been substantiated, and the other shoe has dropped…