In a rare demonstration of a nearly non-Leftists bias, the Toronto Star printed an article that shows that it’s still capable of presenting slightly balanced views of contentious issues. In this case, it offered some visibility for a realistic presentation from the Organization of CANDU Industries (OCI) which offered clear insights into the effects of replacing two proposed nuclear reactors with the equivalent in renewable sources. In particular, the OCI demonstrates the physical scale of both the solar and wind turbine installations that would be required to match the energy production available from a nuclear site measuring 1.6 square-kilometers. In the end, the Star’s article simply took this issue as another opportunity to discredit nuclear energy, by (indirectly) claiming that the facts aren’t complete.
So in an attempt to right the scales abit, we’ll off our own slant on the subject as well…
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;
Any body who’s ever felt the approach of a train before they even heard it, or who’s heard the distant rumble of thunder (from lightning they can’t even see), can easily grasp how the persistent power of low-frequency energy/sound can travel for surprisingly long distances. This physical fact is at the root of a growing issue with Wind Power. Unfortunately, this is also an unpopular subject for discussion because it invokes images of hypochondria, psychosomatic symptoms and other prejudices about mental health, as well as the worst kind of self-serving NIMBYism.
More importantly, many us who seek clean, renewable energy options are often all too eager to dismiss any rational discussions around issues that might seem critical of wind power, in our zeal to follow a more direct path towards self-actualized sustainability.
Yet those are still aren’t valid reasons to avoid addressing the realities of wind-generated power, while searching for better solutions as a result. Even amidst the rush to ‘Green’ Ontario’s power grid through the the most politically expedient, yet possibly short-sighted methods possible, there are still issues that need to be addressed. At the very least, the results of pushing ahead with green plans at all costs will surely become more clear in hindsight.
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.
Like most other industrialized societies Ontarian’s have been getting indoctrinated with the lofty ideals of renewable energy for quite a few years now, and thus are quite well prepared for both the daunting costs and perceived benefits of developing greener sources of energy. So even as our hydro bills begin their ascent skyward, as a result of the current provincial energy plan, most Ontarians are still waiting to see the visible evidence of any full-scale deployments of solar and wind energy projects that we’ve been assured are the most beneficial forms of renewable energy. As a result, even the most apathetic energy consumer is starting to suspect that there might be a disconnect between the ‘Renewable’ rhetoric, and the reality of our current plans for energy production, distribution and consumption.
Four years ago, the ruling Liberal government gained the favor of both Environmentalists and Industrialists by promising wind and solar solutions that would not only pave the way to a cleaner Future, but also drive the local manufacturing economy to new heights. Unstated in these goals is a very real possibility that what might also be powered by these announcements were the political favor and fortunes of those who might stand to benefit most…