The ‘politics of power’ is an age-old conundrum where controlling people and capital often becomes more important than actually managing that power to produce the original and intended results. Take ‘public works projects’ as a fine example of how more energy can go into bickering, back-room deals, and bloated bureaucracy than into just getting the job done. The ambitious Niagara Tunnel Project here in Ontario isn’t just a remarkable feat of engineering, it’s also a fine example of how politicians and bureaucrats are able to kick a ball around for as long as they want, because they know that the public purse will get stuck with the bill for any overtime costs.
All of which begs the question; how can the public truly demand more accountability from it’s public servants and politicians, or has this type of wrangling simply become an accepted feature in our over-financed plans to try and build a sustainable future?
If we consider just how much energy gets wasted in process and procedures, and how much capital gets siphoned off into padded margins and under-scrutinized overruns, we can start to see scenarios where short-term benefits can actually hurt long-term outcomes. The answer to our public accountability question could be a defining force in whether that future actually gets built or not.
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.
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.