Ontario’s ECO says It’s the end of the world!

Cooked! says the enviro commissioner in her last, histrionic report

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), Dianne Saxe, released what appears to be her final “independent”* report on March 27, 2019 — it was full of hyperbole!  A CTV article issued after her news conference at Queens Park about the report carried this quote from her:  “If the world can’t hold together on the Paris Agreement we are toasted, roasted and grilled.”

The Saxe quote immediately reminded me of a very humourous Beyond the Fringe video from 1961 titled “The End of the World”. The cast: Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett are seated, huddled, on the top of a mountain waiting for The End of the World. Needless to say, the “End of the World” didn’t arrive so they agreed to meet “the same time tomorrow” in case it did.

End-of-the-world claims are common these days, it seems: in 2009, Al Gore claimed the Polar Ice Cap would be entirely melted in five to seven years. Turns out to be another wrong prediction, but the humour was missing, much as it is missing from the ECO’s remarks to the media and in her report.

Ms. Saxe’s lead in to the report is titled “FOSSIL FUEL CONSERVATION WOULD FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE WHILE SAVING ONTARIANS BILLIONS” and the report itself is titled: “A Healthy, Happy, Prosperous Ontario 2019 Energy Conservation Progress Report, Why we need more energy conservation”.

We heard very many similar stories in the past about how Ontarians could “save billions!“

If one looks back to an article from October 29, 2004 Dwight Duncan, then Ontario Minister of Energy, was defending the $2.3 billion cost of smart meter installations. In a media report “Duncan wants the meters installed so residents and businesses can save money by using electricity in off-peak hours. He says Italy saved so much money that consumers there did not have to pay for the meters. But he doesn’t know if Ontario electricity users will be that lucky.”

Needless to say, we weren’t that lucky!

Several years later when George Smitherman held the post of Energy Minister he testified April 9, 2009 before the Standing Committee on General Government in respect to the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. One of his offerings to the Committee was the big promise: “We anticipate about 1% per year of additional rate increase associated with the bill’s implementation over the next 15 years. Our estimate of cost increases is based upon the way that we actually amortize costs in the energy sector. The research contracted by the official opposition does not. Their report apportions capital costs without consideration of the life of the asset, or, put another way, they didn’t amortize those costs. Their report counts the costs for conservation programs without providing any benefit for reduced consumption by the consumer.”

The new ECO report is 268 pages reiterating these same messages we ratepayers and taxpayers have been hearing, over and over again, for the past 15 years. Is Ms. Saxe unaware the Ontario voters reduced legislative seats held by Liberal MPPs to seven and the principal reason behind their fall from grace was the energy/electricity file? In searching the report, the words “electricity conservation” garners 175 hits and the word “electricity” generates 799 findings. The word “renewables” provides 66 hits and the word “billion” is used 53 times.

Ms. Saxe sincerely believes the world will come to an end unless Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers freeze in the dark or pay dearly for any energy consumed!

Ontario’s ECO wants Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers to reduce their fossil fuel consumption** while China’s power industry has called for hundreds of new coal power plants to be built by 2030. They have asked the government to allow for the development of between 300 and 500 new coal power plants by 2030 in a move that could single-handedly jeopardize global climate change targets.

That puts a damper on what Ontario might hope to achieve to prevent being “toasted, roasted and grilled”. Perhaps if each of the taxpayers of the province were paid the $207,676.40, the “Sunshine List” disclosed Ms. Saxe was paid in 2018 as the ECO, we would be happy to absorb higher prices for electricity or could buy an expensive EV to reduce our fossil fuel consumption. Until that happens, Ms. Saxe should tone down her expectations!

Ms. Saxe should realize if we are freezing in the dark it is difficult to be “happy, healthy and prosperous”!

Until then, let’s meet “same time tomorrow.”

PARKER GALLANT

*The Premier Ford led government has decreed the ECO should in the future report directly to the Auditor General.

**Fossil fuel consumption in Ontario in 2015 was (petroleum products and natural gas) 2,269 pj (petajoule) with a value of $16.8 billion according to the report and Ontario generated GDP (gross domestic product) of $618 billion meaning fossil fuels contributed only 2.7% of our GDP.

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Author: parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog

Retired international banker.

5 thoughts on “Ontario’s ECO says It’s the end of the world!”

  1. If it were somehow possible to immediately and simultaneously stop all carbon dioxide (note: not carbon) emissions from Canada, Australia, and the U.K. (each responsible for about 1.5-1.7% of worldwide emissions) it would take less than one month for the ever-increasing emissions from China to replace that “missing” CO2.

    Dianne Saxe – purveyor of fairy dust.

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  2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has developed a mathematic model with which it attempts to measure the impact on average global temperatures by 2100 of emissions reductions made before that time. If one accepts the premises and methodology that underlie this model, the full implementation of country commitments made prior to the Paris Agreement, including the sustained implementation of those commitments to 2100, would reduce average global temperatures by about 0.017 degrees from their present path, according to analysis done by Bjorn Lomborg. The IPCC has estimated, however, that avoiding the 1.5 degree increase in temperatures would require that global emissions decline by at least 40 to 50% by 2030 and reach “net zero” by 2050.

    According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, global GHG emissions from fuel combustion in 2017 totalled 33.4 billion tons. Canada accounted for 1.6% of this total.

    The following table shows the greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade of the two main groups of countries in the world, those of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which are generally the more developed market economies and the rest, loosely referred to as the developing countries. The OECD includes 36 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.

    Table 1

    Grouping 2007 2016 2017 Growth Rate

    Mt Mt Mt 2006-2016 (%)

    OECD 13630 12399 12448 -0.8

    Non-OECD 16449 20619 20996 2.9

    World 30079 33018 33444 1.3

    Note that the emissions growth from the non-OECD region totalled 4547 Mt, significantly exceeding the emissions decline in the OECD region of 1182 Mt. In fact, non-OECD emissions grew almost four times as fast as OECD emissions declined. By 2017, the non-OECD region constituted 63% of global emissions. The OECD countries could all disappear, and produce no emissions, and the 2050 IPCC goals would not be reached.

    Now place Canada into this context. The Canadian climate change policy is to reduce emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 and by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2050. Canadian emissions were 704 megatonnes in 2016. To reach the 2030 target, they would have to decline by 192 megatonnes, and to reach the 2050 target they would have to decline by 338 megatonnes.

    The entire emissions from transportation in 2016 were 173 megatonnes. So, you could eliminate every car, SUV, truck, bus, aircraft, train and marine vessel in the country, and you still would not achieve the 2030 target. The 2050 target could not be attained if you eliminated all the transportation sources (173 Mt), all the heavy industry (81 Mt), and almost half the oil and gas operations (80 Mt out of 183 Mt).

    Unattainable targets that would ruin the Canadian economy and have no effect on global emissions trends or the climate – maybe the Environment Commissioner should address that.

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  3. Robert, Great information. Thnks for t

    A kind person brought this 1989 AP article to my attention. link to article here: https://www.apnews.com/bd45c372caf118ec99964ea547880cd0

    Archive
    U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked
    PETER JAMES SPIELMANN
    June 29, 1989
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.

    Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.

    He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

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  4. I can now see how far from capable of acting on her obligation to protect communities she is. I am surprised a person this bizarre could be in a position of government, ignoring reports of harm, pursuing her own religion. I am very happy she is out of her post.

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