The OCAA is Seeking Future Blackouts for Quebec in the Winter

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) under Jack Gibbons was busy throughout 2021 making the rounds of various cities and municipalities throughout Ontario convincing them they should tell the Ford government to close all the natural gas plants in the province.  A total of 32 cities and municipalities joined hands with Gibbons thanks to inept (the only descriptive that made sense) councils and told the government of Ontario to shut those gas plants.  Gibbons somehow convinced them Quebec has a huge surplus of hydro generation that will easily replace those gas plants when our power demand needs them.  Apparently, none of those councils bothered to investigate Gibbons claim.

Gibbons bio indicates he is an “economist” and reportedly “studied economics at the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen’s University (M.A.) and the University of British Columbia“!  We should have serious doubts about his claim based on the rhetoric associated with his push to close the gas plants. Gibbons comes across like a pitchman selling snake oil in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

If any of the mayors or council members bothered to do even a little research they would have discovered Quebec’s peak demand occurs in the winter.  Hydro Quebec encourage their ratepayers to use less power during the December to March period as 61% of households use electricity to heat their homes versus only about 17% in Ontario.

If the Ford led government in Ontario responded to the OCAA desires the results would have a negative effect on households in both provinces but in particular Quebec due to their peak winter demand*. 

A recent four (4) days of cold winter weather in both Ontario and Quebec dispel the “Gibbons/OCAA” notion!  Ontario was called on to provide considerable power to Quebec over those four days and without the availability of our natural gas plants (most of which were built to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation) our ability to provide that power would have been close to NIL as our Ontario demand was also relatively high.

Over the four days commencing January 13th through to January 16th we exported just over 106,000 MWh (megawatt hours) to Quebec for an average of 1,104 MW/hour and the peak day was the 16th with an average of 1,410 MW/hour.  Over those four days Ontario’s gas plants generated just over 395,000 MW so we were able to provide our neighbours with what they needed (27% of our gas plant generation) to keep those electric furnaces and baseboard heaters operating so they would avoid blackouts and freezing households.  We provided those 106,000 MW at an average cost of less than 5 cents/kWh based on the HOEP prices over those four days so their cost didn’t drive up Hydro Quebec’s energy prices whereas Ontario’s ratepayers lost money on every kWh exported.

Carbon Credits please

Perhaps Hydro Quebec should either provide Ontario with “carbon credits” or pay the Federal “carbon tax” for the power supplied, allowing us to recover some of the costs for that natural gas generated power to keep them warm. Unfortunately, Ontarians should doubt that will ever happen!

* In Québec, peak periods occur during winter because so many of us heat our homes with electricity.

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

Mandate Letters from PM Justin Trudeau has Canada Targeted for a “Net-Zero” Economy”

Back in June 2020 an article posted on Canadians for Affordable Energy titled,How best to shut down the Canadian Economy? It’s Complicated!” highlighted emissions reductions via the push for high carbon taxes versus government funding (grants) for building retrofits, purchase of EVs (electric vehicles), transit system electrification, etc. etc. along with regulations to achieve the objectives. My view was to oppose those suggestions as either would cause irreparable harm to Canada’s economy.

Fast forward to the recent election which gave the Trudeau led government a minority, but he acts as if he had received a majority. It is therefore no surprise, both of the above methods of going “green”; with the net-zero” emission target, is now firmly entrenched!  Trudeau and his large contingent went to COP26 in Glasgow and committed Canada to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. That suggests he may have cut a deal for support from the NDP before he left or his puppeteers wrote his script.  He sits as Canada’s Prime Minister and recently issued “mandate letters” to his newly appointed cabinet ministers in addition to: President of the Treasury Board, President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Leader of the Government House of Commons.

Each of the thirty-eight (38) letters he issued contained the following paragraph indicating he, or his puppeteers, are confident we will build that “cleaner, greener future”:

The science is clear. Canadians have been clear. We must not only continue taking real climate action, we must also move faster and go further. As Canadians are increasingly experiencing across the country, climate change is an existential threat. Building a cleaner, greener future will require a sustained and collaborative effort from all of us. As Minister, I expect you to seek opportunities within your portfolio to support our whole-of-government effort to reduce emissions, create clean jobs and address the climate-related challenges communities are already facing.

There are many smart people around the world who clearly enunciate; the science is not clear and conclude there is much more that affects climate change than mankind’s emissions.

PM Trudeau believes reducing emissions, as he promised at COP26, will create clean jobs at little cost. Those were the promises made to us in Ontario!  Dalton McGuinty and his right-hand man, George Smitherman, promised Ontarians those same things and the puppet masters behind that Provincial Liberal Party (Gerald Butts, Ben Chin, etc.) are now pulling the Trudeau strings.  An example follows:

Mandate Letter to Stephen Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Trudeau’s mandate letter to Stephen Guilbeault, Minister, Environment and Climate Change is but one example of the mandate letters! It contains thirty-nine (39) commitments most ofwhich require Guilbeault to deal with other Federal ministries as well as the provinces and territories!

The following is one (1) of the 39 commitments in the Guilbeault mandate letter;

To achieve Zero Plastic Waste by 2030:

  • Continue to implement the national ban on harmful single-use plastics;
  • Require that all plastic packaging in Canada contain at least 50 per cent recycled content by 2030;
  • Accelerate the implementation of the zero plastic waste action plan, in partnership with provinces and territories;
  • Continue to work with provinces and territories to ensure that producers, not taxpayers, are responsible for the cost of managing their plastic waste;
  • Work with provinces and territories to implement and enforce an ambitious recycling target of 90 per cent – aligned with Quebec and the European Union – for plastic beverage containers; 
  • Introduce labelling rules that prohibit the use of the chasing-arrows symbol unless 80 per cent of Canada’s recycling facilities accept, and have reliable end markets for, these products; and
  • Support provincial and territorial producer responsibility efforts by establishing a federal public registry and requiring producers to report annually on plastics in the Canadian economy.”

As a presumed follow-up to the Mandate letter, Guilbeault’s Ministry issued a “News Release” on December 21, 2021 which presumably starts the response to his boss’s (Trudeau) instructions: 

The Government of Canada’s approach to banning harmful single-use plastics is based on evidence, facts and rigorous science. The proposed Regulations brought forward today are grounded in the findings of the Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution,* which the Government finalized in October 2020 after examining hundreds of scientific studies and other sources of evidence, which confirmed that plastic pollution is everywhere in the environment and that it has harmful environmental impacts.”

The quote in the press release from Minister Guilbeault indicates the “plastics ban” is a reflection of their plan for the plastic “circular economy”!  The upcoming bans on plastic products include the following presumably as stage one of the transition: checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws.

Reflecting on Trudeau’s mandate letter and Guilbeault’s plans one should wonder:

1.Did Guilbeault use a polyester rope to illegally climb the CN Tower?

2.When Guilbeault climbed the CN Tower was he wearing a polyester work suit?                                      

3.Are the glass frames around his glasses made of hemp?

4.Does the bicycle he has hanging on his wall have any fossil fuel components like say the tires?     

5.Is Guilbeault aware the solar panels he installed on Ralph Kleins house cannot be recycled?                       

6.Will Guilbeault impose tariffs on imported goods and “single-use” plastic packaging material protecting those goods? 

7.Will he insist China does what he is telling Canadians to do?

 *From the report:“In Canada, it is estimated that 1% of plastic waste enters the environment.“                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The Ministry of Silly Wokeism should be the Mandated Name for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Anyone who was a fan of British comedy in the last century will no doubt recall “Monty Python and the Flying Circus” which aired from 1969 to 1974 and they may even recall one of the funny sketches, called; “Ministry of Silly Walks”.

The memory associated with the foregoing sketch came roaring back after reading the Toronto Sun’s editorial titled: “Electric car sales quotas are a bad idea”. “The federal government wants half of all new passenger cars sold in Canada to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and reach 100% by 2035“. The article also claimed: “Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault is now saying the country needs a national mandate to force auto dealers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles.“

A visit to the Natural Resources Canada website reveals; “The transportation sector is responsible for 27 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada. Light-duty vehicles – the cars, vans and light-duty trucks we drive – are responsible for almost half of that total.”  If Minister Guilbeault had math skills and bothered to work out Canada’s emissions from ICE vehicles he would discover they represent 0.056% of global emissions which is less then China emits in one day! 

It is also humourous to find out Guilbeault doesn’t ride his bicycle back and forth from his Montreal riding to Ottawa and instead is apparently chauffeured in an EV.  This was disclosed when he was granting $9.5 million to Quebec to add fast-charging stations on a summer day when he was Heritage Minister. The short video in which he appears has him saying: “My ministerial vehicle is 100% electrical and I can tell you we need to charge when were between Montreal and Ottawa.“ The distance between Montreal and Ottawa is only 198.2 km.  The foregoing is an indication of what is worrying about replacing ICE vehicles with EVs particularly with Canada’s cold winters when EVs loose much of their range.  The winter’s effect on EVs was highlighted in a consumer report recommending, when purchasing an EV you should “Double Down on Range”! The article went on to say; “EV buyers who drive in colder climates should strongly consider getting a car with a range about double what their daily driving needs are, so they’re not left stranded in a cold snap.”

Guilbeault should note: “The record for coldest day in Ottawa history is minus 33.1C, set back in 1996“ so, perhaps he should consider dumping the EV and get chauffeured in a reliable ICE for those trips back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa or at some point he may find himself stranded.

Minister Guilbeault should also realize the costs associated with how much more will need to be spent on the charging infrastructure for EVs. A U.S. based study indicated what Canada’s expected costs would be noting: “this country’s equivalent required total investment in charging infrastructure works out to about $10.5 billion.“  The present budget for Canada’s “Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program” is a miserly $280 million spread over 5 years so represents only 2.7% of the requirement. 

The facts noted above will hopefully spur Minister Guilbeault to drop his concept to mandate the push for EV sales!

Should he refuse to drop the proposed mandate we should all sincerely hope the Ministry be retitled as The Ministry of Silly Wokeism!

Energy Poverty the One Economic Activity Growing in Developed Countries

Four years ago, I penned an article about how the GEA (Green Energy Act) had driven up “energy poverty” in Ontario.  The article was supported by data from various sources with the principal one being an OEB (Ontario Energy Board) report from late 2014. The OEB report determined Ontario households experiencing energy poverty numbered either 606,000 or 713.000 based on the two data sets used and represented either 13.5% or 15.8% of all households! The report was initiated by the then Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, who was looking to launch a new support program as electricity prices had jumped and many households were seeing their electric power cut-off by their local distribution companies.

Now, fast forward to a report by CUSP (Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners) in October 2019 titled “Energy Poverty in Canada” who used 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada and noted households experiencing energy poverty in Ontario had increased to 1,138.065 or just over 22%.  The chart from CUSP’s report below highlights PEI as the province with the highest percentage of households experiencing energy poverty at over 41%.  PEI gets “roughly 98% of power generation from wind farms” with the balance from New Brunswick.  

It is worth noting Canada is not the only country experiencing an increase in energy poverty as reports out of the UK and the EU also highlight how the push to de-fossilize the electricity sector is doing the same thing to households in many other “developed” countries. 

One article dated November 29, 2021 was about Scotland, where the recent UNCOP26 “climate change conference” was held. The article noted there was “a 139 per cent increase in people seeking debt relief support,“ but only a “41 per cent increase in debt relief given out by energy firms, which has resulted in more people disconnecting from the grid year-round.“ The article went on to quote the chief executive of the Wise Group who prepared the report and quoted him stating: “Almost a quarter of Scots live in fuel poverty.”                                     

An article appearing in the magazine “Energy Industry Review” and their website from August 10, 2021 was headlined: “Energy Poverty: A Time Bomb Waiting to Be Defused“ suggests the UK and many EU members are already in dire straits in respect to energy poverty but it varies widely from country to country. The below chart notes some countries have less than 10% of their population experiencing “energy poverty” whereas other countries like Greece and Bulgaria experience over 40%.  The article stresses the geographical differences in EU member countries and how both heat and cold play a hand in causing energy poverty.  The article appears intent on ensuring the EU stick to its goals of reducing fossil fuel consumption and emphasizes money allocated (EUR 312.5 billion of the Next Generation EU [NGEU]) by the EU for improving buildings and homes to make them more fuel efficient is needed.

Yet another article, mere days before COP26 kicked off reported “4.5 million Britons are desperate, facing cuts to welfare, rising energy prices and a long, cold winter.“  It provided a few specific examples noting how energy costs had doubled.  The article also said; while the UK Energy Regulator, Ofgem, caps energy price increases the caps “only apply to households on a standard variable tariff. The rest have little protection. And those reliant on prepayment meters are particularly vulnerable“.  It appears the UK’s PM Boris Johnson’s push for net-zero emissions and renewable generation as the means to achieve his goal is failing miserably. The foregoing was clearly demonstrated by those off-shore industrial wind turbines failing to deliver power requiring coal plants to come back on line to avoid blackouts. It appears those coal plants will be needed for the future too!  The shortage of natural gas, evident in the fall, is not expected to improve until the new Nord Stream 2 Gazprom pipeline receives the blessing of Germany’s regulator followed by approval of the European Commission. Both approvals will take time.

It now appears obvious the push by most developed countries to achieve the “net-zero” emission target by 2050 is futile unless the reputed WEF (World Economic Forum) forecast “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and be happy ” has changed to “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and live-in energy poverty”!

Norway’s Virtue Signal is Shallow Whereas Canada’s is Harmful

A press release from the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Todd Smith on December 1, 2021 bragged about the province’s support for the “Ivy Charging Network” (a joint venture between OPG and Hydro One).  The press release stated: “The deployment of charging infrastructure will see ONroute locations along highways 401 and 400 equipped with at least two EV chargers at each site, with busier sites equipped with more.“ The press release went on to quote Minister Smith saying; “This deployment will reduce barriers to EV ownership, supporting Ontario’s growing EV manufacturing market.“ Hopefully, the message was simply meant to augment the agreement by the Ford and Trudeau led governments to provide Ford Automotive with $295 million each to save the 5,000 jobs at their Oakville plant by converting it to manufacture EV!

The announcement brought to mind a recent article, with a related video, about Norway and their claim to be “the world’s top market for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by market share“!  The article was about testing 20 different models of EVs and hybrid vehicles to determine their loss of “performance” in cold weather (defined as from a high of 3°Cto -6°C). The short video in the article indicated the average loss of performance in that “cold weather” was in the order of about 20%.  Most Canadians would consider that to be classified as; mild winter weather! We should expect our colder winter temperatures would result in a much higher loss of performance should we push for more EVs to replace our dependable and winter reliable ICE automobiles.

Presently about 15% of all registered vehicles in Norway are EVs or hybrids and recent monthly sales of those are now over 80% of all vehicles.  That is seemingly causing some concern as EV and hybrid buyers receive lots of generous tax breaks (ie; the VAT of 25%, free parking, no toll road charges, etc. etc.) which led to a study which “estimated that the popularity of EVs was creating a 19.2 billion Norwegian krone ($2.32 billion) hole in the country’s annual revenue.“  They are suddenly noticing their tax revenues are falling.

Curiosity piqued, if one looks at Norway’s electricity generation one finds it is emissions free with 98% from hydro and 1.7% from other renewables and slightly better than Ontario’s. Annual consumption is 123 TWh (terawatt hours).  On a per capita basis (population of 5.4 million) that means each Norwegian consumes about 23 MWh (megawatt hours).  If one looks at Ontario with a population of 14.6 million, per capita consumption is only 9 MWh for the 132.2 TWh we consumed in 2020 which means the average Ontarian consumes only 39% of the average Norwegian!

I point out the foregoing merely to show if EV sales in Ontario achieve what they are in Norway, Ontario may need a lot more electricity generation at a time when the Pickering Nuclear Station is slated to be shutdown. The Energy Minister’s press release noted as of October 2021 “there are 66,757 EVs registered in Ontario. By 2030, one out of every three automobiles sold will be electric.“ Those current EV registrations are less than 1% of vehicle registrations in Ontario so let us all hope his forecast is wrong!

If we look at Norway and compare it to Canada, we should note they are a major generator of oil and gas with the bulk of it sold to other European countries. In respect to oil and gas production the similarities are striking but while Norway increases their generation of oil and gas to sell to other countries Canada’s current government hamstrings our fossil fuel sector in a variety of ways. Norway’s exports of oil and gas represent about one third of all exports and in Canada’s case it was just north of 14% in 2019.

Interestingly, Canada was among 20 countries that signed on to the COP26 agreement to no longer finance fossil fuel projects abroad but it’s not clear if Norway was one of those countries.  Another article does however note; Norway has lobbied the World Bank to “stop all financing of natural gas projects in Africa and elsewhere as soon as 2025 — and until then only in “exceptional circumstances “ The article’s summary highlights the hypocrisy of Norway by summing up with the closing sentence: “It is antithetical to say you support energy development abroad — but only when it is green — while admitting green energy cannot be the only source. Norway can’t have its cake and eat it too, not when it comes to energy development.”

While Norway’s position is shallow it protects their economic wellbeing as a benefit to their citizens whereas, Canada under PM Justin Trudeau, seems determined to destroy our economy to the detriment of all Canadians!

Some Naked Facts (?) on – Batteries, Solar and Wind

NB: I received this from a friend and felt it was worth posting as it is full of interesting facts!

When I saw the title of this lecture, especially with the picture of the scantily clad model, I couldn’t resist attending. The packed auditorium was abuzz with questions about the address; nobody seemed to know what to expect. The only hint was a large aluminum block sitting on a sturdy table on the stage.

When the crowd settled down, a scholarly-looking man walked out and put his hand on the shiny block, “Good evening,” he said, “I am here to introduce NMC532-X,” and he patted the block, “we call him NM for short,” and the man smiled proudly. “NM is a typical electric vehicle (EV) car battery in every way except one; we programmed him to send signals of the internal movements of his electrons when charging, discharging, and in several other conditions. We wanted to know what it feels like to be a battery. We don’t know how it happened, but NM began to talk after we downloaded the program.

Despite this ability, we put him in a car for a year and then asked him if he’d like to do presentations about batteries. He readily agreed on the condition he could say whatever he wanted. We thought that was fine, and so, without further ado, I’ll turn the floor over to NM,” the man turned and walked off the stage.

“Good evening,” NM said. He had a slightly affected accent, and when he spoke, he lit up in different colors. “That cheeky woman on the marquee was my idea,” he said. “Were she not there, along with ‘naked’ in the title, I’d likely be speaking to an empty auditorium! I also had them add ‘shocking’ because it’s a favorite word amongst us batteries.” He flashed a light blue color as he laughed.

“Sorry,” NM giggled then continued, “three days ago, at the start of my last lecture, three people walked out. I suppose they were disappointed there would be no dancing girls. But here is what I noticed about them. One was wearing a battery-powered hearing aid, one tapped on his battery- powered cell phone as he left, and a third got into his car, which would not start without a battery.

So I’d like you to think about your day for a moment; how many batteries do you rely on?” He paused for a full minute which gave us time to count our batteries. Then he went on, “Now, it is not elementary to ask, ‘what is a battery?’ I think Tesla said it best when they called us Energy Storage Systems. That’s important. We do not make electricity – we store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators. So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid. Also, since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from coal-fired plants, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered, n’est-ce pas? He flashed blue again. “Einstein’s formula, E=MC2, tells us it takes the same amount of energy to move a five-thousand-pound gasoline- driven automobile a mile as it does an electric one. The only question again is what produces the power? To reiterate, it does not come from the battery; the battery is only the storage device, like a gas tank in a car.” He lit up red when he said that, and I sensed he was smiling. Then he continued in blue and orange.

“Mr. Elkay introduced me as NMC532. If I were the battery from your computer mouse, Elkay would introduce me as double-A, if from your cell phone as CR2032, and so on. We batteries all have the same name depending on our design. By the way, the ‘X’ in my name stands for ‘experimental.’ There are two orders of batteries, rechargeable, and single- use. The most common single-use batteries are A, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and lantern types. Those dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. Please note they all contain toxic, heavy metals.

Rechargeable batteries only differ in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium. The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills. California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled. If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.

All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy. You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old ruptured battery. When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or light, you think of it as dead; well, it is not. It continues to leak small amounts of electricity. As the chemicals inside it run out, pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, it cracks. The metals left inside then ooze out. The ooze in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery in a landfill. All batteries eventually rupture; it just takes rechargeable batteries longer to end up in the landfill. In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle batteries like me or care to dispose of single-use ones properly. But that is not half of it.

For those of you excited about electric cars and a green revolution, I want you to take a closer look at batteries and also windmills, and solar panels. These three technologies share what we call “environmentally destructive embedded costs.” NM got redder as he spoke. “Everything manufactured has two costs associated with it, embedded costs and operating costs. I will explain embedded costs using a can of baked beans as my subject. In this scenario, baked beans are on sale, so you jump in your car and head for the grocery store. Sure enough, there they are on the shelf for $1.75 a can. As you head to the checkout, you begin to think about the embedded costs in the can of beans. The first cost is the diesel fuel the farmer used to plow the field, till the ground, harvest the beans, and transport them to the food processor. Not only is his diesel fuel an embedded cost, so are the costs to build the tractors, combines, and trucks. In addition, the farmer might use a nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas. Next is the energy costs of cooking the beans, heating the building, transporting the workers, and paying for the vast amounts of electricity used to run the plant. The steel can holding the beans is also an embedded cost. Making the steel can requires mining taconite, shipping it by boat, extracting the iron, placing it in a coal-fired blast furnace, and adding carbon. Then it’s back on another truck to take the beans to the grocery store. Finally, add in the cost of the gasoline for your car. But wait – can you guess one of the highest but rarely acknowledged embedded costs?” NM said, then gave us about thirty seconds to make our guesses. Then he flashed his lights and said, “It’s the depreciation on the 5000 pound car you used to transport one pound of canned beans!” NM took on a golden glow, and I thought he might have winked. He said, “But that can of beans is nothing compared to me! I am hundreds of times more complicated. My embedded costs not only come in the form of energy use; they come as environmental destruction, pollution, disease, child labor, and the inability to be recycled.”

He paused, “I weigh one thousand pounds, and as you see, I am about the size of a travel trunk.” NM’s lights showed he was serious. “I contain twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside me are 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells. It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each auto battery like me, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just – one – battery.” He let that one sink in, then added, “I mentioned disease and child labor a moment ago. Here’s why. Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?” NM’s red and orange light made it look like he was on fire.

“Finally,” he said, “I’d like to leave you with these thoughts. California is building the largest battery in the world near San Francisco, and they intend to power it from solar panels and windmills. They claim this is the ultimate in being ‘green,’ but it is not! This construction project is creating an environmental disaster. Let me tell you why.

The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

Windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and environmental destruction. Each weighs 1688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and contains 1300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard to extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades. Sadly, both solar arrays and windmills kill birds, bats, sea life, and migratory insects.

NM lights dimmed, and he quietly said, “There may be a place for these technologies, but you must look beyond the myth of zero emissions. I predict EVs and windmills will be abandoned once the embedded environmental costs of making and replacing them become apparent. I’m trying to do my part with these lectures. Thank you for your attention, good night, and good luck.” NM’s lights went out, and he was quiet, like a regular battery.

ESG appears to be the acronym for Economic Spurious Gibberish

The term “environmental social and governance” (ESG) appears to be a concept developed by Ivo Knoepfel of the University of Zurich via his paper “Who Cares Wins”. The paper led those who claim mankind is responsible for “climate change” to advocate the use of ESG terminology to further their “net-zero” by 2050 target! Interestingly, a recent referendum held in Switzerland related to the plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 was rejected by Swiss voters so their politicians will have to back away from their signature to the “Paris Agreement”.

The hypocrisy of those recognized as the “super rich” or the “elites” of the world pushing the “net-zero” emissions by 2050 and the need to audit ESG commitment(s) by all corporations is mind-blowing!

The foregoing was recently highlighted by the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock and one of Canada’s largest, namely Brookfield

An article in the FP highlighted their hypocrisy, with the headline: “Brookfield, BlackRock bids for Saudi Aramco pipeline underscore an ESG dilemma”. Both of these institutions have pushed the “climate change” agenda and the focus to reach net-zero, so one wonders; why are they competitively bidding to acquire a gas pipeline and how would it allow them to achieve their purported end goal?

To reiterate the latter point it is noteworthy to be aware that Larry Fink, founder of BlackRock in his annual letter to CEO’s in 2021 stated:  “we believe all companies – including BlackRock – must begin to address the transition to net zero today. We are taking a number of steps to help investors prepare their portfolios for a net zero world, including capturing opportunities created by the net zero transition.

Likewise if one looks at the claim made by Mark Carney (Vice Chair of Brookfield), after his appointment, he went on to say publicly: “The reason we’re net zero is that we have this enormous renewables business,” he said, and thus “all the avoided emissions that come with that offset existing investments in entities that emit carbon.“  The media pushback on his remark forced him to admit it was a false claim.

Both Larry Fink and Mark Carney are members of the Board of Trustees of the WEF (World Economic Forum) and Klaus Schaub, WEF’s founder, states you won’t be allowed to join the WEF unless the company or organization you represent have committed to achieve net-zero by 2050 or sooner!

Past and Present Brookfield Actions

Brookfield’s history goes back to 1899 but we will look at only a few of their activities in the past decade. Let’s start with their purchase in October 2012 of Enwave Energy for C$480 million owned jointly by the City of Toronto and OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) at that time.  Enwave was, and still is, a district energy system provider, meaning they don’t generate greenhouse gases as the energy is geothermal (includes lake water) to heat and cool buildings.

Fast forward by almost 9 years to February 2021 and Brookfield announced they sold Enwave for US$4.1 billion (C$5.1 billion) to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Australian firm IFM Investors (each owning 50%) and presumably celebrated a very nice return on their original investment.  What is sadly amusing about this buying and selling occurrence is that one Government of Ontario pension plan (OMERS) sold their position back in 2012 for a fraction of what another Government of Ontario pension plan (OTPP) purchased it for in 2021. 

To make taxpayers more upset, back in 2019 former Minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna handed Enwave $10 million of our tax dollars saying this partnership will help create jobs and help tackle climate change in asmarter way.“   

Just days ago, the (CIB) Canada Infrastructure Bank, (created in June 2017 to provide up to $35 billion to support infrastructure projects) issued a press release stating:  “The CIB is committing $600 million to the project which allows Enwave to accelerate and scale the build-out of its district energy systems.” The press release is vague in that it doesn’t indicate if it is an investment or a loan agreement. Either event will simply see tax dollars flying out the door while the Government increases our deficit and borrows the money they claim is for the good of the planet. The CIB now falls under the purview of Minister Dominic LeBlanc who in the past was singled out by Canada’s ethics commissioner when he “broke conflict of interest rules when he awarded a lucrative Arctic surf clam license to a company linked to his wife’s cousin.“

So, one should wonder, what did Brookfield do with that US$4.1 billion to assist them in their push to get to net-zero their Vice Chair Mark Carney, surely emphasized?  We don’t really know, but:

Brookfield wound up competing with Pembina Pipeline Co. for the purchase of Inter Pipeline and they won with a hostile takeover offer by outbidding Pembina with an accepted offer of C$8.6 billion.  One should surely wonder how that will assist Brookfield in getting to the “net-zero” target and how it fits with their 63 page ESG report for 2020?

The CEO’s letter within Brookfield’s ESG report contained the following:

Within our ESG initiatives, we are directing our efforts to the transition to a net zero carbon economy. This transition will affect virtually every business in every country, and we are fully committed to doing our part to decarbonize. In March 2021, we took an important step as part of our commitment to achieving net zero throughout our business: becoming a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative.”

One should wonder with the foregoing ESG initiative why would Brookfield purchase a pipeline and pursue another one in the middle east in competition with BlackRock (another NZAM member)?

From all appearances ESG, ie: “Economic Spurious Gibberish“ is the acronym for the heading in this article and has nothing to do with “environmental social and governance” they pretend it does!

The Canadian Institute of Climate Choices want us to Sink not Swim

Surely it was purely coincidental the CICC (Canadian Institute of Climate Choices) released their report titled: “Global climate policy acceleration means sink-or-swim decade for Canada’s economy” on the same, pre-announced day, Commissioner Steve Allan’s Alberta Inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns was released!  Or was it?

Both of the foregoing reports were released on October 21, 2021 and while the Allan report was about 700 pages the CICC report was a meagre 122 pages.  The latter however, was full of disaster warnings about “climate change” and suggested “fossil fuels” were being replaced with wind and solar.  The CICC report went so far as to compliment China (the world’s largest emitter of CO 2) for being “an early leader in electric vehicles and solar technology”. The Allan Report (657 pages) was oblique in accusing Canadian environmental groups of using foreign funding to curtail and end fossil fuel generation. The foregoing  was concluded despite an independent report from Deloitte’s noting; “Total foreign funding, therefore, of “Canadian-based environmental initiatives” was $1.28 billion for the period 2003-2019.”  Apparently “climate change” activism is not a sin or a crime despite its probable outcome to create energy poverty.

Looking specifically at the CICC, “sink or swim” report one should note it is truly meant to scare the reader by suggesting if Canada doesn’t move to “net-zero” emissions we are in big trouble.  Specifically, their report states: “Around 2,000 workers have been affected by coal power closures, whereas over 880,000 people work in the transition-vulnerable sectors identified in Figure 18.” Figure 18 (page 59), discloses those workers who are reputedly at risk of losing their employment are in a variety of jobs including those in many of the areas at which Canada excels such as: oil and gas extraction, emissions intensive manufacturing, mining and quarrying, transportation equipment manufacturing and support for mining and oil and gas extraction! Needless to say, the forecast of those 880,000 job losses caught the media’s attention.

The CICC report in “picture terms” lays out the potential impacts in a chart (Figure 1) on page 6 by using a forecast from Central Bankslabelled as,“NGFS” (Network for Greening the Financial System).  The NGFS was launched by 8 founding central banks, under the leadership of Banque de France‘s governor François Villeroy de Galhau, the Dutch Central Bank‘s Frank Elderson and the Bank of England‘s former governor Mark Carney.” It should come as no surprise Mark Carney was actively involved in its formation. Their membership now contains 95 central banks The data, needless to say, is scary as without adoption of “net-zero” by 2050, in non-adapting countries, GDP is projected to fall by over 10% from current levels. CICC commissioned Planetrics (a Mckinsey & Company subsidiary), an international climate-risk analytics company, to stress test Canadian publicly traded companies and companies with Canadian operations. Apparently CICC with close to 100 reputed taxpayer supported “experts” was unable to perform that exercise.

At this point it is important to note the CICC was a creation of the now retired Catherine McKenna, former Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. The CICC was created with $20 million taxpayer dollars and loaded its staff, Board of Directors, expert panels and advisory council with a myriad of eco-warriors mainly dependent on government largesse. Those eco-warriors seem intent on decimating Canada’s economic wellbeing via their actions in support of our current government and ending our dependence on fossil fuels.

Needless to say, we should believe the release of the CICC report to coincide with the Allan report was meant to offset its release.  The damning information in the Allan report only confirmed how Canadian environmental groups accepted foreign contributions to push the narrative—Canadian production of coal, oil and gas must cease!  One need look no further, then note, the current President of CICC is Rick Smith who spent 9 years at Environmental Defence pushing the “climate change” agenda. Failing that belief, perhaps the word came down from Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change or his Chief of Staff, Marlo Raynolds whose past relationship with Rick Smith demonstrates serious collaboration between Pembina and Environmental Defence via the Strathmere Group.  

Both Raynolds and Smith signed the Strathmere Goup’s “Declarations” jointly and one of those clearly was:

Declare a moratorium on expansion of tar sands development and halt further approval of infrastructure that would lock us into using dirty liquid fuels from sources such as tar sands, oil shale and liquid coal.”

We should be confident the release of the CICC’s “sink or swim” report on the same day as the Steven Allan Inquiry was planned to ensure the main stream media focused on the forecasted loss of those 880,000 jobs that will occur should Canada not commit to “net-zero”!

Collaboration between CICC and those in political power clearly reflects their intentions to harm Canada’s economy!

Interesting Observations here at Home and Elsewhere Before COP 26

The past few days have again shown the world the negative effects of trying to control “climate change” associated with stemming the oft cited UNIPCC scary forecast of a 1.5 degree of warming.

Ontario Comes First in Subsidizing Energy Costs

On October 19,2021, Ontario’s FAO (Financial Accountability Office) released a report titled “Home Energy Spending in Ontario: Income and Regional Distribution”. It is an interesting report and tells us how the Provincial government; ie: taxpayers, subsidized residential electricity and heating costs over the 2019 year. The report breaks down the cost of residential electricity and heating costs in five sectors by both geography and income and tells us the costs of those subsidies.  We should suspect the taxpayer cost has increased significantly since the end of 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and on and off again lock-downs. We should also recognize those costs were brought to us by the well-over 100% increase in electricity costs ratepayers experienced as the McGuinty/Wynne government brought us the GEA (Green Energy Act).  The FAO’s estimate for the subsidies in 2019 for the electricity sector was a cost to taxpayers of $3.5 billion. The report as noted highlights spending on those necessities of life in five regions and one of them is “Eastern Ontario”.  One sentence in the report stood out as it was about the Eastern Ontario region where they experience the highest “income per household” and the highest “average home energy spending”!  The sentence referencing a portion of that region stated: “High household incomes and large dwelling sizes, particularly in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, drive high energy use in the Eastern region.” That should come as no surprise as the area is loaded with highly paid bureaucrats and politicians.  It is also the region where local politicians want to spend $57.4 billion to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050 for Ottawa only.  Hopefully they are not looking for any contributions to their plans from the rest of Ontario’s ratepayers or taxpayers.

How will UK PM Boris Johnson Dance for the Eco-Warriors at COP 26

A short article from “Oil Price” titled “UK Grid Relies For 62 Percent On Fossil Fuels For Its Energy” should be a shocker to PM Johnson with COP 26 mere days away and energy prices skyrocketing in the UK and Europe. Natural gas prices, in particular, have reportedly risen by over 400%. The captioned article noted electricity generated by natural gas represented the bulk (60%) of the 62% with coal generation representing the other 2%!  Another recent article in CNBC stated; “Rising gas prices aren’t a problem unique to Britain. In recent weeks, governments in Spain, Italy, Greece, and France have taken drastic actions to minimize its impact on consumers.” One should wonder how those representing the various governments will react to the thousands of Eco-warriors attending COP 26 in Glasgow who will insist on firm commitments to achieve the “net-zero” target to reputedly save the world from the dreaded “climate change” event. The developing world countries attending COP 26 will also be looking for handouts to help them get to net-zero.  The developed world countries, from whom they seek the trillions of dollars will be hamstrung as any funds they may have been prepared to commit are disappearing into the abyss to support their own citizens due to the climb in fossil fuel energy.

Just more bad news that Johnson will have to deal with!

Pledges by Banks to Cut Funding for Drilling of Oil and Gas in the Arctic and elsewhere Contain Loopholes

Less than a week ago Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England convinced the “Big Six” Canadian banks to join his NZBA (Net-Zero Banking Alliance) mere days before the launch of COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland.  The six Canadian banks brought the total number in the “alliance” to 81 representing 36 countries and US$58 trillion in assets. This would suggest many banks in many countries have not kowtowed to Carney or the UN despite the forecasted climate catastrophe. The signatory banks of the “alliance” reputedly agree to align their lending and investment activities to achieve net-zero targets by 2050 as well as set intermediate target reductions by 2030.

Needless to say, the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace weren’t satisfied!  Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said Canadian banks have to do more than join the alliance. “The world is accelerating toward a zero-carbon economy and Canadian banks are still playing catch up. Until they commit to a near-term phasing out of all financial support for fossil fuels and to fully respect Indigenous rights, they will still be part of the problem.”

The foregoing pitch by Greenpeace was also the subject of another article about “alliance” member banks lending to corporations involved in Artic oil and gas drilling as environmentalists and some asset managers (115 investment firms with assets under management of US$4.2 trillion) noted they want more action.  Apparently, banks are not specifically lending to Artic projects but do lend directly to corporations who then may use some or all of the funds for Artic related oil and gas exploration and extraction.

Somehow, I doubt the politicians in those two Artic countries of Russia (12.4 million b/d) and Norway (2 million b/d) who produce oil and gas have any intention of instructing their banks to stop providing the cash required to either fund new developments or provide the working capital needed to continue their generation.

We should believe the Mark Carney(val) and its push to get more members of NZBA will become harder as his support of UN efforts to reach net-zero by 2050 will cripple their economies much as it has in many of the European countries along with Canada.

LMDC Pushback and China’s Power Crises Impacts Global Economy

Well, as the expression goes; “the shxt has hit the fan” as India’s environment minister “said the delayed climate action and lack of leadership from developed countries have increased the cost of mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and jointly flagged how “calling all countries to adopt ‘net-zero’ target by 2050 is inequitable.” What he was emitting (writer’s interpretation) at a meeting of the LMDC (like-minded developing countries) including China, Pakistan, etc. in Bolivia was: they won’t be bullied into any commitments at COP 26 to reduce emissions without the developed world handing them billions or trillions of dollars more.  With many of the developed economies suffering from declines in their GDP and climbing inflation it also seems unlikely they will commit to increase the promised $100 billion for developing countries.

As if to make matters worse in both developing and developed countries the global spikes in the cost of fossil fuel energy and its current limited supply has caused blackouts.  Interestingly those blackout events have affected developed countries who outsourced much of their manufacturing base and now are faced with shortages in obtaining supplies they are dependent on.  That has resulted in higher inflation, unemployment, reduced GDP, economic support for their workers and increased taxpayer debt.

The foregoing spells more bad news for the upcoming COP 26 conference in Glasgow, and reinvigorates additional screaming from the eco-warriors. 

One has to wonder will this cause the demise of the premise that CO 2 emissions will cause the world to collapse and force the eco-warriors to find a real job?   Only time will tell!