Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM

I had the pleasure of being on Marc’s show today (June 13 2022) where we covered a lot of ground. Our chat included what the newly elected Ford Government could do in respect to wind and solar contracts, New Zealand planning to tax cow burps to get their emissions down, the Line 5 pipeline and Clean Energy Credits in Ontario as well as a touching on a few other topics.

You can listen to the podcast starting at 1:09:20 and ending at 1:25:50. Find it here: https://sauga960am.ca/podcasts/

Weird Happenings as Eco-warriors keep pushing the envelope on climate-change

The eco-warriors around the world have amped up their push for the “net-zero” target recently as demand for those damn “fossil fuels” keeps rising along with their price! It seems apparent, without oil, coal or natural gas mankind will suffer immensely but that’s not stopping the push to get us all to abandon them.  The eco-warriors and their puppet politicians believe we can count on unreliable and intermittent production of energy from wind and solar; stored in batteries at a cost of trillions of dollars globally.  The following are just a few of the weird happenings pushed by the eco-warriors and endorsed by elected politicians we have stupidly voted for in the developed world!

India and China ramp up coal production

While the developed world is doing what our politicians tell us to do to ween us off of fossil fuels, India and China have both announced they are collectively ramping up coal production by 700M tons (300M by China and 400M tons by India) per year which is more than total US output.  In the latter case even though the U.S. is also ramping up their coal production slightly it will only amount to a total of 598.3 million st, (short tons) according to the EIA projections for 2022!  Surely India and China will be castigated by the eco-warriors for ignoring them and the politicians from the developed world!  They will then backtrack on their plans to ramp up their coal production or perhaps they won’t, as they are more focused on improving the livelihood of their citizens?

Prince Charles’ prize backs face mask that cuts methane emissions from cow burps

Back in January 2021 Prince Charles launched the Terra Carta (named after the Magna Carta) whose purpose was defined as; “provides a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future; one that will harness the power of Nature”.  He sought pledges from the business community of $10 billion by 2022 and recently handed out the prize of “£50,000” for the inaugural winner of the Terra Carta Design Lab competition. The winning design was a face mask for cows to cut methane emissions from cow burps!  Interestingly enough, if one researches “cow burps” versus “cow farts” an article in Forbes in 2017 suggests those cow farts are worse than cow burps due to the fact that manure is not used much for fertilizer as in the past when it was spread rather then stored in open pits.

Perhaps the time has come for Prince Charles to suggest another competition to capture the methane from those “cow farts” Surely that will be an interesting design and worth that £50,000 prize or more or would it simply be more “Bull Shit”!

New Zealand’s plan to tax cow and sheep burps

A very recent article appearing in the BBC news suggests New Zealand’s astute politicians have also focused on not only cow burps but also sheep burps!  As a result of their observations, they plan to levy a tax on farmers for emissions from those sheep and cows. New Zealand reputedly host 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep grossly outnumbering their 5 million people. At the same time as they plan on levying the tax; New Zealand is involved in the launch of a trade dispute under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The trade dispute is against Canada and associated with our “supply management system” which protects our dairy farmers from cheaper imports.  So, should New Zealand’s “burp tax” become law it will presumably raise the price of their dairy products so one wonders will those increased prices result in their products becoming uncompetitive with the same products from our dairy farmers?  It appears that New Zealand’s politicians are trying to shoot themselves in the foot if they implement the tax making their diary products priced higher. Perhaps they are secretly hoping Canada will impose similar “burp taxes” or under the trade dispute will insist Canada impose the same tax!

As a matter of interest, the Chinese City of Shanghai emits two and a half times more emissions (200MT) than the whole country of New Zealand does even with all those cattle and sheep.   

Take your pick: Clean Energy Credits, Carbon Credits, Carbon Offsets, Voluntary Environmental Credits or Renewable Energy Credits

If you run a business these days you are forced to comply with the wishes of the politicians elected to run the country. Those politicians attended COP-26 and signed up to reduce those invisible emissions we have been told for well over 50 years will surely decimate the planet! The choices you make will drive up your costs but you are told you must comply regardless of what China, India or Russia do.  To reduce those emissions, you will pick one of the listed “credits” or “offsets” in the captioned headline and hope the cost(s) can be passed on in pricing your products or absorbed by increasing your efficiency. Either is a choice impacting your business and those you employ. Bearing in mind the choice you make it is interesting to note not only are the costs and choices varied but many selling them have been called out as false.  

One recent report out of Concordia University is critical of the fact that companies will purchase REC (renewable energy credits) to offset their emissions but are using electricity generated by fossil fuels.  Other reports have criticized purchases of “carbon credits” or “carbon offsets” which as one example found Nature Conservancy reputedly selling unendangered tree offsets.

Now here in Ontario back in January our Minister of Energy Todd Smith suddenly recognized Ontario’s electricity generation is very clean with only about 6% of it creating emissions. As a result he issued a press release suggesting Ontario may be heading to creation of a “Clean Energy Registry” that will make the province attractive for investments. Companies will be able to purchase those CEC from our renewable generators and the money will “reputedly” be returned to Ontario’s ratepayers to reduce electricity costs.

The foregoing looks to be the epitome of the “Circular Economy” and perhaps is what PM Justin Trudeau had in mind when he flew to California and signed the “Canada-California Climate Action and Nature Protection Partnership” on June 9,2022.

Apparently, it’s OK for Trudeau and others in his entourage to create a huge carbon footprint while the rest of us are told to reduce ours!  Seems just a little weird!

Are More Mask Mandates Coming to Capture CO2

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister just announced his plan for the new federal carbon offset market and as he stated its focus is: “Climate change is the crisis that will persist,” he said. “That’s why we cannot pause and we must continue to go faster and further.”

From the text in the article, it appears the “crisis” initially will apply to municipalities who will be required to “install new methane capture systems at landfills will be part of the new compliance market.”  That will obviously be a financial burden for the municipalities who will simply raise their municipal taxes to recover the funding required to install those methane capture systems.

Minister Guilbeault went on to say; Over the next year, the government intends to finish the rules to add projects that cut emissions from refrigeration systems, forests and soil management on farms. The rules applied to refrigeration systems, forests and soil management on farms will raise the price of anything requiring refrigeration, logging or crop generation so the objective seems aimed at ensuring the current “inflation” we citizens are experiencing continues!

The one comment in the article that I found very strange was the sentence stating: “The government said it is also now starting to write the rules to add direct air capture technology that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air and traps it underground.” Immediately the Bill Gates plan to fund technology for “sun-dimming” and reflect sunshine out of the earth’s atmospheric came to mind but that plan was blocked for ethical reasons and postponed. 

The other thought was; perhaps Guilbeault was impressed with the ability of the government to make “mask mandates” compulsory during the Covid pandemic? Perhaps he is aware someone has created a mask that could capture the CO2 we expel when breathing”?  After we were “government certified” of having captured a ton of CO2 and buried it in our backyard, we would be given a “carbon offset” and perhaps then be allowed to take a vacation via an aircraft or take that ICE car in our garage out for a spin?

Surely the foregoing isn’t what he has in mind but with this current government we shouldn’t be surprised if that is what he envisages. We should expect it won’t apply to the almost 300 politicians and bureaucrats from Canada that will attend the next COP event or a WEF event in Davros, Switzerland or to our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has flown over 38,000 kilometers around the world since May 1, 2022!

One would hope Guilbeault and many other politicians would spend a little time and watch a recent video posted June 3, 2022 titled “The Carbon Offset Problem” with over 800,000 views so far, to get a sense on the some of the scams taking place related to carbon capture!

Perhaps that is too much to hope for with this current crop of politicians as they are simply some of the scammers!

This happening brought to my attention and it is related:

Grand Delusion: The Liberal Government’s Proposed “Clean” Electricity Standard

The captioned is a slightly edited version of the paper that Robert Lyman and I wrote on behalf of the CCMBC (Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada) in response to the Federal Governments paper: “A Clean Electricity Standard in Support of a net zero electricity sector”.

The article is posted on the C2C Journal a great online publication that was founded in 2007.

I would encourage you to visit the site and either read or reread the report as the edited version has pictures and graphs that bring the report to life.

Find it here:

Grand Delusion: The Liberal Government’s Proposed “Clean” Electricity Standard

Which is it Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, a Surplus or an Emerging Supply Need?

Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, was the featured speaker at the prestigious Empire Club of Canada’s “Zoom Event” on January 28, 2022.  Smith was coincidently introduced by the VP of LiUNA (Laborers International Union of North America) who back in 2018, just prior to the last provincial election, changed their support from the Ontario Liberal Party to the Ontario PC Party!

Smith’s 20-minute speech included much of what was also outlined in his January 26th and January 27th directives to IESO.  The first directive was associated with the “Lake Erie Connector Project“ which would reputedly provide some “intertie enhancements” and “the creation of new opportunities to sell Ontario’s surplus electricity to the benefit of Ontario ratepayers by lowering electricity costs“!  As noted in an article penned back on April 24, 2021 with the scheduled closure of the Pickering Nuclear Plant and it’s 2,500 MW capacity in 2025 it is apparent Ontario will not have the surplus power available for export.  That suggests the Lake Erie line will provide only a marginal benefit associated with the “intertie enhancements” but ratepayers will be saddled with the full costs even though a large part of funding will come from the federal taxpayers via a $655 million investment from the CIB (Canada Infrastructure Bank). While Minister Smith includes some caveats in his directive about the connector project it seems strange that he even bothers to instruct IESO to push ahead with examining it further.

The second directive of 17 pages (English/French) of January 27th includes a “Background” which amongst other strange claims has a conflicting statement of the directive issued the previous day related to selling “Ontario’s surplus electricity”:

 “After more than a decade of stable electricity supply, and at times, a surplus, IESO has forecasted an emerging supply need that grows through the latter part of the decade. This is a result of the upcoming closure of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, refurbishment schedules of other nuclear facilities, expanding electrification and increasing business investment in the province. Fulfilling this forecasted supply need will require IESO to procure electricity products and services from both existing and new resources.

The foregoing comments seem ironic coming, as they do, from the Conservative Minister considering most of the prior decade the electricity file was misdirected by the Ontario Liberals under Premiers McGuinty and Wynne and drove energy prices up by well over 100% indicating an unstable supply from wind and solar that created the huge jump in ratepayer costs. Why would Minister Smith suggest his predecessors provided a “stable” supply; almost patting them on the back for increasing costs by well over 100%?

We should also take issue with the comment “at times, a surplus,” as the “surplus” has been significant since the addition of those reputedly “green” non-emitting IWT and solar panels. Ontario’s net exports (exports minus imports) soared averaging well over 10 TWh (terawatt hours) for the past several years and were sold for pennies of their actual costs.

Another worrying issue raised in just that first paragraph is the reference to “expanding electrification” and later on it mentions acquiring “storage facilities” presumably meaning batteries or pumped storage both of which will add costs.  In Minister Smith’s speech at the Empire Club, he mentioned “electrification” several times suggesting he or Premier Ford has bought into the concept of ridding the province of gas- and diesel-powered transportation along with reliable gas plants.

When Minister Smith gets into the actual Directives, we should view 1. (related to 4.) and 3.e.as concerning!  

Looking first at 3.e.; associated with MT RFP (Medium-Term Request For Proposal) note it states: “IESO shall offer contract extensions to contract counterparties whose facilities are successful in the MT RFPs, and whose existing contracts with IESO have expiry dates that occur before the start date of the respective facility’s MT RFP Commitment Period.”

Does the foregoing suggest he is in favour of extending expiring contracts for wind and solar or allowing them to be refitted?  The implications of the foregoing are profound as they had promised to rid the province of IWT due to the harm they do to the rural human population and nature itself by killing birds and bats as well as negatively affecting aquifers in certain areas of the province!

The directives 1. And 4. are obviously about either battery storage or pumped storage or both but # 1. doesn’t reference either as the script is about; “Unforced Capacity (UCAP) basis, calculated in accordance with IESO’s published methodology for calculating such value for different electricity resources.“ UCAP was the subject of a IESO May 28,2021 Resource Adequacy Engagement and based on its 74 pages I was able to discern UCAP seems to be the ability to provide (on demand) a maximum of four (4)  hours of power during peak demand periods. That clearly signals Minister Smith will be blessing the Oneida battery storage project and either or both of the two proposed pumped storage projects. One of the “pumped storage” projects is proposed by Northland Power for Marmora and an article penned about it back in late 2013 can be found on the Energy Probe website.  Another article about the Oneida Battery Storage and the TCE pumped storge was written just over a year ago. Needless to say, those reviews on the three “storage” projects were not positive.

It sure appears while Minister Smith, in his speech at the Empire Club, claimed the Ford led government had reputedly resolved the electricity mess created by the McGuinty/Wynne leadership team they haven’t and want to make it worse.  Minister Smith has declared a moratorium on any new gas plants as part of the “electrification” process and is seeking ways to close them down.

Should he have bothered to simply look at the mess the energy system is in the UK and the rest of Europe where electricity prices are skyrocketing to astronomical heights due to their dependence on renewable energy and their move to non-emitting “electrification” sources he might remember some of the chats we had back when he was simply the “critic” on the energy file!

How times have changed and does he not recognize taxpayers are now picking up about $6.5 billion annually just in an effort to not increase ratepayer costs further!

NB: When Minister Smith’s speech at the Empire Club became available, I reached out to several individuals with skill sets far surpassing mine seeking their views. I will bring those thoughts out in a separate post in a few days without naming names.    

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”!