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!

Allianz Insurance Suffers a Catastrophic Loss Probably Caused by Electric Vehicles!   Isn’t that Ironic?

An article in the British newspaper, “EXPRESS” in the May 11th edition shouted out: “The heightened appeal for electric cars may be causing a wave of cargo ship fires because they are not designed to carry lithium batteries safely. The new report, from Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, said that bigger vessels carrying as many as 8,000 vehicles at a time concentrate the risk.”

The above commentary came about due to the potential insurance losses suffered from the sinking of the Felicity Ace in the Atlantic Ocean which happened to be carrying 4,000 Volkswagen vehicles including; Porsches and luxury Bentley vehicles and many were electric vehicles. An article on February 22, 2022 noted “a spokesperson for the salvage crew working on the burning cargo ship, who confirmed that “part of the fire is the batteries [in electric vehicles on board] that are still burning.” The paper said that according to Portuguese navy officials and salvage workers who have seen a cargo manifest, “it is clear that many of the cars on board are electric vehicles.” The fire, which started on Wednesday, has continued to burn into the weekend.

Allianz with their head office in Germany is recognized as # 1. of the top 10 global insurers ranked by 2019 non-banking assets and presumably took a significant hit as the value of the cargo on the Felicity Ace, now sunk, has been estimated at over $500 million.

Interestingly enough; if the loss of the ship and its cargo are eventually blamed on EV batteries, one should wonder; will Allianz drop their membership in the UN Net-Zero Insurance Alliance

The history of Allianz and perhaps their belief in “Energiewende”under Angela Merkel, former Chancellor of Germany, seemed to convince the German population of the ability to denounce the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy and instead depend on renewable energy for their needs.  Evidentially that included transformation of the transportation sector and Allianz jumped on board.  They aggressively have promoted EV for over a decade as a simple search on their website determines.  As an example, in 2011 Allianz was a co-sponsor of an EV race consisting of two, three and four-wheelers! Their related press release stated: “We believe in the future of electric-powered cars, which will allow us to be mobile in a sustainable, emission-free and low-noise fashion.”  Anyone living near wind turbines (also supported by Allianz to achieve “net-zero”) to recharge those EV might not be happy to note how Allianz ignored noise emissions from wind turbines and their reputed “clean generation”! 

As it turned out Energiewende has turned out to be a very negative issue for Germany particularly with the ongoing Ukraine/Russian war impacting Germany’s need for natural gas resulting in them firing up many of their mothballed coal plants.  Net-Zero is starting to look like a nightmare not a dream!

So, one must wonder how Allianz’s worldwide offices and their executives are taking all this negative news affecting their support and push for “net-zero” and having to deal with an insurance claim that may well top $500 million appearing to have been caused by EV?

Net-Zero is starting to look like a nightmare not a dream now and as Alanis Morissette’s song title enunciated; “Isn’t that ironic”!

Crazy stuff from Polls, Surveys and Politicians

Youthful “Climate Anxiety’

An article from April 26, 2022 on CTV news reported on a CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) survey on Ontario youth and labelled it “depressing”! The survey was about how the “Covid-19 pandemic” coupled with “eco-anxiety” had affected youth and the author of the article (Abby Neufeld) got the views expressed from a 17-year-old.  Leaving aside the section on the pandemic’s affect the shocking thing was how he responded to the question about climate-anxiety stating: “The first time it ever really hit home for me was in Grade 2 – we watched this informative video explaining the earth was sick,” he recalled, adding that he remembers feeling a sense of helplessness, unable to process what could be done.” One should assume when he was in grade two (2), he would have been seven (7) years old! As a parent one should ask why the local school board is allowing teachers to show videos that will obviously create anxieties in that age group? The CAMH survey indicated 24% of youth were “worried” about “climate change” and 50% were “depressed about the future”!

US Gallup Poll

As a counter to the CAMH survey a recent US Gallup Poll asked the question “What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?” and 35% picked “Economic Problems” as their top concern.  A miserly 2% picked “Environment/Pollution/Climate change” as the “most important problem” facing the country! Perhaps the US education system doesn’t allow the showing of those scary “climate change” videos to seven (7) year old’s in Grade two (2)?

Ontarians Rank “Tackling Climate Change” Seventh

Global News recently commissioned IPSOS to poll Ontarians to determine their top three priorities before the budget was to be presented in Parliament on April 28, 2022. Interestingly, “Tackling Climate Change” ranked seventh just ahead of “Lower Energy Costs” but behind four other economic issues including; “Lower Taxes”, “help with day-to-day needs (like groceries and gas)”, “help to make housing more affordable” and “Economy and Jobs”.   With all those economic issues front and center one should wonder; why are our politicians continually supporting the elimination of fossil fuels and targeting that COP-26 “net-zero” pie in the sky target? It now appears the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine have enlightened voters to real issues affecting their daily lives as they relegate the eco-warrior cries about “climate change” well down their list of concerns!

43% of Britons will struggle to pay their energy bills

An April 25, 2022, article in the Financial Post provided the results of an Opinions and Lifestyle Survey from the Office for National Statistics in the UK indicating energy poverty has affected many households.  The findings, collected from March 16th to March 22nd stated 43% of the UK’s household’s will struggle to pay their energy bills and 23% said it was difficult to pay their usual household bills.  The latter was up from 17% in November 2021. The increase obviously is in respect to the hit UK consumers have taken as electricity and natural gas prices have pushed up inflation to a 30 year high similar to what our inflation rates have climbed here in Canada.

An overwhelming majority of Quebecers, and all Canadians, want to supply Europe with energy

The media release of April 26, 2022 from the Montreal Economic Institute on April 26, 2022 noted they had engaged Ipsos to conduct a poll to determine how Canadians felt about exporting “our vast energy resources to European countries” to replace the Russian supply. Approximately 72% were in support and only 17% were opposed and that polling didn’t differentiate much with 65% of Quebecers also supportive. Another surprising result of the poll was the following from the media release: “While the provincial government has just adopted a bill aiming to put an end to all hydrocarbon development projects in Quebec, 59% of the population of the province is in favour of developing Quebec’s oil and gas potential in order to export the resources to Europe. Moreover, 53% of Quebecers want to revive the GNL Québec project in order to export liquefied natural gas to Europe, while only 29% are opposed.” 

The foregoing flies in the face of both the ruling Federal and Quebec politicians who continue to push for the complete elimination of fossil fuels. It appears however, the politicians plan to ignore what those who elected them, see as “sane policies” to actually protect the Canadian economy and our well-being!

New Federal Regulation makes new homes costlier

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s budget launched April 7, 2022 promised to spend billions of tax dollars (north of $70 billion) aimed at making new homes affordable. Considering the budgeted spending one wonders WHY the same government just five (5) days before the budget was presented would propose a regulation making new homes costlier?

The primary objective of the new regulation(s) is to; “Reduce energy consumption and resulting GHG emissions associated with products used in homes, contribute to Canada’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, reduce the load on the electricity system, and help Canadians save money on their energy bills.” The foregoing will reputedly reduce emissions by 1.2 megatons or 0.17% of Canada’s 2020 emissions and it applies to all appliances utilizing electricity in the house including; your furnace, air conditioner, etc. along with all other major appliances. We should be confident China or India will have no trouble increasing their emissions by that much in less than a week.

Shortly after the budget was presented the New York Post had an article that should prove shocking to all Canadians as it stated: “As of February, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that the average price of a Canadian home stood at 816,720 Canadian dollars, or $646,809 — over nine times the average household income. In contrast, the US has seen slightly lower price increases, with home prices rising 27% over the same period, Fortune previously reported. In America, the median home price last month stood at $375,000, an all-time high and a 15% rise from a year prior.” That suggests the cost of the average home in Canada is almost double the cost in the US and is truly shocking.

One should wonder why the current government continues their agenda and appears intent on driving up our cost of living via inflationary regulations such as this?  Is it because the Trudeau led government is sold on the WEF’s (World Economic Forum) concept that we Canadians “will own nothing but be happy”?  We need to push back for the sake of all Canadians and our children.

Let’s have a Canada wide poll

Perhaps the time has come for a poll or survey that allows all Canadians to show our politicians what the U.S. Gallup Poll is telling the U.S. elected leaders! 

Marc Patrone Show on Sauga 960 AM Radio April 14, 2022

First my apology for forgetting to let you all know Marc invited me on his show today so you could tune in and listen live!  Nevertheless, that forgetfulness was of benefit to me and the following suggests why.

As a result of my forgetfulness, I decided to listen to the full podcast and discovered he had Dan McTeague, the Gas Price Wizard on, starting at 34:00 right through to 1:05:30. As Dan is a former Liberal Member of Parliament, he had much to say about the current party led by Trudeau as well as chatting about EV (electric vehicles) and the fact they are not environmentally friendly no matter what we are told.  They also got into discussions about the current leadership race in the Conservative Party.  So glad I tuned it!

Right after Marc said goodbye to Dan none other than Jocelyn Bamford, who founded the CCMBC (Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers & Businesses of Canada) was his guest and they covered issues such as the possible Liberal adjudication of a “truck tax” and its potential harm to the Canadian economy.  They also talked about the “censorship bill” currently under discussion and other issues. All good stuff!

The Jocelyn/Marc chat finished at 1:23.20 and mine followed right after.  Marc and I talked about the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s plan to instigate another time-of-use rate to help out all the EV owners in the province, the buildout of charging stations by us taxpayers as well as closing down Canada’s remaining coal generation electricity plants and the potential cost. We hit a few funny spots along the way.

Listen to the podcast here:

IWT Negatively Affect People, Birds, Bats, Ground Water and Perhaps Even Fish?

The past few days have demonstrated how IWT (industrial wind turbines) are not only an intermittent and unreliable source of electricity generation but, also have negative effects on many other aspects of our life on the planet.

But, but, but, didn’t our Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault say, “climate change is killing Canadians” by blaming what was an unusual “weather event”?  He went on to blast premiers for lowering gasoline prices; ie; reducing taxes, with inflation running at a 30 year high of 5.7%  ignoring the harm it causes Canadian households.  As a long-time, advocate for wind and solar to replace fossil fuels though, he didn’t say a word about recent negative news about IWT!

One of those was about a NextEra subsidiary in the U.S. that “pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles” and ordered to pay a fine of US $8 million.  That same company several years ago via their Canadian subsidiary issued a lawsuit against a mother of two for “defaming the company name in a video and blog she posted earlier in 2013”.  She had posted a video “to YouTube that shows NextEra workers chopping down a tree with an active eagle nest in the Haldimand, Ontario area, north of Lake Erie in January 2013”.  She changed the company’s logo to read “NextError” and “Next Terror”.  Now, isn’t it ironic that the same company has pleaded guilty to killing “at least 150 eagles”!  In 2018 NextEra sold offs its “portfolio of wind and solar generation assets located in Ontario, Canada, for a total consideration of approximately $582.3 million USD,”. The portfolio was sold off to none other than the CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board)!  The lesson one should take from this is: how to screw the ratepayers of Ontario and all of Canada’s taxpayers thanks to the Ontario Liberal Party and the Canadian Liberal Party while killing Ontario’s birds and bats and harming the lives of people in rural communities where those IWT are located. It’s not just infrasound, shadow flicker and audible noise those IWT generate that affect their livelihoods as it turns out!

A prime example of the additional harm is; what those IWT caused to well water quality in the Chatham/Kent area as noted in a recent article in the Chatham Daily News.  Well water quality was tested and the findings were; “rather poor as indicated by numerous exceedances for multiple aesthetic parameters including turbidity, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids and iron.” The report called for a further study and more sampling due to initial low participation rates.  Conclusion: add another bad effect of IWT to the list!

Yet another short Bloomberg article posted in the FP a few days ago was about turbine parts falling into the sea offshore in Denmark. It noted the rotor and three blades fell into the sea from an offshore wind farm owned by Orstead A/S and the manufacturer of the turbine was identified as Siemens Gamesa. As a result, Orstead, the world’s largest developer of offshore wind asked the authorities to stop all marine traffic near all of its sites that use those machines. One should expect this will harm marine life now and in the future!  The article noted shares in both Orstead and Siemens Gamesa dropped.  In briefly reviewing share prices it is interesting to note that in the past year Orstead’s share price has dropped by over 18% and Siemens Gamesa by 48%. Perhaps this is recognition that IWT, onshore or offshore, are finally being recognized for their true values rather then what the political and environmental zealots tell us!

As if the happenings described in the preceding paragraph will become the norm, a recent article in RECHARGE; a self-described website as; “Global news and intelligence for the Energy Transition“ posted an article suggesting IWT makers are “all in trouble”!  The article noted: “The European Commission’s recent REPowerEU plan, formulated in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, wants wind power capacity to soar from 190GW today to 480GW by 2030.“ To put some context on the plan, Canada’s total electricity capacity presently is about 150GW and only 14.3GW were IWT as of December 31, 2021 and US IWT capacity as of the end of 2020 was 118GW!  The climb to the target of 480 GW in Europe is looking very precarious at this point based, not only on the foregoing, but also because of other issues outlined in the article.

WindEurope is an annual event and the 2022 one was just held on April 5th to the 7th in Bilboa, Spain.  The RECHARGE article noted above clearly suggests it was not a fun event as manufacturers such as GE Renewable Energy chief executive, Sheri Hickok told a panel: “The state of the supply chain is ultimately unhealthy right now” and also said “Steel for offshore wind towers is currently being purchased at over $2,000 per tonne.”  The chief executive of Nordex, José Luis Blanco, said; “Currently, some 85% of the industry’s components are, however, coming from China” and the article further stated, “Blanco was not only referring to rare earths, but said “normal things, such as metallic shafts in turbines, 95% of which are sourced in China.” The message was “we need more money”!

Could this be the “wakeup” call for elected politicians in the developed world who have opted to believe they must achieve “net-zero” because they stupidly agreed to do so at COP26? The Chinese Communist Party must love it however, as it has basically granted them monopolistic powers in certain economic activities.

The Future?

Hope springs eternal for those of us who believe wind and solar generation are both intermittent and unreliable.  One prays our elected politicians take notice and wake up to both the physical and economic damage IWT cause, serving only to create more energy poverty in their push to achieve “net-zero” emissions which appear to be only of benefit to China.

The Liberal NDP/Cartel Working to Eliminate Billions in Tax Revenue by increasing Taxes

Many of Canada’s economists must be scratching their heads trying hard to follow the Trudeau/Singh marriage that seeks to overturn economic concepts by “Building Back Better” or via “The Great Reset”!

The basic premise; from the writer’s perception, seems to be; by further taxing fossil fuels they will create utopia eliminating its use and the future will see us all using only clean, green electricity. In order to achieve their goal, increasing taxes for using fossil fuels will not only create those “green” jobs and eliminate poverty but will also save the planet as we (Canada only) aim to achieve net-zero emissions.

Taxes (Levies) Imposed on Fossil Fuels

Natural Resources Canada have posted a chart referenced as “Fuel Consumption Levies in Canada” which sets out what should be called taxes as they simply raise the price of the fuel(s) for the benefit of the Federal and Provincial governments.  The page is inclusive covering those “levies” for: gasoline, diesel, propane (motor vehicle), furnace oil and natural gas (for heating). The chart also includes the 2021 Federal and Provincial “Carbon Levies”. Funnily enough “biomass” and coal are not included in the chart, however, interestingly enough Canada is one of the 120 members of the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” and has committed “$275 million to the World Bank in December 2018 to create the Energy Transition and Coal Phase-Out Program.” Your tax dollars at work somewhere else in the world!

Annual Taxes (Levies) on Natural Gas

According to CIEC Data Canada’s average consumption of natural gas “was reported as 10.868 Cub ft/Day bn in Dec 2020”. That translates to 11,466.35 gigajoules and for a full year is just under 4.2 million gigajoules.  Based on the current levy referenced as the Federal Carbon Charge the tax (Levy) would generate approximately $10.4 billion per annum. On a personal basis I noted on my latest natural gas bill: the Federal Carbon Charge (tax) was 45.7% of the “Gas Supply Charge” and coupled with the HST total taxes represented 80.3% of the cost of the natural gas our household consumed. 

In the future we should wonder; how will the Federal and Provincial governments replace that $10.4 Billion of taxes/levies?

Annual Taxes (Levies) on Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

The number and amount of taxes and levies on gas and diesel fuel is mind-blowing and include; Federal Excise Tax, provincial fuel tax which can vary within each province (highest is Vancouver, BC at 27.5 cents/litre and lowest is the Yukon at 6.2 cents/litre), the carbon tax and  of course, the PST and GST either combined (HST) or individual (Quebec).

So, lets look at the revenue those numerous taxes/levies generate annually from their consumption to get us to work and back, take our kids to school and to move goods and services across our very large country.   

As it turns out the most recent information of consumption Statistics Canada posted is for 2020 which was the first year of the Covid-19 outbreak.  The Covid outbreak created lockdowns, business and school closures, etc. and as a result our consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel fell from 2019. Gasoline consumption fell by 13.8% from 44.8 billion litres to 38.6 billion litres and diesel fuel consumption fell from 17.8 billion litres to 16.2 billion litres or 8.9%.  Despite the drop in consumption the taxes/levies funds rolled into the Federal and Provincial coffers. 

Based on the taxes levied if one does a simple calculation using fifty cents a litre (.50 cents/litre) which is approximately what they would be in Ontario one discovers those 38.6 billion litres would have generated approximately $19.3 billion from gasoline sales.  Diesel taxes are slightly higher so at fifty-two cents a litre (.52cents/litre) the 16.2 billion litres would have generated about $8.4 billion.   Collectively gasoline and diesel sales contributed around $27.7 billion dollars to Federal and provincial revenues.

Once again how will the provincial and Federal governments replace that $27.7 billion of taxes/levies they collected and spent?

Provincial kickbacks due to high fossil fuel costs

As if to make the potential drop in taxes more acute a few provinces have kicked back some of their taxes/levies as a response to the costs associated with fossil fuel consumption as the price of both gasoline and natural gas climbed to record levels.  Ontario has dropped license fees no matter if you drive an EV (electric vehicle) or a vehicle labelled as an ICE (internal combustion engine) saving vehicle owners $120 per year. That will result in lost revenues of almost $1.1 billion annually based on over 9 million vehicles registered in the province.  Alberta has dropped it’s .13 cents/litre fuel tax until the price of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) drops below $80/barrel! BC’s Premier Horgan, said vehicle owners insured with ICBC (a provincially owned monopoly) will be receiving $110 each to “relieve the pain at the pump” which should result in approximately a $400 million payout. What the foregoing suggests is those three provinces will be short of about $2 billion plus during the current year.  As we get closer to the complete elimination of fossil fuel use to drive our ICE cars or to heat our homes, we should expect these kickbacks to disappear due to the billions of taxes/levies that will be lost along with the jobs they support.

The foregoing implies the Federal and Provincial Governments will miss the almost $40 billion dollars annually extracted from taxpayers for using fossil fuels! The $40 billion doesn’t even include the billions coming directly from the fossil fuel companies or the income taxes from those they employ!

Maybe it doesn’t make economic sense to raise taxes to eliminate taxes!  Perhaps it’s time for many of our politicians to take an economics course or spend a little time with some of those impacted by their efforts to achieve “net-zero”!

Over the Top: The WEF and Canadian Banks, Hydro-Quebec and Canada’s Minister of the Environment

Digital identity is all the rage amongst banks around the world and the WEF (World Economic Forum) is pushing for its adoption having recently released a 46 page report with the concept covering not just financial services but pretty well every interface mankind has. It is alarming to watch Neil Parmenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association in a short YouTube video, he appears to have done on behalf of the WEF! In the video he pushes the concept: we should trust our banks to maintain the security of our “digital ID”!  

Canada’s banks recently displayed their position by doing absolutely nothing to push-back when the Trudeau led government enacted the Emergencies Act and instructed the banks to freeze any account that had contributed funds to the Truckers Convoy! They did what they were told to the detriment of thousands of Canadians who had simply stood up to protect their basic rights by donating a small portion of their earnings.  Now, try to imagine what might happen if we are all impregnated with a “digital ID”?

Shopify, Royal Bank pledge to be some of the first buyers of energy from Warren Buffett’s Alberta wind project

The captioned article appeared in the Financial Post a few days ago and should strike all who read it as a wimpy pledge! The article stated: “Shopify Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest technology company and lender, respectively, said this week they had signed a “purchase power agreement,” or PPA, that commits them to buying 90,000 KWh of electricity annually from the Rattlesnake Ridge Wind Power Project, which is located southwest of Medicine Hat.” To put the foregoing in perspective the current average price per kilowatt hour (kWh) in Alberta is about 11.3 cents/kWh so this commitment represents a cost of around $10,170 dollars or just over $5K each.  Pretty sure multi-billionaire, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy Inc., who are constructing the 130 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbine) farm are not as excited about this as the RBC or Shopify. As it turns out the 90,000 should have referenced MWh (megawatt hours) rather than kWh. The 90,000 MWh would represent about 26% of the probable full annual output of the IWT generation from it meaning the three companies (Bullfrog Power was also a signatory to the agreement) would be paying somewhere in the neighbourhood of $3.4 million each.

One should assume when the wind isn’t blowing those three companies will happily accept gas or coal generation to ensure they can keep the lights on.  The hypocrisy is mind blowing and presumably is a result of the continued push by the Trudeau government and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault who is determined to eliminate the use of fossil fuels completely!

For industrial Promotors, no more all-you-can-eat buffet at Hydro-Quebec

An article published in Le Journal de Montreal in mid-January carried the following (translated): “In a letter obtained by Le Journal , the state company warns one of them that although it still has a “significant volume of electricity”, the reception of an “exceptional quantity of projects” forces her to review her ways of doing things, even to choose the projects she can supply in the future.’’  The article went on to note: “The energy transition, the sudden interest of companies in green energy has caused demand to explode, justifies Maxence Huard-Lefebvre, director of communications for the state-owned company. And today’s projects have nothing to do with those we received before. Their energy needs are quite different. Result: in its “pipeline” for the next few years, Hydro-Quebec would have projects totaling “more than 10,000 MW of power”. However, such power represents neither more nor less than 25% of Hydro-Québec’s total capacity (40,000 MW) in the province. “It’s too much, slice (said?) the spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec. Even if we wanted to, it would be impossible to support all these projects

What the foregoing suggests is Hydro-Quebec has reached the end of the line for being able to supply “green” emissions free hydro as they have long-term commitments to supply several New England states as well as their own population.  To add fuel to the proverbial fire one should note Statistics Canada reported in 2020 Quebec accounted for almost 50% of all EV registrations in Canada, no doubt due to the $8,000 grant they offer coupled with the Feds $5,000 grant.  Those EV will require charging particularly during the cold winters (Quebec’s peak demand season) when Ontario is frequently called on to supply power to Quebec.

Ontario’s approach to tackling climate change ‘disappointing’: environment minister

The captioned was the headline in the National Observer’s article on March 16, 2022 and carried the following quote from Minister Guilbeault: “I believe that every level of government in Canada needs to do their fair share when it comes to climate change and the climate crisis, and frankly, when you look at what Ontario’s been doing, it’s been disappointing, and I’m not the only one who’s said that,”.  The National Observer is a left-wing anti-fossil fuel periodical that regularly receives government handouts which from what I was able to find has amounted to at least $368,000 according to the Government Grant website.  

The remark from Guilbeault is humorous should one first read Lorrie Goldstein’s article in the Toronto Sun on March 16, 2022.  It outlines how Ford is sucking up to the Trudeau Liberals by kowtowing to their whims including their reaction to the Trucker’s Convoy and the “Emergencies Act”; mirrored by the Ford government.  Ford also praised the Liberals for how they dealt with the pandemic and are jointly aligned on the fight against Michigan’s Governor Witmer in her efforts to shut down Line 5.  All those kudos from Ford heaped on the Trudeau minority Liberal Government apparently are not enough based on Guilbeault’s disappointment.  Is Guilbeault unaware, Ontario has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world and how their taxpayers and ratepayers are paying dearly for wind and solar generation?  Is he not aware Ontario’s Minister of Energy seems to be pushing for closure of our gas plants, giving EV owners cheap charging rates, etc. etc.?  Perhaps he is ticked that over 60% of Ontario households use natural gas as their heating source but that is not something most households can afford to change.

Summary

Hopefully the foregoing demonstrates the mess created by eco-warriors and their infiltration of Federal and Provincial governments to the detriment of Canadian households who must bear the brunt of their push to eliminate fossil fuel use in the crazed objective to reach “net-zero” where we will all be “digitally identified”! 

Time to reclaim our independence and reject the WEF’s Great Reset!

Did Jack Gibbons of the OCAA and Bruce Lourie Hijack the IESO via the Rural Ontario Municipal Association?

The IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) on a weekly basis issue a Thursday afternoon bulletin and the latest came with a five (5) minute video executed by Carla Nell, VP of Corporate Relations.  It referenced the ROMA conference held on January 24th and 25th! Curious I wondered over to the ROMA site to view the agenda and postings related to the conference.  I found no postings and the agenda said nothing about what the video inferred.  I was able to find a January 17. 2022 post about plenary sessions and it specifically mentioned “timely issues such as climate change.“ as part of the upcoming conference. Reading further led to the discovery that: “Dr. Bruce Lourie, a best-selling author and environmental policy expert, will address delegates on Tuesday about mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a net-zero economy.”  Alarm bells rang!

Connecting the above mentioned video by Carla Nell of IESO with Bruce Lourie’s reputed “expert” policies immediately had me wondering; was Lourie’s address to the “delegates” related to the OCAA’s (Gibbons) success in getting approval from those 32 municipalities (including most of the largest ones) that Ontario should shut down all of the gas plants?  Those plants have been invaluable in keeping our lights on during the recent cold spells and 60% of Ontario households with natural gas furnaces warm?                      

Lourie and Gibbons go back a long, long way in their actions related to the energy sector. A hearing at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in respect to the Power Corporation Amendment Act in 1992, has Gibbons delivering a preamble to his remarks saying: “I am Jack Gibbons, an economist with the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, before I joined the Canadian institute, I was a staff member of the Ontario Energy Board. I have with me Mr Bruce Lourie

Back in 1992 Gibbons was in favor of natural gas stating to a question asked of him; Natural gas is so much cheaper than electricity. Look at space heating. If we just look at the financial costs — forget the environmental costs — the incremental cost of electricity for space heating is about six times that of natural gas.“ 

At some point Gibbons reversed his beliefs even though both he and Lourie were at that hearing!

So, was Lourie a substitute for Gibbons at the ROMA conference?  Unfortunately, ROMA’s website doesn’t seem to have posted what Lourie’s address was so we can’t really know what he said but with the “net-zero” mention we should be rightly concerned. The video, mentions several scary aspects including eliminating gas fired power plants mere months after IESO’s Study clearly reported: 

Completely phasing out natural gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts and the system changes that would be required would increase residential electricity bills by 60 per cent.

Has IESO and the Provincial Government under Ford suddenly conceded control of the electricity sector to the 32 municipalities who bought into Gibbons sales pitch?

We voters need immediate clarification from all parties running in the Provincial election in June as to exactly what their position is in respect to what the video suggests!

We should not let the eco-warriors hijack the energy sector once again!

ESG is Fully Endorsed by Public Sector Pension Plans

The Beatles song “Revolution” lyrics should be required reading for all the “woke” generation pushing the “net-zero” concept. When discovering something recently it brought to mind the words of that classic!  Pre-chorus 3 even had the following words: “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow“!  

The ESG Revolution

We often discover, after it happens and behind the scenes; bureaucrats (federal, provincial and municipal) support politicians advocating for what they perceive as beneficial to them and do so, without regard for taxpayers obligated to pay the price for their indulgence.

Such was the case when unbeknown to most of us taxpayers those bureaucrats got together via eight publicly supported pension plans  (PPP) and in a press release dated November 25, 2020 united for a cause advocated by the Federal Liberal Party. The cause was their undated agreement to push for ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors when investing our taxpayer dollars (federal and provincial) in any future investments for the benefit of their member’s pensions.

What the foregoing meant was; those “PPP” agreed to impose ESG standards on publicly traded and private companies.  The impact would be on those companies ability to attract PPP as either shareholders or lenders for debt raising via bond issues, etc.  Those public sector pension plans at the time of the signing of the agreement held $1.6 trillion in assets which was close to what Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product) was in 2020 at US $1.57 trillion. A reflection on the power they hold over us lowly taxpayers!  The agreement is not only undated and mind boggling but also not in tune with most taxpayers as to how they should allocate our tax dollars that created their $1.6 trillion value.

The full text of the short but “undated” and compelling agreement follows:

Companies and investors must put sustainability and inclusive growth at the centre of economic recovery

COVID-19 continues to impose a huge toll on our daily lives, impacting families, businesses, public institutions and civil society worldwide. The pandemic and other tragic events of 2020 have revealed pre-existing business strengths and shortcomings with respect to social inequity, including systemic racism and environmental threats.

It is imperative we rebuild our economies in ways that create greater systemic resiliency and inclusive growth. The time to act is now, and each of us has a role to play. We call on companies and investment partners to help drive lasting change by placing sustainability at the centre of their planning, operations and reporting.

As CEOs of Canada’s eight largest pension plan investment managers, representing $1.6 trillion in assets under management, we are committed to creating more sustainable and inclusive growth by integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our strategies and investment decisions. It is not only the right thing to do, it is an integral part of our duty to contributors and beneficiaries. Doing this will unlock opportunities and mitigate risks, supporting our mandates to deliver long-term risk-adjusted returns.

To deliver on our mandates, we require increased transparency from companies. How companies identify and address issues such as diversity and inclusion, human capital, board effectiveness and climate change can significantly contribute to value creation or erosion. Companies have an obligation to disclose their material business risks and opportunities to financial markets and should provide financially relevant, comparable and decision-useful information. While we recognize companies face a myriad of disclosure frameworks and requests, it is vital that they report relevant ESG data in a standardized way.

We ask that companies measure and disclose their performance on material, industry-relevant ESG factors by leveraging the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to further standardize ESG-related reporting. While the SASB standards focus broadly on industry-relevant sustainability reporting, the TCFD framework calls for climate-specific disclosures across several reporting pillars (governance, strategy, risk, and metrics and targets). Both are useful to investors and informative to companies working to frame their ESG reporting.

We are confident the ability to successfully address and adapt to these 21st-century business risks and opportunities is a distinguishing feature of great companies. While for many this will require greater ambition than in the past, we believe companies demonstrating ESG-astute practices and disclosure will outperform over the long-term.

For our part, we continue to strengthen our own ESG disclosure and integration practices, and allocate capital to investments best placed to deliver long-term sustainable value creation.

Inspired by this historic opportunity to help confront the most urgent challenges facing our global community, we ask others committed to our vision to join us on this journey towards a more sustainable future.“   

The eight CEOs who signed the agreement represented the following public pension plans:

Alberta Investment Management Corporation, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board!

The reference to SASB and TCFD in the agreement suggests these two UN inspired creations from a 2004 letter sent by Secretary General Koffi Annan to 50 CEOs of major financial institutions have completely revised the way we have been measuring financial performance over the centuries. It suggests 2 + 2 no longer equals 4!  To pretend companies will become “great” by adopting ESG factors flies in the face of all logic. The “E” (environmental) in ESG is what the Mark Carney, Michael Bloomberg political fans and eco-warriors have focused on and if the punishment of the middle and lower classes continues under their direction and the politicians they have influenced, we should expect:

As the Beatles opined “You say you want a revolution”!

NB: The Washington based “Institute for Pension Fund Integrity” in a report concluded: “Although there are over $20 trillion in ESG assets under management, it lacks a standardized definition under which all firms can unite and under which regulators can address legitimate concerns.“  

Wind Turbine Collapse in New Brunswick will create “Green Jobs”

Just over a year ago our PM, Justin Trudeau was caught talking about a “reset” during a UN virtual conference stating: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,“ and went on to say; “ This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.” Trudeau was pilloried by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre for the remark as it seemingly connected with; “The Great Reset” propagated by the WEF (World Economic Forum) where the rich elites of the world gather annually to plot the global transition to a “great reset” with “climate change” as their main focus!

The calls from the WEF and others pushing the “net-zero” transition have overcome the Federal Liberal Party and they have proffered different titles such as “Building Back Better” the “Just Transition” etc. and in all those scenarios they claim; executing them will create a million jobs! 

Needless to say, those calls, now spanning six years, are failing to create those jobs but continued support of the concept by the MSM (main stream media) has convinced many citizens and corporations to jump on board. The latter have done this by doing what they believe they can to reduce their emissions (based on what they are told) by transitioning their business in different ways in order to, presumably, avoid the increasing “carbon taxes” they would face. 

One such company is Alberta based, TransAlta Corporation via their 60.09% ownership in TransAlta Renewables (as of December 31, 2020) and the Federal Regulations imposing “coal-to-gas” regulations sped up by Catherine McKenna, when Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  TransAlta, as of December 31, 2021 reported they had completed the latter task well ahead of the 2030 deadline.  TransAlta is pushing hard to achieve the “net zero” pinnacle and based on their annual 2020 ESG report their “greenhouse gas emissions are now down to just over 16 tonnes from 42 million tonnes in 2005.

Those green jobs are shrinking

The other thing that’s fallen as well as emissions, is the number of people TransAlta employ. The oldest annual report posted on their website is for 2017 and at that time they reported having 2,341 employees in 2016 but their 2020 annual report indicates employment fell to 1,476 at December 31, 2020, a drop of 865 jobs or almost 37%!  Gross revenues also fell from $2,397 million in 2016 to $2,101 million in 2020 for a drop of $296 million or 12.3%.

The foregoing push by TransAlta to reduce emissions appears to be having the opposite effect Trudeau promised us in his “build back better” speeches as both revenue and staff levels fell!   

TransAlta’s majority-controlled subsidiary; “TransAlta Renewables” near the end of 2021 got some bad news too, as an industrial wind turbine at their Kent Hills 167 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbines) complex in New Brunswick collapsed. An investigation determined all 50 of the 3 MW turbines bases would need to be replaced whereas the remaining five (5) were OK! The estimated cost to replace the bases could be as high as $100 million and take until the end of 2023.  They estimate their revenue base will decline $3.4 million per month until the turbines are back up and running.

Here come those “green jobs”

One assumes the $75 to $100 million estimate to replace the bases will require lots of cement (close to 2,000 tons per turbine) and rebar and a crew plus equipment to first disassemble the 50 turbines and later to reassemble them.  It’s unclear as to whether they will remove the cement from the flawed bases but if they do it will require a crew plus equipment and quite a bit of dynamite.

All of the foregoing activities will play a hand in creating jobs over the two years of the rebuild but will, no doubt, create emissions.

When the workers have completed the reassembly, it will be seen as a perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, to have a media appearance to tell us how the great “reset” is proceeding and the myriad of jobs* it created!

Any questions about the full carbon footprint of those rebuilt IWT and the jobs temporarily created at the media event will be tossed aside as will the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind generation which always requires dependable power (frequently fossil fueled) to back it up. Trudeau and his “climate change” Minister, Guilbeault, will insist the “transition to net-zero” and “building back better” is working to the benefit of all Canadians!

Canada’s taxpayers need to initiate a “political reset” and dump those Liberal politicians who seem intent on creating Venezuela north!  We voters in Ontario did it by recreating the Ontario Liberal Party as the “minivan party” so the time has come to do it again at the next election!

*Ontarians will remember the same promises from the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal years!