Why are Parasitic Universities Considered Charities?

Researching on the “web” occasionally presents information that can be shocking and one such event recently occurred.  Stumbling across a 267 page report titled “2021 Canadian Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard” and having a quick look one notes two logos on page 2 with one called “Efficiency Canada” and the other Carleton University.

As it turns out a visit to Efficiency Canada discloses it is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre.  The site has a donate button stating it’s a unit of the Carleton Center for Sustainable Energy Research so a donation will presumably generate a tax receipt.* The site also has a “supporters” page and it is several of the usual “charitable foundations” handing out those tax-free dollars in full support of the UNIPCC and the “climate change” agenda and included; the Ivey Foundation, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, the McConnell Foundation, etc. etc.

The report on page 12 ranks the provinces and BC comes out on top followed by Quebec in second spot.  Newfoundland and Labrador rank last!  It is amusing that amongst the paraphernalia; the report lauds electric vehicles (72 mentions) while it castigates provinces for lack of electric “capacity savings” as a percentage of peak demand.  They fail to connect demand with charging EV which will raise demand for reliable electricity power! As one should suspect; emissions, climate change, net-zero and renewable energy are the theme throughout the report in order to reputedly show what the provinces must do to save the world!

On another note it is worth seeing how Carleton University brag  about being selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers (2022) and they list the reasons why but fail to mention compensation which may highlight why their employees think they are great.  Carleton University have 44.4% (1087) of their 2,445 employees on the Ontario Sunshine List earning over $100K annually.  If one does the math based on the CRA filing (April 30, 2021 year-end) the average compensation of ALL 2,445 employees is substantial. The CRA report notes: total compensation for all employees was $422,419,000.00 and $97,492,113.00 for part-time employees so deduct the latter and divide the amount by those 2,445 employees and you see the average for each employee is $132,935.00.

According to a recently released salary review: “Fully employed Canadians received an average yearly salary of around $54,630, Canada income statistics for 2020 reveal.” That statistic suggests the “average” Carleton University employee earns 2.4 times what the average Canadian worker does.

Carleton reported for 2020-21 they had “207 full time faculty members” and a “1:8 faculty to student ratio” which makes one wonder exactly what those other 2,238 employees are engaged in to justify their compensation?

Statistics Canada stated in 2018/19 there were 46,440 full-time academic teaching staff at Canadian public universities so we should hope the ratio of non-teaching staff is not the same as Carleton University.  If that was the case, the 11.8:1 ratio of teaching staff to other employees, would mean Canada’s 96 public universities would have almost 548,000 non-faculty staff costing taxpayers/students $72 billion dollars annually in compensation. 

On the latter note the CMEC (Council of Ministers of Education, Canada) claim: “Statistics Canada has reported that postsecondary institution revenue in 2018–19 increased to $41.5 billion (in 2001 constant dollars)”.  They also note 45.8% of postsecondary funding comes from the government (one assumes they actually mean taxpayers and the term, “government”, means Federal, Provincial and Municipal).  They go on to state 29.4% are student fees and the balance (24.8%) comes from donations, bequests, nongovernmental grants and sales of products and services.

The latter brings us back to the opening paragraph suggesting those donations, grants and bequests play a huge role in influencing our places of learning.  Much of this latter funding is specific to the objective of influencing the outcome of both the teaching process as well as favourable research supporting belief in “climate change, global warming, net-zero, global emissions” etc. etc. 

Even if the donations, grants, etc. are only 10% of the $41.5 billion they will have a profound effect on the educators seeking to keep those donations and grants coming even if they are non-believers in mankind’s ability to control the temperature.

Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the education system with a particular focus on the postsecondary institutions and the reason for their “charitable” status!

*A search of the CRA file for Carleton University and a review of their Financial Statement does not detail where funds “specifically” came from with the exception of those “tax-receipted” (1.5% of Gross Revenue) but their financial statement disclosed they received $69.5 million for “Research Grants and Contracts” for their April 30, 2021 year and that represented just over 10% of their gross revenue.

Eco-Warriors are Strangling Energy Advances at a Cost to Consumers

Back in 1989 Greenpeace Canada lost it’s charitable status with the CRA and they kept trying to get it back without success but suddenly in late 2020 for some reason the CRA suddenly allowed the newly formed Greenpeace Canada Education Fund to have charitable status. The latter claim they are “focused on research, investigations and education” and reputedly have engaged “more than 17,000 students from K-12 and 328 presentations across Canada”.  One should presume those engagements have been to scare our children and grandchildren that the world will end unless we deal with “climate change”. 

As a coincidence an unrelated “Google” search led to finding an entity called the Green Energy Coalition which has been an “intervenor” with the Ontario Energy Board and on occasions; jointly with Environmental Defence.  Members of the GEC are none other than; Greenpeace Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Sierra Club of Canada and the World Wildlife Fund.  The latter three plus Environmental Defence are all registered Charities and push the concept of eliminating fossil fuels and supporting expensive and unreliable renewable energy in the form of wind and solar.  One should note they are not the only eco-warrior intervenors pushing for the end of fossil fuel use.  Others include Pollution Probe, OSEA (Ontario Sustainable Energy Association), the Atmospheric Fund (created by the City of Toronto in 1991), Clean Air Council/Clean Air Partnership (funded by many municipal governments) and several others. One of the others is the School Energy Coalition Intervention Services (SEC) handled principally by the law firm Shepherd Rubenstein” who are also big supporters of “climate change”. The SEC (primary funding from school boards) intervenor awards alone for the April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020 OEB year report totaled $840K which was 18% of all the awards for that year.

What becomes obvious is, our tax dollars; municipal, provincial and federal, not only pay for the Ontario Energy Board, school boards, etc. etc. via all the tax burdens we experience but also are used to create not-for-profits and charities that continually fight as intervenors and whose costs are also billed to us via our bills for both the electricity and natural gas, we use, which are also both taxed on our bills. 

A recent example was the intervenor costs associated with Enbridge’s effort to replace a deteriorating 19.8 kilometer pipeline (denied by the OEB) in Ottawa where intervenor costs for SEC were $63,319.55, for Pollution Probe $36,637.43 and $12,856.01 for Environmental Defence.

Not sure how the OEB can view intervention by those eco-warriors as a benefit to all of the households and businesses using electricity and natural gas in Ontario as we are also obliged to pick up those intervenor costs which has a multiplier effect on our tax costs. Just another tax on tax on tax!

This is but one example of why we should not wonder why Canada ranks so low in the OCED for getting things done due to our numerous regulations and the bureaucrats managing them! 

Perhaps the time has arrived to reduce our regulations and the numerous bureaucrats managing them!

What’s Best at emissions control; Trees, Wind Farms or Solar Farms?

It is amusing to do a Google search with the simple words:  trees cut down to have solar farms, or trees cut down to have wind farms. The former generates over 26 million hits and the latter over 88 million.  Examining just a few dozen from either search alerts you to how convoluted and twisted the eco-warriors are about the either/or arguments in respect to; clearing trees or not clearing them to erect those IWT (industrial wind turbines) or lay down solar panels!

Leading to the searches was an article out of India titled:  “Felling of trees for solar power plants in Jodhpur raises hackles of locals, environmentalists”.  What catches the eye is the sentence: “While solar parks are being encouraged for providing clean energy, environmentalists and local communities in Rajasthan are concerned over their impact on the natural vegetation of the desert state.”  Wow, are people finally catching on?

A few of the Searches Catching the Eye on Solar Farms

A Korea Herald article from April 2019 noted “Since the government strongly pushed for solar power business in 2017, 4,407 hectares of forest have been damaged, 15 times the space of the Yeouido area of Seoul,”. It noted 2 million trees had been cut down to make way for solar panels and went on to state it was the opposition politicians of the Liberty Korea Party’s view that renewable energy shouldn’t be a replacement for nuclear energy.  Interestingly enough a recent announcement indicated Korea will expand its nuclear power in order to meet its climate targets.

Another article from May 2015 said Six Flags amusement park were seeking to clear-cut 90 acres for a solar farm in Central New Jersey to power their park but they received push-back from several environmental groups including the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Those environmental groups even filed a lawsuit against Six Flags and the solar developer.  Amusingly the article went on to note; “The lawsuit was filed on the same day as a legislative panel in Trenton approved an aggressive ramping up of how much electricity in the state must come from renewable energy, a goal endorsed by most environmental groups.” The lawsuit was somewhat effective and wasn’t settled until 2018 and Six Flags was only allowed to clear-cut 40 acres so had to cover some of their parking lots with solar panels.

Yet another article from February 7, 2019 announced Georgetown University of Maryland was planning to get nearly half of its electricity power from solar power and went on to note:  “However, the university drew ire when it was announced that the solar farm it would construct in Nanjemoy, Maryland, would require clearing 210 acres of forested land on a peninsula near the Potomac River.  That raised the hackles of the environmentalists resulting in push-back. As a result; “Bonnie Bick, the political chair of the Southern Maryland Sierra Cluban organization famous for fighting for emission reduction with renewable energy – said, “I’m very much in favor of solar, but the solar needs to be properly sited. The question is not forest or solar, it’s where is the proper place to install solar?”  The push-back worked and Maryland blocked the project which resulted in the University instead contracting with existing solar farms in Maryland to purchase power from them under a PPA (power purchase agreement).

 A few of the Searches Catching the Eye on Wind Farms

One of the early finds in the Google search was one titled “A green paradox: Deforesting the Amazon for wind energy in the Global North” and curiosity piqued; it was viewed. The sub-heading was more enticing as it stated: “A shift to wind energy is leaving a trail of destruction in Ecuador, with a brutal impact on Indigenous communities and fragile ecosystems”. Reading the article, one discovers that the “trail of destruction” has been caused by the demand for balsa wood, a major component in the construction of wind turbine blades due to it being flexible and yet hard, while also being both light and resilient.  The article states: “The increased demand led to the deforestation of virgin balsa in the Amazon basin, in what came to be known as ‘balsa fever’. Balseros began to illegally deforest virgin balsa from the islands and banks of the Amazonian rivers in an effort to overcome the shortage of cultivated wood. This has had a terrible impact on the Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon,” The demand for balsa has come from both Europe and China.  The article claimed; “In 2019, Ecuador exported $219m worth of balsa wood, up 30% from the previous record in 2015. In the first 11 months of 2020, it exported $784m worth.”  It sure appears the push by eco-warriors and their political followers to reach “net-zero” is “leaving a trail of destruction” and the Indigenous communities on the Amazon basin by clear-cutting those balsa wood trees.

A series of articles about Scotland’s push to create wind power also disclosed how it resulted in clear-cutting 17,283 acres and wiping out 14,000,000 trees to save the planet.  The foregoing claim was also backed up by a citizen inquiry to the Scottish Forestry arm of the Government who provided a partial response which stated “The area of felled trees in hectares, from 2000 (the date when the first scheme was developed, is 6,994 hectares. Based on the average number of trees per hectare, of 2000, this gives an estimated total of 13.9M.” For privacy reasons Scottish Forestry would not disclose the clear-cut trees or acres affected on private property.  An attempt to determine how many IWT (industrial wind turbines) were located in Scotland only seemed available on Wikipedia which said as of June 2020 they were 8,366 MW (megawatts). If the average IWT was 2 MW it suggests a total of 4,183 IWT. In order to secure the bases of those turbines scattered throughout the Scottish countryside those bases would need about 500 tons of concrete to secure each of them. That results in over 2 million tons of cement scattered underground throughout Scotland’s countryside. We should all wonder how that will save the planet from “global warming”?  There has been lots of push-back from Scottish anti-wind groups for years but without much success until very recently when ministers actually refused planning permission for a 39 turbine wind farm in the Highlands’ Monadhliath mountains as it would have a “significant visual impact”.

Perhaps the Scottish politicians were enamored by the fact it was a Scottish engineer, James Blyth who first generated electricity via a wind turbine back in 1887 to power the lights in his cottage but we will probably never know why they bought into the concept?

Conclusion

It seems obvious that not only are wind and solar generation intermittent and unreliable but are also costly and detrimental to forestry and all the nature existing in the forests they decimate.  They have done absolutely nothing to alter the climate under the pretext of saving the planet from climate change.

One should surmise, trees; not solar panels or IWT, are much better at reducing emissions so, STOP the push to replace the world’s forest with those unreliable energy sources!

OCAF is bringing Holger Dalkman from Germany to speak to City of Ottawa Officials and Others

The excitement in Ottawa often keeps locals up at night but we should be pretty sure an upcoming event hosted by OCAF (Ottawa Climate Action Fund) will be nothing like a “truck convoy” with honking horns. Despite it’s more quiet nature it should cause excitement for other reasons! Let’s see why?

OCAF is Hosting an Event

OCAF was founded with $21.7 million of our tax dollars and endorsed by now retired MP, Catherine McKenna and MP Seamus O’Regan at their opening ceremony on May 14, 2021. The ceremony itself was hosted by none other than Diana Fox Carney (wife of Mark Carney), an acclaimed eco-warrior.

Just before OCAF was founded the City of Ottawa’s council (presumably smitten by the ruling Liberal Party) passed a plan (Energy Evolution) to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2050. The plan encompasses erecting 700 industrial wind turbines with a capacity of 3,218 MW and 1,060 MW of rooftop solar. The “plan” appears to have been generated by none other than Pollution Probe rather than the bureaucrats within the municipality.  That in itself seems very strange!

It appears the latest planned event by OCAF is aimed at Ottawa’s transportation and transit sector and they are bringing in a speaker from Germany to deliver the message outlined in the event title which is: Avoid, Shift, Improve: How can international best practices accelerate low-carbon, resilient transportation in Ottawa?

The invited guest speaker is Holger Dalkman whose LinkedIn profile claims he is the “CEO and Founder of Sustain 2030” (an extensive search of “Sustain 2030” on Google turned up nothing) and holds a Masters degree in geography! In searching his name, it appears he has had numerous appearances including with the WEF (World Economic Forum) the UN and many other organizations pushing the “climate-change” agenda. His forte according to his profile is “twenty years of experience working in the field of mobility, cities, sustainability and climate change”. 

It appears his presentation will be related to the transit and transportation system in the City of Ottawa. Perhaps he will recommend banning all trucks unless they are electric powered ones (sans horns).  He may also express delight that OC Transpo is on the path to converting all their buses to battery-powered ones but the foregoing is simply speculation on my part!

If an Ottawa citizen steps back and looks at how well Germany has done with its push to reduce “climate change” and push for “net-zero” emissions they might have second thoughts about Dalkman’s speech and recommendations.

Germany has one of the highest costs of electricity in the world as well as an extremely high cost for home heating.  A March 16, 2022 article stated “A new 5,000 kWh annual supply contract costs an average of 2,098 euros, or 42 cents/kWh, 23% more than in December”. To contrast that with Ontario the average annual household consumption is 9,000 kWh and the average price is about 15 cents/kWh.  It is also worth noting the “42 cents/kWh” is U.S. currency so the Canadian equivalent is about 56 cents/kWh! Germany’s households (half are heated with naturals gas) are also paying dearly for natural gas as it has been affected by the Russia/Ukraine war and are now facing annual heating costs of well over U.S. $4,000/annually.

One should presume many millions of households in Germany are currently experiencing energy poverty*.

The first question asked of Dalkman during the Q. and A. session after his presentation should be; how many of the 41 million German households are currently experiencing “energy poverty” and what has caused it? 

No doubt he will get all choked up as he ponders how to answer that question while continuing to push the “net-zero” target!

*The common denominator for “energy poverty” is 10% or more of household income goes to pay for those two staples of heat and electricity.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                  

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!

Enbridge Inc Stymied by Ottawa Energy Evolution

As noted in the OEB’s (Ontario Energy Board) recent “Decision And Order” Enbridge Gas had applied to the OEB in March 2021 for approval to replace 19.8 kilometres of aging gas pipeline in Ottawa.  The pipeline is associated with the St. Laurent Pipeline which services approximately 165,000 Ottawa and Gatineau area customers. 

The OEB recently refused the replacement pipeline and basically told Enbridge to; “Plan for Lower Gas Demand” according to an article in The Energy Mix which noted: “The Ontario Energy Board sent minor shock waves through the province’s energy regulatory and municipal energy communities earlier this month with its refusal to approve the final phases of a $123.7-million pipeline replacement project in Ottawa proposed by Enbridge Gas.”  The article went on to note: “Several observers said this was the first time the OEB had refused a “leave to construct” application from a gas utility,”. 

The OEB, under Anthony Zlahtic,* the Presiding Commissioner, laid out the principal reasons for the decision and three of the five reasons were: City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Plan,”,Integrated Resource Planning Alternativesand “Downsizing the Pipeline due to Reduced Future Demand for Natural Gas.

Anthony Zlahic’s Background

Curiosity about Zlahic’s background led to examining his “Linkedin” file which lists his former jobs and co-incidentally claims he spent over 11 years working for Enbridge after which he worked for a subsidiary of EPCOR an electricity generation and distribution company owned by the City of Edmonton. EPCOR has subsidiary operations with one of those being Capital Power Corp of Toronto where Zlahic was employed and actively and successfully pursued wind power projects under the Ontario GEA (Green Energy Act).  He notes working with companies such as Pattern Renewable Energy as well as Samsung on industrial wind turbine projects for Capital Power and suggests he increased their “influence among key government agencies and companies directly and through the Association of Power producers of Ontario (APPrO) and Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)”. 

Based on Zlahic’s background and activities with both Enbridge Gas and his obvious belief in IWT (industrial wind turbines) as a reliable energy source one should wonder why the OEB appointed him and WHY he didn’t recuse himself (due to his background with Enbridge) from this hearing?

Also note, Zlahic ruled; Enbridge was responsible for all intervenor costs!

Ottawa’s Prejudicial Intervenor

One of the intervenor’s whom Enbridge is obliged to pay costs to is Pollution Probe** and they were represented by Michael Brophy both a director and team member of Pollution Probe.  Interestingly enough Brophy also was a former employee of Enbridge Gas.  One should wonder, did both Zlahic and Brophy part terms with Enbridge in a favourable way or do they hold some prejudices against them?

Another important fact associated with the ruling is in respect to the City of Ottawa’s Energy Evolution Plan which was actually written by Pollution Probe as an earlier article noted.  The foregoing was confirmed by another intervenor who advised that Michael Brophy told him he was a co-author of the 101 page “plan”. The “plan” suggests the costs to Ottawa for net-zero will be $57.4 billion and result in 3,218 MW of IWT capacity and 1,060 MW of solar capacity on rooftops by 2050!

Was the OEB outcome a result of self-flagellation by Enbridge?

It seems very ironic when examining the March 2021 annual statement of Pollution Probe and note their list of “Sponsors, Major Supporters and Partners” includes none other than Enbridge Inc.  

The Pollution Probe statement filed with the CRA indicates gross revenue of $1,839,737 for the year ended March 31, 2021 but only $113,516 or 6.1% was tax receipted by them so; is this an indication they are not much of a worthwhile “charity”?  

What is not surprising to see in their annual report are numerous government donors listed including: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (Province of Ontario) and TAF (Toronto Atmospheric Fund [Municipality of Metro Toronto]).

Interestingly enough Michael Brophy is also listed as a “Major Donor” meaning taxpayers are hit with a double whammy in that their taxes support the government grants which supply Brophy income from Pollution Probe and his donation(s) provides him with a personal tax receipt!

The tax dollars doled out to Pollution Probe according to a Federal Grant search is in the millions of dollars and is additional to the money handed out by them via Federal Contracts worth hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars!

More self-flagellation by Enbridge

Another exampleof Enbridge’s self-flagellation is related to the net-zero push and ESG (environment, social, governance) issues. A four-page letter sent to Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock back in March 2022 clearly demonstrates the foregoing.  The President and CEO of Enbridge, Al Monaco goes into detail on how the company is changing. In in Monaco tells Fink how they have invested in wind farms and solar facilities and enshrined ESG related initiatives, etc. into their business model. An example from the letter related to ESG states: “By 2025 we’re aiming for a workforce that will include 28% racial and ethnic group representation, 40% women, 6% persons with disabilities, and 3.5% Indigenous peoples.”

We should all find it dismaying that one of Canada’s most successful companies is basically kowtowing to BlackRock and in effect, the WEF (World Economic Forum) instead of fighting back knowing the world cannot survive with the wind and solar intermittent and unreliable energy pushed by the WEF and the numerous eco-warriors like Pollution Probe.

Appeal of the Masses

For the will of the people Mr. Monaco please stand up for the enormous benefits of fossil fuels and how they have lifted billions of people around the globe out of poverty and saved so many lives!

*The 2021 Ontario Sunshine list indicates Anthony Zlahtic’s annual salary was $169,349.82!

**One of the original founders of the Strathmere Group which this writer has written a series of articles about was Pollution Probe.

Net-Zero Looking like a No-Go by 2050 Part 2

Part 1 examined several events related to the global “climate change” push and the damage being caused to livelihoods in the U.S., Europe and Canada.  The news was bleak but a couple of the articles signaled the fallout may be having an effect on how politicians may react to more bad news and that voters may rebel. 

Part 2 will look at other global events that will surely cause more handwringing amongst those politicians!

The transition to green energy and the missing warming

Lets’ start with a recent report from a German Scientist, Fritz Vahrenholt, who describes himself as “a scientific reviewer of the IPCC report (The renewable energy section, not the section on climate science), and says that it was his first view of the report that caused him to become skeptical of climate change.”

The review of his report notes the climb of “CO2 emissions” and their increased air concentration over the past 30 years and the warming over that timeframe.  It then points out that the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) has increased since 1980 but is now weakening suggesting a cooling stage of 20-40 years will occur and added to a weakening solar radiation concludes; “further significant warming beyond 1.5 degrees is unlikely in the next 30 years.”  The review also notes a “halted decline in Artic Sea ice” as noted by “European Copernicus program in March”.  This leads to the conclusion; this is good news and suggests: “Wouldn’t it be time for climate researchers to bring these trends to the attention of politicians and the public? After all, politicians are currently readjusting the priorities of energy supply. While until last year’s price explosion and the aftermath of the Ukraine war it was apparently taken for granted that climate impacts would be the sole determining factor for energy policy, we are all now being made aware of the importance of security of supply and price trends.”  We can only hope the foregoing news is actually brought to the attention of the politicians and they listen rather than always accepting the dire forecasts of the eco-warriors.

Canada’s oil and gas workers don’t need a forced ‘just transition

The captioned headline and the article from May 10th in the Niagara Independent should be a “must read” by every Canadian politician.  The article enunciates the importance of Canada’s oil and gas sector and how the demand for oil and gas not only creates jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers but also generates billions of tax dollars that pay for “roads, schools and hospitals”.  It goes on to note “Global demand for both oil and natural gas is firmly back near pre-pandemic levels and rising, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration” and questions the need for the “Just Transition” pushed by the current Trudeau led government!  The article points out “Canada can be the world’s oil and gas supplier of choice, providing customers reliable, responsible energy that is committed to emissions reduction and environmental excellence.”  The article points out world energy consumption will grow and Canada should be ready to step up to provide it.

It is so far not apparent the current government will back off their “Just Transition” concept but they should note the UK plans to classify “natural gas” as green and drilling for it is “environmentally sustainable” as noted in a post in Part 1 of this series.

India going gangbusters on coal — tosses green rules, & wants to reopen 100 old mines

It is becoming more apparent that while countries like Canada are led by politicians who have subscribed to the UNIPCC’s push to eliminate fossil fuels there are still some politicians around the world who are more concerned with their citizen’s well-being!  This is evident with India who did not step up at COP-26 to demands they should reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and didn’t accede to the wishes of people like Mark Carney. A recent article noted “India needs a billion tons of coal a year, and digs up about 770 million tons. Suddenly the plan is to increase that to 1.2 billion tons “in the next two years” and if that means opening 100 old mines and throwing away the green tape, so be it.” India depends on fossil fuels for 70% of their power generation and recently experienced increased demand due to the end of Covid restrictions and hot temperatures causing power demand to rise resulting in power outages. Increasing coal mining will allow them to reboot those coal plants that have experienced a shortage of fuel.

It is good to see some politicians around the world feel their citizens deserve reliable power and are not caught up in what the unelected Mark Carney’s or Bloomberg’s of the world tell them to do.       

US to Ease Sanctions on Venezuela, Enabling Cargoes to Europe  

As a Canadian it seemed very strange that the U.S. Government under President Biden recently decided to ease sanctions on Venezuela allowing them to ship oil to Europe and perhaps even the USA based on an article in the Financial Post last week.  Is this the same President who cancelled the Keystone pipeline during his first day in office that would have carried Canadian crude oil to the US?  The article suggests Venezuela oil may even be allowed to go to the US; “While Chevron currently isn’t allowed to drill for or export oil from Venezuela, the resumption of talks with state-owned PDVSA paves the way for the San Ramon, California-based company to obtain a new license allowing it to resume operations. It also signals that Venezuelan oil may be coming to the U.S., one person said.

We should assume our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau didn’t jump on that news and call Biden to get him to reverse his decision to allow the Keystone pipeline. Trudeau and his minions like the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, are determined to stop all Canadian fossil fuel from being extracted and sold around the globe.

Huge fire erupts at bus garage with vehicles alight and reports of an ‘explosion’

A bus garage hosting TfL (Transport for London) electric double decker buses erupted in flames yesterday and included an explosion which can be seen on a video.  The cause of the fire is under investigation but as a result TfL has removed 108 electric London buses from service due to the concern it could be an issue with the battery.  There have been similar incidences elsewhere with another one having recently occurred in Paris, France near the end of April and their transit authority suspended the use of 149 electric buses. Apparently this was the second one occurring as another electric bus had caught fire earlier in April. 

We have heard from the elites of the world as well as our politicians that we should stop consuming fossil fuels and use public transit but hopefully this isn’t what they had in mind but based on the travelling habits of our PM, Trudeau perhaps it is as he never takes public transit?

Conclusion

The developed world’s politicians seem to have embraced the dire and criticized reports from the UNIPCC along with the hues and cries from the many unqualified ENGO (environmental non-government organizations).  Couple that with the further embrace of those IPCC reports by the main stream media and it sure appears “actual science” is ignored! 

Perhaps some of these recent events will light up the minds of the reporter’s aka journalists and the general public will get the truth instead of the “disinformation” we are being fed!

Net-Zero Looking like a No-Go by 2050 PART 1

The past several days has made it look like there isn’t “a hope in heaven or hell” to meet the commitments to reach net-zero by 2050. The promises made at COP-26 will be not be met, unless mankind is back living in caves by that date!  The following highlights several happenings impacting the impossible dreams of our elected leaders. Here are a just few that will also make eco-warriors upset!

Creaky U.S. power grid threaten progress on renewables, EVs

The captioned was labelled as a Reuters Special Report posted several days ago suggesting grid failures are becoming a big problem in the U.S. and caused by “climate change” bringing nasty things like; wildfires in California, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, Midwest heat waves and a Texas deep freeze.  The author goes so far as to claim; “the seven regional gid operators in the United States are underestimating the growing threat of severe weather caused by climate change” claiming he checked data going back to the 1970s! Had he bothered to go back a little further he may have found heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires and deep freezes are not a new phenomenon that has only occurred during the past 50 years.  He did rightly note the “inherent unreliability” of wind and solar “exacerbates the network challenges” and requires grid expansion to get their generation to where they are needed!  The article goes on to cite the increasing demand for electricity that will be caused by all those EV (electric vehicles) charging their batteries but that means a huge increase in spending on the grid!  He cites John Kerry, U.S. Special Envoy who stated: “We can send a rover to Mars, but we can’t send an electron to California from New York.” My guess is if Kerry had investigated, he would find out New York has no spare electrons to send anywhere and moving that “electron” across the county would cost more than sending that rover to Mars!

A summer of Blackouts

Another recent article related to the U.S. in the City Journal (CJ) co-authored by the editor and a “Fellow” at the Manhattan Institute took a different tact. The article noted “rolling blackouts” will be caused by; “the closure of some coal and nuclear plants, and the unreliability of renewables like wind and solar”.  The article further states “the unreliability of renewables like wind and solar” reduced energy surpluses. The article goes on stating; “That’s left some places with little margin for error during peak usage times in mid-summer—potentially prompting the kind of blackouts California saw last year. The warnings have spurred calls to slow down climate-change-driven efforts to retire nuclear and fossil-fuel generating plants.“ The authors of this article make a more logical argument than the Reuters article as it cites immediate problems presumably inferring building transmission systems to carry an electron from NY to California is not the answer noting: “the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which coordinates and oversees the power grid for 15 midwestern and southern states serving more than 40 million people, has noted that the closing of plants representing significant sources of energy had accelerated a shortfall in power reserves, potentially with dire consequences.”  The article goes on to note upcoming problems in several of those midwestern states including Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, all of whom, forecast power shortfalls and corresponding blackouts during peak demand hours principally due to plant closures and intermittent unreliable wind and solar.  The article also mentions the drought in California which will reduce hydro generation and suggest that, in itself, may well cause blackouts similar to those experienced last year.

Bundesbank warns Russian gas embargo would cost Germany 5 per cent in lost output

The Russian Ukraine war has exacerbated the global efforts to meet those COP-26 targets as the European Union has moved to stop purchasing Russian oil, natural gas and coal. Germany could see one of the largest impacts as they had become overly dependent on the supply of those fuels from Russia. Recently Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) warned the embargo could knock 5% (US$195 billion) off of Germany’s GDP effectively creating a recession.  At the same time Germany has reactivated many of their old coal plants to ensure electricity supply certainty.  The latter will not ensure they avoid the falling GDP forecast from Bundesbank nor will it help Germany and the EU reach their “net-zero” emission targets as they will be replacing gas fired plants with coal which is much more emissions intensive. It should also be remembered by all, that Germany had not only closed their coal fired electricity plants but had also phased out their nuclear plants in favour of intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.

Kwarteng to classify natural gas as ‘green’ investment to support North Sea

Kwasi Kwarteng is the UK’s Business Secretary under Prime Minister Boris Johnson. One month ago he was quoted stating: “Net zero is the solution to the global gas crisis, not the cause. Expensive gas is the problem – cheap, clean, homegrown energy is the solution,”! The quote was from a speech he delivered at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Kwarteng is now planning on classifying “natural gas” as green and drilling for it in the North Sea as “environmentally sustainable”.  Pretty sure the “eco-warriors” around the world must be very upset about declaring “natural gas” as green and drilling for more is “environmentally sustainable”!

Not to worry about the above though, as right here in Ontario the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) got a much different message recently.  The OCAA paid close attention to a recent debate amongst the leaders of four (New Blue Ontario Party and the Ontario Party were excluded) of the Provincial Parties invited to debate and the OCAA were delighted when they heard Doug Ford declare he “will not be happy until Ontario achieves a 100%  zero-carbon electricity grid”!  We should be pretty sure the Liberals, NDP and Green Party Leaders are fully on-board with Ford’s “happy” target!

What the foregoing suggests is that it doesn’t matter which side of the ocean you live on; politicians haven’t got a clue as to what the truth is!  Their preferences are driven by what they perceive voters’ favour and apparently, they haven’t a clue if “climate change” aka “global warming” is fact or fiction or what mankind’s influence on the climate actually is.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series!

Four Years Later and I Repeat: “If I were Ontario’s new Minister of Energy …”

Back on May 30, 2018 an article I penned, just prior to the last provincial election, listed ways in which the incoming ruling party could reduce electricity costs by $2 billion annually.  Electricity costs had more than doubled in Ontario under the reign of the McGuinty/Wynne led Liberals due to their enactment of the GEA (Green Energy Act) when George Smitherman was the Minister of Energy.

Ontario’s voters were expected to respond when casting their vote in early June 2018 and they did!  The ruling OLP (Ontario Liberal Party) were decimated turning them into what many referred to as the “mini-van party”.

My prior advocacy work had focused on the “electricity sector” and the cost of wind and solar generation. My efforts included frequent dialogue with the Conservative appointed “energy critics” so, at that time, I and many Ontario ratepayers in rural and urban communities had hopes the Doug Ford led Ontario Conservative Party would deal with the mess the Liberals had created. Potentially the savings would have amounted to around $8 billion over the past four years.

The Ford led government based on a recent report from the Ontario Financial Accountability Office seems to have simply transferred $6.9 billion in electricity costs for the 2021-2022 year and $118 billion to taxpayers over 20 years, even though taxpayers are also ratepayers!  In quickly reviewing recently released platforms for the OLP, the NDP and the recent OPCP budget it sure appears they all have plans aimed at “global warming” and want to spend billions continuing the push to jump on board with “The Great Reset” advocated by the WEF and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

The only dissenting voice amongst the political parties seems to be the newly formed “New Blue Party” whose “BLUEPRINT” states they will take “down wind turbines to reduce electricity costs”!

Following are the recommendations put forward in the article four years ago and I will leave it to the reader to pontificate as to whether or not, any of them were acted on!

“Green Energy Act

Immediately start work on cancelling the Green Energy Act

Conservation

Knowing Ontario has a large surplus of generation we export for 10/15 per cent of its cost I would immediately cancel planned conservation spending. This would save ratepayers over $433 million annually

Wind and solar contracts

I would immediately cancel any contracts that are outstanding but haven’t been started but may be in the process of a challenge via either the ERT (environmental review tribunal) or the court system. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200 million annually

Wind turbine noise and environmental non-compliance

Work with the MOECC Minister to insure they effect compliance by industrial wind developers both for exceeding noise level standards and operations during bird and bat migration periods.  Failure to comply would elicit large fines. This would save ratepayers an estimated $200/400 million annually

Change the “baseload” designation of generation for wind and solar developments

Both wind and solar generation is unreliable and intermittent, dependent on weather, and as such should not be granted “first to the grid rights”.  They are backed up by gas or hydro generation with both paid, for either spilling water or idling when the wind blows or the sun shines.  The cost is phenomenal.  As an example, wind turbines annually generate at approximately 30 per cent of rated capacity but 65 per cent of the time its generation is at the wrong time and not needed. The estimated annual ratepayer savings if wind generation was replaced by hydro would be $400 million and if replaced by gas in excess of $600 million

Charge a fee (tax) for out of phase/need generation for wind and solar

Should the foregoing “baseload” re-designation be impossible based on legal issues I would direct the IESO to institute a fee that would apply to wind and solar generation delivered during mid-peak and off-peak times.  A higher fee would also apply when wind is curtailed and would suggest a fee of $10/per MWh delivered during off-peak and mid-peak hours and a $20/per MWh for curtailed generation. The estimated annual revenue generated would be a minimum of $150 million

Increase LEAP contributions from LDC’s to 1 per cent of distribution revenues

The OEB would be instructed to institute an increase in the LDC (local distribution companies) LEAP (low-income assistance program) from 0.12 per cent to 1 per cent and reduce the allowed ROI (return on investment) by the difference. This would deliver an estimated $60/80 million annually reducing the revenue requirement for the OESP (Ontario electricity support program) currently funded by taxpayers

Close unutilized OPG generation plants

OPG currently has two power plants that are only very, very, occasionally called on to generate electricity yet ratepayers pick up the costs for OMA (operations, maintenance and administration). One of these is the Thunder Bay, former coal plant, converted to high-end biomass with a capacity of 165 MW which would produce power at a reported cost of $1.50/kWh (Auditor General’s report) and the other unused plant is the Lennox oil/gas plant in Napanee/Bath with a capacity of 2,200 MW that is never used. The estimated annual savings from the closing of these two plants would be in the $200 million range.

Rejig time-of-use (TOU) pricing to allow opt-in or opt-out

TOU pricing is focused on flattening demand by reducing usage during “peak hours” without any consideration of households or businesses.  Allow households and small businesses a choice to either agree to TOU pricing or the average price (currently 8.21 cents/kWh after the 17% Fair Hydro Act reduction) over a week.  This would benefit households with shift workers, seniors, people with disabilities utilizing equipment drawing power and small businesses and would likely increase demand and reduce surplus exports thereby reducing our costs associated with those exports. The estimated annual savings could easily be in the range of $200/400 million annually

Other initiatives

Niagara water rights

I would conduct an investigation into why our Niagara Beck plants have not increased generation since the $1.5 Billion spent on “Big Becky” (150 MW capacity) which was touted to produce enough additional power to provide electricity to 160,000 homes or over 1.4 million MWh.  Are we constrained by water rights with the US or is it a lack of transmission capabilities to get the power to where demand resides?

MPAC’s wind turbine assessments

One of the previous Ministers of Finance instructed MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corp,) to assess industrial wind turbines (IWT) at a maximum of $40,000 per MW of capacity despite their value of $1.5/2 million each.   I would request whomever is appointed by the new Premier to the Finance Ministry portfolio to recall those instructions and allow MPAC to reassess IWT at their current values over the terms of their contracts.  This would immediately benefit municipalities (via higher realty taxes) that originally had no ability to accept or reject IWT.

If one does a quick addition of the foregoing one will see the benefit to the ratepayers of the province would amount to in excess of $2 billion dollars which co-incidentally is approximately even more than the previous government provided via the Fair Hydro Act.

Hmm, perhaps we didn’t need to push those costs off to the future for our children and grandchildren to pay!

Now that I have formulated a plan to reduce electricity costs by over $2 billion per annum I can relax, confident that I can indeed handle the portfolio handed to me by the new Premier of the province.”

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!