Coal’s comeback as gas prices surge, and COP 26 climate gabfest in Glasgow, Scotland

I was on the radio station NEWSTALK SAUGO 960 AM with Marc Patrone once again and we covered some interesting local and global issues including coal’s comeback and some of the events that will plague the COP 26 upcoming gabfest in Glasgow.

You can tune in here to the Marc Patrone radio podcast for October 13th starting at 1:07:50 for our chat.

or you can WATCH and listen to our conversation on NEWSTALK CANADA here:

https://www.newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=22

ECO-Warriors in Shock as Last Week’s Events Unfolded

A few news stories over the past week caught my eye due to their rational views overturning claims from ENGO pushing for success at COP 26 to achieve the “net-zero” target. Here are three of the best.

Shutting Ontario’s Gas Plants Would lead to Blackouts and Cost Households $1,200 More Annually

On October 7, 2021 Ontario’s IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) issued a press release announcing they had reviewed requests from thirty (30) Ontario municipalities associated with their demand gas plants should be shut down.  The press release highlighted the findings of the report titled: “Decarbonization and Ontario’s Electricity Systemwhich were:

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.

Ontario’s electricity grid is only responsible for roughly three per cent of the province’s total GHG emissions and is well positioned to support the electrification of other sectors.

Ontario’s electricity system is constantly evolving and the IESO is actively integrating emerging technologies that have the potential to meet Ontario’s long-term needs.”

The 60% increase in the first highlight noted above would increase residential bills by $100/month along with generating blackouts. The second highlight notes Ontario’s electric grid is one of the cleanest in the world yet eco-warriors such as the CRA registered charity; the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) want to make it 100% emissions free but are seemingly OK if we experience “blackouts!

Followers of my blog will no doubt recall a prior article about the OCAA and their Chair, Jack Gibbons who wowed those 30 municipal councils convincing them to push the Ford led government to close the gas plants. It is interesting to look at the IESO data on the day of their press release as it easily demonstrates the inability of wind and solar generation to provide a reliable supply of energy.  Hour 17 (5PM) ended with those two generating sources providing a miserly 0.93% (157 MW) of that hour’s demand which was approximately 16,860 MW.  On the other hand, flexible and reliable gas generation provided 22.6% (3,807 MW) for that hour ensuring supply was sufficient for ratepayer needs.

Ontario ratepayers should be thankful IESO provided a report with facts to dispel the lies of the eco-warriors such as those spewed by Jack Gibbons!

You’re kidding when you say: UK’s Biggest Source of Greenhouse Gas is an ‘Eco’ Power Station

A very recent article in the UK’s Daily Mail cited the European Academies Science Advisory Council and stated; “using woody biomass for power is not effective in mitigating climate change and may even increase the risk of dangerous climate change”.  It is always gratifying to have others confirm what you, as an individual, noted in the past and this was one such occasion. An article I wrote and posted on Energy Probe basically reached the same conclusion as the EASAC over seven years ago in March 2014. The article noted wood pellets produced in North and South America for DRAX were shipped to England for transportation by rail to Yorkshire where DRAX’s generation station is located.

The Daily Mail’s article went on to note: “Drax in Yorkshire burns wood pellets, which are treated as a ‘renewable’ fuel and the site has attracted more than £800million of taxpayer subsidies. But analysis shows that the burning of wood for power – known as biomass – has been the cause of more carbon dioxide emissions than coal since 2019.” The article goes on to state: “Drax is Europe’s third largest CO2 emitter, exceeded only by Belchatow in Poland and Neurath in Germany. In the UK, Drax leads CO2 emissions, with RWE’s Pembroke gas power station coming in second with 4.3Mt of CO2.“ It does seem rather strange the  accounting rules allow Drax to be treated as “carbon neutral”!

Nice to see the truth for a change when it comes to the push to decarbonize the world by the eco-warriors but one should wonder why it took EASAC and the MSM so long to recognize those lies?

Greenpeace Loses Supreme Court Case Against BP

BP (British Petroleum) had been granted a permit by the UK government to drill for oil in the Vorlich Field in the North Sea but before they could activate the permit Greenpeace decided to challenge them in the courts.  The article, in the Rigzone Energy Network October 8, 2021 stated  “Environmentalist group Greenpeace has lost its court case which challenged the UK government’s decision to grant a permit to BP to drill the Vorlich Field”. Greenpeace’s principal claim was “the government gave no consideration to the climate impact of burning the fossil fuels extracted”.

The written ruling stated: “Although the appellants’ aspiration is for such extraction to cease, it does not appear to be contended that the UK economy is not still reliant in a number of different ways on the consumption of oil and gas. At present, a shortage of oil and gas supplies is a matter of public concern,” the Lord President, Carloway, added, referencing recent political developments around the gas price crisis. The ruling went on to state: “It would not be practicable, in an assessment of the environmental effects of a project for the extraction of fossil fuels, for the decision maker to conduct a wide-ranging examination into the effects, local or global, of the use of that fuel by the final consumer,”

The court however did push the decision up the line to elected politicians noting: “The Secretary of State’s submission that these are matters for decision at a relatively high level of Government, rather than either by the court or in relation to one oilfield project, is correct. The issue is essentially a political and not a legal one,” Lord Carloway concluded.

What the ruling suggests is Greenpeace and other ENGO should confine their activities to lobbying politicians and their bureaucrats as the legal system will only deal with laws passed by parliament.

The article also made mention that back in 2019 Greenpeace tried “to stop BP from drilling on the Vorlich field by intercepting its chartered drilling rig Paul B. Loyd, Jr. some 80 miles off Scotland, forcing the rig to turn back. Several arrests were made as a result.”

The three events noted above give us hope there are people still left on the planet with rational thought processes.  Perhaps some of them will infiltrate the MSM and the political parties!  We can only hope!  

As an aside the “net-zero” concept and electrification of everything in our lives was pushed via TV ads back in 1961 and the ads are still available on YouTube!  “Live Better Electrically”  No mention of either climate change or emissions back then however!

Canada Missed the Boat Thanks to Our Prime Minister and “The Sky is Falling” Environmentalists

Someone needs to tell Canadian taxpayers:

 1.Why we taxpayers paid for over 300 politicians and bureaucrats to attend the Paris COP21 Conference

 and

2.Why we committed at that time to reduce our GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 below 2005 levels (since revised to 40/45% by 2030) without a cost/benefit analysis or a little foresight?

Had the politicians and bureaucrats done either (without just listening to the “climate change” eco-warriors) they may have possibly seen future events we are now experiencing around the world! 

To wit:

European Energy Prices are Breaking Records

A colder and longer winter depleted gas supplies which have not recovered so prices have climbed as availability from Europe’s gas fields have fallen and Russia’s Gazprom is focused on restoring their own gas storage as winter approaches.  Other events such as much less generation from industrial wind turbines have affected demand to the point that even coal plants had to be fired up.  Both of those commodities are either at record highs or closing in on them.  As a recent article in Aljazeera noted; “Europe has the world’s most ambitious climate plan, but political will is being tested by soaring energy costs. As countries take steps to ease the blow on consumers, Spain warned the European Union that measures to reduce emissions “may not stand a sustained period of abusive electricity prices,”. To make matters worse, Norway, famous for its hydro power said they are “pressed” due to low water inflows so interconnections with the UK, Germany and Denmark means those countries cannot count on any supply from them during the high demand winter.

India sees Petrol, Diesel and Coal Prices at Record Highs

A article on October 2, 2021 stated both diesel and petrol prices in India reached record levels.  It should be noted India is dependent on imports to meet 85% of its oil needs so the effects on the economy will be significant. India is also dependent on coal for electricity generation with about 70% of it’s generation provided from that source and a Reuters article from October 1, 2021 noted “Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, government data shows, far short of federal guidelines recommending supplies of at least two weeks.“ Interestingly enough India competes with China for coal imports and they are the world’s largest coal consumer. The Reuters article goes on to note: “Coal prices from major exporters have scaled all-time highs recently, with Australia’s Newcastle prices rising roughly 50% and Indonesian export prices up 30% in the last three months.

China Experiences a Myriad of Blackouts

Recently a very observant contact sent me a seventeen-minute video dated September 30, 2021 and it was fascinating to watch as it contained numerous blackout scenes from Chinese homes and businesses mainly in North-East China where many of the larger manufacturers are located. Those companies have been told to either reduce energy usage during peak demand periods or cut the number of days they operate. One of the reasons for the blackouts is that approximately 57% of electricity in China is generated from coal which has increased in price. Those coal-fired plants are unable to increase prices due to government price controls of electricity so they have reduced their output in an effort to reduce losses. The shutdown of factories will affect the global supply chain and as one example, that has been noted in the press as both Apple and TESLA have been affected.  The latter is interesting as the push is on in Canada and around the world to limit sales of ICE vehicles and eventually banish them in order to reduce emissions. China has been a major supplier of batteries and other materials for EV manufacturers and additionally about 50% (4.7 million) of all EV in the world are owned by Chinese citizens.  Needless to say EV charging stations have been shut down by the blackouts so the enthusiasm to purchase EV by China’s citizens will surely diminish as they will in other parts of the world!

Energy Lawsuits may make COP 26 to be a Breakup of the Paris Accord

What looms ahead for Boris Johnson, the UK’s Prime Minister as host of COP 26 in Glasgow later this month is unknown but he should be concerned.  Beyond the recent events affecting so many countries around the world including the UK, in respect to fuel shortages and their negative effects on inflation and the global supply chain there is yet another one looming! A Reuters article published just a couple of days ago may cause the Paris agreement on climate change to be (appropriately) tossed in the garbage.  Specifically, what the article references is: “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was originally drawn up to protect energy firms as the Soviet Union crumbled, but new analysis suggests it could allow coal plants in 54 signatory states to keep belching carbon dioxide for more than a decade.“ The article went on to say: “What they never thought about is that the treaty could be used against the EU countries themselves,” added Saheb who is now working as the lead author of a U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on climate mitigation.“  Saheb went on to suggest the suits could reach 1.3 trillion euros.  There are apparently a number of lawsuits that have already started totaling $18 billion with the largest being TC Energy’s $15 billion suit against the US under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline. Canada is also being sued under NAFTA by oil and gas company Lone Pine over a fracking moratorium by Quebec.

We are Not Back

Terry Glavin in an article in the National Post on March 15, 2017 noted PM Justin Trudeau went to the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 weeks after winning a majority and said: “Canada is back, my friends”. Trudeau and the other 299 plus politicians and bureaucrats he took with him simply gave away Canada’s prosperity which the Liberal Party inherited. He committed to reduce emissions and to basically shut down the fossil fuel sector.  His commitments are now biting us negatively.  If he had not been totally swayed by his buddy and puppet master, Gerald Butts, Canada might now be the best performing developed county in the world but instead we are scraping the bottom of the G7 and G20 barrels in terms of our GDP and our employment and inflation rates.

Had he reduced regulations, allowed pipelines to be built, mines (coal and others) to expand, etc. Canada would be prospering instead of contracting.  Our natural resources would be in demand around the world and Canadians would be reaping the financial benefits of foresight but alas the unelected eco-warriors won and now we are paying for the consequences! Should Trudeau decide to attend COP 26 let’s suggest he travel alone and when speaking in public he declares: 

Canada is at the back of the pack!

Mark Carney Got One Thing Right But Seems Wrong About His Other Preaching’s

Recently I received Steven E. Koonin’s book “Unsettled” in which he eloquently analysis the 2018 UNIPCC report that served the eco-warriors with some scary scenarios they amplified in their push to stop the world from consuming fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels have served the world in a meaningful way by reducing poverty and climate induced deaths and those issues are highlighted in Koonin’s book with facts.  He is not overly critical of the actual results reported by the scientists who produced the report but castigates the media and politicians for their apparent overzealous approach inferring mankind will perish should we continue to emit CO 2.

Amusingly he does cast aspersions on Mark Carney highlighting him as “the single most influential figure in driving investors and financial institutions around the world to focus on changes in climate and human influences on it.”  Koonin first paints Carney as an outstanding central banker but than clearly highlights one of his faulty claims about the future as it applies to climate change with the verbiage; “it’s surprising that someone with a PhD in economics and experience with the unpredictability of financial markets and economies as a whole doesn’t show a greater respect for the perils of prediction-and more caution in depending upon models.”  

The take from yours truly in respect to Carney was much more critical in a recent article I penned but, having no concerns about offending fellow humans pushing to destroy our economy allows yours truly to point out their fallacies in a less gentle way!

Below is the full text of Koonin’s criticism of Mark Carney as it appeared in my hard copy.  I recommend you take a couple of minutes to read what he had to say and note; it is a reflection on all the other “climate change” issues he opines on.  He calls everyone out with facts, and I would encourage all to acquire and read this excellent book to dispel any false beliefs you may have.                                    

Unsettled by Steven E. Koonin

The following was selected from pages 145 to 147

Mark Carney, former head of Canada’s central bank and later head of the Bank of England, is probably the single most influential figure in driving investors and financial institutions around the world to focus on changes in climate and human influences on it. A learned man, with a PhD in economics from Oxford University, he has been an outstanding central banker. Carney is now the United Nations’ Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. He is also a UK advisor for the 26th annual UN Conference of Parties (COP26), a follow-on to the 2015 Paris climate conference that’s due to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, during November 2021.  So it’s important to pay close attention to what he says.

                In a 2015 speech just before the Paris conference, speaking as governor of the Bank of England, Carney laid out many aspects of “the insurance response to climate change.” Extreme weather costs insurance companies a lot of money, so perhaps it is no wonder that his appeal included a warning about flooding:

Despite winter 2014 being England’s wettest since the time of King George; III; forecasts suggest we can expect at least a further 10% increase in rainfall during future winters.

To support that assertion, he cited Britain’s Met Office “research into climate observations, projections, and impacts,” These were model forecasts for the next five years, so you might expect they’d be more accurate than those attempting to project climate fifty years out. Let’s turn to the data and see.

                Figure 7.13 shows the observed winter precipitation (December through February) in England and Wales up through 2020; it’s one of the longest instrumental weather series available, beginning in 1766.  The average rainfall looks pretty constant over decades from 1780 to 1870 and again from 1920 to the present.  A shift occurred somewhere over the fifty years in between, when human influences on the global climate were quite negligible.

                Carney was correct that 2014 was a record wet winter (455.5 mm or 17.9 inches), and it was indeed the “wettest since the time of King George,” since George III’s reign lasted until 1820. But the Met Office models Carney cited back in 2014 all turned out to be dead wrong. Rainfall during the six winters after 2014 was well in context with the previous century, and it averaged 278 mm, 39 percent less than the 2014 record and nowhere near the “at least” 500 mm implied by the predicted increase. And a Met Office analysis published in 2018 found that the largest source of variability in UK extreme rainfalls during the winter months was the North Atlantic Oscillation mode of natural variability not a changing climate.

                Of course Carney could take refuge in his speech’s subjunctive “forecasts suggest” and the indeterminate hedging of “future winters.” Nevertheless, it’s surprising that someone with a PhD in economics and experience with the unpredictability of financial markets and economies as a whole doesn’t show a greater respect for the perils of prediction-and more caution in depending upon models.”

Climate Change Armageddon Has Arrived or so it Seems

Quite the week with some interesting things going on globally related to the electricity sector and how havoc has struck in some parts of the world! The following are just a few that caught my eye!

South Australia big Tesla battery sued for not helping during Queensland coal power station failure

South Australia has gone bigtime into renewable energy and back in 2016 they experienced a major blackout and in March 2017 the blame was squarely laid on renewable energy (wind and solar) by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator).  The blackout had triggered Elon Musk to step into the fray via a winning bid to build a battery storage unit which they did successfully in the 100 days promised. Since then other (TESLA) battery storage units have been added and one of them failed to deliver the power stored when called on back in 2019 and now are being sued by the AER (Australian Energy Regulator).  As it to top things off in Australia; a fire broke out at another big TESLA battery storage unit (300/450MW) under construction.  One article about the fire stated; “More than 150 people from Fire Rescue Victoria and the Country Fire Authority responded to the blaze, and it is expected to burn throughout the night for 8 to up to 24 hours.”  The foregoing lawsuit and the recent fire suggests battery storage may not be what will supply us with reliable power to back up intermittent wind and solar.

As one would expect California has also gone full bore into battery storage and they too recently experienced an event which forced the shutdown of Moss Landing reputed to be “the largest battery storage facility in the world“. The owners, Vistra Corp. claimed; “a limited number of battery modules” at the storage facility overheated on Saturday night, resulting in the facility going offline.“ Another more current article on September 16, 2021 had the following: “Now, only nine months into operation and less than three weeks after Vistra cut the ribbon on an expansion, most of the largest battery storage facility in the world has gone dormant with no timeline for a return.“  It certainly appears, based on these recent events that unreliable power generation storage should not be the back-up for unreliable and intermittent power generation.

Close to home and a recent Hydro One Bill

Receipt of a recent Hydro One bill and the information contained in it led the writer to do a quick calculation to determine the “total cost” per kWh (kilowatt hour) on what I was required to pay. Simply dividing my total bill by kWh consumed showed the all-in cost was 14.3 cents/kWh. Flipping the bill over however one notes, a little box titled “What do I need to know?”  That box had a fairly large amount listed as “Total Ontario support:” followed by a dollar amount. When the latter amount is added to what I have to pay and divided by our consumption the cost per kWh comes to 23 cents/kWh.  The difference of 8.7 cents/kWh multiplied by the kWh delivered to “residential customers” (13.448 billion kWh) by Hydro One (according to the 2020 Yearbook of Distributors recently released by the OEB (Ontario Energy Board), indicates tax dollars paid to them to keep residential rates at 14.3 cents/kWh amounts to $1.170 billion but their pretax net income was only $414 million.  Now they are applying to the OEB for approval to spend $13.5 billion over the next five years which will undoubtedly further increase rates and tax subsidies. 

China’s sudden hate for cryptocurrency mines

An article in the Financial Post about theft of electricity to create a bitcoin mining operation by a public employee of a NY State County suggested he will face a myriad of criminal charges.  The FP article referenced a NY Times estimate that bitcoin mining uses 91 TWh globally which is about what 8 million average Canadian households consume annually. Another article noted a Cambridge University study suggests; “Globally, Bitcoin mining consumes around 121 TWh a year

The bulk of bitcoin mining has been in China which was once said to contain about 75% of all cryptocurrency mines but China has been forcing out the miners who were using their low-priced electricity meaning many of them have either moved or are looking elsewhere. We should suspect China’s move is associated with the upcoming COP 26 Conference in Glasgow.  China will not be stepping up to agree to reduce their emissions at COP 26 but by booting out the bitcoin miners (63% reputedly used coal generated electricity) they will reduce the need to add more coal fired electricity.  One should also understand that the current price for coal per ton has soared over the past 12 months which presumably is driving up energy costs in China. Where those cryptocurrency miners relocate to however, will directly impact emissions from the countries they move to.

The Circular Economy

The WEF (World Economic Forum) in one of their posts stated: “The circular economy, which promotes the elimination of waste and the continual safe use of natural resources, offers an alternative that can yield up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits to 2030.“ Is the following picture (sent to me by a contact who asked me to spot the bulldozer) what the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schaub and one of his advisors; Mark Carney, had in mind?

Unrecyclable wind turbine blades being buried in a landfill seem to form part of the “Circular Economy”!

One should wonder why the WEF and others push renewable energy from wind and solar and believe the world’s population will not recognize the lies they are advancing to simply increase their wealth?

If the UK’s PM Boris Johnson was smart, he would cancel COP 26 as the world struggles to cope with the faulty unreliability of the “green energy” adopted by so many politicians and caused a cessation in investment for reliable fossil fuels and a significant spike in their costs due to green energy’s failures.

The results around the world of the “green” push continue to illustrate the fallacy of exiting fossil fuels without having anything resembling reasonably priced reliable power at the ready!  

Marc Patrone Podcast of September 24, 2021 covered lots of ground

I was once again invited to be on the Marc Patrone Show on SAUGA RADIO, 960 AM on Friday, September 24th as his closing segment and we covered some interesting topics including: Canada’s taxpayers picking up the cost of urban transit fares, electric buses, China’s sudden hate for cryptocurrency mining, the UK’s recent power problems on the brink of COP 26, the upcoming “climate change” pandemic and allocation of individual “carbon credits” and a quick look at the Artic and China’s interest in wanting to mine our natural resources.

You can listen to the podcast here starting at 1:25:50:

Strathmere Group Declarations # 5 and # 6

Declaration target # 5 

Declare a moratorium on industrial fishing and development in the Arctic Ocean until there is a comprehensive scientific analysis incorporating the newest information on climate change impacts and until there is a system for integrated, precautionary ecosystem-based management of industrial activities.

AND

Declaration target # 6

Work cooperatively with all Arctic countries and Peoples to curb all sources of pollution of the Arctic, including from land-based sources

Both of those “Declarations” committed to by the “Strathmere Group” and their 21 US cousins back in June 2009 were focused on the Arctic; ocean and  lands so, we will look at them together.

Back in June 2019 when Jonathon Wilkinson was Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard he tabled Bill C-68 declared as the “modernized Fisheries Act and it passed Parliament June 20, 2019.  Needless to say, he was pleased and made the statement: “Our government is working hard to protect fish and fish habitat from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and the modernized Fisheries Act will do just that.” Wilkinson was also quoted stating: “It raises the bar in making sure that decision-making is based on science and evidence.”

Co-incidentally Bill C-48 sponsored by Marc Garneau, MP for Westmount Quebec and, Minister of Transport, also received 3rd reading the following day on June 21, 2019. The latter Bill was an Act regulating vessels transporting crude oil from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast. The Bill killed any hopes of either the Northern Gateway Pipeline or the “Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor, which would run from the oil sands across Indigenous lands to BC’s northern coast, along with Indigenous peoples’ hopes for a better economic future” from proceeding!

It seems odd while these two Liberal Ministers are so concerned about the fossil fuel sector and its potential damage to the eco-system, they basically ignored the continued dumping of raw sewage by cities along the St. Lawrence River like LongueuilMontreal and Quebec City!  Collectively those three cities reported dumping about 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River! 

Apparently marine life in the St. Lawrence River is not important but “potential” oil spills off of BC’s north coast will protect marine life as will no commercial fishing in part of the Arctic Ocean!

Many of us recall the happenstance related to the Newfoundland cod stock collapse and it is interesting to know one of the causes was “foreign overfishing”!  An extensive report from 2002 noted: “Canadian media and government public relations people often cite foreign overfishing as the primary cause of the “fishing out” of the north Atlantic cod stocks. Many nations took fish off the coast of Newfoundland, including Spain, Portugal, other countries of the European Community (EC), the former Soviet Union, Japan, and Korea.”  The report also noted: “There can be little doubt that foreign overfishing was a contributing factor in the cod stock collapse, and that the capitalist dynamics that were at work in Canada were all too similar for the foreign vessels and companies. But all of the blame cannot be put there, no matter how easy it is to do.”  Bad management by the Ministry is also cited as a cause in the report reflecting the moratorium placed on them on July 2, 1992 by the Honourable John Crosbie that has never been lifted since being imposed!

From all appearances commercial fishing to any great extent has never occurred in the Arctic Ocean and Bill C-68 will presumably preserve that observation for Canada’s commercial fishing fleet.

Along with the passing of Bill C-68 back on October 3, 2018 a legally binding international agreement was signed by Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, China, Iceland, Japan, Korea, the European Union and Denmark.  The agreement will reputedly protect the Central Arctic Ocean from “unregulated fishing”. The agreement was reported as becoming law on June 18, 2021 so that particular section of the Arctic Ocean (three million square kilometres) will presumably be regulated.

Should one wonder why China was included it’s not because they fish, commercially, in the Arctic Ocean but perhaps because according to an article penned in August 2020 noted: “Estimates of the total size of China’s global fishing fleet vary widely. By some calculations, China has anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 fishing boats, accounting for nearly half of the world’s fishing activity.“  The article went on to state: “China is not only the world’s biggest seafood exporter, the country’s population also accounts for more than a third of all fish consumption worldwide.

One should wonder, why would China agree to sign the agreement? 

In response to the foregoing question, one should note Canada has been extremely slow in building infrastructure to support our northern territories so without roads, railways or ports any developments of new mines, etc. are extremely costly so little development has taken place.  Suddenly back on August 13, 2019 Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced a project: “$21.5 million to complete preparatory work necessary for the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The proposed 230 kilometre all-season road would be the first road to connect Nunavut to the rest of Canada.“  That particular project, co-incidentally, was seen as the means to cash in on opening of the Arctic which was something China had attempted to accomplish back in 2011 via a Chinese company (MMG Limited) whose principal shareholder was the Chinese government.  At that time MMG backed away as the cost of the roads and port made it too costly! As noted in an article in the Walrus on January 4, 2021, “The vast mineral deposits of zinc and copper near Izok Lake, in the Northwest Territories, lay glittering but ultimately untouchable“ until Garneau’s pledge. Shortly after than pledge by Garneau, Mr. G. Gao, CEO of MMG in a press release said;  “On behalf of MMG, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Canadian government for their support and funding,”.

The Walrus article goes on to note “CHINA’S GROWING INTEREST in the Canadian Arctic, one of the least defended regions on earth, has been a calculated move. In 2013, de­spite not being one of the eight Arctic nations, China gained official observer status at the Arctic Council, an intergov­ernmental forum, and later declared it­self a “near­-Arctic state”—a phrase that seems to ignore the 5,000 kilometres between its northern­most point and the Arc­tic Circle.

It seems ironic Garneau’s Bill C-48 designed to halt Canadian fossil fuel exports was passed just two months earlier before he turned around and catered to Chinese interests. 

It seems apparent the Strathmere Group partially attained their aim for Declaration # 5 but not in its entirety so it is only a “passing grade”.

Based on the foregoing happenings (so well reported by the Walrus), the current Liberal government, by catering to the whims of the CCP looks likely to allow the creation of mining projects for those minerals desired by China. That being the case one should expect, at the least, a modicum of pollution to occur in the Arctic meaning Declaration # 6 will be destined to fall into the Strathmere Groups first fail category.

COP-26 Out Could be a Cop-Out                                                                                                                               

These past few days Boris Johnson, the UK’s PM and host of the upcoming COP-26 Climate Conference must be wringing his hands as the COP-26 Climate Conference being held in Glasgow from October 31st until November 12, 2021 is showing signs of major problems. 

On his home turf, the UK recently had to fire up a coal plant to avoid a blackout as their 24,100 MW capacity of onshore and offshore IWT (industrial wind turbines) went on holidays while natural gas prices soared.  The BBC article noted: “Over the coming months, those sky-high gas prices are expected to remain volatile. So, as well as forcing National Grid to make some tough choices about where we get our electricity from, it could also have a big knock-on on what we pay.”

As if to top things off for Johnson, new regulations associated with the electricity system and coming into force next year were recently announced and they state; “Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid. Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm.”

To put the foregoing in context the number of EV registered in the UK are approximately 300,000 out of 38 million vehicles which equates to less than 1%!  Prime Minister Johnson must surely have his fingers crossed that some of those recent events will not impact COP-26 and bring to mind, the realization reliable electricity cannot be supplied by those intermittent sources such as wind and solar usually referenced as “renewable” rather than “unreliable”!

The foregoing may be a strong signal to Prime Minister Johnson that his plan to end sales of all non-electric cars by 2035 is a non-starter unless they will forego being charged except perhaps once a year!

On top of the UK’s problems, the Spanish government has stepped into the fray as they recently moved to halt the record rise in power prices by; both reducing their taxes on energy and by curtailing what they referenced as “exceptional benefits”.  The article outlining the Spanish Government’s actions went on to state; “The government says the hikes in electricity bills are driven by spiraling prices of so-called carbon certificates, which give companies the right to release carbon dioxide; gas imports that Spain needs to complete its energy mix; and surging power demand in recent months.”

The amusing feature about the Spanish government’s actions is that back in December of 2020 “Renewables Now” were bragging Spain generated 43.6% of its power from renewables and had closed 3,486 MW of polluting power plants which were mainly coal-burning units during the year.

As is to make the COP-26 Conference outcome even more worrisome for PM Johnson, China advised Britain “it will not yield to international pressure for bigger improvements to its climate change commitments at the Cop26 conference in Glasgow.”  They will not be bullied into going green despite the visit from Alok Sharma, the UK senior climate change representative, who visited Beijing for pre-summit talks hoping to persuade China to “enhance” its carbon emissions reduction targets. It is worth noting China’s emissions stand at 28% of all global emissions and continue to climb. Without an “enhanced” commitment from them one should suspect COP-26 will fail to provide Johnson with the ability to claim it was a success!

Canada’s commitments at the Conference are presently unknown until the results of our election come to light.  What is known however, is one Canadian is playing a prominent role at COP-26 and that individual is Mark Carney whom I expounded on in prior articles.

PM Johnson back in January 2020 appointed Mark Carney (former Governor of the Bank of Canada and former Bank of England Governor) as his “advisor” for the conference. In addition, Carney is the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. I personally suspect Carney is not at all concerned about the outcome of the COP-26 Conference despite his lofty positions for the UN and PM Johnson.

Should COP-26 turn out to be a failure and Canadian voters couple that with the boot for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party we should expect Carney’s fallback position will be to run for leadership of the Federal Liberal Party. 

Stay tuned!

Why should China’s Emissions GO UP while PM Trudeau Insists Canada’s will GO DOWN

An article in TIME dated August 21, 2021 stated “China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 new blast furnaces — equivalent to adding about 1.5% to its current annual emissions“.  To put that in context, China’s emissions in 2020 are estimated at 14,400 million metric tons which is about triple what the US emits annually and 20 times what Canada emits. The 1.5% China’s emissions will increase; is 216 million metric tons and equivalent to about 29% of Canada’s 2005 emissions. Trudeau has committed to reduce Canada’s emissions by 40-45% by 2030; (299/336 million metric tons) or about 138% of what China’s emissions will increase from the point when those power plants and blast furnaces are operating and increase employment in China while the developed world continues its self-flagellation!

Even the foregoing commitment by Trudeau et al wasn’t enough in the eyes of some of the environmental groups such as Greenpeace (a Strathmere Group member) who suggested it should be at least a 60% reduction (448 million metric tons).  Greenpeace’s article goes on to state: “We must start with eliminating fossil fuel subsidies immediately” and criticizes Trudeau claiming; “After more than five years in office, the Trudeau government is still incapable of proposing a target as ambitious as that of Joe Biden who took office just three months ago.”  What Greenpeace fails to mention is Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline from its neighbour, Canada, and his ironic recent call-out to OPEC countries and its allies to pump out more oil to help reduce “prices to consumers”! 

The Trudeau Government has apparently listened to the cry from the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace however as one example is they recently banned future thermal coal mines because of their reputed contribution to climate change!

Apparently as U.S. President Biden noted, a shortage of fossil fuels causes inflation which is clearly what Canada is now experiencing.  Canada’s inflation rate hit 3.7% recently principally due to the myriad of taxes and regulations associated with our generation of fossil fuels. To top things off our GDP (gross domestic product) fell in the latest quarter by 1.1% despite most economists forecasting a growth of 2.5%, expecting a bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic!         

It certainly appears Trudeau’s admiration of Communist China uttered by him in 2013 is still top of mind but working in reverse.  What he said at that time was: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.

What he fails to see is his inane leadership punishes all Canadians while supporting China by increasing our inflation rates and reducing our GDP!

Our dime is now worth a nickel!

Gas Plants Saved Ontarians from Rolling Blackouts During Peak Demand Month

While the month and year are not over yet it appears that August 2021 will win the prize for most peak hours. Despite being a few days away from the arrival of September, August looks set to dominate as eight (8) of the ten (10) peak demand hours have occurred in August. Based on weather forecasts; demand should fall over the balance of the month and into early September.

August 26, 2021 peak demand hour (ending at hour 15) looks set to be the second highest at 22,740 MW but may be subject to minor adjustment by IESO. August 24, 2021 ending at hour 17 currently stands as the highest (22,956 MW) peak demand hour so far this year.

It is interesting to pull together some of the data for those eight “peak demand” August hours to examine how we made it through without experiencing rolling blackouts or brownouts!

Cumulatively the eight August peak demand hours show total Ontario demand was 178,645 MWh and the bulk of that was provided by nuclear and hydro which we tend to think of as “baseload” power although hydro is flexible (we can simply spill it) and some nuclear (Bruce) can be steamed off.

Those familiar with the electricity system in Ontario and the GEA (green energy act) will recall industrial wind turbines (IWT) were granted “first to the grid” rights treating them as ranking higher than baseload power.  That changed as we were frequently flooded with excess power (particularly from IWT) due to their intermittent and unreliable output and had to pay our neighbours to take the excess! The ability of IWT and solar to produce power when it was actually needed escaped the politicians (McGuinty/Wynne) thought processes so eventually IWT generators agreed to be paid for “curtailing” their generation. Their tendency is to generate power in the low demand periods of the Spring and Fall!

So, the question is, how did IWT and solar perform during those (8) August “peak hours”?

As it turns out wind and solar managed (on a combined basis) to only produce 5,593 MWh (an average of 872 MW per hour) over the 8 peak hours which represented a mere 4.9% of demand.  Ontario gas plants which are referenced as “peaking plants” were thankfully at the ready and generated 47,808 MWh or 26.8% of “peak demand”.

What the foregoing highlights is that without gas plants Ontario ratepayers would have experienced both rolling brownouts and blackouts for those 8 peak hours along with many other August hours and days that were devoid of meaningful “renewable” (IWT & solar) generation.

Based on the foregoing we ratepayers would appreciate those thirty (30) municipalities and their elected representatives to explain exactly why they endorsed the OCAA’s (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) push to tell the Provincial Government to shut down all of Ontario’s gas plants.  As an alternative they should simply rescind their council motion(s) directing the Ontario Minister of Energy to shut the gas plants!

Do those municipalities have a solution for rolling blackouts and brownouts that would be caused by the lack of “peaking power” or are they simply delusional politicians?

You be the judge!