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! 

THE PROPOSED CLEAN ELECTRICITY STANDARD

Comments by the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada

April 15, 2022

by Robert Lyman and Parker Gallant

On March 8, 2022, the government of Canada published a document entitled, “A Clean Electricity Standard in Support of a net zero electricity sector”. The stated purpose of this document was “to send a clear signal that the Government of Canada intends to move forward with regulations to achieve a net-zero electricity system by 2035; to outline considerations related to this objective; and to solicit comments from Canadians regarding the scope and design of the CES”.

The Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada (hereafter referred to as “the Coalition”) is a not-for-profit association that represents small- and medium-sized manufacturers and other businesses in Canada.  The goal of the Coalition is to advance policies that promote economic growth and retain good jobs in Canada. 

General Comments

Much of the current public discussion concerning future energy transitions is based on speculation about the timing, cost, and pace of commercialisation of new technologies. It would seem more prudent to base one’s judgments on what has actually happened in past energy transitions rather than try and predict the future.

The period from scientific discovery to widespread commercialisation of technologies has been much longer than is currently estimated by advocates of rapid decarbonisation. None of the steps in the innovation pathway – research, discovery, testing, demonstration, initial market development or widespread commercialisation – operates according to a fixed or predictable schedule.

Professor Vaclav Smil of the University of Manitoba, perhaps the world’s foremost expert on energy transitions, has argued that past transitions have been slow, painstaking and hard to predict. Existing technologies, both for generation and consumption of electricity, have a lot of inertia. Smil observes that the changes in technology and infrastructure required to decarbonise the world in a few decades as a ‘grand delusion’.

The proposed CES seems premised on the view that, in the face of high market costs and barriers, governments can force the pace of change and retain the support of the electorate in doing so. Outside of the centrally planned economies, however, no government has attempted to prescribe the timelines for commercialisation of new technologies or the dates by which a large share of society’s needs must be met by a new technology. ‘Picking winners’ may be an increasingly popular aspect of national industrial policy (despite its history of failures), but a prudent government should be hesitant about committing billions of taxpayers’ dollars to technologies that are not ready and cannot compete without permanent subsidies.

Those who pursue the net zero goal will be confronted with the reality that hydrocarbons are nature’s most efficient embodiment of primary energy. The combination of high energy density, abundance, stability, safety, portability, safe storage and affordability is unmatched by any other source of energy. Governments cannot wish those advantages away.

The electricity sector offers good examples of the immense barriers to net zero. Just meeting the additional generation requirements needed to power proposed conversion to electric vehicles would require a major expansion in the electricity generation capacity across Canada, sometimes estimated as the addition of 10,000 megawatts of capacity from today’s levels. The provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Alberta still have coal fired capacity collectively totalling over 9,000 MW which will also require replacement, adding considerable additional costs.

The two largest power projects being built in Canada today, Site C in British Columbia and Muskrat Falls in Labrador, have a combined design capacity of 1,944 megawatts. To meet just the additional EV-related  power demand, at least eight more projects of the same size would have to be built. It generally takes at least 15 to 20 years to bring such a project to production in Canada. There are none even being contemplated at this time.

Central to the vision on which the proposed CEP is based is the thesis that in future Canada must rely primarily on wind and solar power generation for incremental supply, notwithstanding that these sources are intermittent and frequently unreliable.

The Issue of Costs

The discussion paper presents the transformation of Canada’s electrical energy system from one which is predominately reliant on low- or zero-carbon dioxide emissions to one that has virtually no carbon dioxide emissions as though it can be accomplished at low cost. Indeed, considerations of cost seem barely to enter into the presentation of facts, which is a highly unrealistic approach.

Canadians’ experience with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity systems in Ontario and Alberta have already revealed the significant economy-damaging costs of seeking to increase reliance on wind, solar and biomass energy. In Ontario, electricity rates for consumers doubled over the past decade and, according to the Ontario Auditor General, the cost of the move to increased wind and solar energy will be $90 billion over the life of the existing contracts.

Those who have studied the experience of other countries that have sought to increase reliance on renewable energy sources for electricity generation have found consistent patterns. These efforts bring about large increases in the actual prices that must be paid for electricity by consumers and businesses. Further, the price increases grow and accelerate as the percentage of electricity generated from intermittent renewables increases. This is due to the need for large and increasing amounts of costly backup and storage – things that are not needed at all in conventional hydrocarbons-based systems. Jurisdictions that increased generation from renewables up to as high as 30 per cent to total electricity supply have seen an approximate tripling in the price of electricity to ratepayers, except where a large portion of the increased costs is off-loaded to taxpayers.

In the remainder of these comments, the Coalition will address four specific aspects of the proposed CES:

  • The paper’s treatment of energy technology pathways
  • The paper’s proposal to minimize use of natural gas-fired generation
  • The cost of bulk electricity storage
  • Issues related to transmission

Technology Generation Pathways

The concept of technology is touted in the discussion paper as a way to achieve “net-zero” electricity for which wind turbines (onshore and offshore), solar (photovoltaic and concentrated), hydro and nuclear are considered to be zero emissions! It goes on to claim: “low and non-emitting generation technologies are becoming more cost-competitive, the pace of low-carbon electricity deployment must accelerate for Canada to reach NZ2035”.

The paper also opines favourably on possible energy sources under development such as SMR (small modular reactors), hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture as zero emission. It also favours biomass (cogeneration and simple cycle) ahead of any form of natural gas generation. 

Biomass:  The treatment of biomass as low emissions flies in the face of reports from the UK where one of the world’s largest biomass power plants (DRAX)1. ranks third in the EU for emissions (if they were counted) and also received more than £800m in subsidies.

Solar photovoltaic is also a questionable source of energy in Canada (weak winter solar) and where it has been developed has cost more than estimated and produced considerably less power than forecast.  The larger projects started on the Nevada deserts have had many problems and the State 2. is dependent for over 60% of its electricity needs on natural gas plants. It would also need storage which would add considerably to its costs.

SMR technology is in process in many locations around the world but to date only a small number are operating, with Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov,3. the world’s first floating nuclear power plant which began operation in May 2020 producing energy from two 35 MW SMRs. China’s Huaneng Group Co.’s 200-megawatt unit 1 reactor at Shidao Bay is now feeding power to the grid in Shandong province, the China Nuclear Energy Association 4. said in a December 2021 article. Other SMRs are under construction or in the licensing stage in Argentina, Canada, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States of America.  SMR, dependent on costs, appears to be a possible “net-zero” energy source before several others but is unlikely to meet the targets committed to by the Canadian Federal Government at COP26.

Wind and solar are touted as playing a “key role”in reducing the electricity sector’s emissions but it will be very costly as demonstrated in Ontario5. where prices more than doubled in less than 10 years as they rose to represent over 15 per cent of capacity but generated only 9 per cent of demand, often when not needed. It must be recognized they receive “first-to-the-grid” rights meaning clean hydro is spilled and clean nuclear is steamed off to maintain grid stability and ratepayers are saddled with those costs in addition to what is paid to wind and solar developers. Due to their unreliable and intermittent nature they require backup from natural gas generation and ratepayers are saddled with that cost too.

Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) is a major part of the discussion paper.  Based on the following excerpt however it seems to be viewed as temporary: “Over time, however, natural gas coupled with CCUS will increasingly be in competition with other emerging options that are both non-emitting and flexible in the roles they can play in electricity systems.” The issue of CCUS has gained interest from the Government of Alberta 6. and six major oil patch participants who are seeking “carbon capture credits” to assist in recovering some of the costs. While Canada is a leader in the development of CCUS the costs involved will be billions of dollars. Those costs will add considerably to electricity generation costs from flexible fossil fuels required to back up intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation.  A report from June 2020 from Rutgers University 7. stated: “The analysis suggests coal-sourced CO2 emissions can be stored in this region at a cost of $52–$60 ton−1 , whereas the cost to store emissions from natural-gas-fired plants ranges from approximately $80 to $90.”  Note the foregoing are US dollars and those costs will be added to each kWh delivered. Transferring part of these costs from emitters to taxpayers through the use of investment tax credits for CCUS will not reduce the cost to society.

Hydrogen blending with natural gas will raise consumer costs and risk public health while barely reducing emissions, a US think-tank 9. reported in a March 30, 2022 article. It goes on to state “A blend of 20% green hydrogen in natural gas would raise fuel costs for heating and cooking by a factor of two to four, as renewable H2 is currently six to 14 times more expensive than fossil gas, the study explains. Green hydrogen prices would have to fall by roughly an order of magnitude to achieve parity with the price of natural gas for use in buildings.”  The “Discussion Paper” suggests “releasing the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada to position Canada as a world-leading producer, user and exporter of clean hydrogen, and associated technologies”.  It appears once again the blending of hydrogen and natural gas would further drive up the cost of electricity should this be cast as another regulation.

Natural Gas

Natural gas has long been favoured as a clean, efficient, plentiful and affordable source of energy supply for multiple uses. In absolute terms, natural gas is the fastest growing source of supply for energy consumers, and through the use of liquification one of the fastest growing sources of international energy trade. In the United States, the increasing domestic supply of natural gas and its affordability have allowed the US to convert a large amount of previously coal-fired electricity generation to the lower cost and cleaner fuel.

In Canada, natural gas is used both for reliable base-load power generation and a back-up source to help cope with the serious problems of intermittency that plague wind and solar generation sources that have been used for political reasons. According to Canada’s Emissions Inventory, published by Environment and Climate Change Canada, in 2019 natural gas fired generating plants produced 46,100 GWh of electricity, 8 per cent of Canada’s total, and emitted 22 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, 32 per cent of the emissions from power generation. This, however, is only illustrative of how extremely low greenhouse gas emissions already are from electricity generation in Canada. Emissions from natural-gas generated power are only 3 per cent of Canada’s total emissions.

Increasingly, natural gas electricity generation in most provinces will come to represent a backup source produced from plants constructed a decade or more ago. The Independent Electricity Systems Operator of Ontario (IESO) recently completed a study to determine the feasibility and cost of phasing out natural gas generation by 2030. The findings of that study are very relevant to the federal government’s consideration of the Proposed Clean Electricity Standard. These included the following:

  • Gas generation offers a set of services, including quick response time and assured availability, that keep the grid reliable and help balance the variability of wind and solar.
  • Completely phasing out gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts.
  • Replacing gas generation in Ontario by 2030 would require more than $27 billion to install new sources of supply and upgrade transmission infrastructure. This translates into a 60 per cent, or $100 per month, increase in the average monthly residential bill.
  • There are many other practical considerations that make a 2030 phase-out impossible, including the time that it takes to plan, get regulatory approvals for, and build new infrastructure and non-availability of storage as an alternative. Those impediments are likely to last well beyond 2030.

The IESO report did not address the fact that many natural gas generation facilities, including those operated by private firms (i.e. the so-called non-utility generators, or NUGs), while often signed to 20-year contracts, generally operate for much longer than that. In fact, it is not surprising to see them operating under 40-year contracts. The premature cancellation of these contracts could cost well over $600 million, which would also be added to consumers’ bills.

Anyone considering the termination of existing contracts across Canada and the construction of new generation, transmission and storage facilities to replace the services now provided by natural gas-fired generators would have to take these factors into account.

Storage

Battery Storage is only cited once in the Discussion Paper in the following context: “leveraging Canada’s competitive advantage in mining to build the Canadian battery and critical mineral supply chains”.  The foregoing suggests the author(s) do not regard it as a means to significantly support the electricity sector, perhaps due to its high costs.  A report from June 2021 by the US NREL 8. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) estimated the cost as; “(e.g., a $300/kWh, 4-hour battery would have a power capacity cost of $1200/kW).” That translates to a cost of U.S.$1.2 million for just 1 MW (megawatt) of storage for 4 hours and if done to any scale would drive up electricity prices.

No jurisdiction has yet succeeded in getting the percentage of its electricity generated from intermittent renewables past 50 per cent on an annualized basis. As the reliance on renewables increases, the grid operator must rely more on coal or natural gas-fueled backup power, and where these are prohibited, on some form of storage, most likely from large batteries. The cost of batteries is high and increases with the period of time for which storage is required, and whether the storage is needed only to balance daily or seasonal variations in demand

The cost of batteries sufficient to power a jurisdiction of millions of people would be enormous. In jurisdictions where a calculation has been made, the costs of the batteries exceeds the full annual GDP of the jurisdiction, and implies an increase in the price of electricity by a factor of 15 or more. For example, according to a study by Roger Andrews[1], the total amount of storage needed to provide secure supply in California amounts to about 25,000 GWh per year, more than a full month’s current rate of usage. Even assuming a substantial reduction in current battery prices, the cost of that would be in the range of US $5 trillion. And these batteries would need to be replaced regularly. Ken Gregory[2], a Canadian engineer, has assessed the cost of electrifying the United States economy without hydrocarbon-based generation, including the cost of battery backup. Simply to meet 2020 demand for 31 days would require storage that would cost $77.4 trillion, almost four times current US annual GDP.

Bulk electricity battery storage is hopelessly insufficient, no matter the cost. David Wojick, a Virginia-based Ph.D. in the logic and philosophy of science, explains this well in his article “California secretly struggles with renewables” (January 19, 2021).

Here is an excerpt:

California has hooked up a grid battery system that is almost ten times bigger than the previous world record holder, but when it comes to making renewables reliable it is so small it might as well not exist. The new battery array is rated at a storage capacity of 1,200 megawatt hours (MWh); easily eclipsing the record holding 129 MWh Australian system built by Tesla a few years ago. However, California peaks at a whopping 42,000 MW. If that happened on a hot, low wind night this supposedly big battery would keep the lights on for just 1.7 minutes (that’s 103 seconds). This is truly a trivial amount of storage…Barely time to find the flashlight, right? “This one reportedly utilizes more than 4,500 stacked battery racks, each of which contains 22 individual battery modules. That is 99,000 separate modules that have to be made to work well together. Imagine hooking up 99,000 electric cars and you begin to get the picture.”

Large-scale battery storage of electricity is still an infant industry, with enormous costs and technological risks, It is foolish in the extreme for Canada to commit to a pattern of electricity generation dependent on large-scale batteries for security of supply.

[1] Roger Andrews, The cost of wind and solar power: batteries included. Energy Matters, November 22, 2018

[2] Ken Gregory. The Cost of Net-Zero-Electrification of the USA. Friends of Science. December 20, 2021

Transmission Costs

The Discussion Paper notes; “Achieving net-zero electricity will require coordinated efforts. Provinces and territories hold jurisdiction over electricity planning and operation, while the federal government holds jurisdiction over emissions reduction regulations, interprovincial transmission projects, and international commitments, among others.” 

What the foregoing infers is either conflict or agreement will occur between the two parties as to how to achieve “net-zero electricity” which will obviously depend on projected outcomes and the current generation sources in each province/territory. 

One example is referenced as the “Atlantic Loop” project which aims to transmit hydro power from Muskrat and Churchill Falls (both located in Labrador) to other Atlantic regions, principally Nova Scotia which has 8 coal fired plants that federal regulations says they must close by 2030.  No doubt Nova Scotia would be happy to replace those coal plants with hydro power but what cost would Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador charge for that power? The other consideration is that Quebec is a winter peaking province so has little surplus energy available during that period meaning little or no generation from Churchill Falls. 

To top things off, Muskrat Falls is way over budget, having ballooned from an estimated $7.2 billion to $13.1 billion. The Federal 10. government stepped in to provide up to $5.2 billion with $1 billion of that as a loan guarantee and another $1 billion for transmission costs.  The latter $1 billion is 20 per cent of the estimated cost of the Atlantic Loop which in late January 2022 Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said his Ministry required more information before they could “justify a federal investment”. 

Based on the comments in the Discussion Paper it appears the government is prepared now to “justify” that investment as it states: “The ‘Atlantic Loop’ project is an example of collaboration to bring clean power to where it’s needed in Eastern Canada. The Government of Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank are currently collaborating with provinces and regional partners to advance this intertie project, which could greatly reduce emissions and maintain electricity affordability in the Atlantic region.” So, Nova Scotians should now wonder what will the cost be for the power combined with the costs of the transmission.  Will the cost of electricity be truly affordable? To top things off, GE 11. (who supplied the turbines) has been having problems with the software for the LIL (Labrador Island-link) slated to bring power to the Northeast Avalon.   

High voltage transmission projects vary in terms of costs per kilometer. As one example the 301-kilometer Eastern Alberta Transmission Line 12. completed several years ago cost $1.8 billion or about $6 million per kilometer.  Two major power lines under construction in northwestern Ontario are estimated to cost much less!  Those are the East-West Tie Line, 13. a 450-kilometre line stretching from Wawa to Thunder Bay, at a cost of $777 million makes its projected cost per kilometer $1.7 million. The other project is the 1,800 kilometer Wataynikaneyap Power 14. line serving many small indigenous communities on its route.  In total it will serve 15,000 people for a total cost of $1.9 billion or just over $1 million per kilometer and $126.6K per person and over $500K for a family of four.   

An article in the Financial Post on March 31, 2022 penned by Francis Bradley, CEO of Electricity Canada titled “The clock is ticking on Canada’s electricity grid15. stated “Under net-zero, Canada will stop its reliance on fossil fuels by mid-century. However, by the government’s own estimation, to do so Canada will need two to three times the amount of electricity it produces now in order to decarbonize other sectors of the economy.”  The article went on to note: “Transmission lines — the big power lines that move electricity long distances — are hugely complicated to survey and then build. Even making sure the electricity infrastructure on your street is ready for the increased load will take years of investment.”  Mr. Bradley went on to say; “Decarbonizing Canada’s economy by 2050 will be a herculean task. Decarbonizing the electricity system in less than half that time will be doubly so. If either is to have any chance of succeeding, the electricity industry will need to do more, faster, as Prime Minister Trudeau has said. But that also works the other way. The countdown clock is ticking. And we’re still waiting for vital leadership.”

What the above illustrates is that just the costs associated with ensuring the transmission lines delivering the “clean green” renewable energy will require significant upgrades costing billions of dollars.  Those costs coupled with those associated with the desire to eliminate fossil fuel generation will drive up power costs for families and businesses. It will affect the provinces of Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to a much greater degree due to their current use of fossil fuels in the generation of their electricity needs.

The foregoing suggests costs in the tens of billions of dollars which in turn will damage Canada’s ability to attract new business, it’s related capital and will decimate the economy and drive-up unemployment levels. 

Conclusion

This analysis outlines the impossibilities of achieving the goals set by the Government of Canada within the proposed time frame.  Any push towards the unrealistic outcomes included in the planned government policies will badly damage the Canadian economy.  As well, they will lead to millions of Canadian households living in energy poverty, spending well over 10 per cent of disposable income on trying to stay warm in winter and cool in summer. It is no accident that Canadian government climate plans never include reputable, independent cost/benefit analyses, as to do so would reveal to Canadians just how unachievable and punitively costly the stated goals are. 

It is important to recognize Canada’s total emissions in 2019 (last reported year) were 20 Mt lower than China’s emissions increased in the two years between 2019 and 2021 during the pandemic. China’s emissions reported by the IEA (International Energy Agency) rose to over 11.9 billion tonnes which represents 33 per cent of total global emissions. China was also the only major economy to experience economic growth in both 2020 and 2021, questioning the often-cited claim that “the environment and the economy go hand in hand”.

Sensible, measurable policies to achieve tangible benefits to the environment are welcomed by the Coalition.  Unfortunately, the approach in the Clean Electricity Standard document does not qualify as either measurable or achievable.

  1. https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-hands-n-l-5-2-billion-for-troubled-muskrat-falls-hydro-project-1.5526011
  2. https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/business/muskrat-falls-power-in-march-2022-could-be-too-optimistic-according-to-pub-consultant-100661743/
  3. https://www.transmissionhub.com/articles/transprojects/eastern-alberta-transmission-line
  4. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-power-contracts-valard-1.5726667
  5. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/wataynikaneyap-power-proceeding-1.5340793
  6. https://financialpost.com/opinion/francis-bradley-the-clock-is-ticking-on-canadas-electricity-grid https://news.sky.com/story/climate-change-draxs-renewable-energy-plant-is-uks-biggest-co2-emitter-analysis-claims-12428130
  7. https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=NV
  8. https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Russia-connects-floating-plant-to-grid
  9. https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/china-is-home-to-world-s-first-small-modular-nuclear-reactor-1.1698791
  10. https://www.ieso.ca/en/Corporate-IESO/Media/Year-End-Data
  11. https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/oil-gas/oilpatch-looks-to-ottawa-for-carbon-capture-tax-credit-as-alberta-pushes-six-projects-forward
  12. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rsfs.2019.0065
  13. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/79236.pdf
  14. https://www.rechargenews.com/energy-transition/hydrogen-blending-will-raise-consumer-costs-and-risk-public-health-while-barely-reducing-emissions-us-think-tank/2-1-1193416

Other related observations

Peak emissions occurred in 2007 at 752 megatons and our population was 32.89 million so per capita emissions were 22.86 tons per person.

Emissions in 2019 (latest from Government of Canada) were 730 megatonnes and our population was 38.19 million so our per capita emissions were 19.11 tons per person a drop of 16.4%.

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental-indicators/greenhouse-gas-emissions.html

Canada had wind capacity at the end of 2021 of 14,304 MW and 2,399 MW of solar which reputedly generated slightly less than 6% of total electricity of 647.7 TWh!  https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/canada-energy-future/2020/results/index.html  From this “variable renewable energy (VRE) sources such as wind and solar. Figure R.21 shows that by 2050, total non-hydro renewable capacity in the Evolving Scenario is over triple 2018 levels. Total wind capacity rises to 40 GW and total solar capacity rises to 20 GW.” It also has a key uncertainty “Export market developments: Climate policies, fuel prices, electrification and power sector decarbonization in export markets could impact future projects and transmission intertie developments.”


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

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

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

Taxes (Levies) Imposed on Fossil Fuels

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

Annual Taxes (Levies) on Natural Gas

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

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

Annual Taxes (Levies) on Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

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

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

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

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

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

Provincial kickbacks due to high fossil fuel costs

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

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

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

AVALANCHE OF BANK WITHDRAWALS: Bank failures unlikely after Ottawa froze convoy supporters’ accounts, retired banker says

I was contacted a few days ago by the Editor of the Farmers Forum, the largest farm circulation newspaper in Ontario.

The captioned article captures some of what we talked about but please note I got a little excited at one point and may have used a profanity that has been partially removed except for a couple of letters.  Those letters will give you a sense of what I may have said.

You can read the article here:

Our Neighbours in NY, Michigan and Quebec were Hit with Electricity Inflation in 2021

Well, IESO finally released their 2021 Year in Review data and they noted demand increased by 1.2% from 132.2 TWh (terawatt hours) in 2020 to 133.84 TWh. As an aside, demand in 2019 (prior to the pandemic) was 135.1 TWh!

Examining IESO’s information; one of the interesting things of note is the fact that generation declined by 4.85 TWh with both nuclear (-4.8 TWh) and hydro (-2.7 TWh) down whereas gas generation was up (+2.5 TWh). Nuclear refurbishment caused its drop and drought in the Northwest caused lower hydro generation.  As a result, the decrease in grid connected generation plus the slight increase in demand resulted in “net exports” (exports minus imports) dropping by 6.6 TWh from 15.1 TWh in 2020 to 8.5 TWh in 2021 despite wind generation being up marginally by 2 GWh (gigawatt hours) or 1.7%. We should suspect the 12 TWh generated from IWT (industrial wind turbines) presented itself principally when it was unneeded and gas generation was up because IWT generation was missing in action when demand was high!

Believe it or not the drop in net exports saved us ratepayers and taxpayers quite a bit of money due to lower surplus generation which caused the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) average to jump from 1.39 cents/kWh to 2.85 cents/kWh, an increase of 105%.  What that meant is net exports of 15.1 TWh we sold (basically gave away) in 2020 generated total revenue of $209.9 million as compared to $242.2 million for the much smaller 8.5 TWh sold in 2021.

Just because IESO sold our exports for a higher price in 2021 then 2020 doesn’t suggest we recovered the actual costs of the generation which was far north of the HOEP.  If one includes the GA (global adjustment) IESO reported in 2021 which averaged 7.26 cents/kWh; collectively (Class B ratepayers) costs were 10.11 cents/kWh suggesting we lost around $617 million just for the net exports of only 8.5 TWh.

I’m sure our neighbours in Michigan, Quebec and New York appreciated the kindness of us Ontario ratepayers providing the subsidy of that $617 million but missed the much larger benefit of the $1,785 million subsidy we picked up for the 2020 year.  We presumably have delivered higher costs for them in 2021 which may have caused a bump in their inflation rate. 

From the perspective of Ontario’s ratepayers, selling less for more is great but what would be even better is if we actually recovered more than 28% of the actual costs of what we sold.

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Pretends to Save us From Climate Change and the Pandemic?

An article in the Financial Post on December 30, 2021 signaled the bloom may be off the rose in respect to the market price of renewable energy firms. While the article points to the drop in value of stocks in the European travel and tourism sector in 2021, they note green renewable energy stocks fared much worse with values dropping despite the Stoxx market hovering at record highs.

Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial wind turbines saw their stock price fall by a third and for Siemens Gamesa Renewable their stock price fell by 37 per cent. The world’s largest offshore wind farm company Orsted A/S saw their market price fall 33 per cent. Despite the drop in the price of their shares however, they still trade at a high P/E (price/earnings) ratio.

Price Earnings Ratio The P/E ratio is calculated by dividing the market value price per share by the company’s earnings per share. Earnings per share (EPS) is the amount of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of a company’s common stock“                                                                                     

To put the foregoing in context Vestas P/E ratio is currently 32.9 meaning it would take that number of years before they generated the total EPS at their current market price. For Orsted A/S the P/E ratio is 44.2 and in Siemens case it doesn’t apply as they lost money in their latest reporting period.

Another “green” associated company whose stock market price has reached astronomical levels is Tesla the electric vehicle manufacturer. An article in the NY Times in late October stated the following:

Tesla is worth more than virtually every other major carmaker in the world combined. Analysts are squarely of two minds about its current level. In the bull camp: Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities, who tweeted yesterday, “Tesla hitting $1 trillion is just for starters.” In the bear camp: Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners, who wrote in a client note last week that Tesla’s stock — which then traded at 173 times next year’s earnings — was “egregiously overvalued.“  Based on the foregoing “bear camp” prophecy it is easy to understand why Elon Musk reportedlyoffloaded US$16.4 billion worth of shares since early November.“ What is also surprising is that Tesla’s bond rating is still in the junk category at BB+!

With politicians from all of the developed world countries pushing to eliminate ICE (internal combustion engines) sales and endorsing EV (electric vehicle) sales however, they have directly impacted the price of Tesla’s shares. Their efforts to free the world of emissions from the transportation sector has made Musk the richest man in the world. Pretty sure he appreciates the work of the UNIPCC bureaucrats, eco-warriors and the “woke” politicians who helped him get to that pedestal!

What about the Covid-19 pandemic?

 The other issue that surfaced just two years ago in the form of a “pandemic” has also presumably made rich people richer.  As one example it’s worth noting Moderna’s stock price on March 1, 2020 was US$29.95 and now is US$234.70 for a gain of almost 700%.  Pfizer Inc’s stock was trading at US$30.97 per share back on March 1, 2020 as the pandemic lockdowns hit and its current price is US$56.74 share so has almost doubled in less than 2 years.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines obviously played a hand in their increasing stock market value particularly as they are fully endorsed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) whose spokesperson seems to be Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci presses the need to be vaccinated and get booster shots.  He is the Chief Medical Advisor to the President so since the pandemic arrived, he has reached a position of power that is no doubt, the envy of every other bureaucrat in the USA and elsewhere.

Who owns Moderna, Pfizer and Tesla?

It is an interesting exercise to quickly look at some of the major shareholders of both Moderna, Pfizer and Tesla and it is fascinating to discover the names amongst the “top ten” shareholders. Those in the top 10 list of shareholders for Tesla, Moderna and Pfizer include BlackRock, SSgA (State Street Global Advisors) and Vanguard.  Fidelity Management are among the 10 largest shareholders of both Moderna and Tesla.

 At this point it is worth knowing all four of the above “asset managers” are co-incidentally also members of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative which happens to be an outgrowth of GFANZ (Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero).  GFANZ is where Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England is the Chair and Michael Bloomberg is Co-chair. Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock is also listed as a Principal of GFANZ!   

Surely the foregoing connections are all co-incidental and those entities, the rich and famous guiding them and represented under the GFANZ umbrella are simply out to save the world from “climate change” while protecting us “commoners” from the perils of both that happening and the pandemic that arrived two years ago!

Someone is making money from both of the concepts of “climate change” (formerly referred to as “global warming”) and the Covid-19 pandemic and based on the above cursory review it would appear to be many of those amongst the elites and super rich.

Perhaps some of the less naïve politicians around the world are also benefitting too but that would require some serious investigation into the possible “conflict of interest” issues they are supposed to abstain from once they are elected!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting Observations here at Home and Elsewhere Before COP 26

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

Ontario Comes First in Subsidizing Energy Costs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LMDC Pushback and China’s Power Crises Impacts Global Economy

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

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

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

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

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