Switch to Wind, Water, Solar, and Save Billions

$2B saved since Ukraine war

Wind and solar power plants generated 46.3 terawatt-hours of electricity between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, the data [in Turkey] showed.

“Without these power plants, underutilized gas-fired plants or coal power plants relying on imports would have had to run in order to compensate for them,” the report added.

“Assuming that all 46.3 TWh power was generated by gas-fired plants, this would mean wind and solar power replaced $7 billion extra gas imports during that 12-month period.””

Plague Update: What Does COVID Do Anyway?

COVID-19 a thrombotic disease that can be caught again, and again, and again if the first bouts are survived, and isn’t confined to a “season” because it’s so much more contagious than influenza. It has multiple waves that sweep through a community each year. Governments are using ‘magical words’ to convince people there’s a “mild”, “new normal” that is acceptable and survivable so the people will willingly return to economic activity compatible with consumptive capitalism. That locust-style capitalism also happens to be ending our habitat’s economic viability and then our survivability sometime this decade or the next.

@nytimes

“The coronavirus has become more adept at reinfecting people as Omicron and its many descendants seem to have evolved to partially dodge immunity. Waves of infections two, maybe three times a year may be the future of Covid-19, some scientists now fear.”

Plague Update: Clearly Political

There’s a wind blowing in Canada, and it’s blowing away from public health measures that have kept most Canadians healthy and safe from the pandemic crisis primary driver, the SARS-CoV2 virus. Somewhere between 1010 Saskatchewanians and about 4000 have perished in the last 2 years from the virus, while more than a tenth of the population has directly experienced infection.

With the world not rising to the occasion, and failing to equitably produce and distribute vaccines to all people, variants have arisen and shaken the resolve of public officials and the public at large. I had several anti-waxxers on Saturday questioning me specifically about why I’d want a vaccine that wasn’t “100% effective”. They didn’t seem educated enough to have ever heard that perfect is the enemy of good.

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” — Confucius, [1]

So, we have Dr. Tam and others saying that we’ll have to pretend the crisis is over and accept routine crippling sickness spreading through our air(ports) and beyond.

“For better or for worse, this is what’s going to happen across the whole country,” said Dr. Alexander Wong, an infectious diseases physician at Regina General Hospital and associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan. 

“The question is, why are we in such a rush to do all of this? It’s clearly political.”

It sure as heck isn’t a very rational, or scientific approach to getting our lives back to an old normal where the biggest reason people would be uncomfortable about going to a restaurant was the tab at the end of the night, instead of the dread of life crippling/ending infection discovered days later. Then, watching that infection spread through your family and friends…

I see this as analogous to how we handle the climate crisis also, with politics, but not science informing those political decisions. Experts explain how masses of ice poised to swamp every global coastal city are on the knife’s edge, and municipal, provincial, and federal politicians still want to build more fossil fuel pipelines and highways. Just keep piling those straws onto our camel’s back, it’s worked so far.

Plague Update: Sports Canary

CBC reported this morning there are 5 fewer NHL teams, yet the league is trying to soldier on instead of responding to the writing on the wall.

Last year when pro sports shut down arenas and later didn’t allow fans in, there were games without outbreaks, despite no vaccines. Now we have a vaccine designed for a different generation of COVID-19, but no effective public health measures to handle the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

If pro sports are allowed to send the very public message that people are to keep calm and carry on in the face of their health system collapsing, we can deserve what we get from doing the obviously wrong thing.

UPDATE: The NHL has “paused” the season over the holidays.

Silly Saskatchewan Party

EVs are not getting a free ride on the roads.

A look through Saskatchewan budget documents shows clearly that the amounts spent annually to maintain highways far exceed what’s collected through the fuel tax on gasoline, diesel and propane that are earmarked for highway building and upkeep. For instance, Harpauer’s 2021-22 budget projects spending $830 million on highways, while the fuel tax is expected to raise $477.9 million.

In fact, from 2008 to 2022, fuel tax revenues total $6.8 billion, while $10.6 billion is spent on highways. 

opinion/columnists/peiris-saskatchewans-new-tax-on-electric-vehicles-a-sign-of-more-silliness-to-come

Link broken on purpose.

The Sask Party doesn’t care about the climate crisis.

Suez Canal Unblocked

Stonks Game Stops At This Stop

Hedge funds that bet against Game Stop are crying foul as they lose a fortune, because the crowd noticed their weakness and exploited it. Sounds very Wall Street. Is it against the rules? How could it be in a market that has too few rules. The difference now is that the crowd has the power instead of the billionaires, so it can’t be fair, right?

Hedge funds basically borrowed money to buy stocks for Game Stop that shouldn’t even have been available for sale (136%??), and a crowd of investors very publicly noted this situation, explained publicly what they were going to do, and the hedge funds didn’t immediately back down and take a small loss, and so lost the entire amount. As a result of not being able to cover their loss, they were forced to buy the stock they bet against, pushing the price up even further. A short squeeze happened with Tesla in the past year too, part of the reason for its stock price meteoric rise.

Billionaire CEO defends Redditors; CNBC host sounds like a whiner sad that his team made a bad bluff and got called.

Can’t tell if joking… @theserfstv · “lol Gamestop just became an S&P top 500” If true and it qualifies, that would require it be included in the S&P list of the top 500 stocks, like Tesla, pushing its price up further.

@IGN · “Amidst ongoing GameStop stock fluctuations, WallStreetBets has been banned from Discord for allowing “hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” and has gone private on Reddit.” https://bit.ly/3t25EEC

@JuddLegum · “Funny no one mentions that the primary “victim” of the GameStop trading, Gabe Plotkin, worked for SAC until the firm pled guilty to insider trading in 2013 and paid $1.8B in fines to the SEC and this week, Plotkin got a 2.75B bailout from his old boss, Steve Cohen, SAC’s founder.”

Memes are flowing:

“You said crypto was too volatile? Mmhmm… (Woman tipping hand)

Wall Street: Crypto is volatile.
GameStop: Hold my Beer (mug)”

“GameStop, AMC, Tootsie Roll, BlackBerry: there’s a theme here and it’s elder millennial nostalgia.”

“Hold the line, “They can take our subreddit, but they can never take our $GME”

– Actually they can take it, and will probably try. These folks need to learn about Bitcoin, badly.

ADDED:

#Petrostate of the Province

I’ve friends who think Council is going too hard, too quickly. I think they’re not going hard or fast enough. They’re fighting the worst scourge on the face of the Earth short of ignorance and apathy:

OIL COMPANIES.

Building pipelines to replace tired old pipes is not a sound investment. The old pipes lasted for 50 years. Can you honestly envision people driving gas burning cars in 2070?

Taking oil money to pay for community projects that the government should fund, is a self sustaining problem. People will come to associate oil companies with the source of community infrastructure, instead of the provincially owned resource wealth that actually makes it possible.

Weather Alert Dismantling

Write your MP and the weather office now please.

Dear Canadian Government:

Regarding closing weather radio stations, in a year when an unusual emergency was the top news story in 10 of 12 months, seems like a precursor to more embarrassing stories of how the government cut pandemic alert systems just prior to 2020. In Regina, crates of N95 masks were landfilled prior to 2020 and not replaced. Who needed them, right? Long Term Care home workers, dealing directly with COVID-19 patients still don’t have N95 masks at work.

Internet isn’t a replacement for weather radio, as cell phones don’t stay charged long in an emergency. Don’t make the mistake of closing weather radio access for Canadians to save a couple bucks. Additionally we should have tornado sirens in Regina, but don’t because it’s deemed old technology. We’ll miss having it when it’s too late.

We should be building onto what previous generations provided us with, not dismantling their working systems.

Kenney Stands Up For Doomed Oil

Nowhere in Canada is more cursed than Alberta. It’s the Resource Curse. And Jason Kenney is the leader of the cursed.

Some people have to wait decades to learn how wrong they are. Kenney’s scheduled to see in only 5 years.

I don’t know enough to say that Kenney is an intensely stupid man, because it’s entirely possible he’s evil and conniving and knows that oil is done, but says these lies anyway to his political advantage.