To Senate Or Not To Senate

There will be no questions. Well, almost none, as per usual.

L. Lea ‏@YukonGale :
“@althiaraj Basically he’s saying he won’t appoint any more senators but he can’t make that binding upon the next government, right?”

Not without a Constitutional amendment.

15 minutes later:

Oil Is Not A Four Letter Word

Coal is a four letter word, however.

Perhaps Wall is a bit touchy about fossil fuels because Saskatchewan produces more greenhouse gases per person than any other Canadian province [link added], and is one of only three provinces whose emissions have risen since 1990. The province contains only 1 per cent of the country’s population, but produces a disproportionate 10 per cent of national emissions.

Saskatchewan recorded the highest deposit-paid bottle return rate in Canada (82 per cent) and largest wildfire detection camera system in North America, said the ministry.

Yet we had the worst wildfire season, perhaps ever, this Summer.

Until we get on top of the big industrial emissions we are going to have great trouble achieving the targets that have been set for the province,” said Coxworth.

“We are looking to beef up that part of our portfolio – with a quarter of our power production already renewable,” said Tremblay.

The ministry on Earth Day focused on what individuals can do in their everyday lives.

{Emphasis added, to highlight that what the ministry is doing is pushing responsibility for the problem off of themselves and onto the actions of individuals who cannot individually organize us into a more efficient system.}

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Brad Wall On “Sustainably Developing Our Energy Resources”

Originally posted on John Klein - Regina:

Brad Wall says “…we need to do better in terms of more sustainably developing our energy resources…”

Unfortunately what he means is he wants to find ways of ensuring fossil fuels and uranium come out of the ground at an increasingly profitable pace, no matter the world’s demand/need for such things.
Greg Fingas views it as such, too.

He notes that oil pride goes “Before the fall”. (Although technically oil prices have already fallen.)

The government’s climate change policy works like this: extract every last drop of fossil fuel then pray to God that no one uses it.” – G. Monbiot
I’ll add that they hope no one uses it, so long as someone first buys it. Perhaps we need to consider if…

View original 520 more words

Saving Canada $90,000,000/year not worth Wall’s “effort”

“The Senate is never going to run properly and it’s never going to be worth the money we put into it. So it should be scrapped.”

Wall continues
“I’m not going to actively campaign for the Senate to be abolished.”

“even in light of this latest mess, then it’s not really worth the effort to try to change [the provinces’ {opposed to abolition}] minds.”

I don’t think Premier Wall is the sort of leader who cares to be first, to be innovative, or will stick his neck out to make important changes to save taxpaying citizens hundreds of millions of dollars over a few years.

If Wall spent just a week trying to convince other provinces to campaign to change the Constitution to reform or eliminate the Senate, I’d appreciate his effort even if it didn’t bear fruit. By not trying any harder to do something about it than the average blogger/Facebooker/Tweeter, it’s not really something someone can respect out of one of Canada’s supposed top statespersons.

I didn’t like Roy Rowmanow’s government -at all-, but I can’t imagine him backing down as quickly as Wall has in regard to Senate reform.

The Baseload Mistake

One of the hangups some of my friends have about converting the electrical grid to renewable energy, has been the difficulty in storing electricity generated for use when energy input is reduced. Tesla Energy should help with that logistical problem.

In the meantime, we’re dealing with homes, power grids, and even an economy that cannot easily survive even short interruptions of constant energy input. That has to change to make our way of life even close to sustainable.

Is “baseload” power from coal even that important in grids of the near future?

“We all know that the wind doesn’t blow consistently and the sun doesn’t shine every day,” he said, “but the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time human kind is so dumb we can’t figure out a way to store solar electricity overnight. To me that doesn’t make sense.”

Arnie Gunderson is right that it shouldn’t sit right with people.

Forbes wonders if nuclear power is now going to die. Not anytime soon, there’s too many billions of dollars already sunk into the technology and that industry is not going to go peacefully into the night as it runs out of money to manage security for all of the nuclear and industrial wastes it’s created.

2020 Solar Power for 100% of Saskatchewan Homes Possible

This letter appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Saturday.

In response to Kurt Soucy’s letter about the cost of powering the entire provincial grid with Photovoltaic (PV) solar power, I’d like to voice my support for his idea. It’s also possible to power every Saskatchewan household with concentrated solar thermal power plants similar to what’s already operating in California at Ivanpah. We’d need only three of those plants, and with a modification to their design, the solar power would be available into the night, using heat storage.

Mr. Soucy’s solar PV idea is sound also, and by aiming at powering only 410,000 households* instead of businesses too, we’re sure to have a diverse mix of power available for every electrical customer. Ivanpah took only 3 years to build, so at that pace, we could be most of the way to completely on renewable energy by 2020. The cost of 1 Ivanpah was $2.18 billion (USD), so 3 would be approximately $6.6 billion (USD).

The Premier just proposed we take another look at nuclear power, despite polling last year which indicated most people in Saskatchewan are opposed. Nuclear power can’t compete with the profitability of renewable energy, so I welcome a series of “[Solar] Power to Grow” forums held by the provincial government around the province. These forums were called for by citizens** during the Uranium Development Proposal (UDP) of 2009. Now that the Premier has suggested we need to revisit the UDP, this time we should give the spotlight to renewable energy. We stand to eliminate most of our carbon pollution, and lower our future utility bills if we make the best choices.

*According to http://www.stats.gov.sk.ca/stats/pop/2011FamiliesHouseholds.pdf

**