The running total of shame: Ontario gas plant CO2 since January 26—one million tons and counting

February 19, 2013
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In the movie Zero Dark Thirty, the character Maya tries to shame her boss into taking action on her discovery of bin Laden’s whereabouts by writing, each day, the number of days since she made her discovery on her boss’s office window. When the running total reaches 1,000, her boss—who earlier in the movie rages to his staff about their inability to track bin Laden down—starts to look truly depressed. From there, things move a bit quicker: many fewer than 1,000 days then elapse before bin Laden is killed.

The look of a man looking at a running daily total that grows by one every day because of his inaction. Maya’s CIA boss in Zero Dark Thirty. Ontario’s daily total of CO2 dumped into the air by gas-fired power plants grows by more than 30,000 tons every day.

Well, it has been 24 days since the current premier of Ontario won her job by winning the leadership of her party. In those 24 days, the gas-fired generators in this province have dumped more than one million metric tons of CO2 into our air. This is the same CO2 that president Obama railed against in his state of the union speech a week ago.

Gas plants in Ontario are why the current premier was given the opportunity to run for the leadership of her party in the first place. Don’t forget that gas plants are the less-publicized side of the Green Energy Act: because the more-publicized side, wind and solar generators, cannot provide the actual electricity on which Ontario utterly depends, gas-fired plants were quietly written into the Act.

Are gas plants clean? Well you tell me. They have dumped more than 1 million tons of CO2 into Ontario’s air since the Liberal leadership race was settled.

That was in the process of generating 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

In the same period, Ontario’s nuclear plants generated 5.9 billion kWh, three times as much electricity as the gas plants.

Those 5.9 billion nuclear-generated kilowatt-hours did not come with a single gram of CO2.

Premier, gas put you where you are, but nuclear is your real friend. And that 1 million tons of gas-generated CO2 is a running total. If Maya were in charge of cutting Ontario’s CO2 emissions, she would be writing that running total on the window, every day.

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Item 1: if Ontario did not have its nuclear generating fleet, last hour’s CO2 emissions would have been AT LEAST:

6,446 metric tons, and the CIPK would have been 381.9 grams

Item 2: Since prorogation of the Ontario legislature on October 15, 2012, provincial gas-fired generating plants have dumped this much CO2 into our air:

14,337,027 metric tons. This is a running total. Every hour, the total increases by the amount of Gas CO2 given in Table 1.

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