Values, strategy, and opportunity: Toronto 416 is up for grabs, and the parties know it

January 21, 2014

Why did NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns, in a very successful media blitz in which he attacked Ontario Liberal energy policies, not attack nuclear as the source of Ontario electricity price hikes? You would think that would be his number one gambit: it has been all along, including in a pre-election TVO Agenda debate with…

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Incandescent ban illuminates urgent need for public carbon education

January 16, 2014
Incandescent ban illuminates urgent need for public carbon education

In the recent deep freeze, I used and was extremely grateful for every watt of heat in my home. I needed it. As I mentioned last post, when it is that cold I don’t really care where the thousands of watts I use came from. Gasoline, wood, coal… I really do not care. I just…

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End of coal in Ontario? Not if there’s a power crunch

January 14, 2014

When electricity was restored to Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario after the ice storm of December 21, nobody cared where or how the current was generated and pushed through the wires to their house. All people cared about was getting their power back. Electricity is an utterly essential component in modern life. Conservation rhetoric notwithstanding,…

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Money for nothing: German wind turbines and solar panels useless during coldest, darkest part of the year

January 9, 2014
Money for nothing: German wind turbines and solar panels useless during coldest, darkest part of the year

Germany has some of the dirtiest and most expensive electricity in the European Union. How is that possible, you ask, given that Germany also has the most wind turbines and solar panels in the EU? It is possible because wind turbines and solar panels cannot run an electricity system. They are mostly for show. Their…

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Ontario electricity carbon spikes past 100 grams per kilowatt-hour: the environmental cost of the Perfect Storm of 2009

January 3, 2014
Ontario electricity carbon spikes past 100 grams per kilowatt-hour: the environmental cost of the Perfect Storm of 2009

On days like today, when it is below minus 20 °C across most of Ontario, nobody cares about the environmental cost of staying warm. You gotta do what you gotta do. When I get into my gasoline-powered car and turn the key, I, just like the next guy, impatiently wait for the first signs that…

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Comparing carbon abatement across jurisdictions: assess, refocus, reapproach

December 30, 2013

In the nearly 17 years since the Kyoto Protocol, jurisdictions around the world have, through their efforts to implement Kyoto’s requirements, accumulated sufficient experiential data to allow for a very fast and accurate judgement of these efforts. The two most important criteria for making this judgement are: The carbon content of electricity. The price of…

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Reducing carbon pollution from electric power generation: what works?

December 25, 2013
Reducing carbon pollution from electric power generation: what works?

It has been more than sixteen years since the famous and infamous Kyoto Protocol. In signing Kyoto, 37 countries and the EU committed to reducing emissions of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas pollutant. In those sixteen years, many countries, especially Germany, took the Protocol seriously—so seriously that they led efforts to reduce…

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Toronto under siege: the city without power

December 24, 2013
Toronto under siege: the city without power

My hometown of Toronto is under siege this morning, two days after the worst ice storm in the city’s history. Hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity, and it’s minus-11 °C (12 °F, or 262 Kelvins). One of my brothers lost power both to his home and his business. His business has been restored,…

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Power, fear, and carbon in Japan: the Iron Rule of Power Generation II

December 19, 2013
Power, fear, and carbon in Japan: the Iron Rule of Power Generation II

On March 11 2011, a 14-meter-high tsunami, triggered by an earthquake of unimaginable power, smashed the northeast coast of Japan. The tsunami killed about 20,000 people pretty much immediately. Watch any video of this catastrophe and you will see why. The wave also knocked out the backup power to a nuclear plant. As a result,…

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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:

5,788 metric tons, and the CIPK would have been 363.5 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:

14,443,892 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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