Over the Thanksgiving long weekend, Ontario natural gas-fired power plants dumped roughly 57,908 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, into Ontario’s air. They did not pay a dime for this privilege. The CO2 dumping occurred as a by product of generating roughly 106 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. That electricity cost Ontario ratepayers an officially undisclosed but inferable rate that is much higher than the rates for clean power like hydro and nuclear. The table below shows the output of the major generator types over the long weekend.
|Fuel||Output (MWh)||CO2, metric tons|
Those 57,908 metric tons of CO2 dumped out of Ontario gas-fired power plants are now acidifying the world’s oceans. What a shame, to see the world’s oceans treated as a garbage dump for electric-power generation from a landlocked jurisdiction. Is it necessary to do this?
Of course not. The table shows that the provincial nuclear generators produced more than 773 million kilowatt-hours over the weekend—more than seven times as much electricity as the gas-fired plants. And this seven-fold outperformance of gas did not come with a single gram of CO2. Nuclear plants do not produce CO2, and unless the laws of physics change, they never will. The nuclear plants have been running for 40+ years. I shudder to imagine how much CO2 would have gone into our atmosphere had they not been there.
In spite of this, the self-styled environmental movement in Ontario calls for the closure of the provincial nuclear plants and their replacement with natural gas-fired plants. Yes, you read that right. The “greens” don’t mind that their preferred fuel dumped 57,908 metric tons of ocean-acidifying CO2 into the air over a single long weekend. If they get their way, those 57 thousand tons will turn into 57 million tons each year going forward.
With “friends” like this, Mother Nature doesn’t need any enemies.
The official “green” crowd is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow night (Wednesday, October 10) in support of exactly this goal: to replace Ontario’s zero-carbon nuclear plants with carbon-belching gas plants like the ones that dumped the 57,908 tons of CO2 into our air over the weekend. Unfortunately I will not be in Toronto, or I would attend and ask the obvious question why people who call themselves green would support fossil fuels after all the talk of opposing them.
But if you are in Toronto and are curious to hear their answer, you are invited to a panel discussion featuring representatives of the provincial green movement. It is at Metro Hall (King St. and John St., Toronto), Room 303, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.