Wind Turbines - Green or Greenwashing? What should NDP position be?

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Sven Sven's picture

outwest wrote:

On a purely economic basis, retrofitting for wind and solar (and greywater) on the small scale may seem unprofitable now, but as peak oil heats up in the next few years, I believe those who do will increasingly be sitting pretty with regard to utility bills. 

Peak oil is one (important) piece of the puzzle.  But, there's a several-hundred-year supply of coal available to produce electricity (plus natural gas, hydro, and nuclear).  So, I suspect that, even with peak oil, we won't see solar as a cost-effective alternative in our lifetimes.

Of course, just looking at the cost of electricity does not take into account externalities.

But, most people look as the choice between a signiicant spike in their energy bills (to cut GHGs) and compare that to an X degree increase in global temps a hundred years from now (when they'll be long dead and gone) and think, "I'd rather have cheap energy."

Sven Sven's picture

Bubbles wrote:

Sven wrote:

Bubbles wrote:

If your life support system is failing, do you ask how much it costs to avoid that failure?

You're not arguing that understanding the cost of such a retrofitting is irrelevant, are you?

We could make every car on the road as crash-safe as a NASCAR race car and that would save a lot of lives, too.  But, would people be willing to spend, say, an extra $20,000 or $30,000 for their vehicle to do that (not to mention wearing a helmet while driving a car and sitting in a full-body restraint system)?

Probably not.

You got it. Some things are to big to fail.

What does the "too big to fail" issue have to do with (what I thought) we were discussing?

I think, in certain instances, cost is even relevant in your life support example.  If were a 90-year old man and $250,000 couild be spent to keep me alive for another two months -- after which time nothing could be done to keep me alive, and I would then expire -- would it make any sense to spend that kind of money on me when that $250,000 would be spents on, say, vaccinations for tens of thousands of children?

Bubbles

Sven, I was thinking more in terms of our collective life support system being threatened by run away climate change because of our consumption and fossil fuel habits. In my view the costs of failure to control our input into this rapidly aproaching disaster will far out weigh the preventative costs, as umpossibly big as they might seem now.

Good night.

May first a special day for me.

Mike from Canmore

Sven I am calling for a moratorium on industrial wind projects until a model has been created that does harm humans and the environment.  We know that small scale wind, solar and water projects are not resulting in these concerns. As someone who doesn't just criticize and tries to bring something productive to the conversation, I am calling for the development of small scale energy projects as an alternative to industrial wind projects. If we're willing to splurge $7 billion on Samsung wind turbines then why not splurge $7 billion on small scale projects. They may not be able to power an entire household - industrial wind turbines can't produce enough power to meet all of Ontario's needs either - but such projects will reduce consumption off the main grid and are the ethical alternative to the problems experienced by industrial wind projects.

Although I do not have exact figures (like I said you will have to do your own research), a basic analysis suggests small scale is cheaper than large scale wind projects. Large turbines require higher winds to produce energy. Small turbines can be productive in lighter and heavier winds. Large turbines require a lot more assembly costs per capita than small turbines. Large turbines require dozens of acres of clearance whereas small turbines can be placed on the roof of your house. Large turbines increase delivery charges because you have to build more transmission lines and infrastructure such as roads and adapter stations. Large turbines create added pressures and costs on current power supplies because they cannot turn off their power to the grid easily and get burdened with access energy produced by large turbines. This can end up in energy dumping.   Anyway, I'm sure there's loads more, that's just off the top of my head. Oh there's the unaccounted for costs on our health system. 

Charter Rights

Sven wrote:

So, you put in about one full workday of work on your garden every week.

If a person is doing that as a hobby and for relaxation, it should like a great use of time.

But, for most people that would not be an economical use of their time for the quantity of food they produce.

And, that's probably why most people don't do it.

 

I have a 50 ft by 75 ft garden as well and spend about the same amount of time with a little more spent at planting time and at the end of the year clean-up. I put all kinds of vegetables down for the year, that last until the next harvest. I give just as much away and we can pickles, beets, relish, salsa tomatoes etc that also last us the whole year. Except for the rototiller (which I use to dig by hand) everything else is completely organic, using home grown compost tofeed and nourish.

A couple of weeks a year in manual labour is not much time to spend on growin (and knowing) one's food source. As well we purchase eggs, meat and other food stuff within about 7 kms of my house. So I also know where that stuff comes from. We have some fruit trees and bushes that went in over the last couple of years that aren't producing fuly yet so we shop at local orchards for our fruit. We feed a family of 5 adults with many "extras" who come around at supper time.

So IF my labour is worth something then we essentially get food for far less, with a much smaller carbon impact than you can buy at the grocery store. People don't fathom the actual costs of eating fresh fruit and vegetables imported from South America  during the winter. They pay workers less than adequate wages and the costs of carbon producing activies will never be repaid.

 

Over the winter I have been experimenting with aquaponics, using a small aquarium to try to understand the relationship between the fish, water, nutrients and plants. Come spring I am setting up to move the operation outdoors onto my 1/4 acre pond. If successful, I will be able to eliminate about 1/4 of the carbon I produce in using the rototiller.

 

The point is, that small scale ingenious wind, water, and manual labour can sustain households easily and inexpensively. The problem is that people are caught up in their corporatist brainwashing that they can earn enough money by working harder to pay for any luxury they want - including the convenience of going to the shopping market and picking up fresh peaches in January. This cannot be sustained when we look at the entire costs of production, delivery and storage,and the costs on the environment. Rather, there are not enough hours in the day to produce what we consume and discard, let alone keep a roof over our heads and send the kids to school.

 

150 years ago, farmers spent about 150 days out of the year tending to livestock, crops and prepareing for the winter. That gave them about 200 days in the year for leisure activities, hobbies and indoor work that kept them clothed and warm. If we look at manhours, today the average worker spends about 250 days of the year in work and no more than 100 days in leisure (much of it spent in over-indulgent kid-things). No wonder people feel they are out of time. The corporation has them all hooked.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I also give roughly half of what I grow to friends and neighbours. There's no way I could eat 75 heads of lettuce every summer. Laughing  But it's fun tending to the garden and watching stuff grow. And overcoming obstacles - there's always a challenge in veggie gardening - for example, the first yuear I tried growing tomatoes, all I was able to grow were tiny tomatoes, rather frustrating for the time and effort I put into it. But last year I had a decent crop and I enjoyed nice salads from veggies I grew myself. I also grew quite a lot of rutabagas, which are like a small turnip, but which goes great with potatoes and stews. Most folks here also grow their own potatoes, never buying them from the store at all, but I don't have the space. I've never had luck with growing pumpkins or watermelon here, but this year I've started growing watermelons inside my house and they're actually starting to grow, but I'll keep them inside probably until mid-June before transplanting outside. I've experimented with different variesties of flowers as well and I have a better idea of what grows well here, and which attracts bees and birds. I'd love to see butterflies here, but despite growing flowers that are supposed to attract butterflies, I've still yet to see any. But last summer I had hummingbirds for the first time! And this is a very cold climate for gardening - overcoming these sorts of challenges makes life just a bit more enjoyable.

remind remind's picture

Unionist, in actual fact mike from canmore has  very  valid points about  every home being fitted with solar panels and a small efficient wind mills, there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be done, and every reason why it should, on a nation wide scale.

This type of initiative can be likened to Bermuda's white limestone roof  system for water collection, on, and in, almost every home.

Sure enough it has much less population than Canada, but it makes no matter, our population is not so large that a public works project could not easily be done.

As I indicated here awhile back, Gordon Planes the Chief of the Sook First Nations installed solar panels on all Reserve houses for their hot water needs.

And it was more than feasible for them and is a  benefit to the community and to the environment. As such, a whole project of this sort could happen across Canada.

Moreover, some BC people actually do have their own mini hydro dams going on, for both water and power systems.

Geoff

After watching the news coverage of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, wind turbine issues seem like pretty small potatoes.  Absolutely, let's do everything we can to minimize the impact of wind power on the environment. However, the only way to neutralize the impact of energy use is to stop using energy. Since that's not going to happen, all we can do is make the best use of a blend of renewable enrgy sources, including wind turbines, in order to reduce as much as possible our use of toxic fossil fuels.

Bookish Agrarian

Frustrated Mess wrote:

BA, the business your in, agriculture, is dominated by some very evil global corporations with cross ownership and management with big oil and coal and the tar sands. Welcome to capitalism. And you know, I live in and near wind turbines. And, I did a little research on a man who organized an anti-wind workshop in Woodstock. Google being my friend, uncovered a former employee (and likely still a consultant) at Bruce Power. Gadzooks!

Ontarians want all the electricity they can get and they want it cheap and they want the harmful and toxic effects out of sight and out of mind. People dying quiety of heart and lung disease or cancer is perfectly okay. Near abouts where I live, they are opposing, now, solar farms. Solar farms. Silent. Passive. No shadows. No profile. And do you know what they say? They say prime agricultural land ought not to be lost to solar farms. They say that from among the subdivisions popping up like wild mushrooms. They say that as they commute from subdivisions near Simcoe to jobs in Hamilton on roads cutting wide, sterile ribbons across prime farmland.

I believe the Ontario government ought to conform to all environmental reviews, and I think the Ontario government could assist with those people, and I believe there are some. who do suffer negative effects from turbines to relocate and sell their homes.

But demonizing alternative energy is part of an agenda that opposes any migration away from fossil fuel energies, mega-dam projects, and uranium.

If I was dictator of Ontario I would hold current OPG generation static and as a baseline. And I would tell municiplaities that if they want any more power than what the baseline provides, they must provide it themselves and it must be 90% renewable and zero emissions.

A wind spill

 

 

 

Well hell then if big business is meant to run everyting than why should anyone try to fight back or change things.  Lord knows no one in agriculture is trying to change that domination. (roll eyes here)

 What a completely defeatist attitude you have.  Because we have let corporations pillage our food economy we should just let them do that to every other sector of the economy?  If that is not what you are saying please enlighten me, because I truly am getting weary of all the hours I have dedicated to fighting the industrial food system, but if the exact same tactics, control and systems are good when it is alternative energy than I might as well spend more time farting around my place instead of fighting Monsanto, Sygenta, Cargill and all the rest.

 

ETA

You know I just read over this thread again quickly and I don't see a single instance of people demonizing alternative energy generation.  Far from it.  What I see is a growing number of people waking up to the reality of the specific plan being implemented in Ontario and its impact on communities.  It is that specific plan which people are questioning so please stop with the hysteronics.

And you know what Bruce, Grey and Huron Counites are the major target for wind production right now by these companies. So people living here are going to be more aware and more in tune with what is happening.  So just because someone is a former employee means nothing in this area.  On my block alone I can think of six people who are either current or past employees at the Bruce.  All but one are also farmers.  I am pretty sure my block is pretty normal in that regard.  You can hardly have a single person coming from Bruce that doesn't have some connection to the Bruce directly, or through friends and family.  That does not mean they are agents of Bruce Power, or 'consulants'.  If you have a background in construction, engineering, are mechanical, or just wanted  the best paying job in the area the Bruce has been the place through more than a generation now.  Dismissing someone simply because they used to work for Bruce is just plain foolish, particularly if it is the person I think it might be who will without prompting also tell you about the failings of nuclear power and was an early and strong advocate of alternative energy.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Geoff wrote:
... all we can do is make the best use of a blend of renewable enrgy sources, including wind turbines, in order to reduce as much as possible our use of toxic fossil fuels.

Well said. Here on the Quebec coast all our electricity comes from hydro dams, and more are proposed. I'd love to get off the grid completely but don't see that as a realistic goal. But I'd still love to have a few solar panels and a very small wind turbine just the same.

remind remind's picture

 

Cueball wrote:
...needs to be organized and funded at a society wide level, I am all for that...Small scale power generation can be created on a large scale, as part of the solution.

 

The reality is people, at least some, and a good many around here even are doing just that, small scale generation, as part of the solution. And indeed it can be done on a large scale.

 

 

Bagkitty wrote:
...stop trying to come up with solutions that require appeasing the market.

 

Are you meaning that small scale hydro production done on a large scale is appeasing the markets, or not? If you mean it isn't, or shouldn't I agree.

 

Unionist wrote:
reliance on non-renewable energy must stop immediately.

 

Don't think this is quite yet realistic as primary immediancy, but it can happen I believe in a fairly timely fashion. And I agree completely with you that it needs to be done as part of the federal government infrastructure system, and not as a individual house hold project.

 

Farmpunk wrote:
Nice to see babblers from areas far outside the affected areas telling us how it is.

 

Think this is a broader discussion than just Ontariario farmpunk.

 

Tommy_Paine wrote:
Then we have the consumer dilemma.... I can't help but think that such costing might be skewed by selective book keeping

 

Exactly, and once people start to scratch below the surface and into actual costs, in respect to individual wind and solar, it is much much less.

 

Sven wrote:
You're not arguing that understanding the cost of such a retrofitting is irrelevant, are you?

 

Hopefully that is what is being argued, as it is irrelevant.

 

 

Mike from Canmore wrote:
  And just because something is economical doesn't mean we should do it.

 

In this instance I would also say the reverse is true. The costs to make such a switch could be significant, but just because it is in does not mean it should not happen. Nor even be considered actually.

 

As the corporatist making profit from sales and human capital, has absolutely NO bearing upon whether this should happen, or not. If mega money can be found to bale out coporations and banks, it sure as hell can be found for this and indeed everything else.

remind remind's picture

Charter Rights wrote:
Wind is not great and for the most part is unreliable and prone to mechanical problems. And until we find a way to make it more reliable and produce the equipment for much cheaper it will be out of reach for the average homeowner, who is less concerned with the environement and more concerned about whether or not the mortgage gets paid at the end of the month

 

This whole statement in actual fact is not necessarily accurate, in any given positioning.

 

Use of a combination of wind, solar and as bagkitty said reliance upon the main grid when needed, is sustainable.

 

Some areas are going to have wind, and solar solar occuring and they will not need to draw from the main grid, while others may be needing to. The incremental amounts add up to huge savings. And indeed so much savings that those who make profit from hydro consumption do not want it happening. They want to keep their coal/oil/natural gas/ and water profits flowing so they will be yelling all day it will cost too much. And sure enough it will, it will cost them their profits.

 

 

Outwest wrote:
On a purely economic basis, retrofitting for wind and solar (and greywater) on the small scale may seem unprofitable now, but as peak oil heats up in the next few years, I believe those who do will increasingly be sitting pretty with regard to utility bills. 

 

You are exactly correct, which is why those who profit from energy use exploitation, do not want renewable systems in the hands/lives of the many.

 

Here are some links to sustainable small production wind mills and other renewable/sustainable items that people should be agitating for on a personal level that which should be funded by our tax dollars. The links will give an idea as to what is happening out there anyway.

 

http://solarpumpsdirect.com/

 

 

http://prairieturbines.com/

 

http://mikeswindmillshop.com/

 

 

This one is my favourite and we are looking at getting ourselves one, or rather having one made. A 2 seater of course.

 

http://www.rhoadescar.com/rcar/index.shtml

 

 

Bookish Agrarian

Hi Remind

One problem with individualized generation, even where one is selling into the grid, is the high costs for most modest people to install micro-wind, or solar.  This is one place where government could, and I would argue should, step in with low or no interest loans for intial installs that could be paid back through the inverter system.  In Ontario we found $7 billion for one multi-national to create a few jobs.  That kind of money put into smaller scale production would have created far more jobs and also have placed income into the hands of average people instead.

The other missing link on this issue for large scale industrial wind is the very sorry and antiquated nature of our electrical grid in Ontario.  Most of the lines were put in when my father was a young man - this was one of his first jobs by the way.  It used to bother him to no end to see a grid he helped to create in his youth still being used as they were told back then that this was just to get the power out to people and then they would fix it up in time. 

 Small scale, dispersed production would not impose the same burden on our grid that an industrial wind development places.  In Ontario we are currently going to be spending millions of dollars to ship power from rural Ontario to the Lake Ontario shoreline, meanwhile we will lose up to 30% of that power through basic physics.  This is also part of taking industrial jobs out of small towns and cities and centralizing.  It means to keep a manufacturing base you need big development with all the problems it causes.  It makes little sense either from an energy production stand point or use of taxpayer dollars to ship power long distances, but big powerful interests are involved so average people and communities are just shoved aside.

remind remind's picture

BA, am not much interested in market based fixes, and costs to individual households, discussions. But I agree it makes NO sense to transmitt when local can be achieved for the most part.

To me it is equivaent to road construction and maintenance costs, or indeed the health care system as unionist noted.

As such, we should be agitating for a complete system to be deisigned and implimented where things like the  7 billion to samsung, could have been used to convert 7 million homes to solar and wind micro production.

Getting the infrastructure going, and the whole system launched is not as difficult as some people, and I suspect they are ones with vested interests in keeping status quo, make it out to be.

It would be a infrastructure investment like the transcanada hwy and the rail systems.

Bookish Agrarian

Well I am certainly not talking about marketplace solutions.  But I recognize we could have a lot more renewable energy going right now if people can afford to switch, but many modest income people can not come up with the intial outlay.  That is certainly where we are.  So in that situation people are signing onto the Ontario micro-fit program which privatizes our energy situation majorly and takes the profits (investment return) out of the community rather than keeping it local to help pay for energy upgrades, conservation and efficiency programs, let alone paying for roads, health care and other public positives.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Unionist wrote:

I agree with the last three posters. I do not agree with any suggestion that individuals should provide for their own power generation. Or health care. Or education. And I am suspicious of any criticism of renewable energy that does not take, as a first principle, that reliance on non-renewable energy must stop immediately.

 

Yeah. As a form of protest we should continue to allow ourselves to be ripped off by the corporate power producers. Nothing like masochistic self-denial to really get the point across to the folks who brought us Enron.

remind remind's picture

The affording to switch should not come into play, it should be funded by the government 100%. It could be a 3 way split as a matter of fact. Municpal provincial and federal could be involved, and actually would have to be.

 

Focusing on individual  purchase payment, makes it seem impossible to do, but having a nationally driven program created and implimented is what is actually required. The will needs to be there to drive it to fruition.

 

And the NDP should be developing a plan for it all and then talking to Canadians about it.

Yes it is a mega project, but so what,  just because it has been decades since a nation wide mega project has been entered into does not mean it cannot happen.

 

Bookish Agrarian

I agree 100 per cent.  I guess I am trying to make the point, and obviously very unsuccessfully, is that right now under the current Ontario micro-FIT program the horse is already out of the barn and it is really important for the NDP to get in front of this or the opportunities for a more community oriented approach will be lost, or at least made a lot more expensive to do giving corporate entities even more money.

remind remind's picture

Then we agree...and it all needs to happen yesterday.

Bookish Agrarian

or the day before that even

remind remind's picture

Really do not want to be trite about this, nor lessen the serious nature of it in anyway, as I believe the dialogue push should be occuring amongst all Canadians.

There is not 1 Canadian, IMV, that is outside of the realm of Kevin O'Leary, who would not want a national program to happen that would lower their energy costs and employ renewable technologies to do it.

It is  not only a worthwhile and necessary endeavour, it is a vote getter and I believe the first political party onto this train, will get  Canadian votes en masse, as far as I am concerned it is a socio-political uniter. If I look across my community, as a micro example of the greater populace, for something that would universally unite us, other than No HST ;) and save our water petitions, this would be it.

Even if people do not believe, per se, in environmental change caused by human endeavours, they do not want large energy bills and would be, actually no I will change that to are looking to minimize them.

As such, personal avarice can meet with eco-humanity in common endeavour and movement.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

bagkitty wrote:

I am actually quite a fan of wind and solar... but I hate the way the discussion usually gets framed. There is truth to the argument that neither is THE alternative... the wind doesn't always blow, the sun doesn't always shine... and if they play a major role,

That is not true. We get our electricity from a grid fed from many different sources. The wind is always blowing somewhere. In fact, there is far more interruption to nuclear power than to wind power. Coal is as reliable as dandelions but it also kills.

BA wrote:

You know I just read over this thread again quickly and I don't see a single instance of people demonizing alternative energy generation.

Really? From the OP:

Quote:

First, who is getting rich off these projects? Dirty tar sand companies are the driving force and p developers of industrial wind farms.

I would argue associating alternative energy with the evil bastards who operate the tar sands is an attempt to demonize both the baby and the bathwater.

MfC wrote:

There is a solution that works for everyone - a compromise.  Rather than large scale wind farms, and large scale solar fields for that matter, the NDP could promote small scale wind and solar. Every Ontario household should be environmentally refitted.

That is the point of my arguing that electrical generation ought to be local. Let's agree that is the ideal circumstance. The reality is that so long as we live in a society that separates community from economy, profit from responsibility, consumer from neighbour and citizen, and that values cheap and lots of it above all else, the ideal is unattainable which mean we must settle for the best we can get. And when you put all the options on the table--coal, gas, LNG, uranium, and renewables--renewables are the best we can hope for.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

 

Well hell then if big business is meant to run everyting than why should anyone try to fight back or change things.  Lord knows no one in agriculture is trying to change that domination. (roll eyes here)

 What a completely defeatist attitude you have.  Because we have let corporations pillage our food economy we should just let them do that to every other sector of the economy?  If that is not what you are saying please enlighten me, because I truly am getting weary of all the hours I have dedicated to fighting the industrial food system, but if the exact same tactics, control and systems are good when it is alternative energy than I might as well spend more time farting around my place instead of fighting Monsanto, Sygenta, Cargill and all the rest.

You have either a real penchant for misrepresenting an argument (why respond to what I said when you can argue what you prefered I had said?) or you lack comprehension. What I said, translated just for you, is that if we are to decide what is worthwhile and what should be fought tooth-and-nail on the basis--in a capitalist society--of who has invested in any given industrial sector, there would be very, very little worthwhile (maybe some home knitting and baking) and pretty much everything to fight.

Does that make sense to you or would you like to misrepresent that statement as now being pro-capitalistic and tar sands?

Fidel

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

I agree 100 per cent.  I guess I am trying to make the point, and obviously very unsuccessfully, is that right now under the current Ontario micro-FIT program the horse is already out of the barn and it is really important for the NDP to get in front of this or the opportunities for a more community oriented approach will be lost, or at least made a lot more expensive to do giving corporate entities even more money.

Howard Hampton and the ONDP have advocated for a mix of micro-power generation, conservation and efficiency, co-gen, green power etc for a number of years. Micro-gen is the future, but our two old line parties want their big business friends to monopolize it and have us paying bullshit "public benefit" charges in the mean time for what could be owned and operated by the public. Same thing in Liberal B.C. where rich friends of the Liberal Government are on the receiving end of power contracts and "run of river" power gen that could easily be owned and operated at profit by the province. It's all about being well connected to the Liberal governments of Ontario and British Columbia. "Public benefit" charges are a bogus tax to prop-up private enterprise and their future profitability at everyone else's expense.

Bookish Agrarian

Actually Fidel that isn't entirely true.  The NDP has most recently been cheering on the Liberal Green Energy Act and dismissing the concerns of those worried about the way the current, specific plan being enacted in Ontario in regards to industrial wind is transpiring.

Sorry Remind, my mistake.  I wasn't trying to be trite.  I was trying to say in a short hand way that this should be a very high priority and that we have delayed much too long already.  But obviously it didn't come off that way.  Again sorry.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Frustrated Mess... you got me, it isn't true that the there are times that the wind doesn't blow... I should have been more precise, there are times where the wind doesn't blow (or doesn't blow sufficiently hard) where the equipment required to generate power from it is situated. Now, if we can return to consequential matters...

Fidel

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Actually Fidel that isn't entirely true.  The NDP has most recently been cheering on the Liberal Green Energy Act and dismissing the concerns of those worried about the way the current, specific plan being enacted in Ontario in regards to industrial wind is transpiring.

Hampton and the ONDP have been the most critical of hare-brained power deregulation and privatization schemes in Ontario. And I can assure you that the NDP does not agree with the Liberals' handling of the "green power" expansion in this province. The Liberals have been saying that demand for electricity has dropped due to their wonderful conservation initiatives. Hampton was quoted as saying, "Bullshit!" Power gen and electricity distribution in Ontario is a total mess since Harris, and opportunistic Liberals aren't much better.

The future is micro-generation and living where nature can support us. Piling people and industries higher and deeper in urban centres like Toronto is ridiculous and runs up against laws of nature eventually. Queen's Park needed cleaning out yesterday.

remind remind's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
Actually Fidel that isn't entirely true.  The NDP has most recently been cheering on the Liberal Green Energy Act and dismissing the concerns of those worried about the way the current, specific plan being enacted in Ontario in regards to industrial wind is transpiring.

Sorry Remind, my mistake.  I wasn't trying to be trite.  I was trying to say in a short hand way that this should be a very high priority and that we have delayed much too long already.  But obviously it didn't come off that way.  Again sorry.

 

no, no, I apologize for not wording clearer what  I meant, even though I gave it second thought to do so. I did not want you to think I was being trite about this, not that you were at all. As it was I who stated the done yesterday initially. And could have seen to have been minimalistic about the ability to get it done in a timely fashion.

Having given it much thought, from a fully aware of what would be needed positioning, I was being very  short handish about it.

 

 

remind remind's picture

bagkitty wrote:
... if we can return to consequential matters...

Exactly, as this whole thing can and should be a unifier for an over-arching cause, and putting forth coherent and substantive positioning on a national retrofit program for solar and wind power at the micro level, actually IMV can be made to happen. At all levels and avenues within Canadian society,. Excluding of course those who are making huge money off of hydro generation/energy consumption and want to continue to do so.

 

 

Bookish Agrarian

Fidel I think you should do some reading on comments by the ONDP on the GEA and the recent call for a moritorium and before that Bill Murdoch's private members bill.  They read like comments right out of the Liberal handbook.  I am not one to criticize the NDP without cause, but in this case they are very wrong and need to understand what is happening on the ground.  You are of course right about deregulation and privatization, but that is not what the GEA is about.  Although actually, the GEA is opening the door for a massive amount of privitization of our future energy production, which of course is going to be heavily dependent on alternative energy.  But by the time we are done here it will be almost entirely in private hands- that is the course we are charting.

remind remind's picture

Bookish_Agarian wrote:
here it will be almost entirely in private hands- that is the course we are charting.

 

Yes here too BA, in the the BC election threads last year, we had a lengthy discussion about how many IPP licenses were being given out indeed there is a BC map that has all the licenses charted on it, spectrum has the site readily availabe i will keep a watch out for him so you can get a sense of what they are doing in BC, calling local while General Electric buys up rights all over the province.

 

This activity needs to be stopped and actual community based micro hydro/energy needs are produced and met.

 

ETA: and they long ago stacked the community/regional/provincial hydro boards in their favour out of the ranks of Rotary and CoC, so the average Joe and Janes of the community are not even aware of what is being done in "their" names.

Mike from Canmore

FM - the opening statement did not demonize alternative energy - it raised valid concerns about industrial wind turbines only. Hence why I went on to suggest small scale wind turbines - they too fall in the alternative energy category.  

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

remind, go for micro and macro, and I will buy in. Something that I would like to add to my earlier comment (#30) - when I was referring there to a state monopoly, I did not intend to endorse a model of an arm's length Crown corporation that was going to act almost indistinguishably from its private sector corporate peers (specifically not like Hydro One or Hydro-Quebec). I envision bodies that will take policy direction from the legislatures - both generation and distribution should be under control of the population (via their respective legislatures), and their mandates would have to include implementing environmental polices as well as the generation and distribution of electricity. While I completely agree that micro-generation (both residential and industrial) needs to be addressed, so too does macro generation to support the existing grid. I return to the point I made earlier, there is not a single solution - the approach I see having the brightest future is one that combines a real commitment to conservation (actually, to rolling back demand) matched by a pretty clinicial harm reduction evaluation... and if that means maintaining a less-desirable traditional means of generation in order to preserve stand-by capacity (and please, capacity, not utilization) so be it.

There is a related question of course, ensuring access to adequate power for all citizens (and hell, even businesses) - and while this is drifting further and further away from the OP, some sort of fixed rate rationing of the basic service may be called for (i.e., a fixed and potentially subsidized per KwH rate for a specified amount of power per capita that may or not may reflect the real cost of generation, and rapidly escalating costs for usage in excess of this amount...) - but that is really an entirely different topic.

remind remind's picture

Yes bagkitty, absolutely I can agree with macro national strategies such as strigent conservation efforts, that include daily consumption amounts, beyond what is produced  "in house", which would be alloted on a per person basis, as I see that, and other 'macro' which IMV are really micro, as givens. hence I did not want to come across as minimalistic/trite in my positioning.

Other than that, I believe, in BC at least, that the current infrastructure we have would be, and is already, enough for keeping the west coast grid functioning and that micro production would push us to surplus...

 

...though of course we have to continually export to the USA, unless NAFTA is chucked.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

*putting on my work gloves* - here remind, let me give you a hand chucking that accumulated crap

Mike from Canmore

I am willing to support a macro alternative power plan (along side a micro plan) that is ethical and does not harm people and environment. I believe such a plan starts with recognizing that the present model of industrial wind turbines is harmful and that we need further R&D before we continue to with wind farm development. I was really excited when the first wind turbines were introduced to my area. Their appearance didn't offend me. In fact, I felt a sense of pride because these turbines represented green energy. Since then many people have been forced to move out of their family homes or worse, just endure the suffering. I want to see the NDP champion a wind power strategy that works for the rural minority as well as the urban majority. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

bagkitty wrote:

Frustrated Mess... you got me, it isn't true that the there are times that the wind doesn't blow... I should have been more precise, there are times where the wind doesn't blow (or doesn't blow sufficiently hard) where the equipment required to generate power from it is situated. Now, if we can return to consequential matters...

But it is a consequential manner in that a misconception becomes a centre piece argument for opposing renewable energies. I could debate your amended argument, but let's just agree coal is more dependable. But there again, what is the source of the dependency? The source of that dependency is 24/7/365 environmental controls, more and more gadgets which, especially when made semi-permanent, are can be gargantuan power hogs, and, to come, electric cars. All of which is lifestyle.

Now people say or infer, and from what I can garner from discussions on-line and off it is a fairly general sentiment, lifestyle is non-negotiable. So, what we know is this: we need more wind, and more coal. Wind, not only is it plentiful and free, but windfarms can be put up more quickly and more cheaply than coal. Coal can be put up more quickly and cheaply than nuclear. And nuclear is the Jaguar of energy generation: expensive as hell and always on the side of the road.

So, if lifestyle is non-negotiable and energy must remain cheap and plentiful, where does that leave us? With a mix of renewables and coal and the odd gas fired plant. Under the current regime of non-negotiable lifestyle and cheap energy, any debate on whether energy should be mega, regional, or personal is entirely academic because economies of scale demand mega for our lifestyles coupled with the requisite demand for reliable and cheap energy.

And you may think that inconsequential but, really, it is the pudding from which the proof is drawn.

 

Fidel

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
Fidel I think you should do some reading on comments by the ONDP on the GEA and the recent call for a moritorium and before that Bill Murdoch's private members bill.  They read like comments right out of the Liberal handbook.  I am not one to criticize the NDP without cause, but in this case they are very wrong and need to understand what is happening on the ground.

Have you read Howard Hampton's book, Public Power? I have, and nowhere have I observed the ONDP backing anything the phony-majority Liberals have done or plan to do with Ontario's electricity generation and distribution, which is largely in private hands now since Harris and continuing under the McGuinty Liberals.

Ontario was the country's first province to begin dealing with greenhouse gas emissions way back in the first half of the 1990s under Bob Rae's NDP. The ONDPs plan for conservation and efficiency, reducing dependency on dirty coal-fired electrical power,  and maintaining public ownership of Ontario Hydro continued under Hampton's NDP. No, the ONDP is not anything like these Liberals. Not that I can tell. The ONDP has done nothing but lambaste McGuinty's government of pork barreling when it comes to the massive debt rung up by Ontario Hydro under the Conservatives and Liberals, and they've opposed the Liberals "green energy" alternatives and "public benefit" charges on our light bills. Life is becoming increasingly expensive under mismanagement of the province by our two old line party governments. And it doesn't have to be this way. McGuinty's Liberals are only now realizing that Howard Hampton and the ONDP were right all along when they advised them how they would have to break many of their election campaign promises on electrical power generation in Ontario, because the Liberals did not think it through well enough back in 2003. But when old line parties are electioneering, the sky's the limit when it comes to making wild promises they can't keep.

Farmpunk

I love how the energy system is being privatized at the same time Samsung is 60% (I think) owned by the South Korean government. 

 

Tommy_Paine

 

On the issue of lifestyle and energy, I remember back two summers ago when Ontario hydro wanted us to hook our air conditioners into some system where THEY could turn it down during times of peak demand.

 

To which-- and I will explain why-- I said "Fuck You."

I have a small, new air conditioner just for the bedroom, for sleeping. In high heat and humidity, I sweat all day (or night, depending on shifts and such) and I get aclimatized, so daytime heat doesn't bother me too much after a while.   But, to sleep right I need some cool. 

And, I'm not going to turn my a/c down even .0000000000000000001 degree just so some add agency can have more power to run electronic billboards along the Gardner, or make the street scape around the Eaton's Mall look like some cheapo imitation of Times Square or downtown Tokyo.  Or so people who don't do manual labour can have A/C while they sit at their desks and shuffle paper, while their administrative assitants have to wear sweaters in the office-- in July.

And that kinda encapsulates where we are on all this.  Windmills are good if they are located in Melancthon township, but somehow no good on the Scarborough Bluffs, and if you draw question to this, you're just being all NIMBY like. And my wants and needs are somehow frivolous, but the wants and needs of those with more political power are essential.

The longer this keeps going on, the less interested I am in playing break man on a runaway handcart to hell.  

 

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the backyard burning tires.

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

You see, that is my attitude with gas. It seems, as a culture, we embrace market economies without actually understanding the very basics of market economies, supply and demand, for example. So, why should I conserve gas when the yahoos in the ATVs or the fuckheads in the Hummers will gladly burn it? My conserving gasoline only helps to keep the price from rising as fast as it could for the yahoos and the fuckheads. Which goes to the argument of who supplies energy and how is it regulated? If we leave it to individuals, not only will some be deprived altogether, others, fuckheads, will use Hummers to commute and to visit the beer store.

That is why conservation fails as a voluntary policy. Because those who embarce it will always feels cheated by the fuckheads on whose behalf the world is seemimgly governed and wars are fought.

Tommy_Paine

 

Let me digress as I ramble on.

 

On July 4, 1776, representatives from the Thirteen Colonies finished negotiating a Declaration of Independance, one that we are all familiar with, I assume.

Leading up to that day, many wieghty issues were debated, and there was much discord between the colonies. One in particular that was put on hold until four score and seven years later.  But that doesn't mean it wasn't hotly debated. On more than just a philisophical level; that debate took place in one of the hottest summers in Philedelphia.  Not to mention that the signators quite rightly believed that they were putting their lives on the line when they put thier John Hancocks on the bottom of it.

Amazing what can be accomplished without Air Conditioning.

Now, have you ever seen McGinty Sweat?  Mike Harris? Bob Rae?   I bet none of us were alive when the last M.P.P. broke a sweat in the Legislature.

And it's not as if they even debate wieghty issues, or put their lives at stake. 

All done in a building that had to be retrofitted for central air, and would do just nicely with the odd fan and unsealing the old transomes for circulation.  

 

In a building no one works in during the summer anyway, while steel workers melt steel, manufacturers work it, and construction workers put it together in the heat of the July and august sun, all without air conditioning.

 

Point being, on the issue of conservation, even amoungst us here we seem to be putting the onus not based on necessity or facts, but on who can fight back the least.

 

 

Charter Rights

Giving up is so hard to do.......

 

Then once owned there are those who will believe it's a matter of necessity to have it......

 

Then once deprived they will claim it is matter of privilege......

 

Even at the expense of the poor and death of the environment.....

 

They'll complain that their cappuchinos are cold while sitting in an Frigidaire restaurant......

 

And they'll speed home in their air-conditioned HumVees to jump in the hot tub to relax......

 

They will give up others neccessities to take their piece of luxury......

 

And wear it like a diamond necklace.....

 

Then drop a can in the food hamper at Christmas....

 

Pat themselves on the back.....

 

And boast of their gratitude for they don't lack....

 

Food or clothing, or the homeless they are loathing.....

 

Just so they can be cool.....

 

(I think this has the makings of a song...)

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

To be certain, I do drive a car fairly light on gas and we have, in our household, just one car. Because, you see, I do conserve. I also hate the fuckers who drive hummers. To me, they are eco-vandals.

As much as I sympathize with you Tommy, I would rather see Bob Rae, et al, sweat than give up on my own conservation. I would dearly love to see climate denialists sweating in a prisoners box, but that's another forum topic ...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think the Hummers will be discontinued effectively in 2014,  but there's too many of them on the road already. Discontinuation of the brand will make those already in existence 'collector's items' and effectively keep them from being junked. The military Humvee was manufactured by another company entirely, but the US military cancelled that contract in order to start construction on an even bigger piece of equipment.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

The Defence Intelligent Carrier System or DICs?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I saw the proposed Humvee replacement in Popular Science magazine a few months ago but could not remember the name, so I did a google - it's called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. I don't know who comes up with these names - certainly it's not as easy to remember as "Humvee".

Tommy_Paine

 

As this winds down and awaits the 100 post J'cuse of the moderator,  surely to be followed by another thread on our fascination with windmills, I'll just hammer away a bit more with another example of the wierdness we face.

Toronto, as we know, is passing or will be passing a by law banning smoking in public parks.  And, it engenders little debate, even though the effects of second hand smoke and the litter of butts pales to some of the stuff industry makes us breath, and the litter of Timmy's cups and Evian bottles.

London, like many municipalities has an issue with it's recycling contractors who are fed up with dealing with unrecyclable "clam shell" plastic.    But, hey, what can you do?   Life, as we know it, would come crashing to a halt if food retailers were prohibited from using "clam shell" plastic.   Like, how did we even exist as a species before the advent of clam shell plastic?  Wasn't it mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh?

 

We've bought into this idea of saving the environment by putting all the onus on individuals.  We think nothing of abrogating the rights or shaming our neighbors into the nit pickyest things, but regulating industry has been expunged from our mental problem solving menus.

 

So we're going to save the environment on compact flourescent at a time, while the corporations in Sarnia's Chemical Valley get to play interesting games with the gender balance on Walpole Island.

Yeee Haw.

 

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

You have got it in a nutshell Tommy, if you define environmental issues solely as an individual, moral concern, something that every good little consumer should feel guilty about, you can blind almost everyone to the need for massive regulatory change. Why go through the arduous political process of regulating bubble packs and styrofoam containers out of existence when you can lay a guilt trip on individuals and have them constantly worrying "Am I doing enough?" Propose an industrial scale solution to an industrial scale problem and every lobbyist in existence crawls out of the woodwork to scream that "It can't be done", "It will cost too much" or (my favourite) "We will lose our competitive edge".

As much as we recycle and compost and reduce and substitute, until we force the big players to change the way they do business, we are bailing out the ship with a thimble. Exercising "consumer pressure" to make corporations change their ways allows some to deal with their feelings of guilt... a thimblefull of guilt.

 

Charter Rights

So we take on one issue enmasse one at a time and put consumer pressure on Big Corp Canada to start paying attention, warning that other Big Name Corps will be next.....

 

Ah but that is too much work....and we're here to play.....Maybe we'll just leave it for our kids to solve.

 

Post #100. That's about it.....

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