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Having watched the electricity spectacle in Nova Scotia since the early 1970s, my expectations have taken a hit over time. Whereas I once naively believed that, surely, reason would prevail, recently I've been inclined to consider it progress if a government -- any government -- can serve its four years without leaving behind yet another white elephant or equivalent bung-up.
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Falling demand for electricity, sky-high cost projections, a catastrophic meltdown in Japan and a dedicated resistance to nuclear expansion have contributed to tough times for advocates of new and rebuilt nuclear reactors in Ontario.
The latest punch in the gut for nuclear proponents in the province comes from a May 14 Federal Court decision to nullify the approval of up to four new reactors at Darlington Station, about 60km east of Toronto.
The dinosaur- and tree-fern-filled swamps of the Carboniferous period, which lasted from about 360 to 300 million years ago, bequeathed us the massive oil and gas deposits that fuel modern industrial society.
A major oil company once ran a clever cartoon ad showing a dinosaur transforming into black gooey oil, which was sucked out of the ground and pumped into a car.
With a growing shortage of partly decayed Carboniferous dinosaurs and tree ferns, we are now devoting ever-increasing percentages of our current landscapes to automobile fuel production. Picture this: woodlots, hedgerows, birds and butterflies replaced by endless fields of corn, which is harvested, refined to ethanol, and mixed with the gasoline provided by your local filling station.