Climate change is real, so politicians need to get real about nuclear energy
Do Canadian politicians and activists really want to stop climate change?
Many do not seem to really care about the problem, and in reality, simply aim to push forward whatever policies they can pass or earn donations on.
Over the last two decades, the nation has distanced itself from serious nuclear energy generation, all while Liberals pursued emissions reduction, going as far as taking multiple provinces to court in order to impose a carbon tax.
It was not always this way.
Since in 1958, Canada built a total of 25 nuclear-powered reactors over the course of 35 years, with roughly three of them located outside of Ontario.
Quebec has historically stayed away from nuclear due to the immense reserves of cheap hydro electricity it has access too.
The last nuclear reactor to become operational in Canada became operational in 1983.
Today some of Ontario’s plans have since closed, one plant operates in New Brunswick, and all remaining provinces have either closed their plants, never had any, or outright oppose any new nuclear development whatsoever. B.C, for example, has actually gone so far as to ban nuclear in all future projects, with the Crown corporation, BC Hydro, upholding this principle by “rejecting consideration of nuclear power in implementing B.C.’s clean energy strategy.”
Nonetheless, Ontario’s remaining nuclear reactors produced in 2014 approximately 60% of Ontario’s energy needs, equaling roughly 15% of the nations entire energy production.
Here is perhaps the most important aspect behind that energy as well. That large volume of energy was produced with far less environmental damage than any other actually reliable energy source we know of.
According to a study by the World Nuclear Association, on average over the lifetime of an energy plant, the burning of coal results in 979 tons of carbon-dioxide, Gas gives off 550 tons.
And nuclear? Just 32 tons.
The case is even more stark when it comes to pollution and air quality.
You would think with such stark differences, the nation fearing total environmental doom would rapidly move towards reliable nuclear. But no. Instead, most environmentalists including Canada’s anti-nuclear activists, seem to completely oppose nuclear development instead favouring expensive renewable sources such as solar or wind.
Even if those sources of energy simply cannot meet the rapidly changing energy consumption patterns of humans, partially due to the nature of the energy, but largely due to the costs of storing it.
Here is the problem with how that impacts our society: it seems the activists have won when it comes to the court of public opinion.
According to a 2012 poll by Innovative Research Group, 37% of Canadians are in favour of nuclear power, while 53% oppose it. Support ranges from a high of 54% in Ontario to a low of 12% in Quebec.
So what have governments nationwide done in response to this blind activism?
Well they have rolled out one bad or hypocritical plan after another.
The B.C government for example, openly support LNG Canada, a project described as a potential ‘carbon bomb’ that can blow up B.C.’s climate goals.
The Trudeau government has taken a far more costly and fairly bizarre approach.They have decided to ditch all preconceived notions of economics of scale when it comes to nuclear development, and instead have gone with a plan to cover Canada in small nuclear reactors.
According to the Tyee, environmental groups and some politicians have spoken out against this process. “A petition signed by nearly two dozen civil society groups has also opposed the “development and deployment of SMRs when renewable, safer and less financially, socially and environmentally costly alternatives exist.”
So what is the solution? Well climate change does exist, and we do need a plan that isn’t just a tax. To provide some perspective, according to a UN climate report for a carbon tax to reduce global emissions to needed amounts it would have to range from $135 – $5500 per tonne of CO2.
The current Canadian carbon tax in comparison started at $20 per tonne of CO2, and will rise to $50 by 2022. Our carbon tax rate obviously won’t be solving the problem, and the UN’s rate would make us all poor.
In reality, we need to actively prepare our entire economy from the bottom up to match future needs without ensuring serious poverty.
That will take fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and a long term plan to develop cleaner alternatives.
While some may believe fossil fuel demand will end soon, it won’t. The product will continue to be an extremely large and growing part of global energy demand well into 2035 partially due to energy, but mostly due to the plethora of uses oil has in manufacturing.
If we want to be realistic the most sizable realizable shift will come from switching to electric transportation as fast as possible, and not from taxing ourselves into poverty, or gutting the nations oil supply. At this moment 28% of all of Canada’s GHG come from transportation.
If electric vehicles could be made to work better in Canada’s frozen environment (something rapidly occurring), that could serve as a real response. Already Canada serves as one of the largest markets for electric vehicles, maintaining roughly 20% as many electric vehicles as California. The sunshine state notably includes silicon valley and its jet setting tesla riding executives, and a population equal to that of Canada.
Obviously, the charging of these vehicles would have to come from an environmentally sustainable area as well, which brings us back to the serious need of nuclear energy.
To execute something like this, the nation will need every ounce of economic capacity possible. That won’t happen as long as activists insist on making us poorer without considering real solutions to save the planet.
Perhaps most importantly, the nation will need a government that can actually execute on grand infrastructure and energy plans. The development of nuclear energy plants has been notoriously prone to ever-increasing budget runs.
The Bruce A plant in Ontario was projected to cost $0.9 billion (1969), and actually cost $1.8 billion (1978), a 100% over-run, and that is still modest compared to some of the other building projects taken on in Canada.
For example, the Liberals have put forward a $188 billion dollar infrastructure plan, largely for development projects which will not adequately help the Canadian environment or economy.
On top of these costs, it is important to point out that plant development does take time.
With climate change occurring quickly the nation would have to rapidly begin construction, and would logically leave the purchasing of vehicles to Canadian citizens.
Sadly, right now it seems the Canadian government has no real long term plan, and instead plants to throw money at multiple projects that have no guarantee on succeeding.
With so much on the line, Canada must focus on real executable projects and leave everything else to the Canadian people, or else risk failing at everything.
What do you think? Join the conversation by commenting below!
A group of young Ontarians is launching a lawsuit against Doug Ford due to the Progressive Conservative’s inaction on climate change. The youths are arguing that Ford has violated their charter rights by reducing their climate targets, according to the CBC.
The group is claiming that the Ford government’s climate policy will lead to widespread death, which if correct, would understandably violate section 7 of the charter: protection for life, liberty, and security of the person.
The group is also demanding that the Ontario government creates more ambitious legislation for tackling climate change, such as limiting global warming to 1.5 C.
The group is composed of young Ontarians, ranging from the age of 12 to 24. They are being represented by Stockwoods LLP and Ecojustice, which is a group dedicated to stopping climate change through legal action.
This form of climate action is becoming increasingly more common. Earlier this year, for example, another group of young people launched a lawsuit against Trudeau’s federal government. There have been similar lawsuits in the United States and the Netherlands.
Having said this, this is the first lawsuit filed against a provincial government for climate inaction.
America’s favourite Saturday afternoon activity, college football has now officially become a part of the culture wars. Today’s big match-up between Ivy League rivals Yale and Harvard has been disrupted by a large group of angry student protestors demanding action on the “climate crisis.”
The protestors unfurled large banners that read “NOBODY WINS: YALE & HARVARD ARE COMPLICIT IN CLIMATE INJUSTICE” in a surreal scene that Barstool Sports referred to as “peak 2019.”
Football fans all over social media were not pleased to say the least. But some saw the humour in the situation.
The protest lasted for 48 minutes. ESPN reports that many of the protestors asked to be arrested.
In April, 2014, the Globe and Mail published an article, “Climate change and health: Extreme heat a ‘silent killer.’” In it, the reporter cites the claim of an alleged expert from a non-profit, Clean Air Partnership (CAP), that maximum temperatures in Toronto could be expected to rise 7 C by 2045.
The reporter did not query the figure in her write-up, and her editor apparently didn’t take a good look at what she had written, or else he or she would have reared back and yelled, WTF? A predicted rise of 23 C in a single century? Get hold of that guy and check that you got the right figure.
Imagine if some alleged expert on health care had told the same Globe reporter that Ontario would require a budget of a trillion dollars to cover coming claims on the provincial health services. She would have gasped and challenged him. When it comes to climate alarmism, most media people have simply muted their powers of critical thinking, because they see themselves as conduits for alarmism Kool-Aid, not independent observers.
Thankfully, not all journalists march in lockstep on the issue. In an article for the American Thinker, Canadian researcher Sierra Rayne poured scorn on it: “To say [the 7 C theory] is insanely large would be an understatement.”
Rayne pointed out that a cursory perusal of the Environment Canada Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Data database would illustrate that the daily summer maximum temperatures in Toronto showed no upward trend whatsoever. She further noted that a database for the WMO-certified Pearson Airport site demonstrated there was “absolutely no temporal correlation” for extreme July or August maximum temperatures between 1938 (when the database was initiated) and 2012.
In fact, there was no source in Canada then—and still isn’t—from which CAP could have plucked that ludicrous figure. University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick had at that time just created his invaluable site, yourenvironment.ca, which sets out a complete temporal record of officially recorded air and pollution levels everywhere in Canada. The data for the site is culled from provincial environment and natural resources ministries, or from Environment Canada. Over many decades, no matter where you look in Canada, the graph trends remain resolutely horizontal with tiny upward and downward spikes indicating extreme weather blips.
Every layperson who identifies as an alarmism skeptic has his or her own pivotal moment, and that idiotic “news” story in the Globe was mine. When reporters and editors act like deer in the headlights in the reception and dissemination of demonstrably impossible “information,” it’s clear evidence that they have been gripped by a socially contagious virus. These are the people who in the 19th century would have believed tulip bulb prices were never going to peak, even if every single family on the planet had enough tulip bulbs to fill a half-acre garden.
The late writer Michael Crichton, author of the best-selling 2004 techno-thriller, “State of Fear,” was one of the first independent students of environmentalism to define environmentalism as a “religion,” and to observe that its principal characteristic was to cater to the state of alarm he believed is an inherent human need. Its dogmatists act as though they have been appointed Morals Police. And they do not take kindly to dissent.
Al Gore, whose 2006 documentary film An Inconvenient Truth was received with uncritical awe, (one of my friends, normally very brainy, described it as a “religious experience”) was later found by a UK court to contain “nine key scientific errors.” It was deemed rife with “serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush” and the judge ruled that the “apocalyptic vision” presented made it not an impartial scientific analysis, but a “political film.” He continues to hector the world as though that never happened from the depths of a home whose electricity kilowatt hours exceed twenty times the national average.
In 2007, environmental guru David Suzuki stormed out of a Toronto radio station interview when the host suggested global warming was not yet a “totally settled issue.” The incident revealed the mindset of the enviro-ayatollahs. (We see its 16-year-old version in little Pied Piper leader of the Children’s Crusade Greta “how-dare-you” Thunberg.) Suzuki perceived the radio host as a blasphemer, unworthy of his rational rebuttal. Suzuki actually felt enviro-infidels should be literally suppressed, and even opined that politicians who aren’t on board with his views should go to prison. You’d think a guy that far down the rabbit hole would be minding his own enviro P’s and Q’s, but like Al Gore, his real estate portfolio is humongous and his carbon footprint immense.
Ordinary Canadians were afraid to criticize Suzuki, but he got his comeuppance in 2013 in Australia when, speaking to an audience of actual scientist who knew their stuff, he revealed his ignorance about actual climate data. I confess to a very satisfying hour of Schadenfreude in watching him make him a fool of himself on camera. Thankfully, hopefully feeling a bit chastened, he retired from the scene in 2014.
Hard to believe, but we’re now marking the tenth anniversary of what journalist James Delingpole dubbed Climategate. The astonishing truths of the climate-change religion’s seamy underbelly revealed in the masses of internal communications by supposedly authoritative and honest alpha climatologists might have acted as a therapeutic purgative to the credulous masses, but the collusive rush to exculpation by the usual suspects put paid to any such hopes.
Let me offer a word of advice to my fellow non-scientists who think they do not deserve to have a voice in this discussion for lack of credentials. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by those who wield the scimitar of “authority” to speak on this issue because you are not a “peer-reviewed” PhD or because you don’t cite “primary sources.” You’ll notice they don’t scold Greta Thunberg for her reliance on others.
You have a working brain. You have the ability to read and assess the argumentation of those who have been researching climate change at the primary-source level for many years. You have a pretty good understanding of the difference between actual facts and “projections.” As time passes and prediction after prediction fails to come true, you have a right to question where scientific objectivity ends and ideology begins. It’s your tax dollars that are gushing forth in the service of a policy that is very likely based on false assumptions, and which could be better spent in fighting pollution and human misery. You have a right to interrogate the premises that are turning the spigot.
Keep reading. There are many excellent websites and books that lay out evidence-based skeptics’ position. For a one-stop enlightening, comprehensive, reader-friendly and entertaining overview, I recommend the above-mentioned journalist James Delingpole’s 2012 book “Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colours.” In the seven years since it was published, Delingpole told me, nothing has happened to change his mind. If anything, the passage of time has confirmed his challenges to alarmism.
Greta Thunberg has left North America and is traveling back to Europe with the use of a catamaran. Thunberg will now head to Europe where she will attend the UN climate summit, according to the Daily Mail.
Thankfully for Thunberg, an Australian couple offered to sail her back from Virginia in the United States. It will take her two to three weeks to get to Portugal, depending on the Atlantic Ocean’s temperament.
During her time in North America, Thunberg met with world leaders, famous actors, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Swedish activist even took time to visit Alberta where she received a cooler reception than other stops on her tour.