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Mission possible?

To The Editor,

Elizabeth May has announced the Green Party’s energy platform entitled Mission Possible. Modeled on the war-room tactics of Mackenzie King and Churchill, it announces that, “climate is not an environmental issue. It is the gravest security threat the world has ever seen.”
The mission is this: Canada will be fossil fuel independent by 2050, with most vehicles running on batteries by 2030. Consider that at this moment it is practically impossible to drive an electric car across Canada because there is a lack of charging points. In less than 11 years, they will have to be more common than gas stations when a quick charge takes thirty minutes for half the range of a gasoline fill-up. Electrics do not work well in cold.

All buildings in Canada will be retrofitted so efficiently that the need for heating will be virtually eliminated, thereby keeping millions of trades people employed at high-paying jobs doing these improvements. No mention as to where the money comes from to pay these workers who have yet to discover the meaning of the insulation term, ‘point of diminishing returns’.

Canada is doomed unless we take this path; scientists agree. We are heating 1.5 times faster than anywhere else. Except for Siberia which is heating 2 times faster. Oddly, China which produces the most CO2, as well as releasing almost all the planet’s fluorocarbon pollution, is not rising in temperature so they are good to burn as much coal as they wish. Nevertheless, Canadians can gain the high ground if we play it right. Living green in an oil-free, plastic-free, super-insulated self-heating buildings society, with average weather year-round.

The last part of Mission Possible seems to acknowledge that Canada going completely off carbon would make little, if any difference in worldwide output. It will, however, show the planet how a fossil fuel based country can go without. A shining example for others to follow. Or not.

Do the people promoting this plan truly believe that removing fossil fuel completely is feasible? Look around. Virtually everything you see either contains some trace of oil refining or relies upon it entirely, and the manufacture of steel requires coal. Electricity cannot be stored as easily as fossil fuels; excess must be dumped and increased demand supplied instantly. A green energy corridor from coast to coast is imagined, so when B.C. needs power, Newfoundland can hand it over. Fueled by solar and wind. Pure hubris at a dangerous level.

The danger arises from having no qualms about taking on more debt to finance a pipe dream. Canada is already drowning in debt, as are all provinces and many municipalities. Therein lies Canada’s true threat. Loans must eventually be paid or collateral handed over.

Change is unavoidable, and there could be rough weather ahead; solar minimum is in progress. Perhaps we should be taking stock of all we possess which is essential to survival, instead of squandering more credit or any relevance this country retains.

Gordon Fraser
Champlain.

 

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