“Renewable energy is a practical disaster” : Financial Post

Here from today’s Financial Post, an analysis by Peter Foster  on the International Energy Agency and its report, The Power of Transformation–Wind, Sun and the Power of Flexible Power Systems.
Let us just say at the outset, that we in Ontario’s rural and small-town communities will be the worst hit victims of this experiment.

Peter Foster: The International Energy Agency backs unreliable renewables



Peter Foster | February 28, 2014 8:35 AM ET

At the International Energy Agency,  ”Variable Renewable Energy”  is Orwellian Newspeak for “Unreliable Renewable Energy” 
It was depressing to read this week of Caisse de depot head Michael Sabia regurgitating the foundational myths of economic nationalism: that markets are too short-term, and that takeovers by foreign “tourist” corporations should be resisted.
That was the precisely the kind of thinking that, a generation ago, got us PetroCanada and the National Energy Program. Petrocan relentlessly spouted that its perspective was broader and longer than that of its market rivals. The result was a carnival of waste and a gusher of red ink. The NEP got every far-sighted projection dead wrong. Government-promoted takeovers sunk the acquirers, not the targets.
How soon we forget, if, that is, we ever knew. The self-serving misrepresentation of capitalism that was at the heart of both nationalism/fascism and Communism is still with us, only now it’s gone global, is called sustainable development, and is focused on climate change. This allegedly demands a carefully-coordinated decarbonization of the global economy, balanced with wise guidance of poor country development.
How’s that going?
A report this week from the International Energy Agency – The Power of Transformation – Wind, Sun and the Economics of Flexible Power Systems  – is a classic example of the immutability of bureaucratic pretension and its infinite ability to explain away failure, even as it promotes more of the same.
Here’s the opening of the report’s Executive Summary:

Wind power and solar photovoltaic (PV) are expected to make a substantial contribution to a more secure and sustainable energy system. However, electricity generation from both technologies is constrained by the varying availability of wind and sunshine. This can make it challenging to maintain the necessary balance of electricity supply and consumption at all times. Consequently, the cost effective integration of variable renewable energy (VRE) has become a pressing challenge for the energy sector.

Translation: renewable energy is a practical disaster.
Everywhere, policies based on subsidization of “technologies of the future” are in crisis.  “Variable Renewable Energy,” VRE, is Orwellian Newspeak for “Unreliable Renewable Energy,” URE.
Unintended results have been piling up like a mountain of biomass, hoisting prices, undermining manufacturing, and creating fuel poverty among consumers, including now even those in Germany, which is still Europe’s richest country despite some of the continent’s most perverse energy policies.
As the summary says, wind and solar are obviously unreliable because the wind does not always blow, nor the sun shine. They are also very expensive. Solving the latter problem is always just over the horizon, not least because those short-sighted agents of the market keep coming up with new and cheaper sources of fossil fuel, such as shale gas, a development which far-sighted bureaucrats somehow failed to spot.
So what’s the IEA’s answer to the unreliability problem? Bigger and better-coordinated plans, bolstered by positive verbiage. According to the report, any country can reach high shares of wind and solar power “cost-effectively.” All that’s required is to forget history, economics and, while we’re about it, developments in climate science. The science is settled.

The self-serving misrepresentation of capitalism that was at the heart of both nationalism/fascism and Communism is still with us, only now it’s gone global, is called sustainable development, and is focused on climate change.

According to IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven “Integrating high shares of variable renewables is really about transforming our power systems.” What is required is a “change of perspective,” which is to say the same old perspective dressed up in new imperial costume. Which is to say, the same old new imperial costume.
You see, the problem was never really unreliability per se, it was that wind and solar were introduced piecemeal on top of all those awful “business as usual” systems. So what is needed is transformation of energy systems “as a whole.” You know, like the Soviets’ Gosplan.
The IEA notes that wind and solar now account for just 3 percent of world electricity generation. However, a few bold leaders generate 10-30% of their electricity, albeit spottily and expensively, from wind and sun. These champions include Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Denmark. All are struggling with policy perversity. Germany’s abandonment of nuclear has – due to aforementioned wind and solar unreliability – led to a boom in one of the “dirtiest” power sources, brown coal.
The IEA grudgingly admits that renewables have wreaked havoc among “incumbent generators.”

Read the full article here.

Wrong, wrong, wrong: Ostrander Point decision


The Times

Wrong to assume

Rick Conroy

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are wrong. Ontario Nature. Nature Canada. Both wrong. Dr. Robert McMurtry is wrong. The South Shore Conservancy is wrong. So too is the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Alvar, bird, butterfly, turtle and bat experts are all wrong. The municipality of Prince Edward is wrong. As are the majority of County residents who believed Crown Land at Ostrander Point should be preserved—rather than industrialized for the profit of one corporation.
And now we have learned that Ontario’s own Environmental Review Tribunal is wrong. A Toronto court has said so. This ought to keep Premier Kathleen Wynne up at night.
The Tribunal’s Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs spent more than 40 days hearing evidence, challenging testimony and witnesses and weighing competing claims. They began their task in a snowstorm in February; and delivered their decision on a hot July day last summer. Wright and Gibbs visited Ostrander Point. They walked around. They saw, with their own eyes, what was at stake.
They dug deep into the evidence. They weren’t satisfied that the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) had sufficiently scrutinized the developer’s plans before issuing it a permit to “harm, harass and kill” endangered species, including the Blanding’s turtle.
They discovered that mitigation measures proposed by the developer to ensure overall benefit to the species were untested and worse, according to evidence presented before them—unlikely to work, particularly for the population at Ostrander Point.
However, the Toronto court ruled that Wright and Gibbs should have given the MNR the benefit of doubt.
In my view, the Tribunal ought to have assumed that the MNR would properly and adequately monitor compliance with the ESA (Endangered Species Act) permit,” wrote Justice Ian Nordheimer in the decision.
But Wright and Gibbs, after listening to 40 days of testimony and examining nearly 200 documents entered into evidence, concluded they could not make that assumption.
The Tribunal’s error was that it didn’t believe the MNR would adequately look out for the Blanding’s turtle.
Wright and Gibbs had gone backward and forward through the proposals prepared and submitted by the developer and accepted by the MNR. They concluded the “Blanding’s turtle at Ostrander Point Crown Land Block will not be effectively mitigated by the conditions of the REA [Renewable Energy Approval].”
The court didn’t say Wright and Gibbs were wrong about their conclusions, but that they should have “accepted the ESA permit at face value” or explained better why their conclusions were different than the MNR.
The Tribunal was obliged to explain how the fact that the MNR had concluded under the ESA that the project would lead to an overall benefit to Blanding’s turtle (notwithstanding the harm that would arise from the project) could mesh with its conclusion that the project would cause irreversible harm to the same species,” wrote Justice Nordheimer.
This is the bit that ought to send a cold shiver through Premier Wynne and anyone else who is worries about the welfare of endangered species in this province.
Read the full article here.

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists have decided they will persevere, and appeal this decision. They need HELP!  www.saveostranderpoint.org to donate or learn more

Opposition Day at Queen’s Park

Several items of interest at Queen’s Park today. Here from the Queen’s Park Update:

The House will convene at 9:00 a.m. to begin second reading debate on Bill 153,
Complying with International Trade Obligations Act, 2013. Energy Minister Bob
ʼs (Ottawa West—Nepean) bill would, if passed, end the Minister of Energyʼs
domestic content requirements under the province’s Feed-in Tariff Program.
The afternoon is scheduled for opposition day debate. PC Finance critic Vic Fedeli
(Nipissing) will put forward a motion calling on the Premier to not introduce or raise any
taxes, including – but not limited to – the gas tax, payroll taxes and corporate tax rates.
The motion will be debated and voted on.

We believe PC Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod will be speaking on the Green Energy Act.

You can watch the Legislature live at http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/go2.jsp?Page=/webcast/webcast_main&locale=en&menuItem=dandp_webcast

Support Plympton-Wyoming council vs Suncor

Street view of Wyoming

Here from WAIT-PW:

Dear Town of Plympton-Wyoming Supporters,
As you are probably aware, Suncor is challenging the Town of Plympton-Wyoming’s By-laws in Court on Wednesday. Council implemented these by-laws to protect US! They are designed to protect us financially and designed to protect our health.  PLEASE, PLEASE, SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION of Council’s actions on Wednesday with your attendance. 
Where: Sarnia Court House – 700 Christina N, Sarnia, ON N7V 3C2 Map
Parking: on-site
When: 8:30-9:30 a.m. Demonstration of Support – Bring Your Signs! Main Entrance, Not on Court House Property
9:30-10:00 a.m. Place signs in vehicles and proceed through security to Court Room. Prepare to empty purses and don’t carry anything that won’t allow you through security.
10:00 a.m. Court case begins – remember we are a professional group and will demonstrate respect for the judge and the court system.
Sign Suggestions (Please be creative!):
Please LIKE US on Facebook Page

Krogh given Diamond Jubilee medal

Cheryl Gallant Presents Carmen Krogh With Diamond Jubilee Medal

February 11, 2014

Killaloe, Ontario – Cheryl Gallant, M.P. for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, was pleased to present Carmen Krogh of Killaloe with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Carmen Krogh is a retired pharmacist with more than 40 years of experience as a health professional. Her career includes holding senior positions at a major teaching hospital, a drug information specialist, a professional association, and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) at Health Canada.
She was the former Director of Publications and Editor-in-chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the Canadian book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information on prescription medication in Canada.
Carmen Krogh is recognized in Ontario, Canada and internationally for her research, peer-reviewed articles, educational activities regarding adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines (IWTs).
Her research is grounded in the real-life experiences of people who live amongst IWTs in Ontario and other jurisdictions. Her goal is evidence-based siting of IWTs that protects human health. Her research and educational efforts are self-funded.
“Carmen has dedicated her life to improving and protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and is a very worthy recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal,” stated MP Gallant.

Poll results: Ontario says NO to killing birds, animals for wind power

The results are in: Ontario citizens expect their government to protect endangered and at-risk species of wildlife and don’t buy the belief that wind power development has an “overall benefit” that outweighs the need to protect wildlife.
Last year, US energy giant Next Era (Florida Power and Light) received a permit to move a Bald Eagle nest in Haldimand County; subsequent changes to Ontario legislation mean that now, wind power developers do not need permits for such actions.
“We don’t think the citizens of Ontario are aware that the Ontario government is supporting the wind power developers over the environment,” says Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson. “The people of Ontario believe that the government should be protecting the environment, especially wildlife, but the government seems to be placing the interests of big power developers ahead.”

 Here are the results of a public Poll hosted by Wind Concerns Ontario during February.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources issued a permit for a wind power developer to kill Blanding’s turtles, a species at risk in Ontario, so it could build a wind power plant on Ostrander’s Point in Prince Edward County, a recognized Important Bird Area as well. The move was opposed by Nature Canada, the Sierra Club and others. Now, the Ministry no longer requires permits for wind developers to harm wildlife, even Endangered and at-risk species such as migratory birds and other forms of wildlife. Do you approve of Ontario’s birds and animals being killed to make way for large wind power generation projects?
  • Answered: 1,336
  • Skipped: 0

Total Respondents: 1,336

Quiet nights bylaw could protect communities from noise

Noise bylaw could stifle windmills 14

By Bruce Bell, The Intelligencer

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Strength in numbers could provide municipalities with protection against unwanted developments including wind farms.

Warren Howard, a councillor from North Perth (Listowel) in southwestern Ontario appeared in front of Prince Edward County’s committee of the whole to determine if there was any interest in joining a municipal coalition to establish a noise regulation bylaw.
Howard told the committee a generic bylaw used by a number of municipalities could quite likely help stop unwanted development in Ontario communities.
“A coalition would be a much better way of doing it, because you can be 99.9 per cent sure that if a municipality tried to stop a wind development using a noise bylaw, the developer would challenge it in court,” he said. “If we had 10 municipalities in the coalition, there’s no court that is going to hear the same thing 10 times and I would imagine the first decision would be binding.”
Howard said a bylaw would need to be developed in “good faith” and couldn’t be established to target one type of development – namely the erection of wind turbines or to simply frustrate provincial initiatives. He said legal opinion suggests a noise bylaw could be developed using the concept of “quiet nights” for rural areas, prohibiting clearly audible sounds. He said general exemptions could be provided for activities such as specified farming practices, festivals and emergency vehicles.
Howard said the Green Energy Act (GEA) overrides municipal matters in planning and zoning but not the enforcement of bylaws such as noise control.
While bylaws cannot be created to completely block out provincial initiatives everywhere in a municipality, Howard said a court ruling regarding a wind development in Wainfleet, Ontario, suggests municipalities have the right to enact bylaws which protect the health and safety of residents.
“The wind company submitted that the bylaw should be declared of no force or effect pursuant to Section 14 (2) of the Municipal Act 2001 because it frustrates the purpose of the GEA and that therefore a conflict exists,” Howard told the committee.
“I am not prepared to go that far. The Municipal Act clearly contains provisions to allow for nuisance and noise as well as health and safety matters.”
Coun. Brian Marisett told Howard “Prince Edward County has dealt with noise issues many times and it’s always controversial and I don’t know what level of noise you can monitor.”
Howard said the bylaw would deal only with clearly audible sounds “because it’s hard to determine what level of noise is harmful and scientists can’t even agree on that yet.”

Read the full story here.

Medical researchers say sleep loss leads to serious health problems. Are you listening, Wynne, ERT?

Doctors are raising the alarm about the serious health problems that can result from lack of sleep.
No kidding.
Our question is, why can’t the Ontario government and the Environmental Review Tribunals get this simple equation?

Turbines–>noise–>disturbed sleep= health problems

Here is the story.

Lack of sleep can lead to obesity, heart problems

Ottawa doctor says sleeping less than 6 hours a night can also lead to performance errors

By Kristy Kirkup, CBC News Posted: Feb 19, 2014 5:30 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 19, 2014 8:48 AM ET

RAW Obesity specialist on importance of sleep

 Obesity specialist on importance of sleep 1:19

Two Ottawa-based sleep doctors are sounding the alarm about the consequences of sleep deprivation.

Kristy Kirkup CBC Reporter
(Photo by Liz Beddall)

Watch Kristy Kirkup’s series, Sleepless in Ottawa, starting tonight on CBC TV News starting at 6.

Dr. Elliott Lee, a sleep specialist based at Ottawa’s Royal Mental Health Centre, said research indicates people who sleep fewer than six hours a day function like individuals who have have a blood alcohol level of 0.05.
“People don’t realize how impaired they are when they are sleep deprived,” he said.
Lee said this is concerning considering the increased number of people who sacrifice sleep to keep up with their lives.
In 2010, Statistics Canada found 46 per cent of Canadians cut into the time they spend sleeping in order to complete other activities.
But Lee said the consequences can be devastating.
“We know that the effects of sleep deprivation do not discriminate based on sex, intelligence, height, gender, fitness,” Lee said. “All of us are subject to the effects of sleep deprivation.”
Lee said less sleep can have drastic long-term effects on the mind and body.
“Everything from cardiovascular disease to an increase risk of car accidents, work performance errors,  more fatigue during the day, even obesity if you can believe it,” Lee said.
Lee said a lack of sleep can also contribute to performance errors and cognitive abilities.

Sleep deprivation linked to obesity

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, an obesity specialist based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, said there is a strong link between sleep and body weight.

Dr. Elliott Lee The Royal Mental Health Centre Ottawa sleep apnea specialist
Dr. Elliott Lee, a sleep specialist, treats patients with sleep disorders at The Royal Mental Health Centre in Ottawa. (CBC)

“We know that lack of sleep causes weight gain in kids, in adults,” Chaput said.
Chaput said people who sleep less to tend to eat more and be more inactive compared to those who sleep more.
His group recently conducted a study looking at all of the factors that contributed to weight gain and found that, even factoring for food intake and exercise, lack of sleep remained the number one factor.

Read the full story here