Commentary on Star Article related to Green Energy Act

This article in the Star about Ontario’s Green Energy Act makes some valuable points about the Act. Click on the link below to read the article if you haven’t already. (Note the article was printed Feb 24, 2009 and came up in my research on the Green Energy Act which has now passed. It did generate some thoughts.)

Can Green Energy Act clean up Ontario’s electricity supply?

My own thoughts: Let’s look at current and future solutions with the goal of learning from our mistakes. Limiting our time-frame is unfair to future generations who are equally entitled to resources we are consuming. Any act which promotes 100% renewable energy is consistent with justice for future generations. Any act inconsistant with that goal denies future generations of their rights.

It is possible that due to urgency related to GHG emmissions and climate change, we may choose to live with a less than ideal short term solution (i.e. nuclear, or flooding regions for hydro). However, as with any “short term” solution, we run the risk of adopting these solutions long term, causing much more damage than anticipated.

Isn’t it better to simply spend our time, energy and money on solutions which are 100% sustainable, (i.e. those which don’t consume uranium, coal, oil, or any other non-recyclable material) even if they are more expensive at first. As we strive for sustainable solutions, we will make mistakes. However, we can learn from our mistakes and slowly improve. And costs will inevitably come down as they become more wide spread.

If we choose the other path and constantly go for short term solutions, we only learn how to do that. This practice puts us into crisis after crisis. 

As for me, I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is, buying wind power from Bullfrog. If the wind power producers get a little richer as suggested by one reader, I can live with that. I can’t live with seeing other nations, especially developing nations, negatively impacted by my negligence or lack of effort in cleaning up my act. I hope that the Ontario and Canadian government can’t live with that either. When I think about the kind of people we are as Canadian’s, and the rich culture we have in diversity, I believe that we all have the potential to put others before ourselves. And the government is ultimately a reflection of our wishes, our comments to our representatives, and our votes. I applaud any efforts they make, and I hope they and we continuously do more to encourage renewable energy and move away from all non-renewable sources as quickly as possible. 

Regarding biofuels, using land where food won’t grow anyway and certainly using waste oil from restaurants is reasonable. But lets make sure our growing world population has food and clean water first before using good land to drive our cars.

Garth Schmalenberg

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