Since my last main post, I didn't realize that funding of faith-based schools would become the election issue.
Wish makes it even more important that we discuss other issues like energy.
I wanted to discuss Ontario coal plants, because it's a huge matter for Ontario. It was the McGuinty government who commissioned cost/benefit studies to show that our coal plants cause hundreds of premature deaths in Ontario and hundreds of millions to our health care system and other economic impacts. They then promptly broke their promise to close all plants by 2007, delaying, delaying, delaying.
The NDP, Liberals and Greens all committed to 2007 in the last election, with Conservatives promising 2014 I think.
Funny that I post this topic, as just yesterday, Dave Campanella wrote a significant opinion piece on nuclear, published in The Record: http://news.therecord.com/article/251871
It's an excellent summary of the concerns over nuclear power - and I'd encourage a read through for anyone who thinks that more nuclear plants are an option. The alternatives Dave propose are the same that I would.
But I have a better understanding of the other big supplier, which is coal - currently giving Ontario about 20-25% of our electricity. My understanding of this issue comes from proximity to Lambton Generating Station while growing up. As my first big environmental issue, I found out that air quality was a big issue in Sarnia (seemed to be worst in the province many days), and went on to research why. I found a big contributor was Lambton.
A report just released on Friday does a good job of going through the same numbers that I have always looked at, and pegs Sarnia's industry as the worst polluting of any city in Ontario (and most provinces and territories): http://www.ecojustice.ca/m_archive/pr07_10_04.html
Lambton tops the list of worse polluters.
I happened to take a tour of the plant, at the announcement of new scrubbers, back in summer of 2003. After my tour, I went back home, and the great blackout happened that afternoon, and the plant shut down. A few pages into that report shows what Sarnia looked like that evening, with the chemical plants losing energy and needing to flare.
The point is that McGuinty's studies are still accurate. And we have more than smog to worry about now. The carbon dioxide produced isn't cleaned by the scrubbers. We have to quickly shift away from coal. We have to be considerate of the jobs at these plants while we're doing it, and treat the workers well in the process. Ontario Clean Air Alliance reports show that the costs to switch won't be that high. And in the long-run, well, we know about that.
And here's the other video.