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Eureka,

The overwhelming majority of scientists and engineers say that we only have TWO technically viable large scale energy sources.

Fossil fuels or nuclear power. You pick.

Further, a growing number of the "kyoto-supporting" scientists are now admitting that it MAY BE TOO LATE.

What in any of the current plans will reduce CO2 in the atmosphere? NOTHING

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Eureka,

As for you believing the "scientists", do you read all the peer-reviewed journals in the various fields related to this subject? I don't think you do, because you never actually say anything SUBSTANTIVE. You just spout about the "consensus".

Or do you simply watch David Suzuki and Friends on the CBC?

Because in case you hadn't noticed, the CBC is about as unbiased and reliable as Pravda was in the Soviet Union.

And in science, consensus is often the dangerous situation right before the discovery that everyone is wrong and the universe is weirder than we can imagine.

If consensus was the basis of science, Einstein would have been written off as a charlatan and we wouldn't have smoke detectors, GPS satellites or nuclear power. because you see, the consensus was that Einstein was wrong for 14 years after he published his papers.

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Do you know what comsensus means? It would appear that you have trouble with the idea. There was no consensus about Einstein that said he was wrong because there was no large body of scientists testing the theory.

You really are becoming strange and illogical - you were that from the beginning, though. Why would I have to read all the peer reviewed articles etc. to form an opinion or reach any conclusion? As I have said ad nauseam, the world governments have gathered together to study action based on the comclusions of a mass of scientists who have studied the problem and read all the peer reviewed studies. That is enough for anyone other than the CSPG and their like in a couple of other countries.

The conclusions are that it may be too late. So what? It might be too late for you to avoid hurting yourself if you slip on an icy sidewalk. Would that mean that you would offer your head to the pavement or put your hands out to try to save yourself? Of course, it might be better if you offered the head and started all over again.

Perhaps there are only two choices for energy though that is not the view of everyone. In that case. we have no choice, do we? We have to take the less damaging one. How do you think you are making a point with that "argument."

Throwing in David Suzuki and Friends shows your limitations. What I watch is obviously many streets of what you watch. And, calumnies against the CBC, while irrelevant, also peg you. You have no more to you than any of the naysayers. The common tactic is to try to smear and denigrate their genuine scientific foes.

It doesn't work except on those who are equally limited, morally and intellectually.

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Belittling intelligence seems to be more your style. It is a style that usually goes with an absence in the presenter. You made the "you must watch etc." comments as though one who does is inferior to you - which is quite an assumption given your shallow arguments.

And please don't say "trust me" since you have shown nothing to indicate that you do know more than anyone else.

Actually, I did answer your question about alternatives. I told you I leave that to people who do know. There is quite a lot of material available on that, too, and you seem not to know anything about this since you think we have only two extreme choices.

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Pateris said:

the CBC is about as unbiased and reliable as Pravda was in the Soviet Union.

Prove it! Give me a citation to demonstrate that a peer reviewed article or book actually says as much and I will read it. I don't want a link from the web 'cuz anything can be put on the web. No, I did not think you could do so.

Pateris said:

If consensus was the basis of science, Einstein would have been written off as a charlatan and we wouldn't have smoke detectors, GPS satellites or nuclear power. because you see, the consensus was that Einstein was wrong for 14 years after he published his papers.

So, how did he become so well known? Did scientists keep rejecting his ideas forever? Who came to his rescue?

Pateris said:

The overwhelming majority of scientists and engineers say that we only have TWO technically viable large scale energy sources.

Does Suzuki support the eradication of traditional energy sources? Funny, 'cuz last I heard he argued that we should look at ways to reduce energy waste rather than seek out new sources of energy. Are you against reducing energy waste?

Pateris, you pretend to be very knowledgeable about the scientific method. Can you show me that smoking tobacco has been "proven" to cause cancer or any other disease? Do not dodge the question or resort to consensus (common sense) which you have argued against above, just answer it. You cannot, because science cannot "prove" anything; it is beyond the realm of this epistemology. In fact, it is an inherent belief built into this epistemology because a superior belief should always be potentially accepted. All scientific theories should be potentially falsifiable. If you want "truth", then read the Bible.

It seems wise to me to pay attention to scientists and find ways to reduce our energy consumption. Why would you be against this? Is it that hard to drive a smaller vehicle (or use public transportation), purchase better windows for your home, use more efficient appliances etc?

If scientists are correct, what is your alternative?

I already have money riding on the fact that Canada will NOT meet it's Kyoto obligations.

Well, we agree on one thing.

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Cartman,

Suzuki is clearly against fossil fuels and nuclear power. However you are correct, he is pressing for further energy efficiency. I suspect this is because he has come to realization that the "green" alternatives are a very long way away from being viable.

And I am all for higher energy efficiency, if it pays for itself.

For instance, if I can reduce my household gas bill by $300 per year, that would be great. But only if the capital expenditure required is less than about $3000. because otherwise I can invest that $3000 somewhere else and make MORE than $300 a year without reducing my energy demand. The economics have to justify energy efficiency. The state can of course interfere by adding costs to energy through taxation, or providing incentives to reduce my capital expenditure.

Buying a smaller car or a hybrid should be justified through the same economic evaluation as above. If the hybrid has a present value (including operating costs) that is lower than a traditional vehicle and provides similar "non-tangible benefits" like performance or comfort - absolutely acceptable.

Personally, I think Canada should reduce energy demand. That way we would have more energy to sell to the US - this would help enrich our nation.

And finally Cartman - do you serious believe the CBC has no liberal bias?

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Eureka,

I told you I leave that to people who do know.

Then you are leaving it to people like me. I am one of the people working on energy and where we are going to get it in future. I am one of the people who makes sure that your lights turn on when you flick the switch. And that the gasoline you buy today is cleaner than the gasoline you bought five years ago and is produced more efficiently.

I know a lot about energy, the various alternatives, and which ones are viable and which ones are a long way away from being viable. Some of this material you refer to on these topics - I was involved in producing it.

Alternative energy is all about scale, cost, environmental footprint and thermodynamic efficiency. And all the "new and green" alternatives have a major problem with at least one of these. If someone can find an alternative that is cheaper, more efficient, cleaner and can be done all those ways on a large scale - GREAT. But we haven't found anything yet.

What we SHOULD be spending lots of research money on is nuclear fusion. But Canada bailed out of the ITAR project...

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And finally Cartman - do you serious believe the CBC has no liberal bias?

Big L or small l?

I think that media in any country tries to reflect whatever is just within their comfort range of their audience (conformist bias). Media must not significantly challenge people in their beliefs, but at the same time cannot be boring, so it must just reach the extent of their limits and touch a nerve. "Crossfire" in the US, for example, never had an anarchist, liberal, communist debate to my knowledge. Why not? They would rather have .0001 left of centre character debate .0001 right of centre character when they are really debating trivial matters. So boring. Anyone remember the overwhelming difference between Bush and Kerry? They were really clones but we automatically subscribe differences between the two.

Similarly, the CBC has the sad old debate b/w "Liberal" (whatever that may be at the time) and Conservative with token NDP crackpot in 30 second soundbites. Ideas are not debated by the media, stupid characters debate. The only good recent coverage I thought was when Peter Mansbridge had the one on one with each candidate. The first US prez debate was not bad.

Global warming?

Truly, I do not think anyone really "knows" the source of global warming. Scientists do not have long-term temp. measures (and other causal measures) to say anything with confidence. So, what are we to do with their findings? As a conservative person (small c), I believe that we should look at energy savings and eliminate wastefulness. Keep in mind though that governments might not necessarily find it in their interests to do so. For example, in Alberta, our provincial government quickly turned to coal as an energy alternative up north once they learned of Kyoto negotiations. The idea being to raise the production output (emissions) in the early years in order to be able to raise them (in absolute values) in latter years. I admit that I have no "evidence" (at this exact moment) to prove as much, but it makes sense for our government to look after our economy and jobs. We need a serious effort at the individual level and the state level.

Maybe the sky will fall and maybe it will not, but can it really hurt to be efficient where possible?

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I am pleased to know that you know so much about these things. However, I will be more pleased to hear that your knowledge of them has not prevented you from getting over the hurdle of recognising that something has to be done to reduce the damage.

I find, so often, that the people in the enerhy industry make the same claims. Does that exempt themfrom being made aware of the consequences of the misuse of their knowledge?

I am sure that the users of ppoison gases knew the properties of the gases but they still used them. The Tobacco industry knew of the consequences of the use of tobacco, but their technicians, and tame scientists, spent many years trying to deny the "junk science."

Your case is worse if you know what you know and still insist that the world outside your industry is wrong. Your economic arguments hold no water, indeed they are all vapour. The economic consequences pale against the climatic problems. It is also moot at this time whether there will be any negative economic effects. There is the counter argument that the new technologies will balance those and perhaps do more. There also huge economic losses that will be suffered through non-action from the increasing climatic events.

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Eureka,

What you need to admit is that the economy is essentially capitalist (think Adam Smith) and that changes in behaviour in the economy must be driven by dollars.

If the government wants to change behaviour, they must either take control (reduce the capitalist aspect) or impose costs on the undesirable activity.

Businesses and individuals are generally NOT going to modify behaviour just because there is a risk of climate change.

As for the comments about tobacco and poisons - at some point people didn't know these things were bad. For instance, from 1921 until 1955 the most common pesticide sprayed on fruit was lead arsenate... lead AND arsenic... then we discovered that was bad. I agree that the tobacco companies and some drug/chemical companies have tried to hide the damage their products have done.

The oil industry has made great strides to clean up. Sulfur emissions are WAY DOWN. Other pollutants are WAY DOWN. The problem with CO2 is one of scale. And that most of the CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuels aren't released by the oil producers - but by consumers. All the cars in Canada release 10 times as much CO2 as the whole oil industry does. And the oil industry is reducing it's CO2 emissions per barrel of oil produced. That makes economic sense (because CO2 emissions are energy wasted). Even the oil industry in Alberta has looked at nuclear power to supply electricity and heat to the oil sands projects because it might be cheaper than burning natural gas...

If there is damage, let us do what we can. But don't expect everyone to shutdown the economy to do so.

I mean, for Canada to meet it's Kyoto obligations we would have to take 30% of the cars and trucks off the road (or convert them to electric), convert 30% of our non-nuclear and non-hydro power generation to something else. 30% of our power generation capacity would cost hundreds of billions of dollars we couldn't spend on other things.

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But it now appears the warming from greenhouse gases has been offset by a strong cooling effect from dimming - in effect two of our pollutants have been cancelling each other out.

This means that the climate may in fact be more sensitive to the greenhouse effect than previously thought.

If so, then this is bad news, according to Dr Peter Cox, one of the world's leading climate modellers.

As things stand, CO2 levels are projected to rise strongly over coming decades, whereas there are encouraging signs that particle pollution is at last being brought under control.

"We're going to be in a situation unless we act where the cooling pollutant is dropping off while the warming pollutant is going up.

"That means we'll get reducing cooling and increased heating at the same time and that's a problem for us," says Dr Cox.

Even the most pessimistic forecasts of global warming may now have to be drastically revised upwards.

That means a temperature rise of 10 degrees Celsius by 2100 could be on the cards, giving the UK a climate like that of North Africa, and rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable.

BBC - Is the Sun Dimming?

If this is true, it is most alarming.

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Pateris!

I don't think I have to admot anything. I know waht the cconomy is and I think danger is a stronger driving force than dollars. There seems to be no further questioning of the approaching calamities.

A couple of things you seem to have misses in your thinking about this!

It is nit just CO2 that will destroy the coral reefs. Coral will die after a rise of 2-3 degrees in temperature. That has already occurred in some parts of the oceans and, if the culprit is CO2 - and I have no doubt about that, world fish stocks will be devastated,

70% of the world's dry lands have become desertified in the past 25 or so years. That is another known result of warming and changing climate conditions. There have been international conferences on that and a separate UN secretariat to deal with it.

How much is a dollar worth compared to these alone.

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I mean, for Canada to meet it's Kyoto obligations we would have to take 30% of the cars and trucks off the road (or convert them to electric), convert 30% of our non-nuclear and non-hydro power generation to something else. 30% of our power generation capacity would cost hundreds of billions of dollars we couldn't spend on other things.
That is very well put, Pateris.

You only neglect to mention that under Kyoto, wse could have an alternative solution. We could give money to a foreign government, buy "CO2 credits", and keep our trucks/cars on the road. IOW, Kyoto is just a shakedown to get money from the US (Canada is collateral damage).

I genuinely like the principle of Kyoto. IMV, we must limit humankind's CO2 emissions to a naturally stable level. (My mother would say to leave a place as good or better than you found it. I think that's good advice.)

How we achieve this goal is another question. The currently negotiated Kyoto agreement doesn't do that.

Finally, we either have time to renegotiate a better agreement or we don't. My suspicion is that if it's too late to renegotiate because the problem has become critical, then we're well beyond any solution. We're f**ked whatever we do.

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Actually, we would not have to do that. Where, in those countries that have already met their Kyoto obligations, has that happened?

You, Pateris, are beginning to sound more like a PR frontman for the energy industry. You are simply peddling the scare disinformation.

And, August, you know better.

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Eureka,

Countries that have already met their Kyoto obligations...

Hmm - those would be countries in Europe that have relatively stagnant economies and minimal population growth, and in some cases population decline. Hmm

That's not hard. The number of cars on the road in North America is significantly higher today than in 1990. In Europe, this is not the case. Heavy industrial capacity in Europe has been falling as they move the industrial capacity into lower cost locations like eastern Europe and India.

Russia has met it's obligations because it's values are set based on 1990 Soviet numbers and the Russia economy SIGNIFICANTLY declined in the years after the dissolution of the union. One of the reasons Russia was tempted not to ratify was the prospect that their economy will grow quickly in the future.

And finally, I am not peddling PR for the energy industry. Like I said, if we could find a good alternative to fossil fuels I'd move to that business right away. But unless nuclear fusion pans out, NONE of the "green" alternatives is even close to being a viable replacement.

As for the issue of "Actually, we would not have to do that" is silly. if we are to make canada's CO2 emissions 6% lower than 1990: 30% lower than today. Than means reducing fossil fuel consumption by 30%. Since most of the fossil fuel consumption is in the form of natural gas to heat houses, coal to generate electricity, and oil for transportation fuels, we would have to reduce those by 30%. How do we do that without severely impacting the economy. You tell me that, maybe we can have an intelligent conversation.

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Perhaps you should take a look at the "relatively stagnant" economies of Europe. They are not as you would find out.

Canada would have to reduce its emissions by 30% because it allowed them to continue growing while all others were putting the brakes on; not because of economic or population growth, which, in Canada, as in the US, is not very high. Then, look at the emissions for China which has had far higher economic and population growths but still has curbed its emissions.

To reduce emissions by 30% does not require the reductions you claim and, as an expert in the industry, you must know that. It requires efficiencies and technological innovation that are now the practise in much of Europe.

Russia did not suffer the decline you claim, either. Its industrial growth continues as well as its population growth. It had setbacks, not collapse, which would have had to be the case for the large percentage increases in emissions comparable to North America to have happened.

The decline in Russia ocurred before the date set for the benchmark also. Isn't it interesting that we, in North America can not believe that Russia has grown since then. That would make their task more, not less, onerous. Isn't it interesting that all that has to be done here to fool the gullible is to claim that we would be losing our money to Russia.

The economic argument holds no water. Ut is irrelevant given the scope of the looming disaster. It is also patently untrue. Switching or whatever has to be done requires replacement of technologies and products. It is not yet known whether that might not be economically beneficial.

It may not be, but the "damage" may not be all that severe. It will certainly be very much less than the damages to be suffered by inaction. Those are incalculable but cannot be less than unbearable.

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Eureka,

Yes, efficiency gains through technological innovations are possible. But they CANNOT give us the 30% reduction.

For example: A coal fired power plant is at best 35% efficient (thermodynamically). A combined-cycle gas fired plant or coal gasification-type plant (with gas turbines and steam turbines) is at best 55% efficient. So, if we turned all of the coal fired plants into gas fired plants, we could get a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions from those plants (or slightly more if natural gas is used, although there isn't enough of it to supply that demand).

But coal fired power plants are not the only source of CO2, so this would constitute a small part of the required 30% reduction.

Houses heated with natural gas have furnaces that range from ~60% efficient (the older ones) to 90% (in brand new houses). People could replace old furnaces to get a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions. But the cost of doing so is not easily justifiable unless the cost of natural gas goes up (or you are willing to spend your money out of fear of the unknown future). But again, this is a small part of the puzzle.

The largest CO2 emission source is transportation fuel. So we need a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from cars and trucks. Or,essentially and increase in fuel economy of roughly that size. Hmm. Switching all cars to hybrid or diesel would get us a long way there. Switching highway trucks from diesel to diesel-electric (like trains) would get us a lot.

But these things will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to do. We can't afford it. Not without giving up a lot of other things, like pensions and health care.

The federal government is even admitting we are going to fail to meet our Kyoto obligation.

I suspect humanity will be far more success ADAPTING to any climate change than we will be trying to reverse it. Simply because we DO NOT fully understand the system, let alone what levers we coul pull or whether they have any impact whatsoever.

You reduce your emission impact by 30%. Think about what I said... how much is it going to cost you?

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Eureka,

You think that the automobile industry is going to have an across the board increase in fuel economy of 30% in the next 7 years and that EVERY Canadian will buy this technology? You are dreaming. I expect that by 2012 hybrid cars might be cost competitive with gasoline cars. But there is no way the automotive industry is going to be COMPLETELY switched over by then.

In 7 years we couldn't even build all the power plants to replace the coal fired ones. It's too big a job. And if we tried, you would pay for it in significantly higher power prices.

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An across the board increase in fuel economy will not be required. Just a little smarter usage would do it.

And, really, do you think I fall for the idea that it is all up to the automobile industry. There are many other avenues. Highway vehicles are responsible for about 24% of CO2 emissions from mobile sources only, not total emissions. Aircraft, in all their uses are more than double that worldwide. It is not rocket science to see that there are substantial reductions that could be made there without undue harm.

Industrial uses, of which a major contributor is in packaging account for about 40%. There is a great deal to be found there both from technological improvement and from less wasteful practises on the packaging sector alone.

Deforestation is another significant contributor. Some, but not all of this is in the process of oil exploration and extraction. This is an area that could be addressed without economic disaster.

Meeting the target is a matter of will not of sacrifice. Others have done it. We have made it harder for ourselves because there are so many like you who will not endorse the necessary steps.

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Eureka,

If there was no cost or sacrifice, it would have been done already... So clearly that argument is fallacious.

Also, you claim aircraft are a significant part of CO2 emissions - are you going to restrict my right to go on vacation?

Another MAJOR CO2 emitter is SHIPS, which haul 80% of the worlds international trade. How do you reduce that without reducing trade? We could build nuclear powered ships, but that would be a security nightmare.

Deforestation for the purposes of oil exploration is MINIMAL. There is no MASS LOGGING to clear space for oil exploration. MASS LOGGING is done to get trees. And yes this is a problem. But new growth forest remove more CO2 than old growth forest. have you ever actually been to an oil field? I think not.

Yes CO2 used in food packaging is an emission. But the alternative is nitrogen. And purifying that volume of nitrogen will consume even more energy.

Finally - what do you make of these recent NASA studies about cloud cover? Apparently the cloud cover of the planet has increased since 1990. The clouds probably hold more heat in. But they also reflect solar radiation out. And NASA admits they "do not know which is stronger"... And what about the glaciers that are GROWING in Iceland and Norway. There's some global warming for you. And the fact the Antarctic is getting COLDER. And since "desertification" is one of the climate change watch words - why is in that in the last 10 years, the Sahel region of Africa has been growing to the north, turning parts of the Sahara green?

If you think we FULLY UNDERSTAND this planet's climate you are fooling yourself. There are significant unknowns and the climate models are filled with assumptions for which there is significant debate about their validity.

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You stretch out the same line every time. All those things can be improved. Aircraft can be made more efficient. Much military flying could be eliminated. Routes can be rationalized. Even if it did "restrict your right to go on vacation", then most certainly I would restrict it by limiting your choices. Your right to go on vacation is not nearly so inakienable as the right to life for others.

Shipping can be made more efficient. There is a huge tonnage of older snaller vessels that can and should be replaced.

It really does not matter very much whether deforestation for oil purposes is MINIMAL. IT is one part of the puzzle that can be fitted in. Most of the contributors are mininal. Added up they are not.

I said "packaging", not "food packaging." Food packaging is a small part of that. And, the alternative is not nitrogen. It is less unnecessesary packaging and recyclable materials.

You should read a little more on the cloud cover - you are not being entirely truthful. Why is there increasing cover and where does anyone say that this is countering the Greenhouse effect?

I have, in an earlier post, dealt with the few areas where glaciers are thickening. That also, is a consequence of global warming. And, I have access to more information on that than you will ever find on the Web.

The Antarctic is not cooling: it has lost, if I recall the amount correctly, about 30% of its ice cover in volume. The two greatest breakaways in researchable history have happened in the last five years: one is now going on.

Read the reports of theUN Secretariat on Desertification before you post that nonsense about greening deserts. The world's drylands are disappearing.

Climate models have nothing to do with any of these aspects of warming. These are observations of events in progress.

I did at over one short period of time, visit many oil fields. That does not mean anything at all. Though I experienced a lot about the equipment used in oil fields for years. How does that bear on what the oil fields are doing to the climate?

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Eureka,

The temperatures measured at the south pole are getting LOWER, and the ice cap is THICKENING. Yes, the ice shelfs (which are in the water) are collapsing.

As for your 'efficiency' thing, it is CLEAR you have no understand of thermodynamics. There are limits on efficiency improvements. You can't make aircraft significantly more efficient. A few percentages points on efficiency of the engines MIGHT be possible, but if it's going to fly it's going to use a lot of fuel.

LOOK at the satellite photos of the Sahel - the green is moving north pushing back the Sahara. Even the UN has noted this.

As for the clouds reducing warming - NASA says this is an effect. Yes, the increased cloud cover MIGHT be due to warming of the oceans (and thus higher evaporation rates). But clouds are WHITE. They increase the albedo of the earth, reflecting more of the sun's energy into space. Is the reflecting power more powerful than the heat trapping ability of the clouds? WE DON'T KNOW.

It is likely that the earth's climate is self-regulating. Otherwise life could never have survived.

And the earth's biosphere will survive this time whether we do anything or not. You will go to your grave spouting off about it, but nothing significant with change in our lifetimes.

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Also, you claim aircraft are a significant part of CO2 emissions - are you going to restrict my right to go on vacation?

If it is a choice between your vacation abroad or our atmosphere and the well being of our planet. STAY Home. We have plenty of relaxing beautiful vacation spots in Canada. Your vacation abroad (other than visiting an aging parent) is unnecessary.

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