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ReeferMadness

Canada - Stop Looking Backwards

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The next decade promises to be the most disruptive one ever and Canada appears to be suffering a major lack of creativity.  One major party thinks we can build our future on 20th century energy and the other would like to take us back to 19th century labor conditions.  Meanwhile, there are a number of mega-trends that will be painful for some of our core industries.

  • Paris Agreement or not, the fossil fuel industry is a dead man walking.  In the US, wind energy has recently dropped to $.02/KwH and solar is reportedly heading toward $.01 within the next few years.  Wind and solar isn't just the cleanest new energy, it's now the cheapest as well.   Yes, there is the intermittency problem but as battery and other grid storage technologies improve, this will be overcome.  As batteries improve, the electric car will kill off the internal combustion engine (price parity for electric cars is expected before 2025).  If all of that isn't enough new IMO sulfur content regulations slated for 2020 will lower demand for high sulfur fuel (like tar sands sludge).  Kind of makes you wonder why Albertans are getting their shorts in a knot over a pipeline.  There will be no market. 
  • The auto industry (and related industries such as insurance, auto dealerships, retail mechanics body shops, etc) is in for a massive shakeup.  EV's have vastly fewer moving parts than ICE vehicles and so will ultimately be more more reliable, last longer and require fewer repairs.  But the auto industry pain only starts there.  The real challenge will be from transportation-as-a-service (TAAS) companies using electric self driving vehicles.  With no driver to pay for and operating costs a fraction of ICE vehicles, costs per Km will plummet and this model will challenge the model of private vehicle ownership.  With drunk and distracted drivers removed from the equation, accident rates will plummet and with them, industries that depend on accidents (auto insurance, body shops) will be crushed.  As families give up first their second vehicle and then abandon vehicle ownership entirely, the auto manufacturing industry will contract to a fraction of its former size.
  • The meat industry is also going to go through major changes.  Due to a variety of concerns (including health, global warming and ethical treatment of animals), consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives.  At the same time, an alternative is emerging.  Lab grown meat is still in its infancy and far too expensive to be a threat to the meat industry today.  But as the technology progresses, it's just a matter of time before prices drop and it will become cheaper than conventional meat.  This will free up millions of acres around the world currently dedicated to range land.  It will also prevent a massive amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas from being released into the air.
  • These are only a few examples - there are lots of others.  Fishing will be threatened due to warming and acidifying oceans.  Forestry could be hit hard due to climate-related droughts (and accompanying massive forest fires).  Employment will become increasingly precarious due to self driving vehicles and other types of artificial intelligence.

As these and other disruptive changes will challenge Canada over the next 20-30 years, what are our two major parties obsessing over?  Twentieth century fossil fuels and and trade agreements.  And, in BC's case,  a 20th century technology dam.

We need better leadership.

 

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2 hours ago, ReeferMadness said:

The next decade promises to be the most disruptive one ever and Canada appears to be suffering a major lack of creativity.  One major party thinks we can build our future on 20th century energy and the other would like to take us back to 19th century labor conditions.  Meanwhile, there are a number of mega-trends that will be painful for some of our core industries.

  • Paris Agreement or not, the fossil fuel industry is a dead man walking.  In the US, wind energy has recently dropped to $.02/KwH and solar is reportedly heading toward $.01 within the next few years.  Wind and solar isn't just the cleanest new energy, it's now the cheapest as well.   Yes, there is the intermittency problem but as battery and other grid storage technologies improve, this will be overcome.  As batteries improve, the electric car will kill off the internal combustion engine (price parity for electric cars is expected before 2025).  If all of that isn't enough new IMO sulfur content regulations slated for 2020 will lower demand for high sulfur fuel (like tar sands sludge).  Kind of makes you wonder why Albertans are getting their shorts in a knot over a pipeline.  There will be no market. 
  • The auto industry (and related industries such as insurance, auto dealerships, retail mechanics body shops, etc) is in for a massive shakeup.  EV's have vastly fewer moving parts than ICE vehicles and so will ultimately be more more reliable, last longer and require fewer repairs.  But the auto industry pain only starts there.  The real challenge will be from transportation-as-a-service (TAAS) companies using electric self driving vehicles.  With no driver to pay for and operating costs a fraction of ICE vehicles, costs per Km will plummet and this model will challenge the model of private vehicle ownership.  With drunk and distracted drivers removed from the equation, accident rates will plummet and with them, industries that depend on accidents (auto insurance, body shops) will be crushed.  As families give up first their second vehicle and then abandon vehicle ownership entirely, the auto manufacturing industry will contract to a fraction of its former size.
  • The meat industry is also going to go through major changes.  Due to a variety of concerns (including health, global warming and ethical treatment of animals), consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives.  At the same time, an alternative is emerging.  Lab grown meat is still in its infancy and far too expensive to be a threat to the meat industry today.  But as the technology progresses, it's just a matter of time before prices drop and it will become cheaper than conventional meat.  This will free up millions of acres around the world currently dedicated to range land.  It will also prevent a massive amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas from being released into the air.
  • These are only a few examples - there are lots of others.  Fishing will be threatened due to warming and acidifying oceans.  Forestry could be hit hard due to climate-related droughts (and accompanying massive forest fires).  Employment will become increasingly precarious due to self driving vehicles and other types of artificial intelligence.

As these and other disruptive changes will challenge Canada over the next 20-30 years, what are our two major parties obsessing over?  Twentieth century fossil fuels and and trade agreements.  And, in BC's case,  a 20th century technology dam.

We need better leadership.

 

That's all just reefer madness.......

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2 hours ago, ReeferMadness said:

Paris Agreement or not, the fossil fuel industry is a dead man walking.  In the US, wind energy has recently dropped to $.02/KwH and solar is reportedly heading toward $.01 

As long as federal and state tax incentives pay for 50% of the cost of the installation...

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Add to that, the transition to nuclear power with sales of small local reactors and fuel world wide, and western Canada is in for a prosperous future. Antipathy to nuclear power is an indictment of the education system.

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13 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Add to that, the transition to nuclear power with sales of small local reactors and fuel world wide, and western Canada is in for a prosperous future. Antipathy to nuclear power is an indictment of the education system.

I think its more an indictment of nuclear powers regulation.  Nobody trusts it.

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More people died in motor vehicle accidents in Saskatchewan in 2016 (125 deaths) than have ever been killed in nuclear power accidents world wide (75). People trust vehicles, why not nuclear power. 

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people in government (yes even total morons who sit in Ottawa today) are dealing with petroleum resources and international trade because these are reality, not the ravings of those from the newly encouraged world of recreational pot.

Yes, there IS a real world of EV, solar and wind out there, but it is TINY in comparison with our actual energy needs and wants, and those needs and wants have to be met TODAY, not in some airey-fairey dreamland of what MIGHT come to pass.   Petro hydrocarbons ARE a finite resource with a limited future, but that future will arrive only when emerging technologies get away from needing huge subsidies to make them viable.   MARKET forces will bring what is need, when it is needed - and for HCs, that is not in the very near future.

Same with trade.  Yes, we have buggered up our economy with policies and beliefs of the past, but it is a very large ship that will not be steering in the right direction until we as the electorate begin to understand what it is that creates wealth and how it needs to be used.   Our sidetrack into the world of speculative finance as a part of the credible economy (i.e. Casino Capitalism) has ensured we need a major crash such as '29 to once more pull our collective head out our ass and realize that speculation CREATES NO WEALTH.  But, in the meantime, we need to live and work and trade in the world that is all around us.

To feed the troll:  outside of subsidized, distorted numbers for wind and solar we see in the media, I have seen some really nice technology that can produce solar power in distressed areas in significant quantities (in this case, factory roof installations in India - that are besieged with power interruptions off grid.  BUT: even using the highest level of tech from one of the world's largest high tech firms, storage means that it only works for the small portion of the day where there is sufficient sun shining.   The changes in battery technology that are GREAT in terms of things such as power tools and cell phones are simply no in the range of what is required for off grid commercial energy use.  When that storage technical revolution comes, THEN we can start thinking about solar and wind as legitimate parts of the actual grid.

What really disappoints me, is that we can have endless raving, discussion, debate, arguements, etc. on this topic, and seldom if ever does the REAL issue get discussed:  We use (read WASTE) far too much energy in the way we build our infrastructure and live our lives.   Part #2:  we do zilch to address the largest of all problems: population control.   Essentially, we are 8 Bn people all trying to live the life of unrestricted waste of the billion who live on easy street, and trying very hard to be 10 or 20 Bn doing so.   Get back to a sustainable one or two billion, and THEN one can have some intelligent discussion as to how the future can work.

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6 minutes ago, cannuck said:

   Get back to a sustainable one or two billion, and THEN one can have some intelligent discussion as to how the future can work.

 

But this is even more of an unrealistic raving than solar/wind power replacing base load in the future.

Population growth slows with education and economic growth.

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5 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

But this is even more of an unrealistic raving than solar/wind power replacing base load in the future.

Population growth slows with education and economic growth.

I agree with you on both points, but if homo sapiens want to continue to be the dominant species, they need to use what they ASSUME to have (superior intelligence) to limit our population to a sustainable size - and it is one hell of the lot less than 8 or 10 billion.   I can accept that we will kill ourselves off in this manner, since I have come to understand that given one unit of intellect, the existence of 1 million people with one unit each does not result in 1,000,000 x the collective intelligence, but 1/1,000,000 th.

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19 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Add to that, the transition to nuclear power with sales of small local reactors and fuel world wide, and western Canada is in for a prosperous future. Antipathy to nuclear power is an indictment of the education system.

Who is going to buy these nuclear reactors? You can't build one in a western country without ten years of hearings, court cases, environmental impact assessments, and multiple lawsuits and demonstrations.

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5 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

But this is even more of an unrealistic raving than solar/wind power replacing base load in the future.

Population growth slows with education and economic growth.

Don't forget the one-child policy, the pill, the legalization of abortion, and divorce rates. Many contributing factors.

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5 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

 

But this is even more of an unrealistic raving than solar/wind power replacing base load in the future.

Population growth slows with education and economic growth.

ah, yes, base load.  A critical concept in a modern power distribution system - assuming you live in the 1950's!

 

Quote

Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the company that operates the gas and power transmission networks in the UK and in the northeastern US, believes the idea of large coal-fired or nuclear power stations to be used for baseload power is “outdated”.

 

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6 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

More people died in motor vehicle accidents in Saskatchewan in 2016 (125 deaths) than have ever been killed in nuclear power accidents world wide (75). People trust vehicles, why not nuclear power. 

So, deaths from cancer don't count?

By that measure, the only people who've been killed by cigarette smoking are those clumsy idiots that tripped and broke their necks while lighting up.

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20 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Add to that, the transition to nuclear power with sales of small local reactors and fuel world wide, and western Canada is in for a prosperous future. Antipathy to nuclear power is an indictment of the education system.

Ahhhh, the nuclear power industry - the place where slimey used car salesmen with PhD's go to swindle people.

Remember when nuclear power was going to be "too cheap to meter"?  Remember when we were going to have nuclear powered planes and cars?  The entire industry has been one giant money sinkhole from the outset.  It never would have gotten off the ground were it not for massive public subsidies and nuclear weapons.

Do you even know what nuclear power costs?  Of course not - nobody does.  The reason is that nobody has come up with an acceptable scheme to store the waste for the ten thousand years required.  So,

Quote

Currently, without any central repository, nuclear waste generated in the U.S. is stored at or near one of the 121 facilities across the country where it is generated.

Nuclear power is forever power.  They take forever to plan, forever to finance, forever to build, forever to decommission and then, the waste has to be stored - forever.

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Psssst.  Wanna know why Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney are so panicked to get a new pipeline?  Well, it's probably something to do with this graph, showing exponential growth in EV's.  See that red part at the bottom?  That's China, the country that Kenney thinks he's going to sell low quality tar sands sludge to.  China is home to the vast majority of electric buses also.

The fossil fuel industry is dead.  It just doesn't know it yet.  https://about.bnef.com/blog/cumulative-global-ev-sales-hit-4-million/

As Canada squabbles over dirty fossil fuels, China is planning to own the future.  They've already taken control of the solar panel industry and are proceeding to do the same with electric batteries.

 

 

4-million-EVs-chart-3.jpg

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1 hour ago, ReeferMadness said:

No.  Read and educate yourself.

The cheapest new electricity is unsubsidized solar and wind.

And that link is over a year old.

Yes our standards of living are all dropping and distracting the herd from this fact is a necessity in order to compel us all to keep working harder and harder to maintain what lifestyles we can continue to have. Once all hope is lost, the real problems start. They will milk it all as long as possible and then stand back and what the shit hit the fan.

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1 hour ago, ReeferMadness said:

No.  Read and educate yourself.

The cheapest new electricity is unsubsidized solar and wind.

And that link is over a year old.

That link says nothing about the cost comparison between renewable and gas and oil powered energy in western countries, much less Canada, so it's hardly of much value. And you would have to add into the mix that wind and solar power are highly unreliable so anyone who installs one has to have a more traditional power source as well.

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4 hours ago, ReeferMadness said:

So, deaths from cancer don't count?

By that measure, the only people who've been killed by cigarette smoking are those clumsy idiots that tripped and broke their necks while lighting up.

That was included in the figure of 75. There were a lot of cases of thyroid cancer from Chernobyl, but, as of 2008, only  15 deaths. 

Chernobyl was the worst accident but it was the anomaly. When you consider the consequences of the greenhouse effect, nuclear power is looking pretty good. We are already near the 

5 hours ago, Argus said:

Who is going to buy these nuclear reactors? You can't build one in a western country without ten years of hearings, court cases, environmental impact assessments, and multiple lawsuits and demonstrations.

Like I said, that is a failure of the education system. We can mass produce small, safe reactors for sale around the world. 

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14 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

People trust vehicles, why not nuclear power. 

Reliable government oversight...the lack thereof that is.

You've heard about how the federal government has ramped up spending for tanker safety on the west coast right?

Well, the weather observation buoy we use on the WCVI has been out of service for months now and we were being told by environment Canada the problem was due to a data processing issue at Shared Services Canada which posts the data coming off the buoys.  Service Canada says that was nonsense and when pressed Environment Canada admitted it was actually their buoy that was out of commission (there are two down actually)

https://weather.gc.ca/marine/forecast_e.html?mapID=02&siteID=16200 

 

Quote

 

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the La Perouse buoy.  We regret that the observations from this buoy are not currently available.  It stopped transmitting reports because of issues with the power supply onboard the buoy.  Unfortunately, this problem won't be repaired until May, 2019.  In order to repair these offshore buoys, we need access to a Canadian Coast Guard vessel equipped to retrieve and deploy buoys and none will be available until May, 2019, which is when the next regular visit is scheduled.

      Best regards,

 Bernard Duguay
 Weather information specialist
 MSC National Inquiry Response Team ISO 9001:2008
 Environment and Climate Change Canada

 

The Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada (who apparently hate each other as much as DFO hates the Coast Guard) are very vocal about telling my industry to carefully check the weather before we head and that we shouldn't if we can't tell what's going on.

This is what I'm seeing on the ground where I live and right where tankers will be sailing past and where Ottawa is telling Canadians the ocean is safer than its ever been.

I'm quite happy the court told Ottawa to go piss up a rope. As near as I can tell the judiciary is just about the only government department that seems to know how to do its job and its probably the only branch that's fit to govern.

Edited by eyeball

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Allow me to reiterate a key segment of the letter I quoted above

Quote

In order to repair these offshore buoys, we need access to a Canadian Coast Guard vessel equipped to retrieve and deploy buoys and none will be available until May, 2019

The Betsyism is apropos don't you think?

 

This sort of timeliness reminds me of how Ottawa responded (koff) to the Nestucca Spill on our coast. The oil washed ashore on flat calm seas and Ottawa dithered and fiddled for ten whole days while 30 foot wide pancakes of nearly solidified oil sat on Long Beach just waiting for an excavator to come roll them up, put them in a dumptruck and get them off the beach.  By the time the authorities finally agreed this local suggestion was the correct course of action (we told them so on day two) a big storm blew in and blasted hundreds of these pancakes into millions of dime sized pieces that are still visible today if you know where to look.  

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