Sarah Palin Strikes Again – Drilling for Oil in a Wildlife Refuge is a Good Idea.


Welcome to Alaska

Sarah Palin was back in the news the other day, in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post entitled The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End Palin criticises Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan which she refers to as a cap-and-tax energy plan.  What I find hilarious though is Palin knows were her critics will come from she begins by writing;” So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be: I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy.” For those that don’t know the reference to the Chattering class is a stab at the liberal elite, if those really exist in the US after emerges from the Bush of Republicanism (pardon the Pun).

By Wikipedia definition:

The chattering classes is a generally derogatory term often used by pundits and political commentators to refer to a politically active, socially concerned and highly educated section of the “metropolitan middle class,” especially those with political, media, and academic connections. It is sometimes used to refer to a liberal elite, but its first use by British right wing polemicist Frank Johnson in 1980 appeared to include a wider range of pundits.

Personally I would love to be one of the Chattering Classes in the US (in reality it is more complimentary than derogatory in my books.)  At least I would not be in the same group (the Blithering class) as Palin  who says, “We have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today” and in the next sentence says “We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.”

How to Spoil a Sunny Day

If the world is seen as a day, beginning with a sunny blue summer sky with warm winds and cool ocean waves beating the shore, what happens when we play with the climate politically.

First we talk of alliances with other nations to prevent our neighbours from spoiling our sunny day. This causes a small but pretty cloud on the horizon but keeps the storms on the other side of the border at bay.  As the clouds build on the border from our own hot air we build our own little storm and the neighbouring storms move closer to join the party.  Gradually the neighbour sends bolts of political lightning to test that alliance, and we build missiles batteries which the neighbour combats with more clouds of rhetoric and tanks on their side.  The tanks belching out fumes feed the clouds and the borders become stormy industry feels the effect of trade restrictions and small clouds form over the factories.  Also some industry benefits from the tensions and clouds form as factories belch  smoke.  Now we have the gloom of a cold war, but it is just clouds no storms.  Our less than polite neighbour moves into other nations to get a strong foothold creating massive storms in those nations but the storms aren’t moving our way.   We counter with aid to the insurgents and the storms slowly creep over the border.  Finally we feel truly threatened and move in to take back our nation’s friend and the storms that have been hovering on the border move over us the cold winds of storms become the heat of thunder lightning and torrents of rain and floods.

Who is to blame?

What should we do to prevent the building storm?


Daughter of Quebec Florida or Las Vegas

Celine Dion’s manager-husband Rene Angelil, was so upset that Paul McCartney got a bigger venue to perform at Quebec City’s 400th anniversary, that he basically forced organizers to expand the capacity of his wife’s venue to accommodate another 100,000 spectators.
I recognize that Celine is an important figure to some Quebec fans but lets get real, She hasn’t really lived in Quebec for many years unless the province has somehow annexed Las Vegas or Miami. She does not have the history in music that Paul McCartney has unless you have some Idea that the Beatles really didn’t affect rock music. I realize that she should have a greater role in the celebration as she is of French Canadian origin, but of greater importance than Paul McCartney. If she had a commitment to the province she would spend more time living there, and if she isn’t that committed to the province why should she get any preferential treatment this is simply Diva behaviour.
Celine in recent years has been more the brut of Jokes about neocrooners than the lauds of fans. If she wants to prove to Quebec fans she is deserving of their praise she should wrap herself in the Provincial flag, spend more time in the province and less time singing to geriatric Americans in tacky casinos in Las Vegas or sunning herself in Florida.

Airing out the Laundry

This is a cross posted from my own blog:

The clothesline, a simple line of either rope, wire or something similar that is string like. The clotheslines can either be the traditional wire and pulley or in the ‘tree format.’

When I was younger, I always loved seeing our families sheets being hung from the back yard’s tree clothesline. I used to run through the sheets feeling the cotton run past my skin. I was careful, after the first few mishaps, to avoid the middle supporting pole (‘the trunk’) of the tree clothesline. But running into that pole was the least of my worries, my mother’s wrath of after I messed up the clean sheets she had worked so hard to launder, was much worse.

Seeing the neighbours string their laundry out on the pulley stile of clothesline was fascinating. The screech of the pulley would signify the laundry was about to be strung out. I used to watch for the clothes and sheets to move out into view. First there was the screech, then a pause, then another screech, then a pause, then screech and there it was the first sheets came into view! For some reason watching the neighbour’s laundry moving across their backyard on the line was mesmerizing.

But apparently not everyone finds clotheslines to be that exciting. In today’s Toronto Star Ideas section, a story on the debate raging over clotheslines today in the town of Aurora and the province of Ontario brings this response from one lady:

“I don’t want to see people’s dirty laundry,” says the woman, who didn’t want to be identified. “We can’t be told what to do.”

The article further mentions that this lady believes clothe lines look junky and thus bring down property values.

However, others point that stringing your clothes out to dry in your backyard helps to reduce power consumption by not having to run your clothes dryer as much. Reducing power consumption is considered to be good for the environment because it means coal fired power plants and other fossil fueled electrical generating stations do not to need to run as much. The government of Ontario seems to support reducing consumption of power considering their funding to the “Flick Off” campaign aimed at reducing power consumed by lighting. In most neighbourhoods, like my parent’s neighbourhood, putting your clothes out to dry in the backyard breezes is not a problem.

This is not always the case. Aurora Mayor, Phyllis Morris, has taken on the task of advocating for those in subdivisions who are not allowed to string their clothes out to dry. Apparently there are subdivision agreements that the developer has the new homeowner signs. Part of the subdivision agreement between the developer and the new homeowner in some subdivisions prevents the erection and use of clotheslines.

Seventy year old Robert Cook of Aurora brought this problem to the attention of Aurora council recently figuring only a local bylaw would solve the problem of not being able to use clotheslines in some subdivisions. Apparently it is not up to the municipality, but up to the province. So Aurora Mayor Morris took up the fight with the provincial government of Ontario which included a petition being submitted to the Ontario legislature. As well the Town of Aurora’s Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the right for people to use clotheslines. The Mayor of Aurora wants the province to make the use of clotheslines legal no matter what subdivision agreements say.

The Aurora Mayor’s fight with the province of this issue has brought national attention. Ms. Morris pointed out, in last week’s Toronto Star article, that she has been hearing from across the country:

“I’m hearing from New Brunswick, from Calgary, from Vancouver. People feel that if you need legislation in order to hang a string and two hooks in your backyard, something is wrong.”

A national interest in this issue over clotheslines, added with an impending Ontario provincial election in October of this year, would make one think this issue would be quickly dealt with a convenient photo op by the current Liberal Premier and Environment Minister. That is not the case.

To make matters worse for the Ontario Liberal government, the biggest current international environmental crusader of today has taken interest in this issue. Former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore was in Toronto recently at a dinner. Gore spotted a T-Shirt Ms. Morris was holding up and inquired with the Aurora Mayor about it according to a recent Era-Banner story. Mr. Gore was shocked and requested his own t-shirt. So if you see Mr. Gore wearing a t-shirt with the words “Right-to-Dry” on it, blame us Canadians for it.

So what is the response of the Liberal government in Ontario? The Toronto Star reports that:

For now, Queen’s Park is hoping the cities will make the first move.

“The government’s preferred approach is to work co-operatively with municipalities on this issue,” Energy Ministry spokesperson Sylvia Kovesfalvi says.

Typical government inaction seems to be at its best. On one hand the government is encouraging residents to reduce power consumption by turning off lights whenever possible and is now encouraging municipalities to reduce their energy consumption through a new infrastructure program. On the other hand, a simple law change seems to have been buried in other feel good environmental announcements.

Some might scoff and say the provincial government has to study the issue. But Aurora Mayor Phyllis Morris would point out that nearly a year ago her pettition on this issue was submitted to the Ontario government. Since last August the Ontario Ministry of the Environment has had time to study the issue. What has resulted from this simple request to look into the issue by a single municipality with a good idea? Nothing so far. Has the Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty come up with anything concrete on this issue in terms of announcing new legislation? Not so far. Has Greg Sorbara, the Liberal’s own head election organizer and Aurora’s current MPP, formulated this issue into a plank of the party’s election platform? Not so far. The Ontario Liberals seem to be dragging their feet on this issue by being absolutely silent despite this being a provincial responsibility.

The upcoming provincial election is the time for Aurora and other municipalities to press this issue. Local candidates and party leaders should be questioned on their views on this subject. The Ontario Liberals already have a poor record on this issue by doing nothing. But what do the Ontario Conservatives and NDP view this issue? The Ontario election campaign is the best time to find this out.

Residents should be encouraged to uses their clothes dryers less and their clotheslines more. Clotheslines reduce the amount of electricity consumed and, thus, greenhouse gases and other pollutants emanating from fossil fueled generating stations. Besides the most obvious positives for the environment, will the governments think of the children? All children should enjoy being a little mischievous by being able to run threw the drying laundry on the line. About the only downside of this issue is the mother’s blood pressure when they see some muddy hand prints in the freshly laundered bed sheets. But a little high blood pressure is so little a sacrifice in comparison to saving the environment.

Take the Damn Cups

Normally I would not agree with corporate types but in regards to the complaint by Tim Horton’s on the recycling tax on coffee cups I do.
There seems to be a growing trend by recycling companies to recycle only that which is easy to do so and to down load the expense to other corporate and noncorporate entities for ensuring they do not have to change as production changes.
Nick Javor, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for Tim Horton’s is correct “[they are] not a waste-management company.”
As far as I know wax is not a dangerous substance to the environment. It just clogs up old fashioned recycling machines. We need to force waste management companies to recyle more rather than less, or recycling becomes useless.

Here are a few items that are not recyclable in many municipalities.

toys, make-up jars,
caulking tubes, clear egg
cartons, fruit and vegetable
containers, food storage
containers, drinking cups and
take-out food containers,
molded bakery item trays,
pails with metal handles,
motor oil jugs, bags, plant
trays and flower pots, foam
cups, dishes and egg cartons
(polystyrene or Styrofoam)
drinking glasses,
dishes, cups, crystal,
window glass, light bulbs,
mirrors, pottery, pots and
pans, make-up jars
coat hangers,
pots and batteries
aluminum: foil wrap and
bags (i.e. potato chip bags)
tissues, waxed
paper, foil gift wrap, waxed
Fluorescent light bulbs
Scrap metal
laundry baskets
Shreaded paper

How long is this list going to grow to?

It seems they will only take those items that allow them to make the most money on resale of the products. If it is too expensive to recyle and thus not profitable they just don’t want to take it.

I think it is time that we stop taking this nonsense from waste management companies we pay you to do a job not make money on our waste. Niether Tim Horton’s or the general public are paid to to do your job for you.

Take the damn cups !

Tim Hortons executive rejects tax on coffee cups
Updated Fri. May. 11 2007 10:35 AM ET News Staff

A Tim Hortons executive is rejecting a proposal from a Toronto city councillor to impose a tax on non-recyclable coffee cups.
“This would only polarize people; it’s absolutely the wrong way to go,” Nick Javor, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for the chain, told the Toronto Star.
The chain’s current cups cannot be processed through Toronto’s recycling systems because they have an incompatible wax lining.
On Wednesday, Toronto councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said the city should place a 25- or 30-cent tax on companies that sell coffee cups and containers that are not made out of recyclable material.
Javor blamed the problem on the variance in the recycling programs of various cities throughout Ontario. Currently, Windsor and Hamilton are able to process the cups.
He said Tim Hortons has made progress on different fronts by composting coffee grounds and selling coffee for 10 cents less to people bringing in a mug.
The company is now testing cups lined with corn starch but Javor said he wasn’t sure if they’ll hold up or if they’ll be in full supply.
“We’re not a waste-management company,” he said. “Our product is very price-sensitive.”
Baeremaeker said he hopes to have a major initiative in place by the end of the year.
“We’re working with people like Tim Hortons to say, `You’re not in the blue box program yet — you have to come into the system,'” he told the Star on Wednesday.
“Tim Hortons wants to be good citizens. They’re voluntarily coming here and saying, `We want to recycle; we don’t want our cups to be in the garbage or into your local parks or into your local streams.'”

From worst to first in wind generation

For current governments in both Ottawa and Toronto it has been very easy to blame the previous administrations for today’s problems.

Stephen Harper continuously points out that the Liberals under Paul Martin and Jean Chretien signed the Kyoto accord but never actually did anything about having Canada trying to reach Kyoto’s targets in reducing air pollution.

In Ontario the Liberals under Dalton McGuinty are doing the same by pointing out the previous Conservative administration’s failings. An example of this can be found in today’s Toronto Star in the Letters to the Editor where Energy Minister Dwight Duncan writes about the increasing move toward wind generation in Ontario.

Duncan claims, by way of a report written by a third party organization, that there was “mismanagement and poor planning by the former Conservative government between 1995 and 2002” in terms of the investment of green power. But of course Duncan points out that the current McGuinty government is far superior in terms of green power.

Now to see how Duncan proves his point that the McGuinty government is superior in terms of green energy than the previous Conservative government:

1. “That government did not invest in clean, green power. Instead, it belched out more power from dirty coal plants. Under their watch, emissions rose by more than 125 per cent. …In three years, we have reduced Ontario’s reliance on coal plants by more than 32 per cent.”

This claim by Duncan is true in terms of statistics. However, sometimes statistics don’t tell the whole story. Between 1995 and 2002 the Conservative government was forced to shut down quite a few nuclear reactors at the Pickering, Darlington & Bruce power plants following a damning energy report into the workings of the former Ontario Hydro. Since the demand for electricity didn’t meet the reduction in electrical generation, because of the shutting down of the reactors, something had to be done to keep the lights on in Ontario. The coal fired electrical generating plants were fired up to try and replace the lost generation of the nuclear reactors. Thus, air pollution from the coal plants increased because of the necessity to keep these plants running for longer periods of time.

Once the nuclear reactors were refurbished and brought back online, the coal fired plants could slowly be shut down again. Of course it took a long time to refurbish the nuclear reactors. By the time enough nuclear reactors had been brought back online, a change in administration had occurred and the Conservatives were voted out of office the Liberals took power. The Liberals were able to reduce the amount of pollution generated by the coal fired plants because the nuclear reactors could were back up and generating.

Duncan seems to conveniently to miss this piece of history in energy generation within Ontario in his letter. But of course if Duncan did include this fact, he wouldn’t be able to blame the Conservatives for “mismanagement and poor planning.”

2. “We’ve gone from worst to first when it comes to wind generation.”
Congratulations from going from worst to first in terms of wind generation! Now perhaps the current government can start to shut down even more coal fired plants by 2007 through the use of wind power.

During the last provincial election of course, the Liberals promised to phase out coal power by 2007. Dwight Duncan was the energy minister who was forced to break this promise and delay it to 2009 and then until 2014. So the main question is, if Ontario is the leader in terms of wind generation, then how come the promise to close all the coal fired power plants has been pushed back on at least two occasions? Also, the current Liberal government have released an energy plan that calls for the continued and even an increased reliance on the nuclear power instead of putting a reliance on wind and solar power. The move towards wind and solar would probably provide an even more reliable source of electricity than nuclear. As the Conservative government found out nuclear cannot be totally reliable as the reactors will need to be shut down for long periods of refurbishment. But then again that wouldn’t be convenient at this period in time for the Liberals to point out.

3. “While so many other jurisdictions are expanding their reliance on coal, we’re reducing ours. Ontario stands as the only jurisdiction in the world not building more coal-fire generation, but phasing it out.
We’ll eliminate coal as quickly as we can, balanced with the need to ensure a continued, reliable supply of electricity.”

The current government should be applauded for trying to reduce the reliance coal power as well as trying to balance the need for a supply of electricity. If the current government had of made good on its pledge to totally shut down the coal fired plants, the province would be in an energy crisis year round instead of during certain times in the summer.

Did the previous Conservative government consider a reliable supply of electricity during their time in government? Sure they did. That is why following the damning report on hydro that forced Ontario Hydro to close down quite a number of nuclear reactors, they fired up the coal powered plants even more. If the Conservatives had of not fired up the coal fired plants, an energy crisis would have ensued and Ontarians probably would have been in the dark for quite some time. But of course, again, Mr. Duncan conveniently forgets this.

After four years in power the Liberals should stop blaming the previous administration. Instead they should be concentrating on how to keep the promises they made during the previous provincial election. Conveniently, the Ontario Conservative party has been keeping track of the top fifty broken promises that the McGuinty government have done. So perhaps the Ontario Liberals should quit slagging the previous administration and concentrate on fixing their own shortcomings.

Are the federal Conservatives free of blame in terms of slagging the previous Liberal administartion? No they are not. If the federal Conservatives were any good at properly point out that “we are better than they were” in terms of reducing greenhouse gases, the would have come up with a better “made in Canada plan” for reducing greenhouse gases than the toothless plan that was introduced in 2006 to Parliament.

Thus, sometimes slagging the previous administration can seem to be politically expedient, but also can come back to bite you if you fail to either mention the reasons behind the statistics or come up with a better plan to improve upon the current situation.