Posted By ALF BECK The Ottawa Valley Daily Observer
Democratic-elected municipal governments have the mandate to act in the best interest and wellbeing of their constituents and also exercise control over environmental issues; sometimes for the better and on occasion not. Sometimes they can exercise control through the issuance or denial of construction permits.
Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, George Smitherman, is determined to stifle, if not abrogate this municipal authority.
Case in point: According to the June 6 Belleville Intelligizer, George Smitherman is reported to have stated: “Some municipalities’ resistance to embrace wind power is no option!”
One can safely assume that George Smitherman’s exclamation extends to any “green” energy project when it is believed to also stimulate Ontario’s limping (green) economy.
In essence, George Smitherman’s statement is a gag order to municipal governments and other stakeholders who no longer have their concerns listened to.
As long as an entrepreneur’s proposal has the appearance of being “green”, these government- subsidized entrepreneurs have an automatic green light to go ahead without public hearings and without municipal approval.
This autocratic, if not dictatorial, authority of a minister of the Crown does abrogate due process and democratic procedure.
It should raise everyone’s concern.
The current Ontario government’s obsession with everything having the “appearance of green” has the support of many mainly urban “Green Warriors”.
They advocate to see all coal-fired power plants dismantled by 2014 (if ever), dreaming that the abandonment of fossil fuels for transportation and energy production, the doing away with flatulenting cows, and relying on wind turbines, in-stream generators and solar panels will “save the planet” while meeting the energy demands of expanding metropolitan areas and manufacturing plants.
Extremists even advocate abandoning wood heating of homes, because of their CO2 emissions.
Let’s look at these fanatic concepts realistically, without through “green-coloured” glasses.
Without fossil-fuel propelled means of transportation, how would these “Green Warriors” fly and travel from one “Save the Planet” conference to another?
How would their food being produced and shipped to stores and how would babies get their milk without combustion-engine transportation and without flatulenting cows?
And how would homeowners keep warm without their wood stoves? Perhaps with coal-fired electricity from Ohio?
In realizing that man-made CO2 emissions will remain with us anyway, the “Save the Planet” soldiers propose to impose “carbon taxes” and “cap and trade” schemes. Needless to say consumers will have to pay.
In essence, both concepts are no other than punitive taxation!
This begs for comparison with other punitive taxation currently in place:
-Has smoking been stomped out because of excessive tobacco taxes?
-Has alcohol consumption benn eradicated because of LCBO’s markup.
Obviously it remains popular at higher cost for air transportation in some communities.
The “cap and trade” concept applied in western Europe has made some industries very rich and others much poorer, and yet the consumer pays for passed-on costs.
And yet, after having born the cost of carbon taxes and cap and trade, where has all that CO2 gone since? Did it simply disappear? Where to?
You are smart enough to have the answers?
The proposed switching to ethanol begs the question about being ethical, driving food costs through the roof, especially in the poorest countries where hundreds die each day from starvation?
Besides, the production cost for ethanol are higher that what it delivers.
It is especially disheartening that the “Green Warriors” keep citing wonderland Germany, where allegedly everything is done right to “Save the Planet”, but won’t tell you that:
-Germany’s so-called ecotax has nothing to do with the environment!
It simply supports Germany’s overburdened pension system.
-Foolheartedly, the German government decided to phaseout all nuclear power production once a reactor reaches the end of its life.
Unashamed, however, Germany imports massive amounts of electricity from France’s nuclear reactors, next door.
They further withhold from you, that:
-As of 2007, there were +13,400 wind turbines rotating in Germany with all existing coal-fired power plants still operating 24 hours each day!
-Germany is seriously contemplating constructing 40 additional coal-fired power plants (GIGA website)!
If it really needs “saving” (from what?) wind turbines, instream generators, solar panels, abandoning fossil fuel consuming engines plus flatulenting cows … the planet will not be saved.
Instead of George Smitherman’s offensive autocratic gag orders and rhetoric, much more research money needs to be made available for discovering reliable alternate sources of energy.
All the government’s subsidies paid to construct these unreliable wind turbines, plus instream generators and solar panels, together with the subsidized guarantees of double the going market price for kilowatt hours produced would be better spent for research.
Nevertheless, to take away someone’s right to object against potential harm to fish and wildlife and human health with gag orders and draconian rules is undemocratic and surely not the way to go!