by Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun
Now gas-fired plants are on the do-not-build list. That leaves us with windmills, solar and a couple of hamsters running around on a treadmill to keep the lights on.
It’s pathetic the way we cling slavishly to every utterance of the eco lobby. When the Great Green Gods speak, we all nod our heads like so many Bobblehead dolls.
So it was Wednesday, when Environment Commissioner Gord Miller released his annual report. The problem with self-styled enviro gurus is no government, anywhere, can live up to their standards. No matter what the government does, it will be slammed for not doing enough.
Miller warned there aren’t enough controls over the siting of gas-powered generation plants.
Northern Ontario is “on the verge” of becoming the Wild West — or Wild North, I guess — with mining companies building airstrips and rail lines willy-nilly.
Except, hold on.
There’s a flip side.
The complaint about gas-fired plants is a classic example of being careful what you wish for.
There’s been criticism that a new plant to be built north of Toronto hasn’t undergone sufficient environmental studies.
What that means is no one wants it in their backyard.
Why is it being built? Well, Dalton McGuinty came to power on a foolish pledge to close coal-fired plants by 2007. This was in response to the yappers who whined that coal plants were choking them.
So if you don’t want coal plants, how are you going to generate electricity?
The wisest plan is to push ahead with a big honkin’ nuclear plant. They don’t spew fumes. But good luck convincing the eco warriors that nukes are green.
Now gas-fired plants are on the do-not-build list.
That leaves us with windmills, solar and a couple of hamsters running around on a treadmill to keep the lights on.
As for the North, it’s widely agreed that we want development. The so-called Ring of Fire area of vast mineral wealth has set tails wagging, even in the south.
But Miller was concerned the rail line the mining companies want isn’t going to the right places.
He thinks they should build the rail links to service aboriginal communities. Since when was it the job of mining companies to engage in social welfare?
He’s jumping the gun. The rail line is still in the planning stages. The government announced in its Throne Speech it would appoint a co-ordinator to work out these issues.
Mining companies already jump through environmental hoops. De Beers had to clear more than 100 permits before they could work on their diamond mine north of Timmins.
Miller was also critical of mining companies for building two gravel airstrips without permission. Apparently no one noticed them for some time.
Hello again. The north is vast. There are dirt airstrips all over the place.
It’s hardly an ecological disaster. They aren’t landing jumbo jets. Does he expect them to bike in?
We want cheap, plentiful electricity — just not in our backyard.
We want economic development — but we’ll put as many hurdles in the way of business as possible.
The government has botched its Far North Act by not communicating effectively with First Nations — thus inviting demonstrations.
If you want business to invest, you need to provide certainty.
On the positive side, between the government and the enviro-commish, we may have found the cure for climate change.
They’ve just sent a big chill through the business community.
Just what we need at a time of economic recovery.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @ChrizBlizz