Author Archives

Norm Farrell

Gwen and I raised three adult children in North Vancouver. Each lives in our community with seven grandchildren, 12 years and younger. I have worked in accounting and financial management and publish IN-SIGHTS.CA with news and commentary about public issuesv.

Money for nothing…

In the year ended March 2021, BC Hydro bought 14,630 gigawatt-hours of electricity from independent power producers (IPPs). The utility paid $1,403,000,000 for that power, an average of $95,899 per gigawatt-hour. Meanwhile, BC Hydro sold surplus electricity on trade markets. It realized $42,520 per gigawatt-hour on those sales, a per-GWh difference of $53,379.

Inept or worse?

At the legislated deadline, and just before the last holiday weekend of summer 2021, BC Hydro released its financial results for the period April 2020 to March 2021. The utility’s annual service report contains pages of interest to serious analysts, but most of it is bumf, likely read only by the company’s PR minions. But a few pages reveal information that government would rather people ignore…

Truth in labeling?

It is interesting that Jonathan Wilkinson’s federal department is called the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and George Heyman’s BC job is Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Neither is called the Ministry of Climate Action or Ministry of Climate Change Solutions…

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It was what it was; it is what it is

When John Horgan’s government refuses to deal appropriately with climate change in 2021, it is because they made cold-blooded decisions based on the business of politics. If people of BC are harmed, if the Earth is harmed, they don’t care. They have joyfully experienced the smell of money, and the smell of power.

Drill, baby, drill = Burn, baby, burn

News media in North America has been paying considerable attention to the state’s wildfires, particularly the one known as Dixie that has consumed over 700,000 acres and is still only 35% contained. But there is a jurisdiction that has had even more total land burned than California.

Privatizing public dollars

The high-priced help at BC Hydro and the provincial government decided benefits of low-costs should never be wasted on consumers. To ensure it was not, the utility signed decades-long deals with private power companies to buy electricity generated by wind turbines. The contracts contained inflation escalators and were designed to be unbreakable. Rather than paying $25 to $40 per MWh, British Columbia’s public utility was far more generous to private power suppliers…

BC’s GHG emissions worse than we’ve been told

Governments of Canada and three western provinces are committed to increasing fossil fuel production, despite science that says we must begin to reduce GHG emissions immediately. Canada’s Industrial and political leaders have gone well beyond ignoring the precautionary principle. They are now following a considered path to disaster. Caring nothing about the future, they care instead about reaping financial rewards today.

Hypocrisy reaching new heights

A day after the UN panel of climate experts reported global warming is dangerously close to spiralling out of control, British Columbia Premier Horgan repeated a bullshit claim that his government is on the path to climate justice, ensuring a secure future not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren.

Laws of Karma

We have seen a steady stream of news reports about science deniers resisting measures to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. That disease is reported to have killed 4.3 million and may have killed millions more. For some reckless recusants, resistance ended badly. Is karma involved?

Numbers speak

Climate science is not accepted by the British Columbia government. BC NDP promises “environmentally responsible development of BC’s energy resources” and while that sounds reasonable, BC’s Public Accounts reveals the real plan. John Horgan’s government is accelerating promotion of fossil fuels with increasing subsidies.

Resolving EV inhibitions

For personal use in urban areas, electric vehicles are clearly in our immediate future. But not everyone lives in a place where battery charging is a simple affair. Fast charging stations are costly to build, damaging to batteries, and may be expensive to use, drawing power at times of peak demand.

Explanations for BC Gov’t wasting billions of dollars

Kurzweil and others have argued that people find this pace of change almost impossible to grasp, because it is human nature to perceive rates of progress as linear, not exponential… People tend to focus on the past few years, but pulling back reveals a much more dramatic change. Many things that society now takes for granted would have seemed like futuristic nonsense just a few decades ago…

Survival of the unfittest… megaprojects

UC Berkeley scholar Karen Trapenberg Frick wrote of the 25 years it took for Californians to build a Bay bridge replacement. Dr. Frick said the project was “a cautionary tale to which any governing authority embarking on a megaproject should pay heed.” British Columbia’s highly paid bureaucrats and political leaders were not paying attention.

Bring out the dead…

Ignoring climate change in the short term has benefits both to individuals and to organizations. Individuals do not have to make changes in the cars they drive, the products they buy, or the homes they live in if they ignore the influence their carbon footprint has on the world…