Enough said

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” That was the advice of Jessie Potter, the featured speaker at the opening of the 1981 Woman to Woman conference.

Bonhoeffer on Stupidity 

In 2021, we see strange people in BC — humans I suspect Dietrich Bonhoeffer would categorize as stupid — mobbing to prey on politicians, healthcare workers, hospital patients and now school children. For thousands, the restraints of decency are lost. Bonhoeffer’s words might help to explain the behaviour…

A spendthrift public utility

There is much written here about BC Hydro and 17 years of flat demand for electricity by the utility’s residential, commercial and industrial customers. Despite that, in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021-22, the volume of BC Hydro’s purchases of private power from IPPs increased 21% over the same period the year before…

Unnecessary risk to people and property in BC

The NDP government is blundering on with construction of the Site C hydro dam on unstable ground, despite availability of much lower-cost energy sources. It is the same government that BC’s Auditor General found has not effectively overseen the safety of dams in BC and did not adequately verify or enforce compliance of safety standards…

What we can’t see will hurt us

Fossil fuel producers — and governments captured by the industry — know full well that methane is a serious contributor to climate change. Invisible and odorless, the super powerful greenhouse gas has greater — variously estimated from 25x to 84x — global warming potential than carbon dioxide in the 20 years following release. Scientists believe methane is responsible for about a quarter of the increase in global temperatures caused by humans…

Canadian leaders ignore deadly risks

The science is clear. We must act today to address climate change. Goals for reduced emissions in 2030, 2040 or 2050 are simply inadequate. Yet politicians sitting on both sides of Canada’s parliament — along with the governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan — are determined to keep increasing production of fossil fuels. They say production must increase today so that we can afford reductions in the distant future.

Stuck in the 20th century

Climate science demands immediate reduction of greenhouse gases. Electricity can replace fossil fuels for many uses, but how that energy is generated and distributed is vitally important. As a monopoly able to charge whatever it needs to survive, BC Hydro can stumble along, perhaps for another 20 years, relying on legacy technology. But as the utility’s prices rise, customers will look for other solutions. When that happens, call the corporate undertaker.

2030 is the new 2050

British Columbia is not just North America’s largest coal shipper, it plans to be a major LNG exporter. Destructive public policies demonstrate the hold on Canadian politicians enjoyed by private vested interests and lobbyists. Otherwise intelligent people have turned into fools who pretend climate change can be ignored or dealt with by comforting words as long as money can be made from fossil fuels.

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…

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.