Editor's Notebook

A puzzler

There is nothing particularly new in this mania to cover the Lake Huron shoreline with wind turbines.

 

I happened to read the May, 2010, Walrus Magazine last week which featured an article explaining why Europe will outshine North America in the 21st Century. The Europeans are away ahead of us, says the author, when it comes to green energy.

 

Well, when it comes to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT), one of the cornerstones of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, they are about a decade ahead.

 


35 years later

The summer-like weather of the past week is quite a contrast to that of 35 years ago.

 

No one was walking around in T-shirts or shorts the first week of April in 1975. It’s a week I remember well because I was working on the first edition of The Independent which hit the street Thursday, April 10, 1975.

 

The worst storm of that winter hit Wednesday, April 2 and buried the town on Thursday and Friday. Highways 9 and 21 were closed for three days.

 

It’s funny what you remember. One of the owners of the chain newspaper down the street warned me, “You won’t last two weeks.” So, here we are, 35 years later.

 


experts everywhere

It’s amazing how many experts reside amongst us.

By Friday morning, we had dozens of e-mails from groups slamming the Ontario budget that was released at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Here are a few examples. The Canadian Patient Summit says the budget ignores patients and caregivers. The Registered Practical Nurses say 1.5% funding increase for hospitals will have costly implications. The Poverty Action Coalition for Change in York Region says the budget holds only threat for Ontario’s most vulnerable. CUPE says wolf-in-sheep’s clothing budget is unfair, will hurt recovery. The Ontario Nurses’ Association says the budget means more service and nursing cuts for patients. No one seems to believe the budget a good document – except the government.


The slings and arrows

The arts seem to get short shrift in Kincardine.

Although many people in the community believe fixing the exterior of the former town hall is a waste of money, Kincardine council forged ahead a few months ago with one of those fancy infrastructure deals with the feds and the province.

Each level of government has to pay 1/3 of the cost of the fix-up. At the budget meeting of March 8, council decided there was no way the money should come out of taxpayers’ pockets. Councillor Marsha Leggett said it should come out of the $1-million replacement fund set up by the former town in 1998.

Well, if councillors  don’t want taxpayers to pay, why the hell did they vote to fix up the exterior of the old eye sore? It might look nice on the outside when it’s finished, but the interior will still smell and look like a dog’s breakfast.


The new religion

Are planners the new high priests in Ontario?

After sitting through a few hours of the Kincardine planning advisory committee meeting last week, I believe so.

Take a look back a few hundred years at the medieval church. The language of the church was Latin and the priests, the only ones who spoke Latin, had to interpret the scriptures to the people.

That doesn’t sound much different than planning in Ontario.

The council chambers were packed in Kincardine Wednesday as land owners came to find out just what the Natural Heritage Study (NHS) amendment to the Official Plan would mean to them.


Something to think about

According to Ontario’s Independent Electricity Operator (IESO), wind generation in 2009 rose by more than 60 per cent compared to the previous year.

Power output from the province’s commercial wind farms was 2.3 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2009, equivalent to the consumption of the City of Oshawa for two full years, says the IESO.

So what percentage of the province’s energy do all those wind farms produce? Unfortunately, the total is only 1.6 per cent.

Nuclear on the other hand produced 55.2 per cent, hydroelectric 25.5 per cent, natural gas 10.3 per cent, coal 6.6 per cent and other fuel types 0.8 per cent.


Nothing like a good salchow

Change really is the name of the game.

Last week, Josh was writing the Looking Back column when he noticed this column from 30 years ago.

I mentioned that an older brother can certainly have a bearing on the life of a five-year-old girl. Daughter Sarah had become a hockey nut, skating like the wind and demanding that she be allowed to play with her 11-year-old brother and his friends on our backyard rink.

I wondered what minor hockey would do if Sarah decided she wanted to enroll in a year or two.

Well, she did try to enroll a couple of years later and minor hockey said no. The next year minor hockey relented and Sarah and a couple of other girls were allowed to play on the boys’ teams.


The nutters

The nutters who believe global warming is a myth are rather strident these days, saying some scientists have not been forthcoming with data. The scientists, say the nutters, are  trying to build a better case for global warming.

Perhaps a few scientists have not been paragons of virtue. But what about the nutters? Are they all lily white? Many of them have apparently been sponsored by big oil.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a scientist or a nutter to know that global warming is a fact.

Look at Lake Huron. At one time, the ice stretched as far as the eye could see at this time of year. The lake looked pretty blue Sunday.


The nutters

The nutters who believe global warming is a myth are rather strident these days, saying some scientists have not been forthcoming with data. The scientists, say the nutters, are  trying to build a better case for global warming.

Perhaps a few scientists have not been paragons of virtue. But what about the nutters? Are they all lily white? Many of them have apparently been sponsored by big oil.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a scientist or a nutter to know that global warming is a fact.

Look at Lake Huron. At one time, the ice stretched as far as the eye could see at this time of year. The lake looked pretty blue Sunday.


Let’s forget the bad – for a change

The Winter Olympics should showcase all the good things about Canada, but in this country there always seems to be a large percentage of people who enjoy finding fault.

 

The Canadian slogan, “Own the Podium,” has sent some people over the edge. So has the soggy weather. A federal cabinet minister is upset because not enough French was used in the opening of the Games.

 

Give it a rest. Let’s get behind our athletes and leave the complaining until after the visitors go home.