Posted by: energyblogwalter | January 22, 2009

How Alberta and Ontario going Green saves all of North America!

My own followup to a previous post which better identifies the issues of tarsands in Canada and the opportunities I see through a merger with other sectors to save everyone in North America. No, not bold enough?

Total brain dump follows thusly…

But I’m not paid to be green

Seriously no one in Canada is going to change into green behaviour unless paid to do so. Since the market refuses to notice the changes we need due to endless corporate socialism, we will need to support the changes directly and then ween off the support as the market reveals itself to people. Kind of like a crown corporation, but it’s the whole country.

Think of change as an emergency medical situation (EMS). Your economic boat has capsized. The market hasn’t responded and emergency services, which are a government responsibility, needs to come on out and give you a hand. Once the economic ship is up, it can carry on its way and we can retreat from the market to let it do its thing.

Crown of Energy

How can we be green? How about supporting workers in the energy sector to leave tarsands and start-up energy manufacturing instead? Get drillers, unemployed autoworkers and construction involved. Grow the industry in Ontario and Alberta especially (drillers!). It could be anything people want to do but let’s start with geothermal. It’s easy to understand (the land has temperature!) and it’s easy to use (we have drillers!) the issue is scale of implementation. Rather than building the largest geothermal plant on earth, as oppose to mining all of Alberta’s sand away, all we have to do is build a lot of smaller plants, either for a home, a building or a block of buildings. Geothermal is already used throughout the country. Making an effort to create a new national Energy Manufacturing Sector (EMS!) would bridge jobs across complimentary fields and get people to work on something that has a great return on investment. Energy.

Now, every time Energy and National are used together the West gets edgy. As well, there’s no reason why Alberta would just abandon tarsands for geothermal. I understand the history and I can’t really blame them, but with this type of sector it would not have to be a nationally controlled endeavour. Simply creating and supporting the sector in each province would convert the drillers, auto and construction workers into those areas where possible. The idea is to put all these displaced workers under a single aim, Make Canada Energy Free. It’s an aim, a direction. In each of drilling auto and construction are the opportunities to make this happen. Let’s head in that direction.

Put the sandwich down for a minute

Without Alberta we don’t get there. Without the drillers and energy workers they would just go back to tarsands development. Without the manufacturing sector in Ontario Quebec etc as well, we don’t get the tubes. (We need those geothermal tubes!) We also need various technical thingies, and only energy workers and companies know what they need. They need a manufacturing sector willing to ante up and innovate.

Pollution in Alberta is a non-topic. The environment is sacrificed for the economy. Wouldn’t this be a great break from pollution based work without the guilt? As well, Ontario could actually build something people need. So I need both Alberta and Ontario to go into Energy Manufacturing. This solves for me the lack of work in Ontario and the need for Alberta to make a clean start.

Help Alberta and Ontario to create Energy

With energy we can bridge the country together. We just can’t do that with tarsands. On its own it’s too dirty and too toxic no matter how many bows we put over it. Alberta’s willingness to convert away from tarsands would bring the nation together. Ottawa’s willingness to help Alberta do so would be Canada’s opportunity.

No doubt its been quite an investment Alberta has made already. Inertia will want this to continue. But if it’s going to have to change, why not go out working? All those workers need to have an opportunity to do something else. If the net effect are no lost jobs, just a new area, then that’s a good idea. If the net effect is Alberta becoming a green leader of drilling trading up from years of pollution, then we all win. We need drillers, and people who understand energy in the manufacture of drills and construction for geothermal installations. These people are needed both locally and nationally. Eventually they’ll be needed internationally. If we get the national leader on energy to get into this action, how do we fail?

We have an obligation to look at the problem together. If we can help each other than that’s a good thing yes? Let’s look right in the eye and call it. I call Alberta tarsands and Ontario auto-sector a match made in ironic heaven. Rather than letting them both suffer, if only they could meet? Merge the two industrial sectors and setting up a core group in each province, and with enough drillers, manufacturing and construction workers make geothermal heating and cooling made mandatory in this country. Hundreds of thousands of jobs across many sectors could then be nimble and relevant to each province.

Green is the new black

Call it Plumber Nation for a while. Endless jobs and endless buildings but not endless subsidies. After a couple of years only, people will see the return on the installation and then the regular market will finally adjust itself. We will owe much to the innovation of Alberta and Ontario workers who would show us the way to a greener and less polluted lifestyle. Alberta can at long last have energy without the pollution.

I foresee banks offering energy mortgages to pay for the geothermal install. I see mortgages paid off early as the provinces pay back the owner for net-metering. If the homeowner can’t pay for an install the government can install it and receive rent from the owner. They would pay for energy anyway, so that would pay off the system no matter how many owners lived there. If we converted 100-200,000 homes a year, that would be an investment with many returns. A much better investment than nuclear power, since the owner owns the home (without toxic waste! Sweet!)

I see emergency winter storms and disaster prevention for buildings with this system and becoming cornerstones of the community. I see renewed energy supply as we subtract the various electrical loads of all our buildings from our current energy systems.

Making a Buck and saving North America!

If we just keep drilling tarsands and create pollution, why not drill and create air conditioning and heating instead? It’s not like we really need the oil. We’re only doing it to make a buck.

The USA is Canada’s largest trading partner and needs all this oil. We’re tired of making it, it’s so polluting. (You like polluting? Of course not). As the USA reduces it’s demand then, so should Canada ween itself off production of tarsands oil. Why would the USA reduce demand? Because they’re probably going to do this too! Why? What is the USA pressure to do so?

Mexico’s oil industry is about to implode, and only has a few years left. Mexico’s oil is depleting at about 9% per year (some say 16%) and the sale of oil represents 40% of their GDP. With low barrel prices and lower returns each year, Mexico doesn’t have a lot of time here before it becomes unstable. (http://www.energybulletin.net/node/47792)

Mexico also doesn’t have a lot of options other than reduction. Tarsands can’t ramp up output and replace Mexico’s own output to the USA that fast. Uh oh, this is more than just Canada or the USA, it’s about all of North America! The USA uses more oil than any other country on earth! If Canada is prepared, let alone offering this EMS idea to the USA as a game-changer, we can all get off oil together using our shared strengths.

Canada can save North America if Alberta gives up tarsands and Ontario gives up the auto sector and they both devote themselves to Energy Manufacturing Sector. Not that they would end it, but it can no longer be the focus of their economies. The USA would like to very much avoid any further disasters in their economy. We can supply the USA as we always have. The added worry of Mexico however means we need both Alberta’s and Ontario’s full attention. Let’s save North America!

Move out of transition into a future

We need a transition and a market force to implement more geothermal and allow for other technologies not covered in this crown corporation enterprise. I’d like to stick to geothermal only out of providing a market force. The market can then worry about solar and wind. Geothermal would provide an obvious winner for the homeowner no matter where they live or environment. It gets Alberta and Ontario playing together above the satisfactory level.

When running for a few years, I expect to sell off this crown company to the new Canadian market. I expect that banks, builders, and former tarsands baron’s will jump at it and we can continue to reap our rewards in society.

This is at least a solution. All it does is mitigate situations in two provinces and merge them to transform this entire continent. Rather than working for pollution in one province or useless autos in another, we can turn this whole situation around.

Sound fun?

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Responses

  1. i have a quick question. Why are you so big on geothermal? I understand geothermal is a great option for the Canadian energy sector, but why do you only comment on geothermal? What are your thoughts on nuclear? On Wind? Solar? hydro-electric?

    I support many of the things you are saying, but i do not and cannot support a one dimensional plan such as this.

  2. Thanks for the question.

    My only commenting on Geothermal was intentional, as it was the closest to Tarsands mining in terms of workers who do drilling, construction and manufacturing. Merging them along with some kind of a new Energy Manufacturing Sector made up of out of work autosector workers would allow these people to get out of Tarsands, and unify the country into a national project. There can be other national projects, I’m just picking one.

    Yes I’m sure the other green tech is worthy on some level, but I was aiming for a clear head-to-head matchup without using one as a crutch for the other. Geothermal has the most potential because we all have land (or water), where we don’t all have good enough wind or access to high tech solar panels or want nuclear. Geothermal is good as it uses trades that already are in use and used, if only for a different focus.

    Hope that makes sense
    energyblogwalter


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