Category Archives: Global Issues

A Response to Ontario’s Minister of Energy

Like all material coming out of the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Glenn Thibeault’s Thursday column requires careful scrutiny. With his sophomoric prose he attempts to refute the Fraser Institute’s report that concludes that closing the Nanticoke and Lambton coal generation stations had no statistical significant effect on air quality in Toronto and Hamilton. He fails.

To refute a scholarly report of this nature that uses statistical models, mathematics, graphs and properly structured data, one must do so on the same level. Name calling such as “well-known climate change denier” and appeals to anecdotal evidence such as “black smoke rising out of coal smoke stacks” doesn’t do it. Nor does an extensive list of dropped names or an emotional appeal to a child’s health issues. And incidentally, my home town is a few miles from Nanticoke and no black smoke came out of those stacks.

He begins by stating that the report is “arguing against reducing greenhouse gas emissions”. In fact, on reading the report one finds no such argument. One does find reference to planned massive reductions in emissions from the coal plants from modifications that died with the plants. The report does observe that the lost generation would have to be replaced largely by gas-fired plants which produce their own greenhouse gasses.

He is closer with his claim that “According to the report authors, closing Ontario’s coal plants had a negligible effect on emissions in our province”. The report actually states that “Overall our results show that phasing out coal in Ontario had small but detectable effects on particulates and ozone, but not NOx” and that “Phasing out coal had a moderate effect on fine particulates that was statistically insignificant in Toronto and Hamilton.”

When Glenn attempts to use data to argue a point, he employs a technique called “cherry picking” – selecting data that supports your argument. Unlike the report authors who cite their sources, he throws out some numbers without citation or context, rendering them useless. He then causally associates these numbers with improvement in our air quality and by extension, the shutdown of coal plants.

To whit, he cites 2005 with 53 smog days, which is the worst figure found in a table on the website of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Now Environment and Climate Change Canada lists the annual output of CO2 by the Nanticoke plant from 2004 to its final decommissioning in 2013. The plant produced slightly more CO2 in 2007 than 2005. One would then expect by his argument to see roughly the same number of smog days in 2007 as 2005; but that year had 26% fewer smog days. Oops.

The third highest number of smog days was in 2012 with 30, 43% fewer than 2005. However, at that point Nanticoke output had been cut by 89%. In 2006 when Nanticoke was at its peak, only 17 smog days occurred, and in 2009 there were only 5. So you can see that the Ontario coal plants had no determinable influence on the number of smog days when all the data is examined.

But we can tease out one more tidbit. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture shows the prevailing winds on hot days (smog producing days) in Southern Ontario as coming predominantly from the south west followed by the west and the south. This means that Windsor Ontario is upwind of both the Nanticoke and Lambton plants. But Windsor had more smog days in half the years shown than any other municipality listed, in Ontario. It tied for the most smog days in 4 of the remaining six years. So there’s a problem: Windsor’s smog can’t have come from coal generation in Ontario. Oops.

Sources

The Weather in 2016: An Average Year for Storms

This is our third annual review of extreme weather events following on last year’s  summary of major storm activity, The Weather in 2015: Hardly Extreme. In this report we look at tornado’s, Atlantic hurricanes and Pacific hurricanes (typhoons) for 2016. As we will show, all storm activity was at or below average for the year.

Socialism: The Destruction of the Family

Socialism: One of the Two Great Destructive Forces of the Twenty-first Century

This post is the head of the thread on Socialism. The other great destructive force is Islamism: One of the Two Great Destructive Forces of the Twenty-first Century. Essays on Socialism are found through the links listed by topic below, in reverse chronological order of posting (most recent first) within topic. As a starting point the reader might read the short introductory note: Socialism: A Terminal Disease of Democracy.

The Weather in 2015: Hardly Extreme

 

Last year we made our first annual summary of major storm activity for the previous year, looking at tornado’s, Atlantic hurricanes and Pacific hurricanes (typhoons): The Weather in 2014: Extreme Hysteria but Not Extreme Weather. We now take a look at 2015 to see what kind of a year it was. As we will show, all storm activity was sightly below average for the year

Socialism: The Collectivist Aspect

We encountered the idea of collectivism in this article: The Tools Collectivists Use To Gain Power. In it, Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com, discusses the collectivist position versus the individualist position. The collectivist approach to politics and society forms the core of socialism which is the political expression of collectivist ideology. We won’t say more at this time but wanted to capture this insightful idea.

Table of Contents for This Series

 

Socialism: Taxes and Unemployment

There is an inverse relationship between taxation and unemployment in a socialist economy. An article by Martin Armstrong, Socialism v Capitalism, has prompted this essay.

under construction

The 2030 Agenda

Today we became aware of this latest UN initiative (Zero Hedge: The UN Just Unleashed “The Global Goals” – The Elites’ Blueprint For A “United World”) replacing Agenda 21. Here’s your introduction to it:

This video is a visual and auditory cacophony, and as we shall see, of ideological positions that cannot succeed. There is the potential for much death and destruction before its failure is finally accepted.

Flash Point: The Muslim Demographic in Europe

We wish to capture a link to a study referenced in Zero Hedge and done by Pew research, that reviews the Muslim demographic in Europe: Europe’s Ethnic (R)Evolution – It Will Never Be The Same Again. As a percentage of total population, France has the most Muslims at 7.5% while Germany has the largest number in absolute terms (over 4.7 million). The map pictured in the study is most helpful.

The Minimum-Wage Fight, Chinese Factories, and the Rise of Robot

Below is a free email from Mauldin economics that we reproduce because we couldn’t find a link to it.

September 15, 2015

I was raised on a small vegetable farm near Tacoma, Washington. My father hired lots of high school kids to work the fields in the summer.

In February of 1968, when the minimum wage was increased from $1.40 an hour to $1.60 an hour, I overheard some of my father’s employees excitedly talking about the 20-cent raise they were about to receive.

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