Thursday, June 16, 2005

Blowing Out The Smog

We exceeded our annual smog record this week -- 21 smog days to date -- and it's not even officially summer. About half of that can be blamed on Ohio (New York's taking them to task, but is Ontario getting tough?!) and a significant portion on Ontario's coal-fired power plants, especially Nanticoke. The Ontario Liberals shut down one already, yet here we are beating our smog record. They're aiming to shut down all but Nanticoke by 2007 -- they're putting off closing down the big belcher until 2009. The Energy Minister says it's just a matter of a few more days. That's like the radio DJ saying, "we'll be back in moments with more music"; 5 minutes later finally the music starts.

Over 20 years ago I saw a California wind farm spinning merrily by the highway, yet it seems Ontario still treats the idea as radical and has only dipped a toe in, despite our vast wild and windy areas. Even Alberta is producing much more wind power. Clearly our government is on the slow track. Up to now, individuals could only steam. But now the Canadian Wind Energy Association is giving us the power to make a difference. Their Small Wind Energy site has all the resources you need to figure out if wind energy is right for your home. You could even combine a solar generator with your wind turbine, install a net meter, and start crediting, not just debiting, your hydro bill! While our government fiddles, Ontarians can start blowing out the smog one home at a time.

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