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Happenings, Events, News

February 25, 2013

Hollywood's Pious Hypocrisy

The biggest inconvenient truth about Al Gore's Oscar-winning Inconvenient Truth was that it was largely propaganda -- lacking scientific validity. But does that matter to the voters in the Academy, most of whom lack college degrees, and some of whom, for example, leading liberal Barbara Streisand cannot even spell? Recall that Barack Obama called Republicans members of the flat-earth society who do not believe in science.

2008 12 04

President-elect Barack Obama proposes economic suicide for US

2008 11 25

Major climate-alarmist fiasco at NASA

2008 11 24

CO2 Truth-Alert: The Past Half-Century of Sea Level Rise

2008 11 01

The problems with wind farms

Wind farms are not cheap, nor is the power they produce.  On account of the expensive nature of the absolutely necessary standby power generation required by wind farms during so much of their operating time, the power generated by wind farms is just about the most expensive electric power imaginable that is on the market.

2008 10 22

Alter NRG power plant east of Bruderheim put on ice

2008 09 17

Alter NRG Corp. announces the finalization of the plant siting for the first Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power facility in Canada.

TSXV - NRG CALGARY, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - Alter NRG Corp. (”Alter NRG” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has closed the previously announced acquisition of a project site in Bruderheim, Alberta (approximately 60 kilometers northeast of Edmonton) for $3.1 million, including $0.6 million in costs related to settlement of existing transmission commitments. The Company plans to use the site to develop Canada’s first IGCC facility with the first phase to be operational as early as 2010. On commencement of operations, the facility is expected to be capable of producing approximately 120 megawatts (MW) of electric power using a blend of natural gas as well as synthesis gas (syngas) produced using Alter NRG’s proprietary plasma gasification technology. The facility will be designed for carbon capture and storage (CCS) with approximately 600,000 tonnes per year of captured CO2 to be injected into nearby geological formations or used at nearby oilfields in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects….

The proposal is of great concern to residents of Bruderheim and in the vicinity of the proposed power generating plant.

See the discussion of the issues of concern (none of which are mentioned in the Alter NRG press release).

2008 06 12

35 Inconvenient Truths : The errors in Al Gore's movie

By Lord Monckton, UK

A spokesman for Al Gore has issued a questionable response to the news that in October 2007 the High Court in London had identified nine “errors” in his movie An Inconvenient Truth. The judge had stated that, if the UK Government had not agreed to send to every secondary school in England a corrected guidance note making clear the mainstream scientific position on these nine “errors”, he would have made a finding that the Government’s distribution of the film and the first draft of the guidance note earlier in 2007 to all English secondary schools had been an unlawful contravention of an Act of Parliament prohibiting the political indoctrination of children....

Ms. Kreider says the IPCC’s results are sometimes “conservative,” and continues: “Vice President Gore tried to convey in good faith those threats that he views as the most serious.” Readers of the long list of errors described in this memorandum will decide for themselves whether Mr. Gore was acting in good faith. However, in this connection it is significant that each of the 35 errors listed below misstates the conclusions of the scientific literature or states that there is a threat where there is none or exaggerates the threat where there may be one. All of the errors point in one direction – towards undue alarmism. Not one of the errors falls in the direction of underestimating the degree of concern in the scientific community. The likelihood that all 35 of the errors listed below could have fallen in one direction purely by inadvertence is less than 1 in 34 billion....(Full Story)

2008 06 12

The calculations done by General Circulation Models (GCMs) are the main source of the information that fuels the global warming hysteria.  Nevertheless, not one of them comes acceptably close to accurately calculating what the climate presently is at any location, let alone of the whole Earth.  Not only that, but all of the GCMs differ widely from one another as to what the climate was in the past, and as to what it is supposed to be in the future.

Therein lies the problem.  No one in his right mind will base any decisions about the future on tools that cannot determine with acceptable accuracy what the present is and the past was.

Gallery of Temperature Change Data (off-site)

This is the most comprehensive compendium of temperature graphs I have seen.  It quite nicely illustrates that the only constant of climate change is constant change.  The graphs cover records and reconstructions of temperatures covering intervals ranging from 1980 - 2007 to 542 million years before the present to now.  The gallery shows ten graphs in all.

And, yes, there were times during the past 542 million years when it was much hotter than it is now, but there were also times when it was much colder.  It is unavoidable to conclude that we will almost certainly soon have another interval when it will be much colder than it presently is.  In fact, the current levelling-off of the global average annual temperature trend (something that no self-respecting climate alarmist dares to tell the public about) could well signify the beginning of that cold period to come.

Wind power and agriculturally-produced ethanol

By Walter Schneider

2007 09 27

Wind power produced from free wind, and ethanol produced from agricultural crops grown specifically for the production of ethanol and not for food have been hailed for a number of reasons and are being embraced by politicians, some governments and even by the general public in the developed nations.

That will save the globe from pollution and stop global warming, especially when "conventional wisdom" and "public opinion" are in full support of the drive towards cleaner and cheaper alternative energy sources for general consumption.

All is well, and soon we will have sufficient, clean, renewable energy for cars, trucks, farm tractors, trains and ships, and for the electric transmission- and distribution networks.  According to conventional wisdom and public opinion, wind power costs nothing, and agricultural ethanol production is cheaper, cleaner and safer than all other sources of conventional energy production and consumption.  However, hold on for just a moment.

Conventional wisdom and public opinion are not necessarily to be equated with common sense.  They are being manufactured by industry, politicians and governments with the full support of the popular major media (including the education system, which is in the process of educating a new generation to be environmentally conscious).

Can we, as far as nations and humanity go, afford to have wind power and agriculturally-produced ethanol replace all or even a substantial portion of the products of conventional energy sources?

Take just two issues, both based solidly on reality and not on speculation or propagandistic hype and hysteria:

  1. Wind does not blow all the time or even always at desired or maximum strength at any given location.  The actual generating capacity of wind turbines is only about one-third of their rated capacity (that varies a little with location).  Wind turbine installations are extremely expensive.  Not only that, but whatever generating capacity a wind farm contracts for has to be backed up by standby generating capacity.  The price of standby generating capacity — produced when wind farms don't supply sufficient amounts of energy — is extremely high, presently in the order of 20¢ per kWh, as high as or higher than the energy costs required to pay back the capital and construction costs for wind turbines.
  2. Ethanol production from agricultural crops is a growth industry and has driven up grain prices.  That is without a doubt welcomed by many farmers, but it causes malnutrition and starvation amongst those for whom regular food staples were already almost unattainable.  Ethanol production for fuel kills! China and other developing nations have outlawed growing crops for ethanol production.  However, that is not all.
       Politically-correct estimates of the energy requirements for ethanol production identify that about 23 percent more energy is required to plant, grow, harvest and refine corn than the ethanol produced from that corn contains.  More objective and realistic calculations of net-energy losses in ethanol production put those losses at a little over 70 percent over the energy contained in ethanol.
       To give everyone in the US the popularized blend of one-fifth ethanol in motor fuel will require all of the agricultural land in the USA to be used for motor fuel.  Many people in Mexico, for example, now buy  pre-cooked Ichi-Ban noodles made and flavored in China because they can no longer afford to buy tortillas produced in Mexico.

Hitler once asked his people: "What do you want: butter or cannons?"  The people thundered back: "Cannons!"  We still mourn and celebrate the outcomes and consequences of that decision. 

Now, in ostensibly more enlightened times, the question put to the properly conditioned people was: "What do you want: food or "green" cars?" The decision was made, more or less just as spontaneously, and the costs of that war will be far greater than that started by Hitler.

We already know what the consequences of the decision desired by the powers and supported by environmentalists are.  The question is whether there will be a time when we mourn those consequences and celebrate their defeat.  Nevertheless, it is all for a good cause for which no price is too high: the reduction of man-made contributions to global warming, right?

Dire [global climate] forecasts aren't new

The Deniers -- Part XXIV


Published: Friday, May 25, 2007

Germany's Hans von Storch, one of the world's leading climate scientists, believes that climate change is for real and that humans are responsible. He also believes that we shouldn't fear climate change, that predictions of doom are "hysterical" when they aren't "completely idiotic and dubious," and that many of the science establishment's pronouncements on climate change are bereft of scientific merit....(Full Story)

The National Post published a long series of articles on climate change, by Lawrence Solomon:

The Deniers

The Post's series on scientists who buck the conventional wisdom on climate science. Here is the series so far (June 21, 2007).

To gain access to the the very latest version of the index of articles in the series, got to the National Post Index, scroll down to Current Features and then click on Climate Change: The Deniers.


Deerland Peaking Station [North of Bruderheim]

By accident, I came across the following information:

MAXIM is proposing to construct and operate a 190 MW natural gas-fired power generation facility on a site immediately south of the existing Deerland high voltage substation in Bruderheim, Alberta. The company has obtained an option for the site and commenced a public consultation process on July 26, 2007. MAXIM anticipates that the first phase (95 MW) will be operational in 2009. The facility will use state-of-the-art combustion turbine technology.

Source: Maxim Power Corp. ("MAXIM") Announces Second Quarter 2007 Results
Marketwire, 2007 08 09

Read the full story.

So how did An Inconvenient Truth become required classroom viewing?

Even climate change experts say many of the claims in Al Gore's film are wrong.

Kevin Libin, National Post
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2007

(Full Story — off-site)

The article describes how the schools are being used to promote the propaganda that fuels the global warming hype.  The title of the article indicated above should have been "Why did An Inconvenient Truth become required classroom viewing?"

I started school in and during the Nazi regime.  I learned as a child how propaganda is made to work. Hitler knew how propaganda is made to work.  He used that knowledge to indoctrinate a whole nation.  Al Gore and his supporters make propaganda work.  Propaganda requires total indoctrination.  It best starts in schools.

Although the truth is a different and more important matter, it is easily overpowered by never-ceasing, all-pervasive propaganda.

Some of the truth about global warming trends is that,

  • The most important greenhouse gas is water vapor (some of which is visible as clouds).  It constitutes about 1 percent of our atmosphere.
  • CO2 constitutes about 0.038 percent of our atmosphere.  Depending on the sea temperatures, between 60 to 80 percent of CO2 in our atmosphere originates from the oceans.  A good portion of the rest comes from natural sources such as volcanoes, forest fires and decaying vegetation. Roughly one hundredth of the CO2 content of our atmosphere comes from man's activities.  That is a minuscule amount and can hardly be credited with being a controlling influence that drives climate change.
  • Sea levels increased by a grand total of 25mm to 30mm (about one inch) since 1888.
  • More than 50 percent of the Earth's glaciers at high latitudes are advancing, compared to only about 5 percent in the 1950s.
  • The average annual global temperature has increased by a total of about 0.6°C (about 1°F) in the last 100 years.  Most of that temperature increase occurred prior to the massive increase in industrialization after the second world war.
  • The typical length of climatic cycles in the last 2 million years was about 100,000 years, divided into 90,000 years for Ice Age periods and 10,000 years for the warm, interglacial ones. Going by the average length of the intermediate warm periods, the end of the current warm period is already 500 years overdue.

Those facts and more like them are outlined in more detail in Global Warming Explained.

Hitler stated that the purpose of propaganda is not to present the truth with academic fairness.  Fairness in the education system demands that facts that oppose the climate-catastrophe television evangelism are presented as well.  As the National Post article identified above indicates,

In B.C., a Surrey school trustee, Heather Stilwell, has been fighting for a policy to ensure teachers in the Vancouver suburb also present a balancing viewpoint.

Meanwhile, Vancouver-based businessman Michael Chernoff, says his charitable foundation will provide to high schools DVD copies of the new British documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, featuring interviews with scientists who dissent from Mr. Gore's claims, as soon as the producer is ready to ship the discs.

"And if they start sending [An Inconvenient Truth] to all Canadian schools, then I'll buy a copy of Swindle for all the schools, too," Mr. Chernoff says. "I think showing it is fine, but they should present the other side as well."

But even with Mr. Chernoff 's gift, there's no requirement [for] teachers to show both sides of the argument unless school boards demand it.... (Full Story — off-site)

See the video file of of "The Great Global Warming Swindle".

Battle River REA Power-Line Restoration — Update

2007 04 23

A new tally of reported outages showed that about 900 services in the Battle River REA service area experienced loss of electric power due to last Wednesday's snow storm.

As of Apr. 23, a small area in Hampton (Roundhill) was left to be restored.


Battle River REA Power-Line Restoration — Update

2007 04 22

About 600 services in the Battle River REA service area experienced loss of electric power due to last Wednesday's snow storm.  Between 80 to 100 power poles broke.  A total of about 20 miles of power lines were downed and needed to be repaired or reconstructed.

20 members in the area covered by the former Chipman REA area lost power service.  16 of those services have been restored.  In the Chipman area about 5 miles of power lines had been downed and needed to be reconstructed.

Almost all of the necessary repairs been made.  The few remaining outages are expected to be fixed by this evening. (Details)

Blackout persists southeast of city [of Edmonton] (3 p.m.)

Crews working to restore power to 3,500 customers

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2007

EDMONTON — About 3,500 Fortis Alberta customers are still without electricity today.

The blackout, which earlier today affected much of Camrose county, rural areas southeast of Edmonton, and the Boyle area north of Edmonton, is in its 12th hour for some. Loss of power was staggered in each area.

Fortis Alberta spokeswoman Lisa Brake estimates half of Tofield, about 50 kilometres southeast of Edmonton, is back online....
(Full Story — off-site)

ENMAX announces 1,200 MW Power Station

Calgary, 19 Apr 2007

ENMAX Energy today announced its intention to build a major generation plant in southern Alberta to serve its growing customer base. The new power plant will provide enough electricity for about two thirds of Calgary’s requirements. It will be using the best available gas technology and would produce 50% less CO2 than current coal plants.... (Full Story — off-site)

Posted 2007 03 26


Winter storm watch for:
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville-Redwater-Smoky Lake


Posted 2007 02 26

Premier Ed Stelmach and King Canute not in same league

Their respective attempts to influence the forces of nature differ in scope and objectives

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2006, Ed Stelmach, now the new Premier of Alberta, said something more that is clearly not compatible with, and contradicts, his 2002 promise of "putting more money back into the pockets of Albertans". (Full Story)

Plans for Indiana coal-gasification plant narrowed to several sites

NIPSCO would purchase energy produced there

nwi.com, Saturday, February 17, 2007 1:15 AM CST

By The Associated Press

...Rosenberg's company is helping Indiana Gasification LLC develop a coal-gasification plant that was expected to produce 40 billion cubic feet of gas annually -- enough to meet 15 percent to 20 percent of the state's natural gas needs.

Construction of the plant, which was announced in October, is tentatively set to begin in 2008, with the plant going online three years later. It would employ 300 to 400 workers....

"We need to be able to negotiate contracts for coal on a very long-term basis, about 3 million tons annually over a 30-year period," said Rosenberg, a senior fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The plant would use southwestern Indiana's high-sulfur coal deposits, but as part of the gas-extraction process, it would remove sulfur, mercury, particulate matter and other pollutants, significantly reducing its emissions.

The plant will mix coal with oxygen and water to create a coal slurry that's treated with heat and pressure to extract gases the company said are molecularly identical to natural gas. It will include a gas turbine that produces steam to drive an electricity-generating turbine....(Full Story)

Posted 2007 02 15

TVA adding emissions controls to Rogersville plant

Wate, Knoxville, Tennesse, February 14, 2007

ROGERSVILLE (WATE) -- The Tennessee Valley Authority says a plan for adding new equipment at its John Sevier Fossil Plant will reduce some emissions by as much as 95 percent.

TVA plans to install equipment to further reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions at the 712-megawatt plant in Rogersville. 

Sulfur dioxide contributes to the formation of acid rain and haze problems. Nitrogen oxide contributes to ground-level ozone pollution. (Full Story

Posted 2007 02 14
  • Don't ruin economy over tiny temp rise

    Chicago Sun-Times Columnist

    Chicago Sun-Times
    February 11, 2007

    Mark Steyn is not too impressed by the IPCC's recent publishing of a "summary" on a climate change report awaiting to be published only a few months from now.  He writes:

     Our Thought For The Week comes from the Boston Globe's Ellen Goodman: "I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."

    That would be yours truly: the climate holocaust denier. ...

    It bothers Mark Steyn just a tiny wee bit that global warming during the last century has not yet added up to more than about a 1°F increase in annual average temperatures, and yet many people the world over have their knickers in a knot over global warming, but you better read the full story.

    Posted 2007 02 14

    Competitive Retailers: Contract Rates Comparison

    Price comparisons

    Posted 2007 02 11

    Study: Synthetic Fuels from Nuclear Hydrogen and Captured CO2 Viable

    Green Car Congress, 30 September 2006

    A study published earlier this year by researchers at MIT’s Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES) concluded that producing synthetic transportation fuels from nuclear hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide would be technically viable. (Full Story)

    The MIT article accessible through the first link in the preceding quote concludes by stating: "There is also evidence that nuclear power can be utilized in the production of oil from sand and shale."  That statement is incorrect, as oil can be recovered from oil- or tar sand and from oil shale but not from sand and from shale that don't contain oil or bitumen.

    The intention of producing synthetic fuels through the application of nuclear power to the generation of hydrogen through electrolysis of high temperature steam and to the generation of carbon from captured CO2 is based on the false premise that the extremely large expenditures of the energy required for that can be justified by staving off global warming allegedly caused by CO2 emissions, as thereby large volumes of CO2 would be prevented from entering the atmosphere.

    The reality of those circumstances is that man-made contributions amount at worst to no more than about a quarter of observed global warming and that a large portion of that contribution is due to waste heat released through energy production but is not a consequence of CO2 released in combustion.  Credible climate scientists with cooler heads than those owned by climate alarmists assert that the vast majority of CO2 increases in Earth's atmosphere are a consequence but not the cause of global warming. (See Global Warming Explained: If greenhouse gases are bad, how come rising CO2 levels increase agricultural productivity?)

    Posted 2007 02 09

    Power to the people!

    Province [of Alberta, Canada] will allow you to generate own electricity at home

    Edmonton Sun, 2007 02 09

    The article states that,

    ENMAX CEO Gary Holden told the federation [that is, the Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations — ed.] that his company plans to install "smart meters" in homes to not only allow consumers to sell the power they generate, but also to enable them to take advantage of lower electricity prices at off-peak hours.

    Which says nothing about expectations that the default rate tariff will climb within a short while to about 20¢ and even 40¢ per kWh, but the story continues,

    He said ENMAX plans to spend $50 million installing 350,000 smart meters in Calgary homes this year.

    The technology exists today for home-owners to generate much of the electricity they require through solar shingles, wind turbines and residential natural gas powered generators, Holden said....(Full Story)

    It will be somewhat difficult to have an appreciable portion of Alberta home owners' energy requirements generated through natural gas powered generators at their homes, given that Alberta gas reserves are coming to an end within about ten years. In anticipation of that end, a system whereby synthetic gas will be generated from coal to be mined at the coal mine to be opened south of Tofield and Riley, south-east of Edmonton is being launched. (See Teachers, Sherritt team up on 'syngas', Globe & Mail, Jan. 17, 2007)
       At the current rate of consumption (25 million tonnes per year), Alberta's proven coal reserves will last for more than 1,300 years.

    A very attractive method of generating heat (or cooling) and electric energy, using a Stirling engine as a source of power, is available from a German manufacturer at a cost of €23,000 (with a generating capacity of 15 kW).  That would be enough capacity to run about three average households, with either solar energy, natural gas or wood pellets as a source of energy.  The manufacturer asserts that its Stirling engine will run for 80,000 hours without the need for maintenance other than an annual oil change.  Given that a Stirling engine is not an internal combustion engine, that claim is quite within the realm of the possible. (More — 486 kB PDF file)

    No doubt, similar schemes will become available at perhaps comparable or even lower costs on the North-American market.

    Posted 2007 01 16

    Energy-purchase-contract information session in Bruderheim rescheduled

    The information session has been rescheduled to January 19, 2007

    Battle River REA Invitation

    Come for a coffee and sign your Battle River Energy Contract.

    Employees of Battle River will be assisting a group of people, every hour, beginning at 12:00, the next group of people would be at 1:00, etc., until 7:00 p.m.

    Please dare to compare before you attend

    Price: 6.9 cents per kWh
    Term: February 1, 2007 – December 31, 2007
    Location: The Bruderheim “Boardroom” (formerly the Chatterbox Coffee shop) 4924 – 51st Ave.
    Date: Friday, January 19, 2007
    (Weather Permitting)
    Time: 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    Toll Free Call: 1-877-428-3972

    Battle River Rural Energy Division would like to inform members & customers that they are free to select a retailer of their choice. For more information about the changes to the electricity industry and for a list of licensed Alberta retailers, visit the government website at www.customerchoice.gov.ab.ca or you can call 310-4455 (toll free in Alberta)

    Posted 2007 01 11

    Today's energy-purchase-contract information session in Bruderheim has been cancelled.

    Due to today’s extreme winter driving conditions, today's energy-purchase-contract information session in Bruderheim for members of the Battle River REA in the areas of the former Bruderheim- and Chipman REAs has been cancelled.

    Please accept our apologies for the cancellation. 

    A new date for the information session will be set within the next two days and announced at this web page.

    In the meantime, if you need contract forms and feel that you don't need assistance with filling them out, contact the Battle River REA:

    Telephone: (780) 672-7738 *
    Fax: (780) 672-7969 *
    Toll Free: 1-877-428-3972 *

    * 24 hrs a day

    If you obtained contract forms already and wish to have assistance in filling them out, feel free to contact Walter Schneider for help (Tel: 796-2306; dial 413-9153 first if you wish to make a toll-free call from outside the Bruderheim telephone exchange area).

    The energy purchase contract will provide you with a guaranteed electric energy price of 6.9¢kWh for the rest of the year 2007.

    Posted 2007 01 10

    The Alberta "Blizzard" of January 10, 2007

    Weather conditions 2007 01 10, 09:30

    Temp.: -14°C
    Wind Speed: about 10 - 15kmh
    Light snow
    Visibility about 400m

    The Bruderheim School is open, school buses are not running

    For the past two days we were being prepared for today's snow storm. It had been announced as a blizzard. 

    We have become accustomed to the inability of forecasters to accurately forecast weather conditions a day or more into the future.  As to be expected, as of this morning the weather conditions do not quite measure up to what had been predicted. 

    Without a doubt, weather conditions are bad in most parts of northern, central and eastern Alberta, but they don't quite measure up to the conditions that make the current storm a blizzard. 

    With the news announcers having been conditioned by their weather forecasters that this storm was to be a blizzard, the news announcers almost without exception keep on insisting that the current snow storm is a blizzard.  For most of Alberta the storm is bad, but it is not a blizzard.

    Depending on location, specific standards apply for the conditions that must be met before a winter storm can be classified as a blizzard.  For Canada, the second one of the standards shown below applies:

      Precipitation Visibility Wind Speed Temperature Duration
    1.) "A major consensus" (apparently in use in much of the US) Snow or Ice 400m or less 56kmh or more   3 hrs or longer
    2.) Environment Canada Snow 1km or less 40kmh or more -25°C or less 3 hrs or longer
    (More at wikipedia.com)
    Posted 2007 01 10

    Ethanol rise will hurt food supply

    By ERIC PETERS, The Sun News

    ...Brown ["at the Earth Policy Institute, a little-known Washington think-tank with an excellent track record for spotting potential environmental disasters."] says a distillery moratorium is urgently needed because new projections forecast that the global auto industry's appetite for corn-based fuel will rival that of humans by 2008....the uncontrolled growth of Big Ethanol will wreak havoc on the global economy with near apocalyptic implications for the world's nearly 2 billion chronically malnourished people....With corn supplies tightening fast, Brown says rising prices will hit not only products made directly from corn such as breakfast cereals, but those from animals that rely on corn for sustenance - including pork, poultry, beef, milk, eggs and cheese....Filling a 25-gallon tank on one midsize vehicle consumes enough grain to feed an Egyptian peasant for a year. Yet converting the entire U.S. grain harvest - corn, rice, wheat, barley and oats - to ethanol would supply only 16 percent of America's motoring fuel....
    Full Story (That link no longer function, and an archived copy of the article cannot be found.)

    Posted 2006 12 31

    Carl Purschke, a director of the Bruderheim REA, passed away early this morning at the Lamont hospital.

    Eulogy for Carl Purschke

    Posted 2006 12 21

    Rural family homes wanted

    Battle River REA is looking for housing for their staff who will be operating the Lamont maintenance centre.

    Effective January 1, 2007, the Bruderheim REA will be amalgamated with Battle River REA. Battle River REA is setting up a maintenance centre (south of Lamont) for trouble-shooting and constructing electrical distribution facilities in the rural areas near Bruderheim, Chipman, Fort Saskatchewan and Lamont.
       If you own a rural family home in these areas that you wish to rent to a lineman and his family, please call Battle River REA (toll-free, 24 hours a day, 1-877-428-3972) and let them know.

    Posted 2006 12 09

    Efforts to provide assistance with filling out forms for energy purchase contracts were a great success.

    Saturday, Dec 9, 2006, The Chipman and Bruderheim REAs held a workshop at the Chipman Senior Centre, to assist people who wished to have that assistance with filling out the forms required for their energy purchase contract.

    A great number of people dropped in at the workshop, and I met many people whom I had not seen for a good number of years.  The workshop was a success.  When the doors of the senior centre could finally be closed that day at about 3 p.m., 134 contracts had been signed.

    In the meantime, energy price fluctuations are on the upswing.  Epcor announced that its price per kWh for the regulated rate tariff for January will increase to more than 9 cents per kWh and that the February price for the regulated rate tariff will climb to more than 11 cents per kWh. (Details on that of interest to owners of farm services in Fortis service areas - PDF file, off-site)

    According to Mr. Fluckinger from the Alberta Government, everything is going according to plan with the deregulation of the electricity services, and we can expect that within short order the price per kWh of electric energy will increase to 20 and 40 cents per kWh.

    Good for the people who signed energy purchase contracts with Battle River REA.  They will have the assurance that their electricity rate will be at 6.9 cents per kWh from January 1 to December 31, 2007.

    Remember that time before deregulation got crammed down our throats?  Let me refresh you memory.  In Dec. 2000 the cost of electric energy to farm services was 2.92 cents per kWh, and our total bill for our electricity services that month (990kWh) was for $78.99.

    Isn't deregulation great, and don't we have much to be thankful for to our glorious Alberta government that is so firmly committed to "put more money back into the pockets of Albertans"? (Statement by Ed Stelmach)

    Posted 2006 11 25

    Final meter reading for electricity services in the areas of the Bruderheim and Chipman REAs

    During the week between Christmas and New Year 2006 meter readers and linemen of the Battle River REA will come around to members of the Bruderheim- and Chipman REAs to take the final meter reading for 2006. 

    The readings will serve to reconcile the final power bill for 2006 for service locations in the areas of the Bruderheim and Chipman REAs (presently served by Fortis Alberta and Epcor).  In addition, those readings will also serve as the starting points for electricity bills that Battle River REA will be issuing after January 1, 2007.

    When the Fort Saskatchewan REA amalgamated a few years ago with Battle River REA, the final meter reading in that service area showed that electric services in the area of the Fort Saskatchewan REA had overpaid on average just about exactly a thousand dollars.  The members of the Fort Saskatchewan REA received a reimbursement of the overpaid amount.

    Although it is possible that the members of the Bruderheim and Chipman REAs overpaid as well and will then also receive a reimbursement of the overpaid amount, it is not expected that the overpaid amount will be quite as large as it was in the case of the Fort Saskatchewan REA.  The load settlement procedures designed and implemented under the deregulation process have been sufficiently refined to make it quite unlikely that billing discrepancies now will be as large as those experienced a few years ago.  At any rate, the final meter reading to be taken by Battle River REA now will make it possible to identify and settle discrepancies between billed and actual consumption figures, no matter what their size may be.

    Posted 2006 11 23

    Need assistance with filling out the forms for the energy purchase contract?

    Help will be available December 9th, 2006, at the Chipman Senior Centre; Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Battle River REA and Chipman REA will at that time and location hold a seminar to provide assistance to people who may wish to have someone assist them with filling out the forms for the energy purchase contract with Battle River REA. 

    Battle River Rural Energy Division would like to inform current and future members & customers that they are free to select a retailer of their choice. For more information about the changes to the electricity industry and for a list of licensed Alberta retailers, visit the government's website at www.customerchoice.gov.ab.ca or you can call 310-4455 (toll free in Alberta).

    Posted 2006 11 23

    Battle River REA Energy Supply Contracts very popular

    Battle River REA just a little while ago stated in its newsletter that members of the Bruderheim REA and Chipman REA can now apply for energy supply contracts with Battle River REA.  The offer of energy at 6.9¢ per kWh is being enthusiastically accepted by the membership of the two REAs.  Already more than 150 members asked to have application forms sent to them, and more than 30 of them signed energy supply contracts.
        The popularity of the offer should not surprise anyone.  Consider that the Registered Rate Tariff, the default rate charged by Epcor for farm services is now in the order of 8.778¢ per kWh and has been increasing on a monthly basis, while the contract price available through Battle River REA is a rate that is considerably lower and fixed for a whole year.
       For details regarding the contract offer, or to obtain a set of application forms, contact Battle River REA at 1-877-428-3972 (e-mail; website)
       Don't forget, to be able to get energy at the rate of 6.9¢ per kWh by Jan. 1st, your completed and signed application must be returned to Battle River REA before Dec.19th, 2006.

    Beware of predatory energy sales schemes, such as the one being promoted by Alberta Energy.  Note: although the name Alberta Energy gives the Alberta Government a bad reputation, Alberta Energy is a private corporation.

    Posted 2006 10 25

    Battle River REA gets ready to set up maintenance centre in Lamont County

    Battle River REA, in connection with the amalgamation of the Battle River-, Bruderheim- and Chipman REAs, entered into a lease agreement with Lamco Gas Coop Ltd, south of the Town of Lamont.
       The agreement covers space for a maintenance centre for electrical distribution facilities in rural areas surrounding Fort Saskatchewan (amalgamated with Battle River REA some years ago) and those of the amalgamated REAs in the County of Lamont.

    Posted 2006 10 21

    Deregulation expensive for small consumers and risky for big business

    Canexus Income Fund Announces Third Quarter Results

    CNW Group, 2006 10 20

    From the announcement:

    Expenses and Other Income: General and administrative costs were up slightly from the second quarter of 2006 and in line with expectations. Interest expenses incurred on credit facility borrowings were higher in the third quarter of 2006 as compared to the second quarter due to higher average borrowings outstanding in the quarter and higher borrowing costs. Other income includes the impact of our foreign currency management programs. In addition we recorded a mark-to-market loss of $0.3 million on electricity forward rate swap contracts entered into to protect our exposure to deregulated electricity prices in Alberta for 2007.   We have entered into electricity forward rate swap contracts covering over 70% of our 2007 electricity requirements for our Bruderheim, Alberta plant. In Brazil, due to the planned maintenance outage, we were able to purchase electricity in excess of our requirements at our contracted rates and resell it into the spot power market for a gain of $0.5 million.... (my emphasis --WHS)  (Full Story)

    Money can be made and lost in the electricity market, but in the end it is always the little people that bear the consequences in one way or another.  Enron had used the deregulated electricity market in Alberta to make about $50 million in an hour's worth of trading, in a pilot project for far bigger trading ventures it entered into later that gained it infamy, ultimately caused its collapse and large numbers of investors to lose their life savings.

    Things don't always turn out good for those more well-intentioned but forced to speculate in the futures market for electricity.  In June 2006 Superior Plus Inc. announced that ERCO Worldwide would close its Bruderheim sodium chlorate manufacturing facility late 2006, removing 80,000 tons of sodium chlorate from the market. (ErcoWorldwide-news, Updates: Nov. 2006)

    Superior Income trust stated in its 2005 annual report that, "electricity comprises 70% to 90% of variable production costs," while they stated in their 2004 annual report that, "electricity comprises 75% to 85% of variable production costs.  The vagaries and costs of the deregulated electricity market were identified as a major factor in the decision to close Erco Worldwide's Bruderheim sodium chlorate plant.  About 50 jobs are being lost as a result.

    Posted 2006 09 19

    Ethanol scam?

    The September 19, 2006 issue of the Edmonton Journal carried a small article titled "Researchers unveil ethanol-only tractor" (p. A5).  The article states that,

    The Saskatchewan Research Council has unveiled a prototype of what it says is the first tractor to run entirely on ethanol.
       Ethanol is a high octane, waterfree alcohol made primarily from grains and other renewable agricultural stock.
       The year-long project involved converting a regular 20-year-old diesel tractor to the more energy-efficient model.

    The article triggers two concerns.

    1. If a tractor running on ethanol can be made to be more energy efficient, could the same not be done also with one running on diesel?  However, a far more important concern is that,
    2. Agricultural ethanol production for motor fuel is far from being a clear and obvious solution to shortages of energy supplies. 
    • About 71% more energy is required to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy that is contained in a gallon of ethanol. (Pimentel, 1998) 
         The ratio of production of energy vs. input of energy for energy produced from fossil fuel is perhaps worse, but it does not require the vast area of crop land to satisfy the requirements if ethanol were used to replace all conventional motor fuel for cars.
    • To fuel one car with ethanol for one year means that nearly 7-times more cropland would be required to fuel one car than is needed to feed one American (USDA, 1996).
         Assuming a net production of 50 gallons of fuel per acre of corn, and assuming that all cars in the United States were fueled with ethanol, a total of approximately 2 billion acres of cropland would be required to provide the corn feedstock. This amount of acreage is more than 5-times all the cropland that is actually and potentially available for all crops in the future in the United States. (Pimentel, 1998)

    Full Story

    See also: Smell of Gigantic Hoax in Government Ethanol Promotion (189 kB PDF file at 21st Century Science & Technology), by Laurence Hecht

    Posted 2006 09 16

    Looking for high-speed Internet Access in rural central Alberta?

    There is a new telecommunication-service provider who can give you wireless high-speed access in Lamont County and elsewhere in central Alberta.  (See service areas)

    The following provides you with a bit more information on that.Ethanol

    15/09/2006 8:54 PM

    ....Alberta Communications put up a tower on the Agricore elevator at Star, and have been doing installations ever since.

    In case you want more info: www.albertacom.com

    and their email: [email protected]

    Also, their phone number is 496 7658.

    A couple of weeks ago I phoned Telus to see when they would be providing high speed to us "rural customers" and the young fart I got on the phone said "NEVER" and, when I commented on that, helpfully suggested....."well, you could relocate somewhere nearer an urban area".

    Bye for now,

    Mary McCartney

    (More about Telus' "services" priorities)

    Posted 2006 09 16

    REAs met with Jim Dinning

    From Jim Dinning's Blog:


    Welcome to my blog! This is going to be my personal leadership campaign diary.

    I'm going to write about the things I see and hear and the people I meet. I'll respond to some of your questions and let you know what part of the province I'm visiting. Hopefully we'll meet in person!



    Monday August 21

    Certainly feels like the campaign has started! Over the course of the day I've attended two fundraisers, shot up north where I met up with Mike Cardinal and went on to meet the Town Council in Gibbons. Then off to a coffee and donut session with Mike in Redwater. I also had the chance to meet with the MS Society, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and a group representing Rural Electrification Associations (REA's) and Gas Co-ops.

    A word on REA's... many folks in the cities might not know that REA's are not-for-profit cooperatives that own an electric distribution system (the wires that run to your house) and supply power to members in a rural region or new subdivision of Alberta. There are 63 REA's serving electricity customers in rural Alberta.

    In all the hubbub over deregulation it's easy to forget that these 63 non-profit corporations exist around the province providing service and prices that rival the 'big players' in the industry. And the REA's are holding their own against competition. Here's to rural Alberta's entrepreneurs!

    By the way, rural residents in portions of Lamont County are being served by REAs and Lamco Gas.  Residents of any of the towns in Lamont County are not being served by REAs and Lamco Gas.

    We had the opportunity to inform Jim Dinning, amongst other things, that the deregulation of utilities was less than a total success, and that in consequence utility bills increased on Jan 1, 2001 to about three times (and stayed there) what they had been before deregulation was imposed on us.  That is a great hardship for retirees and other people with limited or fixed incomes, of which rural communities have a share that is far greater than the provincial average.

    We have met with other leadership candidates during the past little while and will meet with others during the next few weeks.

    Posted 2006 08 31

    The strategy of using food as a weapon made another step in its transformation from the planning stage to reality.

    Monsanto Buys ‘Terminator’ Seeds Company

    - by F. William Engdahl - 2006-08-27

    The US Government has been financing research on a genetic engineering technology which, when commercialized, will give its owners the power to control the food seed of entire nations or regions.

    ....With Terminator patent rights, once a country such as Argentina or Brazil or Iraq or the USA or Canada opened its doors to the spread of GMO patented seeds among its farmers, their food security would be potentially hostage to a private multinational company, a company which, for whatever reasons, especially given its intimate ties to the US Government, might decide to use ‘food as a weapon’ to compel a US-friendly policy from that country or group of countries.

    Sound far-fetched? Go back to what then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger did in countries like Allende’s Chile to force a regime change to a ‘US-friendly’ Pinochet dictatorship by withholding USAID and private food exports to Chile. Kissinger dubbed it ‘food as a weapon.’ Terminator is merely the logical next step in food weapon technology.

    The role of the US Government in backing and financing Delta & Pine Land’s decades of Terminator research is even more revealing. As Kissinger said back in the 1970’s, ‘Control the oil and you can control entire Continents. Control food and you control people…’

    In a June 1998 interview, USDA spokesman, Willard Phelps, defined the US Government policy on Terminator seeds. He explained that USDA wanted the technology to be ‘widely licensed and made expeditiously available to many seed companies.’ He meant agribusiness GMO giants like Monsanto, DuPont or Dow. The USDA was open about their reasons: They wanted to get Terminator seeds into the developing world where the Rockefeller Foundation had made eventual proliferation of genetically engineered crops the heart of its GMO strategy from the beginnings of its rice genome project in 1984. ....
    (Full Story — off-site)

    See also: World Population Control — US Strategy and UN Policy Program

    Posted 2006 08 12

     SA solar research eclipses rest of the world

    Willem Steenkamp; 2006 02 11

    In a scientific breakthrough that has stunned the world, a team of South African scientists has developed a revolutionary new, highly efficient solar power technology that will enable homes to obtain all their electricity from the sun. Full Story (off-site) and related comments and links)

    Posted 2006 08 12

    The death of the electric car

    By Finlo Rohrer

    BBC News Magazine; 2006 08 04

    Electric cars were once widely touted as the solution to all our pollution ills and energy concerns. Now they're not. A new documentary asks what happened? (Full Story — off-site)

    2006 07 21

    Beware of predatory energy sales schemes

    Competitive- or Predatory Marketing of Electric Energy?

    Decide for yourself, read the story.

    2006 07 21

    Amalgamation of the Battle River REA, the Bruderheim REA and the Chipman REA is a fact

    The three REAs all voted in favour of amalgamation.  As the terms of existing contracts for energy and services for Bruderheim REA and for Chipman REA will not run out until later this year, the amalgamation will not become effective until January 1, 2007.

    Final meter readings will be taken at the end of 2006, probably during the period between Christmas and the end of the year.

    Except for the final electricity bill for December 2006, all electricity bills received by members of the Bruderheim and Chipman REAs will from January 2007 on be issued by Battle River REA.  Battle River REA will do the meter reading as well as the billing and moreover will include a copy of a monthly newsletter with each bill.

    2006 07 21

    The Chipman REA Amalgamation Meeting voted in favour of amalgamation

    Yesterday, July 20, 2006, at a special general meeting, the board of directors and the members of the Chipman REA voted in favour of amalgamating with Bruderheim REA and with Battle River REA. 

    49 votes were given.  Of those, 47 were in favour of amalgamation and two votes were opposed.

    2006 07 19

    The Bruderheim REA Amalgamation Meeting voted in favour of amalgamation

    Yesterday, July 18, 2006, at a special general meeting, the board of directors and the members of the Bruderheim REA voted in favour of amalgamating with Chipman REA and with Battle River REA. 

    48 votes were given.  Of those, 47 were in favour of amalgamation and one vote was opposed.

    2006 06 29

    The Battle River REA Amalgamation Meeting voted in favour of amalgamation

    Yesterday Bill McDougall, I and our wives attended the Battle River REA 2006 Annual General Meeting and their Special Amalgamation Membership Meeting.

    269 members and guests attended initially.  Of those, 121 were members that were eligible to vote on amalgamation.

    The Battle River REA AGM was held from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.  Because of the distances they had to travel to get back home, a few members left after the AGM was adjourned.

    The Battle River REA Special Amalgamation Membership Meeting was held from about 8:30 pm to about 9:00 pm.  115 votes were cast.  All votes were in favour of amalgamating with Chipman REA and Bruderheim REA.  No votes were opposed.

    Make sure to mark your calendars for our Special Amalgamation Membership Meeting, 7 pm, July 18, 2006, at the Bruderheim Memorial Centre (also called Bruderheim Community Hall) on Queen Street. 

    On a related issue, the signing of the updated service contracts is progressing well.  No more than close to 70 contracts still need to be signed.  Service contracts must be signed by the landowners, not by renters.

    New contract forms for members whose present service contracts do not agree with what is on record regarding land title records had been sent out to all affected members in the Bruderheim REA. 

    There have been a few inquiries as to why the updated service contracts need to be signed.  In a nutshell, here is the reason for signing: if you are eligible and wish to receive the estimated $1,400 refund per member, your signature better be on the contract.  Furthermore, you will be eligible for voting at the Special Amalgamation Meeting of the Bruderheim REA only if your contract is signed.

    If your contract has not yet been signed by you, contracts requiring to be signed will be available for signing when you register at the Bruderheim REA Special Amalgamation Meeting July 18. 

    More information (see update below) will be posted at this web page when the meeting notices for all members of the Bruderheim REA have been mailed out.  That should be no later than tomorrow, June 30th.

    Walter Schneider
    President, Bruderheim REA

    Update 2006 07 05
    Additional Information:

    1. Notice of Special General Meeting
    2. Attachment to Notice of Special General Meeting
    2005 11 23

    Bruderheim REA contemplates amalgamating with a larger REA

    The Directors of the Bruderheim REA met November 23, 2005 to discuss, amongst other things, the feasibility of amalgamating the Bruderheim REA with a larger REA.  No decision has of yet been made as to which larger REA will be approached with the proposal to amalgamate with the Bruderheim REA.  However, it was decided that in the interest of the members of the Bruderheim REA amalgamation will offer advantages through economy of scale.
       The issue of amalgamation will be pursued mainly for two reasons:

    1. The business of providing electrical services to the members of a Rural Electrification Association has become very complex and very expensive on account of the deregulation of the electricity industry imposed by the Government of Alberta.  The directors of the Bruderheim REA, as in many other smaller REAs, are advancing in age.  Replacements are hard to come by. 
         Moreover, the increasing complexity and expense of the electricity industry require more and more involvement by individual directors.  A larger REA is better able to look after the interests of rural electricity consumers, mainly because a larger REA will have a complement of full-time staff.
    2. A larger REA is able to provide a comprehensive package of services to rural electricity consumers.  An REA as small as the Bruderheim REA can't do that and must instead rely on contractors, and on the subcontractors hired in turn by them, to perform the services required to keep its electricity distribution system operational.
         A larger REA will have its own staff to do meter reading and billing, power line maintenance and construction, as well as have the ability to provide electricity at attractive rates, quite possibly more attractive than the electric energy rates we can obtain through Epcor, currently the only supplier of electric energy available to the Bruderheim REA for REA members who don't wish to buy power through an alternative energy provider.
         As a result of that, the amounts shown on the bottom line on the power bills received by members of the Bruderheim REA will be very likely be lowered through amalgamation and, in the long run, stay lower in comparison to the trend we have experienced and will otherwise experience.  That is not only due to better economy of scale but also because an REA is not obligated to provide a financial return to shareholders.  REAs are non-profit organizations.

    Visit this page again to read updates on the progress of the amalgamation process as time goes on.  If you wish to receive more detailed updates with respect to amalgamation issues as the amalgamation process evolves,  (or call 796-2306) and ask to be subscribed to the amalgamation e-mail list (it's just a distribution list, not a discussion forum or chat room).  The mailing list will be open only to members of the Bruderheim REA.  We hope to hear from you.

    2005 10 16

    Heating Fuel Cost Comparison Calculator

    A web page with a spreadsheet that permits to calculate the cost of the heat value delivered by a furnace or heating appliance has been added to the web pages of the Bruderheim REA.

    The rising energy costs affect heating fuel prices and consume a steadily increasing portion of our disposable income.  It is high time that we do our best to choose the fuel that heats our homes at the lowest possible costs.  Full Story

    2005 05 10

    Michael Woitas, the president of the Bruderheim REA, passed away May 9th, 2005

    calgary news – 2005 08 31

    Rising heating costs may leave seniors in the cold

    CALGARY (mytelus.com) – With natural gas heating costs set to double, the executive director of Seniors United Now has warned that some people on low, fixed retirement incomes may have to choose between food or heat.

    Ron Ellis noted the on-again, off-again provincial government home heating assistance plan only applies in the winter, while prices are already marching up.

    ATCO Gas North just applied for a rate increase for customers in central and northern Alberta while Direct Energy won approval for a September rate hike of nearly $10 per gigajoule. 
    [Check: Fuel Cost Comparison Calculator and the Alberta Government Natural Gas Rebate Forms & Guides.  Keep in mind that any rebate paid out comes out of tax revenues paid by taxpayers.  Isn't deregulation great?]

    2005 05 01

    Climate Experts Speak Out in New Video - Science underlying Kyoto Protocol seriously flawed

    Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What You're Not Being Told About the Science of Climate Change

    A press release (and video) by researchers at the University of Calgary, in cooperation with the Friends of Science Society (original date of release 2005 04 13) Full Story (off-site)

    2005 04 30

    Spring in Alberta: Tulips in the snow

    2004 09 29

    Arctic Sea-Ice Thickness: A Harbinger of Global Warming?

    (off-site article at Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming)

    2004 09 01

    Work that is currently in progress in the area covered by the Bruderheim REA

    Notices of Alberta EUB applications by utility corporations for rate changes July 2004

    2003 12 05

    The cause of recent global warming: Increased Solar Irradiance

    As per John L. Daly, at http://www.john-daly.com/#hotter ...:

    According to Space.com, "the recent trend of a .05 percent per decade increase in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) ... was measured between successive solar minima that occur approximately every 11 years." As the chart shows, the solar minimum of the mid-1990s was hotter than the previous minimum of the mid-1980s. Solar minima provide the opportunity for the Earth to `cool off' after the enhanced radiation of a solar maximum; however, the strong radiation of the 1990s minimum has kept earth's climate `on the boil' so to speak....

    (Full Story; PDF – 302kB, including two charts)

    2003 12 05


    Environmentalists can't save Kyoto: Without Russia, the global deal is dead and green lobbyists have to accept it

    By Lorne Gunter

    ...Russia's objections to Kyoto are threefold, not merely economic. Russia's economy has recently begun to grow rapidly -- in the range of seven to 10 per cent a year. It could double by 2010, bringing Russian per capita income on a par with that of its eastern and central European neighbours. To bind itself to Kyoto now, Russia would have to forego such growth. That's enough justification for remaining outside Kyoto....

    (Full story)

    2003 11 12


    Research debunks greenhouse theory: Proof exists (that greenhouse does not), but believers would rather denounce than debate

    By Lorne Gunter

    Too many scientists have based their research, their reputations and their incomes on the greenhouse theory to let it go now.

    (Full Story)

    What The Satellite Record Reveals

    By Willis Eschenbach  (4 Nov 03) 

    Willis Eschenbach shows that the global surface temperature record is riddled with errors and that it just doesn't measure up to the quality of the satellite-measured temperature data that has been compiled since 1979.  There isn't much global warming, and what of it exists is obviously not due to CO2 emissions, or else, according to the IPCC, the polar regions would be showing the largest temperature increases over time.  Instead, the Arctic temperatures are showing only marginal increases, while the Antarctic experiences a cooling trend. Full Story The link to that web page no longer functions.  The page had been archived in the Internet archive, but the archived version is not always accessible.  Here is a more a expansive compendium of research and commentaries on the quality of the global surface temperature records.

    A summary of satellite-measured temperature-trend data compiled by the NASA Global Hydrology and Climate Center agrees with the conclusions reached by Willis Eschenbach.... (Unfortunately, the link no longer functions, and it has so far not been possible to find a copy of the article)  This link will lead to an article that presents some of the uncertainties that prevent accurate modelling of global atmosperic circulation and long-term forecasts.

    (Full text of commentary — about two minutes)

    2003 10 11

    Nuclear Power — Comparisons and Perspective

    Caution: Reading this article may prove dangerous to your perceptions about nuclear power, energy in general, and low-grade but well-heeled environmental activism.  Full Story

    2003 10 10

    More on cheap solar power

    A closer look at the announcement by STMicroelectronics shows that there is more to the story than first meets the eye.  However, if the announced technological breakthrough materializes, it will still quite possibly be attractive.  Full Story

    2003 10 08

    Kyoto Breakthrough 

    By Prof S. Fred Singer

    From The Washington Times

    Check: http://www.john-daly.com/#kyoto

    2003 10 06

    Cheap solar power! Cheaper than anything so far by far

    Is this it, finally?

    Is the Global Warming Bubble About to Burst?

    By Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso
    Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
    Editorial Commentary
    Volume 6, Number 37: 10 September 2003

    ...[T]wo scientists from the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences challenge the politically-correct global warming dogma that vexes the entire world.  Bashkirtsev and Mashnich (2003) say that "a number of publications report that the anthropogenic impact on the Earth's climate is an obvious and proven fact," when in actuality, in their opinion, "none of the investigations dealing with the anthropogenic impact on climate convincingly argues for such an impact."....

    In light of these several sets of real-world observations, we would not be at all surprised to find that Bashkirtsev and Mashnich will indeed be proven correct in their prediction of imminent, if not already-in-progress, global cooling. 

    Full Story

    2003 07 04

    Edmonton Journal

    Cosmic ray flux zaps pro-Kyoto types

    New study puts paid to overheated theories on climate change

    By Lorne Gunter

    It's the sun. And apparently the stars, too. But that shouldn't surprise anyone, since the stars after all are just other planets' suns.

    Fluctuating levels of solar and stellar radiation are the cause of climate change on Earth, not rising carbon dioxide levels. Ebbs and flows in the sun's energy raise and lower Earth's temperature far more than CO2 ever could, according to an extensive new study by Jan Veizer, a University of Ottawa geologist and paleoclimatologist, and Nir Shaviv, an astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.... Full Story)

    2003 06 14

    The Alberta deregulation fiasco revisited

    Not much has changed since it got launched.  It remains a fiasco.

    The Report, January 22, 2001, pp. 36, 41

    Alberta's self-inflicted crisis

    The government's costly electricity fiasco provides a national example of how not to deregulate electricity

    by Mike Byfield

    Full story:

    Text only
    Text and graphics

    2003 05 06

    Power lines will cost us

    Consumers are the losers again, say Liberals

    Power line construction always cost us, but now the costs that the Alberta government wants Alberta consumers to pay will be for the construction of transmission lines used to export  electrical energy from where it will be generated, in Fort Mc Murray, to be exported to the USA.  Full Story

    2003 04 29

    The British are coming! Actually, they are here already.

    Edmonton Journal

    ATCO seeks approval to sell gas, power arms

    Calgary: The Atco group of companies announced Friday it has filed an application with regulators to sell its gas and electricity retail businesses to Direct Energy. Direct and Atco agreed in December to a $128.5-million deal that would see Direct—a Canadian subsidiary of a British company—pick up Atco’s one million retail customers. The agreement was contingent on the province revising legislation to permit the sale.
       Atco has decided to focus on delivery systems in power and gas. If the Energy and Utilities Board approves the deal, Direct would become Alberta’s third retail marketer after Epcor and Enmax.

    Angela Fearon Olthoff

    Administrative Assistant, AFREA

    2003 04 29

    No evidence in sight that the Arctic is warming.  To the contrary...cooling, cooling everywhere!

    Arctic Temperature Trends — Summary

    By the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

    A long succession of climate models has consistently suggested that CO2-induced global warming should be significantly amplified in earth's polar regions, and that the first signs of man's expected impact on the world's weather should thus be manifest there.  In the words of Meadows (2001), "the place to watch for global warming - the sensitive point, the canary in the coal mine - is the Arctic."  In addition, the IPCC-endorsed temperature history of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) suggests that earth's temperature has been gradually declining since the Middle Ages, but that it began an "unprecedented" warming around 1910 that has taken mean global temperatures to their highest level in perhaps the past two millennia (Mann and Jones, 2003).  In light of these claims, if they are indeed true, we should have no trouble at all detecting a huge increase in the mean temperature of the Arctic over the 20th century, and especially its last two decades; so let's take a look and see what we can learn from studies of past temperatures in that northernmost part of the world.  Full Story

    Temperature Record of the Week


    2003 04 08

    Daily Telegraph (UK)

    Middle Ages were warmer than today, say scientists

    By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
    (Filed: 06/04/2003)

    Claims that man-made pollution is causing "unprecedented" global warming have been seriously undermined by new research which shows that the Earth was warmer during the Middle Ages....

    This announcement followed research published in 1998, when scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia declared that the 1990s had been hotter than any other period for 1,000 years.

    Such claims have now been sharply contradicted by the most comprehensive study yet of global temperature over the past 1,000 years. A review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today's temperatures are neither the warmest over the past millennium, nor are they producing the most extreme weather - in stark contrast to the claims of the environmentalists....

    Full Story

    2003 03 17

    Long-Range U.S. Drought Forecast

    Dr. Theodor Landscheidt from the Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of Solar Activity predicts that it will remain dry until 2007, upon which there will be seven to eight years of wet weather followed by another dry period that will peak in the 2025-2030 interval.  There are good reasons to believe the prediction.  Unlike the general circulation models used by climate alarmists, Dr. Landscheidt's forecasting technique produced other predictions that were right on the nose.  Moreover, his technique accurately simulates the climate the way it was – going back to the year 1900, a level of accuracy that the climate alarmists still only dream of and hope to be able to achieve if only they were to receive increased funding from our hard-earned tax-dollars.  More

    2003 03 05

    Determining the Growth Response of Trees to Elevated CO2: The Need for Long-Term Experiments,

    Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

    Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
    Editorial Comment, Volume 6, Number 10: 5 March 2003

    A long-term study of the growth response of trees to eleveated levels of CO2 provides, repeatedly, surprising results.  Full Story

    2003 02 28

    Mr. Preston Manning's Speech in the

    Take Note Debate on Global Warming

    November 26, 1997 (taken from Hansard)

    The speech is not exactly news, but its words still present accurate facts in the debate over global warming.  Given that during the time since no other Canadian politician offered anything better, it is perhaps the best statement available to us today on the state of affairs of the politics of global warming.  Here is some of what Preston Manning said:

    ...climatologists observe that global temperatures in the 1960s and 1970s were cooler than in the 1950s. If you go back and look at their literature, particularly the popular literature of that period, the global warming theory lost ground during those years to the ice age theory.

    Books such as Ice by Sir Fred Hoyle, an eminent scientist, The Cooling by Lowell Ponte, The Genesis Strategy by Stephen Schneider,[1] all purporting to be based on solid science, argued that global temperatures were falling, not rising.

    In 1988 however - and I am talking mainly about the North American context; you can follow a line of development in Europe and other parts of the world - the global warming theory regained attention from testimony before the U.S. Senate energy subcommittee of the commerce committee by James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


    1.) Dr. Stephen Schneider, although he was in the 1970s one of the most prominent advocates of the theory of the coming ice age and all of the hype that accompanied that theory, is today one of the most outspoken advocates of the opposite of that, global warming and all of the hype that accompanies that theory.

    So, depending on which day or year you listen to people like Dr. Schneider (thankfully, he is not my relative), you have your choice of being scared of freezing to death or of being scared of baking to death.  Nothing illustrates the lack of professional integrity in the endeavours of the climate alarmists better than a famous statement Dr. Schneider made in an interview with Discover magazine (quoted more extensively in Preston Manning's speech) from which I quote here:

    ...we have to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination.

    That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This "double ethical bind" that we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    How is that for rationalizing support for either or both of totally opposed theories?  Even David Suzuki couldn't have said it any better, and he is one of the best climate alarmists we have.  In other words, the truth doesn't matter, what matters is what the climate alarmists and the politicians and government bureaucrats supporting and funding them want us to believe in.

    It is too bad that Preston Manning could not become our prime minister.   It appears that there was and still is none better for the position.

    The net difference to the average Albertan (every man, woman or child) of federal transfer payments is currently a net loss of $2,900 annually.  It is anyone's guess to what levels that loss will climb on account of the Kyoto accord. 

    The rising prices for fuel, electricity and heating our houses are a good indicator of worse things to come. 

    The price increases ... needed to bring energy consumption down to Kyoto levels will reduce annual real net household income by about $2,700 annually. In light of the fact that Kyoto yields no economic or environmental benefits this is obviously a bad deal for Canadian households and should be rejected.

    - Ross McKitrick, economics professor, University of Guelph
    National Post, Nov 13, 2002

    The government doesn't come out with figures that are more credible.   I would be inclined to believe what our government tells us if its performance record in regard to telling the truth weren't so abominable.  As it is, the federal government tells us that it estimates the impact of the Kyoto accord will be a reduction of the annual net income of the average household in the order of $1,700 over the next ten years.  I fear that estimate is about as credible as the initial cost estimate of $2 million for their gun-control scam, perhaps no more credible than the unforgettable promise by Jean Chretien that he would kill the GST, on the strength of which he became our elected dictator.

    By Ottawa's own estimates, implementing Kyoto will cost the national economy $16 billion and kill 200,000 jobs by 2010. Others - sensible others, with very much better track records at doing economic projections - have pegged the cost much higher, at 450,000 jobs or more and $40 to $60 billion in lost growth. [About $25 billion of that lost growth will occur in Alberta. —WHS]

    Lorne Gunter
    Liberal arrogance on Kyoto:
    Disdain for voters evident in refusal to divulge costs of accord

    Friday 27 September 2002, p. A16

    Electrical bills could easily jump 50 per cent, or more. Home heating may double. A litre of gasoline may well reach $1.10 to $1.30 over the next three or four years.

    ...even if manufacturers are hard hit by rising energy costs over the next decade, the impact on them will be less than the impact on Alberta's energy companies.

    Energy is but one of the manufacturers' input costs. A 40 per cent rise in the price of energy does not translate into a 40 per cent rise in the cost of manufactured goods -- more like a 10 or 15 per cent rise. That's enough to scare away some customers, sure.

    But energy is THE product of energy companies....

    In a good year, Canada creates 425,000 to 450,000 new jobs. A recession reduces that to about 250,000. And Ottawa is projecting that Kyoto would reduce that output to about the equivalent of 175,000 to 200,000 in a year. Admittedly, those losses would be spread out over 10 years, not concentrated in one year. But it's unnecessary pain. And you have to trust Ottawa to be honest and correct to believe even that number.

    Lorne Gunter
    Only arrogant Liberals would trivialize job loss:
    Alberta will bear most of the pain if Kyoto passes,
    and that's just fine with the crowd in Ottawa

    Wednesday 16 October 2002, p. A14

    All of that could be news if Preston Manning had not talked about it so well already in 1997 and if we were sure to hear the truth, all of the truth and nothing but the truth from the Liberal government.  Failing that, we have to go by the facts that the Liberal government doesn't tell us about.

    It appears that it is high time for a new deal.

    2003 02 15

    Deregulation in the U.K.

    12 years after the fact things are still in disarray, at least with respect to billing. 

    Full Story

    2003 01 16

    The global "warming" saga continues

    Here are headlines of current stories accessible at


    CNN, 13 January 2003

    The Strait Times, 11 January 2003

    New York Post, 13 January 2003

    The Guardian, 11 January 2003

    ABC News, 10 January 2003

    Associated Press, 11 January 2003

    Planet Ark, January 10, 2003

    The Economist, 9 January 2003

    Tech Central Station, 10 January 2003

    Max Wallis <[email protected]>

    Simon Mansfield <[email protected]>
    Ireland News, 11 January 2003

    Full Story

    2003 01 10

    Aftenposten, English frontpage

    Electricity rates climb even higher

    Norwegians are set to receive their highest electricity bills ever, after rates hit another new record on Friday. Consumers are being told to expect first-quarter bills of anywhere from NOK 4,500-8,300 (USD 640-1,200 [Cdn$994-$1,865]).
       Rates in Norway's now-deregulated power market have been climbing for months, but eased just before Christmas. The rate-relief was short-lived.
       On Thursday, rates hit NOK 0.7264 per kilowatt hour. On Friday they edged up even more, to NOK 0.804 [Cdn$0.181]. That's more than three times the rate on October 1, when consumers already were getting worried about higher electricity bills.... Full Story

    Aquila, who owned a share of the Scandinavian wholesale energy market, nevertheless saw its share values remain relatively unchanged.  After falling from about US$28.40 on March 18, 2002 to US$5.00 in September of 2002, on January 9, 2003 Aquila shares closed at US2.15 at the New York Stock Exchange.

    Aquila Selects SunGard for Energy Trading and Risk Management
    Panorama to provide cross-commodity, real-time valuation and scheduling

    NEW YORK, December 10, 2001– SunGard Trading and Risk Systems, an operating group of SunGard (NYSE: SDS), today announced that Aquila, Inc. (NYSE:ILA) has selected Panorama for cross-commodity trading and risk management...
        Outside North America, Aquila provides wholesale energy services in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Germany. Aquila is 80 percent owned by UtiliCorp United, a multinational energy company also based in Kansas City with more than 4 million customers.[My emphasis]  It operates in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. (Source: SunGard Trading and Risk System press release)

    That information appears to be outdated and contradicts an earlier Aquila press release published in the Financial News:

    Aquila Announces More Asset Sales, Raising Total to $976.6 Million
    Wednesday October 16, 4:20 pm ET
    Winds Up European Energy Merchant Operations

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 16, 2002--Aquila, Inc. (NYSE:ILA - News) today reported additional asset sales under its previously announced restructuring program, bringing the current total of assets it has sold or agreed to sell to $976.6 million. The company's stated goal since May has been to sell at least $1 billion in assets to strengthen its balance sheet and credit....

    As part of the ongoing reduction in Aquila's energy marketing and trading activities, the company is on track with plans to close its European headquarters in London and its office in Essen, Germany by the end of this month. The office in Sandefjord, Norway has been closed and all of Aquila's trading through Nord Pool, the trading organization that handles energy in Scandinavia, has ceased....(My emphasis)  Full Story)

    It looks as if, just as in many other localities, deregulation of the energy market in Scandinavia was somewhat less than an unmitigated success.
       The Norwegian energy consumers are now left holding the bag.  What compounds their problems is that for ten years no new substantial energy production capacity has been added to the grid other than minuscule additions of generating capacity from renewable resources.  Apparently the powers thought that global warming would make worrying about the vagaries of the weather unnecessary.  No construction of fossil-fuel-based power plants has taken place in Norway during that time.
       It appears that the present Norwegian energy-production capacity is being stretched by the extreme cold winter weather and is about 10 percent short of the demand.   Some Norwegians died on account of that.

    Well, even if global warming won't provide relief, at the very least the coming summer should.  Let's hope that nobody else will have to die in the meantime.

    2003 01 09

    Europe and Asia gripped by coldest winter weather since 1948

    Gulf of Finland icebound, about 40 ships are stuck...fears that Baltic Sea may freeze over — including the Strait of Denmark...close to a thousand people perished so far in Europe and Asia. Full Story

    2002 11 24

    Is the Kyoto accord something new?

    There is nothing new under the sun.  If we think there is, it is most likely just something that happened before under a different name or under  another cloak.   One might think that the tax-grab under the Kyoto accord is new.  Sure, it is new, as much as names go – and it is such a catchy name and for such a "good" cause.  Some estimate it will add $2,700 to the annual average cost of living in Alberta (in addition to the $2,000 per year that got added to living costs for the average household through deregulation).  But it will add comparable penalties that Canadians living elsewhere in Canada will pay as well.
       However, a tax-grab is a tax-grab, and there always has to be a "good" cause or a catchy name for it.  How else will we swallow what is being rammed down our throats?  Consider how things were done in 1980.

    Three stories from the archives of the Report Newsmagazine:

    September 26, 1980 Stratagem for a coup "The disclosure of a confidential federal "strategy" memorandum, prepared for the "eyes only" of Justice Minister Jean Chretien, was credited with dooming a historic first ministers' conference on the constitution before it ever got started. Provincial premiers privately greeted the document in shocked dismay... [describing] it as 'cynical'..." This story sets up the following two Classics on the National Energy Program...

    November 7, 1980 Industry in chaos "In what will no doubt go down as the darkest day in Alberta history, the Trudeau government moved last week to take over control of the oil and gas industry, creator of the economic renaissance in western Canada. In retaliation the provincial government announced plans to turn down the taps which supply central Canada with oil, in fact a declaration of economic civil war"...

    November 14, 1980 The oilpatch aflame The dreaded National Energy Program was only a week old and already the repercussions were being felt across the West...

    2002 11 21

    The mythical melting arctic sea ice

    The polar ice is supposed to be shrinking.  It doesn't and grew instead.   It doesn't seem that anyone is trying to determine what is happening to it at the South Pole at the same level of detail, but a group of Canadian climate scientists has done wonders with the data available for the northern hemisphere.  Full Story

    The area covered by arctic sea ice was larger in the summer of 2001 than in the summer of 2000, and larger in Feb./Mar. 2002 than in the corresponding interval in 2001?
       Should we allow David Suzuki and Jean Chretien to do that to us?

    2002 11 16

    Is the "Ozone Hole" a hole?  Should we worry about that?

    Why did nobody tell us that the "Ozone Hole" is just about totally gone?

    Jewish World Review Nov. 11, 2002 / 8 Kislev, 5763

    Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak

    Does Kyoto Treaty pose more harm than global warming?

    Should we worry about changes in climate? Does "global warming" really pose a threat to human health and well-being? Full Story

    Oct. 30, 2002

    The Kyoto accord and Canadian Families

    You may think that global warming or, better, the ratification of the Kyoto accord that our Leader, Jean Chrétien, the head of the Liberal Party of Canada, threatens to have passed by Parliament before Christmas and to ram down our throats will have little impact on you or your family. You would be seriously wrong in thinking that.
       Gwyn Morgan, president and CEO of Encana Corp., stated in a letter to Jean Chrétien that the Kyoto accord is "one of the most damaging international agreements ever signed by a Canadian Prime Minister."  Fortunately, what worries Gwyn Morgan and other Canadians with respect to the Kyoto accord is a problem that will affect only Canadians and is entirely made-in-Canada.   If you are not Canadian and don't pay taxes- or don't live in Canada, count your blessings.  Full Story

    Thestar.com  > News > Ontario

    May. 15, 2002. 01:00 AM

    Hydro One cash crunch coming

    Distributor says it must borrow to meet obligations

    Steve Erwin
    canadian press

    Hydro One Inc. warns it will have to borrow heavily to finance its business because the company can't generate enough cash to meet its financial obligations and operating needs.
       "Funds from operations, after the payment of dividends, are not currently sufficient to fund our repayment of existing indebtedness and to meet our anticipated liquidity, maintenance and other capital resource requirements," the crown-owned electricity distributor said in releasing its financial report yesterday. (Full Story)

    I guess that the wellbeing of its investors is more important than that of Hydro One's customers.  Ostensibly, dividends are what is left over after the needs of a business are met.  In this case, it appears that the board of directors decided that the business needs will be satisfied only after the shareholders are.  For Pete's sake, we are not talking about having to make mortgage payments that are overdue. –WHS

    Thestar.com  > ANews > Ontario

    May. 9, 2002. 01:00 AM

    Split Hydro One in two, study says

    One should run the grid, the other local utilities

    John Spears
    business reporter

    Hydro One should be broken into two separate companies — one to run the province's electricity transmission grid, and the other to run the 88 local utilities it has acquired — according to a study by two energy economists.

    But Hydro One retorts that the report serves the interests of small utilities rather than their customers.

    The report has created stresses within the Electricity Distributors Association, which financed the study, since Hydro One is its largest member.

    (Full Story)

    Thestar.com  > GTA

    May. 5, 2002. 12:35 AM

    Hydro price deregulation won't mean rush to solar

    High cost of equipment still a strong drawback

    Amid widespread concern that deregulation of Ontario's electricity market will produce nasty price shocks, Ian MacLellan has an offer to make.

    MacLellan's company, ARISE Technologies Corp., is part of a $1 million federal pilot project that will subsidize the cost of installing solar power at eight to 10 new homes in a Waterloo subdivision.
    Participants will have to pay for the equipment, expected to generate most of the homes' electricity needs, but it will be as if they're buying five or so years from now, when prices are expected to be much lower.

    ...California experienced a mini-boom [for solar power project construction] after its deregulation scheme sent electricity prices through the roof.....

    ...when it comes to house-scale projects [in Ontario], solar power has been embraced mainly at remote cottages and by a handful of homeowners who don't mind spending up to $100,000 to either combat global warming or ensure themselves of a secure power supply.

    (Full Story)

    This could save your life!

    You will most likely be alone if a heart attack hits you.  Here are simple instructions on what to do to save your own life.
    (Full story – short and simple)

    May 2, 2002  

    Global Warming

    An inquiry by Lorne Gunter (from the Edmonton Journal) relating to global warming trends, and the response by the "IPCC" (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

    The exchange is very heart-warming and may keep you from the shivering caused by the 25°C drop in temperature we experienced during the 17 hours following the high of +17°C at noon, May 2, 2002. (At noon, May 3, it was -2.1°C)

    From: Lorne Gunter
    Thu 2002-05-02 07:39

    Memo to the IPCC (not really)

    Dear Global Warmers:

    It's May 2 and I have yet to sleep with the windows open; most nights our lows are still below freezing. The night before last, the furnace came on. March, here, was the coldest on record since 1899. For nearly two months our daytime highs have been five to 15 degrees below normal. Yesterday, it finally got up to 13C (55F), and it seemed as if everyone in town donned shorts, so great was their fear that it would be their only chance to do so this summer. Two weeks ago we had 12 inches of snow, the most ever for that particular date in April. The trees in my yard have yet to bud. Our bulbs have yet to breach the soil, much less bloom. Yesterday, May 1, the ice finally broke up on the river below my house, the latest spring break-up since God knows when.

    Now I know that in those twin centres of the universe, New York and Toronto, there have been freakishly warm days this spring, the exact opposite of here. (Although I feel constrained to mention that the day NYC reached 91F a few weeks back it broke a 106-year old record by one degree, which means it had been 90F on that same date in 1896, at least 80 years before the anthropogenic warming of which you are currently warning us. But I digress.)  What I want to know is, once you have finished saving the world by social-engineering a safer climate, could you please consider imposing a temperature redistribution program? It really isn't fair that parts of the world enjoy temperature riches, while decent people such as those of us on the Canadian Prairies are freezing our behinds off and shovelling out our drive ways a month into Spring. And if you can pull off an end to climate change by creating a worldwide nanny state, then surely to God it's not too much to ask that you impose a temperature welfare scheme after that.
    --Lorne Gunter

    And, lo and behold, unbelievably quick for such a large and cumbersome organization, the "IPCC" responded right away.

    From: Lorne Gunter
    Thu 2002-05-02 18:48

    The IPCC responds (sort of)

    [Actually, the clever author of this witty reply is Ross McKitrick, economist and global warming skeptic from the University of Guelph.]

    Dear Mr. Gunter

    The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has convened a special panel to consider your complaint. We want to assure you that we take all points of view into consideration when jumping to our conclusions. The Special Joint Commission on Western Canadian Impacts of Global Warming conducted a series of workshops last year in Montserrat, Vienna, Costa del Sol, Canberra, Monaco, Napa, Marrakech and Cologne. During this time it was decided by the world's top paid scientists that frigid temperatures in April and May in Calgary are consistent with model projections of global warming. So would warm temperatures in April and May, but this uncertainty should not be a barrier to us telling everyone else how to live. After all, if we let that stop us, what would be left for the UN to do? We conclude that the need for action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is more pressing than ever. Therefore, please refrain from turning on your furnace during cold weather.  


    the IPCC

    Now, doesn't that make you feel better?  May the power always be with you to run your furnace, and may you always have enough money, Ralph Klein and Jean Chretien willing,  to pay for the increasing costs of the fuel you need to heat your home, run your vehicles and equipment.  It sure isn't easy to do that in addition to increasing health-care costs and defunded medical- and government services.  
       Can we truly afford to hand over more of our incomes for anything else they say is good for us as we chip away at our national debt of $3.5 trillion by selling off more and more of our natural resources to foreign owners?  Not just the resources, but as well the means to distribute them for our own use are being sold.
       We all have seen people sell all of their personal possession to keep from going bankrupt.  Generally it didn't help them a bit.

    May 1, 2002 

    Canadian Electrical Energy Generation

    StatCan reports that:

       Warmer-than-normal temperatures across the country led to lower net generation of electricity in February. Net generation was 49 456 gigawatt hours (GWh), down 2.1% from February 2001. Exports decreased 15.7% to 2 690 GWh, and imports fell to 2 145 GWh from 2 757 GWh. (Details)

    That means that the net exports amounted to 545 GWh or 1.1% of Canada's total electricity generation.  It seems hardly possible that that amount of electrical energy exported justifies the billions of dollars Canadian consumers get soaked with on account of deregulation that ostensibly will create a competitive market, supposedly to produce untold wealth for Canadians.
       It appears that for the foreseeable future the only beneficiaries of the untold wealth will largely be:

    1. Our provincial and federal governments who rake in more than twice in revenues than they did before deregulation, and

    2. Foreign power companies who buy out our natural resources, with little or none of their profits remaining in Canada.

    Whether it is the national economy or individual Canadians, the Canadian end-consumers of electrical energy will be paying for foreign profits and increased tax revenues, through higher energy costs on their bills and through higher energy costs incorporated in prices they pay for consumer products and services.  It's a double whammy.   Thank you very much Messrs. Klein and Chretien.

    Apr. 22, 05:50 EDT

    Electric power firms open wallets for Tories

    Donations surge as hydro goes private

    Fred Vallance-Jones

    Almost a million dollars have flowed to the governing Conservatives since 1995 from companies and individuals with interests in the new privatized electricity market.

    (Full Story)

    Edmonton Journal, March 29, 2002


    Regulators approve sale of power lines

    CALGARY / Provincial regulators have approved the $850-million sale of TransAlta Energy Corp.'s electricity transmission system to AltaLink Management Ltd.
       The Energy and Utilities Board said Thursday its approval will include provisions that ensure the sale won't have an adverse impact on transmission rates.  It will also not include lines on First Nations land.
       TranAlta's System represents about half of the total high-tension system in Alberta, with a staff of 250.  Alta Link will retain the employees.   AltaLink is a consortium headed by SNC Lavalin of Montreal, plus an Ontario pension fund, a U.S. Energy firm and an Australian bank.  Alberta's transmission system remains regulated.

    March 27, 2002

    Gas Meters Need to Be Tested

    March 25, 2002

    Foreign ownership of Alberta electrical energy corporation changes hands, or does it?

    As per http://www.aquila.com/info/utilicorp.shtml (Note: The preceding link to an archived copy of the article no longer functions) — March 18, 2002, UtiliCorp United adopted the Aquila, Inc. name and ILA as its stock symbol. Aquila is an international energy and risk management company.

    Aquila is a company that provides wholesale energy services in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Germany.
       As of Dec. 14, 2001, Aquila was an 80 percent-owned subsidiary of UtiliCorp, an international energy company with more than four million customers across the United States and in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.  Aquila claims to have about $12 billion in assets and to have had $40 billion in annual sales as of Dec 31, 2001.
       All of the members on the board of Aquila were also members of the board of directors of UtiliCorp. UtiliCorp now goes under the name of Aquila, and, as you all know, in the year 2000 TransAlta Utilities was fed to and gobbled up by UtiliCorp.
       Yesterday's closing price for Aquila shares was US$25.08.

    Energy is the life blood of not just Canada, but of nations.  What better or more certain way to reap a profit or to tax people than to gain control of the food they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink and even the blood that runs through their veins?

    We'll pay any price for the basic necessities of life.  Today's politicians make sure that anything goes, the big corporations go for the jugular because they want to get bigger and become the biggest sharks in the global market, and every price increase means extra tax revenues for the governments.  For us, the people, it means that we have to do with a little bit less and that perhaps we even have to close down the businesses we no longer can keep alive.

    So what, right?  You can't make omelets without breaking eggs.  Besides, Ralph Klein told us that deregulation is good for us.  However, he also told us that we need Swan Hills to solve the pollution problems of North America, and although we pay for that, too, we'll pay far, far more for making Aquila bigger and to allow the governments to take their ever-growing slices of the booty.

    Regarding UtiliCorp and Aquila:

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 14, 2001--The Board of Directors of Aquila, Inc. (NYSE:ILA) met today to review the previously announced offer by UtiliCorp United (NYSE:UCU) to exchange 0.6896 of a share of UtiliCorp common stock in a tax-free exchange for each outstanding share of Aquila Class A common stock. UtiliCorp owns all of the outstanding Aquila Class B shares, which constitute approximately 80 percent of all outstanding Aquila common shares.
       Because all members of Aquila's Board are officers or directors of UtiliCorp and may have conflicts of interest with respect to UtiliCorp's offer, Aquila's Board has decided to remain neutral and make no recommendation to Aquila's stockholders with respect to UtiliCorp's offer. ...
       Based in Kansas City, Aquila is one of the top wholesalers of electricity and natural gas in North America. Aquila is an innovative provider of risk management products and services and owns and controls a diverse portfolio of merchant assets including power plants, gas storage, pipeline and processing facilities, and other complementary merchant infrastructure facilities. Aquila also provides wholesale energy services in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Germany. Aquila is an 80 percent-owned subsidiary of UtiliCorp, an international energy company with more than four million customers across the United States and in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Additional information is available at www.aquila.com. ...

    Full story

    And the latest regarding Aquila:

    Quanta Statement on Aquila Lawsuit
    21 Mar 2002, 7:55pm ET
    E-mail or Print this story
    - - - - -

    Quanta Statement on Aquila Lawsuit

    HOUSTON, March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quanta Services, Inc. (NYSE:PWR), a leading provider of specialized contracting services to the electric power, gas, telecommunications and cable television industries, today issued the following statement in response to Aquila, Inc.'s (NYSE:ILA) lawsuit seeking to prevent Quanta from implementing its Stock Employee Compensation Trust (SECT)....
    Full story

    March 25, 2002


    Rural Electrification Association


    Conference Room – Old Walker School

    April 11, 2002, 7:00 p.m.

    Concerned about rising power costs?
    You should be!  EpCor's and UtiliCorp's
    reps. will be there  to answer your questions.


    March 25, 2002

    New budgeting tool

    Forecasting your power costs — A spreadsheet model for reconciling your power bill.   It'll also permit you to do budgeting for the cost of power according to your average monthly consumption, and more.  You better have a look at it.  The cost of power will be quite a bit more than you thought, far  more than we were told by Ralph Klein.

    March 4, 2002

    Business Analysis:

    Albertans seem to like being cheated

    The Report, Mar 4, 2002

    ....Electricity deregulation, ...has already cost Albertans billions... "I can't understand why there isn't outrage among consumers" says the former senior operating officer for Alberta Power.

    Under the provinces deregulation system, ...all successful bidders get paid the rate given to the highest successful bid....The amount of money under discussion is enormous....The cheapest tend to be big coal-fired plants....Most expensive are generating stations which burn natural gas but cannot sell their waste heat; their costs directly reflect prices for natural gas.  Under Alberta's power pool auction system, electricity from coal-fired plants fetches the price set by natural gas-fired generation. From the consumers' point of view, it is hard to conceive of a more expensive pricing arrangement.

    ....During 2001, Albertans purchased electricity (including coal-fired) at rates reflecting last winters high gas price....deregulation cost the province more than it spent on education, a thought which might pique the attention of teachers now on strike for higher wages in Alberta.

    ....Why doesn't the power pool simply buy electricity at the proffered prices, not the highest price? ....Pool spokesman Wayne St. Amour says the highest-price-for-all set-up is designed to attract more competitors. ....Even if real competition does occur eventually, he adds, Albertans will have already forfeited so many billions that their losses could not possibly ever be made up by future savings....Heavy industry has kept quiet because many large companies purchased power from the coal-fired plants under provincial auctions held before deregulation kicked in.  These players are guaranteed low electricity rates long into the future.  In Mr. Provost's view, the power pool should immediately adopt the same strategy.  On behalf of residents and small industrial customers, the pool should purchase electricity from existing generation facilities under long-term contracts at prices which reflect generating costs.  Future power needs should be tendered for competitive bids.

    Full story

    Posted 2002 03 25
    Updates at irregular intervals — most recent items first in the list