Monday, February 27, 2006

Power Play

Last summer I fired off an (exceedingly rare) letter to the neditor of the Lunchbucket Lament in which I castigated the Ontario governments past and present for their lamentable lack of foresight on the energy front.

Lately, this has been on my mind again. In all this blather about the shortage of power generation plants, why, oh why, has no one been able to think outside the box even a whit? I seriously lost faith in Bob Rae’s intelligence when, after months of tooling around the Ontario universe talking to the oracles, the best he could come up with was a suggestion that we build more nuclear power plants!

Nuclear! The recent audacity of the nuclear industry – to suggest that nuclear energy is clean – is  breathtaking, to say the least. We’re hard up against a samsaric duality here, I think: it’s so dirty, it’s clean!

Everybody’s so hung up on the giant power plant. Billions of dollars to spend on massive power generation. Grand Coulee dams of power generation! James Bay destructions of power generation! Million-year radiations of power generation!

I’m thinking of E.F. Schumacher, and his book Small Is Beautiful. Instead of thinking on a gigantic scale, we should be planning on a downsized scale. Screw the effin power grid! Rather than spending billions on hyper-steroid power plants, why not spend billions on these two things:
  1. R&D on alternative energy sources like, say, the sun?

  2. Subsidies for every household in Ontariariario to retrofit dwellings with solar panels, wind generators, big big batteries and everything else we can think of to give each of us self-sufficiency (or as close to it as possible) in power supply, and actually remove us from the grid, or allow us to feed back into it.

The problem here is that it requires a monumental shift in our thinking. A paradigm shift, to use an old New Age phrase. Goddammit, what is wrong with these bozos we call our leaders?


Anonymous said...

Larry, there is Bullfrog Power. WWF-Canada is fighting for it and they themself are Bullfrogpowered. They encourage home owners to do the same. There is info on it and you can sign up for it at
There also is a phone number:

I am thinking of trying to get our co-op and other co-ops to think that way. I also hope to send a donation.

Anonymous said...

small is beautiful..and nuclear could be viable if we thought small. The trouble with nuclear is BIG.

Small reactors (Slow Poke) are as dangerous as a microwave oven. Still the waste product it would produce has no real safe means of treatment as yet.

If every new home was shingled with solar cells it would produce enough electricity to run the household. The technology exists and is produced locally(ATS).

Anonymous said...

Bullfrog power, I understand, comes from those, what they call in Holland, (translated from the Dutch), whip cream beaters. Three pronged fins on a tall pole. It's wind power, and you see them everywhere in Holland. When you watch them turn lazily, you start to feel hypnotised. I'm not sure why it's called bullfrog power. Maybe it saves bullfrogs. Afterall from World Wildlife you can expect a name to do with protecting environmental creatures.
I should take some time to check out the webside.

Solar power sounds real good. How would it work for whole apartment buildings. Whole cities? I guess the same question goes for bullfrog power.

If that shift in thinking could be happening, solutions would come. There could be a transition happening from big to slow poke power to wind and/or solar. Wasn't 'what's his name' the liberal leader, making that part of the plans? Not convincing enough I guess. One of my mother's sayings was, "When the calf has drowned, they drain the well." A disaster in Chernoble isn't convincing enough to the crowds living accross the ocean.

I guess my comments are more philosophical than politcally sound.

Larry Keiler said...

My friend Jenn P. who you have all heard reciting her poetry has a line that is one of my favourites. It's in her rant against George Dubya. "No ecology, no economy..."

W.T., when you think about it, in some ways it's our politicians who are not employing political soundness. When the energy crunch comes, and it will come if we don't get off our butts, then the political establishment will suffer severely. In Russia they made a revolution over bread and land. Energy will have the same effect. It's the philosophers and visionary thinkers who must supply the ideas and possibilities.

(PS. Please note that I used M@'s instructions for boldness and they worked. Thank you M@.)

Help! I've written and I can't get up!