Gilbert and Sullivan on Canada’s climate leadership!

As did many grandparents, I grew up with Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.  Regrettably these charming musical and literary offerings are the now preserve of traditionalists.  But they still have a message for our times.

I sang – not very well and so not very loudly – in the chorus of “The Gondoliers”.  One of the leading characters in the Gondoliers was a regimental commander, the Duke of Plaza-Toro. (For Gilbert & Sullivan diehards go to YouTube to appreciate the Duke at his finest!)

The recent performance of Canada at COP19 reminded me of the Duke.

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Collaboration is not action!

Attendees at the 2013 Energy and Mines Ministers Conference were provided with considerable information, including a pamphlet entitled Canada’s New Energy Landscape. These dramatic one-liners appeared on the cover of this pamphlet:

  • enabling continuing collaboration on Energy
  • the Energy Landscape is changing dramatically.
  • A new energy era is dawning for Canada.
  • An integrated system that balances energy production and use is required.

The pamphlet also contained quotes from publications of the International Energy Agency (IEA):

The years ahead will see “A vast international reordering of energy supply and demand patterns” and “If, as of 2017 there is not a major wave or new and clean investments, the door to 2 degrees will be closed.” (Fatih Birol, Economist IEA)

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  An expression from ancient Rome meaning “Who will watch over the watchmen?” The 2013 Conference of Mines and Energy Ministers was anything but dull.  The conference agenda assured that everybody would have a good time during the four conference days.  Recreational activities included a golf tournament, a pub night, an opening …

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The potential for wind power in Canada’s North

Representatives attending the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference in Whitehorse toured a wind farm at the Rio Tinto Diavik Diamond Mine, North West Territories.  This wind farm is the world’s most Northern large-scale wind-diesel hybrid power facility. This three turbine installation has reduced the Mine’s consumption of expensive diesel fuel by approximately five million litres per annum and GreenHouse gases (GHG) emissions by 6%. (See the Company’s video of this installation.)

This Diavik tour helped the Conference appreciate how wind power can reduce GHG emissions from mine sites. Perhaps the tour was the inspiration for a brief ten word reference to renewable energy in the lengthy Conference Final Press Release.  The press release also stated that the Ministers would continue to discuss many topics, of which investing in renewable energy was one.

Read moreThe potential for wind power in Canada’s North