It was only a matter of time:

Japan files trade dispute over Ontario solar power rates


GENEVA — Japan has initiated a trade dispute against Canada related to renewable energy equipment in the province of Ontario, the World Trade Organization confirmed on Monday.

The Japanese mission to the WTO said the dispute centres on guaranteed long-term pricing for solar and wind generators made with a certain percentage of locally-produced components.

Some industrial strategy.

Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein notes that circumstance, not principle, is the primary factor behind the respective stances of different states with respect to climate change. Of course, that doesn’t stop a fair amount of hypocrisy along the way.

What’s preternaturally stupid is to buy into the perpetual bitching of environmentalists that our per capita emissions are among the highest in the world, as if every Canadian was running around setting oil fires.

We live in a big, cold, northern, developed, sparsely-populated, oil-producing country, where the energy requirements for electricity generation, heat and travel alone are enormous compared to other nations.

That’s why our per capita emissions are high, not because we’re evil.

Which brings us to the Kyoto accord, a deal designed mainly by European drafters to punish a big, cold, northern, developed, sparsely-populated, oil-producing country like Canada, while rewarding an environmental basket case like Russia.

Actually, the main intent of Kyoto was to hobble the U.S. economy, but the Americans weren’t dumb enough to ratify it.

Our previous Liberal government was, and the only feeling Canadians should have about that is not shame over failing to implement Kyoto, but anger the vainglorious Jean Chretien ratified it, either because he didn’t know what he was doing, or did know and never intended to implement it beyond posing for the photo-op.

Read the rest.

Long held up as the green-energy model by environmentalists, Denmark has announced it will be abandoning the development of onshore wind farms in the future.

“I think there’s an outbreak of realism,” says Constable. “Wind is not a bad technology. It’s just a lot more limited than people thought in the past.” Denmark, of course, was also the place where UN efforts to reach an overarching climate deal collapsed in acrimony last year. The country appears to be developing a habit of puncturing greens’ wilder hopes.

 Marc Gunther notes the obvious in the September issue of Wired:

Wind farms rely on big tax breaks to be competitive, and right now that money is being wasted. When more people catch wind of that fact, this promising form of alt energy could be labeled a boondoggle for farm states, as corn ethanol has been.

All too true. Yet his proposed solution comes right out of Dalton McGuinty’s playbook:

To make wind power work, then, the government needs to do more than just subsidize turbines. We need to give the federal government more power to overrule local objections and buy rights of way to get high-capacity transmission lines built across several states—say, from the Dakotas to the big cities of the Midwest. That’s how the interstate highway system and natural gas pipelines got built.


Canada Free Press has an informative article on wind capacity. It concludes:

The term “Generating Capacity” as used by the wind power proponents is grossly misleading as it would require steady, uninterrupted storm to hurricane force winds to be achieved on a sustained basis.

The variability of wind creates technical problems which make wind power generated electricity both unreliable and costly.

Electricity generation from wind requires full backup by conventional power generating facilities. That creates additional costs attributable to wind power.

Wind power generated electricity is neither free, nor economical, nor a reliable energy source.

Matt Patterson notes Al Gore’s shrinking influence in the Washington Times Post:

The fortunes of Mr. Gore’s global-warming crusade certainly are in decline: A recent Rasmussen poll found that just 34 percent of respondents “feel human activity is the main contributor” to global warming and that the percentage of those who consider global warming a “serious issue” has “trended down slightly since last November.”

Mr. Gore himself is to blame for at least some of the public backlash against global-warming orthodoxy: Using bad science to justify bad policy will inevitably rub people the wrong way. And Mr. Gore has not helped his cause by consistently expressing outrageous falsehoods (“the debate is over”) and shamelessly trying to shield his assertions from legitimate criticism by claiming “settled science.” All the while, he has enriched himself and pushed a left-wing economic agenda.

Do Nobel Prizes come with a best before date?


The Economist points out one of the paradoxes of energy efficiency:

Solid-state lamps, which use souped-up versions of the light-emitting diodes that shine from the faces of digital clocks and flash irritatingly on the front panels of audio and video equipment, will indeed make lighting better. But precedent suggests that this will serve merely to increase the demand for light. The consequence may not be just more light for the same amount of energy, but an actual increase in energy consumption, rather than the decrease hoped for by those promoting new forms of lighting.

The light perceived by the human eye is measured in units called lumen-hours. This is about the amount produced by burning a candle for an hour. In 1700 a typical Briton consumed 580 lumen-hours in the course of a year, from candles, wood and oil. Today, burning electric lights, he uses about 46 megalumen-hours—almost 100,000 times as much. Better technology has stimulated demand, resulting in more energy being purchased for conversion into light.

This phenomenon is known as the rebound effect or Jevon’s paradox. Saving the environment is not as easy as it seems.

Source: Marc Roberts Cartoons