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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Ontario set a record today, although not one to be proud of.
Blackouts possible, operator warns. Overnight heat record broken
Aug. 1, 2006. 03:29 PM
TYLER HAMILTON AND AMANDA-MARIE QUINTINO
As of noon Ontario hit a daily power record, despite pleas from energy authorities to conserve.
By 3 p.m., consumption hit 27,000 megawatts, well past the previous peak of 26,160 megawatts set last July. With a few hours left before peak time at 5 p.m., demand is expected to climb further.
The Independent Electricity System Operator predicts that before the day is over Ontario’s electricity system will peak at 27,225 megawatts, more than 1,000 megawatts above the previous record.
The emphasis in that article is mine.
Our weather here in Vancouver has slipped back into the distinctly cool category, after a few days of flirting with the low 30s. This, of course, makes it pretty easy to be comfortable and a bit smug about not needing air conditioning (even my car’s air conditioning appears to have given up the ghost in recent weeks, causing me very little stress.)
The reality is that Ontario’s growing population is a part of the cause of this: economies of a certain size demand a minimum of resources, and the City of Toronto is the engine that drives much of Canada’s economy. That it’s not as pretty to look at as Vancouver cannot change the basic economic equation.
The other reality is that it’s substantially warmer today than in decades. If you haven’t seen An Inconvenient Truth it will open your eyes. Forget about your car — the largest cause of global warming in the world is emissions from buildings, not tail pipes.
If technology fails to reverse this trend, this planet we call home will only continue to get warmer and the need for power will grow. With nuclear power the only truly viable solution for increasing energy production without increasing greenhouse gas production, the consequences of failing to reduce our power consumption should be considered severe. While I’m not ethically opposed to nuclear power, there’s no doubt that it comes with risks and an attached environmental cost.
Here’s hoping this record of dubious distinction doesn’t fall again — although I have my doubts.