Econ­omy needs cheap, green energy

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Read­ing Maroc Navarro-Ge­nie of the At­lantic In­sti­tute for Mar­ket Stud­ies in to­day’s Guardian [21 July 2015] one should not be sur­prised that there are such peo­ple as “rad­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists.” His ver­sion of the gov­ern­ment’s energy and en­vi­ron­men­tal record is so far from re­al­ity that it makes the rad­i­cals look pos­i­tively re­spon­si­ble!

I fancy my­self as a bit of a Gree­nie, but hope­fully nei­ther rad­i­cal nor in the de­nial camp. I look for­ward to the day when we have a car­bon-free econ­omy, but that time is a way off yet.

There­fore I would re­luc­tantly sup­port pipe­lines to the east and west, as be­ing the lesser of the other evil of mov­ing oil by train. De­spite the re­cent se­ri­ous spill in Al­berta, pipe­lines don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to leak. The high­est stan­dards of con­struc­tion and main­te­nance should fix that risk.

Mr. Navarro-Ge­nie fails to ac­knowl­edge the po­ten­tial of a boom­ing low-car­bon econ­omy. I have re­peat­edly in these pages en­cour­aged my peers to imag­ine what our econ­omy could be like with abun­dant re­li­able elec­tric­ity pow­er­ing high-speed rail ser­vices, small elec­tric cars and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries. A look at history shows that when energy is cheap, in­dus­tries and the econ­omy flour­ish. We could have that again if only we adopted the means of gen­er­at­ing abun­dant car­bon-free energy. The only source of that kind of power is nu­clear, the most re­li­able and green form of power gen­er­a­tion we have in­vented.

The in­sti­tute that Navar­roGe­nie rep­re­sents is part of the old par­a­digm. Its day is past. Peter Noakes Char­lot­te­town

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