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Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower Says Bigger Is Better, Even Losses? #PowerToGrow

As a followup to the Star Phoenix’s article on the hugely expensive, and (public) money losing CCS plant at Estevan, comes word of further cost overruns. The overruns, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, would have been sufficient to buy Regina its Stadium II, outright, fix its pension shortfall, or replace its Waste Water Treatment Plant.

SaskPower has apparently been misleading people by saying we need coal for “baseload” power, when Saskatchewan’s abundant wind source, coupled with Manitoba’s hydro, could safely provide a reliable power supply to homes, schools, etc.

And it appears that viable, cleaner, lower-cost solutions (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower, How’s That 14 Year Test Going?

Dear SaskPower,

I’m interested in seeing the statistics regarding the electricity generated by the test panels installed on the Saskatchewan Science Centre, in the attached picture, and as mentioned in the below quote from your website a couple years ago.

Solar research: In 2000, we installed a photovoltaic array at the Saskatchewan Science Centre for research purposes. Results showed that the cost savings realized from the solar energy system cannot effectively offset the capital costs for installation. As a result, this technology is better suited to niche applications where connection to the grid is uneconomical or when passive solar enhancement (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saskatchewan’s Biggest Net Loss

How did Postmedia manage to let this Hanley column sneak into its pages? Mandryk got his shots in at Cenovus and Wall already too. SaskWind has provided a breath of fresh air to Saskatchewan political analysis also.

I expect Canadians would want to know whether their tax dollars are being used to subsidize the oil industry.

But as SaskPower says, beyond the question of costs, CCS technology provides a major benefit: It allows us to continue to use cheap and plentiful fossil fuels to provide base load power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

[photo added]

Actually, that’s debatable [link added]. (Read more…)

Carbon49 - Sustainability for Canadian businesses: From Ground to Store: We Look at Carbon Neutral Wines

When you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean? I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Are Gore, Suzuki, and Neil Young Hypocrites for Using Oil?

No. They are victims of circumstance, and despite their wealth and fame, they alone cannot change ‘the system’.

A voice from the Facebook-sphere intones: “I appreciate your commitment and respect what you are trying to achieve but bashing fossil fuels while you continue to use them adds no value to your cause.”

Not true. As Shane’s made plain, there’s no means for someone to hop off the oil bandwagon, because we’ve built our society around it for generations. It will take generations to leave it behind (completely), but that isn’t an argument to stop trying. Quite the opposite, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Build The Change #skpoli #YXE

This is awesome. The 3 competing projects are all so great, it’s honestly hard to choose. I was just talking about being able to invest in solar power though, so I may go with the SES option. $1000 gets a future co-op membership too!

BCBC GFJ

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Model S Tesla Car in Regina

Last month James took me for a spin in an electric Rav 4. This week it was the sporty and futuristic Model S by independent car company Tesla.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Order Your Opportunities

My job, trying to change the world, is at least twice as hard as a conservative’s. I have to overcome others’ instinctual fear of change and new technology. Monday evening I proposed my condo board “investigate” using solar energy, if the association’s Winter expenses don’t exceed our budget. 2 Board members opposed the idea! The motion passed anyway, but why would someone oppose an investigation of saving money on electricity? They stated it was an opportunity cost. Let’s look how that claim stacks up:

They suggested raising property value by installing carpets as a competing example. If we spent $10K (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #CBCTweetup Was Fun

Last Thursday I attended the first CBC Tweetup, which is a gathering of people who’ve connected via Twitter.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CBCtweetup

Check out our #CBCTweetup #Storify! Thanks to all who joined us for a spectacular evening! http://t.co/SB1Fnhiriz pic.twitter.com/1oX7DtaXrU

— CBC Saskatchewan (@CBCSask) November 12, 2014

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Sun Country Highway in Regina

I rode around in an Electric Vehicle (EV) today in Regina, and saw a (currently) still rare Tesla Model S in the city right now.

Pick up some excellent EV tips, from a Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada perspective here, as James and I tour the city on electricity:

Find out more about charging stations at Sun Country Highway, Best Western, Delta Regina, and Peavy Mart.

@saskboy Well Assiniboia will be online soon. Stay tuned. Free for public during store hours.

— Peavey Mart (@PeaveyMart) October 28, 2014

#EVCoast2Coast in Regina this weekend with @SunCountryHwy pic.twitter.com/qqmrVOF7qs

— EVConferenceVE (@EVVEconf) (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Paul Krugman writes that the ultra-wealthy’s contempt for anybody short of their own class is becoming more and more explicit around the globe – even when it comes to basic rights like the ability to vote: It’s always good when leaders tell the truth, especially if that wasn’t their intention. So we should be grateful to Leung Chun-ying, the Beijing-backed leader of Hong Kong, for blurting out the real reason pro-democracy demonstrators can’t get what they want: With open voting, “You would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Partial Solar Eclipse

The partial clouds ruined the partial eclipse viewing, but I caught a few fleeting seconds here and there with a small crowd of astronomers from the RASC at the Science Centre.

A kind astronomer gave me a pair of these glasses:

I’ve been trying to take daily photos of the huge sunspot too, but clouds have been in the way the last two days when I’ve tried.

. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Partial Solar Eclipse

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Where Saskatchewan Comes To Count

Saskatchewan’s lovable radio host asks: “What are you thinking and feeling about 1) our Canada today b) yesterday on the “Hill” and c) the cowardice and evil in our midst. Is Canada different today? How do we deal with terrorism and radicals?”

1) Worried the attack will be used as an excuse to make it harder to visit our public buildings. b?) You mean 2)? c) OK, we’ll stick with letters now. The cowardice and evil is refusing to deal with our fossil fuel additions, and going to war to secure a source in the Middle East. How (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Meesha Nehru reminds us of the importance of fair taxes (and tax authorities capable of ensuring they’re paid). And Fair Tax Mark notes that for the first time, a company on the U.K.’s main stock exchange has made the effort to be accredited as paying its taxes fairly.

- But in less pleasant news, Chris Rose exposes the hundreds of millions of dollars the fossil fuel industry spent lobbying and influencing U.S. politicians last year – and the multi-trillion dollar reward they received for exploiting resources and the public alike. (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Regina Women’s History Month #womenhistory

October is Women’s History Month. This year I was invited to the event at the Conexus Arts Centre, and I’d suggest you check it out next October.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Are Canada’s Rails Safe?

All signs are pointing to no. And the railway companies are starting to ship way more goods much more explosive than Canadian grain.

Politics, Re-Spun: Wadena Derailment Crisis: Early Lesson

http://t.co/rSh4hfhlbN

Let’s move to the post-carbon energy infrastructure NOW!

Publicly-owned wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro is our future.

No tarsands. No pipelines. No tankers. No coal. No LNG. No fracking. No climate change by rail either.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/saskatchewan/major-train-derailment-and-fire-near-wadena-sask-1.2791337

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 4, 2013 New, Better Jobs Building a Green Energy Infrastructure (3) March 10, 2014 Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin! (2)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Global Regina Bullied by Racists Into Censorship

Racists who were criticizing the launch of a new mosque in Regina, forced the TV station to remove the news story from their Facebook page, rather than report and delete the offensive comments. Some of the racists were not even from Regina (one persisting is from the deep south).

When will this good-news story be shared again on the Global Regina facebook page so more people know about it?

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: People’s Climate March

On Sunday I attended a climate rally in Regina with what looked to be well over a hundred other people.

It’s too bad more of the 33,400 Rider fans in attendance didn’t make the People’s Climate March a priority for their pre-game activity. Listening to the crowd at the Legislature though, it’s apparent there are plenty of people in oil country who are afraid to speak out against the industries ruining their water tables and flooding their towns with oil money. Who would they speak to anyway? Some local papers won’t publish stories of oil spills a journalist told me (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: CAPP Gets A Cabinet Minister #skpoli

The headline of this Global story is wrong. “Sask. Party MLA Tim McMillan leaving politics to lead petroleum group“

CAPP is not outside of politics; they are a branch of the federal Conservative Party, and exist solely to lobby governments to favour petroleum over other energy sources.

It’s farcical to assume he won’t use his ties to the Sask Party to influence energy policy in Saskatchewan over the coming year. What’s he supposed to do for his first year of employment if not attempt to convince the Saskatchewan government he works for another week, to ignore renewable energy in (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

This morning the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation released a new report about “motivational interviewing” for welfare recipients. The link to the full report is here, and the link to the executive summary is here.

Authored by Reuben Ford, Jenn Dixon, Shek-wai Hui, Isaac Kwakye and Danielle Patry, the study reports on a recent randomized controlled trial done on long-term recipients of social assistance in British Columbia. The research took place between September 2012 and March 2013. There were a total of 154 research participants; 76 of the individuals were in the “treatment group,” while 78 were in (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Dollhouse Gone

It was destroyed by the artist last year in a fire. I stopped by it several years ago.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Avoid Brown’s Social House

Nicola Tee wrote:

Hey! Just wondering why you have the archaic & sexist rule that your waitresses have to wear a minimum 1″ heel while they’re on their feet all night? The men don’t have the same rule. That’s terrible, and I actually won’t be back because of it. Please pass that on to head office, thanks.

Brown’s wrote: “the policy that our girls need to be in a 1″ heel is a brand standard…”

I won’t be opting to return to Browns because of this. I’m also going to be telling my friends to avoid Browns, and will (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: When a Tree Falls in Saskatchewan

.@SusanFelucifer @acoyne We have a deep seated fear of high places, since none exist here. Closed off top floor public observatories too.— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) July 24, 2014

While reading news page comment sections, even hopeless trolls who’d normally mock people saving trees by “hugging” them, have seen the light because of the nanny-state circumstance dooming the trees they’ve been coached to hate even more than “tree huggers”.

Saskatchewan is a province of leaders. We lead the country in smoking. We lead the world in per capita Green House Gas emissions. And we’re leading the fight against (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Solar Tour 2014

Cowessess wind turbine. 800kW at 32mi/h Has Li-ion batteries.

Solar farm and home system of 10kW Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down. Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and (Read more…)