(this is a weird one….)
Germany has achieved as much as 74% non-petroleum energy generation. A lot of that is nuclear but an increasing amount is solar. In Germany, the Green revolution has more than a foothold, it has roots.
The same is happening in Hawaii. Their grid-juice is generator-based and so, with subsidies and lower solar panel prices, more and more neighbourhoods are going completely off-the-grid. The Rocky Mountain Institute (the publisher of Natural Capitalism) predicts that the majority of residential power in the USA will be off-grid by 2030. The alternative energy writing is not only in the book, it is on the wall.
Countries all over the world are investing in solar and wind and even tidal power. Many are looking again to nuclear power. Canada is, instead, investing in BIG OIL.
In California (and some other states) the government subsidized solar installations to the tune of 50% for their citizens. The $30,000 average cost of an adequate home installation costs the consumer $15,000 and they could even offset that cost by selling any extra power they might generate back to the utility. Going solar in California is a no-brainer. Our idea of a no-brainer is a premier and a prime minister.
They are also the ones in charge of making sure we have a world class oil-spill response. Pause for second and think how stupid that phrase really is.
Canada/BC charges GST and PST on solar panels. Forward-thinking governments around the world provide subsidies instead. Like all of our modern commodities from cell-phone service to gasoline, from foodstuffs to nationally manufactured goods (such as automobiles and appliances), we Canadians pay more.
But, in counter-point, we give more away to foreign countries. From lumber to petroleum products, from grain and agricultural exports, Canada sells cheap. Hell, we often even sell the unprocessed logs so that Canadians don’t even get any jobs from the trees we harvest. And we intend to sell the raw ‘tar’ from the tar-sands rather than processing it into finished product, too.
Canada is the international Head Office of Saps and Suckers Unlimited.
Do I care? No. Not really. So we are a bit stupider than most others…so what? So we pay more for everything than others…so what? So our leaders are crooks and incompetents who steal from the people more and more and, at the same time, provide less and less……..so what? Seriously, I don’t really care. Honest. Would I trade my life here for one in Nigeria where the schoolgirls are political collateral? Would I live in China where I can’t rant like this? Would I even choose to live in efficient and orderly Japan or Germany where they are so many times more rule-bound? No.
I value my personal freedom so I choose here.
But make no mistake – what makes this country great is it’s size. ONLY. That’s right…it is that simple: we have room to get away from the madding and controlling and greedy and dangerous crowds that proliferate unchecked. We can get away from it all if we want to. What has Canada got for the average person? Space. Lots of it.
More and more I have come to appreciate that simplest of endowments. I have space in which to live freely and though my time on the planet is diminishing, it is mine. I am rich in it. I have the freedom of time and space. Like Jean-luc Picard on the Starship Enterprise, I can go boldly…somewhere….if I want. Even better, I have a fantastic #1 who can help ‘make it so’.
You think I am kidding? I am not. In the giant scheme of things the only currency you really have is time. Money? It’s an illusion. They invented the stuff. You are born with a full bank balance compromised of some indeterminate amount of months and years and then you spend it until it is gone. To be able to do that unfettered by others is the greatest gift of all and Canada at least allows me to choose the ones I love and to avoid most of the others. And how I choose to spend that love and freedom is entirely up to me. For that, I am truly grateful.