LETTERS: A rebuttal of a leftist looney head explosion rebuttal

With apologies for more scattered brain matter

To the Expositor:

I’m accused by a self-described “leftist looney” of writing an “absurdly misinformed letter” regarding the cost of Hydro power in Ontario and I’m also accused of using “biased information” to support my position (‘A “lunatic leftist fringe” response to “head explosion” energy cost reduction letter,’ August 22, Page 5).

My main point in the article was that energy costs in Ontario have surged largely because of the Green Energy Act and the subsequent moves to replace coal powered generation with renewables. To support my argument, I used reports issued by the Auditor General of Ontario and papers published by The Fraser Institute. I think most of the information released by the Auditor would be accepted by readers as well founded and based on fact. The Fraser Institute tends to also look at issues from a factual point of view and tends to support any positions with available data.

My critic goes on to claim that the real reason for the rate increase is nuclear power generation. The Ontario Energy Board actually provides the public with costs/MWh for the various sources of energy. Here are the relative costs for power per MWh: Hydro is $58; nuclear next at $66; wind is $140; natural gas is $173 and solar is $480. However, let’s not let facts stand in the way of a good rant about nuclear power.

Here is another reference providing a reasoned review of the energy situation in Ontario. In April of 2017, the Ivey Business School at Western University issued a study entitled, ‘The Economic Cost of Electricity Generation in Ontario.’ Again, the conclusions do not differ from other sources that I have used as reference.

Speaking of facts vs. opinion, we constantly hear claims from politicians, interest groups, individuals and others regarding issues associated with climate change. For example, extreme weather events are on the rise. Floods, droughts, hurricanes etc. will be the end of us all! Yet, in spite of these statements, the evidence shows that this is not the case. A special report on extreme weather events by the IPCC states clearly that there is no evidence to support these claims. Extreme weather events are not increasing, in fact most of them show a modest decline.

The major issue driving this discussion is carbon dioxide emissions and what to do about them. Listening to the federal minister responsible, a move to a “low carbon economy” is critical. Milton Friedman would tell her that a “low carbon economy” exists only in the minds of those with an extreme left list. In other words, there is no such thing as a low carbon economy at the moment, nor will there be any time soon. Low cost and reliable power drives the world economy. Fossil fuels provide the bulk of this power. When something better comes along, the free market will embrace it. It currently rejects “renewable” power as too expensive and unreliable.

I apologize if this stance causes more heads to explode, but rather than a rant about Milton Friedman or corporate support of think tanks how about a retort based on common sense, reason and most importantly, facts. I don’t claim for a moment that my position is entirely correct or without flaws. The left and the right of the political spectrum need each other to develop balanced policy. Sometimes the left is correct, sometimes the other way around. Rants serve no purpose. Reasoned discussion is the way to come to agreement on policy.

Shane Desjardins