Greenpeace recommendations

Greenpeace submitted their recommendations to the same Ontario Climate Change and Clean Air Plan that I participated in, along with a letter criticizing the sudden way in which this plan was launched with very little time allocated for consultation.  In many ways, the Greenpeace recommendations are the ones I wish I had written.  They are concise and informed and cover most of the same territory I do.

Greenpeace recommends a cap and trade policy rather than raising energy prices as the Green Party suggests.  In the document I submitted, I indicated that both would work.  A lot of the rest is the same — the same reductions are mentioned and the means to achieving them are similar: a tax on oil and gas imports and that of their products, a firm and steadily decreasing cap, high efficiency standards everywhere, net-zero houses and other structures, investment in public transit, the need for an overarching plan with oversight from the top and so on.  The Greenpeace document has more concise points, and more of them, though they are not as thorough.  I like the bit about solar hot water heating, which was missing in my recommendations.  The emphasis on distributed energy was good, too.

On the other hand, I think my section on nuclear is better.  The Greenpeace document states that “Nuclear power is in no way a solution to climate change” and goes on to discuss the fact that when nuclear power ran into problems, it was bailed out by coal.  Nuclear waste is brought up as an afterthought.  The argument appears to be that nuclear power cannot possibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  That’s not quite true.  By distributing nuclear generation, Russia has solved the problem Greenpeace brings up, but the Russian model remains unacceptable, for the same reasons everyone objects to nuclear power — fear of meltdown, dealing with nuclear waste and the environmental costs of fuel extraction and refinement.  Those problems make nuclear power unacceptable for me, and they would make it unacceptable even if we overcame the problem Greenpeace points out.

Still, our recommendations are very like.  It’s heartening.  Let’s hope someone is listening.

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