When the thermometer dips below -30C, thoughts of climate emergencies and “green” energy generation flee and turn to thoughts of survival. Humans can’t exist in those temperatures without using outside forms of energy to heat themselves, whether generated through simple fire or a nuclear reactor. Technological advancements have allowed humanity to reside relatively comfortably in regions with cold climates. Since the advent of petrochemical-based fuel sources, our lifespans have more than doubled and we enjoy luxuries such as avocado toast that can be consumed all year round in even the most chilly and isolated of northern locations.
We have become spoiled and at times forget all of the comforts we take for granted are completely dependent upon plentiful and affordable energy. We have a segment of the population protesting and trying to shut down the energy sources that literally keep them alive in winter. It used to be only hippies living in backwood shacks who felt life in Canada without petrochemical fuel sources was actually a viable consideration. Now though, we even have mayors of major cities — such as Calgary’s Jyoti Gondek — vacuously declaring we must move beyond hydrocarbon fuel sources.
Winter took a while to arrive in the West this year, but as Christmas holidays began, it showed up with a vengeance. Temperatures around the province dropped well into the -30C range and will be remaining in the -20s for some time to come. One only needs to walk outside for a few minutes to be reminded as a species, we’re ill-equipped to survive in such weather. Evolution deprived us of our body fur (or at least most of us), but gave us the intellectual ability to innovate and change our immediate environment into something survivable.
We haven’t grown winter fur back yet, but some of us are foolishly decrying the very advancements that allow us to live without it. Our intellectual ability appears to be in an evolutionary reversal as not enough of us manage to die of stupidity before hitting breeding age anymore. Instead of passing away from walking on thin ice or eating random mushrooms, the simpleminded among us get government jobs where they can exist in a world devoid of common sense or immediate consequences. Now they’re drafting government energy policies.
Despite being Canada’s energy capital, Alberta’s energy system provider had to issue an energy emergency alert last Monday. The cold weather was causing such a draw upon our power resources, it was feared we may experience blackouts or brownouts during the cold snap. This isn’t a minor concern. Yes, you may have a natural gas furnace, but it will be of little use to you if there’s no power to run the fan. Meanwhile, your household pipes could begin splitting and you could be at risk of freezing to death if you try to remain. That’s what could happen if your power failed for a few hours. Imagine days without it.
Despite decades of talking about it and billions of dollars spent subsidizing it, our “green” renewable energy sources are tiny, expensive, and virtually useless when we need them most. There is a fantastic Twitter account that puts up daily reports to remind Albertans where their energy is coming from. Have a look at the tweet from it below.
You read that right. Wind and solar provided 2.22% of our energy during that snapshot today. This is typical and the percentage is often less. Fossil fuels provided 94% of our energy needs on December 30.
This is energy reality.
Wind and solar power sources are unreliable and don’t provide nearly enough energy when we need it most. They are supplemental sources of power at best and it would be nothing short of sheer idiocy to become fully reliant on these sources, yet that’s what some people think we should do. We must have forms of energy on-demand backup at the least and in the West the best form of that is petrochemicals. We don’t have massive rivers, we don’t have nuclear plants and we have loads of gas. It only makes sense to use this abundant source of power even of Gondek thinks we must move beyond it and Trudeau thinks we should ‘transition’ from it.
The hard reality that the renewable energy cult refuses to address is we don’t have a viable alternative source to transition into if we were to move on from fossil fuels. It just isn’t there. It may be one day but it isn’t even bloody close yet.
Now think of that fragile electric grid if we try to charge a couple of million electric cars and electrically heat a few million homes. Our grid can hardly keep up with the current load during a cold snap. We’re many decades away from electrifying all our needs — if indeed we ever can.
It’s easy to forget how senseless the fanatical push for renewable energy sources is when it’s summer and the sun shines on our faces. We can ignore the moves our political leadership has been making on the energy file when we shut down our furnaces for the season and no longer need to use block heaters to get our cars started.
Mother Nature has given us a reality check. She does it every year. Go outside and feel that awful cold on your face today. Imprint that memory and keep it until next summer. Then perhaps when some renewable energy shill in politics tries to sell you on a green new future, you can pull that memory up and be inspired to tell that fool to get stuffed.
Nature is offering a free lesson. Ignore it at your peril.
Cory Morgan is Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor for the Western Standard