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Reservations about making the ‘Leap’

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Taber Times

The “Leap” documents advanced by the federal New Democratic Party contain a policy that appears to be driven by ideologies.

The policy in general terms states that Canada should be totally non-reliant on fossil fuels by the year 2050.

Every organization’s purposes, goals or vision by necessity provide guidance to the direction that organizations intend to proceed.

These derive from the foundation upon which all else rests.

That foundation in the form of ideologies, principles, tenets or convictions must be well thought out and constructed. They should also reflect wisdom and common sense.

To seek for a goal of reliance on alternate fuels by replacing all fossil fuels seems to lack both. Sometimes good intentions blind all other considerations.

It would seem from today’s vantage point that transportation and manufacturing of many kinds will still need the kind of power that only fossil fuels can provide. That would include but not be limited to airplanes, large construction and agriculture machinery, ocean-going ships and mining tools and machinery.

I cannot visualize huge engines being powered by electricity only. Neither can I foresee that the oil industry would find it economical to produce power for these only at the exclusion of automobiles.

Great advances have been made in limiting harmful pollutants from gasoline and diesel powered engines. I suspect that these advancements will continue.
Moreover, I think it is folly to remove all coal as a power provider.

Scrubbers have managed to remove many of the pollutants from burning coal. The technology no doubt will soon be developed to remove more pollutants.

At any rate, movement from one form of proven energy to another must be done with caution, prudence and common sense so as not to unbalance the various industries that provide employment and economic stability to individuals and families. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in a condition where everything operates according to ideology but destroys the livelihood of men and women and brings about societal stresses that go beyond our ability to adequately manage them.

RAYMOND SHEEN

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