Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Blowin' In The Wind 

Our conventional oil and gas reserves are on the downswing. For the first time in our history, the demand for natural gas is exceeding added reserves from new discoveries. There are forecasts that Alberta will soon have to run its economy without dependence on revenues from these resources. In desperation, we are now looking at coal bed methane as an energy resource. The disastrous experience in Wyoming documented by CBC TV shows the dangers of that approach. Regardless of the validity of the application of the Wyoming experience to Alberta, global warming is no joke. We simply must stop burning hydrocarbons of any sort for energy consumption. Yet, energy consumption is directly related to standard of living.

The irony is that the answer to our energy future is blowin' in the wind. Alberta has two of the best wind power generating sites anywhere in the world at the Crow's Nest and Waterton. In fact, the southern one third of the province is a perfect site for the installation of tens of thousands of new generation wind turbines. The new, large, gearless turbines turn slowly, are very quiet, and last for decades with minimal maintenance. Also, the wind, as an energy source, is not subject to price manipulation by speculators or price increases because of declining supply, as is the case with oil.

Before it is too late, we should be using the taxes and royalties from our hydrocarbons to harness this vast reservoir of nonpolluting, renewable energy. Rather that squandering these revenues on rebates, we, as a community, should be investing heavily in wind power, energy conservation, and research into storage of wind energy such as through compressed air. (For certain, we should not be importing the tens of thousands of wind turbines we need. Rather, we should be building them here in
Alberta.) Developments in France of compressed air cars and compressed air engines that have many applications are most encouraging. Click here for more on the air car.

With foresight, and courageous leadership, we can set an example for the world. To quote Maggie Thatcher, "There is no alternative" that is both desirable and feasible.

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