letters

Cancel Site C, then go solar

Help entrepreneurs and communities inject cheap non-hydro renewable energy into our public grid

Cancel Site C, then go solar

Open letter to Premier John Horgan:

Mr. Horgan, do you want your legacy to be the political leader who poured more money than water over the edge of the geologically unstable Site C?

If not, then use your leadership skills, admit a mistake, cancel this dam. You have made tough decisions regarding the COVID-19 crisis, and most citizens have supported your action against this viral pandemic. Thank you.

So now take equally meaningful action against the crisis of climate change. Divert resources being wasted on Site C to support renewable energy like solar, wind and geothermal.

Like COVID-19, climate change is a dangerous public health crisis; but unlike COVID-19, it’s getting little attention from your government. After 20 years of talk, there has been no substantive action to decrease the use of fossil fuels and, unsurprisingly, no reduction of carbon emissions.

Even now, smoke and fires all over the west coast of North America are polluting the atmosphere, creating huge economic and public health disasters. So any action to minimize climate change will save lives.

Meaningful action means producing lots more non-hydro clean energy to replace that 80 per cent of our total energy presently obtained by burning dirty fossil fuels. Hydro power is about the remaining 20 per cent, roof-top solar is a tiny 0.006 per cent, and wind or solar farms are rare.

A joint UVic/ UBC/Oregon State study has confirmed that our need for clean electricity will double as we transition to electric transportation and a non-fossil fuel economy.

So we need you to make two key decisions; cancel Site C, then support the production of alternate types of renewable energy. I think you will get citizen support for these actions because you will create: local jobs to build and operate renewable energy projects like wind, solar and geothermal; electric power at less than half the price of Site C; tax revenues from solar and wind farms; and more energy-secure communities.

Because wind and solar are relatively cheap, energy suppliers and maybe even municipalities will fill the vacuum created by ditching Site C. And alternate renewable energy projects will require little or no government money; certainly not the billions you are pouring into the failing Site C dam project, or the over one billion you take from taxpayers through government fossil fuel subsidies.

In 2015, a group of people in Cowichan pooled our money and made the biggest citizen-led bulk buy of solar panels in B.C. history. I used my share to build a small solar farm near Maple Bay. And with no subsidies or financial help of any kind, it makes a small profit producing clean electricity at less than half the cost of Site C energy. So it can be done.

Now, five years later solar energy costs have dropped so sharply that covering a roof with solar panels and purchasing a second-hand electric car will put anyone’s bank account in the black.

The citizens of Hudson’s Hope have the largest municipal solar farm in B.C., saving $75,000 a year; the City of Duncan plans to cover its firehall with solar panels; and the City of Nelson has a citizen-owned solar farm — and so on.

But this small solar energy revolution is stalling due to poor policies from BC Hydro — which your government is supposed to control. Cancelling Site C and better regulating BC Hydro are the two key decision points to get this energy revolution going.

Please help entrepreneurs and communities inject cheap non-hydro renewable energy into our public grid — as climate change vaccines to heal an unhealthy atmosphere.

Peter Nix

Cowichan Carbon Buster

Maple Bay

Letters

Just Posted

Condemned building of the Twin Gables Motel in Crofton is not safe and yet a teen has been climbing around on the roof while others were ripping the siding off the building. (Submitted)
Destructive behaviour by teens wreaking havoc on Crofton

Residents becoming fed up with the constant vandalism and fires

This tractor was stolen from Providence Farm near Duncan between May 6 and 7, 2021. (Submitted)
Tractor stolen from Cowichan’s Providence Farm

John Deere X300 model was swiped between May 6 and 7

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read