Burning up the planet to stay cool


in Canada, Economics, Politics, Rants, The environment, Toronto

Sticky with humidity after 9pm, electricity demand in Toronto must be crazy right now.

The Independent Electricity System Operator has data for the whole province:

Back in April 2005, province-wide electricity use was 14,890 megawatts: 62% nuclear, 19.3% hydro, 13.5% wind, 4.6% gas.

This connects to lots of climate change questions. Can we really afford not to build new nuclear infrastructure, if we are at all serious about cutting emissions? Can renewables get big enough fast enough to make a difference, or will we be relying on gas with all of its climate problems?

Will the world stay rich enough and electricity cheap enough to keep using air conditioning to stay comfortable? Will places like Phoenix and Texas remain habitable? Also, remember that all the air conditioned cars and trucks are cooling themselves by burning gasoline, not relying on the electricity grid.

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