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Government agency thinks government plan a great idea

19 Jun 2024 | OP ED Watch

Parker Gallant alerts us to a “‘Final Report’ from the Canada Electricity Advisory Council” wherein “To understand the impact of the transition on affordability for Canadians – the changes to their energy wallets – the Council collaborated with the Transition Accelerator, an energy think tank, to conduct a nuanced and data-driven analysis.” Nuanced, no less. And data-driven. Not politics-driven. Heavens no. Though of course “The modelling indicated that 7 in 10 Canadian households would see net savings, while 3 in 10 would see net cost increases. On the whole, Canadians could expect to save $15 billion in total energy-related costs, despite a doubling of the rate of electricity-sector investment.” Whee. Free money. And only a curmudgeon would point out that this body is very obviously part of the government trying to force this transition down our throats no matter how we try to squawk about affordability, and good luck finding out how much money the government is giving it to say they’re right about everything and wise and kind besides.

As for the Transition Accelerator, don’t go looking on their website for any boring Annual Reports explaining where their money comes from. You go down a rabbit hole of Clean Economy Funds and universities and whatnot. But its Board chair, Bruce Lourie, is well-known to those who explore such rabbit holes, being also President of the Ivey Foundation, a board member at the Canadian Climate Institute and the SeedChange Foundation, as well as a fellow at Queen’s and much more besides. For instance a key architect of Ontario’s disastrous “Green Energy Act” that doubled electricity prices.

A 2019 book he coauthored, Slow Death by Rubber Duck “about the toxicity of everyday life” including the frying pans of death, describes Lourie modestly as:

“an environmental thought leader in Canada and an acknowledged global expert on pollution and sustainable energy. He has founded many important environmental organizations such as the Clean Economy Fund, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network, the Sustainability Network and the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance. Bruce is President of the Ivey Foundation, one of the largest private foundations supporting sustainability in the country, and is an advisor to Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.”

So one of them. Not one of us. Fingers in every pie, paycheques from every direction, many obscure, possibly governmental or from large radical American foundations. Oh what a tangled web…

Here we refer not primarily to the financial stuff. Though as usual we do think it’s a bit rich to be told we skeptics are in it for the money, unlike the pure motives of those riding the real gravy train around in circles. We refer to the scenarios that result.

With any kind of modeling other than that in fields like chemistry where linear algebra brings home the bacon, the outcomes depend on such a chain of unverifiable assumptions that it’s very hard to believe anything you are told, or should be, especially if you’re buying the modeling from people who know very well what you want to hear, want to say it, and are thoroughly insulated from any professional consequences for being constantly wildly wrong.

So the key question in this situation remains how much confidence you have that the “nuanced” and “data-driven” study in question represents a sober, skeptical, hard-headed look at the plans of the government that commissioned it. And if you nod solemnly and say no question, these are the genuine goods, well, you’re in line for some lavish grants. But heaven help the rest of us if your plans get acted on.

2 comments on “Government agency thinks government plan a great idea”

  1. Bet Lourie's annual income directly and indirectly from the taxpayer is well into six figures,and maybe seven from all sources!Would also venture that
    Lourie has a bigger carbon footprint than most of us,and rarely if ever uses public transit.These holier-than-thou types rarely practice what they preach!

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