Why Solar: We need new innovations and innovators

Mary Kay Ash, of Mary Kay fame, is quoted as saying: “there are three kinds of people in the world, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

Politicians are talkers; they repeat the same rhetoric to the point they stomp a trail into the dirt so deep it’s become a ravine. The channel is deep; the sides are steep, this makes a change in direction challenging to see.

Conversely, if the “doers,” the people that make things happen, were allowed some capital, were freed of bureaucratic obstacles, what new machines or novel industry would develop?

In Canada, while our forest consumes six times as much GHG as we produce, the top three polluters in the world render our efforts and emissions insignificant. According to the World Resources Institute 2013 data, GHG emissions by the top three countries are 14 times the emissions of the next one hundred nations. Our neighbor to the south emits a whopping 6279.8 Mt CO2e 14.36% of the world’s emissions and is second only to China at 11 735 Mt CO2e or 26.83%. The EUE follows with 4224.5 Mt CO2e, 9.66% and then India at 2909.1 Mt CO2e, 6.5%. Canada falls in ninth place at 1.69% or 738.4 megatons CO2 equivalent emissions.

We, the average citizen, can help. Anybody without financial means can “recycle, reuse, and reduce”; an effort taught in elementary school. For those that pay the bills and control the purse strings, here are some additional courses of action.

Changing over to LED lights, installing photovoltaic panels in a grid tie or off grid situation, or purchasing an electric car as you can afford to, make significant contributions. Plant as many trees as you have room for; grow them in the house if necessary. Eliminate, or failing that, reduce the number of flights you take on jet aircraft. Air travel is slowly changing for the better. Electric aircraft engines, in our time, are commencing to be utilized.

Harbour Air in Victoria, B.C., is has put in orders for magniX’s electric motor for their DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver aircraft.

These should be operational by late 2019. The company plans to become the world’s first electric aircraft fleet.

However, with the entire world emitting a massive 43 737.3 Mt CO2e each year, we need to demand our politicians, the “talkers” into facilitating the “doers.”

One example: if the Alberta industry were to build direct air capture facilities, DAC, to “mine” CO2 from the atmosphere, new jobs, in blue fuel technology would be created.

It would help establish our place among the world’s elite in GHG reduction. For thirty years Joffre’s Nova Chemicals, east of Red Deer, has been injecting over 100,000 tons of C02 annually into oil reservoirs; production engineers know how to handle carbon.

We need new innovations and innovators! Industry players need an incentive, need encouragement to develop pioneering, inventive processes for converting the CO2 predicament into a commercial success at every gateway possible.

Lorne Oja can be reached at lorne@carbon2solar.com

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