EDITORIAL: Cautionary tale of power politics – Toronto Sun

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UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Parliament on August 18, 2021 in London, England.
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Parliament on August 18, 2021 in London, England. Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe /Getty Images

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, renowned for his bizarre speaking style, raised eyebrows with his odd speech to the UN last month.

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“When Kermit the frog sang It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green, I want you to know he was wrong – and he was also unnecessarily rude to Miss Piggy,” burbled the PM.

Ahead of the Glasgow climate conference, he bragged about wind turbines that have sprung up in the North Sea, and boasted he was changing his name to “Boreas” Johnson, to honour the north winds that keep them turning.

The problem is, for all the hot air Johnson is spewing, those turbines have been quiet. In September, they generated the lowest level of electricity in that month in five years.

Britain has shut almost all its coal plants. It’s reliant on France and that country’s 56 nuclear plants for about 7.5% of its electricity needs. Ominously, French-U.K. relations are strained right now. France could pull the plug.

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Britain has also allowed its natural gas storage facilities to dwindle and prices are soaring. Again, the country is dependent on imports.

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At the same time, a shortage of truck drivers has caused a scarcity of gasoline at the pumps.

There are dire warnings of a long, cold winter ahead, with black-outs  and brown-outs predicted on the electricity side. Grocery shelves are empty due to gasoline shortages.

Canada must learn from this lesson. We must not allow ourselves to become dependent on wind and solar energy. When the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, you can’t turn on your stove to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. How will we fuel the electric vehicles Johnson and his green ilk chirp about if there’s no juice in the charging stations?

We need nuclear energy to provide a stable base for our electricity grid. We need a mix of reliable generation. We need pipelines to deliver natural gas and crude. Joe Biden’s first act as President was to take a swipe at Canada, scrapping the Keystone XL pipeline. Some friend he is.

The U.K. energy crisis is a cautionary tale. We can’t allow our economy to become dependent on the weather or on the internal politics of other countries for our fuel security.

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