Liveblog: NSP meets its customers – Day 1


Roberta Bondar poses with charmed NSP flacks.

Roberta Bondar poses with charmed NSP flacks.

My old Daily News chum David Rodenhiser, now laboring in NSP communications, asked Bondar if she had any startling revelations in space.

Many of them. One is that Buck Rogers was a myth. We romanticize space. It’s a very difficult environment. It’s very hard. It’s hard on the body. But you can’t beat the view.

8:40 p.m.:

bondar-sA surprisingly witty keynote speech by Roberta Bondar began with several slides of Hurricane Bill. These days Bondar makes her living as a professional speaker, but this isn’t shaping up to be a canned speech. Moneyquote:

The Challenger disaster happened because communications failed.

Anyone who has read William Langewiesche’s brilliant account of the Columbia disaster in the Atlantic, knows that communications brought it down, too. More specifically, an intellectually dishonest PowerPoint presentation lulled top NASA executives into the false belief that there was no problem with the shuttle. When junior engineers tried to sound the alarm, their superiors shut them down.

People didn’t want to hear that a piece of foam might have caused damage. How could a piece of foam the size of a football not do damage when it was flying by at 1000 miles an hour.

Bondar’s view of consumers’ and citizens’ roles in energy policy:

You have to listen; you have to hear; you have to learn; and if you don’t, you may be the reason communications will fail. If we avoid something, we will never learn how things can change.

Friday, 8:20 p.m.: Nova Scotia Power’s community forum is underway in Truro, and I’ll be live blogging the event in this space tonight and tomorrow, adding observations as they occur to me.

NSP President Rob Bennet kicked off the session with a mercifully short explanation of its purpose: to discuss “the challenges and choices we face, as we move away from coal, not only as a company but as a province.”

Not only as a company, but as a province. This is something critics of NSP need to realize. Nova Scotia’s environmental performance is inextricably connected to Nova Scotia Power’s environmental performance. Like it or not, we’re in this together.