The Offshore/Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia (OTANS) invited Contrarian to chair the Regional Energy Strategy panel at its annual CORE (Canadian Offshore Resources Exhibition) Conference this week, and that give him an excuse to make a speech.
To anyone who has looked at the challenges climate change poses for our region, it’s obvious that one key is to improve our regional energy infrastructure. It’s also obvious that doing so will be an expensive venture, and it’s far from clear how much of the expense will be shouldered by government and its taxpayers, and how much by private corporations, their shareholders, and their customers. Decisions about these matters will be made in an atmosphere of mild public concern about climate, great public resistance to increased costs, and little to no public or political understanding of risk assessment.
Full text after the jump.

I've criticized the NDP's carbon subsidy (here, here, and here,), but I understand the value of keeping campaign promises, even dumb ones. In my contrary view, public cynicism about politicians is so deep, it threatens to destroy the minimal level of public trust democracy needs to survive. This may be why the Tories and the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been so successful at drumming up absurd faux-outrage at the prospect of a fall election. So even as two of the Dexter government's promises (keeping all rural emergency rooms open and using tax rebates to encourage electricity consumption) make me shudder, I...

A few weeks ago, I posted a critique of an opinion piece in the August 25 edition of AllNovaScotia.com [subscription required] by Prof. Larry Hughes of the Dalhouse University's Computer Engineering Department. Hughes is currently toiling as a visiting professor of Global Energy Systems at Uppsala University in Sweden. Shockingly, Contrarian is not yet daily reading in that particular corner of Scandinavia, so he only recently learned of my comments. Hughes writes: Contrary to what you have written, [my article in AllNovaScotia.com] has nothing to with NSP's existing 2010 or 2013 requirements.  The article is about NSP's new 25% renewables...

Contrarian reader Justin Ling thinks we're too impatient:
Come on now. The legislature isn't even sitting, and you're taking thinly-veiled jabs at the government-to-be for not doing anything?
[caption id="attachment_777" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Dr. Chris Milburn"]Dr. Chris Milburn[/caption] What's disquieting about our New Democratic Party government-in-waiting is the same thing that's been disturbing about Nova Scotia for decades: a lack of compelling leadership. It's not simply that our once-upon-a-time socialists have moved to the dead center of the road. Contrarian is OK with that. It's Darrell Dexter's meticulous avoidance of anything that might challenge voters in any way. The NDP knew that to get elected, they would have to win seats in rural Nova Scotia. They took polls and conducted focus groups, and discovered that rural Nova Scotians are upset about emergency room closures. So the NDP promised to end those closures, even though every thoughtful observer knows that doing so would be a wasteful diversion of scarce health care dollars. Among other things, it will make recruitment of physicians to rural areas more difficult, not easier. Why would a fully trained physician want to sit in an emergency room all night to treat one or two patients?