Food & Energy

            Canadian Thanksgiving is over and the turkey soups and sandwiches are done and fall is officially upon us but I’m certainly not complaining about the continuing unseasonably warm and dry weather. Can we still call it Indian summer or is that a derogatory reference, woke or politically incorrect? Camp waved off my concerns as unnecessary polemics. ‘It’s a common phrase that simply refers to warm fall days, kind of like a second summer.’

            I had something on my mind and wanted Camp’s input. ‘All of Europe, and a lot of people elsewhere, are very concerned about the coming winter’s supply or lack of energy to maintain their life styles. Anything from hot water to gadgets, from hair dryers to tumblers, hot tubs to heating systems, is now being looked at with a new and concerned scrutiny. Gone are the days when we could waste energy without giving it a second thought,’ I said.

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Too Late Tomorrow

            Camp was late and to pass the time I reread some recent articles on the worldwide demand and production of electricity, all of which leads me to the conclusion that we’re not really burning less fossil fuels and are a far cry from being on a path to net-zero emissions.  This was the case even before Russia’s horrific war and the realignment of global fossil fuel politics which will only exacerbate the whole issue of extractions, supply and end-use.

            According to the International Energy Agency, IEA, global demand for electricity surged 6% in 2021 and was especially intense in China where it jumped by about 10%. So far, renewable sources of electricity haven’t kept up, although they grew by 6% globally while coal fired generation leaped 9%. Carbon dioxide emissions rose by 7%, reaching an all-time high, after having declined the two previous years. In the US, coal fired generation spiked by 19% in 2021. The good news is that rapid expansion of renewable energy capacity should cover most of the growth demand in the near future. 

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