North american electricity consumption victoria,the national geographic magazine 1933 6x2,the book of revelation full text - For Begninners

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A large portion of the power imported to the United States from Canada is also generated from hydro.
While we have wondered on numerous occasions previously if the collapse in lumber prices is the far more accurate indicator of end demand for housing (as confirmed by the recent collapse in multi-family housing starts), perhaps an even better indicator of trends in housing (and by implication the broader economy) is private sector intermediate end demand, such as Caterpillar North America sales, which unlike government data, are far less subject to political intervention, interpolation, guesswork, seasonal adjustments and otherwise, general manipulation. And even though we have previously reported on the woes ailing the world's largest seller of bulldozers, excavators and wheel loaders, such focus was primarily targeted in the offshore markets, and especially China (the abysmal European market needs no mention).
Whether one can extrapolate general trends in the US economy based on how Caterpiller is doing in its North American market, is an open-ended (rhetorical) question which we leave to readers.
However, maybe a far better question is whether CAT NA sales is the same true proxy for the state of the US economy, as electric consumption - that Achilles heel of Chinese economic data manipulation - is to China. Compare and contrast the chart above, with the chart below, showing the collapse in Chinese electricity consumpion.
If the answer is yes, and if indeed both the US and Chinese economies are now operating at a true level not seen since 2010, then just how bad is the rest of the world, if somehow the US continues to be perceived as the cleanest dirty shirt while the world's fastest marginal growing economy is in fact, crashing to earth? Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of the earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted. Canada’s economy, like that of many others around the globe, is based on the assumption that our planet will supply us with limitless quantities of cheap energy and natural resources and absorb unlimited quantities of our waste. In our current model, high resource intensity is coupled with the drive to lower costs by seeking economic efficiencies. Awareness that the current global economic model is unsustainable has been growing for some time, with the international community first taking serious note of the problem in the lead up to the 1992 Earth Summit. What has become clear in recent years is that we must bring about change now in some coherent fashion or change will be forced upon us at great expense. The policy challenge is to define and move towards a new economic model – an ECOnomy – that is grounded in new ways of thinking, living, producing, and consuming, where our use of the planet’s resources is better attuned to its capacity and where resiliency in the face of unexpected change is valued alongside the pursuit of efficiency and economies of scale. Current patterns of production and consumption in Canada are highly resource and especially carbon intensive. Moreover, certain regions of Canada continue to rely primarily on fossil fuels such as coal.
Finally, investments in R&D to develop technologies to reduce energy use and increase resource-use efficiency have been falling. Although concentrating and centralizing aspects of our production and consumption models has yielded benefits in terms of efficiency and cost, this has also introduced vulnerabilities. In the food system, the pursuit of economic efficiency has eroded diversity in production, processing, and distribution channels, concentrating supply in the hands of few players. Overcoming these two hurdles will be essential to developing a sustainable and resilient ECOnomic model. We envision a sustainable ECOnomy in which environmental and economic outcomes, rather than economic growth alone, define prosperity, and in which the environmental impacts of human activities are increasingly counted, better matching our consumption of natural resources and our production of waste to the planet’s capacity. The prices of the products and services Canadians buy more fully internalize their environmental costs – putting a price on carbon is our starting point.
Production is increasingly diversified, distributed, and localized, enhancing our resilience to unexpected change. To move towards our vision of the ECOnomy, we recommend an approach to policy development and action on three broad and inter-related policy directions to enhance sustainability and resiliency. Addressing the challenge we have identified and achieving the vision we have developed requires an understanding of the complex, long-term, and cross-cutting nature of environment-economy problems. We recommend that decision makers adopt this systems approach to initiate and guide the transition to an ECOnomy. Finally, governments need to ensure that decision-makers at all levels have the incentives they need to weigh trade-offs and make low-impact choices.
Moving towards a resilient ECOnomy in the face of an uncertain future requires diversifying products and activities, enhancing back-up capacity, and putting producers and consumers closer together. To illustrate our systems approach to policy development, we use the example of implementing a carbon price. The economic impact of a carbon price will depend on how high the price is set, but it can be made manageable. Electricity producers will generally seek to pass on a portion of the costs to consumers in the form of higher electricity prices, resulting in decreased demand for fossil-fuel based electricity in favour of low-emitting and non-emitting electricity sources, such as hydroelectricity, wind and solar energy. A sufficient rise in the price of electricity will also increase incentives to improve efficiency in the electricity grid, and avoid costly electricity losses during transmission. Like energy producers, carbon-intensive manu facturers, such as steel and cement producers, will have direct incentives to reduce energy use and increase energy efficiency.
Increased costs will ultimately be passed on to the average consumer in various forms, whether through the cost of products or directly through their utility bills and fuel costs, creating economic incentives for consumers to alter their behaviour to reduce their personal energy use.
A carbon price, though potentially very effective as a policy measure, is only one piece of the public policy puzzle.
This means that policy measures complementary to the carbon price will be needed to reinforce its effects and mitigate its unevenly distributed impacts. While a price on carbon may drive greater levels of R&D in the energy industry as companies adopt new technologies and practices, additional government policies can play a key role in leveraging this investment. First, governments at the federal, provincial, and territorial level should establish a long-term funding commitment to energy R&D.
Second, governments should employ policy measures to boost energy industry R&D investment. Third, a price on carbon will encourage diversification of Canada’s energy supply through a shift to less carbon-intensive forms of energy; however, in the short to medium term, incentives in addition to the carbon price will be necessary to overcome barriers to market entry for renewable energy, such as higher investor risk-return requirements for new technologies. Energy use in residential and commercial buildings represents an important opportunity for increased energy efficiency and reduced GHG emissions.
Policies to ensure that old building stock is retrofitted and that new building stock is green building stock could have enormous impact.
In developing our low carbon energy resources, governments and industry must be cognizant of environmental impacts including habitat destruction from hydro reservoir flooding, fragmentation of ecosystems from electricity transmission lines, and impacts on biodiversity that may result from development of biomass resources.
For regions highly dependent on carbon-intensive energy and industries, investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS), technology could play a significant transitional role in reducing emissions from fossil fuel based electricity sectors. However, as CCS makes fossil fuel based energy production more economically attractive in the face of carbon prices, resource development in ecologically sensitive areas may increase. A de-carbonization trend will require cooperation at the international level to address concerns of energy producing sectors and energy intensive manufacturing sectors, particularly in the short term when carbon pricing may be uneven globally.24 Favourable allocations of credits under a cap and trade system or differentiated carbon price tax rates, potentially combined with border measures such as green tariffs, may be worthwhile policies to address competitiveness and prevent carbon leakage.
Policies will also be needed to mitigate immediate and long-term cost increases for consumers resulting from a price on carbon.


Modernizing the way we transmit and distribute energy through the grid will enable greater penetration of intermittent power sources such as wind or solar energy, and increase the resiliency of the grid to support greater use of electricity for low carbon transport options such as plug-in hybrid vehicles. A carbon price will not automatically result in the investment necessary to modernize the grid.
Increased costs of carbon-based electricity, fuel, and petrochemical inputs makes less carbon-intensive (e.g. Changing cost structures could also promote the rise in non-traditional distribution channels, such as farmers markets and local food co-ops. As demonstrated through the above case study of a carbon price, a systems approach to policy analysis and development has allowed the identification of some of the likely impacts of a carbon price on the energy system, in addition to a suite of policy measures to reinforce or compensate for its effects.
Although government departments would remain in a more streamlined fashion to facilitate effective implementation and ensure overall policy coherence on large thematic areas, a holistic approach towards a sustainable ECOnomic model requires the establishment of multi-disciplinary task forces (policy clusters) across government. Given the complexity of a systems approach to building a sustainable ECOnomic model, it is important that expertise external to government can be drawn upon readily and seamlessly. In an effort to enhance public accountability and oversight, it will be important to ensure regular and independent monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of progress achieved by government policy clusters, in order to gauge whether or not adjustments are needed.
A systems approach to building a sustainable ECOnomy cannot be undertaken at the federal level alone; in issues of sustainability, the federal government is one among many decision-makers. The challenge set out above is no small feat, but it is in our own self-interest to act now, when the costs of doing so are still manageable. In collaboration with international and regional partners, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is hosting a global project on “Measuring the Progress of Societies”.
In this dominant economic model, prosperity is defined as perpetual growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Through streamlining and economies of scale we have reduced the number of players involved, the diversity of production, and the redundancy in distribution networks. The Canadian challenge includes recognizing and acting on our potential to influence this transformation internationally.
A system consists of diverse but interrelated components that function as a complex whole, creating patterns of behaviour that may not be controllable or predictable.
Public policy touches virtually every aspect of energy and food in daily life and so involves all orders of government.
In the energy sector, Canada relies heavily on carbon-intensive energy for oil and gas production and refining, especially in the case of the oil sands. This carbon- intensive energy structure results in many environmental problems, including air pollution (smog and acid rain) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributing to climate change. Canadian government funding for energy R&D at the federal and provincial level peaked in the 1980s, and now lags behind other G8 countries. For example, in North America, electricity generation is concentrated in large, centralized power generation stations.
Over the past 25 years, the number of farms has decreased by about 3,000, yet the number of large farms has tripled11 as producers face a choice between expansion to improve economies of scale or abandoning production altogether.
This transition should start with the articulation of a national vision that sets long-term goals and broad directions for achieving it, so that decision-makers at all levels can align their contributions and investments accordingly. Hence, a commitment to robust tracking, measuring, and reporting on progress is critical to account for, and learn from, both successes and failures. Provision of credible, salient, and legitimate information is an important role for governments, likely working in partnership with industry and other sectors of society. Governments also need to align markets to send economy-wide price signals that support the transition to an ECOnomy – that is, they need to internalize environmental costs into market prices, putting a price on something we have previously done for free.
We recommend policies, complementary to a carbon price, that foster decentralized markets accommodating production at different scales, including measures that would allow for the re-emergence of local production and consumption relationships, embedded within larger distribution networks. Though our case study is by no means exhaustive, we apply a systems approach to trace some of the cascading effects of a carbon price on the energy system and identify measures to reinforce or compensate for its effects. In the energy production sectors, it will raise the cost of electricity generation from carbon-intensive sources, such as coal, and the cost of fuel produced from carbon-intensive conventional oil and gas sources, particularly the oil sands. Demand for carbon-intensive fuels, such as oil and natural gas for transportation and heating needs, will also decrease as low-carbon alternatives, such as sustainable biofuels and electric vehicles, become more economically viable.
This will create incentives for power generation producers to site generation capacity closer to the end user, including distributed generation technologies such as rooftop solar power, micro natural gas turbines, and fuel cells.
Where possible, they may also switch to low-carbon energy sources and more efficient transport modes including rail. For example, increasing energy costs are likely to cause greater use of public transportation, and provide an incentive to pursue energy effi ciency projects, such as ensuring buildings are properly insulated to reduce heat loss in winter, and prevent excessive air conditioning use in summer.
A systems-based policy approach becomes most important when developing comple mentary policy measures. Revenues from a carbon tax or the sale of emissions permits could be recycled to fund these initiatives. Effective policies to mobilize the private sector will avoid spreading government funding across sectors and regions in the pursuit of funding equity, and at the potential expense of funding impact. However, in many instances, a carbon price will not provide a strong incentive to make such changes.
However policies must be imple mented in concert with capital stock turnover timelines since energy efficiency opportunities are often more cost effective for new buildings. For example, policies will be necessary to ensure that second generation biofuels are developed only from residual non-food parts of crops and non-food crops such as switchgrass in order to avoid impacts to biodiversity and food supplies. Given that this technology currently faces fiscal, operational, and technical barriers to implementation, governments should provide support through direct subsidies or tax incentives to accelerate its development and deployment.
Policy measures to address these impacts include decreasing funding for new CCS projects over time to highlight its use as a transitional technology, and implementing policies to mitigate the impacts of resource development in vulnerable ecosystems.
This assistance could include recycling revenues from the carbon price to consumers, either through rebates on low-carbon products and services or through direct reductions in income tax. Adoption of smart grid technology would transform the grid from a centralized, producer- controlled grid network to one that is less centralized and more consumer-interactive. To this end, a technology roadmap for a long-term strategy and investment commitment to develop an integrated North American smart electricity grid should be developed, involving government at all levels, and industry stakeholders. A price signal, potentially combined with reinforcing or complementary measures, would help shift patterns and practices towards sustainable production and processing, and local, diverse distribution channels. Reducing the distance between producers and consumers has many potential benefits, including lower “food-miles” and more direct lines of communication between producers and consumers.
We now look at how a systems approach to policy development could be implemented within the public service. These clusters would bring together experts from a variety of backgrounds to develop comprehensive policies that avoid oversimplified solutions and address challenges in all their complexity.
Scientists, political scientists, public relations specialists and policy experts would work hand in hand to develop and implement policies that could address the various components of a systems-based approach. Possibilities to facilitate such collaboration might include partnerships with universities and research centres that would allow for sharing data and personnel depending on needs.
Setting up an independent advisory committee of experts external to government, which can make recommendations to government, will help provide guidance to policy clusters on policy effectiveness and implementation. We need to create an ECOnomy that operates within the limits of the planet’s ecosystems and where resiliency in the face of unexpected change is valued alongside the pursuit of efficiency and economies of scale. Some conventional hydroelectric generators are incorporated into dammed reservoirs, providing them with a relatively reliable supply of water. What is more disturbing is that CAT equipment is used in far-broader economic activities than merely housing, and likely is a far more accurate indicator of true industrial end-demand than any other number cherry-picked by the government.
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Yet the intensity with which we consume resources to maintain and further our prosperity is unsus tainable; it is outpacing the planet’s capacity to provide the ecosystem goods and services upon which our economy depends. This has created a highly concentrated and globally interconnected economy that is more vulnerable to shocks.


In a globalized economy, countries that internalize the fewest environmental costs and, therefore, produce the cheapest goods and services, are winners – at least in the short term. Additionally, while we produce a significant amount of electricity from low-emitting sources, including hydroelectricity and nuclear power, significant sustainable sources of energy remain untapped in Canada. These stations are linked to energy users through a vast electricity grid, which is suffering from under-investment in transmission capacity and “smart grid” technology.
Between 1990 and 2007, the number of Canadian grocery stores decreased from about 34,000 to 28,000, with consolidation of grocery chains as a way to remain competitive with corporations such as Wal-Mart and Costco.12 Concentration and centralization also play a role in the emerging organic food market. A broad-based consultation would be an effective way to articulate this vision, bringing together all actors and all sectors of society to develop a sustainable ECOnomy vision for Canada.
This provides an economic incentive to control carbon emissions, including switching to lower carbon fuels, pursuing energy efficiency opportunities, and expanding the use of carbon mitigation technologies. By increasing the cost of generating carbon-intensive electricity and fuels, a price on carbon will make low-carbon alternatives more cost competitive and spur investment to develop these sources. Greater penetration of distributed generation will reduce the need for long distance energy corridors, with the collateral benefit of minimizing the fragmentation of sensitive ecosystems. One measure could involve strategic government investment in Canadian clean technology through venture capital funds. Measures could include financial incentives, for example tax credits, grants, and loan guarantees to support clean technology R&D investment by the private sector. Policy measures to enable this transition include subsidies for renewable energy production, electricity feed-in tariffs for renewable energy sources, and mandatory penetration rates for renewable energy in the electricity mix.
For example, landlords pass on energy costs to their tenants, but the tenants do not have control over building design and appliance choices. It is important to note that 66 percent of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 exist today, with the remaining 34 percent yet to be built.
This may include more stringent environmental regulations, including limitations to fossil fuel resource development in ecologically important areas such as the Arctic and the Boreal forest for oil sands development.
However, in order to maintain the incentive for behavioural change from the carbon price signal, direct recycling of revenues to ease consumer impacts should be targeted to offset costs in the transition period where access to economical, low-carbon alternatives may be limited. A smart grid would allow for two-way communication between electricity generators and consumers, and enable the use of energy management approaches to allow appliances and equipment to use electricity when it is abundant and inexpensive (off peak).
A sufficient incentive to generate on-farm renewable energy with the ability to sell surplus to the grid supports income diversification and sustainable and distributed energy production.
A matrix management model would become more common, complementing the more traditional hierarchical model found in departments. Whereas specific expertise would be required to come up with technical solutions to particular challenges, generalist expertise on the system as a whole would be needed to integrate all aspects of the trans formation to a sustainable ECOnomy.
Increased dialogue and feedback opportunities might be another way to help ensure cross-fertilization of ideas and strategies. A new model for approaching such jurisdictional problems might be to create policy clusters at the regional level, which would include employees from the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, allowing the different levels of government to work together to provide holistic solutions to complex problems. This will necessitate the recognition that economic growth alone cannot define our prosperity and that internalizing the costs of our actions is an essential component of a healthy economy and society. Powerful Connections, The Report of the National Advisory Panel on Sustainable Energy Science and Technology Priorities and Directions in Energy Science and Technology in Canada.
The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. This is a global phenomenon, illustrated by polluted rivers, shrinking forests, poor air quality in cities, and a changing climate.
The cascading global impact of infectious diseases, such as avian flu and mad cow disease, on consolidated meat production facilities is but one indicative example of the system’s vulnerability to the unexpected. The production, and use, of energy and food are both integral systems within the larger economy, and provide tangible illustrations of how our economy can shift to account for its environmental impacts. Many of the hurdles to sustainability in the energy and food systems in Canada are apparent at the global level, reflecting the nature of the economy as a system nested within the larger ecosystems of the planet.
For example, in 2007, less than one percent of Canada’s electricity was generated from wind energy. The grid is operating at close to peak capacity, increasing the vulnerability of supply, and is less able to manage peak demand and the integration of new, large-scale intermittent sources, such as wind energy.
For instance, it will affect low-income and rural Canadians, who spend a higher proportion of their income on energy and food, more significantly than others.
Measures could include fiscal incentives for the installation of solar panels, insulation and furnace efficiency, or investment in co-generation heat and power for larger buildings. This would increase the efficiency and reliability of the grid and reduce the risk of blackouts. Employees would manage their time among several different policy clusters, bringing their expertise to bear on a variety of systems, logging their time spent on each project and reporting to a series of project managers. Public relations experts and policy specialists would help translate technical solutions into digestible public policy opportunities.
A certain permeability between the public service and the outside world, including greater information openness, would have to become normal practice.
Instead of generating an adversarial relationship between Ottawa and other orders of government based on conflict, such regional policy clusters would transform systemic change into a shared responsibility and help develop new cooperative federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governance mechanisms. In addition, effective policy development, when addressing something as complex as the economy and the environment, requires a systems approach.
With a growing middle class in Asia and strong aspirations for western-style wealth worldwide, there is every reason to believe that, unchecked, its effects will persist and intensify well beyond 2017. In our analysis, we explored economic and environmental trends and hurdles to sustainability in the areas of research and development (R&D), production, distribution, and ultimately consumption within both the food and energy systems. Root causes for this trend are varied, including low rates of return on investments, long lead times for the approval of transmission projects, and regulatory uncertainty. Indeed, some provinces, such as British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, have already implemented carbon pricing policies and others are close behind. Also, it will affect regions that depend more heavily on carbon-intensive energy and industries, including Northern and Western Canada, more directly than regions with abundant low-emitting energy sources, such as Quebec. Perhaps most importantly, access to capital to fund energy efficiency improvements is often limited. Updating our building codes to leading inter national standards, including the federal model energy building code, and the use of regulatory measures to establish performance standards and energy-use rating labels for buildings and equipment could also strengthen these efforts. Employees would in essence become policy entrepreneurs who would share their expertise horizontally across a spectrum of policy issues, with a degree of freedom to choose assignments of interest in alignment with government needs and priorities. The entrepreneurial model for policy analysis, in which employees move freely between clusters depending on expertise, could allow for more seamless interaction with non-governmental actors by providing flexibility for members of policy clusters to undertake targeted learning and analysis with outside groups, and vice versa. A systems approach enables the analysis of environmental and economic impacts at each link of the “chain” within a system and the development of effective mitigating, adaptive and reinforcing policies to achieve our ultimate objective: a sustainable, resilient ECOnomic model that will not only benefit Canadians, but can also be effectively replicated elsewhere in the global economy.
The Northeast blackout of 2003 was caused when one generation station went offline in Ohio, resulting in high-voltage transmission lines to fail.
An effective carbon pricing policy, be it in the form of a tax or a cap and trade system, reduces the carbon intensity of the economy by making carbon-intensive activities more expensive and encouraging a shift to lower carbon alternatives. Moreover, while certain sectors, such as energy production, are expected to adjust their activities in response to a carbon price, others, such as residential and commercial buildings, are expected to respond less readily. Governments should also consider facilitating public-private partnerships to promote green building design.



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