This blog was going to be about “bike rage”. I witnessed an incident yesterday walking to work. I heard an angry yell and an expletive from a woman on bike enraged with the rider in front of her who was dawdling along in the bike lane chatting on his cell phone. The yell was so powerful and heartfelt you could feel the rage across the street. Yet, the dawdler didn’t seem to notice.
Before I could start typing however, I participated in a news conference on Parliament Hill. Yes, if I wear a tie and jacket they still let in the building (for how long?).
There is a company in Peterborough that uses radioactive tritium - a known carcinogen - to produce EXIT signs among other things (apparently the technological revolution missed the reflective sign business). It wants a 10-year license to operate - in other words, the legal right to put tritium into the environment for ten years. This is a commercial application of industry’s mantra “dilution is the solution to pollution”, turning nuclear waste into products that are shipped all over the world. By the way, tritium releases are part of everyday operations at the plant.
So far tritium has shown up in the drinking water at the neighbouring Peterborough Airport and in crab apples on nearby trees. A couple of years ago, a breakdown occurred at the plant. In only a few minutes, the amount of tritium that escaped was equivalent to the amount released by a CANDU reactor in a year.
Last night we learned from a newspaper report that as a result of a “third party study” the plant has suspended some of its operations. No details were given - why would the public need to be informed? They might get excited, after all.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (better known as Canada’s radioactive rubber stamp) will surely issue it. Probably for only five years though – that will be our pyrrhic victory.
At the end of press conference, I found myself breaking a big rule – changing the topic. Environment Canada’s GHG monitoring report was coming out and I couldn’t help myself from talking about it too.
Our Anchorman Environment Minister was in Toronto in the same building as our Ontario Chapter to claim laurels for greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from GDP (emissions went up only .25% while GDP rose 3.25%). A victory claimed Peter Kent, but it wasn’t. It was just the Conservative fog machine. Kent knows, and we know, that without a cap on industrial emissions, and policies, programs and incentives to substantially reduce emissions, Canada’s will never get to where it needs to be (around 550 megatons).
Under the Kyoto Protocol Canada made a solemn promise to future generations to reduce emissions substantially and we signed a legally binding treaty to do it. We spent years developing a plan and designing programs and then … well, you know the sTory.
Maybe this is just all about (expletive deleted) bike rage!