Green Energy DIY?

I have often wondered why Dalton McGuinty signed a six billion dollar contract with a South Korean firm to build windmills and solar panels here. Why? Are windmills new technology? Are solar panels? Are Ontarians, or to a more general view, Canadians, too stupid to know how to design and build this new technology?

There is a book called Windmills and Wind Motors which was published in 1909. One of several books published from 1880 until 1930 for farmers to build these crazy wind powered machines to pump water for farms. You can view it online by clicking on the cover to the left. You can also buy a copy for $10 at Lee Valley Tools.

Crazy? Did you know that we have had these books around for over 100 years on how to build wind mills?

The concept is the same, just the size is larger.

Did you know the Dutch have been using Windmills for HUNDREDS OF YEARS???

So because we are stupid here in Ontario… We import from Korea.

Solar Panels. I think, and I might be wrong here or maybe not, the sun heats things. And for hundreds or thousands of years, man has humans have been using the sun to heat stuff from water on up.

One more point before I put this long winded sarcasm into a coherent summary, has our Premier Dad not invested in our schools in the last eight years? Wasn’t the goal of that so that we’d all get smarter kids when it comes to math and science?

I promised a coherent summary, but first an anecdote:

In my final year of high school, I got myself into hot water with the principal. I was working for the town’s weekly newspaper as a co-op student and as part of my duties I had to write a op-ed column. The graduating class every year bought a “gift to the school”. The principal wanted the gift to be a new lectern. I think it was because the principal was too busy spending the schools money on glass backboards for the basketball program, but that could just be a guess. Anyways, the school I went to had a shop program with lots of woodworking equipment, so one would think that the grad class would buy the wood and then the shop program could make the lectern. I thought that would be a good idea, so did others. However the principal said no, and said he wanted something “built that would last”. Ouch! Not much confidence in the kids under his watch but hey, whatever. The principal was also the president of the local chamber of commerce (odd combination no?) and so one would think that if the kids couldn’t do it, surely a local business could right? Lots of cabinet makers right? Nope? Again no one there could. Nice supporting local business. So the principal outsourced it to a guy four hours away, who worked out of his garage. The claim was, that this guy four hours away had a special piece of equipment that no locals did. I called around, two of the four cabinetry shops in the area did have that equipment.

I got in trouble because I wrote about it in my column and was called out on the carpet about it. My editor had the backbone of a piece of rope and apologized. As penance I had to do an article on the lectern as my end of year article for the paper and put a prepared comment from him in it. I was going to refuse, but it would have likely meant I wouldn’t have gotten the credits from the program and I wanted the hell out of that school. So I did it(looking back, I would refuse to do it and walk out). But the points were valid. If the students had the equipment, and the knowledge from being taught, why did the principal outsource to a guy he knew? Why didn’t he believe in the school? Why didn’t he support local businesses that had the skill if the kids weren’t up to it? The local businesses could have used the work right? This was this writer’s first real brush with cronyism.

Anecdote over, point to make. If Ontario has had the education that the Premier Dad has said we have, and the technology isn’t exactly hard really. Why did we need Samsung? Why wasn’t that six billion invested in Ontario companies already there? Why could we not have taken those university engineering students that go to U. of Ottawa and Queens University, coupled that with the money and some workers and build our own? After all, this province did build power stations that harnessed the power of Niagara Falls, one would think we could harness the wind and sun ourselves too. I think we could, too bad our Premier doesn’t.