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Nuclear options

I found this article (“Deep decarbonization,” Winter 2016) interesting and optimistic that we could move towards less GHG emissions. I note the emphasis on hydroelectric power as a key contributor to this goal. But there is no mention of nuclear power! I am sure you are aware that Ontario produces more than half of its electricity from nuclear, which produces no GHGs. And that there is no such thing as a totally benign way of producing electricity by any method. A balanced, non-biased article on electricity generation would well serve your readers.

 – Ron Holmes, Lambton Shores, Ont.

Simple efforts

Just a short note to say I have enjoyed your efforts to inform us of all the changes in our efforts to reduce global warming. You have kept it simple and easy to understand. Thanks and keep up the good work.

– John Peters, Montreal, Que.

Clean and affordable

Interesting article by Kerry Banks on the city of Vancouver (“Living clean and free,” Winter 2016). All the “energy” spent by the mayor of Vancouver to make his city the greenest city in the world by year 2020 should be commended. However, what is the point to have the greenest city in the world if the young families have to leave Vancouver because they cannot afford to buy a house? I suggest the mayor revise his priorities.

– Gaetan Faubert, Notre-Dame-Ile-Perrot, Que.

Emissions math

The carbon pricing article (“The price is right,” Winter 2016) states that B.C. is charging $30 per tonne of carbon emissions, and that works out to .07 cents per litre of gasoline. I calculated that 1384 litre of gasoline would weigh 2200 pounds (1 metric tonne). With gasoline weighing roughly 1.6 pounds per litre at 15 C. 1384 multiplied by .07 would be $96.88. At .07 cent per litre it only takes 428 litre to make up the $30. How does a litre of gasoline, when burnt become triple its weight in carbon emissions?

– Ray Weber

ENERGY EXCHANGE RESPONDS:

You are absolutely correct that the weight of the gasoline and the weight of the carbon emissions are not equal, and, in fact, the carbon emissions weigh more than the fuel.

Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) that is produced from burning a fuel weighs more than the amount of the fuel itself because, during complete combustion, each carbon atom in the fuel combines with two oxygen at- oms in the air to make CO2 . For example, subbituminous coal is on average 51 per cent carbon, so the carbon in a short ton (2,000 pounds) weighs 1,020 pounds. The carbon dioxide emissions from burning a short ton of subbituminous coal are ap- proximately 3,740 pounds, or about 3.67 times the weight of the carbon in a short ton of coal, and 1.87 times the weight of a short ton of coal.

Congratulations!

I read through the (Winter 2016) Energy Exchange magazine this morning and it was a really good read.  Congrats on producing such a useful, attractive and easy to understand publication. Made me super excited about low carbon solutions, and yes I realize how nerdy that sounds.  Keep up the great work.

– Rebecca Black, Toronto, Ont.

Powering conversations

One improvement you might make is to make available a pdf of the magazine. I teach Grade 12 geography and it would be great to print an article to use in class or to post a pdf on our learning management system. Why can’t I just scroll through the article and print it if I’d like? Keep up the good work, but please make it easier for teachers to “power conversation” with our students by using your great resources.

– Ian Toope, Toronto, Ont.

ENERGY EXCHANGE RESPONDS:

PDFs of all articles will be available this issue.  

‘Congrats on producing such a useful, attractive and easy to understand publication’

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