4 Tuesday May 19 2015 The Northern Journal is an independent newspaper covering news and events in the western Arctic and northern Alberta. 2013 CCNA BLUE RIBBON CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2013 C M C A AUDITED The Northern Journal is published weekly by Cascade Publishing Ltd. Printed at Star Press Inc. Wainwright AB. Publisher................................................................................. Don Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.21 donnorj.ca Editor.........................................................................Meagan Wohlberg 867-872-3000 ext.24 newsnorj.ca Reporter....................................................................... Dali Carmichael 867-872-3000 ext.25 reporternorj.ca Comptroller ..................................................... Dixie Penner 867-872-3000 ext.23 dixnorj.ca Advertising.............................. Heather Foubert Hay River 867-874-4106 adsnorj.ca Administration............................................Jeremy Turcotte 867-872-3000 ext.26 adminnorj.ca Production Manager ......................................Sandra Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.22 sandranorj.ca Graphics........................................................Paul Bannister 867-872-3000 ext.27 graphicsnorj.ca Letters to the Editor Policy The Northern Journal welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and include a phone number so the author can be veried. Names will be withheld on request in special circumstances where the reasons are determined to be valid. The Journal reserves the right to edit letters for length libel clarity and taste. Opinions expressed in letters and columns are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. Advertising Deadlines Display ad deadline is Thursday at 400 p.m. Classied ad deadline is Thursday at 500 p.m. Email adsnorj.ca Subscription Rates Prices include GST. 47.25 in Fort Smith 52.50 elsewhere in Canada 105 in the USA overseas 164.30. EDITORIAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR The advent of the new non-petro economy Fitting solar panels on older homeswillsoonbeastandard upgrade as much as insula- tion retrots are today and electricity generating mate- rials in new home construc- tionalongwithalargestorage battery will be the standard. We will soon leave the petroleum-based economy behind. The new economy is arriv- ing gradually picking up speed driven by the urgency of climate change enhanced by step- pingstonetechnologicalinnovationsthatmake the move away from carbon-based fuels not only possible but attractive and economical. Televisions have been central to our homes for 60 years. Humanity has progressed re- markably thanks to computers during the same period. As the two merge and smart TVsproliferateinthemarketplaceconsumers arerapidlymigratingfrompackagedtelevision to internet streaming movies and entertain- ment. The merger of television and computers was talked about for the last 20 years as the next big thing. What was not envisioned was the rapid advancement of the cell phone at the same time. Who knew communication would only be one of its functions that it would be- come a facilitating device enhancing our lives at home and work. No one talked about it be- coming the third leg of the matrix that cell phones would also merge with televisions and computers. Now every child and adult in most households has a hand held electronic device ortwoorthreeandthosearecomingtogether with televisions and computers. Our lives are being rapidly altered because of it. Over the next 20 years a similar transfor- mation will bring together how we generate electrical energy fuel our automobiles and heat our homes. The catalyst for this will be the electric automobile. You may have already seen the advertise- ments for the Tesla home battery an attrac- tive battery pack or Powerwall that is being advertised as a backup power supply to keep your lights on in case of an electricity black- out. That home battery appliance is a game changer. Every household will have one. They willbeubiquitoussoldatthecornerhardware storeorleasedbyyourlocalelectricitycompany. Tesla is an innovative automobile manufac- turer specializing in electric cars. They lead the world in battery and vehicle design for plug-in electric automobiles but many other automanufacturersareclosebehind.German automanufacturersBMWandAudialongwith General Motors have invested greatly in re- search and development. The future is bright for electric cars. Not only are electric vehicles much cheaper toruntheyalsoneedafractionasmuchmain- tenanceresultinginasubstantiallylowercost over their lifetime. The race is on to be in the lead and dominate the market. How electric vehicles work is constantly being rened and in particular battery capacity longevity and cost are improving. Atthesametimesincesmogissuchaprob- leminsomanycitiesbutparticularlyinChina there is pressure to produce low emission ve- hicles. Global standards are getting tougher eachyear.Thefearofclimatechangeisfurther heighteningdemand.Inmanyjurisdictionsin- centives are being offered to consumers who make the switch. All these forces together are stimulating innovation and change. In such a competitive market with mass consumer buy-in just around the corner it is just a matter of time before battery tech- nology improves dramatically and the price drops. That same technology will be available for home battery systems. Soon there will be a high capacity affordable storage battery available to every home. At the same time improvements in electrical generation tech- nology will make home electricity generation as common as cars that can park themselves available now in a showroom near you. Fit- ting solar panels on older homes will soon be a standard upgrade as much as insulation ret- rots are today and electricity generating ma- terials used in new home construction along with a large storage battery will be standard. Once implementation commences it will be- comethenormquickly-tothepointthatitwill be pervasive within two decades. Of course anyone generating a surplus of electricity will be able to sell it to the network. Governments will eventually see the wisdom of having that new capacity and encourage it by ensuring a good price is paid for the power the opposite of the approach now. Technological innovation will drive the changes. For example the windmills we now knowwidelyspacedwithgiantbladesthatkill birds and give off a persistent mind-numbing noise will be replaced by quiet tall slender closely spaced wind powered generators that have little downside - kind of like that cool Dyson fan that moves air with no blades but much bigger. They are not far away. You can help make all this happen faster. Lobby to have your government transfer in- centives that the oil industry has enjoyed for decades to electric cars and solar panels for homes. That will help drive advancements in those industries creating jobs and in time make the world a cleaner better place. Talking to Imperial Editor Out of curiosity and the promise of a free dinner I attended the information session hosted by Imperial Oil in Ulukhaktok the eve- ning of April 29 to discuss their recent appli- cation to drill in the Beaufort Sea. A sparse but focused audience about 50 people including elders families and high school students asked a lot of pointed ques- tions. Sometimes the answers from the Im- perial team were clear and specic. But the teams response to a few difcult questions was We dont know the answer to that. ImperialspeopleassuredusthatBOPBlow Out Prevention was their main strategy for protecting the Beaufort Sea and everything in and on it. But we all know that strategy doesnt work BPs Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 proved that. And by the way BP is one of the partners in this venture. Exxon is the other partner. Yeah Exxon - of Exxon Valdez infamy. When asked How many gallons of oil per hour will ow into the Beaufort if the well blows Imperials answer was We dont know. They couldnt even give us a ball- park gure. Now a quick Google search shows that the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill dumped 5000 barrels a day 8700 gallons per hour into the Pacic Ocean off the California Coast. And the 2010 Deepwater Horizon ow rate was estimated at 62000 barrels per day 108500 gallons per hour into the Gulf of Mexico. So how come the Imperial team didnt have this information Heres the problem If you dont know how much oil will ow from a blow out in the Beau- fort then how can you say youre prepared to deal with it The response time for a Beaufort spill ac- cording to Imperial is 3 hours to 3 days. By my ballpark calculations based on the aforementioned spills thats a lot of oil ow- ing till somebody gets there. Best case sce- nario 26100 gallons of oil pumped into the Beaufort Sea. Worst case 7812000 gallons. Well Im no oil company expert just an old-time newspaper reporter. So I might be wrong about that oil spill ow rate. Maybe by the next meeting some expert in the oil business will have a better answer. Kate Kelly Ulukhaktok NT PhotoDaliCarmichael Fort Smith reghter Brent Starling surveys the damage left by a house re on Timber Cres. on May 13. It was a busy week for emergency crews in the community where an- other destructive house re mangled at least one half of a duplex on McDougal Rd. the evening of May 9. Currently both cases are under investigation by the territorial re marshal who would like to remind citizens to be cautious of their burning activities as conditions are tinder-dry.