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Avoiding The Energy Crunch/Listener Mailbag/ Phone In: Allergies

This Time We're Serious: more & more of our electricity generated by wind and tides for all eternity. Lower power rates.
Are these realistic goals for Atlantic Canada - or just a pipedream?
That question is being discussed with some urgency at a Renewable Energy conference in Halifax. It's attracted hundreds of participants from this region and the New England States. There seems to be consensus that we can't afford to wait for genuine cooperation to appear magically - that the time for people to get their act together is now. Power rates are going up in a grid that gets a lot of its electricity from fossil fuels and aging plants. And this is before we get into the additional, impending costs of a carbon tax. On the other hand, there are some promising renewable projects - large-scale wind farms in all three provinces, as well as Newfoundland hydro and Fundy tidal power - that just can't get off the drawing board unless the provinces and states find a way to move that renewable energy around. The CBC's Jennifer Henderson brought us a report from the conference.

Over To You: David Bigelow of Lower Sackville commented on a proposal from Duncan MacAdams: Mr MacAdams is a mechanical engineer who suggests that one way to to finance the expensive conversion of heating systems from oil or electricity to more sustainable sources is by setting up a fund that would provide a guarantee for a long-term, low-interest loan which you'd pay off on your monthly energy bill.
Other listeners had rivers on their mind. Tom Hickie extolled the beauty of the Little Salmon River in New Brunswick, and cautioned about forestry practices that damage watershed. Charles MacDonald shared some happy memories the Mira River holds for him and his family, and Janice Harvey says not to forget the Petticodiac, which has just been reunited with the Bay of Fundy in a controversial and long anticipated restoration project.
From rivers, we moved on to newspapers. We explored the uncertain future of conventional newspapers in last Friday's Phone In. Tony Diamond of Stanley, New Brunswick says he was struck by the number of callers who preferred to get their news electronically suggesting that the internet is an environmentally benign alternative. Not so, says Mr Diamond, noting that the manufacture of digital equipment involves mining rare minerals, which are not renewable, often with devastating environmental impacts, and the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions by internet servers and their cooling systems is increasing.

The Wheezes and Sneezes: if you suffer from allergies, that annual miracle of nature we call Spring can be a particularly trying time. While everyone else is oohing and awing about all the early appearance of those swelling buds and flowering trees, you can be reduced to a sniffing, sneezing red-eyed wretch. Allergies are no fun for anyone, at any age. Specialist Dr. Greg Rex answered your questions about allergies.


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