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Ontario And Peak Oil Dusko Jocic (April 10, 2006)

I write this article from a dingy basement in Toronto, Canada. It's the largest city in this country but I wonder
about how long I'll be living here. My house is a mid-fifties suburb about 15 kilometers from downtown. It's not
bad considering the subway is nearby and it'll saved from the fate of having to commute to work with a car.
All I need to do is find employment along the subway line and I'll be alright. Everything depends on how quickly
peak oil extraction is reached and what the rates of decline are. If it declines 10% annually then we are all
in trouble but a 2-5% decline will be relatively managable.

If I need to leave the city to survive I will need to find a place with plentiful farmland and reasonably
far away from the big cities of Ontario. Ontario has a population of about 10 million people and most are around
the Golden Horseshoe region. When oil peaks, this will be a bad place to be as there are about 6 million people
living in this area. The rest of Ontario, is sparcely populated. The city I choose needs to be far enough from
the golden horseshoe to ensure any carnage doesn't reach me. My favorite small city is Stratford, Ontario. It's
an old railway town with much of it's rail infrastructure intact. The old Canadian National Railway repair yards
are being turned into a waterpark. I guess that sums up the state of rail in Canada. But Canadian Pacific
Railways does own much of the rail infrastructure in the United States.

Stratford has a tiny population of about 10,000 people in and around the city area. The area is surrounded
by farmland that hasn't been profitable for at least twenty years and the farmers are barely holding on. The only
reason the city has survived and prospered is because of it's annual Shakesphere festival. If you ever visit the
place during the winter it's completely dead with no one around.

As for the future of energy in Ontario, One third is produced with hydro-electric, another third nuclear and
the rest is made with natural gas and coal burning plants. But the coal plants are being phased out quickly and
there is nothing to replace them with. So Ontario is a net energy importer. Last year, the government phased
in a program where households can purchase solar panels and wind generators and sell their energy directly to
the grid back for a fair price. It will take fifteen to twenty years to pay off the innitial investments in
these technologies so the government will not succeed on depending less on external power in the future.

Canada as a whole gets about sixty plus percent of it's power from hydro electric but the North Americans Free
Trade Agreement ensures that when peak oil hits, most of that power will be sent outside the country to keep
American lights on. We've sold our soul to uncle sam from a bag full of green monopoly money. Soon our dollar
might be worth more then the American one yet American corporations haven't reduced the price of goods in /
Ontario or Canada by the 35% drop in the Greenback. I'll leave you with one interesting fact about the generation
of power in Ontario And Canada. Most power companies in Canada have the word hydro in their title. That shows you how much energy is generated by water in this province And country.

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