Transcript: Energy Policy: The Heat Is On! | Jul 20, 1990

(music plays)

Outside a diner, a man reads the paper, another man juggles and a magician plays tricks. The name “The science Café” appears in neon lights on one of the windows. Inside, the waitress shows a menu that reads “The Science Café proudly offers food for thought. Fragile Nature Forum. Energy Policy: The heat os on! Producer and director: Michael Kushner. Researcher: Jody Read.”

A caption reads “Norman Rubin. Energy Probe.”

Norman is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy salt and pepper hair. He wears glasses, a blue suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
WE HAVE TO DO IS GET
GOVERNMENT ENERGY POLICIES
AND ENVIRONMENT POLICIES
TO START HELPING
AND STOP HURTING.
WE HAVE TO GET ENERGY
POLICIES FROM OUR GOVERNMENTS
THAT ACT AS IF THE
ENVIRONMENT COUNTED.
SO, WE HAVE TO INCLUDE
THE COST OF ENVIRONMENTAL
DESTRUCTION FROM ENERGY IN
THE COST OF THE ENERGY.

The caption changes to “Stephen Carpenter. Enermodal Engineering Limited”

Stephen is in his mid-forties, with short salt and pepper hair and a beard. He wears a blue suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says ALTHOUGH WE HAVE,
ESSENTIALLY,
WORLD CLASS TECHNOLOGIES,
THE POLICY HAS BEEN
TO SUBSIDIZE CONVENTIONAL
ENERGY SOURCES.
WE SEE THAT MAJOR GRANTS
AND LOAN GUARANTEES
TO PROJECTS LIKE HIBERNIA,
THE LLOYDMINSTER UPGRADER,
THE OSLO TAR
SANDS PROJECT.
WE SEE THAT CONVENTIONAL
ENERGY SOURCES
DON'T HAVE TO PAY FEDERAL
OR PROVINCIAL SALES TAX
BUT, YET, WE EXPECT
THOSE ENERGY SOURCES,
WHICH WE WANT TO REPLACE
THOSE FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL
ASPECT ARE SUBJECT
TO THOSE TAXES.

Norman says EVERYTHING ELSE THEY SAY
ABOUT CARBON DIOXIDE AND
GLOBAL WARMING IS DWARFED
BY WHAT THEY'RE DOING
ON THESE PROJECTS.
AND THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENT
MINISTER HAS MADE IT CLEAR
THAT THOSE PROJECTS WON'T
EVEN BE SUBJECTED
TO ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSESSMENT, MUCH LESS
WILL THEY BE STOPPED.

Stephen says CANADA IS THE WORLD'S
LEADING ENERGY CONSUMER
ON A PER CAPITA BASIS.
WE ALWAYS TRY
TO SAY THAT, OH,
IT'S BECAUSE WE LIVE
IN A COLDER CLIMATE,
BUT THEN WE LOOK TO OTHERS,
OUR EUROPEAN FRIENDS -
SWEDEN AND DENMARK
AND NORWAY -
WHO HAVE ESSENTIALLY
THE SAME CLIMATE,
BUT CONSUME ONLY A FRACTION
OF THE ENERGY THAT WE DO.
I THINK IF WE FOLLOW
SOME OF THE EXAMPLES THAT
THEY GIVE US, WE CAN HELP MAKE
THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

The caption changes to “Michael Bell. Ontario Hydro.”

Michael is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short straight graying hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, striped shirt and striped tie.

He says IN OUR SOCIETY WE USE A
LOT OF ENERGY AND WASTE IT.
WE SAW THIS A FEW YEARS
AGO WITH THE AUTOMOBILES.
THE PRICE OF OIL WENT
ROCKETING UP AND IN SHORT
ORDER WE GOT CARS THAT
USED A LOT LESS GASOLINE.
THERE'S SORT OF A
PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECT HERE
AND THAT IS THAT PEOPLE
DON'T REALLY LIKE
TO GIVE UP SOME OF
THEIR COMFORTS.
AND TO A GREAT EXTENT,
I DON'T THINK ANYBODY'S
REALLY GIVEN UP
AUTOMOBILES.
WE'VE JUST GOTTEN SMARTER
AND LEARNED TO BUILD
AUTOMOBILES THAT
ARE MORE EFFICIENT.

Stephen says IN ORDER TO SOLVE
THIS ENERGY CRISIS,
IT'S NOT NECESSARY FOR
US TO FREEZE IN THE DARK.
I THINK WHAT WE HAVE
TO LOOK AT IS TO USE
OUR ENERGY MORE WISELY,
USE IT EFFICIENTLY,
AND WHERE POSSIBLE USE
THOSE ENVIRONMENTALLY
FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES.

The caption changes to “Peter Scott-Smith. Canadian Earth Energy Association.”

Peter is in his early fifties, with short wavy gray hair and a moustache. He wears a blue suit, white shirt and polka dotted blue tie.

He says NOW, THERE'S NOTHING
DIFFICULT ABOUT IT.
THE TECHNOLOGY EXISTS, IT
IS LATENT, IT IS OUT THERE.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGY
GROUPS AND ASHMORE
INDUSTRIES HAVE IT.
WHAT IS NOT BEING PROVIDED
IS THAT INITIATIVE,
THAT THAT IS WHERE
WE SHOULD GO.
AND I SAY, LET US START
DOING SOMETHING NOW.
THERE IS NO QUICK FIX, THERE
IS NO MORNING AFTER PILL
OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
WE HAVE TO START AND TAKE
STEP BY STEP MOVING
TOWARDS WHAT I CONSIDER THE
ULTIMATE TARGET IN 2001.

Stephen says I THINK, IF WE DON'T
CHANGE THE WAY OUR USE
OUR FOSSIL FUELS, WE
ARE DEFINITELY HEADING
FOR A MAJOR
ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER.
THE ISSUE COMES DOWN TO
IS HOW SERIOUS THE BOTH
OUR POLITICIANS AND
WE AS INDIVIDUALS;
TAKE THIS THREAT AND
WHAT STEPS WE WILL DO
TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

Norman says ONE OF THE INTERESTING
ISSUES THAT FOLLOWS
FROM THE EXXON VALDEZ,
FROM CHERNOBYL
AND FROM BHOPAL,
FROM ENVIRONMENTAL
CATASTROPHES IN GENERAL,
IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE
POLLUTER-PAY PRINCIPLE:
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING
SURE THAT THE ENTITY,
THE INDUSTRY THAT CAUSES
THE CATASTROPHE BEARS
THE FULL BRUNT OF
WHAT THEY DID.
THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IN
CANADA AND IN THE REST
OF THE WESTERN WORLD,
UNLIKE ANY OTHER
HAZARDOUS INDUSTRY,
HAS FROM THE START,
DEMANDED FROM GOVERNMENTS
COMPLETE PROTECTION AGAINST
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOR CATASTROPHES.
THEY RECOGNIZED FROM THE
START THAT A REACTOR
ON A BAD DAY COULD CREATE
ENOUGH DEATH AND DESTRUCTION
AND LAND THAT COULDN'T BE USED
AND LAKES THAT COULDN'T
BE DRUNK FROM ANYMORE, THAT
IF YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE
FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WERE HURT
OR KILLED OR THE LAND
THAT WAS LOST, IT COULD
BANKRUPT YOUR COMPANY,
EVEN IF YOU WERE GENERAL
ELECTRIC OR WESTINGHOUSE
OR SOMEBODY VERY BIG.
SO, THEY SAID TO THE
GOVERNMENTS OF THE DAY
IN THE '60s, LOOK, YOU
WANT US TO GET INTO
THIS HAZARDOUS ACTIVITY,
YOU BETTER INDEMNIFY US,
YOU BETTER MAKE US NOT
RESPONSIBLE FOR IT OR ELSE
WE'LL JUST KEEP MAKING
LIGHT BULBS AND TOASTERS
AND THINGS THAT AREN'T
GOING TO WIPE OUT
WHOLE CITIES AT A TIME.
AND THE GOVERNMENTS
CAVED IN.
THE GOVERNMENTS
KNUCKLED UNDER,
THEY SAID, YEAH, THIS
MAKES PERFECT SENSE.
THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
FIRST INDEMNIFIED,
WITH AN ORDER IN COUNCIL,
SAYING WE'LL PAY THE BILL
IF YOU GET SUED AND THEN
IN 1970 PASSED A LAW
CALLED THE NUCLEAR
LIABILITY ACT, WHICH SAYS
THAT THE VICTIMS
JUST CAN'T SUE.
FROM THE POINT OF VIEW
OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY,
TRYING TO BE PRUDENT FROM
THEIR POINT OF VIEW,
IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.
THE IRONY IS THAT THEY
ACCUSE US OF BEING
IRRATIONAL WHEN WE
TRY TO BE PRUDENT.
AND WHEN WE TRY
TO SAY, LOOK,
THESE ARE SOME VERY
SPECIAL RISKS
FROM REACTOR ACCIDENTS.
THEY SAY, NO, NO, NO IT'S
JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER RISKS.
WELL, THEIR ACTIONS PROVE
THAT THEY KNOW THAT THIS
ISN'T A RISK LIKE ANY OTHER
BECAUSE UNLIKE ANY OTHER
RISK MAKER, THEY HAVE
DEMANDED TO BE PROTECTED
FROM THEIR OWN RISKS.
THEY ARE REFUSING TO STAND
BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT.
THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES;
UNFORTUNATELY, NOT MANY PEOPLE
KNOW THE LAW EXISTS,
SO NOT MANY PEOPLE
ARE READING
THOSE VOLUMES.

Stephen says WE ALL HAVE TO REEXAMINE
HOW WE ARE USING ENERGY,
HOW WE ARE PRICING
ENERGY AND WHAT
WE ARE GOING TO
DO ABOUT THAT.
I THINK WE HAVE TO BE
LOOKING AT PROVIDING
EQUAL SUBSIDIES, GRANTS,
TAXES AND SO ON,
TO ALL THE VARIOUS
ENERGY SOURCES.
I DON'T THINK THIS COUNTRY
CAN AFFORD TO GO ON
WITH THESE LARGE ENERGY
MEGAPROJECTS WHICH ARE,
ESSENTIALLY, LOCAL JOB
CREATION PROJECTS.
AND THEN AS INDIVIDUALS, I
THINK WE HAVE TO LOOK AT
HOW WE ARE
USING ENERGY.
ARE WE USING
ENERGY WISELY?
ARE WE USING THE MOST
ENERGY EFFICIENT AND
ENVIRONMENTALLY
FRIENDLY METHOD
OF MEETING OUR
ENERGY NEEDS?

(music plays)

A slate appears with the caption “For more information, write to Ontario Hydro. 800 Kipling Avenue. Toronto, Ontario M8Z 5S4. Enermodal Engineering Limited. 326 Philip Street, Unit 2. Waterloo, Ontario N2L 5J1. Probe International. 225 Brunswick Avenue. Toronto, Ontario. M5S 2M6.”

Another caption reads “A production of TV Ontario. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. 1990.”

Watch: Energy Policy: The Heat Is On!