Skip to content

This week’s mailbox: electricity and the war in Ukraine

Open letter regarding electricity

Open letter regarding electricity

Were you concerned about your electrical bill this winter? With rising prices for the fossil fuels increasingly used to produce our winter power, those rates can only go higher.

Do you feel hopeless about our future climate in winter mornings seeing the increasing clouds of steam (and invisible CO2) coming from Yukon Energy’s diesel and LNG powered generators?

It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, if the science of the IPCC is correct, for the sake of our children it must not be this way.

We are falling far short of hydro-electrical generating capacity in the winter. And that problem is only going to get worse with more electrically heated houses and an increasing number of electric vehicles.

There is a proven way to generate cheap electrical energy in the winter in the Yukon — harness the wind that blows almost constantly on our hill tops. Wind turbines in Alberta produce electricity as low as six cents/kWhr. Compare that to our 15-20 cents/kWhr.

We need a wind farm on Mount Sumanik. It’s close to town and could easily accommodate a large wind farm. Yes, the wind is not 100 per cent reliable. But coupled with the Aishihik hydro scheme and, eventually, the future Moon Lake Pumped Storage, it would both reduce our electrical generation greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our electrical costs while providing reliable power. We need this – for our new electrically heated houses and the EVs that are coming.

What are we waiting for?

Stuart Clark


Regarding electricity options

It seems Minister Streicker is indulging in what Muhammad Ali once called “rope-a-dope” when he told reporters electricity bills have not actually increased over the last couple of years. [“Yukon govermnent weighing electricity bill options,” April 6]

As I have previously pointed out, in 2016 the bill for 1190 KWH was $162. By 2021 the same amount of power cost $225, an increase of almost 40 per cent. It’s time for ATCO to return to reasonable profits.

Wolf Riedl

Haines Junction

‘Never Again’ is losing meaning

The Russian invasion is no longer an invasion. The conquest failed, and in its place stands a repulsive venture that resembles ethnic cleansing more with every passing day.

Russian forces are targeting and slaughtering civilians, destroying schools, hospitals and homes, starving men, women and children through grotesque medieval siege warfare, agreeing to and then bombing humanitarian corridors, shelling nuclear power plants, and the list goes on.

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Russian campaign of misery and attrition has been met by a tenacious Ukrainian spirit. The bravery of the Ukrainian people has defied all odds.

Sometimes there is such a thing as good and evil, right and wrong. The history of the world is littered with examples. And when those moments come to pass, and we view them through the clarity of hindsight, we always struggle to understand why our leaders of yesteryear failed the side of the good and the right.

Prime Minister Trudeau: you risk the same fate. Being a politician is about more than balancing interests and negotiating compromise; it is about doing the right thing, even when the right thing is hard to fathom. Our world is at a crossroads, and what our leaders do now will be judged by our children.

Words and supplies, as important as they are, pale in substance to the military power NATO has at its disposal. We are literally and figuratively standing on the sidelines cheering for our friend as they fight the battle of their lifetime. Figuratively, our friend is not just Ukraine, but freedom everywhere.

We acknowledge that intervening in Ukraine could plausibly (although not necessarily) cause World War III, and we acknowledge the supreme sacrifice that would carry. At the same time, World War III may begin whether we intervene in Ukraine or not.

Intervention can take many forms. It need not be troops on the ground. We are not military analysts nor policy makers; the point is that the phrase “risking escalation” must no longer be the catchphrase our leaders use to rebuff the range of policy options on the table.

Risk aversion in the face of such cruelty is tantamount to appeasement. History shows us that standing on the sidelines while a people are destroyed is untenable. Our shared values as Canadians, and as citizens of the world demand more.

Gregory Johannson & Svitlana Koptyeva