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Two thoughts for the day.

We have a new Governor-General and once again BC, which has never had one, is passed over.

The new Governor-general to be earned his position by creating terms of reference for the hearing into Brian Mulroney’s behaviour could not delve into the question of why Karl-Heinz Schreiber gave Mulroney all that money.

This was an important favour from Mr. Johnston to Stephen Harper because the last thing the PM needed was a long inquiry which could well – probably would – have turned over stones he didn’t want to see under.

This brings into question the need for a governor general in the first place. The G-G is the de facto Head of State and thus performs public relations by attending parties for dignitaries and he/she had a legal role to play some times.

There are countries that combine the Head of State with the Head of government – the US being one – and some that keep the ceremonial position but appoint it in a non political way.

I make two suggestions. Keep the governor-general but have her/him appointed after a committee of parliament comes up with a unanimous recommendation – as done for many important appointments in BC.

Get rid of the job and have the legal functions performed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On another matter, I see that a large plane powered by solar power energy alone stayed aloft for 26 hours then landed safely.

What a wonderful thing it would be to see solar power replace fossil fuels.

It will happen even though many will say otherwise. Whether such an aircraft could handle the weight carried by commercial aircraft is the main concern.

History teaches us the once a research barrier is passed, improvement after improvement is made.

If solar power can run commercial aircraft, it might have a desired impact on the cost of flying. Almost every day you will see a Flight Centre advertise a flight, say to London, at $699 but when you add the taxes, it’s really close to double that. This is not a knock on Flight Centre – I’ve used them and they do a good job – but is to say that solar powered aircraft would substantially reduce greenhouse gases and lower costs to the consumer if, and it’s a big if, the airlines pass their savings onto the consumer on the  “trickle down” theory which was defined by the noted economist John Kenneth Galbraith as “the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows”.

I’ve had a solar powered watch for nearly 3 years now – a Citizen, and not expensive – and believe that this technique will soon become the major source of the world’s power. While it’s intermittent power, for obvious reasons, unlike hydro power it can be stored.

All we need now is wean ourselves off oil and shift to research for and implementation of power from that huge, constant ball of fire in the sky.

One Response to “From Rafe’s desk: The new Governor-General, solar power”

  1. S. Tait says:

    We are just starting to see the technology that was available in the early 90’s. But the public will was not there at the time. Now a critical mass has been reached. We need to keep up to date about how cost effective the new technologies are for all of us. Big announcements and new industries will be popping up everywhere, soon.

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