Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Dominion Frontier Project

Canada is a land of great abundance and opportunity. Most of her land mass is sparsely populated, (a result of the escalating “cost of living” the farther one moves north) with the gigantic Nunavut Territory holding far less than half the population of Brantford Ontario. The bulk of the Canadian population lives in a temperate zone that bears no relation to the climatic extremes of the immense regions of the north. It is the unawareness of the nature of the country that shrouds the mighty potential that will transform the future.

What of the future? What will be the salient feature of the next twenty years? I suggest that it will be a time of ever increasing anxiety and retrenchment in the First World, with almost all of our societal assumptions under attack. Our individual freedom will be restricted by a deluge of arbitrary good intentions; don’t promote hatred, don’t drink and drive, don’t pollute, and above all don’t offend anyone. The concept of human rights will be debased by special interests that reject the Magna Charta and The US Declaration of Independence by substituting skewed notions like the “right” to a job, the “right” to healthcare and the “right” of cultural equality. In effect we will have lost confidence in the Western philosophy that was the foundation of our success.

Yet, as the historian Thomas Macaulay observed: “Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from the birth as a paternal, or, in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.” I am confident that a rebellion against the Nanny State is inevitable and sound rational philosophy will once again be our guiding light.

I only mention the above trend to illustrate the impediments that we must overcome in order to secure our future. It really is just a question of confidence in our civilization and how we prioritize the value of our species. The plan that I advocate will harness existing technology, is economically sustainable, and will free indigenous people, while enriching and securing the entire population.

The answer lies in the north, or more precisely in the great rivers that flow into the James and Hudson Bays. This area has the distinction of the greatest volume of water flow in the world. It is exceptionally remote and virtually untouched by modern society. Once the energy potential of this region is harvested we will solve our energy requirements for the next two hundred and fifty years.

Back in the 1970’s Hydro Quebec built the template for successful hydro-electric production in the North. Their James Bay complex has produced an abundance of reliable electric power and despite the best efforts of detractors it has been a resounding success.

The crucial drawback to the project is its remoteness from the markets it seeks to serve; it is by definition very inefficient. The line-loss over the distances to populated areas is massive and the power is subject to interruption due to single points of failure. Hydro Quebec is producing the wrong product!

Solution: Hydrogen Fuel

The only product that will make economic sense for these remote power stations is hydrogen fuel. With 100% of the electricity used locally to produce a portable fuel like hydrogen the financial side becomes viable. The production of hydrogen would be predictable and reliable and inexhaustible. Over time this would lead to price stability as enough production comes online.

This vision would rival the Apollo Project in its scope and would return benefits to North American society out of all proportion. I am opening a movement to promote the “Dominion Frontier Project” for humanity. We can make the north an entity as powerful as OPEC without the political baggage.

I will be asking for submissions on how to overcome the myriad issues that will arise and will maintain a website to share ideas.

Issues to be covered would include:

1) Respect and benefit for the indigenise population.

2) Political Champions.

3) Technology updates – i.e. tank and pipeline containment, cars, heating etc.

4) Rolling out of infrastructure – concentric deployment of hydrogen fuel.

5) Financial investment – what incentives would drive development?

6) Environmental concerns and benefits: reduced pollution etc.

7) Defeating naysayer’s arguments.

By the end of 2010 I hope to be able to have enough material to make a comprehensive case and a book.

Please make your contributions with a eye toward tangibility and adaptability to today’s capabilities.

And remember: “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” Galileo Galilei

Christopher J. Burton

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