Sometimes, it seems, the answer to our problems can be found right under our feet. We only need to snatch our eyes away from the usual forward-facing gaze that dictates we do things as we always have, only more so.
That could well prove to be the case with our energy needs in British Columbia in particular, or the nation as a whole if the encouraging results from a new study by the Geological Survey of Canada prove as good as they sound.
The study, released this week, indicates that British Columbia is sitting on top of a huge store of clean, renewable energy which, rather than being based on something you dig or pump up and burn, is based on something that’s already burning hot — the interior temperature of the earth itself.
This geothermal energy, the study goes on to state, is potentially large enough to supply not just the entire province’s energy needs, but that of the entire country — and 100 million times beyond that.
Unlike the fossil fuel we currently use to power our modern civiliztion, this geothermal bonanza that exists tantalizingly close to the surface in parts of B.C., Alberta, the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territory, emits few greenhouse gasses and doesn’t rely on wind, tide or any other changeable quantity, but rather, is stable, constant and always available for use.
Imagine if you will, a province of electric cars that are powered by a system of geothermal generating stations, homes that are heated the same way and even industries powered by it. Is this a pipe dream? Let’s hope not. As few who do not have a vested interest in the fossil fuel industry understand by this point, our civilization is at an environmental tipping point. The answers exist. The question now is whether we have to courage to make the huge changes required. — editorial by Neil Horner