When we began this series of articles about the insanity of the Ottawa government’s efforts to attempt to save the world from global warming, many of our readers might have had difficulty locating Canada’s capital city on a map. Now everybody knows a lot about Ottawa as its tyrannical government lead by the ultimate Marxist Justin Trudeau has been in your daily news as a result of thousands of courageous truckers demonstrating over their loss of many of their freedoms. Hopefully these demonstrations will set back the government in their plan to destroy their city’s economy on the way to replacing all the use of fossil fuels with hundreds of wind turbines throughout this relatively small area city of one million residents.

As you read more about the city government’s plan described in part below you will wonder, as we have, how politicians can be so idiotically harmful to the people they represent.

Electrifying Transportation

A major part of the City of Ottawas net-zero by 2050 plans involves electrifying its entire transportation system, both public and private.

On the public side, the City will spend $1 billion to roll out 450 new 40-foot battery-powered buses over 5 years (by 2027) and transition to a fully zero emission bus fleet by 2036.This will present huge problems for riders. Electric buses, which cost twice as much as diesel-powered buses, have a record of higher breakdowns and reduced range in winter weather. Therefore, the City would have to establish recharging depots throughout Ottawa, at great cost.

Most electric buses are powered by a lithium-ion battery. In addition to the large production and transport costs for the batteries is a sensitivity to temperature that makes using electric buses in cold weather challenging. For example, a change from about 10 degrees Celsius to about minus 6 degrees Celsius decreases electric bus range up to 38%. During this past winter, in Berlin, Germany, 23 electric buses broke down in the cold due to the batteries giving out. They had to be quickly replaced with other buses, often internal combustion engine-driven buses. At 10 degrees Celsius, Berlins electric buses were supposed to have a range of 130 km, but the batteries ran out halfway through their journeys. And Ottawa is much colder than Berlin.

Consequently, our (our senior author is a resident of Ottawa) transition to electric buses will jeopardize reliability, stranding commuters in our coldest weather. Moreover, bus batteries take two and a half to six hours to fully charge, with each charge only taking the bus about 200 km under optimal conditions. Steep hills, heavy loads and rough surfaces make them even more inefficient. On December 3, 2021, the City of Ottawa’s Auditor General committed to conducting an audit of the electric bus plans to be reported on in 2022. She has plenty to consider.

The City also intends to oversee complete electrification of personal vehicles in the City. Electric vehicles represent only about 1% of the vehicle stock in Ottawa today. There are good reasons for this.

The most obvious is that they are far less convenient and less useful than cars powered by internal combustion engines. ICSC-Canada board member New Zealand-based consulting engineer Bryan Leyland explained why:

When the Model T came out, it was a dramatic improvement on the horse and carriage. The electric car is a step backwards into the equivalence of an ordinary car with a tiny petrol tank that takes half an hour to fill. It offers nothing in convenience.

Leyland also describes why installing electric car charging stations in the city is impractical:

If youve got cars coming into a petrol station, they would stay foran average of five minutes. If youve got cars coming into an electric charging station, they would be at least 30 minutes, possibly an hour, but lets say its 30 minutes. So thats six times the surface area to park the cars while theyre being charged. So, multiply every petrol station in a city by six. Where are you going to find the place to put them?

Like the buses, electric cars are also costly. On April 13, 2021, the Canadian House of Commons environment committee published The Road Ahead: Encouraging The Production And Purchase Of Zero Emission Vehicles In Canada,” a report in which they concluded that replacing gas vehicles with electric cars would be too expensive for most Canadians. Higher battery costs were the main cause of the higher price for consumersthe committee said.

And besides the fact that electric cars have poor low temperature performance, there are also serious safety issues. The Bolt, an electric vehicle sold in North America by General Motors, has been tied to at least nine fires since early 2020, and Hyundais electric vehicles have been tied to at least 15 fires. We are also starting to occasionally see Teslas burst into flames, one as recent as November 2021 when the fire spread to the nearby garage of the owners home.

The cause of the electric vehicle fires is their lithium-ion batteries. These batteries burn fiercely, and in addition to the fire and heat danger, are extreme toxic fluoride gas emissions. These fumes are especially dangerous in confined environments. Since lithium-ion fires are a chemical reaction, they can only be cooled rather than extinguished and can end up burning for several days.

According to the Austin, Texas Fire Department Division Chief Thayer Smith, it takes 200 to 1,000 gallons of water to put out a typical gasoline fire while this can increase to 30,000 40,000 gallons of water for an EV fire. After severe damage to a parking structure in Germany, all lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride battery based electric vehicles have been banned from parking underground. Will the City of Ottawa have to close all underground parking garages if they go to all electric vehicles?

Concerns are also being raised around the world that widespread use of EVs will result in serious electricity shortages in the rest of society. Put simply, the grid and infrastructure just arent there to support the electrification of the private car fleet. For example, Toyota president Akio Toyoda warned on December 16th that Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. Robert Wimmer, Toyotas head of energy and environmental research testified before the U.S. Senate in March 2021 and said, If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance, and affordability.

Of course, the reason the City wants to electrify its transportation system is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and protect the environment. But California engineer Ron Stein, co-author of the newly released book, Clean Energy ExploitationsHelping citizens understand the environmental and humanity abuses that support clean’ energy, explains that, when one counts the emissions produced when generating the electricity to power the vehicles as well as the mining, material processing, manufacturing and transportation involved in making the vehicles, especially their very energy intensive batteries, there really is no significant emissions saving.

Stein and co-author Todd Royal also explain that lithium-based electric vehicle batteries rely on a mix of rare earth metals and cobalt, manganese, nickel and graphite that require massive amounts of energy to mine, transport, process and refine, far greater than the extraction and transport of oil and natural gas. Mining and mineral processing also require large volumes of water and can pose contamination risks from mine drainage and wastewater discharge.

When mining rare earth metals, about 90% of what is pulled up from the ground contains uranium, thorium and other radioactive nuclides. This radioactive waste can pose serious risks if it is not properly disposed of. In China, for example, champion of rare metals, in Heilongjiang province, a carpet of toxic dust covers agricultural regions. And, of course, China controls most of the lithium and cobalt, which are often produced with child labor and near-slave labor, with practically no health, safety or environmental safeguards. Even the CBC reports that there have been mass fish kills related to lithium mining in Tibet.

ICSC-Canada Economics/Policy Advisor Robert Lyman explained:

A recent United Nations report warned that the raw materials used in EV batteries are highly concentrated in a small number of countries where environmental, labor and safety regulations are weak or non-existent. Artisanalcobalt production [cobalt is crucially important for solar panels, wind turbines and batteries] in the Democratic Republic of the Congo now supplies two-thirds of the global output of the mineral. Many of the mines employ child labor in extremely dangerous tasks. Up to 40,000 children [some as young as 4-years old] are estimated to be working in extremely dangerous conditions, with inadequate safety equipment, for very little money in the mines in Southern Katanga. The children are exposed to multiple physical risks and psychological violations and abuse, only to earn a meager income to support their families.

Why would Canadas national capital or any other city want to deploy a transportation system that is costly, unreliable and based on minerals and metals which are mostly limited to environmentally negligent human rights abusers such as China, Russia, the Congo and the lithium triangle in South America?

No other word but INSANITY can describe this plan for we fear will be a once great city brought to its knees by Marxist ideologues with no idea of the fraud they are supporting that carbon dioxide emissions are of any danger to society.


  • Tom Harris is executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition

  • CFACT Senior Science Analyst Jay Lehr has authored more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles and 36 books. Jay’s new book A Hitchhikers Journey Through Climate Change written with Teri Ciccone is now available on Kindle and Amazon.