Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CF-18 Replacement and the Alberta Carbon Levy

I have an opinion on almost everything going on in the world around me.  Here are a couple:

YES; I think the Canadian government should buy the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet (or Rhino as their pilots call them) to update it's fleet of CF-18 Hornets. 

The country has sunk a lot of dollars into the development of a new airplane, the F-35 Lightning, but that aircraft is so far behind in its development and testing phase it is unlikely it could become totally operational when the Hornets have to be retired.  When talking to Canadian F-35 test pilots, I have heard that the F-35 is a magnificent airplane.  It is beautiful to fly and to maneuver, but I think it is just more airplane than we need as a small nation. 

I have always supported the F-35 program but more and more problems (and higher costs) with it keep surfacing.  Its single engine configuration might be an issue while patrolling Canada's vast empty northlands and so far it has proven to be a very high maintenance bird!

The F-18 Rhino is already flying, and its operational around the world.  It has appeared at the Abbotsford Air Show many times and puts on quite a display! It is about 30% bigger and much more powerful than our CF-18 Hornets but the transition over to it should be relatively easy for our CF-18 pilots. 

The Royal Canadian Air Force has, in my opinion, the best trained and skilled military aviators in the world!  They need the best equipment for their very difficult job!  I say lets buy the Rhinos and wait to see what happens with the F-35.  Maybe in the future we'll see Canadian Rhinos and Lightnings flying in RCAF colors, each with a different job.

NO;  I do not believe that Premier Notley's Carbon Levy is a good idea.  It's a sales tax on energy.  It's going to cost us more to drive our cars and heat and light our homes, and for what?  The money will go into a fund to promote the development of renewable energy sources.  I should think the province should be helping the energy sector develop these sources instead of taxing them.

 The energy industry has billions of dollars invested here in Alberta in energy production.  They know that the oil and gas won't last forever and they know that there are environmental issues at hand, too.  They need help in finding realistic and economical ways to replace them while reducing the environmental impact of using them.

 I heard one estimate that said it would take over six thousand wind turbines to replace the power from our coal fired generators. That's just not realistic!  Let's help them find more realistic solutions to this problem!

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