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Baby, It's Cold Inside

Updated on November 15, 2011

Canada's production of natural gas is on the decline as their consumption increases

no natural gas, imagine that!


It is a cold, dreary night.  But you are sitting comfortably in your warm, cozy living room chair?  How, with the use of something that we all take for granted!  Central heating by natural gas.  Enjoy it because, it is about to become scarce.  Natural gas that is…natural gas has reached it peak production – three years ago.  Now it is declining!


My wife and I spent two years in Macao, in Southern China.  The summers are humid and hot but the winters can be cool.  Temperatures can get below 10° C  in the evenings.  This doesn’t sound cold but the apartment we lived in has no insulation nor central heating.  It was cold!  When the wind blows, it felt cold inside the building as well.  We wore winter clothing indoors and used extra blankets.  The only source of heat was a space heater, which every resident can’t avoid purchasing.  It is freezing cold in your “house” in the winter.


Just imagine your home experiencing a cut off of your natural gas --  either due to the fact that you cannot pay your gas bill (natural gas will become very expensive) or no supply is available ( we run out) and the temperatures drop below 0° C.  Our home in Linden has a front entrance with no heating vents.  Only the insulation keeps the cold out.  The temperatures inside that front entrance may be only 10° C warmer than outside.  If it is -20° C, it may be -10° C inside.  Can you imagine no natural gas available to you for heat in the middle of January?  This is a realistic possibility and not in the too distant future.


Now, to make matters worse.  The tar sands now consume 0.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, enough natural gas to heat 3.2 million Canadian homes per day!  By 2012, they will consume 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, enough to heat all Canadian homes for a day!  This is the natural gas we need to heat our homes.  Think about it!  Forgo heating our homes in the winter or reduce our dependency on fossil fuels consumption and look for an alternative energy source.  If the price of oil goes up again, we should use the royalties we receive to invest in other alternative energy sources.  By the way, by 2030, the tar sands are forecasted to consume over 5 million cubic feet per day, representing more that the combined output of the planned Mackenzie Valley and Alaska gas pipelines!


This is just one of many problems facing Canadians, especially Albertans, in the near future.  Others include running out of oil, water and food.  There are things we can do as a community-- namely community survival. Think locally!

Update! Update! Update!

Well, it actually happened. My furnance decided to quit. Yup, and on a Sunday afternoon, and colder weather was forcasted for the evening. The pilot light was working, the fan was working but we couldn't get it to kick in. Temperature outside was scheduled to go below freezing. Nobody was available to find out what went wrong.

So we started to prepare ourselves for a very cold night. As the sun set, the temperature inside our home started to decrease. We started to wear our jackets inside the house. Temperature outside was heading towards twenty-two degrees F. The cold in the house started to become unbearable. We decided to go to bed and get under the covers.

About one o'clock in the night, it got unbearably cold. The temperature in the house register sixty degrees. I decided it was time for more blankets. We settled rather comfortably with three more blankets!

We get some sleep but by six in the morning, the cold started to get to us. I couldn't believe it. The temperature outside reached a measly four degrees F.! The coldest temperature so far this fall. The temperature inside the house was a balmy fifty-six degrees!

I was supposed to go to work that morning but I decided I needed to get in touch with the gas company and see if we can get our heat back again. My wife went to a warm, cozy restaurant to get warm up and some hot coffee. I stayed at home waiting for a gas company repairman to come to my home. Now I was wearing ear muffs, a couple of jackets and blankets wrapped around me. The temperature reached fifty-three degrees inside our home.

Finally, just before noon, the repairman came and fix my furnace. Almost twenty- fours hours without heat -- not quite a day. Yet it seem like eternity before the heat was back. I was so thankful that the furnance was fixed before the house got any colder. I couldn't imagine if it lasted for three days, or one week, or even two weeks! Or what if the temperaure outside was in the negative temperatures!

Thank goodness for central heating. We really don't know what we are missing until it is gone. We do take things for granted.


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