2012, the Uncle Gnarley Blog has posted every Monday and, during much of that
time, Thursdays too. Several contributors, notably David Vardy, “PlanetNL”,
“JM”, Jim Gordon, the “Anonymous Engineer”, “Agent 13”, the “Bard of
Pynn’s Brook”  John Tuach — to name some of the most recent and prolific amongst
them — have played a major role in offering analysis and opinion on the many
facets of the Muskrat Falls Project, in addition to the province’s fiscal
challenges.  All have demonstrated
enormous dedication to a high standard of research and writing, as well as the
capacity to explain and simplify exceedingly complex issues.  

am hopeful that they and others will continue to use this platform to address
the many issues plaguing Newfoundland and Labrador. For my own part, however, after
an exceptionally busy year working with the other Members of the Muskrat Falls
Concerned Citizens Coalition while maintaining the Blog, I plan to post less
frequently and, in particular, free myself from the self-imposed requirement to
post every Monday morning.

is gratifying to have nearly reached the 3,000,000 pageview plateau. Although it
is just a number, it represents proof that there exists significant interest in
public policy issues in Newfoundland and Labrador — something that the mainstream
media has ignored, especially in the early years of the Muskrat Falls saga.
Hopefully, in addition to Ed Hollett’s Sir Robert Bond Papers and The Independent, others will use the
blogosphere for a similar public policy purpose.

Change continues to be necessary in the fiscal arena. Denial of this fact by the public and reckless partisanship on
the part of the political leadership constitute the fuel thwarting measured change.
An informed conversation around the perils of the status quo and the cost of “rate mitigation” remains an

to the Uncle Gnarley Blog, the chief change that readers will notice will be
found in the timing and frequency of the posts. Instead of slavishly adhering
to a timeline, I will post when I feel compelled by the urgency of specific
public policy or political issues — and when time permits — unless, of course,
the work of other writers is available.

always, when a new post is made, I will link it to my Facebook, LinkedIn and
Twitter pages. All readers are welcome to follow me on those platforms, and to
friend or follow me on Facebook for easy notification when a new story — mine
or another writer’s — is posted.

in case you’re wondering? I’m not going away. I’m just freeing up time to do
other things.

for reading the Uncle Gnarley Blog.

Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. Again, I have to agree with UG and congratulate him, other contributors, commentaries and readers, in their dedication to the blog and happenings in the province. And agree it is not all about meeting any schedule or expectations, particularly of the readers, that is most important but rather the timeliness and relevantness of a particular post. The blog has served us well and I think it will continue in that spirit of being informed. Readers may drift away as can be expected but others will continue to comment as they see fit. Nalcor may be pleased but we will have the last laugh because they are paying for my mini split heat pump. Thanks says Joe blow.

    • As long as you understand AJ that you are paying for your heat pump and you will also be paying for Muskrat Falls while you continue to live here. The only escape from muskrat cost is to leave the province and even then federal money will be used to pay for it. In other words you and I are a captive market here in NL, screwed by those we elected and their fantasies and resultant crimes against the people.

    • Anom:18:19, as they say there are many ways to skin a cat. So you are not entirely right, only in general concept, that we all know. As I have mentioned here before I have done this kind of thing before. I had a wood stove for two decades, and I kept my power bill at around 100$ per month, that was in the eighties and nineties. So paid 1,200$ a year for almost 20 years, to the power company. I was younger and more capable and wood was more accessible and I enjoyed the outdoor work. So on average I figure I saved 200$ per month on my power bill, or 2400$ per year. That's money I would have paid to the power company. So in 20 years I saved 48,000$. Now wood was not free. For my secondhand truck, chainsaw, and trike etc. may have cost me 20,000$, so I as still in 28,000$ over 20 years, approx., and I am not counting my labour, as I said I enjoyed the outdoor work. But if I counted my savings it was 1,400$ per year, or for my labour if you want to call it that. But anyway money in my pocket, 1,400$ per year or 28,000$ over 20 years. Won't make a person rich, but what I liked about it was all compliaments of the power companies. They paid for my capital and operating cost as one might say, and gave me a profit of 28,000$. Not bad for a little guy, and I wasn't stealing the power from the power poles running by my door, it was all legal, and I was laughing all the way to the bank. Now I just need to figure out my savings with my heat pump when I see how much I am saving or I am getting from the power companies, even when they gradually increase power rates, and the higher the rates go the more I save. So right now I figure I will be saving 1,200$ a year, or money the power companies will be giving me. Yes I have to pay for my Capitol and operating (repair, maintained) of my heat pump the same as my truck, chainsaw etc. As they don't last forever either. And the addition bonus is like the wood heat, you have it quite comfortable in your home without the scallywags running to and fro half froze. Thank you, thank you power companies, as the money you make from your oil ventures, you will be paying me first, you get that nalcor. Average Joe.

    • It's not winning or losing but how you play the game. If they are out to screw you, you defend yourself. Yes like saving by wood, especially for those getting up in age wanting it a bit easier than in the woods. Take Charge won't be having you in their TV ads.
      Maybe you should run a private ad on NTV, maybe the HP contractors would fund the cost? Then we all see the real AJ? Does he smoke a pipe, like Santa maybe, feet up warm and toasty, and saving 1200 a year. Perfect. Go for it Joe.

  2. There are a lot of similarities between this blog (as it pertains to Newfoundland) and as it relates to war in that region. Both are one of the very few places where local experts comment on important events and anyone can join the discussion. Both sites are run by passionate patriots. Both have material that will never be published on mainstream sites.

    Most people only comment under the most recent article and when important issues arise, even if they are completely unrelated to the post above they are also discussed under that article. If a month passes between articles, the comments gets far too long.

    My suggestion is that when a month goes by (or the comments pass 200), that you post a new page. I'd be happy if it was just a few photos from one of our outdoor trips or some poetry. That way we know you are well and still have a place to discuss important issues.

  3. Now at 2,999,884 hits on UG, I intended to congratulated you on reaching the 3 million mark. Amazing you have kept it going so long.
    The issues are not going away so good to see UG isn't either, just not at the same pace. Your contributions and those of others that have written pieces are invaluable.
    I see A Joe, like others intend to "Take Charge" of their own power reduction and help reduce peak demand. This helps too to fight the Climate emergency.But any single technology,neither minisplits nor battery storage will reverse the CO2 emissions that keep climbing. Major policy changes, not just in Nfld but worldwide is essential, so I hope UG readers will follow the present summit in New York.
    I hope some writers,on UG, will address our health care crisis in NL.
    You have done yeomen service for your fellow citizens. Your Monday morning insights and opinions have been a priority for 7 years, and got comments from across Canada. Hope some others step up with contributions.
    Winston Adams

  4. Oh my!. Peckford, the Digger is cracked, and gone mad, scare mongering people about the Green Party. Read his piece linked on UG…"Stop the Green Party" . The 4 HAVE provinces, including NL, are "haves" due to oil and gas, says the Digger, and doomed without it. "Oil on the brain" gave us the boondoggle, we know.
    The Greens, following UN recommendations for the climate emergency, is madness says Peckford.
    I think the Digger protest too much, and gone mad himself, but few agree with me, I think.
    Let good science dictate policy, and hope Brain Peckford don't burst a blood vessel. I once admired him.
    Winston Adams

    • Don't believe me, but do you deny the science; this from today's update, key messages, saying "united in science":
      1.37 billion tons of CO2 from Fossil fuels into our atmosphere in 2018 alone
      2. CO2 now rising at the rate of 2% per year, despite renewable energy efforts.
      3. earth's temperature now 1.1 C higher than pre-industrial level
      4. 2015-2019, is the warmest 5 year period on record
      5. recent mean sea level rise is accelerating, from 3mm per year to 4 mm per year.
      6.arctic sea ice declining at the rate of 12 % per decade.
      7. ocean acidity has risen 26%
      8. glacier mass loss from 2015-2019 is the greatest on record.
      9. to avoid runaway global heating, the temperature increase much be checked not to exceed 1.5C, to avoid tipping points that cannot be controlled.
      10. to achieve the 1.5 C limit, it requires policies to reduce emissions to increase 5 fold.FIVE FOLD. Reduction must come from all sectors.

      That, my friends is a brief summary of the science. For Peckford's mad rants against science, follow his blog, Peckford 42, and recall the Peckford's Pickle Palace, as to his expertise in science. He was once a high school teacher, but seems to like history and politics more than science.
      Winston Adams

    • I had never heard of Thomas Cook. They existed for 178 years in the travel business, in Britain, and yesterday went bankrupt, sticking 150,000 people who had booked holidays.
      There demise was due to paying 1.1 billion a year in interest on loans, about 25 % of the revenue coming in. so not much different that our Nfld Govn. For banks to forgive a portion of their debt, 1.7 billion forgiveness, did not pan out.
      One small factor is climate change, last year many from Britain di not go abroad, as the unusual warm temperatures kept some home. Also the drop the the value of the British pound in fear of Bretix.
      And fossil fuel so cheap and so many travelling that the business is overly competitive, not profitable for old style Thomas Cook. Others will no doubt fill the void, but after 178 year they are gone.
      Too bad Nalcor has lasted so long, helping us push our interest costs the same as Thomas Cook.

    • Some on this blog talks about speaking "truth to power". Some have said my ability for analysis is very poor. Truly, my best before date is likely passed. Age 71 is crawling up there.
      Today at the UN, Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish girl gave her speech. In brief:
      "We are in the middle of a climate breakdown. All you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear"

      She cites the conclusion of thousands of scientists. She understands and knows the science.

      Intelligence is, I think, part an accumulation of learning. Wisdom a combination of intelligence but also of emotional maturity. She is not intimidated by these powerful people. She truly speaks truth to power, and her very high intelligence is obvious. She is awesome.
      One can Goggle "If world leaders chose to fail us", to read more of her speech. Her speeches are usually short and to the point.
      Our Brain Peckford once dared to challenge Trudeau the Elder, and was impressive. But Greta is awesome. To hear her speak and her manner, is…..out of this world. They say she has a disability. I wish I had a fraction of her ability.
      Winston Adams

    • Anon@1942: and what is your name and expertise on child abuse? I am a victim of child abuse by my teacher, John Sharpe, when I was about 10 years old, in Grade 4. He had dozens of victims. Greta does not appear a victim of abuse to me. And she is not hiding like you, who may profit from the fossil fuel industry, who knows?
      Winston Adams

    • I wonder what PENG2 thinks (Telegram item) that disruption is expected from 'business as usual' approach, as many companies may act to protect against climate heating.
      As to PENG2 and his investments in Fortis and other of his 50 holdings, is compliance with necessary GHG targets a part of his investment thinking, in the past, or the present?
      Trust you have not vanished from UG with the Inquiry wind down?

    • 4 minutes, 7 second video: The Guardian: Greta Thunberg condemns world leaders in emotional speech at UN.
      Marshall Island president afterward said the summit must be the moment we choose survival or selfishness.
      Seems to me selfishness is supreme right now. No significant move by most major polluters. Canada did not attend. Trudeau is busy,saving face. Peckford must be happy that the Princling is not too Green. France is most committed……they are mostly nuclear powered. Germany is to phase coal by 2038, much too late. China is silent. Trump is about to be impeached, a requirement, or lose the election, being necessary for human survival. Interesting times.

    • While the climate crisis was the main topic at the UN, Trump held a session in another room on religious freedom, saying to "give glory to God".
      This the man who boasted he could grab women by the pussy, and more than a dozen claim he sexually assaulted them. He recently looked skyward claiming "I am the chosen one".
      Thunberg, on the other hand, speaks for millions including thousands of scientists who best understands that our planet earth is in great peril.
      If there is a God, which I don't dispute,then God's representative don't own his own jet. She sails the high seas, with solar and wind assist. And she has better hair.
      But……what do I know?
      Winston Adams

    • We are on track to FAIL: just 18% of 3000 listed public companies have plans to limit temperature rise of 1.5 C.
      Many hide their GHG emissions least it discourage investors.
      Stan is good, it is said, at putting things "back on track"…..
      can he move the needle on Fortis GHG emissions?

    • My posting on Thomas Cook has some errors:
      600,000 stranded passengers, not 150,000. 150,000 was British. 50,000 of these holidaying in Greece. Some even go there to have their weddings and invite their guests to come!
      The 1.1 billion in interest costs was recent accumulated total, not for 1 year.
      Virgin Atlantic, now increasing the fares 50% from London to Orlando for next summer holidays.
      21,000 employees with Cook now without jobs, so equivalent to collapse of our fishery in Nfld in 1991.
      Cook has subsidary companies,one in Germany, some be be impacted further.
      600,000 , most of these on 2 week holidays, for just this one carrier. Shows the extend of world wide jet travel and fossil fuel burning contributing to global heating, there the favorite spots that see 5 to 10 million tourists each year. Cheap air fare is but one factor driving global heating. Britain chartered 45 jets to bring home their citizens.
      The world is gone mad, hey b'y. Everyone wants to live like Trump. His jet has a gold plated toilet. We all need that!

    • Cook Business Plan Failure is but at ripple, following such iconic Lehman, and other expected Bankster failures, and collapsed World Currencies. Keep your eye on Gold and Silver. How many mining ventures will be regurgitated in NL? This could all benefit NL's write off of massive debt. Inflation can be your friend. Osborne must be a student in global fiscal policy. A genius would you say?

    • Can we see the peer reviewed science on climate change please, as to the actual causes I mean? Transparency and accountability is important you know. It is not about media and political science and brainwashing. The ignorant masses won't even ask if it is fake news.

    • Naturally, the cause is by dinasour farts, or by aliens, or by left wind idiots, or algae working overtime, all of which is peer reviewed. Surprised you couldn't find them your self anon. No scientists would have peer reviewed published research, would they?
      If you didn't hide behind your keyboard, I'm sure someone would take you more serious and help you you with cure your blindness anon. The ignorant masses, you being one of them, assume the climate crisis is fake news.I wonder, did James Hansen, the astronaut, do any research? Was he scientist?

    • Sorry Winston but climate change is real and has been going on since the beginning of recorded time and before. The question is what are its many causes and to what extent is each relevant, including human activity and so-called green house gas emissions. Let us know if you have seen the peer reviewed research on these important matters or are you just a victim of political science and fake news by the media? Should we have a review panel like the one suggested for the North Spur? Let us not bury our heads in the sand and accept any popular view or opinion. Let us keep an open mind, if we can find one?

    • thank you anon for questioning the science. I just knew a little of James Hansen, so just now finished reading up on him in Wikapedia. It took just over an hour.
      1. He was authored 160 papers on climate change and related science.
      2. He is called the "father of climate change" stated at the bottom of the other piece is his book "Storms of my grandchildren"
      3. Numerous awards and prizes for his research.
      4. Considered by other scientists too outspoken on his findings, despite being accurate. Most scientists are muzzled or afraid to speak out'
      5. 3 times arrested for activism
      6. Wears a hat like Indiana Jones.
      7 Heroic scientist many say.
      8. No doubt an influence for Greta, although that source does not say that.
      9. His many predictions early on has come about, and I say,woe to humanity who ignoes his knowledge , wisdom, and predictions.
      10 Read what I just read on him and report back if he or Peckford knows the science better?
      11 I encourage all UG readers to read on him, and see why the Sweedish girls speaks for him and other scientists who are silenced.
      Winston Adams

    • 1. Anon, Of course climate change is real. You are wrong to say its been going on since recorded time, but much longer than recorded time, as evidenced form ice core samples etc, before man was around to record time.
      2. The question to its many causes and to what extent each is relevant including human activity and green house gases it true.As an engineer and interest is many branches of science , I have long followed the science, and too follow the denial of politicians to scientific truth and evidence. Also how many politicians are bought off by political contributions to cast a blind eye to science.
      3. The media has long neglected the science, and many are much influenced by revenue for ads from fossil fuel industry, and others
      to maintain the status quo. Take even local Fortis with much revenue form GHG generation in other jurisdictions. Some media are recently telling the science truth, and these you claim is fake.
      4. In my lifetime I have seen the change in climate. Weather changes quick, sometimes 4 times a day in Nfld. Historically, Climate changes very slowly mostly, and is relatively stable. Now it is changing rapidly in comparison, with man made contribution to change quickly.And with known tipping points, may change very rapidly in the near future. That is the what science says.
      5. DO we need a panel like for the North Spur? The panel on climate change, exists and has reported many times, and tended to underestimate the consequences. Are you ignorant of the Panel Report? More than a thousand sceintists and studies, converging on the conclusion reached with 98% certain of what will happen. So, almost absolute. Not good odds for "business as usual", is it?
      6. Most still bury their heads in the sand, as denial is the popular in fact the popular view, but fast changing.
      7. Can we find an open mind? I expect not if we look at yours. A friend recently joked his mind was so open you could look in one ear and out through the other. Trust you mind is not that open?
      Yes , I do find some with real open minds, and some with closed minds, and some out of their minds altogether. At present 2 great minds, I suggest is James Hansen and Greta Thunberg, and both speak truth to power. They cannot be bought off. Stephen Hawking, no fool, wrote that climate change is more of a threat to civilization than nuclear war. Guess your mind exceeds these people, yu likely admire the mind of Trunpie? Now there's an open mind guy!. Burn more coal he says, to stay competitive with USA industry. And too for oil and gas burning ,the more the better. I should seek out his peer reviewed science publications. Where do I look? In his gold plated toilet? He seem a character out of a Will Smith movie, with an evil alien under that yellow hair do, programmed to repeat "Fake News, Fake News". Only Spock could stop him, or Wolf Blitzer might yet do it, to expose the alien. LOL. Cheers, anon

    • Anon, here's an offer: 10 dollars for each UG reader who reads the piece I mentioned on Hansen, and then give their name if they believe Hansen is right or wrong. For 100 who do this, that is 1000 dollars, I will give to a charity; maybe the Seniors association or other good cause. Even if all say Hansen is wrong, I will accept what they say, they need not agree with me.

      Winston Adams

    • I would suggest reading the updated comments to this article, to enlighten Canadians to the legacy of corrupt Government and Public Administration in the "Rich oil baron " province. Sound familiar? NL seems to have borrowed some of the Western Tory based "expertise".

  5. I research the rising star of GRETA from Sweden; she is either loved or hated by millions, now with 2 million followers, and now winning a mayor award , Alternative to the Nobel. Even our local Paddy Daly of VOCM praised her. Many say she is mentally ill, or abused or controlled by lefties, others that she is super intelligent, and very focused. And it is suggested she now trolls Trump. The twitter feeds, (new to me) is funny and entertaining to show polarization.
    While there is much uptake in interest in the Green movement, Canada is getting more Green , and Nfld too, but still less than 50%
    UG readers are most all silent on Greta. which is better than attacking her character. UG readers, I suspect are more interested in the science, whether is she right or not, so holding back comment, I suspect. The science is uncomfortable to accept, so must make people reflect to see if this is really serious stuff or scare mongering.
    Winston Adams
    I believe she is now in Canada.

  6. The Hump may have given himself enough rope to hand himself this time. In addition to Hump I have also called him, along with many others, a pathological liar and a Demogragy. The term that defines him best is A Demogragry. If you looked it up it really means to take a democracy and turn it into a ditactorship, and believe what you are doing is the way it should be. If you view Hitler, that is exactly what he diid. He bacame the leader a Democratic Party and turned the party and country into a dictatorship. The Hump is doing the same thing, and thinks he is doing nothing wrong, that's what his whole being is all about. Like Hitler he has great personal charm, which is a trait of Demogragy, and almost half the people of the US are his followers. Then he has a following of linch men that are only too proud to follower their great leader, that in their mind he can do nothing wrong, they are blinded by his self righteousness. Notice how he goes around talking religion and higher power and him being the chosen one. People of religion lap that up. I could go on and on with many examples, like the press is the enemy of the people, etc. Thanks, Joe blow.

    • And the USA comedians now having a field day as to impeachment.Of course, Hitler would have had them shot,and silenced. USA is not there yet, as the HUMP is only yet a little Hitler, but has more potential, if not stopped. The more he gets away with, the more he thrives on his power trip.
      But wait;
      Some saying: Make America Greta Again! She was the star at the UN , not the Hump.
      But here at home, we can't forget the boondoggle. The quick clay has not yet collapsed. in the early 60s I would be poking 3 tons of coal into or cellar, which lasted all winter. Now I have no backup for my baseboard heat at Logy Bay. HPs not installed , sitting in boxed this past 2 years, due to other priorities. Will the GE software work or not, leaving us with blackouts? A dicey situation.

  7. Much talk of a quid and quo : I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.
    I took Latin in high school when as a Canadian I should have been taught French so I could understand fellow Canadians in our neighbouring province.
    So Peckford just posted the conversation between Trump and the the Ukraine President. Why would Peckford, A Trnmp admired , post this as if it's a good thing, nothing wrong with what Trump said?
    There is a quid and quo, in that Trump was holding back military aid,wanted dirt on his opponent, Biden, and was assured Ukraine would help him: a benefit for Trump in the upcoming election.Such corruption was envisaged and made illegal by the founders of the USA, until Mr Trump, just like the Godfather would do in the movie.
    For good measure, the Ukraine Presdent said when he was last at New York , he stayed at a Trump hotel.
    Now Peckford was a teacher, maybe he taught Latin and understands the quid pro quo meaning, or does he?
    Not only does the Digger not understand science, as in climate science, but doesn't understand Latin either. Or maybe I forget the little Latin I did learn, and I go it wrong?
    Winston Adams

    • Repeating what USA TV anchors are saying: there was a 'quid', and there was a 'quo', meaning 'a fovor given, a favor returned" so both legal conditions existed.
      Quid pro quo (translate "favor for a favor"), seems WA knows this as he says it from his third line from the bottom, he says 'quid pro quo'

    • Just finished the diggers publication from e-harmony of the new love life between two presidents. One acting like a cougar and the other like an innocent prostitute. No innocent love there like he had for kimmy…this is pure unadulterated sex, and services rendered in exchange for cash on the barrel head. Several meeting arranged, like free accommodation at Hump tower in NY, meet in Poland, fly Humps jet because it is better and bigger than his one room flat. The favor was asked, and guarantee several times. The stage was set, those previous bad guys should rot in hell, and you and I, the two new squeaky clean presidents should reign supreme in a quid pro quo, says Joe blow.


    “Battery storage is central to the better utilization of all assets within the electricity system, better value to ratepayers, and reduction of our carbon footprint,” Ameresco Canada president Bob McCullough said in a Sept. 24 statement. “Taking this action now will demonstrate how energy storage facilities deployed at the distribution level can facilitate more cost-effective designs of both transmission and distribution infrastructure while providing greater power reliability to local areas, regardless of peak energy demands,” he said.