Thursday, January 10, 2008

Carbon tax insanity

In his Toronto Sun column today, Lorrie Goldstein says the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy is off its collective rocker recommending Canada unilaterally impose carbon taxes and/or set up a ‘cap and trade’ emissions trading scheme:

... [NRTEE] recommended Canadian taxpayers should fall on their swords for the sake of winning a Pyrrhic victory over global warming.

the NRTEE is telling us to do two contradictory things: Act in concert with the rest of the world to combat global warming and, regardless of what the world does, act unilaterally now.

the NRTEE is effectively recommending Canadians pay significantly more for carbon (meaning for virtually everything) for decades to come, at the risk of severely damaging our economy ... even if countries responsible for up to 10 times our emissions do nothing.

That's not a policy. It's insanity.

The Harper government requested this report. It should thank the NRTEE -- and shelve it.

Couldn’t agree more. Nor, I suspect, could Terence Corcoran.

Now I wish BC’s government would get a clue and stop trying to be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best pal. Though it’s equally likely that the weasely Gordon Campbell and Co are simply intending to capitalize on pliable, green, loony left coast environmentalism to squeeze more cash from our wallets.

H/t to Joanne here and here.

Update: Terence Corcoran’s latest (Jan 11) column on this.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great post, JR. Thanks for all your interest.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Interesting article by Corcoran too. I had missed that. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Let's suppose global warming is real and then to be followed by an ice age. Is it not a good thing to ramp up the global warming bit? I mean would the global cooling be less? (real conservative)

Thucydides said...

We are still a few degrees below the Medieval Warm Period or the Holocene Climate Optimum, so I wouldn't be holding my breath for an Ice Age just yet.

On the other hand, if the Greens ever implement their plans either through electoral victory or non accountable "International regulation" via the UN, we will be enjoying the warm weather outside as peasant farmers.

To fully appreciate the social and economic environment under those circumstances would require a study of Mao's collectivization of Chinese farms, or the behavior of the Khmer Rouge during "Year Zero", or perhaps Taliban era Afghanistan.

JR said...

Thanks to all for the comments.

Ref to ice age: reminds me of this interesting YouTube video
dealing with the 1970's predictions of a new ice age and identifying some of the theory's proponents.

doug newton said...

The idea that the climate of our planet changes over time is accepted by most of us.
The idea that life on earth has an interaction with the climate of the planet seems reasonable, to me anyway, so I can accept anthropogenic global warming as a possible threat.
However, the toxic pollution of our environment seems to me to be an ongoing event.
It think it makes more sense for humanity to focus on keeping our environment clean and healthy so that life can better withstand the sweats and chills of climate change, which will apparently happen will we nil we.
I wonder if we don't face a more certain threat from the toxic pollution of our environment then we do from the possibility of catastrophic global warming.
There are some actions that we could take that address both of these risks. Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels would be one action that would fit that bill and in the case of oil, provide additional geopolitical benefits.
A concerted effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, done so as not to damage the economy that is sustaining the effort, would get my vote.
Do you agree with me on this, and
if so, what is the best approach?

JR said...

Doug, The recent history of the world suggests that as nations have become wealthier and more technologically advanced the less polluted the environment has become. Wealth spurs technological innovation spurs wealth ....

So yes, I agree that whatever we do should be done in a way that does not damage the economy. A weakened world economy would be disastrous for the world's poorest and would reduce the possibility of innovation that could enable us to deal with all kinds of natural threats including climate change and even, say, an impending asteroid collision.

That's globally speaking. But as Lorrie Goldstein and others say, for Canada to unilaterally cripple its economy with carbon taxes for the sake of playing the global goody-two-shoes is beyond foolish.

Here's another today column by Terence Corcoran on carbon taxes.