Monday, August 5, 2013

The CBC and The Economist promote green huxster's "report" on BC carbon tax

University of Ottawa professor Stewart Elgie founded an organization called "Sustainable Prosperity",  "a national green economy think tank/do tank ... in the pursuit of a greener, more competitive Canadian economy."   [Note that Preston Manning is listed as a steering committee member.]

Sustainable Prosperity recently published Prof Elgie's upbeat "report" on BC's carbon tax - "An Environmental (and Economic)Success Story" promoted first by the CBC and yesterday by The Economist.

Given Elgie's green activist orientation it behooves one to read his report with some skepticism as it is likely to be tainted with substantial confirmation bias (and worse).  Both Elgie and his report are critiqued by Hilary:
Ottawa based Stewart Elgie – not unlike IPCC-nik and recently elected British Columbia Green Party MLA, Andrew Weaver – has a history of putting advocacy carts ahead of evidence horses. ...
And here's a commenter on The Economist piece:
... BC per capita energy use has been declining since 1978. The post CTax rate of decline is actually been SLOWER than the 2000-2007 trend (the CTax was announced and introduced in 2008)for the package of CTaxed goods, and most of the individual commodities in the package. ...

... BC's economy has always been less carbon-intensive than the rest of Canada's (due to its large hydro resource and two of the most densly populated major urban areas in the country) But comparisons of BC's fossil carbon energy usage and the rest of Canada's show that BC's relative advantage was much better every year from 2002 through 2007 than any year after the CTax was introduced.  ...

... Second, over 85% of the post-Ctax reduction in BC energy use was reductions in industrial energy use. This reflected the historically unprecedented shrinkage of BC's forest products and paper manufacturing sectors ...

... the driver of post-2007 energy demand reduction in BC has been de-industrialization. Manufacturing employment in BC has fallen 26% since the CTax was introduced, while the Cdn national average has been a 15% decline.  ... etc.

4 comments:

Hilary Ostrov said...

Thanks, JR ... I think it is also worth mentioning that John Ferry at the Province also took Elgie and his opus to task.

See: http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/Ferry+carbon+love+affair+illusion/8719862/story.html

And I would think this even if Ferry had not given me an "honourable mention" in his piece;-)

Cheers,
Hilary

Alain said...

So where is the documented scientific evidence that our pixie dust tax, sorry carbon tax, has improved the environment. I can assure you that there is no such evidence, because it has no effect on the environment but is another great cash cow for our borrow and spend government.

JR said...

Hilary, No, thank you. I very much appreciated your blog post on this. And thanks for that link to Jon Ferry's article.


Alain, That's right. All of these green pie-in-the-sky schemes are justified using highly dubious scary climate change assumptions. The real effect of BC's carbon tax on the global climate will be insignificant. While there's some truth to its revenue neutrality, for now, it's almost certain to eventually morph into a true cash cow.

L. Wayne Mathison said...

CBC wants a Nation Wide carbon tax so they can get more fundiing. If they could take 100% of a carbon tax for themselves they would.