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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: The Politics of Climate & Carbon Reply with quote

Denley: Ontarians' reaction to competing climate change plans may decide the next federal election
So far, this has largely played out as a battle between Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford, but Trudeau is the guy with all the political jeopardy

RANDALL DENLEY Updated: December 27, 2018

Ontarians have a big environmental and political decision to make in 2019. It is one that will go a long way toward determining the outcome of the fall federal election.

They have been offered two competing approaches to combat climate change. The provincial government*s plan will regulate emissions and offer incentives to reduce them. Expect a remarkably similar approach from the federal Conservatives. The Trudeau government, however, insists a carbon tax is essential.

So far, this has largely played out as a battle between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford, but Trudeau is the guy with all the political jeopardy. If Trudeau imposes his carbon tax it will let Ford rail against the Liberals for as long as they are in power. If Trudeau can*t persuade Ontarians that a carbon tax is reasonable, he is going to lose a lot of seats in the province and possibly the election.

For that reason, the onus is on Trudeau to justify his plan to a province where nearly half the population remains sceptical, even after he promised that most people would get back more money than the carbon tax will cost them.

To persuade Ontarians, Trudeau needs to do a much better job of answering several key questions.

Why does he insist that pollution is free? Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas, but it is neither pollution nor free. CO2 is a colourless, odourless gas formed by respiration, combustion and organic decomposition. It is an essential element of plant and human life. The issue is that too much of it is being produced, contributing to increased temperatures. Burning fossil fuels is far from free. In Ontario, there is already just over 20 cents in direct taxes on a litre of gas, and the cost of the gas and the taxes are subject to HST. In all, Ontarians pay more than 30 cents a litre in taxes for their ※pollution.§

If a tax of 30 cents a litre hasn*t encouraged Ontarians to sharply reduce automobile use, why will Trudeau*s carbon tax make a difference? The Trudeau carbon tax will start at 4.5 cents a litre and increase to 11 cents over five years. Ontarians can buy gasoline now for $1 a litre. Will they buy less at 104.5 cents a litre? Economists like to talk about prices encouraging people to change their behaviour, but Trudeau*s puny carbon tax seems unlikely to do that.

If the Ontario plan is really so different, could Trudeau explain to us how?
Why is Trudeau telling us his plan will meet Canada*s Paris agreement emissions targets by 2030? His own environment bureaucrats said last week that the federal plan will miss the Paris target without unspecified new measures. Projections say Canada would need a carbon tax of $200 per tonne of emissions to meet those targets. Trudeau*s tax only goes to $50 a tonne by 2022. It seems like the tax will have to rise dramatically, or it will fail.

How much of Trudeau*s anticipated CO2 reduction will be directly attributable to the tax? One could easily form the impression that the carbon price is the plan, but Simon Fraser University climate scientist Mark Jaccard*s analysis says the carbon tax contributes only 15 per cent. An environment ministry spokesperson says pricing carbon will reduce emissions by 50 to 60 megatonnes by 2022. That*s no more than 20 per cent of planned reductions.

Randall Denley: Ontario*s politicians need to focus on spending cuts, not squabbles
Randall Denley: Ontario*s deficit report shows cuts alone are not enough to restore fiscal sanity
Randall Denley: With pragmatic new climate change plan, Ontario offers antidote to eco-hysteria
Why is the Ontario plan unacceptable? The federal government immediately dismissed it because it did not include a carbon tax, but like the federal plan, it does include industry emissions regulations, clean fuel emissions reductions and electric car expansion. Ontario is increasing its transit supply. If the Ontario plan is really so different, could Trudeau explain to us how?

Why does Ontario have to carry more than its share of the emissions reduction burden? The Ontario government points out that it is already more than two-thirds of the way to reducing its emissions by 30 per cent compared to 2005 levels. That*s the national target as well. Most of that reduction was due to closing coal-fired power plants, not ※putting a price on pollution.§ It seems reasonable for Ontario to do its share, but Trudeau insists that Ontario must do more than that.

Trudeau says the carbon tax is not a money grab because all the money collected will be redistributed to residents and businesses, although not in proportion to what they paid. Okay, but why is he charging HST on the carbon tax? That*s not coming back to people paying the carbon tax.

Justin Trudeau*s favourite form of persuasion is portraying opponents of his carbon tax as uninformed, and possibly climate change deniers. His environment minister, Catherine McKenna, is a one-note prophet of doom. And yet there are many legitimate questions Trudeau has not answered. If he wants votes in Ontario, he*d better get to it.

Randall Denley is an Ottawa commentator and former Ontario PC candidate. Contact him at randalldenley1@gmail.com

I think this article sums up where the debate is how and puts a lot of good questions forward. It appeals to the rational mind on the basis of cost and benefit.

I don't mean to use this thread to propound my position, which should be known in our small crowd. I mean it to follow the politics of the carbon tax and how politics is shaped by the irrational side of humanity.

Doug Ford has been carrying the ball on this. There are signs of a coalition of premiers are lining up against it. This takes some political courage in these times, when the forces of the media have made the expression of doubt about climate change into a kind of heresy. I mean that seriously.

We have debated it. We don't have to do it again, except perhaps as it comes up.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without repeating my same general argument on the topic;

The challenge the Federal Liberals have is their approach to the Carbon Tax;
Right now you are either a Gaia Hugging Believer who cares about the planet or you are a knuckle dragging neanderthal who is a "denier";

However, I would say that many people fall into a third box.
You can be the former but also not believe that the Carbon Tax is the best way to combat the issue at hand.

It will be those people who will be most likely to change or maintain their votes in 2019 on this issue.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are Gaia believers but where are the "deniers"?

To me, the purpose of the 'alarmist' position is to stir irrationality so people will be stampeded into spending huge amounts of money on benefits they cannot see. They are trying to panic us, and blow us over with scientific expertise, to make people feel they are dragging their knuckles if they have the least bit of scepticism.

They cannot admit there ia a reasonable position on the other side because they have demonized the other side. They are going to go into this election daring people to declare themselves troglodytes.

What you think of as a compromise is something else ... maybe going for Plan B. Because anything that we have any realistic chance of doing will make NO DIFFERENCE if China, India, and the USA don't sign on. It isn't a matter of believing or not believing. It's a matter of cost and benefit, and this will bring Canadians no benefit. Except (perhaps) the benefits that come with unemployment.

The "third box" people want what they suffer to have some beneficial effect that they can see.

The South-East Asia area adds 90% of Canada's whole CO2 emissions every year! China, alone, emits more CO2 than the USA and the EU do, added together!

As I see it, the only rational policy for Canada is to FOLLOW our major trade partners. and do what serves us when the big industrial powers come to grips with the problem. We can't lead on this issue.

There are two obvious biases in the reportage of the 'climate science'. First, it is biased towards alarmism, and second, it is biased against technological solutions. It has closed down discussion. It is becoming an obvious anti-industrial set of policies that see no solution but prohibition. It's bad politics.

We should argue that if we can't be the leader, we can look for technological solutions, perhaps something like fracking. As it stands, people are being asked to pay the equivalent of another GST for no identifiable reason.

If (and when) the Third Box people understand that, they'll come around. That's got to be the bet of the Conservative Party.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

The "third box" people want what they suffer to have some beneficial effect that they can see.

I would argue that there are methods of reducing emissions that don't generate revenue for the Government that actually improve the lives of "third boxers" available.

This tends to get forgotten as most people have written off Harper's tenure as some sort of Environmental Black Hole;

However this:

Was one of the most effective means of tackling emissions without generating revenue for the Government.

The Goal was to get below 2005 levels by 2020;
New standards went into effect in 2011

The 2005 Emissions levels for effected vehicles (Passenger Cars / Passenger Light Trucks) was 85.1 Megatonnes of Emissions

In 2015 Emissions levels for effected vehicles (Passenger Cars / Passenger Light Trucks) was 83 Megatonnes of Emissions


Which is impressive considering that in 2005 there were 18,275,275 cars registered that would have been effected by the standards and in 2015 there were 22,067,778


You increased the fuel efficiency of cars on the road making it cheaper to operate your vehicle, you decreased emissions yet you still increased the amount of vehicles on the road.

This was one of a few methods of reducing emissions, solid waste, and other items on the Environmental Agenda during the last administration that didn't result in a tax on everything.

The point that needs to be sold to the electorate is that its entirely possible to become more efficient and generate less emissions and NOT generate billions of dollars in tax revenue for various levels of Government.

Its not either or

The Sunday Morning Televangelist approach to this issue by the Government of "Just send us money and we will save your souls" has to be put to debate.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think electric cars are now becoming viable. Teslla claims to be meeting its production goals. They claim to be making 5000 cars a week.

What the final solution will be, who knows? People think of electric cars as being cheap, but they are subsidized to the degree that they don't pay the share of taxes that petroleum pays.

The biases of the Greenies is reflected in the policies they endorse, and it is based on attitudes more than science. They hate industry more than that they love nature. For most of them, "Nature" is something they have to drive through on their way between cities.

If there was a "right wing" or market-driven form of Green -- which was there at the beginning -- I think it'd have a lot of success.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long term Electric may be the solution;
However you are going to have a cobalt problem, an electric infrastructure problem, and a disposal problem eventually but that is neither here nor there for now.

However the point was more along the lines of one of the most effective tools that were laid out by Government (in 2010) at reducing emissions in the passenger vehicle sector was able to do so without added costs to the consumer (actually saving money) and without generating additional revenue for the Government.

The problem with the carbon tax or bust approach the Federal Government has is implying its the only way forward when history contradicts that.

That is the point the opposition needs to hammer home;
You can be "green" without providing billions of dollars in tax revenue to Government.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Oliver: Carbon taxation needs public buy-in. Are you seeing much of that?
Costly and useless green initiatives are increasingly being rejected around the world. Yet our PM obsessively doubles down on his activism

Joe Oliver
January 4, 2019

An important question in this year*s federal election will be whether Canadians hold the Liberal government to account for consciously inflicting an economic calamity on an energy industry that sits on the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world. The answer depends on whether the public buys into climate-change alarmism. We recently heard from a climate believer on why the answer may be no. A skeptic would agree, but for different reasons.

The Globe and Mail devoted over two full pages to an article by Dan Gardner titled ※Why don*t we care about climate change?§ He wrote that ※climate change is the greatest threat we face, save for nuclear war. But we sure don*t act like it.§ The reason is apparently not selfishness or ignorance of an undeniable fact. Rather, it is ※psychological distance§ 〞 the decades it will take for climate-induced disaster to materialize, that it will affect poorer people in other countries more severely than Canadians, and that its worst impacts are uncertain. In other words, climate change is too remote to motivate people to make personal sacrifices.

Will Canadians hold the Liberal government to account for consciously inflicting an economic calamity on the energy industry?

Gardner concludes the way to deal with this psychological impediment is to make the risk more immediate for the public by, for example, showing P.E.I.*s coastline inundated by a rising ocean, or personalizing the people who may be affected by the G?tterd?mmerung. I thought this was what alarmists have been doing daily. Whether it is education in furtherance of a noble goal or propagandistic manipulation will obviously vary with one*s viewpoint.

A very different perspective was offered at a 2017 presentation by Prof. Roger Pielke Jr., titled Climate Politics as Manichean Paranoia. He claimed that extreme polarization on both sides has degenerated into a politics defined by four troubling characteristics.

First, a quasi-religious belief that the issue is good versus evil 〞 hence the accusation that skeptics are deniers, evoking the holocaust, and that they should be shunned, penalized or, according to David Suzuki, imprisoned 〞 even though frightening predictions regularly turn out to be grossly exaggerated or plain wrong, and higher greenhouse gas concentration increases arable land. Second, a conviction that the end justifies the means, permitting hyperbole, distortion, cherry-picking and outright falsehood in furtherance of the goal of eliminating fossil-fuels usage, depriving dissenting scientists of funding or employment, and using lawfare to silence critics. Third, a refusal to engage in substantive policy discussions or debates, so as not to give a platform to doubters, who might confuse the public with alternative facts. Fourth, millenarian rhetoric about a utopia in which GHG emissions will be eliminated and alternative green energy will drive sustainable prosperity, despite renewables having proved to be costly and uncompetitive.

I would add a fifth: the misleading use of words to evoke negative emotions, like tar sands, though the oilsands do not contain tar; or calling carbon dioxide ※carbon§ and falsely labelling it a pollutant, even though atmospheric CO2 is a source of life on Earth. No one I know refers to water as hydrogen, which is chemically H2O, nor thinks we are polluted by drinking carbonated beverages.

In Paris, the gilets jaunes rioted against a fuel tax because the elites were concerned about the end of the world, while they worried about the end of the month. In Canada, regulatory impediments, political interference and high taxes blocked pipeline construction and therefore oil transport to overseas markets. Opposition to resource development costs jobs, economic growth and tens of billions of dollars annually that could fund health care and education. It also weakens our national security, heightens regional tensions and undermines national unity.

Opposition to resource development costs jobs, economic growth and tens of billions of dollars annually

Furthermore, solutions the government imposes to address climate change, like a carbon-dioxide tax, do not achieve a measurable impact on global temperature or meet our Paris Accord commitments. But they are worse than useless. Perversely, these policies drive up GHG emissions and jeopardize environmental safety by increasing train and truck transportation, importing more oil from less environmentally responsible countries and depriving developing countries of natural gas that would reduce their use of higher emitting coal.

The reason many people do not believe in climate change is not only psychological. The public may sense that alarmist hysteria suggests uncertainty and that hard evidence does not point to an inevitable catastrophe. It is hardly surprising Canadians are unwilling to make painful sacrifices today to prevent an unsure dystopian future that our government has not demonstrated it can do anything to prevent. Meanwhile, other countries put economic self-interest first, notwithstanding all their hypocritical posturing at the UN.

Costly and useless green initiatives are increasingly being rejected by voters around the world. Yet our prime minister obsessively doubles down on his counter-productive activism, seemingly oblivious to an incipient yellow-vest resistance at home.

〞 Joe Oliver is the former minister of finance and minister of natural resources.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FUREY: The carbon tax isn*t the end goal 每 what comes next will be even wilder, like a meat tax
Anthony Furey
January 7, 2019

This is going to be the year of the carbon tax even more so than last year. It*s the year the Saskatchewan reference question gears up in the courts. It*s the year Jason Kenney, noted carbon tax foe, likely becomes Alberta Premier. And it*s federal election year, where Justin Trudeau and Catherine McKenna do everything they can to shame the country into submission on this deeply divided issue.

No observer of the scene expects the protests we*ve seen out West, largely against the tax, to die down anytime soon. But then again nobody expects Trudeau, a true believer, to drop the issue.

The PM is facing a situation similar to the electoral reform debate. It was deeply controversial, with both sides hunkered into their corners. Passions were strong. And it became clear that there was no consensus but rather confusion and acrimony. Trudeau did the wise thing and put a pause on the whole project.

Don*t expect the same to happen here. He*s not going to back down on this one. In fact, he*s more likely to increase the carbon tax if and when he wins the next election.

※Conservative leader says Trudeau will hike carbon tax if he wins vote in 2019,§ was the headline of a Canadian Press story from the other week. But it was odd to frame it as if this is Andrew Scheer*s opinion. Because it*s not. It*s fact.

Since 2016, various government documents have explained that the carbon tax will be reviewed in 2022 and that will include ※continued increases in stringency.§ That means increasing the rate per tonne up from $50 每 the cross-my-fingers-behind-my-back figure Trudeau says is the current max 每 to something probably resembling the $135 per tonne that the latest alarmist UN report demands.

So the increasing of the tax isn*t really the question. What is the question is what comes next. What*s their next tactical move? Because if this current advance succeeds and the carbon tax is firmly in place for years to come, they*re not going to suddenly stop and say all is well.

I*m not using these military phrases randomly either. It*s how the activists think of this 每 as a battle.

※Unique among the mainstream party leaders, May says, honestly, that meeting Canada*s current emission reduction targets 每 much less the steeper ones advocated by the Greens 每 would require significant sacrifices from Canadians. She compares it to the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War when, as she put it, in humanity*s ※darkest hour§ ordinary citizens put aside their political differences and united to fight a common enemy that was, for that generation, another global, man-made threat to humanity.§

What*s next then? What*s the offensive strike that comes after the carbon tax? One possibility is a meat tax. We could soon see a large push for governments to treat grocery store meat the same way as booze and smokes, by hitting it with a massive sin tax.

It sounds like fringe nonsense but it*s alarmingly mainstream. Here*s an excerpt from a CBC story from 2016: ※Taxing meat and animal byproducts would discourage demand and stave off climate change, says the lead author of the study, Marco Springmann. The University of Oxford researcher says world governments need to buy in.§

And here*s the sort of talking point, found on PETA*s website, that could become a regular part of the activist toolkit: ※A study by the University of Chicago found that going vegan is 50% more effective in fighting climate change than switching from a standard car to a hybrid.§

The carbon tax as the final frontier? Nope. Just the current one. After that, brace yourself for the next attack.
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