"There are no reserves left. It's a question of survival of the human race."
That was the reasoning of French president Nicolas Sarkozy to support the introduction of a national carbon tax to come into effect next year. The tax, at 17-Euros per ton of carbon emissions, makes France the largest nation in the EU to introduce a carbon tax.
From The Guardian:
The president stressed that the state would not reap any funds from the measure. All of the €3bn collected would be returned to families and business through tax credits, tax cuts and other green incentives.
The system will differentiate between people who live in urban areas with good public transport and those who live in rural areas and are more dependent on cars. The rural households will get more money back from the state, he said.
Although the tax will apply to oil, gas and coal, it will not apply to electricity. Sarkozy argued that with 80% of electricity produced in France coming from nuclear plants, which have low emissions, it would make no sense to increase the price of this form of power.
That probably sounds a lot like the Green Shift envisioned by Stephane Dion. It is. Sarkozy, however, knew better than to introduce it as an election issue - a critical point that eluded Mr. Dion.
Despite all the nonsense spewed by Stephen Harper and Jack Layton and, latterly, even Michael Ignatieff, we're all going to get to the point Sarkozy has brought France. The only reason we wouldn't go for a carbon tax in Canada, and even Stephen Harper won't be able to conceal it, is to shield the Athabasca Tar Sands projects from responsibility for their rapacious energy consumption and resulting carbon emissions.
It really is too bad that Iggy is being so outmaneuvered, yet again, by Harper. Mr. Ignatieff's vaunted "war room" is coming to look awfully wobbly and so, in the minds of a troubling and apparently growing number of Canadians, is the leader himself.
Maybe there's still time for Mikey to smarten up and stop running to the edge of that cliff, over and over and over again. Or he can try to trigger an election. Either he wins or the LPC gives him the boot - a "no lose" proposition. He could, however, start thinking like an astute politician and wait for Harper to hand him an issue that will resonate with and trouble the majority of Canadians. He's not going to have to wait very long. Harper has to come up with a climate change policy pretty soon. The government can't go empty handed to the Copenhagen climate summit in December.
Ignatieff could start pounding the climate change drum. He could castigate Harper for keeping the Canadian public in the dark about what the environment experts know is coming. He can depict Harper as a guy who doesn't want Canadians to know even if that means they can't plan and prepare for what's coming. If he's smart he could make Harper squirm like a worm on a hook because Harper is baiting that hook himself.
If Ignatieff is stupid enough to force an election before he can find something on which he can effectively connect with the voting public, the Liberals will get what they deserve and Canada will probably get what it doesn't deserve.