Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Real Change or Another Hollow Gesture?

So a carbon tax it is then. Ten dollars a ton for the first year, stepping up by an additional ten dollars a ton over the span of five years. End point, 50 dollars per ton of emitted carbon dioxide.

Do you have any idea what that means? I'm going to filch a few ideas I left in a comment to Owen Gray's (Northern Reflections) post this morning.

I began with memories of your high school math teacher, the one who was never content with a correct answer but demanded to see your "work," your calculations, just how you came to that correct answer, step by step. I hated that guy. Still do.

In Justin's case with this carbon tax proposal, it's even worse. He's pulled out a number but we can't tell whether it's even the correct answer much less how he reached it. It might be a political number, something pulled out of his backside for all we know.

We don't even know what the government's target is or how these taxes will achieve it.

If there's no clear and meaningful link between the carbon tax levels and emission reductions then it's purely gestural, a nice collection of political numbers with little connection to scientific purpose.

Other than pissing off Saskatchewan's Poindexter, Brad Wall, of itself always a worthwhile pursuit, the government's purpose is incomprehensible. Trudeau needs to clear the air. He needs to get up to the blackboard and show us his math.


zoombats said...

He's a drama teacher.Perhaps he doesn't know how to do the math.

Northern PoV said...

It is a start. Politically risky. (Harper used it for two elections very successfully.)
It will either remain meaningless* or - if we get serious about climate change - it can be built on to actually change behavior. We'll see. Economics are not looking good for expensive unconventional ff.

As for the other side of the "balance" (*yes the carbon price could be a clumsy attempt to buy social license) our photo-friendly PM is being praised for.... With a LOT of luck we could see a win-win. A plausible fantasy….

Trudeau approves LNG
Trudeau approves a pipeline (Likely KM)
LNG dies soon from economic reality long before the courts fights are finished.
Christy Clark is sent packing to join Harper.
Notley gets re-elected.
KM dies from economic reality long before the courts fights and land battles are finished.

Selfie king gets to have his cake and eat it too. ;-)