Guelph Climate Change Forum Report

Guelph Climate Change Forum Report

On October 19 in Guelph about 150 people gathered to hear Stéphane Dion and Andrew Nikiforuk present their views on Climate Change. The Guelph Mercury captured highlights of the event in this video on their web site.

M. Dion’s presentation proposed a world wide carbon tax as a mechanisms that might break the logjam that is currently preventing progress in international climate change negotiations. The result of such a tax would be that the price of products that use more fossil fuels in their creation and distribution would increase relative to the price of  products that use less.  Of course this would lead to all producers and consumers actively seeking alternatives that use less fossil fuels. While he proposed that each country would be free to do whatever they liked with the revenue generated, it is his vision that wealthier countries would use it at least partially to help disadvantaged countries. Read the text of a similar talk that he gave at the Pacific Coast Collaborative leaders’ forum in San Francisco on October 28.

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Carbon Tax – Ready For Polite Society?

Carbon Tax – Ready For Polite Society?

For some time now I have had the sense that the concept of Carbon Tax is becoming a more acceptable dining room conversation topic, so yesterday I decided to poke around the web to see what I could see. While I didn’t find direct proof that there’s more than last year, I  certainly found no shortage of interesting, provocative commentary and I am now comfortable talking about it with anyone.

It seems obvious to me that if we want to discourage the use of fossil fuels we should increase the price. The generic name for this idea is a Price on Carbon. This includes Carbon Tax and Cap & Trade, but what do these mean? Many commentators justify the tax saying that it addresses the cost of the damage done by burning carbon.

The simplest description of a Carbon Tax that I found was by James Hansen:  1) A fee is charged at the point of origin or point of import on greenhouse gas emitting energy (oil, gas and coal).  2) The fee is progressive (increases gradually) over time.  3) The fee is returned to the public. Read his full description of what it is, why it will work, and why the Climate Lobby prefers to call it Fee and Dividend.

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