Wildfires in BC – Margaret Wente’s assessment!

In the August 31, 2018 edition of the Glove and Mail, Margaret Wente suggests that linking of forest fires with climate change is rhetorical.  Or, as she put it:  ” The rhetoric matches the images”, a reference to the many photos of burning forests and communities impacted wildfires. As an example of rhetoric, she quoted … Read more

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” explains Canada’s climate policy.

The Federal Government is once again re-assuring Canadians that economic growth can be consistent with reduction of Canada’s GHG emissions. Canada accepted emission reduction targets when it ratified the Paris Agreement. The consensus of experts  is that the Paris Agreement targets agreed to by all countries are unambitious. These targets will not limit global warming … Read more

Lima COP 20: Conclusion

A much earlier 4RG blog raised the question that Canadians should be asking themselves:  is my country honest? When our Government representatives speak at the Conference of the Parties are they being candid?  Or do they evade issues, knowing that what they should say is inconsistent with the image they wish to present? Our Minister of … Read more

BC’s Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax will work for Ontario

Reducing Emissions and Creating Jobs

The world has already warmed about 1 degree Celsius from greenhouse gases. Past CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions commit us to another three quarters of a degree or so in the decades ahead.  Ultimately, global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities must be reduced by 60-90%.  Yet Canadian emissions continue to increase. The current Canadian government has committed to a 17% reduction in CO2 from 2005 to 2020. However, the expected 2020 value is expected to be close to the 2005 benchmark because the implementation of industry regulations is slow. See Canada’s Emission Trends, 2013, Environment Canada . Some politicians have questioned why Canada should act any faster, given that we produce only about 2% of the world’s CO2. For comparison, Canada’s contribution to the Second World War made up only about 2% of allied forces, but no one questions the importance of that contribution to the world!

We need more effective ways to reduce our carbon emissions. Fortunately, one such policy exists: a carbon tax which gives companies and individuals the incentive to reduce emissions. In short, we tax the things we don’t want (e.g., pollution) and use that money to lower taxes on things we do want (e.g., jobs).  A carbon tax is simple to administer and implement.

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2013: Will BC voters reject a Carbon Tax?

British Columbia is known for its progressive legislation on environmental issues.  The publication “Corporate Knights”, which advertizes itself as The Magazine for Clean Capitalism, ranks British Columbia second in its assessment of “Canada’s Greenest Province”.   (The leader among Canadian provinces:  Ontario.)

One law that has attracted favourable commentary from abroad is the BC carbon tax, which was implemented on July 1, 2008.   The carbon tax is revenue neutral, meaning every dollar generated by the tax is returned to British Columbians through reductions in other taxes. Tax cut measures include income tax credits for low income individuals, cutting the first two personal income tax rates by 5 per cent, providing northern and rural homeowners a benefit of up to $200 annually, and reducing the business taxes.

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Listen to the critics!

Nigel Lawson, (now Lord Lawson), a Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK Government of Margaret Thatcher, published a book in 2008 with the title “An Appeal to Reason”, and sub-titled “A Cool Look at Global Warming”.   Lord Lawson was a member of the UK House of Lords Select Committee on the Economic Effects of Climate … Read more

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