It’s been about three weeks since I last chimed in on the issue of a carbon tax. I’m going to do so again, at the risk of repeating myself, because Premier Scott Moe said this, on social media:
That’s all true, as far as it goes, but, as I said almost two months ago, everyone skirts the real issue about carbon which is: are we using carbon based fuels wisely? I suggested that we are not and that a properly applied carbon tax might convince us to change our behaviours because, in the final analysis, it is us ~ you and me and my brother in law and your next door neighbour ~ who decide the real value of carbon, day-in and day-out.
If, I suggested, and I suggest again in response to Premier Moe and to Climate Change Minister McKenna, we want to make the best use of carbon based fuels ~ which is for mobile applications where its low volume to energy ratio is ideal ~ and, concomitantly, stop using it for less than ideal applications ~ like static power generation ~ then a carbon tax which is applied like the “sin tax” on cigarette and whisky ~ so that you and I and our neighbours and brothers in law “feel” it whenever we turn up the thermostat or turn on the large screen TV ~ will cause us to demand that politicians take action to use carbon based fuels properly. But, we must understand, as this article by Bruce Anderson of Abacus Data explains, that while most Canadians believe that climate change matters, they:
- Don’t believe it matters as much as many other things; and
- Don’t want to pay any price to slow or stop the change.
Brian Lilley, who is not exactly an unbiased observer, says that “According to Abacus Data, just 13% of Canadians would choose a price on carbon as their preferred method to deal with climate change … [he reports that] … Poll participants were given four options for dealing with climate change and were asked to rank them as their first, second, third and fourth choices. The options were, rules and regulations, low carbon tech subsidies, carbon pricing or do nothing … [but] … Carbon pricing only finished ahead of do nothing … [while] … The most popular choice with 44% support was to use rules and regulations to deal with climate change followed by 35% that supported low carbon technology subsidies. Carbon pricing was at 13% and doing nothing at all was not that far behind at 7%.“
In short, Canadians have seen through the Liberal‘s carbon tax scheme; they can see that it’s just a tax grab designed to help fund Team Trudeau’s out of control spending.
Does anyone really think that the graphic warnings on cigarette packages or hiding tobacco products from the public gaze does much good? I guess not … not much anyway. But we did see a marked decline in smoking rates when taxes shot waaaaay up … of course we also saw a sudden rise in illegal tobacco sales, almost all by First Nations who are nearly immune to law enforcement by provinces and the national government. Price drives behaviour. That’s my only message … I do not favour a carbon tax but if we are going to “put a price on pollution” then it only makes sense that we “make the polluter pay” and that means us.
The issue isn’t about any kind of tax or about climate change or even pipelines … it’s about using the right tool for the right job.