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A counterpoint on world climate change

Dear Editor,

Mr. Topple’s belief taxes are not the only solution to climate change is evidence of the old adage that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Very little knowledge in this case.

My thoughts in point form as as follows:

  1. Solutions are not forced by the UN which can only report the science.
  2. The “tax” is not “as per the Paris Accord.” That is an agreement of every country in the world to take action – it cannot impose anything. The transfer suggested is for the wealthy countries (that became wealthy by burning fossil fuels) who are responsible for more than 95 per cent of accumulated emissions to pay for the poor countries that will suffer most and who had virtually no part in the CO2 problem.
  3. Carbon pricing, taxes, or other, have been successful  the world over. Revenue neutral is part of the reason for that in that it helps gain acceptance and cooperation in the applications.
  4. The rebates are not partial. They cover the total impact on the citizens and exceed the costs to individuals.
  5. The tax produces nothing for the federal government. Ninety per cent is directly returned and 10 per cent is applied to climate initiatives. It is, therefore revenue neutral.
  6. It is true Canada does produce only 1.6 per cent of the world’s emissions. That makes it the 10th highest in the world with 190-plus countries emitting less. It is also the second highest per capita emitter. A top “bad actor.”
  7. There are no better ways. The ways Mr. Topple writes of are “geoengineering” something that is a last desperate measure if climate change does become that threat to the survival of the human species. The consequences of such methods are a mystery with the agreement that they might be worse than the climate problem.
  8. A climate tax is not punitive. It has been a job creator in several countries with far higher rates of tax and rather than harmful to the economy is a major tool in preventing that economic collapse that will follow inaction.
  9. Climatologists have not “fixated” on carbon taxes. They do not say anything about them. It is economists who say they are essential and the best way of tackling the problem. Witness the recent open letter signed by 3,500 economists calling for such taxes – included were 27 Nobel Prize winners.

The federal Conservative Party has offered no solution. It poses to worsen the problem with more pipelines and the cancellation of actions – as Ford has done in Ontario and Trump in the U.S.. In the U.S., the individual states are now starting to act to compensate for the Republican intransigence.

Carbon pricing is an essential first method. It must then be supplemented by regulatory actions to cover the sectors of the economy where carbon pricing will not be sufficient.

Or does Mr. Topple favour greater state intervention and mandates rather than encouraging individual action?

John Peate