The headlong rush in Canada to punitive carbon taxes, and restrictions on production, transport and consumption of coal, oil and natural gas, may take a much-needed pause.
That’s due to the SNC-Lavalin affair dragging down the federal government, the resignation of a key leader of the World Bank, and a new head of the presidential committee on climate security of the United States.
As well, the resignation of Gerald Butts, who was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s point man on climate change and the federal carbon tax, is significant.
And the considerable opposition to the climate crusade from the Saskatchewan and Ontario governments now has an ally in the new United Conservative Party regime in Alberta.
In short, the carbon tax should disappear entirely if the Liberals are defeated in the fall federal election.
Former World Bank president Jim Yong Kim was a prime proponent of carbon taxes and an adherent of the more dire global climate change projections. The World Bank’s stance on CO2-emitting projects such as coal-or-gas-fired power stations, oil and gas development and pipelines is critical. In the balance is energy democratization, improvement in standards of living and economic growth in developing nations.
Dr. Will Happer, the proposed appointee to the presidential committee, is a renowned physicist with serious skepticism about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and the role human carbon dioxide emissions have in any such observed warming. He’s certain to marshall the considerable evidence against accelerating warming and carbon dioxide’s contribution to it.
Certain other new developments also cast doubt on the motives and methods of the most ardent proponents of global warming.
The Green New Deal, which was launched by ‘progressive’ Democrats in the U.S. recently, is mainly a screed calling for aggressive income redistribution; punitively progressive income taxes; rapid phase-out of all fossil fuel use; curtailing beef production; and retrofitting or reconstruction of all buildings to low-energy use and carbon-neutral status.
All of this would cost trillions of dollars and vastly increase government control of all aspects of the American economy and individual lives.
Of course, that’s the point of all of these ambitious and extreme ‘green’ plans: to take wealth from affluent people and affluent countries, and spend it on the lowest-income people and countries.
This revolution would occur while giving much greater power to central governments everywhere and diminishing the free-market economic system to a mere vestige of its former, wealth- and innovation-generating self.
Since wealthy people and their capital are mobile and able to defer or avoid taxation, much of the burden would fall on middle-income families. With little disposable income left to the middle class after all these massive initiatives, regulations, taxes and penalties, recession and perhaps dire depression would ensue.
Meanwhile, the ardent and adamant proponents of these nightmarish plans would be in charge of it all. That would satisfy them greatly, as they may have few other marketable skills in today’s pragmatic, results-and-evidence-rooted capitalistic society.
The goal apparently is to gradually lower CO2 emissions and have an orderly transition to greener energy consumption, without impoverishing billions of people.
If so, instead of fiendishly high carbon taxes to force this dubious utopia, more effort should be put into determining which energy storage methods will make solar and wind energy truly viable and commercial.
Demonizing fossil fuels and nuclear power won’t get that done.
Ian Madsen is a senior policy analyst with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.