Print this Post

You can care about the environment, without wanting carbon taxes

March 2021

So, the Conservative Party members rejected a party motion to “…recognize that climate change is real” and enshrine it as official Conservative party policy. I say good, because the issue of climate change has turned protecting the environment into a cult-like prognostication of a horrific doom, unless we make human sacrifices to the “Green God.”

Hasn’t the “Cult of Green” been thoroughly exposed as a fraud, given how wrong all the alarmism has been, and how carbon intensive many of the “green alternatives” have been?

Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,”  was wrong with so many of its alarmist predictions.

Saying you believe in climate change has become the only way to say that you believe in saving the planet. The “Cult of Green” ignores all the responsible environmentalism that can be achieved through technological advances, not taxes and killing our energy industry.

Scolding us by saying that, “…the time for denying climate change is over,” is the wrong way to go about it. The Earth’s climate changes and has for billions of years. We know there have been at least five significant ice ages in Earth’s history, and the remains of trees have been found in the Arctic permafrost, so what does that tell you? Yes, the climate does change.

What is debatable however, is just how much of an impact humans are having on the environment and how we can solve that problem.

This should be an opportunity for the Conservative party to distinguish themselves from the Liberals by presenting real solutions to environmental issues, along with re-defining what environmentalism should be today.

Let’s make one thing very clear: everyone wants clean water, clean soil and clean air. That’s not an issue. Not so long ago, we burned fossil fuels with no filters or emission controls. We dumped industrial waste in lakes and rivers, or simply buried it, with little care for the environmental damage it did. Anyone remember Love Canal?

We’ve seen the damage that can be done by not having strict environmental standards, and I can’t see anyone tolerating reversing those standards. What comes out of car tailpipes, factory smokestacks and gets dumped into rivers and lakes today is cleaner than it’s ever been and getting better through technological advances, brought about by higher environmental standards. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying. The appetite for allowing industry to pollute without consequences is simply not there.

Environmentalists changed all that, and that’s a very good thing. Back in the 1980s, acid rain was a serious problem to our environment, as was the hole in the ozone layer. Environmental action and government regulations eliminated that problem, all without unnecessary, economy-killing taxes.

We use cleaner burning fossil fuels, like natural gas, and zero-emission nuclear power, instead of burning coal. While clean coal technology has made burning coal less harmful to the environment, coal still does pollute more than natural gas and nuclear.

Today’s climate change believers seem more like cult-like zealots than true environmentalists; they believe humans are the cause of Earth’s problems; they believe that humans should freeze in the dark to save Mother Earth. Some even advocate for having fewer children to fight climate change.

Now we’re told the best way to save us from the “climate emergency” is to do things like pay carbon taxes, which are really just a socialist wealth-redistribution scheme.

In what universe can anyone believe that “most” people will get back more in rebates than they will pay in carbon taxes, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising? Not only will we pay carbon taxes directly (gas for cars and our homes), we will also pay indirectly, since everything we buy is transported to our stores by plane, train or automobile.

These costs will be included in the price of everything we buy, as corporations won’t eat the carbon taxes imposed upon them; they will pass those costs onto the consumers in the form of higher retail prices.

At least O’Toole has publicly stated if elected Prime Minister, he will repeal the federal carbon tax.

Of course, one could say that past environmental protections also resulted in higher retail prices, but they have proven to actually work. Besides, things like better fuel efficiency and better insulation in homes have saved people money in the long-run, which is a good thing all around.

Over a decade of carbon taxes in British Columbia haven’t reduced carbon emissions; just the size of people’s bank accounts. In January 2018, the Sierra Club reported: “emissions (in B.C.) were higher in 2015 than in 2010 and have risen in four of the last five years. B.C.’s latest emissions data mark years of failure to reduce emissions by more than a token amount.”

Well, that’s why we should all switch to electric vehicles, including transportation companies, you say, which is promoted as another way to save us from the “climate emergency”!

Well, one very inconvenient truth about electric vehicles is that the battery is made using cobalt, a rare-earth mineral mainly found in the Congo, which is carbon intensive to mine. Further, will we be able to properly dispose of or recycle these lithium-ion batteries by the time they reach the end of their life-cycle?

Also, the carbon intensity of producing the batteries can be very high. Two researchers from the Fraser Institute, Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Steadman, wrote, “Building a car battery for a sport-utility vehicle (1,100 lbs) could emit up to 74% more CO2 than producing an efficient conventional gas-powered car if the battery is manufactured in a coal-powered factory.”

Are we just trading one problem (emissions out the tailpipe) for another problem?

Has anyone thought of what will happen if we stopped buying gasoline, or using natural gas and propane to heat our homes, and governments are no longer collecting the gas taxes that are applied to the price every time you fill up at the pumps? We all remember the fuss that was created when Ford cancelled Wynne’s carbon tax, with the usual crowd complaining about the “lost revenue.” In that case, this “lost revenue” meant money that stayed in the pockets of taxpayers.

Promoting the benefits of green technology doesn’t mean we have to ignore that they may have limitations and negative aspects too. That’s not to say that we won’t find cleaner and better ways, that are also economical, to power our world, nor that we should stop looking, but we aren’t there yet.

Further, for things like wind turbines and solar farms, which require huge tracts of land, are carbon intensive to produce and have their own environmental concerns, are horribly inefficient, and seem to run more on subsidies than on wind and sunshine. The paltry amount of power they do generate is also a problem, so there’s that too.

While they’re not perfect, we’ve done a lot more to clean up the environment by using cleaner burning fossil fuels, like natural gas, and zero-emission nuclear power.

For them to actually be realistic alternatives for mass power generation, one big hurdle is for industry, not government, to develop batteries capable of long-term storage of the power generated by wind and solar, a luxury we are without currently. Cutting down on their land requirements would be great too.

Besides the fact that Canada’s emissions is around a paltry 1.6% of world-wide emissions, unless the rest of the world adopts our carbon taxes and emission standards, especially high emitters like China and India, we are simply crippling our economy for little over-all gain.

Of course, some taxes, or fees, can indeed have a positive effect, as with the success of Ontario’s Drive Clean program, a program that required car owners to pass an emission standards test before they could re-new their vehicle permit. Drive Clean was criticized by many as simply a tax-grab, especially since owners could get a conditional pass by making minimal repairs to their vehicle (so as to not overburden owners financially). However, in the end, Drive Clean succeed in reducing emissions by forcing the old, inefficient, oil-burners off the road, which were replaced by cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles, brought about by sensible environmental restrictions placed upon auto manufactures.

In fact, it worked so well that Doug Ford’s government canceled Drive Clean when it became apparent that it was no longer necessary; when it actually had become an unnecessary tax-grab, something that rarely happens with governments. Is it possible when we finally achieve the environmental utopia of a carbon-free world (something that would be bad for photosynthesis, but I digress), that the governments of the day will cancel their carbon taxes? How many of us actually believe that will happen?

If electric vehicles can overcome their environmental problems and practical limitations, including pricing, maybe they will one day be a realistic alternative.

For those who truly believe that paying carbon taxes is the only way to save the planet, may I suggest you send a cheque directly to the government every month and leave the rest of us alone.

Some things Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole needs to do is stress that he is a sensible environmentalist who believes in technological solutions to better the environment, not unnecessary taxation that doesn’t actually achieve what it promises, and then provide a plan for incentives for industry to continue developing better environmental technologies and solutions.

It should also be an opportunity to stop peddling the lie that despite having missed all our emission-reduction targets for the past three decades, we will succeed this time. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t come anywhere close to achieving his emission targets, the exact same ones that his predecessor Stephen Harper set, and Trudeau criticized as being insufficient when he was the Opposition Leader.

Lastly, I wish all the climate alarmists would stop calling carbon dioxide a “pollutant.” It’s a naturally occurring gas that is essential to all life on earth, and is essential for photosynthesis. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the greener the planet literally is, not just figuratively. Experts like Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore, who is an ecologist, and bills himself as a sensible environmentalist, argue that the Earth is actually carbon deficient.

Sources: This mysterious Arctic tree stump could reveal ancient secrets – Macleans.ca, B.C. tricked Canadian politicians into believing its carbon tax policy works. It doesn’t | Financial Post, What ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Got Right (And Wrong) About Climate Change | HowStuffWorks, HARRIS: Adaptation a sensible climate policy for Canada’s Conservatives | Toronto Sun.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/you-can-care-about-the-environment-without-wanting-carbon-taxes/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>