Carbon tax needs to go.

Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby Bismarck » Aug 11th, 2019, 9:35 pm

When the government refers to "carbon" as a pollutant, is it the non-metallic chemical element that forms the physical basis of all living organisms, or the natural gas that plants use to produce food, and as necessary for life as oxygen and nitrogen?

When I posed the question to BC Hydro, I was told the charge is for carbon-dioxide/CO2. So basically your leaders are punishing you for the air you exhale. What's more astonishing is the fact that so many welcome this fraud and extortion.

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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby fluffy » Aug 15th, 2019, 6:18 am

Bismarck wrote:When the government refers to "carbon" as a pollutant, is it the non-metallic chemical element that forms the physical basis of all living organisms, or the natural gas that plants use to produce food, and as necessary for life as oxygen and nitrogen?


They are speaking of CO2 at the molecular level. CO2 molecules in the atmosphere absorb infrared radiation rather than let it pass through like oxygen and nitrogen, the two major components of our atmosphere. The effect, even with minute increases in the amount of atmospheric CO2, is akin to putting a blanket over the planet.
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby twobits » Aug 15th, 2019, 4:52 pm

What causes ice ages? Drop in atmospheric CO2 levels? Blanket gets removed?
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby sobrohusfat » Aug 15th, 2019, 5:09 pm

Less taxes
MAY THE BRIDGES I BURN LIGHT THE WAY

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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby fluffy » Aug 16th, 2019, 8:42 am

sobrohusfat wrote:Less taxes


Or maybe spend the tax revenue we already have a little better ?

I make no bones about my support of carbon taxation, but it does play into a major problem with capitalist philosophy, and that is "money means privilege". Those who can afford higher taxes on burning fossil fuels aren't going to curb their use unless the taxes get high enough to give them pause, and those rates will inflict undue hardship on those at the lower end of the income spectrum. An income based rebate system is the obvious answer but that opens the doors to abuse, and as always the middle class will bear the brunt of the load.

But the basics are still there, in order for carbon taxation to be truly effective, it has to hurt. And we have no one to blame but ourselves really. How many decades have we been bombarded with the science ? And we did what ? Well we stand at the precipice. We are killing the planet, and the more we postpone the inevitable the more it's going to hurt. But are we even considering change ? People will vote for corporate bum-buddy right wingers because they give us some lame reason to turn our backs on the planet in favour of a few more bucks in our own pockets.
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby Merry » Aug 16th, 2019, 8:55 am

Getting people to live more environmentally conscious lifestyles is a laudable goal, and one which I applaud. But a carbon tax is not the way to do it, and for all the reasons fluffy points out. Because those who can afford to pay the tax and keep right on polluting, will continue to do so.

People and industry will only change their ways if and when they are forced to.

For example, if the carbon tax is intended to get us all to drive more fuel efficient vehicles, then why not legislate that all new vehicles going forward must get a certain number of kilometres per gallon?

If the intent of the tax is to encourage us to buy more energy efficient appliances, then why not legislate that all new appliances must be Energy Star certifed?

And the list goes on. In other words, identify in practical terms the desired outcome of imposing a carbon tax, and then use regulation to achieve the desired result.

Ditto for industry.
Last edited by Merry on Aug 16th, 2019, 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby Chyren » Aug 16th, 2019, 9:49 am

My thoughts and concerns revolve around the fact that eventually the carbon tax will be seen by government as a revenue stream that they can move around on a spreadsheet accordingly.

They will raise it over and over again. Look at the lower mainland using the "transit tax" as a revenue stream.

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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby fluffy » Aug 16th, 2019, 10:20 am

Merry wrote:People and industry will only change their ways if and when they are forced to.


But that would mean that our politicians have to be on board, and the political engine runs on votes and contributions. Do you see the weakness there?

My take is that it is consumer demand that rules the roost here. As long as there is demand for fossil fuels as an energy source then the supply will flow. It has to be a decision made at the individual level, you and me, and as yet we are not willing to give up the convenience that goes along with that particular energy source. When it gets so freakin expensive that alternative sources become attractive then we will turn away from it. It's a roundabout method of the enforcement you speak of, but the end result is the same, and it does so without the spectre of forcing a choice on the public, something politicians avoid with a passion.

As it stands now, the carbon tax is a political football. It bothers me that Scheer is willing to scrap the carbon tax without a clear alternative for protecting the environment. To me that smacks of handing out dollar bills outside the polling station.
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby Merry » Aug 16th, 2019, 10:35 am

fluffy wrote:But that would mean that our politicians have to be on board, and the political engine runs on votes and contributions. Do you see the weakness there?

Yes, but it's the same weakness that will prevent them ever raising the carbon tax to the level necessary to achieve the desired result.

It will go high enough to make our lives more unaffordable (and boost Government revenues, because successive governments will not keep it revenue neutral), but will never go high enough to achieve it's stated goal (because that would wreck our economy).
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby fluffy » Aug 16th, 2019, 11:41 am

fluffy wrote:But that would mean that our politicians have to be on board, and the political engine runs on votes and contributions. Do you see the weakness there?


Merry wrote:Yes, but it's the same weakness that will prevent them ever raising the carbon tax to the level necessary to achieve the desired result.

It will go high enough to make our lives more unaffordable (and boost Government revenues, because successive governments will not keep it revenue neutral), but will never go high enough to achieve it's stated goal (because that would wreck our economy).


We are relatively new to the climate change abatement game, so far it has received little more than political lip service. Justin Trudeau took a pretty bold step in pushing carbon taxation but his political opponents are having a hey-day using that against him, and they are using the same argument you are, that we already pay enough taxes and that carbon taxation doesn't work. But it does work at levels high enough.

https://ourworldindata.org/carbon-pricing-popular

The tax should remain relatively low until technology and infrastructure progress to the point where alternatives such as EVs are more available and affordable. Once that point is achieved then jack the heck out of them, actively discourage the burning of fossil fuels. Political opportunists like Scheer need to go, in my mind he would be taking us a huge step backwards in environmental responsibility. Jason Kenney is doing the same thing in Alberta. Just as adding an individual expense to the burning of fossil fuels will be what works to curb their use, removing that tax is an easy vote grab for less-than-scrupulous politicians, because just as politicians will be politicians, people will be people. And as yet, rank and file Canadians are not on board with fighting climate change.
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby Merry » Aug 16th, 2019, 12:13 pm

fluffy wrote:it does work at levels high enough.

And therein lies the crux of my argument.

For all the same reasons you outlined in your earlier post, no Government is ever going to raise the tax to high enough levels to achieve the intended goal.

In fact Trudeau has already said as much.

And the problem with doing what you suggest, and waiting until alternative technology is available before jacking up the carbon tax, is that we need to take meaningful action NOW not 20,30 or 40 years from now.

People like Trudeau are hypocrites, because on the one hand he says we have a "climate emergency" on our hands, while on the other hand he's failed to take meaningful action to help slow it down. And by "meaningful" I mean doing a heck of a lot more than simply raising taxes.

For example, you tell me, why it's a personal choice to buy an EnergySave appliance? Why aren't ALL appliances currently on the market required to meet that basic standard?

And why are gas guzzling vehicles still for sale? Why doesn't the Government require all new vehicles to get a minimum number of km to the litre?

I'll tell you why. It's because it would hurt some companies "bottom line" and it would also be so unpopular it would cost them a lot of votes. BUT if it really is a "climate emergency" as they claim, then both those considerations should be irrelevant.

So which is it? An emergency, or just a cheap political ploy designed to garner the environmental vote?
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby fluffy » Aug 16th, 2019, 4:14 pm

Cut & Paste from the article linked to above:

"Carbon prices vary widely across existing schemes. Success stories such as that of Sweden – which currently has the highest carbon price in the world at US$139/tCO29 – demonstrate that it is indeed possible to make carbon pricing work: While the Swedish economy grew by 60% since the introduction of the Swedish carbon tax in 1991, carbon emissions decreased by 25%.10 However, the carbon price under most schemes is still lower than US$10/tCO2."

The problem is not government, to them business means jobs and jobs mean votes. The problem is not business, business will rise to fill any gap created by consumer demand, just as they will not produce where no demand exists. Where does that leave us ?
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby Smurf » Aug 16th, 2019, 4:22 pm

I get a laugh out of people saying that Scheer and Kenny are trying to buy votes by saying they will cancel the carbon tax. Do you think Trudeau is doing anything different by trying to get green votes by implementing a carbon tax. Just a horse by a different color only he is also trying to say he is actually doing something which is untrue. As has been said even he admits it will do nothing at these levels.

Do something real like Merry says instead of just trying to play politics to get votes.


EDIT TO ADD:

The days for Trudeau's virtue signaling are long gone. We all know the truth now and Dion confirmed it. He's not even man enough to apologize.
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have of changing others.

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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby fluffy » Aug 16th, 2019, 6:50 pm

Smurf wrote:The days for Trudeau's virtue signaling are long gone. We all know the truth now and Dion confirmed it. He's not even man enough to apologize.



"Truth" is a highly subjective term in this instance. I realize that we're dealing with politicians on both sides of this argument, but I do tend to notice things like Trudeay getting carbon taxation started at least, and that Scheer has offered nothing in the way of environmental protection other than political double-speak and promises to undo the work already done.

At the risk of repeating myself yet again, we are making a real mess of the planet and the only way to change that is to make some basic changes in ourselves and the way we do things. It's hard not to see that most of the arguments against carbon tax hinge on maintaining the status quo of our current lifestyle, a lifestyle that is obviously unsustainable without further damage to the world around us.
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Re: Carbon tax needs to go.

Postby nepal » Aug 20th, 2019, 7:11 am

A major part of the carbon equation, is the diminishing ability to absorb carbon. Deforestation and paving-over are making it more difficult to absorb carbon and solar radiation. Just look at the deforestation and paving-over of the Okanagan area over the past hundred years. Greater Vancouver area used to be covered with a massive forest. England was deforested to build ships (Now they have the little New Forest). China is getting paved-over with factories.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/

Forests currently cover about 30 percent of the world's landmass, according to National Geographic. The Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year, which is equal to 27 soccer fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

As volcanoes/natural-sources and man add carbon, man is more quickly taking away the ability to absorb carbon. I’m part of that problem, as I prefer driving on paved roads and consuming products produced on deforested areas, as do now 8-billion humanoids.

Ultimately, population growth has to be reversed, to reduce consumption. Maybe it will take a big asteroid to re-set the environmental clock.
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