Do carbon taxes really work?

Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Merry » Apr 23rd, 2018, 8:47 am

The Liberals have told the Provinces to implement a carbon tax or the Federal Government will do it for them.

The purpose of the tax is to make carbon producing activities so expensive that people will (in theory) reduce such activities in order to save money, and that by doing so will also help save our environment.

This will, of course, increase our cost of living by raising the price of heating our homes, driving our vehicles, etc. which are all (to some degree) under our personal control. However, by increasing transportation costs, the carbon tax will also increase the cost of just about everything we buy (including food), most of which is NOT under our control (we have to eat). But, we are told, the financial pain will be worth it because of the (theoretical) environmental gain.

Sounds good, but do carbon taxes REALLY work to reduce emissions, or are they just another tax grab?

According to the following, the answer is that they DON'T work as intended, and ARE just another tax grab.

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/insig ... ate-change
The Canadian province of British Columbia implemented a carbon tax on certain fossil fuels in July of 2008. Some experts and pricing proponents are using the British Columbia carbon tax example to promote carbon taxes and other market mechanisms as a way to purportedly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address our climate problem. Unfortunately for these free-market proponents, the real-world record fails to demonstrate that British Columbia’s carbon tax reduced carbon emissions, fossil fuel consumption or vehicle travel. Most of the modest and short-term reductions in emissions seem to be related primarily to the 2008 global recession, not to the carbon tax. More recently, British Columbia’s emissions have resumed their rise.


https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/lo ... esnt-work/
Emissions from driving are rising faster than population growth in B.C., despite a carbon tax higher than Inslee’s proposal.

Recent data says emissions increased 2.3 percent from 2013 to 2015. That includes a 7.2 percent increase in transportation emissions, the main focus of the B.C. and Washington plans.

B.C. won’t meet its 2020 carbon-reduction goals. Tax advocates there insist it works, but they’re seeking an overhaul and rate increase in hopes of meeting future climate goals.

Environmental group Food and Water Watch examined effects on the 70 percent of fuels subject to the tax. It concluded B.C.’s tax is a “failed experiment” and proponents “have significantly overstated the purported beneficial effects.”

“Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising rapidly in recent years even as the tax rate and total tax revenues have increased,” it said. “Moreover, the short-term declines in taxed greenhouse gas emissions were more modest and were reversed more quickly than the changes to the untaxed greenhouse gas emissions — exactly the opposite of what would happen if carbon taxes had a causal impact on changing emissions.”


http://winnipegsun.com/opinion/columnis ... n-manitoba
B.C. introduced a $10-a-tonne carbon tax in 2008 and raised it gradually to $30-a-tonne by 2012. That’s just slightly higher than the $25-a-tonne carbon tax Manitoba plans to implement on Sept. 1.

B.C.’s carbon tax translates into a 6.7-cent a litre tax on gasoline, as of 2012. But instead of causing people to alter their consumption behaviour and use less gasoline, sales there have skyrocketed. They’re not burning less gasoline in B.C., their burning more. Far more.

In fact, gasoline sales in British Columbia have skyrocketed over 23% between 2012 and 2016, well above the total sales increase for Canada during that period of 3.5%, according to Statistics Canada. Most other provinces didn’t have carbon pricing as of 2016. Alberta brought in a carbon tax last year and Ontario introduced its cap-and-trade system in 2017.

In 2012, gross sales of gasoline in British Columbia topped 4.68 billion litres. That includes gasoline for on-road and off-road vehicles, including in farming, forestry, construction and mining. By 2016, that number jumped by more than one billion litres to 5.77 billion litres – a staggering 23.3% increase.

By contrast, gross sales of gasoline for all of Canada was just over 42 billion litres in 2012 and 43.5 billion litres in 2016, a 3.5% increase.

In fact, total gasoline sales in Canada dropped in 2016. But not in B.C., where it grew faster than in any other province, despite the carbon tax.

“Gross sales of gasoline for which road taxes were paid dropped 2.4% in 2016 to 43.5 billion litres,” StatsCan reported in August 2017. “Gross sales of gasoline in Canada were down by 1,061.2 million litres in 2016. The province with the largest gain in volume was British Columbia (+289.0 million litres).”

So it’s a myth that if government adds a small tax to gasoline, like B.C.’s carbon tax, that it sends enough of a price signal to consumers to reduce their consumption. It doesn’t. And there’s enough data out of B.C. now that proves it doesn’t work.

There would have to be a much larger price signal for it to work, well beyond the Trudeau government’s planned $50-a-tonne carbon tax – which would translate into an 11-cent per litre tax at the pumps. But a significantly higher tax would cause massive economic hardship and disruption, especially for lower-income Canadians who would be disproportionately affected.

Which is why a carbon tax is a poor public policy tool. It doesn’t work at all when it’s too low and any benefits that may arise from a $100 to $200 per tonne tax would be more than offset by crushing economic outcomes.

What the B.C. and soon-to-be carbon tax in Manitoba is really about is establishing new revenue streams for government under the pretext of being green. We know from the experience in B.C. that a $30-tonne carbon tax does nothing to reduce consumption. Yet politicians here and in other provinces, as well as at the federal level, keep pretending it does. They do so because they can’t resist the new revenue opportunity.
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Snowbound » Apr 23rd, 2018, 11:06 am

When the consumer doesn't have any other choice, it is a punishing tax grab.

Sure, it might induce some folk to sell the gas guzzler SUV and buy an EV. Many of us drive used vehicles and can't afford an EV and many of us need a larger vehicle such as a truck or van for work, etc.

Tax on home heating is a cash grab, as there is no other choice. I know a guy with family in Alberta that still heat the farm buildings with coal. The tax is now as much as the coal itself! They are looking at converting to wood, oil, etc. No gas line to the property...

It wouldn't even be so bad if the revenues were actually used to help people change if they are in a position to do so. But typical government waste swallows most of it up. They don't actually want people to go green, they just want the taxes.

No different than cigarettes.....if they want to get serious about it, they would simply ban tobacco products in Canada. But they won't due to the revenues.

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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby liisgo » Apr 23rd, 2018, 11:21 am

Yes, definitely they work,,,for the money. Its was created for the sole purpose to bring in more tax's.
Yes,obviousily control on the big CO produces is great, but that not what our government was and is doing.
Many things could be done at our levels to assist in lowering
CO but none will be done, because they do not make money.
Manitory paved bike paths in every city, less traffic lights, Transferable license plates(from big truck to motorcycle), finish the coq. aspen grove hwy, change some peoples work hours to reduce traffic stalls.
carbon taxes, are about money, thats it.

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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Glacier » Apr 23rd, 2018, 11:33 am

Well at a small price of taking 10 billion off the economy they do work to reduce the global temperature by 0.000001C. Pretty good investment if you ask me! Of course, you might say that slowing the warming by 6 days is the same as doing nothing to which, I would respond, yes, but the government is just getting started. Just wait until gas if $4/litre and everyone earning less than average can no longer afford to own a car anymore. Sucking another 100 billion off the economy will definitely work to cut emissions even if it means you will be picking up pop bottles to survive.
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Jlabute » Apr 23rd, 2018, 1:01 pm

Carbon Tax works for the government because they get a boat-load of $$ out of it. If you tell the government that CO2 is not causing a crisis (which is scientifically unsupported), they will cover their ears and keep on collecting an increasing amount of tax every year. Have you ever seen government so concerned over problems you can't detect? If anything, there is a net benefit to a slightly higher CO2 as vegetation is doing better.
This tax grab will punishment those who own a vehicle or not, no matter how 'green' you are. It punishes gas for home heating. The only other option is to turn down the heat and maybe die. It is already clear climate policies have caused twice as many deaths in the UK as they should have as many can't afford the climbing cost of energy.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/04/09/delingpole-48000-britons-died-of-cold-this-winter-uk-government-praises-climate-policy-which-helped-kill-them/

A better idea is to pay people to reduce energy usage, or at least do not tax them and allow them to insulate their homes better, or something.
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Because_They_Lie » Apr 23rd, 2018, 1:47 pm

IF the so-called government were honest about their goals of reducing CO2 they would make public the knowledge of their Geo-Engineering activities and immediately cease operations - but they have not.

Geo-Engineering is the #1 causal factor of the levels of CO2 currently on our planet.

The Carbon tax is more than a tax grab, it is the greatest scam on human beings in all of history.

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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Zia65 » Apr 23rd, 2018, 3:30 pm

My last Fortis Gas bill really opened my eyes on this current tax grab. The dollar amount of actual gas used $14.68, Carbon Tax $14.12. That's 96% of the cost of gas used. Who else, other than the government can put a 96% tax on a product and get away with it? We live in Canada...it gets cold in the winter, so we have no choice but to heat our homes or freeze to death. I guess I'll have to go back to burning wood to heat my home next winter, until they manage to ban that too.
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby UhHuhYeahSure » Apr 23rd, 2018, 7:58 pm

Jeeez Whizzz... Do carbon taxes really work?

The answer is...no.

Just as is the eco-fee on a can of spray paint from Canadian Tire...as is the $5 on buying a car tire...as is the $.05 on a light bulb...the list is endless.

Canada is rife with fees, nonrefundable deposits, hidden taxes and taxes by a different name ($45 lifetime boating licence springs to mind).

The enterprise of dreaming up new titles for "TAX" is the very art of government bureaucratic doublespeak and fuzzification.

The carbon tax is simply more eco-washing for feel good politicians and greedy CRA pinheads hiding in dark offices dreaming up new revenue schemes under different, more gracious and palatable names.

What better way to raise money than to tax the evil carbon of the world, despite our atmosphere having about the lowest CO2 levels the planet has ever experienced. It should just be called the False Utopia Human Guilt Tax (FUHGT).
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby GordonH » Apr 23rd, 2018, 8:29 pm

They work wonderfully to add revenue to the Provincial coffers.

Just on 2016 gasoline sales in BC, 384+ million was added to coffers (this was just gasoline)
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby BGrigg07 » Apr 25th, 2018, 8:58 am

We must always remember the differences between a tax and a fine, namely:

"A tax is a fine for doing good, while a fine is a tax for doing bad".
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby rustled » Apr 25th, 2018, 9:02 am

BGrigg07 wrote:We must always remember the differences between a tax and a fine, namely:

"A tax is a fine for doing good, while a fine is a tax for doing bad".

When a first world country decides those living even the most modest of lives should be fined for purchasing, storing and preparing their groceries, for heating and lighting their homes, and for earning a living, something is terribly wrong.

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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby BGrigg07 » Apr 25th, 2018, 9:49 am

rustled wrote:
BGrigg07 wrote:We must always remember the differences between a tax and a fine, namely:

"A tax is a fine for doing good, while a fine is a tax for doing bad".

When a first world country decides those living even the most modest of lives should be fined for purchasing, storing and preparing their groceries, for heating and lighting their homes, and for earning a living, something is terribly wrong.


Oh come now, taxing and fining people isn't limited to the first world! Every government does it in some way or another. It's how the world goes round. Or would you rather pay tolls every 50 feet to use a road or sidewalk? That's how it used to be done... Somebody has to pay for hospitals, roadways, schools, police, fire, etc. etc. and it's better if all of us pay our fair share.

I'm just pointing out that in reality there is no actual difference between a fine and a tax.

I'm not a fan of Carbon taxes, and I don't think they work to reduce people's consumption of fossil fuels, any more than income tax reduces employment...
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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby rustled » Apr 25th, 2018, 10:40 am

BGrigg07 wrote:Oh come now, taxing and fining people isn't limited to the first world! Every government does it in some way or another. It's how the world goes round. Or would you rather pay tolls every 50 feet to use a road or sidewalk? That's how it used to be done... Somebody has to pay for hospitals, roadways, schools, police, fire, etc. etc. and it's better if all of us pay our fair share.

I'm just pointing out that in reality there is no actual difference between a fine and a tax.

I'm not a fan of Carbon taxes, and I don't think they work to reduce people's consumption of fossil fuels, any more than income tax reduces employment...

Gee. Are those really my only two options, pay a carbon tax or pay a toll every 50 feet to use a road or sidewalk? Heavens, how did the government manage to avoid all that tolling back in the day when we didn't have carbon taxes? I know I shouldn't resort to sarcasm, but honestly, that is (IMO) a truly lame attempt to justify them.

I have no problem paying the many taxes I've always paid to support infrastructure and social programs.

I do have a problem with the carbon tax, which is currently (as has been pointed out by many here) strictly a tax grab foisted on everyone under the guise of "saving the planet". To many of us, there is still quite a difference between the reasonable taxation we've always paid through all of our energy purchases (and all of the purchases any energy is required to supply (hint: everything)), and the carbon tax, which was introduced with the stated intention of "curb your behaviour or you, the user, will pay the consequences", making it far more a "fine" than a "tax".

Unlike liquor and tobacco "sin" taxes, which are applied to non-necessities and paid by those who choose to "play", the purported reason for the carbon tax was strictly to curb behaviour. Behaviour like simply maintaining a reasonable temperature in a home in a first world country with abundant access to relatively clean energy.

The jury's out on whether or not Canada's carbon taxes are adequately punitive to significantly curb many people's behaviours, but some of us prefer to be vocal before the jury says "these carbon taxes are far too low to work!" and the government feels they have full social licence to jack 'em up to a more punitive level. If curbing behaviour is the intent, understanding what the carbon "tax" truly is will help everyone keep this in perspective.

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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby casey60 » Apr 25th, 2018, 11:19 am

Great timing by the Feds to put a carbon tax on the todays $1.50 gas prices. Way to go sunnyboy.

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Re: Do carbon taxes really work?

Postby Glacier » Apr 25th, 2018, 11:41 am

casey60 wrote:Great timing by the Feds to put a carbon tax on the todays $1.50 gas prices. Way to go sunnyboy.

By the feds own admission, the carbon tax is really just a starting point. According to the data, they need to raise the gas tax to around $4/litre to actually stave off the catastrophic warming they keep warning us about.
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