Yukon News

Carbon tax: Count me in

Friday March 10, 2017

Even the very debate about a carbon tax has focused minds on our environmentally expensive lifestyle. A carbon tax hits almost everything we do up here: food, heating, driving, flying, mining — you name it — has a carbon footprint and therefore attracts a carbon tax. And even at the low rate being suggested, people will notice. This is good. A decision like “Should I continue to pay a high fuel bill or should I insulate more?” is being pushed in the direction of insulate. The decision “Should I fly to Vancouver for the weekend?” is being pushed in the direction of no.

Some of our carbon footprint up here is not really under our control: Food and goods are either trucked up here or we go without. The carbon intensity of that shipping is not under our control. Hence the phrase “revenue neutral”: tax all carbon usage, then pay people back at a flat rate. That way people who fly less, drive less, insulate more are ahead of the game. People who fly, drive and consume more, will pay more. Some activities become economically less attractive. That is the reality of what happens when we start to address climate change seriously.

Now some people will be hit, those who can not afford it or are in no position to alter their carbon footprint. People on low incomes in rented accommodation, for instance. The way the revenues from the carbon tax are divvied out has to address that inequity. And that means almost certainly that the revenues have to go to the communities more than to Whitehorse, and to the poor rather than the middle classes. I welcome this tax. It applies economic pressure for better environmental behaviour.

I like Air North. They are a very good airline, but their complaints about the proposed carbon tax are not surprising, and should be considered like the complaints of horse whip manufacturers as cars took over. Flying is going to get more expensive and less common.

I have sympathy for placer miners, but if the global environmental cost of their activity is high, then something has to change.

These changes are coming at us whether we like them or not. A gradual introduction of a carbon tax is better than climate change coming at us uncontrolled. It is like the difference between having a 50-pound weight lowered onto your back or a 50-pound weight dropped on your back. Neither is pleasant, but one is clearly preferable to the other.

Peter Coates

Whitehorse

10 Comments

ProScience Greenie wrote:
4:00pm Wednesday March 22, 2017

Err, see the last line of the wiki entry below Carbon Fraud. I don’t like the carbon tax or lefty green weenies but the potential harm of AGW is real.

Wikipedia - Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.

If a planet’s atmosphere contains radiatively active gases (i.e., greenhouse gases) the atmosphere will radiate energy in all directions. Part of this radiation is directed towards the surface, warming it. The downward component of this radiation – that is, the strength of the greenhouse effect – will depend on the atmosphere’s temperature and on the amount of greenhouse gases that the atmosphere contains.

On Earth, the atmosphere is warmed by absorption of infrared thermal radiation from the underlying surface (heated by the sun), absorption of shorter wavelength radiant energy from the sun, and convective heat fluxes from the surface. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere radiate energy, some of which is directed to the surface and lower atmosphere. The mechanism that produces this difference between the actual surface temperature and the effective temperature is due to the atmosphere and is known as the greenhouse effect.

Earth’s natural greenhouse effect is critical to supporting life. Human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, have intensified the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming.

The mechanism is named after a faulty analogy with the effect of solar radiation passing through glass and warming a greenhouse. The way a greenhouse retains heat is fundamentally different, as a greenhouse works by reducing airflow and retaining warm air inside the structure.

Carbon Fraud wrote:
10:16am Wednesday March 22, 2017

AGW is nothing but FRAUD only the mentally challenged believe in.

A simple greenhouse test:

- 20x20x8’ greenhouse has 3,200 cubic feet
- The amount of CO2 is 1.28 cubic feet
- Does any grown sane adult honestly believe adding or removing 1 cubic foot of CO2 from the greenhouse is going to magically change the temperature by 2C?

If this was true why would anyone need to pay for energy to heat their house? All they would need to do is put a clear bubble on their roof and fill it with 100% CO2.

- The amount of CO2 increase since 1960 is equal to 7x7x7” in the greenhouse. Does anyone think this makes a difference?

- The fact is 224 cubic feet of CO2 is required to make the greenhouse temperature rise by 1C, about 70,000 PPM.

MSM and governments are scam artists, brainwashing the ignorant masses with fairy tales while they are taxed into oblivion.

terry wrote:
6:54am Monday March 20, 2017

Yes to Canadian oil and yes to the carbon tax to keep the green washed anti pipeline nibbles at bay.
While Quebec politicians say no to pipelines transporting western carbon to central Canada and the East, they happily watch oil tankers plying the St Lawrence with foreign oil.
Apparel not opposed to using lots of oil, just Canadian oil, the source of so much transfer cash.

north_of_60 wrote:
4:19pm Friday March 17, 2017

If we were burning terrorist oil from the Mideast to heat our buildings, run our vehicles and barbecue our bison burgers, then I could see a good reason to use less.

However the oil and gas we burn in the Yukon comes from Canadian wells, and it’s been extracted and produced in a country with some of the highest environmental [ and human rights] standards in the world.  That Canadian oil makes jobs for fellow Canadians, pays their taxes, puts a roof over their head and food on their table.  Revenue from petroleum provides transfer payments to every have-not Province and all the Territories.

Some people want us to stop using Canadian oil as a symbolic gesture to “combat climate change”, even though they can’t provide proof that the fossil fuels we burn in the Yukon have any measurable effect on the planet. They also can’t prove how a tax increase will do anything to mitigate the effects of rising temperatures in the North. They’ve tried to convince us we should feel guilty about using Canadian oil and pay more tax to use it.

At the same time they want us to use less Canadian oil they want to buy more renewable energy toys from Asia where half of the GHGs and most of the toxic pollution in the world is created by burning coal to run the factories making all that stuff.  The waste from those mines, factories and cities is dumped into the sky, onto the land, and into the water.

This attitude exemplifies greenwashed NIMBYism on a global scale.  They don’t care if the planet is heavily polluted to make their renewable energy stuff, just as long as the pollution isn’t visible on their eco-tour raft trips on Yukon rivers or when driving their Chinese-made electric car.

The NDP&LIB; will raise taxes, but they’ll give them trendy names to make them feel good.  The Carbon Tax will be like Medieval Indulgences sold by the Church to pay for your sins.

north_of_60 wrote:
4:17pm Friday March 17, 2017

@Peter Coates believes: “a carbon tax is better than climate change coming at us uncontrolled”

How will more taxes control the changing climate, and if so, did he refuse his income tax refund this year to control the climate?

ProScience Greenie wrote:
11:05am Friday March 17, 2017

To the middle-middle class and above the carbon sin tax will do very little to nothing to change their environmental behavior. They will just absorb the cost and carry on with their lifestyles. Those below that level will be the ones making sacrifices. Essentially a good portion of the population will be made 5% poorer and after the government’s cut be lucky to receive 1% of that back. Peter Coates can spin it anyway he wants but that’s the ugly truth of the carbon tax. It will result in a wee bit of C02 reduction and will do a whole lot of collateral damage to those that can least afford it. Far better ways to deal with the very real issue of AGW.

The buggy whip maker thing is always weird and often telling. Two choices in getting rid of obsolete workers…
A) Sorry chumps, you are all laid off. Get out now.
B) We are very sorry to lay you very skilled workers off but we have a healthy severance package and various retraining programs to get you back on your feet.

Time and time again we see those in the green progressive movement sit in category A, heartless, with no compassion and very smug about it. I doubt Peter Coates is that kind of person but that is how it almost always comes across.

Those laid off placer miners in the example above will still have to feed their families. Same with many more affected in similar situations. So if we do the carbon tax thing then let us show at least a little bit of compassion and be less smug about it and try to prioritize curbing those with the biggest footprints.

Jonathan Colby wrote:
7:17pm Thursday March 16, 2017

So many angereys over the carbon tax, a socially responsible measure in theory (only?)

But hey, the price of gas has shot straight back to sky-high despite low oil prices, because of the failures of capitalism. *crickets*

Keep myopic, folks,and don’t forget: the government is your enemy, business is your friend, and don’t let anybody take your money, unless it’s in the name of profit.

Peter interesting comments wrote:
3:40pm Thursday March 16, 2017

We need to tax US truckers and buses going through the Yukon at Beaver Creek as a toll.
WE need to look at transportation from a whole different look, such as electric driven buses.
We need to complete a study to determine if the Yukon is carbon neutral because of all the forest and other carbon reducing.
We need to look to other parts of the world where transporting of goods is done by electric trains.
The big issue Ottawa can’t dictate how we do things in the regions, off load costs, spend more on our behalf, etc.

Hank wrote:
2:41pm Thursday March 16, 2017

What about those that can’t afford basic services so they have to use public services?
I.E. say an internet café versus internet at home because they can’t afford it? The cost goes up for that service (heating, fuel, cost of consumables, etc.)
What about laundromats? Personally the laundromat I use runs on a steam system powered by diesel. I’ve been told that the cost for use of the washer + dryer may increase as the cost for power + diesel increases. I can’t afford a washer and dryer as a lump sum payment, but my $10.00 a week for laundry is within my budget. Also, water delivery means that I couldn’t run a washer economically anyways.

My two kids need groceries the cost goes up, the fuel to drive to town, the cost goes up, gas for a chain saw, the cost goes up, oil + all other carbon created products… the cost goes up.

So living off a meager income: how do you propose a person already closer to self sustaining takes on these additional taxes when it’s clear that the Yukon’s global carbon is actually in the negatives because of sequestration and carbon absorbtion?

Anyone who owns the means of production will pass the tax on to the consumer (which I agree, there cost goes up, so does mine…) but the only people that will make money on this is the government (Liberals have not explained carbon neutral). Also, the key scientists from Paris have been caught publicly for lying and misleading officials to create a false understanding of Global warming.

Wag More, Bark Less wrote:
2:32pm Thursday March 16, 2017

You could carbon tax the Yukon out of existence and in less than one day China’s increases in carbon emissions would have replaced our total output. Canada itself could cease to exist and it would make no difference to global carbon emissions. As a matter of fact if Canada’s land mass with its net carbon absorption rate was gone (we absorb 20-30% more carbon that we produce, Financial Post, March 2, 2016) the worlds carbon levels would be higher than they are. But you go ahead and think that paying more to heat your home, buy groceries, and drive your car in Yukon will save the planet. Meanwhile I’m going to have a look at one of Al Gores mansions or hang out with Leonardo Dicaprio on the 450 foot mega yacht.

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