Paying some piddling carbon tax will do nothing to defend us from what lies ahead: Neil Macdonald

“This is Canada, for heaven’s sake. The cost of flood-proofing this country will be largely paid for with tax revenue. It’s inevitable. It is a clear and present danger at this point, and what are we discussing? A meaningless bit of window-dressing sin tax that would barely cover the cost of morning coffee once a week for most drivers, and is largely being rebated to taxpayers through the income tax system (it is revenue neutral) rather than put toward, say, digging diversion channels or building barriers or strengthening sewer systems, etc.”

The carbon tax is just misdirection, and nothing compared to the bills that are coming


The tax provides an excellent diversion to keep the public’s attention away from something our politicians are not saying a word about: the monumental cost of preventing, or paying for, the damage climate change will deliver from now on. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Centre [for Climate Change Adaptation] director Blair Feltmate points to scientific consensus: the climate change that has happened so far is irreversible, and “even if we were to go to zero emissions tomorrow, the effects will continue to get worse. And we are not going to zero emissions. The world will continue to use 30 per cent oil, 30 per cent coal-fired electricity, and 30 per cent natural gas. We can’t meet even modest goals.”

“The carbon tax in Canada right now is symbolic,” says Feltmate. “In fact, there is a danger in it: that it will allow liberals to say they’ve done their part, and carry on the way everyone does.”

The tax also provides an excellent diversion to keep the public’s attention away from something our politicians are not saying a word about: the monumental cost of preventing, or paying for, the damage climate change will deliver from now on.


Entire neighbourhoods will have to be evacuated in the next few years. Others will find themselves on newly redrawn flood plain maps.(Michel Aspirot/Radio-Canada)

Canada needs to be flood-proofed, and somebody has to pay for it. Yes, there are other threats, too – fire, hail, wind, snow load, permafrost loss and shoreline erosion will all cost a great deal of money to remediate – but flooding is the big, urgent one.

Entire neighbourhoods will have to be evacuated in the next few years. Others will find themselves on newly redrawn flood plain maps, forced to pay both individually and at the community level for some awfully expensive flood-proofing measures. Even those on higher ground will have to cope with increasingly frequent “waterbomb” storms that park over a city and dump millions of gallons of water in a single rainfall. MORE

RELATED:

Toronto keeps flooding when it rains hard. Here’s why

“The fact is that we are sitting in a city that was built for a climate that no longer exists.” — Councillor Gord Perks

 

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