Poll shows Canadians favour national response to climate change despite Alberta’s carbon tax objections

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in front of the Trans Mountain Edmonton Terminal in Edmonton, Alberta on March 22, 2019. Albertans will pay the tax on gasoline and home heating fuels starting New Year’s Day. CANDACE ELLIOTT/REUTERS

The Alberta government is ramping up its opposition to the federal carbon tax, which kicks in on Wednesday, as a new poll suggests a greater number of Canadians want Ottawa to make the environment, rather than the economy, its top priority.

Albertans will pay the tax on gasoline and home heating fuels starting New Year’s Day, as the federal government imposes its own tax to replace the one repealed by Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party government last spring.

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer held a photo-op at a truck-stop gas station in Calgary on Tuesday as he vowed to continue doing everything in the province’s power to oppose the tax. That fight has largely focused on a series of continuing court challenges.

“We have the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; it’s within our provincial scope,” he said in an interview. “The federal government right now is effectively trying to expand their mandate within our Constitution.”

Appeal courts in Ontario and Saskatchewan have already upheld the federal carbon pricing system with split rulings. Alberta argued its case at the province’s Court of Appeal in mid-December and is awaiting the decision, and all three are expected to end up at the Supreme Court of Canada in March.

The federal government has argued that establishing national minimum standards for carbon pricing is essential to tackling the existential threat of climate change. It has also said carbon tax rebates will leave most Canadians with more money than they pay through the levy.

A report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer and research from several economists have backed up the federal government’s position on the rebates, although Mr. Schweitzer rejected the claim that most Albertans will be better off under the federal carbon tax.

“It is the broader economic impact,” he said. “I don’t think a carbon tax is going to be the way for us to get job creation going in Alberta.”

The Justice Minister cited a report released by his government in the fall that found the previous provincial government’s carbon tax would result in roughly 10,000 fewer jobs by 2030.

The same report concluded that both the previous provincial tax and the federal tax would have a substantial impact on emissions with only a slight drag to the province’s economy. For example, the report concluded the federal carbon plan would cut GPD growth by 0.055 per cent a year, while also heading off $2.2-billion in economic damage related to climate change.

A Nanos Research poll conducted for The Globe and Mail suggests growing support for a national response to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

The poll found 35 per cent of respondents identified the environment as their top issue for the federal government, compared with 25 per cent who said it is the economy. The environment was a higher priority in every region except for the Prairies, where 31 per cent of respondents said the economy should be the No. 1 issue for Ottawa compared with 18 per cent who said the environment.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents said it would be unacceptable for a province to opt out of the national climate change plan. In the Prairies, that number was 50 per cent.

“It’s pretty clear that the environment is not just a top-of-mind issue, but people want action on this,” pollster Nik Nanos said.

“Setting aside some of the naysayers, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan, who are looking to diminish that particular issue, the fact of the matter is there’s no fatigue right now in engaging on the environment. Canadians want to see action on that.”

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the Alberta government’s claims around rebates are simply not true. He said the province should tone down the rhetoric and instead work with the federal government to put a price on emissions.

“We need to have a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to addressing climate change,” Mr. Wilkinson said in an interview.

“If the government of Alberta is saying that somehow this is an affordability issue, then they need to go back and look at the way in which the price on pollution works.”

The federal government recently announced it would accept Alberta’s industrial carbon tax and not impose the federal system on industrial emitters. The Alberta government is using some of the revenue from the tax to fund research into emissions-reducing technology.

The Nanos survey was conducted from Dec. 22 to Dec. 29 and questioned 1,010 respondents, giving the poll a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20. SOURCE

 

Canada treats mining companies like the goose that laid the golden egg. What we get in return looks more like a goose egg.

View of Greek mine site

Mining enjoys massive government support in Canada. Politically, it’s treated as a preferred development option for remote communities and Indigenous peoples. Former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall once said, “The best program for First Nations and Métis people in Saskatchewan is not a program at all—it’s [uranium mining company] Cameco.” The law backs this up. Mining companies still have rights to “free entry” in much of Canada, since mining is legally considered the “highest and best” use of land. Though these laws are being challenged by First Nations, today prospectors can stake claims and even drill or trench without any consideration for other land users, or in some cases, even private landowners.

There are also financial incentives to mine. The federal and provincial governments and territories spend hundreds of millions on road and power corridors to support mining projects, while supporting training for mining skills that are often not highly transferrable. Already low corporate tax rates are further reduced by accelerated capital cost allowances and deductions for exploration and development costs. “Flow-through” shares allow mining companies to pass exploration costs onto investors as tax deductions. And while they’ve been slowly getting better, Canadian jurisdictions still dramatically undercharge mining companies when it comes to setting aside money to clean up spills or for long-term environmental monitoring and rehabilitation.

All of this is justified publicly by the creation of jobs, contribution to GDP and exports—and taxes paid. Mining does create “good pay” jobs, though more of these are displaced from other sectors than the industry will admit. Mining does generate export earnings and boost GDP, though economists will argue about whether these really represent development, especially when what is being exported is raw materials with little value added. So, what of the taxes?

On paper, mining operations pay corporate tax and sales tax, among others, along with royalties (sometimes called “mining tax”) intended to compensate the state for the permanent loss of whatever resource is being extracted. Depending on the audience, mining companies will either brag or complain about the amount of tax they pay. They rarely explain how those amounts are calculated, much less compare them to what they might have had to pay if it weren’t for the lowered tax rates, tax holidays and exemptions. More egregiously, they also like to take credit for the taxes that their workers pay.

James Wilt, writing in The Narwhal in July last year, found that Canadian governments collect a smaller percentage of mineral value than almost any other jurisdiction in the world. There are a number of explanations for this, ranging from low tax rates to grace periods and tax holidays, as mentioned, to using a variable base for calculating royalties. Canada is unusual internationally, for example, in the extent to which it charges royalties based on profits rather than on the amount of mineral extracted, allowing for deductions and “profit-shifting” to diminish the amount owed.

In an extreme example, the CBC’s Rita Celli reported in May 2015 that in 2013-14, De Beers Canada paid the Ontario government $226 in royalties from its Victor Mine in Attawapiskat, the only diamond mine in the province. “The diamond royalty stirred a huge debate when the Ontario government suddenly introduced it in 2007,” wrote Celli. “Then-premier Dalton McGuinty promised it would enrich all Ontarians. He promised the money would be used to hire more nurses and keep class sizes small in schools.”

The low figure was due to De Beers having been allowed to write down its capital investment against the royalties. Tom Ormsby, De Beers’ vice-president of external and corporate affairs, told Celli the company started to pay millions in 2014. Its reports under Canada’s Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA), in force since 2015, show it paid US$15.8 million in royalties in 2016 (on earnings of US$79 million) and US$11.3 million in 2017 (on earnings of US$205 million). The mine closed in early 2019. In other words, the mine probably generated almost nothing for the province for the entire first half of its production, and probably less than $100 million over its 11-year life.

Any assessment of the millions in taxes and royalties from mining operations has to include the overall value of the resource, as they remove many times more millions of dollars’ worth of metals. Any honest calculation also has to include not only the overall flow of money to governments, but also the subsidies, costs and liabilities, including social disruption and damage to local economies and the environment.

***

Internationally, the Canadian government takes the promotion of Canadian mining companies very seriously indeed. This is demonstrated by the fact that while Canadian and international civil society has been pushing for almost two decades for restrictions on the international activities of Canadian companies, the federal government has refused to recognize that illegal activity and human rights and environmental abuses are even happening, much less restrict them—or enforce the sole piece of legislation we do have, the anti-bribery Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

At the same time, Canada provides massive support for transnational mining investment, both politically and economically. It helps explain why so many mining companies are domiciled in Canada, even if they have no Canadian operations, or even no Canadian directors, and regardless of who actually owns the majority of their shares.

Our embassies contribute “economic diplomacy,” which includes pressuring foreign governments to support favourable legislation and policies and helping build relationships between mining executives and foreign officials, such as mining ministers and state presidents. Canadian diplomats also provide support directly to companies, going so far as to help them comply with regulations and apply for permits. Even our development aid is skewed toward rewarding countries and regions that are willing to host Canadian mining projects, and assisting governments in administering mining laws so as to smooth the way for Canadian investment.

Economic support is both direct (investment from the Canada Pension Plan and Canadian Investment Fund for Africa, for example, or loans and political risk insurance from Export Development Canada) and indirect. Canada has built a massive network of tax treaties, bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements that all serve to facilitate and protect Canadian investment, as well as allowing profits to be shifted through subsidiary companies to avoid taxation. It’s all perfectly legally, if you do it right.

The result is a ballooning offshore pool of wealth sitting in tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Channel Islands, and even some U.S. states—wealth that is not taxed to benefit the countries it was extracted from, or even the country that worked so hard to facilitate it (in this case, Canada). Governments that try to protect their own people and ecosystems from mining destruction face the threat of multimillion-dollar lawsuits through arbitration provisions in those investment agreements.

To pick just one example, Eldorado Gold has been struggling for years to overcome committed local opposition to its planned Skouries open-pit gold mine in Halkidiki, northern Greece. Local people opposed to the massive project have raised objections over the destruction of a forest that is of immense cultural and historic significance—it is where local partisans gathered to strategize and mobilize against the fascists, and now serves as a focus for tourism, beekeeping, etc.—and the contamination of freshwater supplies (the ore is loaded with arsenic, among other things).

Chart showing Eldorado Gold profits from sites

They have also questioned the promised benefits for the Greek state—with good reason. A study led by the Dutch organisation SOMO (the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations) found the company has structured its investment with tax avoidance in mind. Subsidiaries in the Netherlands will allow Eldorado to shift profits from Greece to the Netherlands and Barbados, minimizing exposure to taxes and leaving Greeks with little to show for the mine’s ecological, social and economic disruption. SOMO calculated this arrangement had cost Greece 1.7 million euros in lost tax in 2013-14 alone (nearly $2.5 million based on the exchange rate at the time).

A look at Eldorado Gold’s payments to governments, as disclosed under ESTMA, shows that as of 2018, the company made significant payments in Turkey, where most of its gold production is, but nowhere else. Not even Canada, where it is supposedly headquartered, but also where it now operates the Lamaque Mine outside of Val-d’Or, Quebec.

What we don’t know is how much the company should have paid in the absence of what the accountants call “aggressive tax planning,” or what the rest of us call tax dodging. Nor does this accounting show how much has been set aside as security bond for closure, cleanup, and possible spills and accidents.

It makes sense that Turkey, as the primary host of Eldorado Gold’s operations, should benefit most. It’s an open question whether the country benefits enough to compensate for the loss of its gold-bearing ore, not to mention the various forms of damage occasioned by mining or the liabilities it leaves behind. And it’s more than likely that the company has minimized its exposure to Turkish taxes.

But at the same time, there is clearly no direct return for Canada from all of the support we provide. If share value increases or the company pays dividends we can benefit as shareholders—through our pensions, RRSPs or the Canada Pension Plan. But clearly the loot is mostly being scooped up by others: well-paid company executives, the banks that finance all of this, and the legal, accounting and investment houses.

At the end of the day, the notion that mining is good for Canada is pretty dubious. The reality within Canada is much more complex than our governments and most of the media are willing to admit. In other parts of the world, the reality is that Canadian mining primarily benefits the mining companies, their local backers, and their financiers. Its contributions to “host” countries are variable and on balance generally negative. Despite all the effort from public officials, Canada hardly benefits at all. It’s past time we started to dismantle the legal, regulatory, financial and political support that feeds and sustains this false narrative. SOURCE

In Stockton, Early Clues Emerge About Impact of Guaranteed Income

A universal basic income experiment in Stockton, California, is nearly halfway over. How has $500 a month affected the lives of 125 residents?


Susie Garza, who is participating in Stockton’s UBI pilot. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

A totaled car. A mother with cancer. Two kids at home, with field trips and Quinceañera outfits and football gear to pay for. Rent bills of $1,250 due each month. Two jobs—one part-time—both paying around $15 an hour, supplemented by unpredictable child support payments. Lorrine Paradela used to lie awake at night, thinking through all her expenses and income streams, struggling to breathe from the stress of it all.

Now, Paradela says, she’s started sleeping again. She’s one of 125 Stockton, California, residents who have been receiving an unconditional $500-a-month payment since February, as part of the first mayor-led guaranteed income initiative piloted in the United States. Called Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), it’s the passion project of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and funded by the Economic Security Project, a nonprofit that sponsors other guaranteed income experiments. Eight months into the 18-month project, researchers have released preliminary data about who’s participating, what they’re spending the money on, and how raising the income floor can change the entire structure of a life.

All adult Stockton residents living in neighborhoods where the annual median income was at or below the city’s average of $46,033 were sent postcards last year, inviting them to participate in the project. A smaller group was randomly chosen to receive money from the eligible pool who responded; and a control group, which isn’t receiving money, agreed to share financial information about themselves, too. In Stockton—a diverse, high-poverty city a few hours away from the tech epicenters of Silicon Valley and San Francisco—many residents are in need of such a boost, making it an ideal testing ground for SEED. Unemployment rates in the county reach about 7.5 percent, higher than the state average of 4.3 percent. Stockton is ranked 18th for child poverty out all U.S. cities.

But the Universal Basic Income concept, which has roots dating back to the Civil Rights Era, has recently gained more national traction: Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is campaigning on the idea that, to prepare for a future when automation makes most jobs obsolete, all Americans should be paid a “freedom dividend” of $1,000 a month—a sentiment shared by tech founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Other Democratic candidates—Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker—are proposing guaranteed tax refunds for low-income families, and interest-accruing “baby bonds” accounts for all American children, respectively.

Detractors of guaranteed income say they’re concerned that free funds will discourage people from working—or encourage spending on what they’d consider the “wrong” things. Countering these narratives is one of Tubbs’ goals with SEED; the project has been described as “a hand up, not a hand out.”
“In Stockton, like much of America, there’s this Puritan ethos of, ‘I work hard. If you don’t work, you shouldn’t eat,’” said Tubbs. “And [we’re] really illustrating to people, no, just like you there are people who are working hard who are struggling—not because they’re lazy, but because wages haven’t kept up with inflation, wages haven’t kept up with costs.”

Energy efficiency makes sense and it doesn’t need a carbon tax


Energy efficiency should be seen as a resource and is one of the cheapest ways to save money, say columnists.POSTMEDIA

You can find thousands of Albertans working in energy efficiency if you look in the right places. They work in industries you might not think of as “green,” like construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, professional and business services and utilities.

These are Albertans like Obi Sadden: In the 1970s, he was a firefighter for the oil and gas industry. Losing his job in the downturn of the 1980s, he was hired by a friend to install insulation. By 2004, he had started his own company — Energy Plus Insulation — which is now a thriving small business in his home of Medicine Hat. Sadden is an energy efficiency worker: Local businesses like his grow when this sector is made a policy priority.

The 51,711 Canadian energy efficiency establishments studied by Calgary’s ECO-Canada in 2019 generated $82.6 billion in revenue and $14.9 billion in employment income. It is projected that the Canadian energy efficiency workforce — numbering around 436,000 in 2018 — will swell by 36,000 this year. Employment in this sector grew by at nearly three times the growth of the rest of the economy.

Energy efficiency touches every part of the economy. A recent study from the University of Calgary found that Canada’s oil and gas sector, for example, is actually outperforming agri-food in terms of the efficiency of its end products.

One of the easiest ways to understand energy efficiency is to see it as a resource. It only costs 2.4 cents to save a kilowatt-hour of electricity in Alberta: This is cheaper than recent wind and solar procurements (although those prices are at historic lows), and cheaper than fossil fuels. If we think of efficiency as the “first fuel,” it is our least expensive source of energy. MORE

Climate Change: The blame falls squarely on the heads of the fossil fuel sector and our complicit governments

Rosalind Adams, among others, successfully convinced Prince Edward  Council to declare a climate emergency. In  part of her presentation, she pointed to Canada’s per capita energy consumption; but, as Lionel Enright notes, “per capita energy consumption is not expended equally.”

Our government and International oil companies are irresponsibly ripping up the tar sands 

Image result for ripping up tar sandsAlberta’s tar sands ecocide and Canada’s shame

We will never solve a problem if we do not define the problem accurately . This statement has a few glaring misuse of statistics . Let us not assume that per capita energy consumption is expended equally per capita . This speaker did not explain the source or construction of the per capita statistic . She leaves us to assume that we Canadians personally are doing something to produce  8 times more co2  than persons of other countries.

Image result for leave it in the ground

She does not explain that we – OUR GOVERNMENT and the international OIL COMPANIES  are ripping up the TAR SANDS irresponsibly ( which is part of that statistic ) and not only polluting our air but also polluting the river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean.

This should NOT be blamed upon each Canadian .

Those of us who are aware of it have been complaining of this wreckage for years but our irresponsible government not only allows it to go on but says it must go on to supply JOBS.

 The whole oil industry in Alberta is run by the oil cartels for their own benefit at the expense of Canada AND  the people of Alberta.
Under Peter Lougheed Alberta made a 40 % and had saved 11 billion for the Heritage Fund. Klein gave it all away . ( Do you think he did this on his own without the help of the oil companies ??? )  There was also savings to cap abandoned wells . Now there is no money collected from the oil companies to do the cleanup and we THE PEOPLE are stuck with $ billions in old wells abounded by the oil companies because the gov. did not require them to pay up front.
Even if we each cut our emissions personally we would not meet the climate  goals unless the industrial wasteful practises of which the oil sands is only one , were to be curtailed .
Conclusion  : If there is an environmental statement to be made please know your facts and understand how the statistics you use are composed .
The environment is an important issue but we must understand that the corporate processes are doing the greatest harm . This is a topic which needs some careful explanation . Largely it is not the people’s fault . Many of the bad habits of the people are made necessary by the decisions of the corporate sector .  Example, most of us drive cars that run on fossil fuels. We do this because the corporate crooks want to sell us the carbon . We could have had  E V ’s years ago but they prevented it from happening . We also could have had much better public transportation but the car producers took action to prevent that also from happening so that they could sell more cars. And lastly the plastics industry still wants to make as much plastic as they can even though the world is drowning in the excess .

We have biodegradable material . We could have been using it years ago but we thought we were recycling it – We weren’t . Now we see the  mess we are in when plastics some companies shipped abroad mislabelled are being returned 10 to 15 years later as the garbage it is and was  –  AND who is paying for it ? –  THE PUBLIC PURSE –  THE PEOPLE .


Canada’s amazing—and invisible—green energy sector

“While fighting climate change is frequently presented as a zero-sum game of environment vs. economy, the truth is that green technology innovation and the economy can get along like a zero carbon house no longer threatened by an increase in the severity and frequency of forest fires.”

Clean energy attracts billions in investment every year, employs many thousands of Canadians, and grows more than the rest of the economy. Why doesn’t Canada care?


Jason Andriulaitis checks a connection under a new solar panel installation in Scugog, Ont. on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Installing solar panels already makes sense for most homeowners in Saskatchewan and Ontario but the abundance of cheap hydroelectricity in Quebec and Manitoba means solar power may never make much economic sense in those provinces. (Frank Gunn/CP)

This week, a barn burner of a report was released into an increasingly flammable world by Clean Energy Canada, a non-profit think tank based out of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University. The report revealed that Canada’s clean energy sector is growing faster than the rest of the country’s economy. It turns out that the clean energy sector—arguably the unsexy sector that we don’t even notice—grew a full third, percentage-wise, more than the wider economy between 2010 and 2017.

On top of that, the clean energy sector is attracting tens of billions of dollars in investment every year, with investment rising by 70 per cent between 2010 and 2017, and $35 billion pouring in in 2017.

As of 2017, 298,000 Canadians (more than 26,000 in Alberta alone) were employed in Canada’s clean energy sector, which currently represents 3 per cent of Canada’s GDP,  or around $57 billion in 2017. For context, the direct contribution of agriculture, fishing, hunting and forestry to our nation’s economy was 2.1 per cent, and of the hotel and restaurant industry, 2.3 per cent.

In the words of Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, “Put simply,” the green sector is “made up of companies and jobs that help to reduce carbon pollution—whether by creating clean energy, helping move it, reducing energy consumption, or making low-carbon technologies.”

That criteria suggests a novel way of thinking. We’re basically learning a whole new classification system here because the green sector bands together a wide range of companies. Clean transport was the largest green employer, providing 58 per cent of those jobs in 2017. Renewable energy supply currently provides 40 per cent of the green sector’s GDP contribution, and while we might sort these businesses into the “transport sector” and the “energy sector” respectively and not invite them to the same parties, they are nevertheless both in the business of ensuring that Waterworld never becomes culturally relevant. MORE

RELATED:

At Vancouver’s Clean Energy Summit, Nuclear Is Making a Play

Note to ministers from 25 nations: Prepare to be dangerously greenwashed.

Canada’s clean energy sector is big, growing fast—and largely unknown

 

Fishers, First Nations fight Northern Pulp mill’s proposed effluent pipeline into ocean

After half a century of discharging contaminated waste into Boat Harbour, the Nova Scotia mill is proposing a new plan to pipe 85 million litres a day of warm treated effluent further into the ocean — where locals fear risks to a critical seafood industry

Northern Pulp mill Nova Scotia
The Northern Pulp mill in Pictou, Nova Scotia, pictured December 6, 2018. Photo: Darren Calabrese

Greg Egilsson, who is chair of the Gulf Nova Scotia Herring Federation, has been fishing here in Caribou Harbour for more than 30 years. He says Caribou Harbour is an important spawning ground for herring and lobsters, a nursery area for rock crabs and scallops.

He points along the shoreline to a fish plant he says employs about 100 people during fishing season.

Egilsson — like hundreds of others who fish the waters of the Northumberland Strait from Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick — is eagerly awaiting May 1 when lobster season starts, and after that, seasons for all the other seafood treasures that come out of these waters.

But this year, the fishers and all the local industries that depend on the inshore fishery, are also waiting for something else — albeit nervously.

On March 29, Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister Margaret Miller will deliver her verdict on the plan by the 52-year-old Northern Pulp mill on Abercrombie Point for a new effluent treatment facility. The minister can either accept it as is, reject it outright, or ask for more information about the planned project. MORE

 

Alberta hikes minimum wage, adds food service jobs for the third straight year


Premier Rachel Notley at Transcend Coffee in Edmonton on Friday, April 15, 2016. Photo from Government of Alberta

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was a key plank in the Alberta New Democratic Party’s 2015 election platform. At the time, Alberta was tied for the lowest minimum wage in Canada ($10.20 per hour) and had the dubious distinction of having the highest level of income inequality and the largest gender income gap.

“All in all, minimum-wage hikes don’t hurt our economy, they help more working Albertans share in the province’s prosperity.”

With staged, pre-announced annual increases in 2015-2018, the NDP government increased Alberta’s minimum wage to $15 an hour — the highest in the country — as of October 1, 2018. Adjusting for inflation, this is about a 40 per cent increase over a 36-month period.

Any proposal to increase the minimum wage by any amount in any province seems to be met with dire warnings of big job losses and impending economic doom. In Alberta, the government’s actions have generated considerable public debate, some bold predictions, and the proliferation of myths of who makes minimum wage and whether minimum wage hikes correlate with employment effects (i.e. job losses or gains). MORE

EXACTLY WHAT IS “THE GREEN NEW DEAL?”

A closer look at the Democrats’ latest scheme to advance socialism.

In an October 2018 campaign appearance, Democratic darling Ocasio-Cortez – on the premise that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with human industrial activity are responsible for potentially catastrophic “climate change” – made reference to a “Green New Deal” which aims to make the U.S. 100 percent reliant on renewable energy sources (wind, water, solar) by 2035. “There’s no debate as to whether we should continue producing fossil fuels,” she said. “There’s no debate. We should not. Every single scientific consensus points to that.”

“So we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat to this country was around World War II…. We had a direct existential threat with another nation, this time it was Nazi Germany, and the Axis, who explicitly made the United States as an enemy, as an enemy. And what we did was that we chose to mobilize our entire economy and industrialized our entire economy and we put hundreds if not millions of people to work in defending our shores and defending this country. We have to do the same thing in order to get us to 100 percent renewable energy, and that’s just the truth of it.”

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” Ocasio-Cortez said on yet another occasion. “It will require the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs. We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy but this time green energy.” MORE

As the carbon tax debate heats up in Ottawa, Canada should look to B.C.

‘At partisan times like these that we must remind ourselves that when it comes to climate policy—like climate science—we can choose what we listen to and broadcast: evidence and expertise or political soundbites.’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with B.C. Premier John Horgan in Vancouver in 2017. PMO Photo by Adam Scotti.

As one factually dubious claim after the other continues to make headlines, an entire decade of real-world evidence from B.C. is sitting on the shelf collecting dust.

And so it is at partisan times like these that we must remind ourselves that when it comes to climate policy — like climate science — we can choose what we listen to and broadcast: evidence and expertise or political sound bites.

Because there is independent research, and plenty of it. There’s the research that found that B.C.’s revenue-neutral carbon tax has cut emissions by 5 to 15 per cent from what they would be otherwise. There’s also the research that says B.C.’s tax demonstrably reduced gasoline demand as well as natural gas use — and actually increased employment. MORE