Letters: carbon tax doesn’t work

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Instead of taxing CO2 on the consumption side, all producers should invest a percentage of their revenues into researching ways to clean up fossil fuels to avoid CO2 emissions.

Editor:

Carbon taxes have been in place since 2008, but carbon emissions have continued to rise. The reason is simple, economies continue to grow. Regardless of how heavily CO2 emissions are taxed, cars, buses, trucks, ships and planes continue to be built and they all emit CO2. So unless social and economic growth is put on hold (highly unlikely), CO2 emissions will continue to rise despite the carbon tax. So what’s the better solution?

Businesses and people are much more responsive to “what’s in it for me”. Taxes are unpopular and ineffective at best, so they’re not the answer.

Instead of taxing CO2 on the consumption side, all producers should invest a percentage of their revenues into researching ways to clean up fossil fuels to avoid CO2 emissions.

This can be achieved by lowering corporate taxes based on successful reductions in carbon emissions.

A second approach is to use funds to directly reach out to carbon emitters in other countries to take action to solve their problems. For example, there isn’t much point in having a carbon tax while Brazil and other countries in South America continue to destroy the rainforest, which is inherently carbon-cleaner for the planet.

Another issue is why is Canada imposing a carbon tax on consumers on the one hand, but allowing millions of tons of coal to be shipped out of Canadian ports to other countries that continue to build coal burning plants to produce their electricity at the expense of the planet?

The other unfortunate myth is the electric car, a vehicle that uses a battery to move it from one place to another. Has anyone ever thought how much fossil fuel is burned to generate electricity to actually make a single car battery? For example, it usually takes 200 tons of mining to extract the essential raw materials and elements to craft a battery. It is estimated that if 400 million electric cars were on the road today, the planet’s carbon emissions would have increased by 11 percent because batteries require fossil fuels to produce electricity. It’s the old two-step-back, one-step-forward approach…it won’t work.

In short, the carbon tax is just another tax robbery that will do absolutely nothing except hurt Canadians, who are experiencing higher prices on almost everything in their lives and are having to take a significant chunk of their disposable income to address the carbon problem – Tackle tax. A different approach should be implemented if we really want to save the biosphere.

Barry McDonald

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