Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cons and Dippers: Suzuki Tells 'em

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, it's drippin' down rain an' I just had a lazy Sunday hour of watchin' TV. I was watchin' ol Craig Oliver an' JaneyGal Taber on CTV Question Period. They was mostly talkin' about Dion's carbon tax policy.

Baird came on and cheerled for the HarpoonTossers' enviro non-plan. He yammered on about forcin' polluters to reduce but he was blowin' hot air like usual. He trotted out a buncha cliches and called Dion's idea "Plan Number Nine." Kinda funny, like "Plan 9 from Outer Space". He said Canada's gonna study and study and study polar bears. Studies and commissions = stall tactics. "We're waiting for the full science."

There was a commercial break where Gary Lunn popped up an' told us how it was a great "business decision" to throw in the towel on the Maple reactors we spent $680 million bucks on. He made a sales pitch fer AECL. I ain't sure any prospective buyers was watchin'. AECL CANDU = AVRO ARROW.

Dalton Ginty's brother was on, too, tryin' to sell what he don't understand. The dumbass Liberals sure went at this whole carbon tax thing in a ass-backwards way. Since they just lifted the idea from us treehuggin' Greens, they may as well steal all our well-thought-out details, too. They shoulda boned up on it before they went shootin' their mouths off. They got everybody definin' for 'em an' they're caught tryin' to counterspin.

Best part of the show was when ol' David Suzuki told Janey what's what. (you can watch it) He ain't runnin' fer office an' he ain't lookin' fer votes like most o' Janey's victims. He lets loose with both barrels. One barrel is pointed at the HarpoonTossers and the other barrel's pointed at the Dippers.

Seems the Dippers got a different plan that they don't got any details on, neither. Peggy Nash was on yammerin' about how the Dips is against the idea of a "revenue neutral" tax. She sez they want to tax the bigass polluters with a tax that ain't revenue neutral. The Dips want to raise taxes. Peggy was ever-so-vaguely alluding to a cap and trade system. She said "cap" but wouldn't actually usin' the word "trade". The Dips want a marketplace solution.

I can't blame ol' Suzuki fer blastin' the Dippers. I think he nailed it by suggestin' it was politics over good policy. The Dips oppose this idea because the Grits proposed it, pure an' simple. If the Grits is gonna carry the Green Party's carbon tax, the Dips are against. Doin' the right thing fer Ol' Mother Earth be damned, I reckon. Yeow!The Dips wantin' higher taxes and a Bay Street cap&trade marketplace. Extremists, sez I.

Now that the Grits are spoutin' GPC policy, some Greens might be all worried about losin' votes to Dion. That could happen but I ain't losin' any sleep over it. The Cons'll do a good job of tellin' everybody how the Grits don't walk the walk. Nobody doubts the Greens when it comes to stickin' with what we believe in. We been talkin' carbon tax fer years. A few months ago, Dion said he'd never bring in a carbon tax. The Cons'll make sure you see a lot of video clips of Dion sayin' that.

Dion's gettin' some good press on sheer ballsiness. They're sayin' he's bold by talkin' carbon tax. Well, the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May's been talkin' carbon tax since the day she started leadin' our merry band of treehuggin' Greenies. I leave it my thousands of readers to decide who's the ballsier.

CTV's got a write-up on Suzuki's slap down.

JimBobby

8 comments:

RayK said...

"The Dips oppose this idea because the Grits proposed it, pure an' simple."

Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

Despite your tinfoil hat conspiracy theorizing the facts are clear: the NDP has opposed a carbon tax--and supported a cap and trade system instead--since long before the Liberals were in favour of either. Your assertion is, therefore, provably false. The NDP “oppose[d] this idea” long before “the Grits proposed it”--negating the possibility that the Liberals’ support was the reason for the Dippers’ opposition.

A carbon tax is simply an inferior policy.

The only inherent difference between a carbon tax and a carbon market is that a carbon tax fixes the price of emissions and allows the quantity to float (i.e. be determined by the market), while a carbon market fixes the quantity of emissions and allows the price to float.

Read that again: the only inherent difference between a carbon tax and a carbon market is that a carbon tax fixes the price of emissions and allows the quantity to float (i.e. be determined by the market), while a carbon market fixes the quantity of emissions and allows the price to float.

There are two big advantages to a carbon market. First, a carbon market guarantees results because the government sets the overall cap on emissions--a carbon tax has to be continually adjusted until the desired level of emissions is reached. Second, under a carbon market system the government can adopt a mixed grant and auction system for distributing emission credits; that way, while the same emissions level is achieved, the impact on industry and consumers is reduced.

JimBobby said...

I ain't against cap and trade carbon market. It can and does exist simultaneously with carbon taxes in some European countries. Both mechanisms will do some good, environmentally and one does not preclude the other.

Both systems can be characterized as licenses to pollute. Capping does not mean an industry shuts down if it goes over it's limit. It means it must purchase credits from some clean industry. If there are enough clean industries, the dirty ones will find credits for sale, right?

Taxing stuff to get usage reduced is possibly less effective than cap-and-trade, I'll defer to you on that. Taxing is a powerful tool and one with which the federal government has some experience as well as some authority. Creating new market mechanisms is something that has been done by government but I posit that they are less adept at such things than at applying and collecting taxes.

JB

Mushroom said...

JB,

I have posted this on Steve Farnwide's site. This may represent a compromise between a carbon tax and the cap and trade. In fact, Durning says it is almost the same thing

http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2008/05/14/carbon-cap-or-tax-both

Ryan said...

My problem is that these two options are presented as if they are the only option. Isn't there another way that could ensure strict penalties while protecting lower income people as well?

Steve V said...

"It means it must purchase credits from some clean industry. If there are enough clean industries, the dirty ones will find credits for sale, right?"

And, when you have certain industries, which just happen to be the biggest polluters, absolutely AWASH in profits, where is the incentive if they merely have to scrape some of the BLACK off the top.

JimBobby said...

Thanks for the comments. That's a good article, Mushroom. Thanks for the link.

These two solutions may not be the only choices. If we look at them as mutually exclusive, though, we fail to capitalize on what we already know to help.

If we want to do nothing, all we need to do is point out the flaws in proposed possible partial solutions while we keep studying, studying, studying and looking for the one and only perfect solution.

JB

catherine said...

"If we want to do nothing, all we need to do is point out the flaws in proposed possible partial solutions..."

Exactly. This is not the time and issue to be so partisan. Layton's comment about it not being fair to pay more tax to heat your house sounded just like Harper. Does Layton want people to think about pollution and resources or not? The NDP needs to wake up.

Stephen said...

I think that provided the carbon tax system provides credits for low income and rural people, it's a great idea.