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There are two fallacies that Canadian voters must bear in mind when assessing the “climate plans” of the various political parties. The first fallacy afflicts equally the plans of the Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens. It is the fallacy of thinking that we can all get richer by producing and consuming more expensive energy.
The Liberal plan is the most blatant. They pretend that their tax-and-rebate plan will leave 80% of Canadians financially better off, since the rebate will be higher than they spend, directly and indirectly, on the carbon tax. The math behind that claim seems extremely dodgy to me, given that the annual rebate is only $307 per family of four in Ontario. For many families of four, that amount will hardly cover the gas tax, let alone home heating and the increased cost of everything that has a production or transportation component before consumption. The Trudeau family probably spends their entire carbon rebate budget on a one-day surfing holiday in Tofino.
The NDP and Greens are more cagey. They point to the array of new, well-paying, high-tech “green jobs” that will be created by transitioning from fossil fuels to solar and wind. (They oppose nuclear and hydro-electrical generation on ideological grounds.) This is like thinking that if you pay me very high wages to do your household chores, and I pay a third person similarly to do mine, and that third person pays you to do her chores, we will all get rich from the high wages suddenly being doled out. It ignores the increased costs to everyone, too.
Energy is an essential cost of living. The more expensive an energy source is, the higher your cost of living will be, no matter what “jobs” that source of energy “creates,” and no matter what the government “rebates” to you. The higher cost might be worth the benefit in “cleaner air”—that’s a debate for another day—but there is no possible way that the transition to a more expensive energy source could result in the creation of greater wealth for anyone but the politically well-connected. No matter what they try to tell you, the Liberal, NDP, and Green “climate plans” will cost you dearly if they are to be effective in achieving their aim.
Which brings us to one of the main planks in the recently announced CPC “climate plan”—to export more oil and gas to Asia, so they can replace their coal-burning power plants, or at least build fewer of them. This is a solution I have been urging for years, because it is a win-win-win whether CO2 is a menace or not.
The fallacy this time isn’t in the “climate plan”—it is in the critique. The mainstream media are reluctant to give Andrew Scheer any credit for that plan. “It doesn’t help Canada to meet our Paris commitments,” they complain. “According to the Paris Agreement, carbon credits go to the country that is replacing coal with LNG and oil—not to the country that exports it.”
This is a bizarre response, though. Climate change is supposed to be a global “emergency.” The scientivists tell us we have only 4,228 days left to curb our energy enthusiasm. But here in Canada, the nit-pickers imply that Canada shouldn’t take steps to improve the global level of emissions unless we get “credit” for it—which is to say, unless some UN agency gives us praise or a plaque or something. It’s like they want us to believe that if we don’t get Paris’s love and approval, it isn’t worth saving the planet, after all. Let’s call the whole thing off.
The fallacy here is to think locally—parochially—instead of globally. If you believe that “carbon emissions” are a global emergency, then your goal should be to reduce global emissions, period. And since the developing world currently uses the most carbon-intensive energy, that is where the greatest reductions are of necessity going to be found, and at the lowest cost, too. It makes perfect sense to start there, if saving the planet is the aim.
The complaint against the CPC plan only makes sense if this whole climate business is an exercise in virtue-signalling, or a game of wedge politics. This charade is becoming increasingly apparent judging by the lack of gravitas with which politicians and the certified journalists approach the subject.