Canada has a carbon tax

Trust The Guardian to misunderstand it.

14 thoughts on “Canada has a carbon tax”

  1. Slightly off topic, WUWT has a post about this but also saying the the Guardian is giving up its Science and Environment blogging network, inc. climate change. Can this be true? Or am I just late noticing?

  2. @ Conti:
    “That’s exactly what the tax does – imposes upon emitters the costs of their emissions. Yes, entirely true, we don’t know what the temperature rise that results will be. But that’s the point.”

    Then there is no point. The alleged cost of CO2 emissions is temperature rise – more rise, more cost. You can’t impose a meaningful cost on emitters without a target temperature. The target temperature, combined with the assumptions about how emissions cause temperature rises, is what must inform the person who sets the level of the carbon tax.

    We want to void x rise.
    This amount of emissions causes x rise.
    This level of carbon tax will stop those emissions.

    That’s how they’ll work it. The middle line, of course, being where the opportunities for graft exist.

  3. All the supposedly scientific research suggests that all of the consequences of higher temperatures are negative, despite the fact that history shows us that the earth is healthier and more abundant when it is warmer. If the consequences are likely to actually be more positive than negative, as history suggests, we should be encouraging people to use fossil fuels, not taxing them.

  4. ‘Thus only those actions which have benefits greater than the costs will happen, those that have costs greater than benefits will not.’

    Charging people has no effect on the thermometer.

  5. As far as I can see, the weakness in the argument is you don’t know what the cost of the CO2 emissions are in the first place. All you have is some scary computer models done with a thumb very hard on the scales. As was said on a recent thread, a rise in global temperature could be a net benefit. In which case a carbon tax should be a negative number.

  6. Which is where revenue neutral comes in. You’re going to raise taxes from somewhere, have to. Might as well do so on something that even might, potentially, be bad rather than something we know is good – incomes, say.

    Further, the advantage is that we know the idiots are going to do something. Might as well keep screaming that they do the least damaging of the things they might do.

  7. “Which is where revenue neutral comes in. ..”
    No it doesn’t.
    All taxes have a cost. If you’re shifting the tax load from one part of an economy to another, carbon, how do you know the cost to the economy will be equal? A government isn’t bound reduce taxes where it’ll do the most good. It’ll reduce them where it sees the greatest electoral advantage.
    And you’re still not assigning a cost to the production of CO2. The market can’t calculate that. You’re just letting government make it up. And they’ll make it up to what figure suits them.
    Let’s try it the other way. Let’s imagine that the consensus was that +2deg by the end of the century was good for the planet. Do you think they’d shift taxation away from fossil fuel use to somewhere else? Revenue neutral? Like heck they would. It’d be “the science isn’t settled” & “2100 is too far away to worry about” & “who believes climate science anyway”
    The whole carbon tax boondogle is just more how to pluck the goose with the minimum of squawking..

  8. Just more virtue signaling, lead by example and everyone will follow naivety from the PM combined with an excuse for hiding a cash grab.
    Was discussing population difference in work recently and pointed out that London is over 8 million alone, while entire population of BC is under 5 million, and most of BC is hydro electricity if you want to look at carbon footprints

  9. “Which is where revenue neutral comes in.”

    As if by magic. As if politicians are going to sit there looking at all that money flowing in and say, “nope, can’t touch that; that’d be naughty and promise-breaking and we’re just jolly well not like that, not one bit”.

    “Might as well keep screaming that they do the least damaging of the things they might do.”

    The most likely result of the screaming is that they’ll do as requested whilst keeping on doing the other stupid things. I just did a quick scan of countries that have introduced a carbon tax, or are about to, and I didn’t see any evidence that any of them had abandoned other “climate change” measures. Can you show one, Tim?

    Quite why a guilt tax on energy should be considered the least damaging thing, I’m not quite sure. And that’s what this is – an energy tax. Finland (which still unexpectedly runs a feed in subsidy for windmills and is legislating coal away this year) openly changed their carbon tax into a combined carbon / energy tax.

    What’s the incidence on an energy tax? My guess is it lands on the consumer and disproportionately impacts the poor.

  10. Tax goes to government, not to those allegedly harmed.

    Theoretically, taxing an activity can reduce it. If that is the objective, then the tax will be set based on feedback from the effect on the activity. Carbon taxes based on theoretical externalized costs, therefore, are not targeted at reducing the activity.

    And, of course, if the activity is really bad, they could just ban it. All else is intrigue. See: U.S. tobacco industry suit.

  11. Speaking as a Canadian here.

    There are no revenue-neutral taxes. There are only taxes that – if you squint at them the right way – might look as though they don’t take more in the first year.

    We were promised that GST would be revenue neutral. It wasn’t.

    Why would a carbon tax be any different?

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