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Posted: April 13, 2019

World facing climate change Armageddon by 2030

“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

It was just the news that Canada doesn’t need. No, I’m not talking about Justin Trudeau and his latest lame attempt to justify booting his two most ethical ministers out of his cabinet.

No, this is much more serious than that and Canadians are not going to like what they hear – Canada, especially northwestern Canada, is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world, according to the latest federal Climate Change Report.

“This report is a wakeup call for all Canadians,” says Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “It is clear that climate change is real, human made and requires urgent action.” Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is no less clear. “This report is a wakeup call for all Canadians.”

Yet I can already hear the naysayers like federal Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, who said at a Toronto town hall meeting Jan. 19, “a carbon tax is not an environmental plan.” So where does Scheer think all the carbon in the atmosphere is coming from? The Tooth Fairy? Later in his remarks, Scheer said the Conservatives will announce their environmental plan “in the very, very near future,” which is about what you’d expect him to say in a province that has yet to impose a carbon tax.

But before we condemn Scheer for sounding like any other politician, are the rest of us much different? A carbon tax on gasoline means it costs more to fill your tank and I don’t hear anyone praising that, me included. However, I’m already paying a carbon tax of 8.89 cents per litre every time I fill up – as indeed you are – because B.C. has had a carbon tax on motor fuel ever since former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell imposed one Feb. 19, 2008. And you know what?

The sky didn’t fall!

Give Campbell credit for introducing the first carbon tax on gasoline in North America and one of the first in the world. But to soften the blow, he also made the tax revenue neutral by reducing corporate and income taxes an equivalent amount.

At the time the carbon tax was introduced B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake said the new tax worked because “it makes sense, it’s simple and it’s well accepted.” And I think we have to accept Lake’s word on that because no one in B.C. has been setting their hair on fire because of the existence of a tax on carbon in the province.

And most of the other provinces in Canada have followed with carbon taxes of their own with the notable exceptions of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario where Prime Minister Trudeau is in the process of imposing a federal carbon tax on them.

And get this. In a new low for climate change denialism, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has vowed to introduce legislation requiring anti-carbon tax stickers placed on every gasoline pump in the province just to spite Trudeau. I wonder how much that will cost the taxpayers?

But let’s get real. An anti-carbon tax alone will do next to nothing to reverse world-wide climate change which is rising lock step with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere virtually everywhere on Earth.

At the dawn of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide stood at 280 parts per million but climbed to 405 ppm in 2017, a rate higher than any point in the last 800,000 years, according to a recent Manchester Guardian article. The Guardian is now publishing the carbon count daily in its highly respected paper to show its concern says Editor-In-Chief Katharine Viner.

“People need reminding that the climate crisis is no longer a future problem. We need to tackle it now and every day matters,” Viner says. According to the Paris Climate Agreement scientists the world over must take “rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to avoid a global environmental disaster by 2030.”

In other words, the ones who know say the countdown is on and the odds don’t look good for any of us.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who takes global warming threats seriously.

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