Answers to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Petition

Canadian Taxpayers Federation ad in my Facebook feed says:

Justin Trudeau wants to tax carbon to impact climate change.
The Problem: Canada isn’t producing enough to make an impact.
Sign The Petition!
Click “Sign Up” to sign a petition to demand Trudeau Stop the Implementation of a carbon tax.

I was curious to see what the Petition actually said, so I did click on the link.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Petition
But instead of a petition,
screenshot-2-facebook-opera
what popped up was an attempt to harvest my personal data.

astroturf

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after reading the recent CBC article, “Canadian Taxpayers Federation has 5 members — why should we care what they think? that busts the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as astroturf (a fake “grass roots” organization).

Even so, lots of people are going to read this and be misled.
A look at the top of the comments gave me a couple of excellent rebuttals:

Dave Urquhart writes:

Canada is home to 0.56% of the population.

If you do the math, we’re emitting at a level 3 times greater than the average of the rest of the world.

If you take into consideration that emissions stay in our atmosphere for millennia, the 1.65% number isn’t even close to what our contribution has been toward climate change. It will take a world war mobilization type effort to avert runaway climate change.

I don’t agree with a cap and trade system, and believe that the generous subsidies that we provide for the fossil fuel industry should be eliminated as well, but a price on carbon will be required to get the masses out of their emissions comfort zones. The tax amounts to 2 cents a litre in the first year and only 11 cents in the last year. We seem to have been able to handle those kinds of increases in the past without substantial hardship. You will be affected far less if you reduce your emissions, that’s what the tax is intended to do. Or is it easier to throw others (who are geographically and financially more vulnerable) under the bus? The mindset that got us into this mess, certainly won’t get us out of it. It’s time to move away from the use of fossil fuels – if we do that – there will be no burden from the tax.

Like Dave Urquhart, my preference is not for Cap and Trade.

Michael Nabert writes:

When the largest collective scientific effort in human history tells us that we clearly need to be shifting away from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible, the best the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has to offer is the equivalent of my college roommates letting the dirty dishes pile up in hopes that someone else will wash them first.

Let’s look at the numbers to see how well the “we’re such a small part of the problem that we’re not worth bothering with” argument stands up to logic. Canada is the 8th largest emitter in the world, and has contributed more to combined historical emissions than all but seven other nations. With less than half of one percent of the global population, Canada emits 1.67% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/271748/the-largest-emitters-of-co2-in-the-world/

Canada has 0.475% of the world’s population. That means that of total current global emissions, Canada takes up 3.52 times our fair share of a number that is collectively far too large to begin with. That number is also clearly artificially low because the way it is calculated leaves out a number of glaringly obvious considerations. In any honest assessment we also bear responsibility for emissions from factories that were offshored in order to slash wages but that are still producing products exclusively for sale in North American markets, because that’s our stuff and therefore clearly our responsibility. Canada is also responsible for the emissions resulting from burning the roughly 5% of global fossil fuel exports that come from us. So we’re emitting several times more than our fair share. Any argument that Canada should not act is, by definition, irresponsible.

If we look at a more honest per capita measurement, we can see that the average Canadian is causing more than twice as much harm to the planet than the average Chinese citizen (typically the first direction fingers are pointed). China has increased the strength of its climate commitments aggressively several times in recent years. China is also well on its way to meeting or even exceeding its targets. Canada, on the other hand, not only has spectacularly weak emissions targets compared to the other industrialized nations, we are in no way even going to come close to meeting those targets. Here’s another comparison: China is investing 1% of its per capita income into renewable energy. Canada is investing 0.19% instead, making less than one fifth as much effort to move away from fossil fuel use.

Finally, there is a level of absurdity about overseas finger pointing. I don’t have the opportunity to lobby the governments of Saudi Arabia or China to change their oil policies, but even if they do the right thing and stop producing oil, our continuing to do so willy nilly would still be roasting our loved ones. Canadians do have the ability as well as the responsibility to impact emissions here at home.

http://www.statista.com/statistics/271748/the-largest-emitters-of-co2-in-the-world/

And that takes care of that.

 


Image Credits:

Canadian Taxpayers federation images used under education/criticism Fair Dealing exemption

Astroturf graphic by @laurelrusswurm is a remix of “Skagerak Arena turf” © by Rune Mathisen [bitjungle on Flickr] is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License.

Dimitri Lascaris Town Hall @UofW

uniTonight at 6:00 pm!
Monday, October 17th, 2016
University of Waterloo
PAS room 2083

200 University Avenue West,  Waterloo, ON 
(~MAP~)

img_6172Dimitri Lascaris graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1991, and is a practicing lawyer called to the bars of Ontario, the State of New York, and the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.  In 2012, Canadian Lawyer Magazine identified Mr. Lascaris as one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada, and in 2013, Canadian Business Magazine identified him as one of the 50 most influential people in Canadian business.

Lascaris is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Unity Project for the Relief of Homelessness, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Real News Network, an independent, not-for-profit media organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. He previously served as a Board member of Toronto 350.org.  In the 2015 federal election, Dimitri ran as the Green Party candidate in the riding of London West.

In March 2016, Dimitri was named Justice Critic in the Green Party of Canada Shadow Cabinet.  He was also the author and submitter of the Green Party resolution on “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” that the GPC adopted as Party Policy at this year’s Policy Convention in Ottawa.  This was the first (and only) party with representation in the House of Commons to publicly support elements of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as a means to pressure Israel to respect international law, and oppose efforts to “prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.”

The Green Party quickly came under intense pressure from pro-Israeli organizations for its democratic adoption of the resolution. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May reacted by expressing her disagreement with the resolution, firing three members of her shadow cabinet who publicly supported the resolution, and calling a “special general meeting” on December 3-4 in Calgary to revisit, and potentially reverse, the resolution.

Tonight!

Join Dimitri Lascaris for a Town Hall discussion about freedom, dissent and BDS ~ with special guests Rehab Nazzal and Wendy Goldsmith.

Rehab Nazzal is a Palestinian-born multidisciplinary artist and educator whose video, photography and sound works deal with the violence of war and settler colonialism. Recently, Rehab was shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper while documenting the noxious activities of Israeli skunk trucks in occupied Bethlehem. 

Social worker and mother Wendy Goldsmith is a member of the steering committee of Canada Boat to Gaza, a representative at Freedom Flotilla Coalition and on the Media team for the Women’s Boat to Gaza. Wendy recently returned from Barcelona, Spain, Ajaccio, Corsica and Messina, Sicily where she participated in the sailing of the Zaytouna.

For more information tweet @laurelrusswurm or @bobjonkman or email bjonkman@sobac.com

Cross Cultures Town Hall Poster