Letter: Lost manufacturing jobs account for lower CO2 in B.C.

Governments may find the increased tax revenue to be tempting…but taxing carbon is basically useless.

To the editor:

In his letter of Oct. 12 (Carbon Tax No Problem For Most, Oct. 12 Kelowna Capital News) Raymond Thériault fails to address a number of ‘inconvenient truths’ in his praise of a carbon tax. Canada generates less than 2 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide output. Even if Canada were to totally eliminate CO2, any change in global CO2 output would be immeasurable, and wouldn’t change B.C.’s climate at all.

Thériault’s claim that B.C.’s 17 per cent reduction in fuel use since 2008 is attributable to our carbon tax, is nonsense. The main cause is the gradual demise of our manufacturing sector. Claiming B.C.’s carbon tax has resulted in lower gasoline use, is also nonsense. Any such reduction is primarily due to old cars gradually being replaced by newer more fuel efficient ones. Ask yourself: Do you know of anyone who, as a result of our carbon tax, has significantly changed their driving habits? No, neither do I.

It is clear that we are presently undergoing a warming climate. But this is by no means the first time. Climatologists have known for a century that, starting about 900AD, the earth underwent a 3-4 century warming period called the “Medieval Warming”, at a time when mankind’s CO2 output was essentially zero. This was followed by 400 years of what climatologists refer to as the Little Ice Age, where most of Europe was bitterly cold, in spite of slowly increasing manmade CO2.

Cyclical changes over the millennia in our climate have proven to be the norm, and not solely manmade. Governments may find the increased tax revenue to be tempting (and no, our carbon tax is absolutely not neutral!), but taxing carbon is basically useless.

Robert Wilson, Kelowna