Fighting the climate change agenda


By Raynier Maharaj

The issue of climate change and what can and should be done to fight it has become muddled lately, thanks in part to US President Donald Trump’s insistence that the concept is nothing but a hoax.
In spite of it being a proven scientific fact that carbon emissions contribute greatly to global warming, Trump and other like-minded leaders, like our own Doug Ford in Ontario, Canada and his federal boss, Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, have been putting politics first.
Their argument is that climate change is not real and any attempt to fight it, like the recently introduced Carbon Tax, will only hurt businesses and therefore jobs.
It is a selfish approach, as these so-called leaders are only concerned about the immediate future, which is fairly safe from doom from climate-change spurred disaster, rather than the long-term effect on the planet and future generations.
This is, of course, no surprise when a leader like Trump could claim windmills that produce renewable energy are the cause of cancer — or rather, the noise from said windmills do. That is the level of idiocy that dominates what should be the most important conversation in the world.
Locally, Ford and Co. have been knocking the carbon tax imposed by the Trudeau Liberals in an effort to put a tangible actual cost on pollution. This would have affected businesses directly, as a higher price of carbon emissions will encourage firms and consumers to develop more efficient engines or alternatives to consuming carbon emissions. For example, with carbon taxes, it will be more efficient to develop hydrogen engines or solar power.
One of Ford’s first moves when he was elected last June was to announce that the province would not implement the Cap-and-Trade program, the federal plan to reduce emissions. The Federal government, left with no choice, then had to impose the Carbon Tax on gas pumps and electricity, directly affecting consumers on a daily basis — although the argument is that the consumer would have always paid for this when businesses pass on the cost of the carbon tax onto them via higher prices. (To compensate, the Feds are offering a rebate that should cover the individual cost of the tax.)
Under Cap-and-Trade, businesses would have been forced to find more sustainable way of energy use to remain competitive, or pay for polluting. In Vancouver, which has had a similar program since 2008, businesses actually saw an increase in revenue, so much so that in 2016, they wrote the provincial government seeking an increase in the tax.
So taxing pollution is not necessarily bad — while it may cost more at the pumps to fill up a vehicle, in the long run it will create a safer environment for our children. The Ford Government, however, wants you to believe otherwise, and in carrying his fight against this tax forward, now wants to legislate that all gas stations in the province carry anti-carbon tax stickers.
Given that the majority of Ontarians are for the Carbon Tax, we need to ask Mr Ford who is going to pay for his politicking at the pumps. We trust that it wouldn’t be the taxpayers footing that ridiculous bill.
Ford has made consistently bad decisions since becoming Premier, his knocking down of the education system and his attack on funding for Ontario’s autism program, affecting our most vulnerable children, among them.
His fight against the Carbon Tax, and to allow businesses to continue polluting without a price in spite of its impact on climate change, is not something anyone should support.
Not in a country where, according to the latest scientific data, we will be experiencing dire effects of climate change in less than 20 years.
Ford, and his like-minded compatriots like Scheer in Ottawa and Trump in Washington, need to get with the green program.