It was well worth the wait.
In The carbon cops are coming, Goldstein exposes the intellectual dishonesty of environmental advocates and politicians who try to woo us to the Green side with tales of how their schemes will be 'revenue neutral'. As a public service, Lorrie offers his three-pronged guide designed to help us sort through the hot air emanating from Suzuki Nation:
1) When any of them tell you "polluters will pay" to reduce greenhouse gases, they mean you and me.
Whenever they talk about a carbon tax, a "cap-and-trade" system, carbon credits or the regulation of industrial greenhouse gases by government, they are talking about the same thing -- higher taxes.
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2) This brings us to the second point of our guide: Whenever a politician, or anyone else, claims a carbon tax will be "revenue neutral" nail them down on exactly what they mean.
Politicians and environmentalists like to toss around "revenue neutral" because it sounds as if even with a new carbon tax, you will pay no more in total taxes than you do now.
That's not what it means. Even if a government was considering a truly "revenue neutral" tax, it may well not be neutral for you. Say you need your car to drive to work because you live in one city and your job is in another. If the government imposes a carbon tax by hiking gasoline prices, it may claim it's "revenue neutral" because it's going to return an equal amount in tax incentives for people to take public transit. Problem is, if you don't have a realistic transit alternative for getting to work, your carbon tax is no longer "revenue neutral." .
( . . .)
3) Finally, when a politician or environmentalist tells you a carbon tax can be imposed with "minimal" harm to the economy ask them what assumptions they base this on.
In both the recent study on carbon pricing by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and in the one released by the Suzuki Foundation last week, the authors simply assume that while Canada is taxing carbon, the U.S. and our other major trading partners will be doing the same...
And that's a huge assumption.
Even the Toronto Star takes note of the fact that while this may be a desirable situation, it is clearly not going to happen anytime in the near future. Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, brother of the current Federal Liberal environmental critic David, is not jumping on the bandwagon. He rightly realizes that such a plan would devastate the Ontario economy which is already facing huge challenges competing with China, etc.
As in all things, buyer beware.