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Not cynical enough. Ask for cash, steal the box set.

Does this count?

Ever since you did your post on milk quotas, I can't help thinking about the political economy parallels between milk quotas and cap-and-trade CO2 quotas.

Forget about the reason why milk quotas were originally introduced. It is very hard to get rid of them now, even if we regret ever having introduced them in the first place. It would be much easier, politically, to get rid of a tax on milk.

Now suppose we decided now that we need to introduce CO2 quotas. And suppose that at some time in the future we changed our minds. Would it ever be possible, politically, to get rid of them? Or even make them more plentiful? It would be much easier, politically, to get rid of, or adjust, a CO2 tax.

But taxes and quotas are supposed to be equivalent? I wish I could understand, more clearly, why my intuition says they won't be equivalent politically. Getting rid of either would change the distribution of wealth.

Also, which is more vulnerable to scams: taxes or quotas?

Which requires more international cooperation?

A recognition that the costs of climate change policy cannot be shuffled off to hate-objects such as oil companies and Albertans.

This is nothing more than rightwing, climate denier bilge. The only reason the tarsands are inordinately criticized is because they're an environmental disaster on more than one level.

Why does it have to be any more complicated than slapping a flat rate on CO2-e emissions, no exceptions? Does this count as discriminating against the tarsands, because the processing is so energy intensive?

Be an optimist. Ask for a lump of coal.

"We are all Albertans"

After the army of former Roman slaves led by Spartacus an Albertan is defeated in battle by legions of the Roman army, a Roman general stands before the captured surviving members of the slave army and demands that they turn over Spartacus an Albertan, or else all of the former slaves will be executed. Upon hearing this and not wanting his friends to be executed, Spartacus an Albertan stands up and says "I am Spartacus an Albertan." However, the loyalty of his friends is so great that each of them stands forward in succession, shouting "I am Spartacus an Albertan!" until the shouts dissolve into a cacophony of thousands of former slaves each insisting "I am Spartacus an Albertan!" Bewildered and still not knowing which of them is Spartacus an Albertan, but impressed by the loyalty he inspires in his army, the Roman general has all of the slaves crucified in a miles-long display alongside the Appian Way leading back to Rome.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=I%20am%20spartacus

:)

This is nothing more than rightwing, climate denier bilge. The only reason the tarsands are inordinately criticized is because they're an environmental disaster on more than one level.

So shall I put you down for the Beatles box set, then?

Definitely go with the Beatles box set.

You could ask your PM to do covers for a living and get both a Box Set and an adult climate policy that transfers sustainable wealth to Albertans.

"A recognition that climate change is a real problem that has to be addressed."

How about a recognition that the climate has been changing since the formation of the earth and it is only environmental religious mumbo jumbo to think that you have the ability to stop the climate from changing.

"Is that too much?"

Yes, you should have stuck to the first and third bullets. The second one is redundant, given the third, and its unnecessary inclusion will just be taken as right wing talking points that provoke a defensive response by folks like Robert and me and will support the persecution complexes of those who think it's all just a big conspiracy. If you're looking for an honest discussion, it's an impediment, not an aide.

At any rate, given that our Prime Minister said that a revenue neutral carbon tax would "wreak havoc on Canada's economy, destroy jobs, weaken business at a time of global uncertainty" and also suggested it would put Canadian unity at risk, while at the same time proposing an emissions trading scheme that was effectively (subtle points like Nick's notwithstanding) the same as a carbon tax, I'd recommend going with the Beatles box set.

My understanding is that historically the costs have typically been significantly overstated in similar cases (acid rain, ozone hole) but I don't have any hard evidence (or even links) to back that up. I expect the same will be true this time around.

As many have pointed out, there is a disconnect between the reaction of free-marketeers to the notion that limits on the amount of available oil might affect economic growth (the capitalist system will automatically adjust via prices and we'll never feel a thing) and their reaction to the notion of putting a limit on the available amount of CO2 that can be placed in the atmosphere (the global economy will be destroyed and our standard of living will be greatly reduced).

Go with the box set. It pays dividends, by getting your mind off of stuff you and everyone else have no control over.

Oh BTW, when do we set up tribunals to purge, sorry, re-educate the left-wing climate change deniers? For the right-wing deniers we should reserve deportation, as we don't condone burning at the stake even for right-wingers.

The Peace of Gore and the Holy Suzuki be with you.

I take it ClimateGate has not reached Canada.

If anyone should be open to warmer weather, it ought to be you folks.

There is a real debate but our MSM never covered it and instead led some to believe addressing AGW was evil, as if us Canadians were the ones brainwashed to fight Tea Taxes and the over-for-thirty-years Cold War. The NDP last election had a plan for Cap-n-Trade with revenues going to green R+D. Could've been talking about how to set up the system (we could've learned from EU and USA in term could've learned from us) and how to fill all the R+D capacity across the country. I liked the Liberals's previous plan better than Green Shift (Flaherty already cut taxes too low and our programme spending he will cut is at a record low as a graph on this blog showed) whereby AB companies get Cap-n-Trade exemptions if they invest revenue in cleaner capital. Probably to do what you want and give AB the culture of dependancy Harper ridiculed working class Atlantic Canadians for having, you just jack up the bonus for diversification to be positive sum (an RESP-like 40% diversification bonus seems right) and give more time for corporate planning and new grids and energy infrastructure construction (instead of killing bonus and implementing tax/cap over 4 years give them 8 cuz of whining). Whatever the BQ 2008 plan was could probably be copied by MB, Labrador, Territories and BC, if anyone bothered to look. The GP plan seemed to expensive but just by making them account it properly you get some sense of where diminishing returns might kick in.
Instead you get CPC saying we must fight the Cold War and sacrifice predictable and human-adapted climate. You get the MSM broadcasting this across CTV, Global, Corus and Sunmedia. You get Harper lying he is matching Obama's climate policies (I think his retrofits might even be twice as extensive, not as good as Dion's Green Investment Bonds and not with the low income targetting in Obama's Stimulus, but maybe something to brag about if educative MSM). I assume CPC means matching Cap-n-trade, which is maybe 10-25% of enviro-policy. A recent shot in the dark guess is each year of delays costs $500B more to the world's economy over long term. So our share of costs (ignoring that our frigd country will likely feel pain less than most) is maybe $12/yr. S.Dion was only talking about a tax shift of $39B over 4 years for hated Green Shift. Basically you start to address the problem and get free tax cuts. Retarded rich peoplein this country think no harm will come of making people ignore AGW.

Stephen "A recognition that the costs of climate change policy cannot be shuffled off to hate-objects such as oil companies and Albertans."

Robert "This is nothing more than rightwing, climate denier bilge. The only reason the tarsands are inordinately criticized is because they're an environmental disaster on more than one level."

No it isn't Rob. You know what is the largest industrial sector in Alberta for emissions? Coal Electricity. The oilsands only account for 6% of Canada's emissions. In fact, large fixed emitters only account for 37% of Canada's emissions. Which makes 1990 -20% if you only focus on industrial emissions (like Layton) impossible to achieve.

If the pricing comes, which it should, it will reach everyone. The oilsands are profitable enough that they can buy all the permits they need (for Syncrude a $40 dollar carbon permit or tax works out to $3 a barrel and permits are much cheaper today [and predicted to stay cheaper by the Congressional Budget Office]). The real pain will come from marginally profitable companies, like manufacturing where these charges push them over the edge.

Even replacing Alberta's coal electricity shouldn't increase Alberta's marginal electricity cost since the price is already set on the cost curve for natural gas plants (except when demand is low enough to not require any gas)

Declan: The second one is redundant, given the third, and its unnecessary inclusion will just be taken as right wing talking points that provoke a defensive response by folks like Robert and me and will support the persecution complexes of those who think it's all just a big conspiracy. If you're looking for an honest discussion, it's an impediment, not an aide.

It was on that second point that the Axis of Climate Change Dimwits carried the day in the last federal election. Too many Canadians are entirely too much inclined to believe that they can have an effective climate change policy that won't inconvenience them. To the extent that left-wingers have indulged and encouraged this tendency, they *should* be on the defensive.

If it was my wishlist, I'd change the second bullet to:

* A national energy strategy developed with the provinces and the fed gov't that deals with resource development, inter-provincial and north-south trade in energy, and ghg emissions control and reduction.

It is only, in my view, within a national framework that these policies/choices and trade-offs can be made without these regional tensions, finger pointing, and myth making. ("NEP 2", Hydro-Quebec blockingNflnd and Labrador wheeling of power", "freeze in the dark Eastern Canada due to NAFTA energy proportionality clause" etc. etc.)

Too many Canadians are entirely too much inclined to believe that they can have an effective climate change policy that won't inconvenience them.

That's not what your second point says though. It was nothing more than the tiresome Alberta persecution complex trope. And as Declan points out, the second point is rendered irrelevant by the third.

>> Too many Canadians are entirely too much inclined to believe that they can have an effective climate change policy that won't inconvenience them.

> That's not what your second point says though. It was nothing more than the tiresome Alberta persecution complex trope. And as Declan points out, the second point is rendered irrelevant by the third.

In an ideal world, yes, three makes two redundant. But for many people - including, I suspect, some of the strongest anthropogenic warming proponents - it is a big step to agree that oil companies are only a problem to the extent that they *burn* fossil fuels, not to the extent that they sell it. And since many (many!) more people buy and burn oil and coal than mine it and sell it, that means that we are all the problem.

Your share of the cost should be proportionate to the carbon-based energy you use. If the tar sands processors were to build a nuclear reactor tomorrow, and shift all their mining and processing to non-carbon resources, then the entire cost of the carbon release should fall to those who burn it.

Stephen is right to be skeptical, though. The political costs of entering the debate on these terms are too high. Nobody is going to get re-elected being accurate and reasonable in the foreseeable future. It's easier for any area outside Alberta to say "its Alberta's fault". Yes, it's wrong, but it is political suicide to admit that consumer demand is the core of the problem.

Put me down for the box set.

Or - to try a more positive bent...

  • A recognition that climate change will have effects on the future of humanity, even more than effects on the planet, and must be addressed for that reason, and a further recognition that failure to accept this should mark you as anti-humanitarian.
  • A recognition that the costs of climate change policy must be widely shared, not narrowly assigned, because the benefits of both the burning of carbon fuels and the effects of carbon release are already being widely distributed, and the benefits of any improvement will also be widely shared.
  • An honest discussion of what those costs of an effective climate change policy are.

the second point is rendered irrelevant by the third.

Clearly that's not the case, since the second point seems to be the source of a certain amount of contention, while the third one isn't.

Kyle O makes a good point. Getting to 1990 -50% is going to hurt, but getting to 1990 -10 or -20 is probably not so bad. We should at least make a start with the easy stuff like replacing old coal power plants, insulating houses, replacing windows and doors, etc while we figure out the hard stuff (like what how the heck we're going to undo suburbia and happy motoring).

how about planning for migration contingencies? the chance for any binding agreement between self-centered nations is that of a snowball in hell..

Why is it stupid to argue that energy companies are collecting economic rents and we should redirect those rents to reducing carbon output?

BTW, geo thermal heating works almost as well in Quebec City as it does in Toronto. The average temperature is only about 3 degrees celcius colder.

What's stupid is telling people that the costs of that policy will not be passed on to consumers and workers.

And what's depressing is that this point is at all controversial.

Stephen,

A q related to your immediate previous comment. In the softwood lumber dispute, "Canada" was suing to get back $5 billion in tariffs levied against Canadian softwood producers. They ended up settling for $4 billion.

Should they have gotten the full $5 billion, $4 billion or some lesser amount (I personally thought they did quite well)? For the period in dispute, 2001-2005, softwood sales to the US were particularly strong (housing boom, destructive hurricanes etc).

Here's what Canfor wrote in their 2001 annual report on these tariffs (when David Emmerson was CEO)

During strong markets, duties of this nature are generally absorbed by the market, but when markets are weak, these duties are primarily absorbed by the producers, which was the case in 2001.

So, bogus claim by Canada's softwood producers for recovery of the full $5 billion?

ref pg 33:

http://www.canfor.com/_resources/investors/annuals/Canfor_Annual_Report_2001.pdf

A recognition that climate change is a real problem that has to be addressed.

So your Christmas wish is a fairy tale.

I really don't know what to do with people like scf.

Arguing with them is clearly pointless. And yet they present a significant obstacle to preventing a catastrophe that will cause enormous suffering, kill millions and displace billions. Not to mention cause the extinction of species like polar bears and generally wreak havoc on the environment. Even if there was some way to make them bear the future cost for their present stupidity it would be a Pyrrhic victory; what good is it after the damage is done?

Sigh.

Sorry, I may have dragged him over from Macleans where I placed a couple of links on a Colby Cosh blog. scf is not the worst there in this category, but up there, so count your mixed blessings.

It will indeed be cold comfort to rub the sheer disaster global warming will be in the faces of deniers in 20 years. Of course, by then many will claim they had long recanted. In many ways its an intellectual crime against humanity to willfully use the kind of deception, duplicity and obfuscation that many deniers employ. Very few seem interested in a debate that leads to any kind of resolution. They seldom acknowledge defeat and yield on things like arctic sea ice extent and mass, or the 'global warming stopped in 1998' story, or quibbles with land-based instrument record in the US. I can't believe anyone even bothers to argue that global warming is happening. The evidence is overwhelming. That people continue to do so, merely to disingenuously throw up a cloud of confusion, is truly a crime.

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