Cap-and-trade — useless, dumb, and reckless

By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

Michael Ignatieff’s 2011 election Red Book promise to create a cap-and-trade market in carbon dioxide emissions, completes a triple play of stupidity on energy and environmental policy by the Liberals going back almost 20 years.

It started with Jean Chretien’s reckless promise in his 1993 Liberal Red Book to cut Canada’s emissions to 20% below 1988 levels by 2005.

That economy-killing idea was a steal of the same promise made in the 1988 election by the then-Progressive Conservative government, which also did nothing to implement it.

Chretien did worse than nothing by signing the Kyoto accord in 1998 and ratifying it in 2002, bringing it into effect.

Kyoto called for Canada to achieve a more modest but still totally unrealistic target of reducing our emissions by an average of 6% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

Chretien and his successor, Paul Martin, did nothing with that commitment until the Liberals lost power in 2006, at which time Canada was 30% above its Kyoto target and incapable of achieving it by 2012.

Stephane Dion, after replacing Martin as Liberal leader in 2006, discarded Chretien’s previous rejection of a carbon tax and his own preference for cap-and-trade, in order to support a carbon tax as the central plank of his “Green Shift” program. It was massively rejected by voters in 2008.

Ignatieff, who called for a carbon tax in the 2006 Liberal leadership race, has flip-flopped in the opposite direction from Dion. Now he rejects a carbon tax and favours cap-and-trade.

Both policies put a price on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide when fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) are burned for energy.

This drives up the cost of most goods and services by billions of dollars annually, either by businesses passing along their increased costs to consumers (cap-and-trade), or by governments imposing higher taxes (carbon tax).

While both measures have failed to lower emissions where they’ve been tried, Ignatieff’s proposal is even worse than a carbon tax.

Governments know how to tax. They know nothing about setting up an international cap-and-trade scheme — a global stock market in which big industrial emitters trade carbon credits.

Each credit permits the bearer to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide, with governments theoretically lowering total emissions over time.

For Ignatieff to cite Europe’s cap-and-trade market, the Emissions Trading Scheme, as an example to Canada, is political insanity.

Since it was created in 2005 by European governments it’s been a disaster.

It failed to lower emissions. (What did, unintentionally, was the 2008 global financial crash.)

It sent prices consumers pay for fossil-fuel generated electricity skyrocketing.

It provided undeserved profits to giant utilities and energy companies, while hospitals and universities fired nurses and teachers to buy carbon credits.

It has been beset by multi-billion-dollar financial frauds, plus widespread fraud in the carbon credit markets.

The latter occurred because many First World investments into “green” energy projects in the Third World to generate carbon credits, failed to lower emissions, due to lax regulation and financial and political corruption.

Unsurprising, given the earliest corporate backers of cap-and-trade in the U.S. were Enron’s fraudsters.

Present boosters include the Wall St. banks that precipitated the 2008 global recession through reckless trading in subprime mortgage derivatives, who were then bailed out by hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

Critics of cap-and-trade argue a global market based on the suspect foundation of carbon credits, will lead to another disaster like the subprime mortgage crisis, costing trillions of dollars of wealth globally and tens of millions of people their jobs, homes and life savings.

Ignatieff’s apparent determination to establish a cap-and-trade system here, regardless of what the U.S. does, suggests more Liberal recklessness.

Considering U.S. cap-and-trade legislation is gridlocked in the Congress, this would place our fossil fuel industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan — especially the oilsands — at a huge economic disadvantage with our largest trading partner.

The Conservatives, since 2006, have continued the Liberal policy of playing lip-service to lowering emissions while doing virtually nothing.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Canada won’t implement cap-and-trade without the U.S., but the fact remains both it and carbon taxes, have been disasters.

We should abandon them.

We need a made-in-Canada policy focusing on clean air, safe drinking water, cleaning up toxic waste dumps, safely disposing radioactive waste, tougher vehicle emission standards, boosting research into practical “green” energy sources such as natural gas, putting scrubbers on coal-fired electricity plants and creating more national parks.

Not another dumb Liberal idea.

16 thoughts on “Cap-and-trade — useless, dumb, and reckless

  1. What’s in it for Goldstein of National Post’s Solomon to keep calling BS on the Green money crowd? Harper got rid of the federal production incentive for wind. The opposition ganged up and passed the Climate Change Accountability Act per recommendations of NTREE to go BEYOND Kyoto limits. Harper’s appointed senate quashed it and he took flak for it. As far as this issue goes, it does make a difference who has hold of the reigns of power. Any other way to affect who gets hold of the reigns of power than politics esp. at election time?

    The message needs to be shared so voters can make informed decisions.
    Its also an opportunity to brand the Liberals before next provincial election.
    Singing to the converted won’t get us there….get writing to editors and posting.

  2. Do you mean that the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change is a conspiratorial hangout?……….do you mean the United Nation’s Agenda 21 is a Conspiracy?……………OR George Soros who is hosting 2 separate meetings today in the U.S. at the same time sponsoring one world banking systems is a conpsiracy?

    …………….then I guess this is just TOO MUCH reality to handle all at once and we should all crawl back into our safe little “mini-battles” in Ontario with Wind Developers and stay out of the War for our Country……BTW, how’s that been working out lately?

  3. Ontario’s DRIVE CLEAN…SCAM….. is redundant……

    32 Million tests done…..Public ripped off again…at $35 per test……that`s a lot of money….

    Why do the Liberals keep this test since it was a Conservative idea…..haha….It was only supposed to be in place for 7 years….

  4. Can’t see how spending ~ $20 million dollars on ~ 10 IWTs to provide one post construction full time job is going to make the situation any better.

    A lot of other dependable electrical generation can be purchaded for what IWTs will cost and/or transmission lines.

    The public does not know how much IWTs cost and how many full time post construction jobs are created. This has been kept well hidden from thepublic.

    Now is the time to inform Ontarians about the true costs of IWTs and how many full time jobs will be created.

    The manufacture of wind turbines will also turn out to be just temporary jobs as
    well. Won’t need workers once all the turbines are built or if they even will be built in Canada.

  5. I can’t believe folks are sitting back taking all of Count Iggy’s crap, and not grilling him on the Liberal Platform Chapter 3, page 46, Cap and Trade (h/t SDA) – it’s online folks, read and heed.

    If we think we have IWT troubles now, look out if Layton and Iggy get a chance to run with their green scams – it won’t be pretty!

    All we have to do is look at the carbon trading scadals in Denmark, Germany, U.K., Spain, and Gore/Goldman Sachs Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) – billion$ have been swindled.

    U.N. Climate Chief Pachauri cashed in on carbon trading when Tata sold Corus Steel in Redcar – follow the money – it’s well documented.

    There are many who scoff at skeptics Quixote, but what goes around – comes around (sooner or later). Let’s hope it’s sooner. Enjoy your evening – cheers from N.S.

  6. Cap and Trade Is another job killer. It guarantees I won’t vote Liberal. I don’t really want to vote for any of them. For the first time in my life I considered spoiling my ballot. The rot runs deep.

  7. Problem with cap and trade is it only applies to corporations. If we all hold our breath for 30 seconds to reduce CO2 emissions could we abolish one IWT in trade. I think not. Its all about money that our government can hord from us tax payers. We are doomed in the end.

  8. just likea rfid in a deltoit, you missed something a couple of things, nice scotch tape!!!!!!!

  9. Re: the “New World order”. Is that the Anglo-Dutch Banker NWO per Lyndon LaRouche (soviet sympathizer) or the Soviet-socialist-communist NWO per Pat Buchanan? Anyone believe the US military-industrial complex has been covertly taken over by Soviets? Have the elites behind Putin, Jiaboa, Chavez, Rousseff, Ahmadinejad rolled over for the NWO ? How about your mom&pop municipal councilors? Many move onto MPs, MPPs. They all work for the NWO?

    Is there nothing people can do about our elected leaders like Mulroney sending a planeload of bureaucrats to Rio to sign some UN treaty on climate change and subsequent protocols that create carbon credits produced by windmills? The power of corporates over the state undermines our our democracy. Whose the NRTEE behind the Climate Change Accountability Act?

    What to do? Nothing? Harp about a NWO? They’ll beat your head in if you protest peacefully as at G20. We can engage the political parties & play them off-against each other. Can’t stand voting for any-spoil the ballot BUT heap reproach on them for their wrongs vs. shadow boxing with some NWO.

  10. melodie danielle asked me to say hi to mrs burke for her!!!!!!

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