Contributed by Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager for Friends of Science Society.
On Saturday, November 5, 2016, thousands of people across Alberta spoke up and signed petitions against the Alberta Climate Plan, the carbon tax and coal phase-out. Many of thousands of others could not be at the rallies – they were out in the field harvesting the food that you and I rely on to eat. But they were there in spirit and they will be signing the petition.
Calgary banner at MacDougall Centre.
Reported figures from Alberta Wide Rally are:
“8-9,000 in attendance
Hundreds of volunteers wanting to help with petition drive
Next step for the “Alberta Wide Rally ” movement is to organize petition committees in every hamlet, village, town and city in the province. We’re actively seeking volunteers.”
Calgary rally attracted more than 800 people; protestor with signs.
Lethbridge rally attracted 300 people.
Video of phasing out coal electrical plants and replacing lost coal generation with ineffective and costly renewables https://youtu.be/UI6ipel6qQk
Most of the people at the rallies were concerned about energy policies. The carbon tax sounds innocuous when described as ‘revenue neutral.’ It sounds to some like a benefit – when the government suggests the rebate will be substantial to those below a certain income level. But few people appreciate the cumulative nature of this tax, which, as economist Ross McKitrick and others have pointed out, should only be applied if other taxes are relieved. Further, how can the tax be described as ‘revenue neutral’ when most of the tax will be paid out as subsidies and for transit expansion, both of which are expenditures, not tax reductions? It is not ‘revenue neutral’. The carbon tax is a vehicle to subsidize crony ‘green’ capitalists for building solar and wind farms to produce intermittent, costly power, or will be used for other pet government projects.
Likewise, the “Social Costs of Carbon” – the term used to describe the carbon tax, is based on skewed accounting. Environmental groups claim that a number of catastrophic climate events are on the rise, but the evidence does not show that. The one economic climate change accounting model that uses an actual cost-benefit analysis shows there is significant financial and societal benefit from the use of coal, natural gas and oil – and little irreparable damage.
Business and government policies are decided based on evidence-based cost-benefit analysis. Why are climate policies and carbon taxes based on predicted costs and crystal ball projections by doomsday ‘climateers’ seeking donations from you to ‘stop climate change’ or ‘global warming’ …that mostly happens naturally; with nominal human impact.
In fact, there has been no increase in hurricanes, tornadoes or droughts over the last 35 years and warming makes storms less severe. Increasing CO2 has caused a greening of the earth equivalent to adding a green continent twice the size of the continental USA.
Claims that global warming causes more wildfires is also not supported by the evidence. The Flat Top Fire Complex Review of the Slave Lake wildfire showed that Alberta’s tinder dry, aging conifers put us at a cyclical risk of fire. Last year’s mild winter and natural El Nino and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (two natural, powerful weather forcings) led to extremely dry conditions in May. Compare the maps below. These naturally occurring factors will not be stopped by carbon taxes.
May 4, 2016 fire danger map.
Map of 30 year mean for fire danger conditions May 1961-2010.
June 12, 2016 fire danger map shows the situation after spring rains.
May wildfires are common in Alberta during the gap between snow-melt and spring rain.
Earth has naturally warmed in the past – a few times. An example is the Medieval Warm Period (850-1250) when civilization flourished as harvests were bountiful and as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, temperatures were about the same as today. That warm time was followed by a naturally caused Little Ice Age, a 500-year cooling cycle, fraught with wild, unpredictable weather, crop failures, famine, social chaos and where thousands of people, deemed to be witches, were burned at the stake for the alleged crime of ‘weather cooking.’ Dr. Sallie Baliunas on “Weather Cooking” https://youtu.be/wcAy4sOcS5M
Australia had a carbon tax – after a couple of years, that government went down to defeat and the carbon tax was repealed. The UK and EU have carbon taxes and have added subsidized wind and solar farms to the grid while phasing out coal. Now millions suffer in heat-or-eat poverty – a growing problem in Ontario.
None of the climate change measures in the world have reduced carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions. Heavy industry has just moved offshore to places with fewer environmental controls and carbon traders have had a field day. Interpol’s guide-to-carbon-trading-crime reports sometimes emissions are upped, just to make more money.
In a 2007 Baker Mackenzie power point on how to make money using Certified Emissions Reduction credits shows that the World Bank and a private fund made $1.2 billion 23 minutes trading carbon from Chinese factory pollution. No wonder no one wants to reduce emissions in China – the dream of turning dross to gold has come true – to earth’s detriment.
Also good background – Conning the Climate: http://citizensclimatelobby.org/files/Conning-the-Climate.pdf
Ordinary people get poor from the carbon taxes and paying wind/solar subsidies, while institutional investors, who are deeply invested in wind, solar and clean-tech (despite clean-tech being called an “L-for-Loser” investment by the past chief investment officer of CalPERS), can profit from 20 year contracts that take subsidies from your pocket for little electrical power in return.
“According to Mr. Dear, a Calpers fund devoted to clean energy and technology which started in 2007 with $460 million has an annualized return of minus 9.7% to date….[ he said] “What’s going to make these markets really take off is if the price of alternative energy drops below the price of a carbon-energy equivalent. You will no longer need incentives or anything else….If that’s not going to happen, somebody has to step in and either raise the price of carbon or lower the cost of the alternatives.”
http:// www. wsj. com/articles/SB10001424127887324557804578374980641257340
Indeed, in Alberta, one can see in 107-submission_nei-investments_-investor-collaboration_signatories to the Alberta Climate Plan signed by 120 institutional investors, some of whom financed environmental groups to denigrate the oil sands and coal use, are directing government policy, over the desires of the Alberta electorate.
They don’t live here. They won’t have to pay. They won’t face the risk of blackouts as Alberta loses affordable, reliable power capacity from coal. They’ll just profit while Albertans perish.
Is that democracy?