No money, no problems

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Trudeau and Notley are having a competition over who can impose the largest carbon tax. Notley told us that we will pay up to $30 per tonne. Not to be outdone, on Monday Trudeau told us that we will pay up to $50 per tonne.

Here’s an idea, leave that money with Canadians and Canadian companies so that we can pay the bills and continue researching and developing environmental best practices to stay a world leader in this regard.

During my city planning career, I co-authored an article regarding connections between land use planning and ecological footprint. A correlation that stood out in our research was the direct link between wealth and ecological footprint. Typically, more money means bigger houses, more travel and more consumer goods. That all adds up to a larger ecological footprint. Less money means smaller homes or no home, less or no travel and fewer consumer goods. Of course, this means a smaller ecological footprint.

Perhaps that’s the strategy, remove prosperity from the Canadian vocabulary and see drastic reductions in carbon emissions. If we push this all the way until we are back to a hunter-gatherer society we will only be able to consume what the landscape provides. Sure, life will be short and harsh but we wont have carbon problems anymore, right? Except for the fact that we will need fires for survival. We’ve had fires since the beginning of time. Surely they will allow it. I remember from Al Gore’s movie that 60 per cent of the carbon emissions in the world are from wood and dung fires.

On second thought, they might not allow that either.

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