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Norway does it right - why can't Canada?

skin deep

TRIBE Member
Regional homogeneity has something to do with it I would say, it's far easier to implement far-reaching measures when the majority of the country has similar interests. Alberta and Ontario are hardly comparable other than the fact that they belong to the same country established on the basis of colonial expansion.

Furthermore, Alberta produces 68% of the crude in Canada, I doubt they have too much interest in spreading the wealth to any great degree.

It's like comparing public transport solutions in Europe to those available in Canada, it's impossible to implement the same systems across completely different situations.
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
Norway's riches won't last, the oil is running out. The welfare state they've built is admirable, but once the money runs out, watch how their citizens react to the proposed tax increases to cover the shortfall.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Most of Norway's oil comes from offshore drilling, which is cleaner (barring a Deepwater Horizon event) than mining the tar sands. Since tar sands are expensive to extract I suspect there's a lot of political pressure to keep political costs low (ie: green taxes/credits) by the people interested in keeping extraction happening.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Norway's riches won't last, the oil is running out. The welfare state they've built is admirable, but once the money runs out, watch how their citizens react to the proposed tax increases to cover the shortfall.
Well, interestingly enough they have put much of the oil money into a 900 billion dollar public fund to prepare for just that. That fund alone owns 1% of the world's equities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Pension_Fund_of_Norway
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Ya the knock on Scando countries from the 70s still persists despite many changes happening in the source countries of these epithets (UK/US free market utopias) and in the targets.

Norway/Sweden/Finland have all made a series of important corrections and changes since the 70s, but like the French, seem to have found a place in the American mind where they haven't really changed, and can still be used as rhetorical punching bags to prop up a sagging neoliberal ideology.
 

Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
i still think it boils down to what's ingrained in our culture. Maybe not in Toronto, but in the rest of Canada definitely.



let me know if that makes sense, or if it's just another one of my flippant responses to stuff.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
I was just in Norway a couple of months ago for a wedding, as I have family there. Everything is double the price of Canada, so your americano or cortado is $6 local price. They're already investing a lot of the oil money into other economic sectors, the population has an instilled work ethic with mandatory military service of 1 year, and they know that the oil riches will not last so they focus on other things.

Oslo is so beautiful. It's like a smaller Vancouver with a better layout and not as much rain (Bergen has Vancouver-type rain).
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
Oslo is so beautiful. It's like a smaller Vancouver with a better layout and not as much rain (Bergen has Vancouver-type rain).
Nice, Norway is on my list of places to visit at some point. Quite the history.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
There's also the fact that resources are a provincial area of responsibility, so while Ottawa does have input, there would likely be major regional issues in attempting to create a Norway-style approach. And then there's the concept of the carbon tax itself, which basically means that employees making less than $90k would shoulder most of the burden, depending on which province you just happen to live in, at the behest of those who believe that such a tax actually accomplishes its goals.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
BC has a great carbon tax
Is a Carbon Tax a Good Idea? Just Ask British Columbia : Climate Desk

Thing I love about carbon taxes is it puts a price on something that costs society and until now, had been what economists call an "externality"

Main problem with carbon taxes isn't carbon taxes - but that the need for them arose during a time of mass anti-tax hysteria, warping not just the ideas behind carbon taxes (instantly making them nefarious) but also the implementation.

BC managed to ride these tensions well...

I hope one day all kinds of pollution gets counted and taxed - our system without these costs assessed only incentivize nvironmental ruin.
 

erika

TRIBE Member
There's also the fact that resources are a provincial area of responsibility, so while Ottawa does have input, there would likely be major regional issues in attempting to create a Norway-style approach. And then there's the concept of the carbon tax itself, which basically means that employees making less than $90k would shoulder most of the burden, depending on which province you just happen to live in, at the behest of those who believe that such a tax actually accomplishes its goals.
Much as I dislike the current federal government, I'm not crazy about areas of jurisdiction assigned to provinces (and realize there's no going back; education anyone? health care?).

The provinces would have to get together and collectively agree to something, which is a real challenge for those that are resource poor.
BC has a great carbon tax
Is a Carbon Tax a Good Idea? Just Ask British Columbia : Climate Desk

Thing I love about carbon taxes is it puts a price on something that costs society and until now, had been what economists call an "externality"

Main problem with carbon taxes isn't carbon taxes - but that the need for them arose during a time of mass anti-tax hysteria, warping not just the ideas behind carbon taxes (instantly making them nefarious) but also the implementation.

BC managed to ride these tensions well...

I hope one day all kinds of pollution gets counted and taxed - our system without these costs assessed only incentivize nvironmental ruin.
THIS.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Fair point on placing a cost on an environmental impact. The BIG issues however are:

1 - Who decides what the cost is? Market based?: you find that "credits" are subject to market forces that can be removed from the "cost": see the energy market in California and Enron. How can a fair "cost" be objectively arrived at?

2 - Who bears the cost? I don't know if you guys really get this, but companies don't really pay taxes. You will pay it somehow as these "costs" are integrated into a price in the production chain. Is that fair?

3 - How would it be applied? Goods? What about services - that electricity your hairdresser used probably isn't green energy...

4 - What is the purpose of the tax?
- Reduce environmental damage?
- Reduce usage?
- Promote "smart" usage, like the supposed time of use electricity?

I think it's great to consider an environmental cost, but carbon taxes may not be the best way to address it. I don't have any faith that either market-based or govt policy will meet any of the goals you think exist in a fair way, and we'll just all end up with a higher cost of living without actually addressing your issue.

Australia just ended theirs btw.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Bait and Switch!

It's a liberal government so you shouldn't be surprised. The liberals at the Star have even been so nice as to point out that they "promised" a carbon tax would not be part of "the plan" but lo-and-behold here comes them testing the waters:

Carbon tax part of part of Ontario Environment Ministry discussion paper | Toronto Star

Elections are for chumps and real change is done via lobbying and ownership of large businesses.

Edit: I think it's a good bet your (as in everyone's) living costs will go up if this is implemented.
 
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Puma

TRIBE Member
So u liberal geniuses please explain how carbon taxing us canadian peasants going to solve the following problem represented in this chart
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
That said, we are pissing in the ocean on global warming, and will be as long as nuclear isn't a part of our solution.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
I'd feel a lot better paying for your guilty liberalness if you can show me that carbon taxes actually impacts on emissions.

Edit: but I still know some other Liberal is going to be making more money just because.

Edit edit: and that article just said that the BC carbon tax just put money in BC govt coffers. What's the actual stated environmental benefit? Not just moving money from one sets of hands to another? tax lovers the lot of you.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Did you read the same article?

"Assessing the tax’s impact on overall greenhouse gas emissions is a somewhat complicated endeavor, given a number of confounding factors (like the economic collapse of 2008-2009), but it’s clear that when it comes to the use of carbon-intensive petroleum products like gasoline and diesel, there has been a marked decline since the year 2008 in British Columbia. In the first four years of the carbon tax, sales of refined petroleum products per capita in BC declined by 15 percent, according to the Sightline Institute, substantially more than the decline in Canada as a whole."​

Had an impact on emissions and was good for the bottom line - so why is this shitty again?

Is it because its called "carbon tax"?
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
In any event, I'm with you on the larger problems not being solved by a carbon tax - but in many ways its addressing an economic system which has essentially subsidized polluters for centuries, never assessing upon the producers and consumers of these products the full cost of their use and factoring this into price.

So its been a bit of a wlld-west, free pass for the oligarchs on this for ages. This is like, the first attempt to just start putting things on a track with an economic system that actually *does* factor in cost - the way we're doing it today is pretty inefficiently wasting resources through impacts to human health and long term sustainability threatened by pollution.

Now, maybe the whole thing is a fool's errand right - because its too little too late, and the predictions that - a decade ago - looked on the high end of things are looking pretty likely for temperature increase this century. Minimum of 2 degrees, likely more. Maybe the entire capitalist system *can't* actually respond to this, and the whole idea of capitalism itself is the problem and no little tax is going to amount to much given the way our whole system is ordered.

George Monbiot had me reconsidering the whole "natural capitalism" thing I glommed onto in the 90s - maybe it is too late:

Put a price on nature? We must stop this neoliberal road to ruin | George Monbiot | Environment | The Guardian

In any event, why not nudge things in the right direction - in a way that is shown to have reduced emissions *and* driven some cash into BC coffers.... so - where's the downside? Its too big an issue so we should just give up - the status quo is better than status quo and a win-win carbon tax?
 
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