February 21st, 2019

Kenney painted into a corner

By Letter to the Editor on October 12, 2018.

Three days ago, Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford led a crowd of some 2,000 Calgarians in a chant railing against carbon taxes. They offered no alternative means of dealing with climate change, or of meeting our Paris targets set by former PM Stephen Harper.

However, then the Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to William Nordhaus for his work on the economic consequences of climate change, and the cost-effectiveness of putting a price on carbon to address these impacts.

Going into 2019 with no policy on climate change, which is becoming the greatest challenge of the century, is not an option. Jason Kenney has painted himself into a corner on this issue, and it will not go well for him or for any ship where he is the captain.

Roger L. Gagne


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28 Responses to “Kenney painted into a corner”

  1. Dennis Bremner says:

    Mr Gagne the political “adversarial” position in politics is well understood and practiced in Canada. That position is to oppose, whether we like it or not. Its why they are called the opposition and not the “other cooperating party”.
    When you are the opposition your job is to oppose and not divulge your party platform while there is still time for the reining Gov to swipe your positions that are more advantage to them going into an election. i think you totally misunderstand the severity of climate change because if you did you would realize that a Tax is not how you solve the problem. In fact you state “cost-effectiveness of putting a price on carbon”?

    Here is how your cost-effectiveness works.
    1) Gov taxes the polluters
    2) Polluters raise the price of their commodity to cover Carbon tax
    3) Consumers pay more for Oil,Gas, Natural Gas, Propane, Heating Oil( Energy costs are approaching the same prices that occurred when Crude was double where it is now)
    4) Collected revenues from Polluters is then dispersed to non polluting consumers.
    5) Consumers then wonder WTF is the purpose of the entire program, other then have an appearance of fighting climate change!
    Do you see ANY deterrent there? Its atypical NDP thinking, its not even half right? In fact its the same logic as the opioid crisis. Create a safe place to use, get police to stop harassing users, users explode from 200 to 850, end of program, oh here is a pamphlet please get off drugs.

    When you come up with partial solutions its really no solution. If you check Charts of documented Carbon Tax countries, it has done nothing to reduce CO2, it is shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic!

    So as opposition, when you see the NDP with no clue what they are doing, do you provide them with new ideas to save themselves or do you let them go down with the Deck Chairs? The UCP platform will come out but not in time for the NDP to steal it. So the only persons painted into a corner is Phillips/Notley, Mckenna and Mr Dressup because they have conned some people like yourself into thinking Carbon Taxes work so well that they have to do nothing else. One of the stupidest attempts of being a treehugger with no clue, that I personally have ever seen!

    Here is the closest to success on Carbon Tax. UK have had it since 2013 and this is how its politically described.
    I quote “According to official statistics, there has been a reduction in domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom. These emissions are caused primarily by primary energy consumption. If indirect emissions are accounted for, however, research suggests that UK emissions may have increased since 1990, due largely to manufacture of short-term consumer items overseas.”
    In all cases how emissions are lowered is the 1st world country shuffles its dirty CO2 work to a 3rd world country and claims a drop in emissions and meeting Paris requirements. The Carbon tax just reshuffled the deck Chairs. If you are a polluter in Alberta and are being crucified for it, you just offshore the worst part of your business to people looking for jobs for 1/5th the wage. You fire Canadians and the NDP take credit for a drop in Alberta pollution. Thats a con game the NDP don’t want you to think about, or question! Oh, and NET CO2 rises because the gaining 3rd world polluter has no enviro restrictions like in Canada, so what took 1 tonne of emissions here to produce takes two tonnes in the 3rd world country. Stop being conned, because at this point you are!

  2. Very well explained Dennis. Roger, and his ilk, have been telling us the climate wolf is at the door for thirty years now. The evidence to support their story is flimsy at best. One of these days voters will start thinking they are being duped and ignore the cries of alarm. Maybe we are moving into that era?

  3. Dennis Bremner says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I support lowering GHG’s , I donot support lipservice. Climate Change, if it can be controlled by dropping Co2 then fine, lets get a plan, but lets not scream crisis then pull a con job, feel nice, non solution. If they insist this is a crisis, then lets address it, shooting for cost-effectiveness which shuffles the Deck chairs is not a proportional response.
    This is why I dislike Treehuggers so much. There response to a given situation is borderline nutbar.
    -NO PIPELINES! Good idea, make the trains 4 times longer carrying more crude!
    -FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE!! Carbon Tax? That’s fighting Climate Change?
    -Well its better than doing nothing!! Duh no its not,you are shifting high pollution jobs to 3rd world countries who double/triple pollution to do the same job,just so you can look good on paper???
    We have to get smart, NDP and Liberals have shown that they can squander 4 years with Lipservice and zero results other than to say they are fighting Climate Change. Climate Barbie had the odacity to insinuate that investments in public transportation was an example of how Liberals are fighting Climate Change?? So only Liberal Buses, subways etc are climate change helpers?
    I swear, Canada is being run by whack jobs!

    • Steve Bottrell says:

      All political parties offer not much more than lip service. The Conservatives are certainly no better than the other two defenders of the status quo. They are, IMO, much worse. Obviously, not in your opinion. And that’s political tribalism in action.
      Canada is run by whack jobs, as you put it. We have three parties that believe in things that are not real, not supported by evidence, and combinations of the two. The reality disconnect by all three primary parties is leading us down the path to destruction, and all we do is stand around and cheer it on. Our current market/money socioeconomic system has to go, and soon. And when that goes, we can put aside these asinine political arguments.

  4. Certainly, we should maintain a watch on the potential role of greenhouse gases in changing climate. Perhaps there have even been some successes in reducing them. The changes of refrigeration fluids that have come about over the past thirty years comes to mind. There have also been significant improvements of the efficiency of fossil fuel use, such as hybrid cars and combined cycle and cogeneration power plants. Still, greenhouse gas emissions are rising as the consequent reduced cost of fossil fuel use increases the user base.

    Sadly, many of the half baked actions taken by our thought and political leaders have turned out to be counter productive. For example the shift to “green” energy in Ontario has turned out to be an economic failure and is now being rejected. Our current leaders in Alberta are unable to learn from Ontario’s experience and are following the same track with the Renewable Electricity Act. Go figure!

  5. Fescue says:

    Well said, Mr. Gagne. It goes to show how many politicians will risk quality of life in the near future for political gains today.

    Regarding Nobel Economist William Nordhaus, from Forbes: “His research shows that raising prices through, say, a carbon tax, is a far more effective and efficient way to lower carbon emissions than direct government controls on the quantity of emissions through, say, regulatory limits on cars and power plants. Higher prices will encourage firms and consumers to find alternatives to carbon-based products as well as encourage new technologies that will make those substitutes competitive. This has become the mainstream view among economists.”

    The ‘mainstream view among economists’ … hmmm.

    Of course, there are those who would never change their behaviours (or their minds), even if Archie Bunker Himself were to descend from the clouds and tell them that climate change is an imminent threat to civilisation and that the carbon levy is one of many interventions that are necessary to reduce the burning of fossil fuels – along with renewable energy, reforestation, reducing nitrogen-based fertilizers, and so on. Ol’ Arch might say to them in his wispy, fading spirit-voice : “Business-as-usual is not tenable, behavioural (lifestyle) changes must cooooome.” I wonder what they would say back? That the NDP made them do it?

  6. Seth Anthony says:

    This is one of my posts from another topic, but it’s worth a repeat here:

    One aspect of the human psyche that I find most disheartening, is the desire to vehemently argue a position that they know little to nothing about, or argue a position when it’s clear that they have a vested interest. To add insult to injury, these people then argue against the opposing position that they know little to nothing about. This aspect is very evident in the subject at hand, with the ignorant environmentalists.

    With the enviro fundamentalist, their ignorance is so vast, that their “solutions” are destroying humanity much quicker than climate change. There’s no need to elaborate on their destruction, as DB has explained it quite clearly on numerous occasions.

    • Fescue says:

      That’s right, Seth Anthony. A majority of the mainstream economists embracing a market solution to shift away from high-emissions products and services is some ‘ignorant environmentalist’ conspiracy. Has Archie made a visitation to your home yet?

  7. Seth Anthony says:


    Yet again, no rational rebuttal from you Fescue. Your tactic of “putting words in someone’s mouth” is typical when someone can’t defend their position, and can’t refute opposing arguments. NO ONE said we shouldn’t “shift away from high-emissions products and services”.

    Nowhere in my post did I mention economists. My post refereed to the environuts and has nothing to do with economists. With that said, economists are no more trustworthy or accurate than astrologers. Above and beyond that, what is referred to as a an “economy” is basically a farce.

    But alas, given your other posts I’ve encountered, you don’t seem well versed in global warming, let alone the economy.

    • Fescue says:

      Then I guess we agree, Seth Anthony. Global warming is an imminent threat, it is caused by humans burning fossil fuels, it is manifested in declining populations of other species and a growing number of extinction events; acidifying oceans and the bleaching of coral reefs which support fully a quarter of all aquatic species in their life cycles; and the diminution of river flows particularly late in the growing season which will affect agricultural yields. Given these scientifically substantiated and peer-reviewed facts, humans must stop burning all fossil fuels by 2080, with an 80% reduction by 2040 to keep the climate from runaway warming. (Source: 97% of the many thousands of scientists and 100% of scientific academies worldwide best summarized in a series of IPCC reports dating back to 1995). Are we all aligned here?

      Now throw me a bone, Seth Anthony: List three statements that db (or duane or cosmos) has provided on climate change, energy, or economy with substantiated facts.

  8. Southern Albertan says:

    Perhaps this blog/info on how Preston Manning appeared/appears to favour carbon pricing could be a good read at: http://www.albertapolitics.ca
    “Carbon Taxes Are The Obamacare Of Canada: Invented, then Cynically Abandoned, By The Right”
    There seems to be evidence to suggest that Manning believed/believes that if a carbon tax is done in a manner in which he believes to be ‘right,’ it is a good thing.
    If any country has probably done it ‘right’ since 1991, it would be Sweden. Sweden’s pricing rates and in which areas, can be easily researched online.

  9. Dennis Bremner says:

    I agree Southern Alberta, if done right. But, between Notley and Mr Dressup the rate of penalty per tonne will continue to do what the 1st world has done for the last 15 years and that is to unload their Carbon business too India, China, or anyone that will take it. Really do not care what a renown economist says about Carbon Taxes because like most people with tunnel vision they look at local results, not global.
    So yes you can reduce Carbon in Canada, Yes you can do it numerous ways, but like the Treehuggers before this quoted economist came along, (as an example) killing the OilSands so you can create a far greater disaster in Batou Mongolia for Rare earths, just “shifts the global emissions. Its not just the Oilsands shift, its happening everywhere. Why do you think Trump is going on about bringing big industry back to the US? Because they exported all their non conforming industries out of the US.

  10. snoutspot4 says:

    What a thread of commenters. Given that the main thrust of the diatribe against the letter writer is written by Bremner and Pendergast, I think it’s safe to say that each has a vested interest in ignoring science, denigrating fellow citizens, and actively working to undermine citizens’ views of current events.

    I have often wondered why both don’t run for elected office themselves. Obviously they are both eloquent and clear thinkers about the future of our planet. Who needs science when they know more than experts. And, far be it for any citizen to challenge someone whose prose includes referring to the duly elected members of the Federal government of Canada as “climate barbie” and “Mr. Dressup”.

    I think that Dennis and Duane would make a great set of candidates to challenge incumbents in provincial and federal elections in 2019. Their platform could include climate change denial as the new science – forget everything you ever knew, these folks have the TRUTH. Oh wait, that’s what we have the UCP and CPC for.

  11. Seth Anthony says:

    I wonder where snoutspot is with her vested interest, no rebuttal, ignore the facts, accuse someone of something they didn’t say reply?

    Oh wait.

    • snoutspot4 says:

      “Climate Barbie had the odacity [sic] to insinuate that investments in public transportation was an example of how Liberals are fighting Climate Change?? ” Denis Bremner

      “So the only persons painted into a corner is Phillips/Notley, Mckenna and Mr Dressup because they have conned some people like yourself into thinking Carbon Taxes work so well that they have to do nothing else.” Denis Bremner.

      “But, between Notley and Mr Dressup the rate of penalty per tonne will continue to do what the 1st world has done for the last 15 years and that is to unload their Carbon business too [sic] India, China, or anyone that will take it. Really do not care what a renown economist says about Carbon Taxes because like most people with tunnel vision they look at local results, not global.”

      Gee Seth, my only vested in interest is in science. Sorry if folks like me are perturbed by those who believe that their opinion has a truth beyond evidence. What’s yours?

      • Dennis Bremner says:

        so snoutspot4 your opinion is that a Carbon Tax is all we need and implementing it makes your government green. And governments that want to be re-elected have been known to manipulate, data, debt and facts. So you would accept McKenna’s theory that her infrastructure additions is a climate change credit and if Notleys says the NDP decreased CO2 by XX tonnes during their mandate (which did not include a Carbon Tax) you would be willing to accept everything at face value and marvel how we are saving the world! Right? Sorry its all BS and its time people realize it!
        4 years from now, even with a Federal carbon tax, we will produce more GHGs, how they account for them will be the only thing that does change. I can predict that the increase of GHGs from BCs LNG plant will have offsets for decreasing Chinese GHGs. So it has nothing to do with what you produce but has lots to do with how you account for it and if you think you are looking good!


  12. Seth Anthony says:


    I was referring to your insinuation that Dennis and Duane are climate change deniers, but obviously they are not. Now that was just ONE my critiques of your post. I can elaborate on the others if needed.

    Furthermore, it is YOU that can’t refute the evidence that DB and I have posted, as you have no ammunition. Your idea of evidence Is merely lip service.

    BTW- As you may have noted in my posts regarding religion, I live my life based on empirical evidence (science), and not fairy dust. Sadly, your position on this issue (and ARCHES) is akin to fairy dust.

  13. “Snoutspot4” had a good idea a few posts back, Dennis! – “I think that Dennis and Duane would make a great set of candidates to challenge incumbents in provincial and federal elections in 2019.”

    Let’s talk.

  14. grinandbearit says:

    I am still trying to figure out why these two geniuses, Dennis and Duane, have been consistently passed over for the Nobel Prize. Must be an insidious bias in favour of those who “believe in” science and solid evidence – fake prizes.

  15. cosmos says:

    grindandbearit the reason that Dennis and Duane have been consistently passed by the Nobel Prize, is the same as the 97% of those scientists that have given their concession on the alarmist camp.

    Here’s a food for thought. When a human breaths or talks he/she inhales air that has 400 ppm of CO2. when he/she exhales, the air has about ten times as much CO2. With all the talk by:tree-huggers, spin-doctors, politicians, eco-zealots, IPCC, deniers, Mr. Dressup’s cermons, and all the parrots that jet themselves to conferences, an increasing humanity by billions, and finally but not lastly third world countries that try to improve their lot ( getting the que from TV and other media), how can the CO2 ever be decreased or even slow its increase in a sustainable way by all this cacophony?

    Would it be more prudent to spend money to prove Warming theory, confirming that GHG controls the Earths thermostat and also confirming all these arbitrary limits, that now are pulled out of hats. And if it is so then develop carbon sinks. .

  16. phlushie says:

    Just talked to Archie and he informed me that there are two types of experts.
    1> A well dressed person 10 kilometres from home with and expensive brief case.
    2> Expert. We all know that X means former or “has been” and a spurt is a drip under pressure. Thus an expert is a former drip under pressure.
    Enjoy and really explain how throwing money at a volcano will stop the release of CO2. Because that volcano in several minutes creates more CO2 than man has done in his whole existence on earth.
    As they used to say back in the 50’s about nuclear war. Steps to take. Sit in a comfortable chair. Lean forward and place your head between your knees. Then, reach back and kiss your a$$ firmly “Good bye”
    Yes climate will change as it has always done and we are like the little train that thinks it can change this. As many voices have said, maybe we can but we are going to have to change our total way of living. That is Change Society. Money is artificial and will not do anything, only “ACTION” will make change and nobody wants to be the first because of our “INGRAINED” societal views.

  17. Dennis Bremner says:

    I find it interesting that I am accused of attacking the writer of the article. I do not believe I said anything about Roger, if so please post it. I do believe he is being conned much like the rest of the people who are in denial that all 1st world emmiters are hiding out in 3rd world countries who do not tax or care about Carbon.
    Here is what I find interesting about the people that respond;
    1) A couple of nutbars want to paint me as a denier. I, believe we have Climate Change that makes me a non-denier
    2) How that relates to Global Warming or whether its specifically CO2 that is the issue I still debate because I think at best people are guessing. It could actually be Methane for all we know and it is supported by the huggers switching from CO2 to GHGs when asked for definitive proof. The same way huggers switched from Global Warming to Climate Change, why? Because there was a 19 year period where the globe did not warm while CO2 doubled. The huggers then called it “the great pause. So Huggers are guilty of switcheroo to try to be consistent with their crisis. So, ignoring that, I do not deny GHGs may be the problem, so again that makes me a non-denier.
    3) What makes me suspect of two faced people like Suzuki is how selective a GHG guy he is and conveniently how all the Global Alarmists are. If you ask any of these high profile Huggers like Gore or Suzuki if delivering GHG’s directly into the upper atmosphere is a MAJOR contributor, they immediately start waffling on how its minor compared to the rest of the emitters. Strangely both named Huggers of the planet fly by private jet and have never called for a moratorium on the numbers of jets in the upper atmosphere which in every minute of the day totals in the thousands. No one says hmmmm industrial age caused the problem…number of jets rose from none to 1000’s per hour at the sametime emitters exploded on the planet? Could the problem be “direct delivery to the upper atmosphere”?
    4) When I propose an actual solution to the nutbars screaming the sky is falling, suddenly the chicken littles scatter like flies from a flyswatter! So its more than apparent that the huggers want to set the agenda, set the “solution” and set the path. That path cannot include real solutions.
    5)So when you question a carbon tax in relationship to “the planet will be beyond saving by 2030, suddenly the ChickenLittles(CL’s) seem more than happy with that level of fight? So the CL’s say, planet is dying!! We gotta fix it!!!!! CARBON TAX, WINDMILLS, SOLAR PANELS!! When you confront the CL’s and say, all three will never get us to GHG Zero in time. Then Denier is raised because not one of them wants to see their windmill/solar/tax cult interrupted!
    6) So what I have learned from the clowns here is “the planet is dying” and the only solution is what we are doing but do it quicker!!!
    7) Yet when confronted with proof that their solution does not even keep up with new emitters coming online, you again are accused of denying Climate Change
    8) So what you can learn from all this banter is THE PLANET IS DYING(caveat- unless you propose any solution that will actually solve the problem) Because I am a hugger, and I don’t like pipelines (because I like trains 3 miles long carrying the same crude that a pipeline would carry, and I want it going through the Canadian wilderness ) Because I am a hugger, and I don’t like Nuclear, I would rather let the planet die with it filled with bird killing windmills then trust the technology that was developed in response to Fukushima and Chernobyl.
    9) So….anyone proposing anything but Carbon Tax, Windmills and Solar is a Denier!
    10) Anyone who supports Pipelines is a Denier!
    11) Anyone that says TransMountain + BC LNG will negate any gains from Solar/Windmills/Carbon Tax, yet the supposed Gov Huggers (Liberal NDP) are doing both, but thats okay as long as we speak Green, and continue to provide a non solution. So the huggers know if you continue to build windmills/solar and Tax people that in 5 years Alberta/BC emissions will be higher…but thats okay, cuz I are a hugger and yur a denier” and a Commie UCP/PC!!!
    12) Anyone that believes the solution is Carbon Tax, Windmills and Solar are the only true planet lovers, even though it has ZERO chance in HELL of actually avoiding doomsday 2030, so I am a Denier.
    13)Huggers INSIST every little bit helps!! My position is simple, every little bit does not help, it takes money away from bigger costlier projects that Governments are supposed to sponsor, and do not just “help”, but solve the problem! Eight 4th Gen Pebble Bed or Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) would reduce GHGs in Alberta, if not too Zero, near Zero! Why start now? It takes 3 years of treehugging arguments (consulting with the flower children) to approve a site! 4-5 years to build a 4th Gen dependant on size! Then when the planet continues to die after 2030 because the largest world emitters don’t give a shit, then at least WE can say we did not contribute to the pending disaster. So the quicker you “nuclear deniers” realize that there is only one solution the quicker we get government at all levels to DO THEIR JOB! It no longer matters that “you don’t like Nuclear” if YOU really believe the crisis is real then their are no other options between now and 2030, NONE! The disgusting thing is deep down you know it to be true, and YOU are sacrificing the planet “becuz I don’t like Nuclur, man” !

  18. Dennis Bremner says:

    I think you nailed it Fescue, the NDP should probably be informed of this new source, I suggest you propose it, as it has the same chance of implementation, as common sense would!

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