Monday, May 19, 2008

Dumb and Dumber, on

Suzuki slams NDP, Tories, backs Dion's carbon tax

Dr. David Suzuki, economist? No.

Naturalist, former American, and tree hugger? Yes.

For guidance on "carbon taxes" read my late friend, Professor John Dales, whom I provided a tribute to upon learning of his passing. Its here entitled:

Unsung Canadian Achievement: the Late Professor John Dales, Inventor of Emissions Trading

Professor Dales was my professor of Canadian Economic history at the University of Toronto. He was also a professor linked with New College, where he managed to get guest economists and notables to occasionally give guest lectures.

In my tribute I recall, Harold O. Wilson and I believe Robert Gordon, both notables in their fields, with Harold O. Wilson particularly famous now, for inventing the study of socio-biology, which is basically the genes are everthing to the human race, that it is the gene that seeks to survival of the fittest, not the specie.

The latter theory was controversial at the time of his lecture but it was sufficient to cause me to seriously think on the matter and agree with Professor Wilson (Harvard), and then wander over to visit a young Professor Simnovich at the Best-Banting Institute to see if the synergy of the theories could cause the break through in Cancer research the world was seeking (I only sought to solve the hardest problems, rather than gain a particular professional designation as an "arts and science student").

Dr. Suzuki of course could comment fairly perhaps on Harold O. Wilson's work.

But to economic solutions to problems caused by economic exploitations of labour, capital and technology, including financial markets, etc ... I would say keep the "Nature of Things" in the forest and let others do the lifting with the complexity of the excess "emissions" of greenhouse gases and impact on the economy. Like Professor Dales, and his kind that followed him.

Its kind of a no brainer.

But the media being the way it is (see this post "Put a Finger Down Your Throat at the MEDIA!"), looking for cheap news, well, they get a prominent environmentalist, rather than say a prominent economist (don't know any? ... how about wondering around UofT 0r are they unphotogenic, or fed up with media types and the distortions in their quotes????).

So let me put on my economists hat and start through this story that caught my eye.

Here are some quotes from the original story:


"I'm really shocked with the NDP with this. I thought that they had a very progressive environmental outlook."

"To oppose (the carbon tax plan), its just nonsense. It's certainly the way we got to go," he said Sunday on CTV's Question Period.

I don't know. Is one supposed to support something the Liberals seem to have ill-defined at the moment as they state on the program???

""Instead of taxing things we want more of, like income ... we shift taxes to things we don't want, like greenhouse gases," Liberal environment critic David McGuinty explained on Question Period, while stressing the plan is not yet finalized."
To the actual New Democrats, MP Peggy Nash said the NDP's environment plan is not revenue neutral. She said her party wants a system where polluters pay and the money is put into "green solutions."

Hmmm ... this sounds like a carbon tax-emission trading system, but with a bonus added for the past transgressions, to stimulate an innovation economy, centric on the problems we face also in energy, not just the environment.

At least that is how that sounds to me.
Environment Minister John Baird told Question Period that Dion's plan was "made on Bay Street" and is actually supported by big business and polluters.

"Mr. Dion wants to give some kind of licence to pollute and simply allow big business to buy their way out of this problem," Baird said.

Yes. The latter is what Professor Dales would recommend exactly. The source though is weird, cause it is possible that Bay Street, referring to the rich elite of Canada are more likely to support the Conservatives with their successive tax cuts and budgets that mainly favour the rich, i.e. Bay Street.

Baird touted the Conservatives' environmental plan, saying that the Harper government would force big business into polluting less.

"Our plan we deliver an absolute 20 per cent reduction by 2020," he said.

Force? How? Details and how the plan was secretly made? Was there a Royal Commission for this plan? And really 2020? 20 percent?

That 20 percent will likely come from more progressive companies doing it themselves, utilizing the carbon markets in Europe, to make money on saving greenhouse gases. The Conservatives all they have done is puddly squat, reminiscent of this same John Baird as the Energy Minister of Ontario who did not know anything about his portfolio, unless I have the wrong John Baird in mind. Ontario at one point was up a creek without a paddle with his Minister in the dark. In fact, he might have cost Frank Miller his premiership, if the media had a memory.

However, the Tories plan uses 2006 as the baseline year, which Baird failed to mention. The world generally uses 1990, the Kyoto Protocol's baseline.
I wonder if Mr. Baird, who makes a cool $252,000 a year as a Minister, really thinks the smoke he blowing (not inhaling), works with the population?

It does not work at all for Northworthy. Zip, zero, nada.

The only people Baird's plan seem to favour is slow, fat cats, who need to pollute to make money.

Enough said.

My brain is half here and half elsewhere, but this just too unresistable not to blog on.

I think I just spoke to a ghost, Professor Dales, and he smiled. I bow my head back to him.

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