Carbon Tax and Codfish by the Contrarian

A PAGE FROM WILLIE BRANTS DIARY – Joe and I were playing a few hands of crib to pass away a snowy Saturday afternoon.  Just to make conversation, I remarked that there seems to be a lot of controversy over the idea of a Carbon Tax.  It seems pretty silly considering Canada’s population is too small to make a measurable difference in atmospheric CO2.  Got to admire that Brad Wall out in Saskatchewan, he is not afraid to stand up for Canadians.  

“Yeah”, says Joe, “it is even worse than silly.  With our vast areas of growing forests busily sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, Canada takes out more than we put in.  It’s just gamesmanship, showing the world how modern and progressive we are.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” from me, “They want to stop us cutting down any trees, so after a few decades there will be a lot more over-mature trees and forest fires putting CO2 into the atmosphere than there will be young and growing trees taking CO2 out.  So maybe the carbon tax is just planning ahead for when we will have to compensate the world because our over-mature forests are destroying the planet by contributing to global warming!”

“Are you kidding?”  Says Joe.  “You are suggesting our political leadership is actually looking past the next election.  Like that is going to happen!”  We played a couple of hands in silence, and then he went on to say it is all based on half-baked ‘science’, and reminds him of the codfish fuss a few decades ago.  Codfish numbers seemed to be declining, our smart scientists were claiming it was caused by overfishing and predicting cod would be extinct soon.  So we shut down our cod fishing industry, destroyed the economy and way of life of a whole lot of east coast communities.  But the rest of the world kept right on fishing cod right on our doorstep, and in spite of that, guess what, after a while the codfish population came roaring back.  Seems the problem was a change in current patterns and water temperatures more than overfishing, and the old current pattern has come back.  Everything in nature goes in cycles.   So we impoverished ourselves for nothing.  Just like carbon taxes!

So I came up with “Something like the Spotted Owl fiasco.  They shut logging down and impoverished a whole swath of the western USA because logging was supposed to be endangering the spotted owl.  Then it turned out to be a fraud, the ‘environmentalists’ knew all along that the spotted owl was doing fine, far from endangered, and logging was good for spotted owls, improved their habitat.  They were just polishing their own image, not really worried about the ‘environment’.  Worse, nobody got prosecuted for that fraud!”

Joe got the final word with “The carbon tax is just another tax, so they can spend more buying votes while looking good to the ‘progressive’ folks.  Whose deal is it anyway?”

This article appeared in the December 2017/January 2018 edition of the Landowner Magazine.