It is a response to an article called: Let's clear the air on carbon taxes
David Suzuki with Faisal Moola
I admit: we aren't 100 per cent sure that human activity is causing global warming. So let's all go home in our SUVs and join an "axe the tax" campaign. Come to think of it, we aren't sure that our houses will be robbed, flooded, or burned to the ground, so let's cancel our home insurance while we're at it.
When politicians, business people, and citizens show leadership by proposing or implementing solutions to the very real problems facing the planet (yes, more than 90 per cent certain is as real as it gets in science), they deserve our support, not mockery and politically motivated misinformation. Axe the tax, my ass!
Here is his response:
"I agree, lets "clear the air" especially as it relates to "politically motivated misinformation."
We already pay a huge carbon tax and both the escalating price and
burning of fossil fuels is reaping havoc on our very existence.
Governments enjoy huge income based on the extraction, refining and
utilization of natural resources, a large portion of which is funneled
back to the largest GHG emitting industries in the form of subsidies,
tax cuts and supportive measures that range from building and
maintaining the infrastructure necessary for their success to the
privatization policies that remove this wealth from the public purse and
place it firmly in the grip of private practitioners.
This is not only evidenced in the policies that force us to burn fossil
fuels while discouraging alternatives, but is also prevalent in our
country's unique global position of handing over public resources to the
private sector for what is generally considered pennies on the dollar,
while what we actually receive in return is the environmental impact of
loosely regulated practices that have huge health implications.
Moreover, thanks to NAFTA, we don't even get to ensure our own supply
requirements are met into the future. So, in essence, the Canadian
public gets all the pain and no gain while governments add insult to
injury by applying inequitable tax schemes which accrue even further
benefit to corporations.
Why does Suzuki not put big oil and gas and it's large supporting
corporate apparatus in the hash marks of his criticism? Why doesn't he
decry the bold, record-breaking corporate profiteering? The spoils of
which could be applied to R&D initiatives or invested in alternatives.
Why does he choose to target opposition to the policies established by
the bought and paid for governments of the main proponents of
environmental destruction and GHG emissions? This flies in the face of
reason and calls into question his foundation's reputation of astute
policy analysis, all of which makes the intention of the environmental
community and it's leaders as clear as carbon and begs the question of
what the hell is really going on?
It is obvious that victories for the environmental movement are few and
far between. They are hard fought, hard won battles and many times
victory is elusive. But this is no excuse for the players to falsely
claim a win for the environment while simply green-washing the corporate
agenda. "If you can't beat 'em join 'em," might be applicable in other
fields but not when dealing with the destruction we are reaping upon
ourselves and our planet.
The lead advocates of Campbell's tax must pull their collective heads
out of the clouds and quit being persuaded by the deceptive headlines
that somehow BC is leading the world on Climate Change, especially as it
relates to Campbell's Carbon Tax. In other jurisdictions where carbon
pricing has occurred we can readily examine the results because they
have been established for years. So, this is nothing new and we are not
leading anything but the grand deception that we are actually doing
something for the environment.
The jurisdictions that have had carbon taxes, of one form or another,
and some who have highly punitive measures coupled with grossly
exaggerated prices give us all the empirical data we require to confirm
that we are not in the lead, the tax will have little if any impact on
emissions and that we have offloaded both the cost and guilt associated
with greenhouse gas emissions onto the least guilty in society while
letting of the real perps.
Never did I think I would be shaming the likes of David Suzuki but now,
when we need him the most, he proves he is nothing short of a misguided
public figure who must somehow be in the pocket of the carbon industry
as there is no other logical explanation for his brash contempt of
reason in favour of political expediency at the expense of the very
cause he has built his career on.
Suzuki has dropped all pretense of altruism related to his notorious
reputation of planet friendly advocate. He has entirely abandoned the
premise of his foundation's work by committing an unyielding effort to
the relentless world of political spin in what can only be described as
a bewildering about face.
His recent transformation into Campbell's crusader on Climate Change via
the establishment, of all things -a new wealth transfer policy - is as
inexplicable as it is deplorable . This sheer political display not only
jeopardizes Suzuki's career and impeccable reputation but it also surely
throws the charitable status of his foundation into ill repute and
potentially violates the laws governing such organizations.
For a generation the voice of the "Nature of Things" reached into the
homes of Canadians and by it's virtue gained a foothold in the psyche of
our citizenry. David Suzuki rightly claimed the moral ground as Canada's
High Priest of the Environment but now he has recklessly fallen from the
alter by proving his intent is not based in the righteous altruism that
permeated his work but is now something simply applied to forward a
The most bewildering aspect is not the prominent display of his
abandonment of principle. No. In fact, the glaring offense of Suzuki's
recent political machination is the outright hypocrisy of his thinly
veiled political overture in catering to the success of our country's
ultra conservative governments. The governing apparatus of the single
largest detriment to our environment - Corporations - now holds sway
over the country's leading voice for the health of the planet. It is
beyond the pale Suzuki can now be considered an advocate for the
anti-thesis of the environment. I guess he has taken the lead from
another prominent environmentalist named Patrick Moore who has traded in
his well earned environmental credential and political capital for
corporate reward while green-washing their agenda. Suzuki's hypocrisy is
in full regalia when he relentlessly attacks a well reasoned position of
opposition to the Campbell Carbon Tax while staying comparatively silent
on Prime Minister Harper's relentless attack on Dion's Carbon Tax. Whats
up with that?
In British Columbia we have a government that has not met a wealth
transfer policy it did not like, so much so, it is willing to abandon
it's original election plank of tax cuts and no new taxes in favour of,
what can only be described as, a smoke and mirrors tax scheme that dumps
the financial load of big emitters onto the people while simultaneously
shaming us into living as church mice. Campbell's Tax will see big
emitters let off-the-hook while average people pay dearly and more and
more, year after year. Where is the moral outrage to this reverse Robin
Hood tax scheme that many prominent environmental thinkers believe will
have little if any positive impact on emissions while only playing
rhetorical service to the environment?
Where is Suzuki's outcry against the Harper Government's incessant drive
to prop up the world's largest environmental disaster masquerading as
'wealth creation' in the Tar Sands? How come no pithy quotes like, " Oil
Sands 'Wealth' My Ass!" Where is the outrage with the conservative
politicians in both BC and Canada with respect to the abandonment of
KYOTO and the business as usual approach actually practiced by our
conservative governments? Someone please tell me why does Suzuki save
his moral indignation for a struggling opposition party simply trying to
improve both the environment and our quality of life by calling
Campbell's Tax what it is - A Green Shaft - while offering a well
reasoned alternative for the consideration of voters in the upcoming
election which, by the way, is nothing less than their responsibility as
an opposition party.
The notion of pricing carbon is a good one. We need to take measures to
improve our standard of life and quality of living in the long run by
doing the right thing and burning less fossil fuels. Campbell's Carbon
scheme does not have this affect and people are completely disillusioned
with environmentalists green-washing the wealth transfer policies of
Gordon Campbell. Finally, I for one am deeply disturbed with Suzuki's
notorious shades of green now inexplicably altered into deceptive shades
of blue. It is to weep."