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Why will the carbon taxers stop now?

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The carbon tax that took effect in four provinces a week ago is a much-needed achievement for the federal Liberals. Whether it proves anything more than ephemeral remains to be seen.

All 10 provinces now have a price on carbon in one form or another. The addition of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba to the list — in each case over provincial objections — fulfills a pledge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and marks the culmination of aspirations that began more than 25 years ago under a previous Liberal regime. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna welcomed the event with the declaration that “it’s a fact that pricing pollution is the most cost-effective way to cut pollution. Our plan will also leave 8 out of 10 families better off, with an Ontario family of four receiving a … rebate of $307.”

No doubt purely by coincidence, the Environment and Climate Change department released a study indicating that Canada has been warming at twice the average rate of the world as a whole. And environment commissioner Julie Gelfand, in her last report before her term expires, said Canada is not doing nearly enough to combat climate change, despite promises on all sides. Whoa! We better get our butts in gear, right?

Yes indeed. Unfortunately, the Environment and Climate Change report also says the warming is “effectively irreversible,” and our future depends largely on what happens outside our borders. That conclusion might make one wonder why the government insists on trying so hard to reverse something that can’t be reversed. But even more disconcerting is a report from the International Energy Agency in Paris, indicating that carbon levels across the planet are setting new records, thanks to “surging demand for fossil fuels” in........

© National Post