Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NDP's implementation of Carbon Tax will cost them next election, not the tax itself.

A percentage of the population is ALWAYS going to freak out anytime there is any new tax.  It is just programmed into some folk that you can't trust the government and they are going to waste the money on whatever governments waste money on.  Regardless if there was a sales tax, carbon tax, fat tax, etc there was always going to be a backlash.

OMG, I can't make ends meet, the world is ending because I have to pay a couple dollars more a year... 

Those with a more reasonable view of the world, who live in reality, understand that having good education, healthcare, social programs and a clean, green environment costs money, more than can be made by cutting spending.  Most of these reasonable folk look to scientists not has been movie stars and reality TV show attention whores for information on our world.  Right now the science community is saying the good folk of earth have caused the temperature of the world to accelerate too fast for the inhabitants to adjust and something needs to be done.  Here is where the science will never be a 100% settled and we live in best guess as the absolutism many want is not realistic.  there are simply too many variables to determine the exact cause of the acceleration of global warming.  Thus the best guess put forth by those who look to the future is mankind needs to reduce carbon emissions.  

Wanting to be a part of the solution and not really liking this stick our head in the sand, hope everything works out attitude, I was for a carbon tax.  Sure I would love not to pay more taxes but not one single politician on the other side of the climate change issue offered any alternative solutions.  People in Alberta were given TWO choices and only two.  Have a carbon tax and do something or don't have a carbon tax and do nothing.  It is hard to do nothing when you it is obvious we as a society and world have done such a piss poor job of being good stewards of nature.  Mankind has a habit of messing up the only world we got and then asking questions later.  I can't do nothing, I can't be like the blind, dumb and stupid who can't see we are screwing this world up.  Thus initially I was very supportive of a carbon tax.

Any idiot can come up with a great idea.  Not everyone can take a great idea and turn it into Facebook.  I don't know if the carbon tax in Alberta is a great idea but I am extremely doubtful that Rachel Notely and the NDP will have it survive the next election as the implementation of the tax has been horribly thought out.  Anyone who has watched Dragon's Den or Sharks Tank knows one of the questions always asked is what are you going to do with the money if one of the Dragons or Sharks invest.  If any business owner said I don't know, all hell would break loose.  That business owner would leave in tears as a feeding frenzy would take place on the poor fool who said I don't know.  Welcome to the implementation of Alberta's Carbon Tax.

All we know is there will be a rebate to 60% of Albertan's.  The rebate isn't enough to cover better insulation, solar panels or anything meaningful to reduce carbon foot print as those getting it don't have much disposable income on a good year.  Taking money from one hand and giving it to another requires people infrastructure in government so this rebate will cost Albertan's money.  How much nobody knows, just like nobody knows what percentage of the carbon tax collected goes to collecting a carbon tax.  We also know those darn heavy polluters called not-for-profits who work in offices will get grants to become greener.

What we don't know is what type of grants will help small, medium and big size businesses purchase green infrastructure such as solar panels to reduce carbon emissions.  Making and delivering ice uses a lot of electricity and fuel.  We would LOVE to put solar panels on the roof to reduce how much we pay for electricity and do our part to reducing our consumption of energy.  We can't afford the infrastructure to do so.  The 1% savings for small business is bullshit, utterly useless as in Alberta right now there isn't a lot of profit being made by anyone. Our ice company might of broke even this year....  Like many businesses, small, big and medium in Alberta it is a BATTLE to keep the doors open.  We would be ecstatic, overjoyed, dancing in the streets to be able to make a profit to actually pay taxes.

It is certainly possible the NDP will come up with grants to help businesses like a Columbia Ice.  We already pay a little more for biodegradable bags and even before the NDP won the last election were looking for ways to reduce energy usage.  Half the lights in our factory are turned off, we turned the bosses SUV into an iceSUV to use for small orders as a big reefer uses more fuel and adjusted how we start our ice makers to reduce peak energy usage.  Columbia Ice is a very forward thinking, environmentally concerned Alberta business like 98% of businesses in this province.  This idea that Albertan's don't care about the environment is asinine.  We care a great deal and most of us want to do our part.  The problem is, it is hard to get behind a government that gives you nothing substantial to get behind.

I was ready and willing to be a champion of the carbon tax.  I followed Brian Jean, Derek Fildebrandt and other anti-carbon taxers on twitter just to stand up for the environment.  Anyone who was against the tax I debated as I really wanted the whole thing to be a success.  Sadly the enthusiasm I had died as I was given nothing tangible to get excited about.  From my perspective, for the carbon tax to be considered a success we all should see houses and businesses with solar panels on the roof.  You don't need to create big huge solar generating stations.  Instead create 1000's of small ones on top of buildings and homes.  Buy a million solar panels for Albertan's and businesses out of the money generated from the tax.  Province pays for the panels, people and businesses pay for installations.  Create interest free loans for people to better insulated homes, add UV coatings to windows or get better ones along with better furnaces.  All very tangible things.

The problem with greenhouse gases, and global warming it is so big it becomes abstract.  People feel overwhelmed and helpless to affect change.  There is this notion that we must do all these big things to create a better, cleaner, greener world.  The reality is if all of us do a little it will equal something meaningful and big.  If we were to install millions of solar panels, improve insulation and windows in homes, push car companies to create better mileage vehicles and other attainable ways to reduce energy consumption that would be HUGE.  Maybe awesome enough to have many if not most of us to say, that carbon tax was a good idea.

Will that happen.. ask the NDP when they figure out what they are doing with our hard earned tax money.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Master Iceman

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