Friday, July 6, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: It's Roll-Back Time








Ontario Scraps $2 Billion Carbon Tax & Axes Green Subsidies

In this newsletter:

1) It’s Roll-Back Time: Ontario Scraps $2 Billion Carbon Tax & Axes Green Subsidies
Toronto Sun, 3 July 2018 
 
2) Canada’s Carbon Tax Racket Is Coming To An End
Toronto Sun, 25 June 2018


 
3) We're Finally Told What Trudeau's Carbon Tax Will Cost Us. Are You Sitting Down?
Financial Post, 27 June 2018  
 
4) Tony Abbott Calls For Australia To Pull Out Of Paris Climate Deal
The Australian, 3 July 2018
 
5) Tony Abbott: Time For Australia To Pull Out Of Paris
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, 3 July 2018
 
6) Arizona Appellate Court Orders Hockey Stick Emails To Be Released
Free Market Environmental Law Clinic, PLLC (FME Law), 3 July 2018
 
7) The Progress Paradox: As Global Lives Improve, People Get More Concerned
Harvard University, 28 June 2018
 
8) And Finally: Iranian General Says Israel Behind Climate Change And Is Stealing Clouds
Newsweek, 2 July 2018


Full details:

1) It’s Roll-Back Time: Ontario Scraps $2 Billion Carbon Tax & Axes Green Subsidies
Toronto Sun, 3 July 2018 

Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday cancelled what amounts to a $2 billion a year tax on Ontarians by scrapping all of the government subsidy programs funded by former premier Kathleen Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme.



Cap and trade, a carbon tax by another name, raises prices on goods and services rather than the taxes on them.

“Every cent from the cap-and-trade slush fund is money that has been taken out of the pockets of Ontario families and businesses,”  Ford said in a written statement, adding he was fulfilling his election promise to scrap the Liberals’ “cash grab” designed to fund “big government programs” that “do nothing for the environment.”

“We believe that this money belongs back in the pockets of people,” Ford said. “Cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax will result in lower prices at the gas pump, on your home heating bills and on virtually every other product you buy.”

Ford cited a 2016 report by Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk which concluded that despite its $8-billion price tag from 2017 to 2020, Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme would not significantly lower Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Ford’s cancellation of Wynne’s Climate Action Plan that was to spend $8.3 billion over five years from cap-and-trade revenues, means the cancellation of everything from government subsidies of up to $14,000 for people who buy electric cars, to some public transit projects.

Ford said his government will honour arrangements, orders and contracts that have already been signed for things like energy efficient insulation and window retrofits, but all other initiatives will only be funded on a case-by-case basis from general tax revenues, after the PCs complete their value-for-money audit of Ontario’s finances.

Full story

2) Canada’s Carbon Tax Racket Is Coming To An End
Toronto Sun, 25 June 2018
Malcolm Candice

It looks like the game is up and the Liberal Party's carbon tax racket is coming apart at the seams.



As recently as early 2018, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the Liberals would impose their carbon tax from coast to coast. The Trudeau government mandated the tax hike but ordered the provinces to impose and administer the tax.

It’s crafty politics, since the provincial governments, not Trudeau and his team of climate zealots, would carry the burden of imposing the largest tax increase in a generation.

The governments of both Ontario (out-going Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne) and Alberta (the NDP’s Rachel Notley) won election victories without mentioning the tax, only to quickly impose it after being elected.

The sole glimmer of hope for Canadian taxpayers came from Saskatchewan.

First, Premier Brad Wall firmly told the Trudeau government that he refused to impose the tax. If the feds wanted to force carbon taxes onto Saskatchewan, they’d have to do it in court.

Wall retired last year, and his successor Scott Moe has picked up right where Wall left off.

“The carbon tax plan is wrong for our province,” said Moe in a recent speech. “As an economic plan, it’s a total disaster. As an environmental plan, it’s not worth the paper that David Suzuki’s University of Alberta honorary degree is written on.”

Meanwhile in Ontario, former PC Leader Patrick Brown included carbon taxes in his platform, despite the tax being deeply unpopular. After the ousting of Brown as leader, he was replaced by the outspoken carbon tax critic Doug Ford.

On June 7, Ford was elected in a landslide, and will become Ontario Premier on June 29. He’s pledged to scrap the $2 billion carbon pricing scheme and pull Ontario out of the notoriously fraudulent cap-and-trade system with Quebec and California.

We’re also less than a year away from the provincial election in Alberta, where polls show that United Conservative leader Jason Kenney holds a commanding lead and is favoured to oust the NDP government.

Kenney is a fierce critic of carbon taxes, and has vowed to work with Ford and Moe to challenge the constitutionality of Trudeau’s tax mandate.

Just like that, the tables have turned in Canada.

Full post

3) We're Finally Told What Trudeau's Carbon Tax Will Cost Us. Are You Sitting Down?
Financial Post, 27 June 2018  
Kenneth Green

Households in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year, while those in British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba will pay around $650

It took some poking and prodding and (finally) committee testimony, but now we know what the bill will be for a $50-per-tonne carbon tax, similar to one the federal Liberals plan to impose. In a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Calgary economics professor Jennifer Winter revealed the bottom line of a $50-per-tonne carbon price.

Using energy-consumption data from Statistics Canada, and imputing prices from average household expenditure on transportation fuels and provincial gasoline prices, Winter calculated the impact of a a $50-per-tonne model of a carbon tax on a typical Canadian household across different provinces. Far from being painless as advertised, the costs to households will be significant.

Three provinces — Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia — will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year to comply with the $50-per-tonne carbon tax Ottawa has mandated for 2022. Nova Scotia ($1,120) and Alberta ($1,111) will have the highest bills, followed by Saskatchewan ($1,032), New Brunswick ($963), Newfoundland ($859) and Prince Edward Island ($788). The average household in Ontario will pay $707 a year to comply with the carbon tax once its fully implemented.

Who gets the lowest bill? British Columbia ($603 per year), Quebec ($662) and Manitoba ($683). Simply put, households in provinces with the lowest bills will pay just a bit more than half compared to households in the hardest-hit provinces.

But it gets worse, since most experts say carbon prices must continue to increase sharply to effectively lower emissions. At $100 a tonne, for example, households in Alberta will pony up $2,223, in Saskatchewan they’ll pay $2,065 and in Nova Scotia, $2,240. In fact, at $100 a tonne, the average price for households in all provinces is well north of $1,000 per year.

Full post

4) Tony Abbott Calls For Australia To Pull Out Of Paris Climate Deal
The Australian, 3 July 2018

The Nationals are demanding the construction of “a minimum of three” baseload power stations as the price of their support for Malcolm Turnbull’s national energy guarantee, as Tony Abbott last night called on the government to abandon the Paris climate agreement.



Delivering a lecture to the Australian Environment Foundation — a climate sceptic think tank — in Melbourne last night, the former prime minister argued that abandoning the Paris targets would help “save” the Liberal Party and protect its legacy over the next 10 years.

He defended his criticism of the energy guarantee as well
as his push to build new coal-fired power stations by advocating for a profound overhaul of climate policy that would see Australia follow the lead set by Donald Trump.

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement that is driving the national energy guarantee would be the best way to keep prices down and employment up, and to save our party from a political legacy that could haunt us for the next decade at least,” Mr Abbott said.

The comments add to pressure over the national energy guarantee as the Nationals push their own separate agenda.

A two-page list of demands aimed at combating the threat of sovereign risk for potential investors in new baseload power generators, including coal-fired stations, is being promoted by the Nationals as a “genuine and serious policy position” to supplement the Prime Minister’s signature energy policy. [..]

Recasting the already divisive energy debate as a struggle for the soul of the Liberal Party, Mr Abbott said that it took “character to do what’s right” as well as “courage to disagree with your peers”.

“Far from ‘wrecking the government’, MPs worried about energy policy are trying to save it with a policy that would be different from Labor’s,” he said.

Mr Abbott also canvassed unwinding Australia’s emissions targets or abandoning them to “whatever would actually be achieved in 2030 through normal business cost-cutting and efficiencies, plus whatever is delivered through the emissions reduction fund”.

Full story

5) Tony Abbott: Time For Australia To Pull Out Of Paris
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, 3 July 2018

2018 Bob Carter Commemorative Lecture — Australian Environment Foundation, 3 July 2018



It takes character to do what’s right and it takes courage to disagree with your peers. On this score, Bob Carter was a good and brave man whose memory we should honour and whose example we should strive to emulate.

As Professor Carter found, and later his James Cook University colleague Peter Ridd also, this is an age that enthusiastically promotes social diversity but often demands intellectual conformity.

Both never let the desire for status impede the search for truth.

As Bob told MPs in 2015, “science does not operate by consensus….it is often best progressed by mavericks”. And as he pointed out in his book, Climate: The Counter Consensus, sometimes, we need to “trust authority less and our own brains more”.

….So….what could be a more fitting occasion for scepticism about green religion and its policy ramifications than an address in Professor Carter’s honour?

In Roman times, grapes were grown in northern England. In the middle ages, crops were grown in Greenland. And in the 17th century, ice fairs were held in London on the frozen River Thames.

So climate change is real alright. For me, the issue has always been: what role does man play, is carbon dioxide the key climate factor, and what might best be done to deal with it?

In government, I thought that we should be prepared to pay up to a billion dollars a year to cut emissions, through the taxpayer-funded emissions reduction fund.

I never thought that we should have to pay the $10 billion or so that Labor collected through the carbon tax. That’s why my government abolished it and in so doing delivered an immediate cut in electricity bills of 10 per cent.

My government set a 2030 emissions reduction target on the basis that this was more-or-less what could be achieved without new government programmes and without new costs on the economy.

There was no advice then to the effect that it would take a Clean Energy Target or a National Energy Guarantee to get there.

Our intention, then, was to monitor developments; and, in the meantime, to rely on market forces to make energy use efficient, and on the emissions reduction fund to keep overall emissions heading down at the lowest possible cost.

My government never put emissions reduction ahead of the wellbeing of families and the prosperity of industries. As I’ve said all along, you don’t improve the environment by damaging the economy.

Full Lecture

6) Arizona Appellate Court Orders Hockey Stick Emails To Be Released
Free Market Environmental Law Clinic, PLLC (FME Law), 3 July 2018

Arizona appellate court decides Hockey Stick emails must be released despite the university’s appeal.



Press Release from FME Law, July 3, 2018

One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three days ago, on behalf of its client, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic, PLLC (FME Law) asked the University of Arizona to hand over public records that would expose to the world the genesis of what some consider the most influential scientific publication of that decade – the Mann-Bradley-Hughes temperature reconstruction that looks like a hockey stick.

The University refused.

On February 26th of this year, and after submissions of legal briefings that now fill two banker’s boxes, and three trips to the Appellate Court, the trial court ordered release of the documents, giving the University 90 days to disclose the documents in a word-searchable form. Three days before the deadline, the University filed a motion asking the trial court to “stay” the disclosure of the public records while they appealed the case. In a 13 word decision, the trial court found “the requested relief is not warranted.”

The University then asked the Appellate Court for a stay, arguing that once the documents were released, “that genie could not be put back in the bottle,” in the event the trial court’s decision was reversed.

Yesterday, a mere six days after filing of the final legal brief on the motion for a stay, the Appellate Court issued a seven-word decision:

“Motion for Stay Pending Appeal is DENIED.” 

Full post

7) The Progress Paradox: As Global Lives Improve, People Get More Concerned
Harvard University, 28 June 2018

As demonstrated in a series of new studies, researchers show that as the prevalence of a problem is reduced, humans are naturally inclined to redefine the problem itself. The result is that as a problem becomes smaller, people’s conceptualizations of that problem become larger, which can lead them to miss the fact that they’ve solved it.

Although it’s far from perfect by virtually any measure — whether poverty rates, violence, access to education, racism and prejudice or any number of others — the world continues to improve. Why, then, do polls consistently show that people believe otherwise?

The answer, Daniel Gilbert says, may lie in a phenomenon called “prevalence induced concept change.”

As demonstrated in a series of new studies, Gilbert, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, his post-doctoral student David Levari, and several other colleagues, show that as the prevalence of a problem is reduced, humans are naturally inclined to redefine the problem itself. The result is that as a problem becomes smaller, people’s conceptualizations of that problem become larger, which can lead them to miss the fact that they’ve solved it. The studies are described in a paper in the June 29th issue of Science.

“Our studies show that people judge each new instance of a concept in the context of the previous instances,” Gilbert said. “So as we reduce the prevalence of a problem, such as discrimination for example, we judge each new behavior in the improved context that we have created.”

Full post

8) And Finally: Iranian General Says Israel Behind Climate Change And Is Stealing Clouds
Newsweek, 2 July 2018

An Iranian general has accused Israel of causing climate change in the revolutionary Shiite Muslim republic by stealing the water out of clouds passing over the Mediterranean.
 

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, revealed the charges during an agricultural conference in the capital city of Tehran. He claimed Iranian scientific centers have proven that Israel and an unnamed neighboring country were secretly cooperating to extract the moisture out of clouds bound to pass over Iran, thus robbing the country of rain and snow.

“Joint teams from Israel and one of the neighboring countries make the clouds entering into Iran barren.

Moreover, we are faced with the cases of cloud theft and snow theft,” Jalali said, according to a translation reported by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency of comments featured by the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

The official further cited a recent four-year study showing that all highlands exceeding roughly 7,200 feet extending from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean have received snowfall except for Iran.

Jalali’s claims were quickly contradicted, however, by the director general of the Weather Forecast and Early Warning Office at the official Iran Meteorological Organization, Ahad Vazife. He said that he was confused as to the source material that the general was referencing and asserted that the entire region was being affected by a drought, not just Iran.

Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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