It only seems appropriate that Canada’s Prime Minister and Premiers should have discussed climate change during a nasty Arctic induced cold snap that saw temperatures plummet.
Irony, after all, is Mother Nature’s way of making us understand reality.
So there was PM Justin Trudeau trying his best to cobble together a plan to keep the world from seeing temperatures rise 1.5 degrees Celsius while Canada basked in bitterly cold weather.
Now, the young Trudeau wanted the Premiers to sign on to his plan to impose a $50 a ton carbon tax in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions.
There were, however, a couple of notable holdouts. Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister declined, while B.C.’s Christy Clark said maybe.
Alberta’s Rachel Notley, of course, was all for it, because she is about to impose a carbon tax in the New Year.
Wall and Pallister aren’t sure the Trudeau plan makes sense. They voiced concerns Ottawa has not provided any impact studies relating to the effect of the tax on businesses and consumers.
That is no small concern. The tax would reduce the competitiveness of Canadian goods. How much is the big question.
Then there was the other sticking point. The tax wouldn’t apply in all provinces. Those that have signed up for cap and trade schemes would be exempt.
So far that’s just Quebec, which has signed up with California, and Ontario which has proposed it in the New Year.
Is it any wonder the Western provinces (with the exception of Alberta) are questioning the Trudeau plan?
The proposed carbon tax would hit them the hardest, while leaving Trudeau’s political base untouched.
Wall and Pallister are not stupid men.
Of course, the provinces could join up with California and other states in North American cap and trade scheme, but why should they?
California’s scheme isn’t doing all that well and the vast majority of its credits remain unsold.
On top of that, the scheme is being challenged in court by the state’s Chamber of Commerce as an unconstitutional tax because it lacks the support of two-thirds of the state’s voters.
In other words, California’s cap and trade scheme is likely to bite the desert dust in due course and President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t even taken office yet.
The true irony, of course, is that this debate over how to prevent global warming is now happening when global temperatures are dropping like the proverbial rock and are likely to continue falling for the foreseeable future as the sun goes into a protracted quiet phase.
But facts don’t matter to the Gaia zealots. We must pay our tithe to the goddess or ruination will befall us. Such is life in the Age of Unreason.