Canadian Carbon Taxes: A lesson in politics overwhelming policy

The current Canadian carbon tax debate is a chilling illustration of how easily political spin can overwhelm serious debate on a complex public policy issue.

Canadians in two jurisdictions are currently grappling with a carbon tax. In British Columbia, citizens are 10 days away from actually starting to pay a tax imposed by the provincial government - and nationally, Opposition Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion has just released a wide-ranging climate change policy proposal that includes a carbon tax.

The problem, in both instances, is that the facts of the tax - and the underlying policy consideration it was conceived to address - have been lost in a chorus of simplistic political rhetoric.

Are We Making Nature More Extremist Than Al Queda?

As greenhouse-gas emissions rise, North America is likely to experience more droughts and excessive heat in some regions even as intense downpours and hurricanes pound others more often, according to a report issued yesterday by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.


Lesson from EU: We Can't Finesse Nature With Accounting Tricks

Practical experience with carbon markets in the European Union raises a critical question: Will such systems ever work?  Backers of these markets, which involve setting limits on greenhouse gases and then allowing companies to buy and sell emission permits, see the approach as one of the cheapest and most effective ways to control the gases in advanced economies. Yet in Europe, which created the world’s largest carbon trading market three years ago, early evidence suggests the whole approach could fail.  

McCain's Definition of Alternative Energy Proves Radioactive

Senator John McCain said Wednesday that he wanted 45 new nuclear reactors built in the United States by 2030, a course he called “as difficult as it is necessary.” McCain told a crowd at Missouri State University that he saw nuclear power as a clean, safe alternative to traditional sources of energy that emit greenhouse gases. He said his ultimate goal was 100 new nuclear plants.

Cool it, George! They just can't float your boat!

As President Bush calls for repealing a ban on drilling off most of the coast of the United States, a shortage of ships used for deep-water offshore drilling promises to impede any rapid turnaround in oil exploration and supply.

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