Simple is best when it comes to curbing emissions

I have always been a proponent of the KISS method for getting things done. For those unaware of what this acronym stands for it is “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Since so many of our current politicians appear to be both simple and stupid, for the life of me I cannot understand why this method of policy creation and deployment evades them in practically everything they do.

Case in point: Legalization of cannabis. It was the right thing for the Liberals to do but instead of leaving it up to provincial governments to create Canada’s dog’s breakfast of regulations surrounding the sale of this rather amazing medicinal product the feds should have said, “Here are our rules for the now-legal sale of cannabis across Canada. It is a Free Market model for legal entrepreneurs but they may not sell to anyone under 18 years of age. Under this Free Market Capitalist System we are sure the most efficient, hard-working, knowledgeable business operators and marketers will be successful. And be sure to send us the many millions in tax revenue your new businesses will be collecting.”

My second example concerns the Carbon Tax. First, calling it a “tax” was breathtakingly stupid. Our former MP told me it is a tax designed to “change the behaviour” of his constituents by making fossil fuel burning more expensive. Realizing more taxes equals less votes in the 2019 election the Liberals then assured us they would be sending us all cheques so we would not feel the economic pain of their misguided attempts to curb emissions. If questioned on the logic of this MPs would assure you some economist got a Nobel Prize for showing how a Carbon Tax was the most effective way to halt climate change. I expect it would be hard to find a politician who read and understood said economist’s statistical analysis. What I do know is that back in June of 2014 the average price of a litre of gas in Ontario was $1.43. Today in 2019 it is about $1.12 a litre on average.

Based on my personal observations of human behavior, big pickups are still best sellers in North America, 4-wheeler ATVs are ripping up the countryside at will, seadoos and skidoos are going noisily nowhere and bass fishermen are still using 150 horsepower to get out to the lily pad patch. Meanwhile, our next generation of humans is terrified by the fact scientists are certain we are literally all going to Hell in the very near future. So is there a KISS solution?

First of all we must accept there is only one number in all the climate statistics which counts. That is the total number of barrels of oil we humans are burning on this planet every day. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2009 we burned 84.3 Million Barrels per Day (MBD) and in 2019 we are burning 100.3 MBD.  So, over the past 10 years of terrifying climate change news we have increased our burn rate by 16 MBD. The IEA predicts our consumption will be 105.4 MBD by 2030. That is the number we need to reverse. Obviously a carbon tax or cap and trade is not doing it.

About half of this fuel burn on our planet is for transportation. So, let’s tackle transportation directly.

When I told my MP I had a friend who bought a Tesla all-electric Model 3 just before Doug Ford took office, only to have the $14,500 Ontario Liberal’s Green Incentive unjustly, retroactively taken out of the contracted equation, I was advised the Federal Liberals had put in a $5,000 rebate for electric cars worth less than $45,000. That basically excluded Teslas as buying a 4-wheel drive to meet Canada’s winter conditions kicked you over that price. Now the bureaucracy really kicks in. You have to submit a claim to qualify for the $5,000 rebate, somebody somewhere has get around to approving it, then they have to get around to sending an order to someone to write a cheque and sooner or later you might get it. Considering this is the same bureaucracy which introduced the Phoenix pay system, which caused pay problems for close to 80 per cent of the federal government’s 290,000 employees through underpayments, overpayments and non-payments, I am skeptical that $5,000 rebate will ever actually be delivered.

The KISS solution? Drop the sales tax on all fully electric car sales. Done.

In 2019 Tesla built the largest factory in the world in Shanghai and is starting to produce Model 3s there today. Doing that in under 12 months is rather incredible. The California-based Tesla company just sidestepped Trump’s tariffs on China! And during 2019 the Chinese government announced they would be dropping the 10 per cent sales tax on all Teslas too. If the Chinese can do it, why can’t Canadians?

Alan Coxwell,