Carbon tax on Canadians thoroughly unwarranted

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RE: “In support of carbon tax legislation for many reasons,” letter, Nov. 17

Up until recently, I was seriously prepared to grudgingly pay the carbon tax to “do my share” to save the environment.

However, I recently came across an article in the Financial Post titled “Canada may already be carbon neutral, so why are we keeping it a secret?”

The article was written by F. Larry Martin in March 2016. Martin recently served as deputy minister to the premier of Saskatchewan and is now retired in Canmore, AB.

In the article, Martin points out not all CO2 emitted by people stays in the atmosphere. Much of it returns to the earth, mainly through the carbon absorption and sequestration power of plants, soil and trees. Based on a “carbon-absorption average,” he estimated Canada could realistically be absorbing 20 to 30 per cent more carbon dioxide than we emit, compared to China, the USA, India and the European Union, who collectively are responsible for 60 per cent of the global emissions and barely absorb 10 per cent because they are so urbanized, overpopulated and deforested.

His point is, all this talk about carbon tax is based solely on carbon emissions, whereas we should, world-wide, be measuring carbon dioxide absorption rates as well, country by country, to arrive at a “carbon balance” per country.

Martin is not trying to debunk carbon emission or climate change. Nor is he dissuading us, as a province and as a country, to continue to develop alternate power based on renewable resources and other green initiatives.

He is offering solutions that will recognize Canada is already one of the planet’s climate leaders. Moreover, we are currently providing a free ride for our Western allies because we protect our forests and thus subsidize their emissions. Canada needs to consider the entire carbon cycle, from emissions to absorption, in order to get the “balance sheet” right.

The end result will show a carbon tax on Canadians is thoroughly unwarranted. Instead, we should be negotiating a robust cap-and-trade deal with other nations that will bring serious monies into our economy.

I encourage your readers to Google this article and bring this concept up to your Member of the Legislature as well as your Member of Parliament.

Rick Sweet,

Airdrie

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