The paper by CIBC World Market economists Jeff Rubin and Benjamin Tal (TSX:CM) suggest the Canadian government's efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions through intensity targets likely won't work because the more you make more efficient use of a commodity, the cheaper you make it and increase its usage.
"The implication is that intensity targets won't work, that you need to have absolute targets."
Quite telling to have another banking entity endorse the idea of a carbon tax:
Rubin and Tal argue that while it may not totally resolve the problem, the only effective way to ensure that gains in energy efficiency do not make matters worse is to ensure consumers don't get lower prices.
The best way to do that, they say, is by putting a price on carbon through a carbon trading system that penalizes energy usage and rewards those that reduce energy consumption, rather than merely efficiency.
"The moment you put a price on carbon, people will use less of it," said Tal.
Partisan exchanges are mostly noise, and it makes it hard for people to sift through the spin. Beyond that, arguments find credibility when they are reinforced by those outside of the arena. In other words, when you are trying to find the truth, you need to look beyond the rhetoric, and see if the claims find some outside relevance. Generally, with complicated issues, you find a host of opinion, which allows various sides to validate their positions.
The most striking thing about the government's global warming policies, we actually see unanimity outside of the political spin, and NONE of it supports the Baird/Harper arguments. I would love to see a campaign ad, with Baird or Harper speaking about their aggressive, world leading plan. Over the noise, the written conclusions, one by one, of every organization that has studied the government's approach. An interesting contrast, that would expose the hollow claims, that finds no support, from anyone.