Say hello to carbon – the new government growth industry

Dear Diary:

Carbon here, carbon there; carbon, carbon everywhere.

If you are looking for an endless source of revenue for pet projects that will grow and sustain your government in power forever by ensuring its capacity to enrich your friends, pet projects and supporters, there’s nothing quite like it.

Heck, we’re made of the stuff. Every time we exhale, we produce it – 2.3 pounds of it daily for the sedentary and up to eight times more from the very active such as joggers. Based on the human average of 30 farts daily (that does seem a lot,, doesn’t it?) we each contribute 750 cc to the world’s emissions total. And if you really want to save the planet, kill a cow. They are emissions machines – American ones produce 10 times as much of the stuff as could have been accredited to all that “dirty” Canadian oil that people once thought might flow through the Keystone pipeline.

Every time you turn on a light, drive your car, catch a bus, turn on the heat or air conditioning, you consume it.

Sure, there’s methane and nitrogen and other stuff in there but that was long ago bundled into something called CO2 equivalent so, because we believe in science, it’s all carbon now, baby. And it is the ultimate consumption tax: ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.

Which is why Canada’s new Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna is determined to make sure there’s a price on it everywhere and why sensible people like Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall (one out of 10 premiers) thinks it’s a bad idea because, really what nonsense must be going through your head to make you think withdrawing money from an economy during a recession is a good idea?

But never mind that – it’s also why Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne smacked a 4 cent a litre tax onto gasoline (hey, why not, the price is low and who’s going to notice?) and scooped up any loose change Ontarians might have had laying around following the federal government’s middle class tax cut.

This has anthropogenic global warming believers (who, let’s not forget, believe with a fervour once reserved for Pentecostals speaking in tongues) in an orgasmic trance.

And while we all wish we could more occasionally enjoy such a condition, none of this will have the slightest impact on global warming. What it might do and what we suspect it will do, is eventually take all the money we currently spend going back and forth to work and heating/cooling ourselves and stick it in Her Majesty’s treasury while convincing us we have achieved a state of moral grace while, unemployed, we freeze in the dark.

Speaking of herds, Canadian media continue to mill about in a fashion reminiscent of cattle making their way to an abbatoir. Their response to their plight, typically, is to convince each other that, despite a distinct lack of evidence to support this claim, they are vital to democracy.

Apparently satisfied that, having said it, it must be true because they said it, they continue to moo and mill and be not very good at being journalists. To wit, on the weekend when the 25,000th refugee from Syria arrived, both CTV Newsnet and CBC Newsnet led their broadcasts with the announcement that “Canada had met its target” without giving the slightest thought to even inset the word “revised” in between “its” and “target.”

Nor have any of them paid the slightest bit of attention to the words of Martin Bolduc of Canadian Border Services who, when appearing before the Commons Public Safety Committee recently, made it clear that of the Syrian folks that have  come “very, very few came out of camps.” So, pretty much all of them (and it doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to be here) were living in apartments and can’t be considered to be among the most desperate from the refugee camps our politicians are so fond of visiting.

In other words, they did not tell the whole truth, which some of us think makes them not very vital to democracy – we’ve already got plenty of fudgers and liars thank you very much.

If there is something actually vital to democracy, it is the Internet and the things you learn on there that are things that – no doubt for their own reasons – the aforementioned mainstream media decline to tell you about the aforementioned carbon tax issue.

In any list of countries with the largest oil reserves, Canada is No. 3 in the world, trailing only the delightful societies of Venezeula and Saudi Arabia. Sucking our potential emissions exhaust and filling out the top 10 are the oh-i-gotta-move-there states of, in order, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Libya and Nigeria.

Guess how many of those have “put a price on carbon?” Oh, you are so clever. Your are correct: the answer, of course, is zero. But, what possible reason could there be for media to inform you of such facts?

Finally, a belated tip of the hat to our new Prime Minister. Following 10-15 years of relative calm between the regions, the new “sunny ways” have proven to be highly effective at creating fractures.

First, there was the ill-conceived and even more ill-received announcement of $750 million in assistance to Alberta which, they being sensible people rightly suspicious since the province’s founding of Ottawa’s intentions, figured out pretty quickly was just a moving forward of money already designated. And then of course there is the certainty of a $1 billion bailout to protect the 7,000 or so jobs dependent on bad business decisions by Quebec’s Bombardier family – which would be new cash and compares oddly to the response to 100,000 jobs lost in Alberta.

Now, Irwin Cotler is upping the pressure on the Sunny Ways gang to cancel the $15 billion deal to sell combat vehicles to the Saudis which, if successful, would eliminate about 3,500 jobs near London, ON.

And, the previous government’s Nova Scotia shipbuilding contract  for warships is “under review”  no doubt befuddling Maritimers who were pretty excited about it.

So, in just a couple of months it looks like a possible to-do list of a) deny, for ideological reasons, $9 billion pipeline investment that would aid an industry suffering massive job losses; 2) Deny, for ideological reasons, $15 billion in investment in struggling Ontario manufacturing section; 3) create uncertainty and delay over $26 billion infrastructure investment in struggling east coast region 4) Write large cheque to company in home province.

In other words: fill air with gas fumes; light match.

Just like the old days when Dad was in charge, isn’t it? Can’t wait for the “why should I sell your oil?” line, resplendently delivered with a toss of the hair and a Gallic shrug.