The science, economics and politics of climate change - Macleans.ca

The science, economics and politics of climate change

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Further to last week’s debate on environmental policy and climate change, Stephen Gordon checks Dean Del Mastro’s assertions about carbon pricing, regulation and the costs of both.

It’s very true that oil companies are not charitable organizations–which is why it’s not a good idea to make policy based on the assumption that they will passively absorb the costs of new regulations. It’s not at all obvious why firms would pass along the costs of a carbon price but not the (larger) costs of regulation.

Meanwhile, Ryan Leef is being criticized for the information he has distributed on the polar bear population. And Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver received a rebuke from the scientist—now a Green candidate in British Columbia—he had previously cited. (Andrew Weaver is also a fan of taxing carbon.)

In other news, the NDP motion that initiated last Thursday’s debate was defeated last night and various New Democrats took to Twitter to criticize Elizabeth May for voting against. Ms. May responded with a lengthy explanation of her problems with the motion.

I would have loved to have seen a unified group of MPs from all the Opposition Parties rise on principle and (hoping against hope) some of the Conservatives who understand the need for climate action might have voted with us to give the Parliamentary call for reductions in GHG a chance of passing.  But since tonight’s motion forgot to call for climate action, maybe we could take a run at a properly worded motion another day.

There does exist, it should be noted, a multi-partisan climate change caucus. And Mr. Leef is one Conservative who attended its most recent meeting.