NDP environmental policies: Who’re ya gonna believe? Mark Carney or Rick Strankman?

Posted on June 07, 2016, 12:46 am
5 mins

PHOTOS: Bank of England Governor and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at yesterday’s brief news conference in the provincial Legislature Building. (CBC Photo) Below: Rick Strankman and Michael Bloomberg.

Who’re ya gonna believe, huh?

Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada whence he was wooed away to serve as governor of the Bank of England and chair of the international Financial Stability Board, or Rick Strankman, Wildrose MLA for Drumheller-Stettler?

Strankman-RDr. Carney, in Edmonton to receive an honourary degree from the University of Alberta, met with Premier Notley today and during a brief news conference expressed his support for the Notley Government’s policy of linking its energy and environmental strategies with the goal of reducing emissions through mechanisms like a carbon tax while gaining social licence for the export the province’s petroleum resources and building the economy in other ways.

“The two work together in reinforcing fashion in a way that uses the market to achieve results,” Dr. Carney told a reporter outside the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature yesterday.

Mr. Strankman, his party’s agriculture critic and a strong opponent of regulation of the farming industry, has recently become well known for the view expressed in his blog that the NDP government’s carbon levy is somehow the equivalent of Stalinist policies that led to the starvation of six to 10 million people in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. The offending post has been deleted.

I do not intend, by the way, to mock people from small towns in Western Canada by highlighting these differing views. Dr. Carney, after all, was born in Fort Smith, N.W.T.

But, seriously, who are you going to believe?

Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg LP, the giant software, data analysis and media corporation that runs Bloomberg News Service, or Jeff Callaway, president of the Wildrose Party, who calls climate change “the global carbon scam”?

Michael_R_BloombergBy contrast, Mr. Bloomberg said “Alberta’s leadership is being noticed far beyond its borders. Its agenda will send a powerful signal to governments around the world that fossil-fuel rich regions are becoming climate change leaders – not out of a sense of altruism, but out of a desire to strengthen their economies and improve their public health.” (Emphasis added.)

“Experience has shown that cities, regions and countries benefit economically from investments that improve energy efficiency and create the modern infrastructure that investors seek,” he wrote in an opinion piece published Saturday by the Calgary Herald. “If bold climate action can make it in Alberta – to borrow a line about my hometown – it can make it anywhere.”

As for the Notley Government’s bold climate action, like the carbon levy, Mr. Fildebrandt vowed on his Facebook page that “the Wildrose will fight to scrap it every step of the way.” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean says the policies praised by Dr. Carney and Mr. Bloomberg will ruin the economy.

I could go on like this all night, but you get the general idea. And I don’t have to note, do I, that Dr. Carney and Mr. Bloomberg are not exactly crazy left wingers?

One thing’s for certain, though – mainstream media will consider opinions like these, well informed and not so well informed, a matter of rough equivalency.

New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman, a PhD economist and winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, famously likens media coverage of this debate in the United States to an argument between proponents of the view the earth is round and those who believe it is flat.

“…Headlines would read, ‘Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.’”

Mark Carney or Rick Strankman? Michael Bloomberg or Derek Fildebrandt? Well, both sides have a point … but we should be able to figure out which point is right!

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

8 Comments to: NDP environmental policies: Who’re ya gonna believe? Mark Carney or Rick Strankman?

  1. political ranger

    June 7th, 2016

    C’mon David, you know better than that.
    Mr. Carney did not express support for Notleys delusion of exporting petroleum through pipelines, although you, conveniently, didn’t mention pipelines, it is however, the only export methodology on the table.
    In fact, Mr. Carney “declined to rate Alberta’s climate change policy”. A wise man indeed.
    Mr. Carney is on record for warning investors, including governments, that expenditures made in petroleum infrastructure risk becoming stranded assets unless full disclosure on GHG emissions are made up front in the planning process.
    Something that has never been done in Alberta to date.

    Reply
  2. Athabascan

    June 7th, 2016

    Ah, you have to love the right-wing MSM’s false equivalency reporting. It is fundamentally flawed logic that only serves the right-wing agenda.

    Let’s all validate idiocy by treating it the same as reasoned discourse.

    It’s time that we call BS on nonsense and those who would promote it. Sometimes, it’s OK to let only the adults in the room speak.

    Reply
    • Donnie McLeod

      June 7th, 2016

      We have two thinking processes. One is proof we evolved from plankton eating fish living in a sea of existential threats, predator fish. The other is proof we progressed beyond monkeys. The first is fast, can not deal with ambiguity and is very resolute. This was good to protect us from predator fish. Today it makes Christian conservatism possible. The other makes atheism possible. Relying on our sub human thinking process is just a bad habit. All these habitual fish thinkers in the Wild Rose can change if they want to. They should first take the fish icon off their vehicles. It’s a sign they honour our fish ancestors.

      Reply
  3. j

    June 8th, 2016

    Less believable than a central banker, can’t get much lower than that.

    Reply
  4. Darrell Stokes

    June 10th, 2016

    HELP, please tell me how “reducing emissions through mechanisms like a carbon tax” actually works. How exactly does the application of a tax on carbon, reduce emissions?

    Reply
    • political ranger

      June 10th, 2016

      Sure Darrell, glad to help

      A “Carbon Levy” as its labeled here or a just plain carbon tax is an economic strategy to change people’s purchasing behaviors, in this case, the purchasing decisions around energy products.
      If people will purchase less, then less is consumed and less waste or pollution is generated.

      In BC, where they began a carbon tax in 2008 “fuel use in B.C. has dropped by 16 per cent; [while] in the rest of Canada, it’s risen by 3 per cent (counting all fuels covered by the tax)”, according to the Globe & Mail.

      GOA hopes that “All Albertans who take steps to reduce their emissions – by turning down the heat when no one is home, installing smart thermostats, choosing more fuel efficient cars, using public transit, walking, biking, or taking advantage of coming energy efficiency programs”, according to their website.

      It’s a pretty well proven economic point that higher prices lead to less use. Ideally, we should have an escalating rise, perhaps annually or every second or third year, in the tax rate to discourage substitutions and encourage permanent change. Ideally the tax rate would rise to exactly that point where the price of any use would include the full externalized costs to society.

      This is a pretty smart way to go because the benefits to society don’t end there; it’s the government that is taking in the “levy” or tax revenue. In this jurisdiction they have committed to investing those revenues, left over after carbon rebates provided to lower- and middle-income earners, into a more modern, more diversified provincial energy industry. This will go a long ways towards providing the good long term, family-raising jobs that are currently being lost in the tar-patch.

      So, not only will people individually choose consumption behavior that consumes less energy and thus produces less emissions but our local economy will transition towards a lower emissions-intensity. A win-win all round.

      Thanks for asking Darrell.

      Reply
      • John Galt

        August 16th, 2016

        Political Ranger

        Spoken like a first order parasitic sycophant! Lower income Albertans aren’t incented to change behaviour. The rebates they’ll receive under the CLP will accomplish that… nothing! The Notley ndp Carbon Tax is tax on everything; a glorified income redistribution plan; the CLP is a punitive piece of socialist armageddon; a sinister piece of legislation bloating the bureaucracy with unproductive, inefficient, economy killing regulations foisted on Albertans that have been brutally whipped by the excesses of this destructive ndp government for the past 15 months. The CLP and the Notley Carbon Tax is a weapon of despair, destruction and death! No good can come from this wreckless and irresponsible Act.

        Reply
  5. roho46

    August 17th, 2016

    Because Notley doesn’t wish the hard working albertan to go on any vacations, she puts a tax on everything. She prefers us to work and then on our time off to stay at home and not participate in seeing other parts of our province or country. Heaven forbid we leave the confounds of our place to go visit friends or relatives. And how dare we enroll our cildren in extra curricula activities. That’s just causing more harm to the environment.

    Reply

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