Letters to the editor, May 31, 2018

Carbon tax time

In response to "Costly carbon," the May 10 letter from Rob Moore, Conservative shadow minister for Atlantic Issues. Mr. Moore condemns the federal government's carbon tax strategy to reduce GHG emissions as too expensive. But the question to ask is how much will not pricing carbon cost us?

A new study published May 23 in Nature states that if the world meets the Paris agreement's 1.5-degree Celsius rise in temperature target (as compared with a two-degree rise) by 2100, it would be about three percent wealthier. That's $30 trillion dollars in cumulative benefits.

This study aligns with The Stern Review's projected costs of inaction on global warming, imposed on future generations, as a minimum of five percent of global GDP lost annually by mid-century. Inaction puts the planet in the cross-hairs of coastal flooding, famine, water crisis, mass migration and untold suffering that is preventable if we act adequately on the climate crisis now with an expenditure of one percent of GDP, which will create jobs and the conditions necessary to keep civilization stable.

It's 2018, and 25 percent of countries worldwide now price carbon. In the US, because they need carbon pricing for long-term business planning, BP, ExxonMobil and Shell are founding members of the Climate Leadership Council, a policy institute actively lobbying Congress to pass legislation for predictably-rising government carbon pricing.

Can we afford the consequences of not pricing carbon? The above indicators say no. If you say yes, please provide empirical evidence to refute the above. Cathy Orlando, international outreach manager, and Joanne Light, group leader, for Citizens' Climate Lobby Halifax

Profit motivated

Thanks to Larry Haiven for his op-ed, "Social dumping" (Voice of the City, May 17). As a neighbour of Dalhousie who has lived through two significant construction projects in recent years, I can testify that Larry is absolutely correct. Depending on the building, neighbours can look forward to two, maybe three years of disruption: Blasting, rock-breaking (probably the worst), endless hours of back-up beepers on trucks and construction equipment, construction vehicles clogging the streets.

The only relief neighbours can expect is from the police, who will enforce the 9:30pm-7am noise bylaw if they are called. Admittedly, there is a certain humour in meeting your neighbours in the street at 6am in various states of dress and sleepwear while you talk to the police, and then there are the excuses, imaginative and often ludicrous, that the construction people give for violating the bylaw. One thing you can be sure they will never admit to is that they simply wanted to get a jump on the work day to improve the profitability of the project. Beverly W. Miller, Halifax

Pipeline politics

A group of people visited Halifax MP Andy Fillmore's office twice in two months to ask questions about Kinder Morgan. It was our view that the project runs counter to Trudeau's own promises on climate change and Indigenous rights, encourages infrastructure in an industry we need to be phasing out as quickly as possible and isn't wanted by BC voters or the Indigenous communities there whose land and waters it will affect.

Andy wrote me to defend the pro-Kinder Morgan stance as a pragmatic type of environmentalism. I wrote him back to politely point out that we expect our representatives to fight against short-sightedness and self-interest, not cave to them in the hopes of garnering more votes. I didn't hear from him again.

Now the federal Liberals have reaffirmed their support for the pipeline, offering indemnity to Kinder Morgan or any other company that takes on the project if Kinder Morgan bails. I am beyond disappointed. I want Andy to know that I voted for him strategically; that if the Liberal Party allows this bailout to happen I will be voting against him next time, regardless of whatever else is part of their election campaign and that I'll be talking to everyone else I know who voted strategically to convince them to do the same. Andrew Glencross, Halifax

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