The Plight of the People- Carbon Tax

In the province of British Columbia, in the country of Canada, there exists an error of judgement that needs desperately to be addressed. My fine readers, I bring you the Carbon Tax. This rather horrendous tax applies only to consumers, though it is the industries who contribute most to the pollution. It causes strain to the already high gas prices, causing economic problems, as the consumers have no money to spend. In addition, it is not particularly fair considering that the average consumer has little choice but to use fossil fuels. Finally, the carbon tax has an effect so little to almost be seen as no effect at all on reducing the use of fossil fuels. If one were to ask the average British Columbian (For it is only British Columbia, no other province or territory pays this tax) what they think of this tax, one should expect a long and bitter speech on its evils.

Out of all of Canada the biggest Carbon footprint is the Alberta Tar Sands, yet even if they were in B.C. they would not have to pay a tax on the fossil fuel they use, because they are an industry. Though it is of course true that the average person contributes to the problem of global warming, it is also true that the industries contribute far more. If any of the readers have ever had the chance to travel to Kamloops, B.C., for example, one could see the large clouds that come out of the pulp mills. That is pollution, and it was not created by consumers, at least not directly. It would do far more good to the environment if the government would target these polluters, and convince them to cut down on their pollution, then taxing the far more innocent civilians would.

Another reason that the carbon tax is a bad idea is money. Right now, in B.C., everything is expensive. Food, rent, housing prices, oil, just about the only thing that has not gone up is electronics. People need to survive, and paying for these necessities comes before buying anything extra. In some cases, especially those who live in rural areas and commute to work, (as many, many British Columbians do) driving to and from work has started to cost almost more than they get paid. If the consumer manages to pay for food, shelter, and transportation to work, then maybe he or she will splurge on something extra. But many aren't, and since we live in a consumer world, the economy will not do well.

The carbon tax is not only cruel, however, it is also unjust. Perhaps in a smaller area like England or Japan something to this effect could make sense, but Canada is the second biggest country in the world, and not that densely populated. If Canadians could not drive to work then there would be very few people who could be on time. Even taking public transit when they can and bicycling when they can't, many would use more time traveling then they did sleeping and working combined. There are people who drive over an hour to get to work on time and the only way for them to pay less carbon tax is to quite their jobs. There are other people who live incredibly green lives, eat organic and avoid buying any product that could harm the earth. They have a compost and enough trees to cancel out more than just their share of carbon. Unfortunately, they have the audacity to have to drive to work, and are being punished because of it. The carbon tax is little more than a fancy tax on something no consumer can stop buying, disguised in morals.

Perhaps this would be okay, if the morals held up against close scrutiny. That is not to say that pollution is not a horrendous thing, it is. The problem is the effectiveness of the carbon tax. Since it is necessary that the average consumer continue to consume the fossil fuels, it follows that a tax meant to convince the consumer to use less would do little. Studies show that in twelve years the tax will have reduced emissions of vehicles by two percent. Two percent in twelve years is point one six five percent in one year. Though it is doing some good, the good hardly stands up to the trouble it causes, and seemed even more paltry when standing beside the fact that the carbon emissions of the Alberta Tar Sands is in the forty percent range.

Though the carbon tax started with good intentions, it was a mistake and should be fixed. The consumers are paying for the emissions of the industry, and running out of money to pay for their own necessities. It does not factor in other good things that are done for the environment, or the fact that use of fossil fuel is a necessity. Besides that, it has little effect anyway. The carbon tax it a plight of British Columbia, despised by all. Other, better things can be done to the environment than taxing the consumers more than they already are.