Justin Trudeau runs into his own carbon tax resistance

Over the last couple of years, we had French and French-Canadian versions of President Obama.  They were young, "dynamic," and articulate and carried the climate change banner all the way around the bases.

Well, that was then, and this is now.  We know what happened to President Macron.  Just check the news and see what's happening in the streets of Paris and elsewhere.

We may not see yellow vests up north, no burning cars or breaking windows, but the message won't be different, as we see in The New York Times:

In Canada, a meeting this week between the country's premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was preceded by vocal opposition from the leaders of Ontario and Saskatchewan over plans to impose a federal carbon tax in their provinces.

And as the world's environment ministers meet this month in Poland for follow-up talks on the Paris climate accord, many of the signatories – Canada included – remain far off-course on the goals of the agreement.

The leaders in Ontario and Saskatchewan see that you can't tax your way to saving the planet.  Taxing industrial facilities on CO2 emissions will simply move those plants to third-world locations exempted from the impact of regulation for many years to come, maybe to China or Vietnam, where other real polluting is underway.

Increasing energy costs cripples the middle class.  The reality is that there is no viable alternative to fossil fuels, unless you want people in North America to go back to burning wood for heat and cooking.

My guess is that some entrepreneur out there will make fossil fuels irrelevant.  At the same time, it's probably a lot farther down the road that we want.

Anyway, the reality is that taxing people is not going to make our air cleaner.  It will make a lot of politicians very unpopular, as Mr. Macron learned.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Photo credit: Joint Base Andrews.

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