OPINION: If you are against a carbon tax — offer something else in your argument

OPINION: If you are against a carbon tax — offer something else in your argument

Global environmental action needed

If you don’t want a carbon tax — offer another solution.

As a relatively young person at 31 years of age, the future of this world is fairly relevant to me and the well-being of my family.

Given that, recent international findings are severely concerning to me and to many who will likely be alive, or concerned about the people who will be alive after the year 2050 (the expected year when climate change negative results will be acutely felt).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a jaw-dropping report that outlined how an increase of 2°C (Paris Accord target) to the global climate would result in catastrophic impacts to the global ecosystem.

For those who care about facts and research — a rarity in this day and age — that study consisted of three years of work, with more than 130 authors, using over 6,000 scientific references and responded to over 42,000 comments during the peer review process.

The results of that study concluded, among many distressing issues, that a global temperature rise of 1.5°C would result in ocean sea levels being 10 cm lower than if global temperatures rose to 2°C. Another example is if temperatures were allowed to exceed the 2°C, over 99 per cent of coral reefs in the world would decline, compared to 70 to 90 per cent at 1.5°C.

For anyone who cares about global fisheries, ocean ecosystems or coastal cities – these two facts alone should be enough to want to take action.

Many governments throughout the world, including the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have attempted to take action — with their solution being a carbon tax. The Federal Government recently announced that the average Canadian household will see a 90 per cent return on what they pay into that tax.

I’m not going to say I know everything about climate policy in terms of individual responsibility and I don’t know if a carbon tax is the answer, but the politicians against a carbon tax have offered no other solution to an impending global catastrophe whatsoever.

If politicians want to remove a carbon tax, they can campaign to do so but the very least they can do is offer solutions that will help ensure that global climate remains under 1.5°C (which will only mitigate climate change concerns, not solve them).

I understand that Canada is a small country and by comparison contributes less to the gross amount of carbon in the atmosphere than other countries — but blaming other countries will mean very little if only a fraction of the negative effects of climate change 97 per cent of scientists have predicted will happen.

In short, we live in the same world and flooded coastal cities, destroyed food chains, droughts, food shortages and a runaway refugee crisis will be the toll we will all pay if we ignore this.

So rather than blame the third world (a typical target of climate change deniers), those opposed to a carbon tax should offer alternative solutions — that are backed up with science — in order to ensure global climate does not exceed the 1.5°C threshold.