Western Separatism, Not Carbon Taxes, Will Stop Climate Change

If you live anywhere in Western Canada, the shortest land route to Southern Ontario and Quebec is through the United States.  Owing to Canada’s geography and sheer size there is no direct route for Western Canadians to access this region.

From Vancouver to Winnipeg, the most direct route involves going south of the Great Lakes through the so called “rust belt” states in the north east United States.  By virtue of being Canadian, we in the west have to take the long way north over the Great Lakes, then south, emitting massive amounts of CO2 along the way.

To take the more direct route would require two boarder crossings into and out from the US.  Those crossings alone add a tremendous amount of time, effort, and cost.

Southern Ontario and Quebec are the manufacturing hubs of Canada.  Every time you purchase a manufactured good labelled “Made in Canada” odds are it came from that part of the country.

Not only so, but most imported goods from Europe, Africa, Eastern South America and even the Eastern United States pass by that region to make it into your home.  Such goods are either shipped down the St. Laurence river or through the Great Lakes and offloaded somewhere around Toronto or Montreal.  From there, they are loaded on a train or 18-wheel truck to take the long, indirect Canadian route around the Great Lakes westbound.

Think about this every time you are at a store picking up groceries, at the hardware store buying building supplies, or at the car dealership looking at a new truck.  With the exception of certain commodities produced in Western Canada almost everything we need to both survive and make life bearable come to us by this massive, carbon intensive Canadian land route.

For us in the West, diesel and gasoline are our lifeblood and there is no way around it. There is no practical way to transport everything we need to simply survive in the West without petroleum based fuel.

Enter Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax.

Trudeau’s carbon tax is structured so that individual provinces collect and keep taxes on gasoline and diesel (among other things) consumed within their province.  In so doing, the carbon tax raises the price of fuel to raise tax revenues that then stay within the province.

In theory, the tax should be a wash for domestic consumption of fuels.  A Manitoba family driving their kids to hockey practice can count on the tax to fill up their minivan going into their provincial coffers.  That is assuming their provincial government is a responsible steward of their citizens tax dollars, something several provincial governments have proven they are not.  The Alberta NDP being a prime example of this principle, although every province have had their turn.

That also is assuming the carbon tax does not raise the input cost of doing business to the point that it does not cause severe economic hardship (which I believe it will).

Consumption of fuels for inter-province transport, on the other hand, are an insidious wealth transfer.  When a Manitoba farmer ships her grain into Ontario, she has to absorb the cost of the carbon tax for the fuel both in Manitoba and Ontario, with none of the revenue in Ontario going to her provincial government.

She pays the price and gets none of the benefit.

In the same way, a Saskatchewan electrician will line the pockets of the Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec governments every time he purchases Quebec manufactured supplies from his local Rona.

Alberta in particular is punished by the transfer aspect of the tax.  We require the most out of province fuel to bring anything into or out of the province.  Within Canada, our geographic positioning gives us few options to change this dynamic.

The 1000 km route through the Rockies to the West is pure pain, impassible without petroleum (or in my great-great-great grandfather’s day – cheap, expendable Chinese slave labor).

The 3600 km route from Montreal is somewhat less treacherous but vast in length.

Both routes, east and west, require an altitude gain of 1000 meters.

Life in Western Canada, and especially in Alberta, literally is walking home uphill both ways in the snow.  The Trudeau carbon tax is the Canadian government’s way of making you carry a geriatric from Ottawa on your shoulders who yells at you to breath less with every step.

It need not be this way.

Were Western Canada to separate and form a new nation, the Eastern Canadian manufacturers would be forced to compete with the Americans.

With American shale providing cheap, clean electricity, the American manufacturers in the Eastern United States are poised to make a huge comeback.  Very soon under President Trump, anything that can be manufactured in Toronto or Montreal will be manufactured in Detroit or Chicago.   Hundreds of kilometers closer along the most direct route.

As a part of Canada, the west has to pay a tremendous price to bring in carbon intensive Quebec and Ontario goods.

Those same goods could travel hundreds of kilometers less from the newly energized American manufacturing states.  Not only would the American goods be cheaper and better quality, the reduction of the carbon footprint from both manufacturing and transport would be staggering.

Our overall carbon footprint as a sovereign state would fall tremendously if we were to boycott Eastern Canadian transport routes and goods used American ones instead.

Not only would imports benefit, exports would too.  For the prairie provinces, our agriculture and energy exports already primarily travel into the same American states.  In the worst case, were the United States to impose tariffs or levies on Western Canadian exports, the odds are much better that such taxes would improve and expand American transportation and trade infrastructure.  This would significantly increase our capacity to both import and import, lowering costs.

Who do you think would better manage revenues from Western Canadian exports?  Donald Trump, who is on record decrying climate change as a progressive hoax, or Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau, two of the most ardent champions of carbon taxes and economy killing, “green” energy on the planet?

Personally, I have long been skeptical of man made climate change.  It reeks to me of an authoritarian movement masquerading as an apocalyptic pseudo-science.  “The world’s going to end if we don’t make people pay more taxes!”

Even if I am wrong and made made climate change is real, the best way to combat it is for Western Canada to separate.

When Western Canada separates, we will finally get the old man from Ottawa off our back.

Our walk home will be a little bit lighter.

We will all be able to breath a whole lot easier.

Related:

Carbon Tax: The End of Canada

The Church of Climate Change and the Coming, Uncertain Journey

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11 thoughts on “Western Separatism, Not Carbon Taxes, Will Stop Climate Change

  1. Just did a Google maps search for travel from Edmonton (where I live) to Toronto. It is 34 hours driving via the northern, fully Canadian route. Going via the US, you save anywhere between 7 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the route. Going to Montreal, the advantage was reversed, with the US routes being longer. I also tried the same routes from Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. From Winnipeg, the US routes were clearly slower. Calgary was similar to Edmonton. For Vancouver, the advantage was as much as 2.5 hours to go through the US. Not insignificant, but not huge over the course of a two day journey.

    Not exactly a climate change game changer, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How about to Chicago or Detroit? Those cities are 200 – 400 km closer than Toronto or Montreal. More importantly, how about to Duluth?

      The Great Lakes and the accompanying waterways are navigable and can ship freight and in particular if Duluth was converted into a major offloading port for freight destined to Western Canada, there is absolutely no comparison.

      The fact is, the Americans can (and probably will) manufacture anything that’s manufactured in Southern Ontario/Quebec in all of the Great Lake states, hundreds of kilometers closer than Ontario or Quebec, but because we’re a foreign country and because NAFTA subsidizes the Eastern manufacturers – the Americans can’t compete.

      When Trump renegotiates NAFTA and revitalizes manufacturing in the Eastern US, the right solution to fight climate change will be for us in Western Canada to buy American manufactured goods and use American transportation infrastructure to bring in our imports.

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    2. Not only so, but most of the Canadian roadways are single lane highways running through regions that have extremely cold climates. Not only are they unsuitable for heavy, long haul transportation, they are also incredibly inefficient.

      Add on the cost of simply keeping people up in the Canadian regions to keep the lights on (particularly the cost of heating their homes and similarly transporting goods via road/rail) – again, the carbon costs explode.

      The Americans live in warmer climate, along shorter supply routes that require far less energy to keep and maintain.

      The solution to climate change is to enhance trade with the US and boycott Eastern Canadian goods – something really only possible if Western Canada separates.

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    1. “Relatively.” Logistically a border crossing (or 2) adds enough overhead to make it less efficient and cost effective than than domestic transport. Ever get stuck waiting at the border while driving to the US? The cost of waiting both in capital and idle carbon emissions is huge. That’s why we deal more with Eastern Canadian manufactured goods than American. However, if we put both on equal footing, say by making the Eastern Canadian and the Eastern American goods each have a single border crossing, the Americans would clobber the Easterners.

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    1. I didn’t make that suggestion. I made the suggestion that when the Americans increase their manufacturing output in the Great Lakes states, Western Canada should by their goods instead of Eastern Canadian ones, since the American producers are closer and would require less emissions to transport than the Eastern Canadian ones.

      Interestingly enough, the only reason the Eastern Canadian manufacturing industry has done so well over the past few decades is the American manufacturing has stagnated.

      If the Americans make a concerted push to revive manufacturing, which every indicator suggest they are, the Eastern Canadian manufacturers are sunk.

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  2. I designed the ability to harness a new energy source right in front of our eyes. A clean, reliable, sustainable source that is as abundant as the sun. It is in my belief, this system would cut carbon emmissions down to an extremely low risk factor, but it’s incorporation has approximately 100 additional benefits. This includes,

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    All good changes start with a small dream.

    Liked by 2 people

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