Claypool: No, Taxes Cannot Stop Wildfires

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on June 7, 2023

Those of us skeptical of the government’s ability to control the climate are often accused of engaging in “climate change denial” or not believing in “science” by those who believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau levying a tax on carbon emissions will lower emissions and be enough to cool down the climate of the entire earth. 

A step more absurd than that are the people who claim individual weather events or natural disasters could have been fixed if we had stalwartly supported climate-related taxes. Notice that people pushing this logic are also the same people who become hysterical when someone makes a “thanks global warming” joke in the winter. 

(Photo from CTV News)

Well, just today in response to the bad wildfire season around Canada, Liberal government officials and left-wing journalists are coming out of the woodwork to blame Conservatives’ anti-big government views. 

Erica Ifill from the hardline Liberal publication The Hill Times tweeted out this morning, “Imagine preaching a reduction on the carbon tax when half the country is on fire” before adding the comment that “Pierre Poilievre seems intent on leading us into Dante’s Inferno.” 

The Liberal government’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Stephen Guilbeault tweeted that “The ongoing wildfires remind us that carbon pollution carries a cost on our society, as it accelerates climate change.” 

Later the Minister also posted a cartoon implying that somehow the Conservative Party being against the Trudeau Liberal’s carbon tax is running counter to the problem of wildfires.

Back on May 30, Liberal MP Sean Fraser directly stated in Parliament that the Conservatives want to “repeal policies designed to fight climate change” which strikes one as deeply ironic as we are facing increased wildfire occurrences after 8 years of Liberal governance.

It should also be noted that the federal government currently spends $39 million per year on fighting forest fires, and $100 million on pride month.

This is all bordering on being akin to climate change Gnosticism. If we all signal hard enough to the climate we take climate change seriously through taxes and other forms of climate penance then the forest fires will stop and summer will be slightly more temperate.

The National Telegraph correspondent Daniel Bordman recently put a video mocking the Liberals believing that their taxes of people and goods going from point A to point B can stop wildfires. 

Bordman is exactly right to point out the illogic that even if some form of government action could theoretically reduce emissions and make wildfires less common the carbon tax has no ability to lower emissions because it is taxing an inelastic good (ie. a good everyone cannot go without). 

The carbon tax applies to almost every type of good, from gasoline to the food products on store shelves (due to costs to farmers, manufacturers, and transportation). Effectively if Justin Trudeau wants his carbon tax to reduce emissions, he will have to raise it to the point energy is so expensive middle-class families cannot afford to operate a motor vehicle or purchase food produced outside of their provincial borders. 

The carbon tax is effectively just a revenue-generating and redistributionary tax. Ask yourself this, if Trudeau’s carbon tax was about lowering emissions, why would he give rebates back to Canadians which cover part of the cost of the tax? 

It is as if smokers were given a rebate back for cigarette taxes they pay.

Well obviously the carbon tax is not stopping an actual serious issue like lung cancer so it has been designed primarily as a way to collect revenue for the government, and secondly to buy votes through rebates.

Stopping wildfires or cooling the climate is nowhere in the real mandate of the carbon tax, and anyone who believes otherwise is a obviously a Liberal. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

3 responses to “Claypool: No, Taxes Cannot Stop Wildfires”

  1. Sandra says:

    Here! Here!

  2. Bets MacLean says:

    Just a way to get more of the tax payers money. Carbon tax does nothing. Even if Canada went entirely carbon free, the rest of the worlds carbon would seep in to Canada. Just like pee in a swimming pool.

  3. Richard Courtemanche says:

    Would you happen to know what’s behind them, JT?